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#1 of 56 Old 04-21-2012, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So DH has been saying all along that he's fine with me homeschooling the kids if I choose to do it.  That was all fine and dandy until it came time for them to actually start enrolling in kindergarten.  DS is now five and "should" start kindy in the fall here in New York.  Now DH is coming out with three arguments for schooling, and they're a little hard for me to respond to.  I mean, I have responded to them, but I don't think to his satisfaction.

 

First, we moved from a state with pretty minimal school taxes to a state where they're some of the highest in the nation (New York).  We pay a LOT in school taxes, enough that we could have afforded a private school education for a kids in our old state on this.  And the schools are pretty good here.  I'm not in love with schooling in general, I think the best can't really compete with the homeschooling lifestyle, but they're really nice as far as schools go.  So he's saying that since we're basically paying the equivalent of a private school education, we might as well send them.  He's mad about having to pay all that money and not get anything out of it. 

 

Second, he agrees perfectly that I can teach them whatever academics I want and it would be a better education than the school could do.  But he is clear on the idea that school is not about academics, really, and he wants them to go so they can sort out how to behave in life.  He's not concerned about socializing with friends, really, they're fine with that.  He wants them to learn how to conform to mainstream expectations of life because they're not learning "mainstream" from us.  (They're also mostly media free, all the shows we watch are older, like Road to Avonlea for example.)  I really don't know how to respond to that.  Neither he nor I ever really fit in, either as kids or young adults or now.  And for some reason, I think unresolved issues are coming out of him now, because now he wants for our kids to be a part of the machine instead of being, I dunno.  Independent, or free thinking.  (He's also been saying "no" a lot more lately to all sorts of things, like urban homesteading ventures, etc.  He doesn't want to stick out of the neighborhood *at all*.  I'm not really sure what to make of it.  I guess he just wants the kids' lives to go as smoothly as possible.)

 

And finally, he's just concerned that I'll burn out from doing it all on my own and never getting any breaks.  And, this is true.  We have no family around to ever watch the kids, never have.  It's always been on me pretty much exclusively since they were born.  He's been clear that i can't expect any help watching them or with the actual homeschooling.  He views public school as a babysitter so we can finally, after all these years, get some quality time for the two of us.  He just wants us to veg and play Warcraft during the day or something mindless, or let me work on my novels (which I can't do when the kids are around) or finally re-start my Master's.  We don't have money for a mother's helper unless we do some major re-arranging of budgets.  He says I'm going to be very stressed out.  And I can see how it would be lovely to have a bit of free time during the days, to be able to clean in peace, etc. - but I figure that when they get a bit older they'll be more independent too, and maybe I'll be able to get away during the day to do some writing, etc.  But it still wouldn't leave as much DH-and-me time as he'd like. But what he's SAYING is that I'll be taking too much on and get very stressed out, and I won't be able to take care of him as well as if the kids were in school for a few hours each day.  I tell him that that would bring stresses of its own (like getting ready on time, dealing with teachers and IEP's, conferences, tests, having to bring things in, PTA, all that sort of thing) but he doesn't think those amount to much.

 

Ugh.  So... given those, how would you respond if you were me?

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#2 of 56 Old 04-21-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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Has he done any of the research into home schooling or has he always relied on what you have learned about home schooling?  Have you both gone to informational meetings, home school conferences, read the books, etc.?  Or has it all been just you?  There is still time for him to investigate for himself.  I don't know specifically about New York state but for most states the mandatory school age is age 6 (first grade).

 

I found this site about compulsory school age by state:  http://www.schoolengagement.org/TruancypreventionRegistry/Admin/Resources/Resources/15.pdf   In New York state, the compulsory minimum age is 6 (maybe).



As for supporting public school with taxes, all tax payers support public education whether or not they have children, home school, pay for private school, have adult children, etc.  There are a lot of things that tax payers support that have no direct benefit to them.


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#3 of 56 Old 04-21-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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Here's another link:  http://law.findlaw.com/state-laws/compulsory-education/


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#4 of 56 Old 04-21-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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Quick comment about "paying all that money and not getting anything for it." By a similar argument childless couples should have children simply in order to put them in the schools they're paying for. Parents with just one child should choose to have several more in order to get more for their tax dollar. It makes no sense to make major parenting decisions just because you're paying high taxes. The two matters are unrelated. A parallel situation might be working at a job where you might make a bit less, but you've got excellent health insurance. Do you wish for a major illness so that you get your money's worth out of your benefits? I look upon a strong school system as insurance: insurance for my own family in case homeschooling should prove to be not the best choice at some point, or necessary for some reason, and insurance for my community, where other people's children can get decent education and become contributing members of society rather than anti-social forces and net drains on social services.

 

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#5 of 56 Old 04-21-2012, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You guys just summed up my views pretty strongly.  :)

 

He doesn't research homeschooling himself.  He doesn't really participate too much with that sort of thing.  Just like if we were definitely schooling them, I would be the one researching the options.  He didn't really care about when they went to preschool a few days a week.  I asked for his input on where to send them initially, or whether to send them, and he didn't care.  He says it's up to me to make the decisions.  It's pretty much like this with everything.  I get most of the parenting decision making ability because I'm the one who is responsible for them and parenting them.  He vetoes some things sometimes and every once in a while he pushes his agenda if it matters to him.  But since I'm the one parenting them, I'm the one who makes the choices mostly.  Media (or lack thereof), food, religon, all that sort of thing.

 

I've been reflecting on this the better part of this morning and I think it's just a matter of him wanting to get the kids out of the house for a while each day so he can get some peace and quiet and some time alone with me.  It's not really about where they are or are not thriving.  Well, that sounds harsh.  He probably also knows that there would be less pressure on me if I gave up the responsibility of teaching them myself and let the teachers handle it.  He knows I've been under a lot of stress and doesn't want me to overextend myself, and the kids to suffer as a result.  And he probably wants or needs more attention, I guess?  I dunno.

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#6 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 04:50 AM
 
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He really needs to read The Underground History of American Education.  It's an oldy but a goody.

 

School is not preparing them for "real life" unless real life is something like a factory, certain civil service positions, etc.

 

It teaches kids to be passionless (with homework, no time for anything else -- and even if your passion is math, you have to stop when the bell rings), to live by a bell (punch in, punch out), and more and more, to cheat like crazy.

 

 

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#7 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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If time is the issue then you need to work on ways to combat that instead of the homeschooling idea. I will tell you that as a homeschool mom who works sometimes and has zero support system it's really really hard sometimes. The good still outweighs the bad for us but there are times I find myself dreaming of a perfect school being available so I could have a moment to myself. 

You said your kids already socialize a lot. Can you maybe switch some childcare with someone to get some alone time with dh? It sounds like he's home during the day. Does he work nights or work from home? Is he worried about homeschooling affecting a home business or his sleep schedule for shift work?

There is tons of research to show how great homeschooling is but my opinion is that in the end your specific reasons for wanting to homeschool your kids are the best reasons and points to bring up because they are tailored for your family.

Good Luck! 


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#8 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, DH doesn't work.  The kids bother him sometimes but he has the whole first floor of the house for himself.  (It's technically a basement but it's finished and has three rooms in it.)  The kids go down there sometimes to play next to him, but usually he doesn't allow them down there.  He can hear them, though, upstairs.  They don't bother him so much as that he knows that I'm always occupied with them and he gets annoyed that I can't drop whatever I'm doing to go make him a meal right that second or go watch him play video games if he's doing something epic or something.  I think he's lonely and wants my company more, and knows that while the kids are in the house they take up a lot of attention. 

 

We don't know anyone around here (yet) though I imagine we will eventually meet people.  It's a bit hard.  They go to the Y and play with kids there and they see other kids on the playground, but we don't do playdates or anything like that.  I wouldn't really want to invite other kids over to our house because I don't think DH would really appreciate that, and I wouldn't want to chance him coming upstairs and being unsociable.  Our kids obviously know that he's gruff and swears and is sarcastic and stuff, and they don't think anything of it, but I don't know if other parents would be super OK with having him around their kids.  Sometimes he can be really funny and great with kids, but I'd be worried that he would get into a mood and just, I dunno, be grumpy or rude.  =/  It's just not predictable how he'll be on any given day - and sometimes he'll switch in the middle of the day.  Even if he's having a good morning, something can set him off (like someone honking outside or the coffee not tasting right or the cat knocking something over or whatever) and then he'll go right back into his bad mood.  And since I can't usually leave him alone I couldn't watch the kids at someone else's house either.

 

But I'm not trying to be contrary.  Maybe I can somehow build something into the budget where we can get some childcare a few times a week.  I imagine as they get older they'll be more independent too.

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#9 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, DH doesn't work.  The kids bother him sometimes but he has the whole first floor of the house for himself.  (It's technically a basement but it's finished and has three rooms in it.)  The kids go down there sometimes to play next to him, but usually he doesn't allow them down there.  He can hear them, though, upstairs.  They don't bother him so much as that he knows that I'm always occupied with them and he gets annoyed that I can't drop whatever I'm doing to go make him a meal right that second or go watch him play video games if he's doing something epic or something.  I think he's lonely and wants my company more, and knows that while the kids are in the house they take up a lot of attention. 

 

We don't know anyone around here (yet) though I imagine we will eventually meet people.  It's a bit hard.  They go to the Y and play with kids there and they see other kids on the playground, but we don't do playdates or anything like that.  I wouldn't really want to invite other kids over to our house because I don't think DH would really appreciate that, and I wouldn't want to chance him coming upstairs and being unsociable.  Our kids obviously know that he's gruff and swears and is sarcastic and stuff, and they don't think anything of it, but I don't know if other parents would be super OK with having him around their kids.  Sometimes he can be really funny and great with kids, but I'd be worried that he would get into a mood and just, I dunno, be grumpy or rude.  =/  It's just not predictable how he'll be on any given day - and sometimes he'll switch in the middle of the day.  Even if he's having a good morning, something can set him off (like someone honking outside or the coffee not tasting right or the cat knocking something over or whatever) and then he'll go right back into his bad mood.  And since I can't usually leave him alone I couldn't watch the kids at someone else's house either.

 

But I'm not trying to be contrary.  Maybe I can somehow build something into the budget where we can get some childcare a few times a week.  I imagine as they get older they'll be more independent too.

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#10 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Your husband doesn't work, you make his meals for him, and he can't be left alone?  And he doesn't plan ever to help you with the kids or with homeschooling?  And he can't be trusted to behave appropriately around other people's kids?  Is he disabled?  Mentally ill?  Do you see yourself staying with him long-term?

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#11 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He is disabled and I am his (paid) designated caregiver.  I do see myself staying with him longterm.  We hope he will improve.  He may not.  He was nothing like this when we got together.  Add in a brain lesion and a few traumatic brain injuries and an undiagnosed-as-yet illness (we suspect MS) and to make a long story short, he is on a lot of meds, gets a lot of counseling, but he still needs a lot of help.

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#12 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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hmm...it's probably not the route to go, but I'd be tempted to ask him how he'd feel if you dumped him into a care facility, so that you could have more time with the kids. Family's are about balance, not about one person getting things the way they want them. You're his wife, but you're also the children's mother. As young as they are, that's a huge role!

 

The first argument is nonsensical. Does your dh see doctors for his condition? Did they get their original schooling through public school? Then, he's getting benefit from his high taxes!

 

The second argument I can't even respond to rationally. I'm not "normal". I was a misfit, and a "weird" kid, and all the rest. And, all the mainstreaming, public school, etc. in the world didn't change that. What school did accomplish was to drive me farther into my shell, and pretty much cripple my social development. I'm 43 years old, and I've only been coming out of that state for a few years. I still have an inordinate amount of difficultly coping with almost all social situation, and a small social comfort zone...and I developed most of that at school. Before school (middle/high school, in particular) did its number on me, I was "shy", but was able to move out of my comfort zone on my own terms. By the time school was done with me, I couldn't move out of it at all. I've never met a "weird' kid who was any less weird for having been public schooled. I've met lots of "weird" kids who got a lot more grief about being weird, because of public school, though.

 

The third one? This has some validity. Sometimes, it's really tough. There are days when I feel completely burnt out. (Mind you, much of that is because of ds2's behavioural issues.) But, I was a WOHM of a public schooled child for 10 years, and I was pretty burned out then, too. As you say, the commitments and running around with a school can be pretty rough, too. Even just keeping track of everything can be crazy - ds1 used to bring home some kind of notice and/or form almost every day! Late dinners while I went to a talent show. Early, rushed dinners, when I went to parent-teacher interviews. It got pretty crazy sometimes. I'd recommend trying to find the local homeschooling network. Almost every city has one, although some are more extensive than others. I'm sure you can work out some kind of deal for occasional childcare. I have a lovely local homeschool friend who takes both of my kids (I actually have four, but she takes the two school aged ones) more often than I take hers, and she's more than happy to do it. Maybe you could barter some meals or something in exchange, if a childcare trade-off won't work with your husband's behaviour.

 

It sounds as though he mostly wants you to put them in school so that you can devote all your time to him. That's not going to work out well in the long run. I think you'd end up very resentful (I'm sure I would!) and that's going to put strain on your marriage. You two are in a very unusual situation, but many homeschoolers are. I know single, working moms who make it work. I know a woman who quit her job and went on welfare, so that she can homeschool her two boys with special needs (severe anxiety disorder and moderate autism), as the school system was having a detrimental effect on them. I know a couple who work incredibly difficult hours and shifts, and switch off childcare, and don't make much. They all find ways to make it work. This can be done - you just need to find a way to convince your husband. I wish you luck. It sounds as though he's being a bit irrational about it (the changing his mind, odd attitude about getting his money's worth in school taxes, etc.).

 


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#13 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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He wants to send his child to public school to "get his tax dollar's worth?"

 

I find this a bit off-putting. Would he also send his child to prison for the same reason?

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#14 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lol!!  I am totally going to ask him that next time the taxes come up.

 

(That said, NY is seriously nuts about the tax issue, school taxes are like 6000 and everything else together is like 1000... or something like that, I forget the actual figures.  But the school tax is pretty ridiculous.)

 

Thanks for the input.

 

Oh, and about the misfits - I don't think he's afraid our kids are going to be weird.  (ITA with you on that public school doesn't fix the weird kids, just makes them feel bad about it.)  I think he thinks that they'll at least SEE mainstream kids in action.  Right now they mainly interact with us.  DH is the disabled vet, I'm the odd hippie Pagan (so I'm not weird by MDC standards lol).  We also don't do any current TV - the only live TV they watch is from Europe, and the rest is TV shows that are mostly older (I Love Lucy, Bewitched) or about older times (Road to Avonlea, Little Bear, Heidi, Mary Poppins, etc).  Our neighborhood is pretty conventional tract suburban houses.  I figure they'll see what the other kids are living like without having to go to school with them.  DH thinks that if they were spending 5+ hours or whatever in school every day some of that would rub off on them.

 

I dunno, I hope this is a passing phase of his.  I think he's just worried that we stick out like a sore thumb from the typical family of this neighborhood.  (Dad goes off to work, Mom does the SAHM thing with playground and coffee and jog with the stroller, they all work on the yard on the weekends with their dogs.)  I know that's totally generalizing but I think that's the place he's in right now, he feels bad about not being the breadwinner and being unable to work and he doesn't want the kids to go through that sort of social isolation that we're experiencing now.  I dunno if that makes sense but that's just my theory.  I think he'll get over it... I think.

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#15 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 01:38 PM
 
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hmm, I think if you're the primary carer for the kids, and it sounds like, through no fault of anyone's, you are, then possibly the right to make the decision about their schooling falls to you. 

 

I don't want to sound harsh or judgemental. This must all be incredibly hard on you right now, you must be trying to keep every ball in the air. I bet you get zero time for yourself. All I'd say is, I don't think his needs can come first here. I think the kids needs do need to come first. I think, even if they are used to him being unpredictable, sarcastic, gruff, if its going on to an extent that you know you can't have other kids over, that's probably going to be affecting them too. Perhaps in this situation school could be what they need, to give them a break. Or perhaps homeschooling would be more beneficial. But you are almost certainly the one best placed to make the decision, not him, from everything you've said. They are kids and, IMHO, their needs need to come first right now. 

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#16 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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That sounds like a tough situation.  Your husband has a point about you possibly getting burned out.  And it sounds like it might be hard for you and the kids to get out of the house much to do activities or meet other homeschoolers.  That might be hard on the kids.  But you're the one who's going to be taking on the burden, so I think it's up to you to decide whether you feel comfortable with it.  You can tell your husband that whatever you decide to do next year doesn't have to be what you do forever - that you want to try homeschooling because you think it will be best for the kids and think it will be manageable, but that you can all assess how things work out over the next year and then possibly make a different decision for the next year.

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#17 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 02:37 PM
 
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Oh, and about the misfits - I don't think he's afraid our kids are going to be weird.  (ITA with you on that public school doesn't fix the weird kids, just makes them feel bad about it.)  I think he thinks that they'll at least SEE mainstream kids in action.  Right now they mainly interact with us. 

 

They'll meet and interact with other kids. Even in homeschool circles, the "weird" people aren't all weird in the same way. And...there are other things. One of dd1's best friends is a girl she met at ballet class, who goes to public school. She has a couple of close friends in our townhouse complex, both of whom are public schooled. They see lots of mainstream kids in action. Did they see them as much when they were a bit younger? No, but it really doesn't matter very much.

 

Another thing to look into, although cost could be a factor, is after school programs. My niece and nephews attend a Boys and Girls Club after school program at the local elementary school. Because their cousins are there, dd1 and ds2 wanted to check it out. So, I got them a membership ($30/year!) and they go over about once a week. It's not working out that well for dd1, for various reasons, but ds2 loves it. The Club has a lot of free play, plus crafts, cooking, a "lounge" (they show movies there, sometimes - think Marley and Me was the last one), organized sports - street hockey, soccer, etc., Fussball, air hockey, pool table, board games, a few videogames, and access to the school playground. Most of the kids who attend are students at that school, although a few come from other schools in the area. DD1 and ds2 are the only homeschoolers, as far as I know. They stay for a couple of hours at a time, have a snack, play with friends, and then come home. Right now, I still have my almost 3 year old to deal with, but when she's old enough for the Club, I'll have a 2-3 hour break once or twice a week. Is it possible there's something like that available where you are?


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#18 of 56 Old 04-22-2012, 08:52 PM
 
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1. So he's saying that since we're basically paying the equivalent of a private school education, we might as well send them.  

 

2. ...he agrees perfectly that I can teach them whatever academics I want and it would be a better education than the school could do.  But he is clear on the idea that school is not about academics, really, and he wants them to go so they can sort out how to behave in life. 

 

3. And finally, he's just concerned that I'll burn out from doing it all on my own and never getting any breaks. 

 

Ugh.  So... given those, how would you respond if you were me?

 

1.  There is no guarantee that if you send them they will get the equivalent of a private school education.  Cost does not always equal value received.

 

2.  Public school is an institution.  They will learn institutionalized behavior there.  It is actually less like real life than homeschooling, which basically is whatever you design it to be.

 

3.  If you get burned out, you *can* send them to school.  Homeschooling is one option when it comes to education.  So are public, parochial and private schools.  Choosing one does not mean you can not change later on. What you want to do is pick the best choice for you and your family and periodically re-evaluate it.  You may find that different children within the same family need different things.

 

Good luck!

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#19 of 56 Old 04-23-2012, 05:35 AM
 
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He wants to send his child to public school to "get his tax dollar's worth?"

 

I find this a bit off-putting. Would he also send his child to prison for the same reason?

 

I just wanted to say I love this :)

 

 

To the OP ... I'm sorry if this post is all over the place. I'm just trying to brainstorm for you ...

 

You must be very overwhelmed right now. I think it's best to do some soul searching and see if homeschooling is really what's best in this situation. A stressed out mom with no support system and a sick dad who is having trouble dealing with his condition might make it hard to have an optimal learning environment at home. I'm sure it can and will work out if that's what you want and dedicate yourself to but there's also nothing wrong with admitting that's things aren't easy for your family at the moment and the school system could be a decent option for right now. As a pp said, your decision for now doesn't have to be your decision forever. You can homeschool and see how it goes and then have them go to school if it isn't working and vice versa. 

 

How old are your kids? I know you said your ds should be starting kindy in the fall. Is your dd younger? Is there a preschool program that is more play based you could put one or both of them in for a few hours a couple of days a week. I know NYC has some kind of program called UPK that you can go to preschool part time for free whether your income is low or high. I have a friend that uses it. I can ask if you want. I know there are a lot of homeschool families that never sent their kids to school but sent them to preschool and were very happy with that. 

 

If they are too old to qualify for that maybe you can look for a homeschool co-op? Somewhere to get support and get the kids out a bit. I am not judging in any way, I understand fully that your husband is ill but as much as you say the kids are used to it, I wonder if it isn't hard on them too. It can't be easy for young kids to deal with such unpredictable behavior even if it's all they know. I wouldn't worry at all about "normalizing" your kids to common suburban behavior but if they are witnessing a lot of unhealthy emotional behavior from your dh it might be wise to have them out of the home more and since you physically can't be out of the home more I'm just not quite sure how homeschooling is going to work without some kind of external support system. Is it possible to get outside care for your husband? Does he qualify for a home health aide or something like that maybe? Someone who could care for him so you could get things done with the kids? 

 

Are you in NYC or upstate? If you are in the city I know for a fact there are tons of covens and support groups for pagans. That might be a good thing to get involved in with the kids. 

 

As far as the schools go, do you know that they are good or are you just judging by the taxes? Unfortunately this is not necessarily one of those situations where you get what you pay for. Your taxes can be through the roof but you can still have a crap school anyway. We have friends paying 11k a year in property taxes for a very average property and their schools are frightening. I'd research your zoned school fully before making a decision. 


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#20 of 56 Old 04-23-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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This would be tough as those reasons aren't very reasonable.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#21 of 56 Old 04-23-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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#1- If you sent your children to private school you would still pay taxes to support public schools. If you send your children to public school and you are unhappy with it you still pay taxes. You don't get the money back if you decide your kids aren't getting a good education. If you don't have children you still pay taxes to support the schools. That is just the way it is. Our tax money goes to support a lot of things that don't personally benefit our family at this time.

 

#2- Did you and your dh attend school or were you homeschooled? Dh and I were both ps educated and still never fit the mainstream mold. School did not make us happy little cogs. I prefer my dd to be who she is and be happy and confident about it rather than being fake or feeling bad that she did not fit in.

Dd has always been homeschooled and is not shunned by ps kids we know because she is homeschooled. She doesn't stick out that much. She isn't dressing like a pilgrim or sitting around reading dry textbooks while other kids are playing. She likes the same music, movies, animals, and video games just like many other kids.

 

#3-  You can get to know other homeschool families and join a support group. You can hire a babysitter for the kids or a caregiver for your dh  if you need a break. Look for ways you can line up some support now.

Things are different as your kids get older. They won't always need you to be on top of them or involved in their activities. They can learn to help around the house. They can spend time at a friend's house.

The amount of time and energy you spend actively homeschooling can vary depending on your choices. We are pretty relaxed homeschoolers. Dd is 12 and we maybe spend 2-3 hours per day on work. Dd does some work independently but most we do together.  The rest of the day is free time. She is really good at entertaining herself. We will be working on leaving her home alone sometimes now that she is 12 years old but dh and I can also  watch a movie together or just tell her we need time alone and she does her own thing for awhile.

 

Basically it sounds like none of this is about doing what is best for the kids or about how you feel or homeschooling in general.

Your dh doesn't want the kids around or to share you with them so much.

Maybe address those feelings instead of the reasons he gave.

Maybe ask him to give homeschooling a trial and agree to re-assess at the end of the year.

Maybe agree to K with the understanding that you will hs starting first grade.

 

 


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#22 of 56 Old 04-23-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Would it make sense for you guys to move to a very low cost of living area with low taxes?  Or to move to a place that has those home school charters where they give you a certain amount of money to pay for your curriculum and extracurriculars?  Or to move closer to family where one of the grandmas can take the kids a couple of mornings a week?

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#23 of 56 Old 04-23-2012, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nah, we can't move.  We just moved here.  Like we literally got here like a month ago.  We thought long and hard about the taxes but this place is so perfect for us. It's right next to his hospital and it's a very peaceful area, the house is awesome and the COL is decent (minus the taxes).  We also took a few hits from actually moving in here.  We have absolutely zero plans of moving like ever again.

 

Besides.. neither DH's nor my mother can do the grandmother thing, really.  My mother has been promising since DS was born that she'd help, and then I take her up on the offer, and almost immediately she tells me it's too tiring for her or something.  And DH's mother has advanced MS, is in a wheelchair, etc.  She's supposed to be moving up here, actually, but we'll see if that happens.  I'm not going to hold my breath on that, but even if she does, she can't watch the kids.  And my mom, who may or may not have breast cancer, is always sick and can't take the stress of running around after them... So yeah.  No family support.

 

So apparently tonight DH's feelings were brought up a bit more.  He's upset that after I put the kids to bed after spending all day with them, that I go sit down and try to work on the computer.  Sometimes I just veg out, other times I do things like pay the bills and other things I can't do during the day, do our online grocery shopping, that sort of thing.  I used to be able to write my novels during this time (or study for class) but I haven't even had time for that in ages.  He was kind of passive aggressive about it and went to bed at like seven because he was "lonely".  I guess I need to spend more adult time with him.  Argh. 

 

I'm not really as stressed as all of you seem to get from the post, I mean, yes, it has been a stressful couple of years but this is actually low stress for us, unlike the times when DH is hospitalized etc.  Yes, I'm stretched a bit thin, but it's not like it's crisis mode.  Our home atmosphere is generally quite nice.  We spend a lot of time at home and in our neighborhood, but that's a good thing.  We have a homeschool room with lots of materials (rivals their preschool), they have their rooms, play time, we bake, do lots of reading, etc.  We don't get out to socialize a lot, and yes DH can have moods, and we drive him to a lot of doctor's appointments.  But sometimes I can drop them off at the Y (it's $15 for 3 hours to leave the building, free for two hours if you stay in the building) and generally we're just used to it.  Yes, DH might die, and yes, he's sick a lot, and in the hospital, and just generally that sucks.  But it was just as stressful as when he was on deployments and stuff.  And he's been sick for longer than the kids have been alive.  (Not this sick, but still.)  So this is sort of our norm.  Moving was stressful.  Since early 2010 we moved three times cross-country, one of the times we lived out of a hotel for a month while the houses got sorted.  That was stressful.  DH being hospitalized for about half of last year was stressful.  This is a walk in the park, comparitively...

 

Looking at it from this perspective, I think that the big thing is, what would I be doing all day long if the kids were in school?  I can't get a job, volunteer.  DH doesn't really leave the house.  I suppose it would bother him if I used that time for my writing.  I think the only way he'd be satisfied is if I just played video games with him all day.  But I don't even play video games... Hmm.  I don't know how much about this thread is about homeschooling anymore, tbh.

 

As for what's best for the kids... if I thought they needed a break from the house, I would be happy to do that.  But I don't think that's the case.  For one thing, I *was* that kid.  My home life sucked when I was a kid, and going to school made it worse, not better.  And when they were in preschool I was *always* having to pull them out for doctor's appointments or because DH couldn't be left alone for me to drive them, or whatever.  And they'd be really wound up when they went, and then they wouldn't get why they went some days and not other days, and they had to miss events because we had to pull them to go to doctor's appointments.  They still talk about some of that stuff.  Plus they got colds all the time.  Since they've been home (when we moved, I just didn't put them back in) they have more of a dependable schedule.  We take our books with us when we go to the doctor's appointments together, and read them in the car.  We don't have a morning rush.  Our days are more relaxed.  There is actually more routine and stability this way.  At least, that's how I see it...  I think it's better for them to be at home.  And I think that I'll just have to work harder to network with people who understand our situation and are still willing to be friends with us.  We're in an almost rural community so there's only so many people, but I'm sure eventually we will indeed meet people.  And they're still so young that I think we have some time.

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#24 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 02:22 AM
 
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Maybe just remind him, this too shall pass.  Mine are 7 and 8 and we live in a safe neighborhood, and my husband is frequently asking me "where are the kids?"  Somewhere out with the other kids, at friend X's house, at friend Y's house, at practice, etc.

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#25 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 03:30 AM
 
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Hmm. I really wonder if this whole issue isn`t about homeschooling or not. Sounds like your DH is lonely and needs companion. Does he have any friends? I know you`ve just moved there but does he have someone he talks to on the phone or through skype? His illness must be very isolating. Is he able to join some sort of club or group so he can have some social time with others? I`m guessing he wouldn`t be satisfied even with the kids out of the house. Sounds like he needs IRL friends.
 


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#26 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 06:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiqa View Post

Hmm.  I don't know how much about this thread is about homeschooling anymore, tbh.

 

Yeah, even from the beginning of this topic I was thinking that he wasn't seriously objecting to homeschooling, he's just... waffling or whatever. Expressing anxiety about the choice. Something like that.

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#27 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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I'm brand new to this site, but somehow I ended up on the Mothering mailing list and saw the homeschooling topic on an email. I popped over and just couldn't help replying here. (when I'm done, I'll go find the intro board and introduce myself--I promise!)

 

I homeschooled my two sons for middle school over ten years ago, so I know my experience isn't recent, but from reading about your husband, it doesn't seem like homeschooling is the real issue. You said he doesn't work, he sits in the basement playing WoW all day and is unpredictable when it comes to social interactions, so you limit those. He doesn't do anything with your kids, and expects you to wait on him for his meals? Am I missing something here? Even if he was working, he should be doing his fair share of the childcare/household duties, but if he's unemployed, then I don't understand why HE can't take the kids out of the house for an hour or so a day so you could have some time to write. What causes me the most pause is your hesitation to have other children over to play with yours. What are you going to do when your kids are a bit older and start asking for their friends to come over? Or their friends ask your kids if they can come over to play? Where we used to live, our house was so small, we really couldn't have friends of our older kids over to play. I hated that! We moved a couple of years ago and the house is so much bigger and now our daughter has friends over all the time. I love that her friends want to come over and rarely say no when she asks if they can. It's just such a nice part about childhood.

 

Speaking of writing, if you have a novel or two completed, polish those babies, get someone to beta read them. (the more the better--can find people on various writing sites), get a cover or, if you have any kind of photoshop skills, make your own, and get that baby up on Amazon. Right there, you can start making money and help with some of that stress. If you haven't completed them, do so! You are sitting on passive income once they are uploaded. (assuming they are good and not full of typos, etc) You could try for a traditional publisher, but the odds are bad, and frankly, you probably wouldn't make as much and you'd lose the rights to your novel for an indefinite period of time, but you never know, you could be one of the lucky few and end up with a bestseller. (you could also sell a ton of self-published books too, and keep more of the royalty)

 

 

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#28 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 11:21 AM
 
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In reading through the thread, there are a lot of issues going on here -- not just the homeschooling. I agree with the others who have said that it's important for all of you to get some relief and find a support system of one kind or another.  So you're a caregiver for your husband, 3 children AND you want to homeschool them? That's a LOT for one person. Your husband's perspective sounds very skewed but still, if you are staying with him, will it be a good environment in which to educate your children?

 

I'm a big believer in a strong public school system and supporting that through whatever way each family feels they can while meeting their own family's needs. Some will do better homeschooling, some not. I'd shy away from the advice that conveys kids in the public school system turning into corporate drones, or degrading people who work in civil service (honorable work) etc -- I'm concerned about all the testing and all the things that many homeschoolers point out too -- especially with the Michelle Rhee -like reformers gaining ground -- but the number one influence on a child's education is the home life and parents -- no matter if they go to an outside school or stay at home. Brilliant artists, innovators, activists come out of the public schools every day. It can be limiting, but it can also be what you make of it and how you supplement it.

 

I like the idea of seeing your solid public school system as an insurance policy -- I think that's wise if you are really set on homeschooling your kids. What I would ask myself is "How can I best meet my family's needs" -- please make sure you include YOUR needs in the equation. What do you want -- not only for your family, but for yourself? imagine what day-to-day life would be like. Is it what you think is best for all concerned, given the alternatives?  You and your husband should be equals in these decisions -- it's unfortunate his opinions may drive the boat. Another thought -- Would he be more likely to see your point of view if he also participated in their education -- as sort of a co-educator? Can you give each other relief and time to pursue some of your own interests? Not really sure the extent of his disability in that regard.  I wish you the best -- you sound like a great mom.

 

 

 

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#29 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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I think it's great that he can voice his concerns so clearly. They are pretty much what my dh argued, except that he did so in these offhanded questions under which I finally could see his concerns. Not the tax thing, but the time thing and the burn out thing. My dh is a great dad and a good man, but he has always been very independent and finds committing all his time and energy to our family to be very tiring and taxing. He feels all trapped. Many of our fights over the last however many years have been about this. I finally called him on it - homeschooling is my passion. The kids are my passion. You (he) don't share that with me but are more concerned about yourself, your poetry, and your job. He made a face and then agreed. So at least we were clear on the issues.

 

So my question for your dh is what scares you? Being alone? Being ignored? Losing you, his wife, caretaker, and friend? Does he fear losing his sense of self by being with the kids all the time? We are pretty unschooly, and we just hang out a lot. The past week and a half dh has been off work. He gets really snarky being around the family all the time. So rather than say - oh, send them to school, I make him see what he really needs (a nap, time alone, whatever) and take that instead of dumping it on us.

I think we homeschool moms of littles (mine are 2 and 6) do need time alone, but we don't need much. Find a homeschool support group. Work out swaps. Find enrichment programs (we go to one that is free b/c it's supported by public schools - it's one day a week). Can he watch the kids for an hour on the weekends?

If he cannot do even that little bit, then maybe school is the right thing for you until you get a support network. Seriously. Nothing is forever, set in stone. But it sounds like you aren't going to play warcraft with him all day, so you need to deal with that issue, too. You are not his puppet.

 

The mainstream thing is true. They do learn how to participate in institutions. He values this, you don't. So I would pick it apart.  What is he afraid of? Why? What doesn't work for you? How can you address those specific things? Enrichment programs? Faith community? Internships?

 

Best of luck to you!!

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#30 of 56 Old 04-24-2012, 02:48 PM
 
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IMO, your first priority should be to find a community. You can't do everything all the time forever without friends to talk to, help you out, cry to, laugh with, and be there for you. i mean you probably could do it all, but your other relationships (husband, kids) will suffer. I would start with trying to find a homeschool co-op that you click with. Mine has done wonders for me and the kids: physically, mentally, emotionally, socially.

Then, after a while if you get burnt out, ok. Take a break. Send the kids to public school. But don't not do something like this solely because you're "afraid you might get burnt out." Maybe you will, maybe you won't. Don't base decisions on fear. I know from experience that doing that leads to regret.

Good luck to you.
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