Anyone have "wannabe homeschool mom" friends? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 04-22-2012, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My two best friends and I were talking homeschool even before we all got married, got pregnant and had a bunch of babies. By the time our kids were preschool age, we had been talking homeschool for years. We discussed every angle in detail. We talked about the pros and cons of every method. We discussed which books and materials to use; what age to begin; all the things that were wrong with the public system. We talked about homeschool as something that we were totally committed to, definitely doing. There was no question that our kids would get  homeschooled.

 

Yeah. Or so I thought.

 

So when her twins turned 5, my loudmouthed friend Barbie tells me she'd enrolled them in kindergarten. Offhand, like. Like it was nothing out of the ordinary. Now, Barbie was the most outspoken of any of us about the homeschool issue; I'd heard her get into arguments with strangers over it. She didn't owe me an explanation, but I felt that such a drastic change of heart required SOME inkling of why.

 

Less than a year later, after trying to homeschool her sons for less than a month, my other friend Mia announced that she was enrolling them, too. She said, "We'll be driving to town on the weekdays anyhow, so they might as well go."

 

I was pretty heartbroken after that; and now my son and I are all alone. Homeschool was going to be something we did... together.

 

I'm not a bit sorry that we're doing it, though. He's doing wonderfully. My friends' kids, not so much. Three of them have been labeled "learning disabled" already. The other one is struggling terribly because he's too smart and bored and in trouble all the time.

 

My question is, has anyone else had this experience, with "all talk, no walk" homeschool mother friends?

 


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#2 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 05:58 AM
 
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It's hard to know how you're going to parent a school-aged child before you actually have one. I was pretty sure that I wanted to homeschool when my eldest was a baby and now that my oldest will be kindergarten age...well, I'm not as sure. I think it's normal to change your mind.


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#3 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 07:13 AM
 
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I've had no one in my life plan to homeschool. One friend would love to, but her husband isn't on board, and she's unwilling to make that a fight.

 

At this point, if you want companionship, I'd seek out like minded people already homeschooling in your area.  It's probably that the reality of life, and all the expectations, is just too much for your friends. Perhaps things will change as time moves forward-- perhaps not. They owe it to their kids to make the best decicion they can for their family. They do not owe you a decision to homeschool.

 

And, it's completely possible, in regards to the twin parent, that homeschooling twins was too vast an undertaking. Maybe instead of "labeled" learning disabled, they actually are. Maybe she needs more help than she can find as a homeschooler.  Cut your friends some slack, and go your own way.


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#4 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 07:40 AM
 
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I'm going to agree that you just don't know until you are there. How many of us were going to be completely plastic, tv free, all organic, etc.?

If you would have told me four years ago that my kid would be sitting in the other room watching nickelodeon right now I would have told you it was insanity. I was sooooooo outspoken about being media free and especially from commercial crap but things change. I don't think it makes me a liar or anything. I just realized that when the time came I didn't feel the same as I did when it was just a theory of something I would deal with in the future. I hope that makes sense.

 

That said, your situation sucks and I'm so sorry you are feeling lonely. It must be so disappointing to say the least to have had this idea of working on something together and then being on your own. To be honest, I'm finding homeschooling to be a very lonely and hard place sometimes. I even had a thread here on mdc a while back about how lonely I was and how hard it was to make friends. In the end though, nothing is perfect and even though there are times I am so overwhelmed I could cry, I wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

When you are ready I hope you are able to find some other homeschoolers in your area that make you feel like you have that sense of togetherness again. 


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#5 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 08:09 AM
 
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unfortunately, yes... 

it happened to me

 

the truth is that schooling is the societal norm, and it takes a great deal of energy to continue to walk the talk after children reach schooling age.  husbands, parents, in-laws, neighbors, clergy - they don't really take your decision seriously until september is approaching

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#6 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 08:12 AM
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While I wasn't "outspoken" about it since I had no friends who homeschooled, I always planned on homeschooling.  But then. . . well life happened and I enrolled dd in preschool and then kindergarten.  It wasn't until she was in third grade that I pulled her out to hs.  I like to think that if I had friends who also wanted to hs that I would have.  Not because I am a big "follower" or something, but because I think that having someone I already was friends and whose children got along with mine. . . that would have made such a difference.  But, who knows.  My oldest craved other children so much.  I was pregnant and had a toddler when it was time for kinder.  I realize that many homeschool while pg and with other children, but for me that was the life situation that tipped the scales.  

 

Anyways, just cause I started at the ps didn't mean I stayed.  Perhaps your friends will eventually homeschool, perhaps not.  I hope you have more in common that the prospect of homeschooling.  Regardless of how they school their children, it is nice to have good friends.  It sounds like they were good friends (are) but this situation is confusing you a bunch.  Have you ever asked them why (without judgement).

 

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#7 of 31 Old 04-23-2012, 10:42 PM
 
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I assumed my kids would go to school, but by the time the eldest was 4 and a half, I'd seen who she was, and I had become the mother I am, and those two factors had changed my mind. We homeschool.

 

Parenting is almost always different than we imagine it, and we can't possibly anticipate the needs and particular traits of the children we are going to be raising. The more sure we are of how it will all be, the more likely we are to have a rude awakening. The mark of good parenting is being willing to change your practices based on what you observe that your child needs. I think you need to let it go. Your friends are different people raising different children and I'm sure they are doing the best they can for their particular families. Find yourself a homeschooling network to serve your homeschooling needs. Continue to nurture your friendships and support your friends in their choices even though they are different from yours. 

 

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#8 of 31 Old 04-24-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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I didn't know I would be homeschooling until my daughter was nearly 5.  We decided when she was 5.5.  I met an entirely new group of people through homeschooling and had a great community.  However, now that high school has arrived, we find most of our friends have bailed.  It was a little tough, as they wanted/needed their kids to connect socially to their new schools which let our dd a bit out in the cold. It has been a transition, but one we are surviving and beginning to thrive in with time. 

 

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#9 of 31 Old 04-24-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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If they are friends you want in your life, try to be compassionate and kind. 

Honestly my public schooling friends have been amazing support for me for homeschooling, they do not judge me or compare my kiddos to theirs. There are also so many amazing homeschool support groups out there.  Count your friends as your blessings homeschooling or not.

 

I think all parents day dream about what parenting will look like before they have kids.  And when I had one kid I had an idea about what having lots of kids would look like, and right now I have ideas about how I will parent them as teens... but I have learned that I really do not have a clue how it will all come out in the wash, but that would not stop me from dreaming and planning.  It's okay. And it's okay if things do not pan out as I wanted them to while I was still writing them down with pretty pens in those baby books lol

 

 

 

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#10 of 31 Old 04-25-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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I've somewhat experienced what you are describing.  A few different families that we know were homeschooling for the first few years and now their children are in school.  It was sad for me and my kids as we aren't able to get together as often, but we have kept up the friendship.  I wonder if it would be healing to you to have a set playdate once a week after school with your friends...maybe at a park when the weather is nice and at rotating houses when it is isn't.  This way you would still have regular contact. 

 

One thing constant is change.  We also have been involved with a homeschool group, meeting at the park once a week when the weather is nice.  That group changes also...there are people returning to school or moving away and new people coming in.  I agree with previous posters about finding a homeschooling group to widen your circle of friends.  It is not what you were expecting but you may meet some amazing new friends.  

 

I hear your disappointment regarding your friends' change of plans.  It is a bummer and it is ok to feel disappointed.  It is hard to experience loss of the "we were in this together" thing.  Hugs to you!  This is a great place to come for support.  When you are ready, take a deep breath, and plunge into the next chapter of this adventure.     

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#11 of 31 Old 04-25-2012, 07:30 AM
 
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I agree...it's very hard to know how you will parent before you do.  It's kind of like the saying "everyone's a perfect parent...and then they have kids."  I was the person who would NEVER homeschool.  I didn't believe it was good for kids and no kid of mine would be homeschooled.

 

Then after 3 years of private school, I had to pull my autistic child out of school because he was falling behind and being bullied.   All three of my kids are now homeschooled.  You just never know. :)


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#12 of 31 Old 04-25-2012, 05:29 PM
 
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I had a similar experience, but I always just tell it as a funny story. My neighbor and I used to sit there nursing our babies and talking, and she said "wouldn't it be great to homeschool the kids; we could do it together, maybe create our own homeschool classes..." and that sort of thing. And I, exhausted and sleep-deprived as I was, would grimace and say "Oh no, as soon as he's old enough, he's going to school!"  LOL!! You know how that turned out. My friend ended up enrolling her kids in school, church events, lessons of all kinds....and we never see them any more. They live just two streets up but they are so busy, and when school vacation allows them time, they take the opportunity to travel out of town. (sigh) And I'm the unschooling/homeschooling mom. We totally switched places.

 

Go figure.

 

I guess I am sad about it. My son technically could walk up the street and play; they are our only same-age-kid neighbors. If they had homeschooled it would have been awesome. But they've gone in such a different direction.  And yet, I keep holding out hope that someday they will start to get to know each other all over again.

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#13 of 31 Old 04-27-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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The nice thing is when both you & your friend are so confident in your choices, or so supportive of each other, that it doesn't much matter -- and so it doesn't degenerate into a whole judgy nastiness that kills the friendship. Often it's easier for me dealing with schoolers who would never consider HSing than with "HS-curious" friends who have plenty of substantive critiques about school in 2012, yet don't trust themselves enough to DO it.

 

Remember, you may be a homeschooling family and your friend may be happily sending her kids off to public school NOW, but there are a lot of years left. Who's to say you both don't change a time or two between now and "graduation"? Could happen.

 

I understand your disappointment, but it would be a shame to lose a true friend over such a personal, individual decision. I hope you meet amazing homeschool families that broaden your circle, and then maybe you'll feel friendlier to your old friend who made a different choice. :) 

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#14 of 31 Old 04-28-2012, 06:30 AM
 
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I find that as a homeschooler, *I* am the one who is curious all the time, sort of desperate to know if my kid is at "grade level" which of course is what I am supposedly not concerned with. I find myself asking questions of my non homeschooling friends about what their kids are doing. One time recently I did ask another friend about what her kid was doing in school, and I think she took it as a critique, or felt that I was judging her......because she was the type of person who liked homeschooling and wanted to homeschool, but for whatever reason did not choose to do it, and felt bad about it. Another time she read something in a blog post I wrote, and took offense at it and dropped out of sight for a while....I only found out later that she had felt judged by what I said.

 

The point being, there are so many weird feelings that can happen between friends re: homeschooling.

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#15 of 31 Old 04-28-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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My oldest is only three, but we're already part of a homelearners playgroup.  I don't expect everyone who's involved now to still be homeschooling two, six or fifteen years from now.  From what I've heard and read and observed about homeschooling, families and kids come and go from it, depending on what their needs are given constantly changing circumstances.  I figure that attrition is at least fifty percent, so I am reaching a little farther afield to make sure that we have LOTS of connections so that when it comes time that my daughter's friends start going to school, we'll still have lots of HS friends. 

I think I could probably bet on who will or won't stick with homeschooling.  I wonder if I'll be right? 

My nearest and dearest mama friend is also planning to homeschool/unschool, and so we've been talking it up since the kids were infants.  

I make sure that while I enjoy our passionate discussions about the subject, I don't latch onto her as my sole support.  She might change her mind, and that's totally okay. 

Well, in all honesty, I'd be very sad.  But life goes on!
 


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#16 of 31 Old 05-04-2012, 12:08 PM
 
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Yeah, it happens. 

 

I wonder what will happen with DS' home-preschool program. Next year it's a few mornings a week, small group, low academics and heavy experiential learning. Excellent! He can hammer and cook and build ramps to his heart's content and a) I don't have to do it too since it's not my thing; b) he can do it with friends and a teacher who are also really into it; and c) we can build off of what he does there for more academic learning at home. But... none of the other families have had to do homeschool paperwork yet. I have, because we have an older child. I do worry that we'll lose a number of families the following year, when they have to be "official" homeschoolers or enter public/private. But there's nothing I can do about that. I just have to have faith that either it'll work out for them and they'll stay, or other fabulous families will show up to take their places. Or we'll find a different program for him! 


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#17 of 31 Old 05-04-2012, 12:23 PM
 
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The ability to be good friends with people who are not like you has been lost in this society.

 

Your Friends do not owe you anything.  Note even an explanation. They changed their minds.

 

 Labeled "learning disability". Why is so hard to believe that some kids have learning or emotional disability and need extra help that qualified staff can provide for free at the public school?

 

 

My son was also bored in school but at same point honeschooling was not a good option for a kid who above all needed to learn how to get along with all people, not the   top 5% in IQ range. he needed mental health help.

 

Guess what? It is thank to public school that he graduate 2 years early and starting college this summer.

 

My homeshooling friend child? Not so much. Behind on everything Horrible relationship with her mom and they contemplating not just any school bu boarding school at this time.

 

 

I have friend whose homeshooled kids are doing really well. And friends whose public school kids are doing well . And vice versa

 

Different modalities work for different families and children

 

Some kids thrive at home, other in public school, other need private school or even therapeutic boarding school.

 

 

 

You Friend are not you, therefore they will make different decision in life.

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#18 of 31 Old 05-04-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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I have not had that kind of situation- but the ones where my friends are like "IO- you are so doing the right thing- that is how we all should do it- homeschooling is so awesome and our schools are so not awesome".  I am like "ok....  so...." and crickets chirp cause it is awkward.


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#19 of 31 Old 05-04-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

My oldest is only three, but we're already part of a homelearners playgroup.  I don't expect everyone who's involved now to still be homeschooling two, six or fifteen years from now.  From what I've heard and read and observed about homeschooling, families and kids come and go from it, depending on what their needs are given constantly changing circumstances.  I figure that attrition is at least fifty percent, so I am reaching a little farther afield to make sure that we have LOTS of connections so that when it comes time that my daughter's friends start going to school, we'll still have lots of HS friends. 

I think I could probably bet on who will or won't stick with homeschooling.  I wonder if I'll be right? 

My nearest and dearest mama friend is also planning to homeschool/unschool, and so we've been talking it up since the kids were infants.  

I make sure that while I enjoy our passionate discussions about the subject, I don't latch onto her as my sole support.  She might change her mind, and that's totally okay. 

Well, in all honesty, I'd be very sad.  But life goes on!
 

I agree... I have had close friends whom I have had many discussions about homeschooling and supporting each other, but in the back of my mind I have always kept a wee bit of distance, because even though people are interested in radical ideas, doesn't mean that they will really follow through....

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#20 of 31 Old 07-08-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by iowaorganic View Post

[...] my friends are like "IO- you are so doing the right thing- that is how we all should do it- homeschooling is so awesome and our schools are so not awesome".  I am like "ok....  so...." and crickets chirp cause it is awkward.

I know the feeling! But better crickets, than jumping in with a bunch of judgment if homeschooling isn't something they can do.

 

Starling&Diesel, you're so wise to regard the "preschool homechoolers" as very attrition-prone. People often can't see that far ahead, and some kids really do thrive in a school-type environment. OTOH, there will also be plenty of people with same-aged kids who think school will be great, or at least acceptable, or haven't considered homeschooling ... until their kid is school-aged and has a negative experience. 

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#21 of 31 Old 07-09-2013, 07:48 AM
 
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Yes OP, I had a similar experience. I joined a group of crunchy mamas when my ds was 4. We'd already tried pre-k and decided to homeschool. Many of the people in the group were talking homeschool so I was excited to be making friends with people who had nice kids my son's age. Then the next year rolled around and they all started school... It was very disappointing.


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#22 of 31 Old 07-11-2013, 11:10 AM
 
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I almost was one. When K registration came around, I really started to get cold feet. If I hadn't already been actively involved in a local homeschooling group, I'm sure we would have enrolled him Technically we did - we ended up doing a public school independent study program for a few years. But it was still definitely homeschooling in spirit - I decided the curriculum and so on. DS was heartbroken at the idea of not going to school... but also heartbroken at the idea of not seeing his "park friends" (the local homeschool group), so we split the difference as well as we could.

 

Several other people I knew in the group ended up putting their kids in K when the time came, though many ended up pulling them and homeschooling later. It's not a one-time decision - your friends may come back to homeschooling if they find that PS isn't solving whatever issue drove them to enroll. 


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#23 of 31 Old 07-11-2013, 02:15 PM
 
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I guess I'm a wanna be. We sent my daughter to kindy about 4 months into the school year. We had just moved, and I had just had multiple late first trimester/early second trimester miscarriages that year and so I struggled with depression. I think we'll homeschool for first grade, though, though I have some reservations.


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#24 of 31 Old 07-14-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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I kinda was that mom. :)
I was homeschooled, and we never planned to send ours to school-school. I was adamant about it, and loud sometimes. My sister was as well. We'd talk all the time about how we were going to school the kids together.
And then a charter school opened in our city, and we went for the informational meeting and decided that maybe that would be a good fit for us. The school made a lot of promises - small class sized, a focus on maths, science and technology, computer education classes for even Kindys... it sounded great! 
So we enrolled our oldest, he passed the interview and we were on our way.
It wasn't until my oldest was in 2nd grade that we pulled them out. 

Now, we've been homeschooling for 4 years. I'm still vocal about it, but my experiences then and now, and with my homeschooling friends has brought a variety of circumstance and reasons to their situations and I have lightened up a lot. Ideals are easy to have... but not always easy to implement. :) Things change, people change, situations change, kids change... My niece is still in the same charter school we were originally in, and she's thriving there. I'm happy for her and support my sister's decisions and she supports mine. I have friends who aren't homeschooling; some of whom with to or plan to in the future, and friends who are homeschooling who can't wait for it to be over (but needs must...). I try to keep in mind the idiom 'your mileage may vary'. 
 

In any case happy homeschooling to you! :)
 

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#25 of 31 Old 07-19-2013, 03:24 PM
 
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I am now dealing with this! My closest friend has always planned on unschooling...it worked out so well because our kids are the same ages and I knew, at least, I'd have them.....but now she's talking about looking at schools because she doesn't think she can handle it. I am so completely bummed about it....not only because I want to have friends into home ed...but I want my kids to have friends who are actually HOME to play with. greensad.gif

And then there are all the people to say they want to homeschool or that they are unschooling....and yeah, they're not going to. eyesroll.gif
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#26 of 31 Old 07-20-2013, 06:01 AM
 
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I am "that" mom too.

 

I know I have annoyed most of my hs/unschool friends--more than once I have decided to hs and by mid-Aug, ended up putting my kids in school.  It it singularly the hardest decision that I cannot make...I am so, so, so torn by school vs homeschool.  

 

I LOVED school growing up.  I am totally raising my kids differently than I was raised--for the better--but my home life was not my world, school was.  I was raised in a big family and very outgoing and social--being part of a community (whether it be school, sports, the neighborhood, whatever) is extremely important to me.  I like having long-term friends and shared experiences.  One of my closest friends and I went to school 1st grade through 12th together; we still see or talk to eachother weekly.  I still regularly meet for dinner-dates with a few of my grammar school friends.  I still run or walk with and hang out with a group of my girlfriends from high school.  School to me was WAY more than just academics.  It was like I said my community and which as you can tell it still is to this day.  To top it all off, DH is a high school public school teacher!

 

However, when my oldest was barely 2 I joined an AP group.  Being an attachment parent opened my eyes to a new world--that of learning at home.  At first I was not in any way interested in homeschooling, but after listening to conversations among the group members--many of which I still keep in touch with and see periodically--led down a path of reading, researching, etc about the negatives of a brick and mortar school, including how it began in the first place.  

 

When my kids are in school, I am constantly criticizing it (mentally to myself or verbally to dh, not to the kids), and we have gone from public to private b/c I am just so frustrated by standardization, academic pushing, teaching to the test, etc etc.  My library account would show that I get out a book on education, homeschooling, unschooling, etc on a very regular basis.  I am anti-homework.  I do honestly believe (as I've read about) that school was created from the Prussian model not in any way to make us smarter people or unlock our potential, but to standardize citizens and that America was actually more literate and smarter (for various reasons other than school) BEFORE forced schooling became the law.  DH thinks I just need to get it over with, hs for just one year, and see how it goes.  He thinks I'll regret never trying it.

 

So, once again, I am planning to hs in the fall.  This time I actually pulled them out of their private school.  As an adult and parent I have made so.many.other decisions with confidence but this one I rethink every.single.minute.  In addition to a host of other things, I worry most that they will lose friends and a community at large; that I am totally confusing them by always rethinking their educational paths; that I may actually suck at being their teacher.  And that I have some kind of personality defect that is preventing me from making a singular decision about education and STICKING with it.

 

Sorry for this totally long-winded email that I'm sure is completely misplaced in this thread, but I guess really needed to vent!!!!!!!! 

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#27 of 31 Old 09-27-2013, 06:59 AM
 
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Many people say they are 'homeschooling' when their children are only 3 and 4.  That isnt homeschooling to me.  Once school gets serious,  ie age 5 and up, then its homeschooling. 

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#28 of 31 Old 09-28-2013, 12:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

Many people say they are 'homeschooling' when their children are only 3 and 4.  That isnt homeschooling to me.  Once school gets serious,  ie age 5 and up, then its homeschooling. 

 

I think yeah and no

 

My instinct is to agree with you. I don't see how anything done with a kid this young can really be called homeschooling. Surely its living?

 

But times have changed rather. Round me, most kids actually start school, in many cases full time, at 3. By 4, 99% of kids are full time in school. That means that a parent who doesn't do this is, I think, justified in identifying as a homeschooler and entitled to support from the community. Actually I think those early years with a kid who feels too young to be doing much with, but who is not actually in school, can feel like a sort of limbo. They are having a great time playing but no other kid is. Also, its hard to meet friends because everyone else is in school. 

 

I'm pretty personally opposed to the idea that schoolwork should be happening with a 3-4 year old. And it seems totally redundant to call yourselves unschoolers if your kids are so young. My instinct is that they are doing what little kids have done for millenia. But I think there are good, practical reasons for the label and I understand them. 

 

I'm not a fan of formal learning pre 7 anyway, so for me, to say you are unschooling a kid before that age always feels redundant anyway. But I think we probably often use the labels we use for practical reasons more than philosophical ones, to work out where we are best able to get information, etc.


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#29 of 31 Old 09-28-2013, 01:32 AM
 
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That's interesting to hear about your friends. I agree with some of the other posters above who said that such choices are never static, people can change their minds all the time. It could be that later on in life your friends might decided to homeschool after all so don't worry it's possible your child will have your friends' kids for company when they're older ;). As for me, when I decided to homeschool it was because I already had friends who were committed into doing it, both in the US and abroad (I'm currently living overseas). So I pretty much fell into homeschooling thanks to having friends that were experienced in it already.


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#30 of 31 Old 09-28-2013, 09:20 AM
 
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My oldest is still four, and heck yeah, we call ourselves homeschoolers/unschoolers! If nothing else, it gives my kid something to identify with and say when people are CONSTANTLY asking her about school. And for me, it's about building community, supports and friendships.
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