When did you decide to Homeschool/Unschool? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 49 Old 04-28-2012, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is just about a year-old and I returned to work as a substitute teacher when he was 8mo.  Long story short, I'm seriously considering homeschooling/unschooling my kids.

 

How old where your kids when you started thinking about homeschooling or unschooling?


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#2 of 49 Old 04-28-2012, 09:30 PM
 
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About a year ago. DS was already reading at 3 1/2y. We also started seeing some mild ASD symptoms about that same time (and got him started in therapy). It hit both of us there's no way we could stick him in a traditional classroom and expect him to excel. It was a hard decision because I was homeschooled (badly) and although I was able to overcome some major limitations and go on and get two master's degrees, etc. the thought of screwing up scares me badly.

 

So I started reading and we started talking about what we could do to be sure we do this well and both be comfortable that this was truly the best thing for our kids. We settled on using a classical model (in terms of rigor, history rotation, etc.) with an emphasis on STEM and we both became comfortable. Meanwhile we worked with DS on reading and math in a very relaxed manner. It's worked out well though because we are now planning to move to a state with a pretty sad PS system (not that the one we are living in now is really good or anything). It was nice to make moving decisions without having to consider the schools.


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#3 of 49 Old 04-28-2012, 09:58 PM
 
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Before my kids were born!

I left high school after reading "The Teenage Liberation Handbook: How to Quit School and Get a Real Life & Education."

It changed my life, and ever since then I've been looking forward to homeschooling my own children.

DD is three and a half, and DS is seven months, so we're a ways away from having to actually do or not do anything about it.

 

dogmom ... I'm curious, what do you mean when you say that you were homeschooled "badly"?  I've been reading so many book about homeschooling, and they all sounds so happy-clappy and full of bubbling success ... I'm genuinely interested in hearing your story, if you'd care to share. I'd love to know some pitfalls to avoid.
 


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#4 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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Dd was a baby when I started thinking about homeschooling as an option. When she was 3 or 4 I really decided that we should give homeschooling a try.


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#5 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 08:42 AM
 
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We first learned about home schooling when our oldest was 5, the summer before she would have been enrolled in Kindergarten (she has a Jan birthday).  We went to a home school seminar with several other families in our church.  We all decided to home school together.  Every year, we made the decision to continue to home school until our oldest decided she wanted the high school experience.  Her sisters decided that they too wanted the school experience.  Some of them went back and forth between a classroom and home school.  We decided with our son to home school for his middle school.  He has decided to home school through high school.
 


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#6 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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I was 10 years old..... I was in PS and met a girl that was homeschooled (and entering school, she was there a week or so) and she was just like me. Smart and a social outcast at school. At that point I decided my children would be homeschooled. I didn't know WHAT it meant lol but I started preparing. Now, I have a gifted 4 yo (no way will school provide what he needs) and a SN 2 yo (no way can school COOK for her.... or anything else she needs). So, I'm glad I have had 20 years to consider this. Now, I just need to figure out how to succeed as a single homeschool mom.....


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#7 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

We first learned about home schooling when our oldest was 5, the summer before she would have been enrolled in Kindergarten (she has a Jan birthday).  We went to a home school seminar with several other families in our church.  We all decided to home school together.  Every year, we made the decision to continue to home school until our oldest decided she wanted the high school experience.  Her sisters decided that they too wanted the school experience.  Some of them went back and forth between a classroom and home school.  We decided with our son to home school for his middle school.  He has decided to home school through high school.
 

 

I really like that you have allowed your children the freedom to have some say in their education. So often this only happens at the college level. As for me now. I really hated school. I wanted to home school so badly. But my parents wouldn't allow it. I love to learn tho.


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#8 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 10:15 AM
 
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Dd was probably 1 or 2 when I started thinking about it and we pretty solidly decided to work towards the ability to homeschool (in terms of $, work schedules, etc.) when she was 3. 


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#9 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 11:37 AM
 
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When I put ds (at age 4) in the best school in the area that I could find (having been a student at many of the area schools, myself), I realized even a good school really isn't the ideal environment for many kids, my own included. Basically, ds ran away from school and I didn't have the heart to do what it would have taken to make him go. He was always a sensible and cautious kid so I took his action as a pretty serious statement that school was a bad place for him, combined with the other verbal and nonverbal expressions of stress (it was effecting his sleeping and eating significantly). 


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#10 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wp135 View Post

DS is just about a year-old and I returned to work as a substitute teacher when he was 8mo.  Long story short, I'm seriously considering homeschooling/unschooling my kids.

 

How old where your kids when you started thinking about homeschooling or unschooling?

 

I decided to homeschool when DD was around two after touring 3 different private schools, I fell in love with Waldorf Education, but the 10K/year for preschool doesn't make any sense, so I am choosing to do waldorf inspired homeschooling for the time being :)


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#11 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 07:45 PM
 
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I hadn't planned to homeschool and didn't know much about it-- but after starting school with great enthusiasm and anticipation, my son didn't much like his half-day kindergarten. By the end of the year, it was clear that socially and academically it just wasn't a good fit. We tried first grade anyway, but despite the school being small and the teachers kind and well-intentioned, it just didn't seem like a good place for him to be spending so much time. We looked at some other schools, and decided that maybe school itself wasn't a good fit for him-- so we pulled out after a few weeks of first grade. It's been fabulous-- no doubt at all that it was the right decision. It felt like a huge leap of faith but I am so glad we did it.


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#12 of 49 Old 04-29-2012, 10:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post

dogmom ... I'm curious, what do you mean when you say that you were homeschooled "badly"?  I've been reading so many book about homeschooling, and they all sounds so happy-clappy and full of bubbling success ... I'm genuinely interested in hearing your story, if you'd care to share. I'd love to know some pitfalls to avoid.
 

 

I wouldn't worry too much. The fact that you are trying is a huge step in the right direction orngtongue.gif Seriously though, there was a severe amount of neglect that went on in our home due to a parent with mental illness, another who wasn't coping well, a child with a physical disability, and a child with ASD. After maybe 5th grade my sister and I were on our own educationally. We had books but no real assistance. I also wouldn't call much of our curriculum quality (the science books from what I recall had very little "science" and were more about religious indoctrination). My sister and I fared better than our siblings though who could barely read by the time they got to high school. I still struggle greatly to this day with math and science. I'm lucky to naturally be a good writer and I loved to read. But throughout my higher education my options were quite limited by the lack of basic math and science foundation I had received. I spent my first year of college in non-college level remedial courses which not only put me behind (simply ran out of time time take high level math) but to be honest, I never "got it" either because the basics just weren't there. I feel like I'm relearning with my 5 year old (this time a solid foundation of basic concepts) but I'm thrilled to do so. DH is way better at math though so I'm less worried than I used to be. I guess I've just seen the non-fuzzy wuzzy side and it frightens me (of course there is a non-happy side to every educational option, this just happens to be a sore point for me personally). My childhood is a sad time and I think it's taken me awhile to separate out that while homeschooling was a terrible thing in our case it certainly doesn't need to be that way (of course!).


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#13 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Treece View Post

 

 

I really like that you have allowed your children the freedom to have some say in their education. So often this only happens at the college level. As for me now. I really hated school. I wanted to home school so badly. But my parents wouldn't allow it. I love to learn tho.

 

They are given more and more say in their upbringing as they mature and demonstrate that they can handle the responsibilities that go along with the autonomy.  I call it lazy parenting on my part.  In the long run, it's easier to teach them and give them the practice to be independent, to own their opinions, and to debate their point of view.  On the other hand, it does make for very interesting teen years.  It's no fun to be caught in a "do what I say instead of what I do" moment.


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#14 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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Before they were born  smile.gif

 

Honestly, I was seriously traumatised by my school experience, and my husband's was worse - albeit in a different way.  

 

I learned to love HSing for many more reasons than "it is not school."

 

I have also learned that sometimes school works for some kids at some points in their lives.  

 

 

 

 

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#15 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 12:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sewchris2642 View Post

 

 

They are given more and more say in their upbringing as they mature and demonstrate that they can handle the responsibilities that go along with the autonomy.  I call it lazy parenting on my part.  In the long run, it's easier to teach them and give them the practice to be independent, to own their opinions, and to debate their point of view.  On the other hand, it does make for very interesting teen years.  It's no fun to be caught in a "do what I say instead of what I do" moment.

 

OT.......

 

I think I used that same line with my mom "lazy parenting." She runs a dictatorship (said so herself) and I "run" more of a growing democracy. It is hard when i have to point out that the kids need to do something different than how I do. So, I am looking forward to the teen years :D I think my kids should fair pretty well, esp compared to me. I was given no freedom (long story, i was raised by my single dad and out in the country with nothing to do...) All in all, I am trying to do everything different. Urban, homeschool, letting the kids decide. I hope it all works out the way I dream it will ;)


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#16 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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I knew before ever having children that I was in no way sending them to public school.  And, I really don't like the idea of private school.  I love the idea of being able to tailor each of our children's curriculum/learning to fit his style, his learning abilities, his interests, etc.  Public school did none of that for just about anyone I know.  Education, to me, is more than memorizing notes for a test, it's about experience that you can call upon again when needed. 

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#17 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 08:36 PM
 
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This is off-topic a little but I have to ask.....when you said "homeschooled (badly)" what did you mean? What do you wish your parents had done differently?

 

 

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It was a hard decision because I was homeschooled (badly) and although I was able to overcome some major limitations and go on and get two master's degrees, etc. the thought of screwing up scares me badly.
 
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#18 of 49 Old 04-30-2012, 09:02 PM
 
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Shortly after time dd1 was born, dh and I were noticing that ds1 (10 years older than his sister, who is actually my son from a previous marriage, but we never use the "half-sibling" terminology) wasn't really learning very much at school. He was getting straight As, and raves from his teacher, but his math was behind and his English wasn't really progressing. I wasn't thrilled that his learning seemed stalled, but I was even less thrilled that this was the case, and we weren't seeing any of it reflected on his report cards. I used to proofread his monthly story assignments and would point out numerous errors in grammar and punctuation. Then, he'd get them back, with an A and a rave comment at the top, and not even a note about any of the errors. This was creative writing, so I get that the teacher didn't want to lower his grade over "technical errors", but I was somewhat horrified that she didn't even point them out.


While this was going on, I got pregnant again, and found MDC. This was where I discovered homeschooling, in a non-Christian sense. I'd been worried for a while about putting dd1 into school, as she has a very sensitive and volatile temperament, and I felt she'd be eaten alive by her peer group. I had a hellish school experience that had long lasting effects on my self-confidence, attitude toward learning, etc. When I added up my experiences, ds1's experiences (he loved school, and did well there, academically and socially...but we had the aforementioned concerns about his learning), and dd1's temperament, homeschooling became very attractive. DH was/is onboard, as well. So...here we are.


We're staring "fourth grade" in September with dd1, and "second grade" with ds2. DD1 is somewhat behind in reading and writing, but gaining fast. She's more behind in math, but we're trying new strategies all the time. She's way ahead in science, and has well developed observational skills, as well as being very artistic. DS2 is really gifted at math and reading, but has social and behavioural issues that make school...iffy.

 

It's not perfect, but I like it way better than the school route. We'll stick with it for the long-term, unless there are significant changes of some sort, or one of the kids expresses a strong interest in school (probably not dd1 - she hates school, just from talking to her friends).


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#19 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 08:27 AM
 
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Before I became pregnant I realized the public schools here were terrible -- there are lock-downs and police on every campus. Private elementary wasn't an option for us because of the cost, and never would be. So, to me, homeschooling was the only option for our future children. It was a total default. I started reading everything I could find about homeschooling. I quickly realized that I had a very fine public school experience but didn't learn how to learn until I reached graduate school. Also, When we had boys I started reading Raising Cain and the Men They Will Become and found additional reasons to hs my boys. I wanted my kids to learn about life and know how to learn...or rather never have the joy of learning taken away from them. I did not want them to be expected to sit still for long periods of time. I realized there was a lot of freedom in homeschooling.

 

Since then, we've tapped into a huge hs community here and I've learned that there are as many different ways to homeschool (or public school) as there are homeschoolers -- even different ways within the same families. It's all about life and learning. I feel very lucky to have found it.

 

The way we homeschool I believe is called eclectic. I'm drawn to unschooling, but keep curriculum outlines handy when getting books at the library and use free stuff from the web and library books for activity ideas and worksheets. There are lots of "classes" through museums and co-ops here for hs. We largely follow the boys' interests. In the background I make sure I'm introducing them to all the multi-disciplinary things related to those interests. We explore as a family.

 

It's not necessarily ideal, happy-land! Our strategies change often. Although we have lots of group outings, we're basically stuck with each other and have to figure out how to deal with that. I struggle greatly with finding time for myself. But I see our boys learning with much joy, they have lots of friends, they know at 5 and 8 how to relate with adults and babies alike. I've also been pleasantly surprised at how much I'm learning and generally how fun it is!

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#20 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 08:30 AM
 
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We started homeschool in Kindergarten.  Actually we did a half of a year at the Freedom school - which is a Sudbury school.  My hubby was uncomfortable and it just didn't work out.  At that time, my son did not know how to read or write.  Didn't know how to make his letters- nothing.  I started half way through the year, and in six months he knew how to  both read and write.

 

I teach him rather classically (as classically as you can at home).  I use a math, phonics, grammar, and history/geography/literature curriculum.  I am LDS, and have a strong faith in God - and make sure that we read the scriptures. I feel that it's also important for him to know topics from the non-biblical side as well.  I try to incorporate (especially in history) what's going on in the bible and what's going on in the rest world at the same time (kwim?).

 

In addition, I do not interfere with his play time.  I allow him to do what he wants (which is what really improved his reading quickly).  I think play is also important to learning and developing.  He has toys, video games - outside, whatever.  I let his mind guide him.
 


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#21 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 09:25 AM
 
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I had been interested in homeschooling and unschooling for years before I had kids of my own.  Even as a nanny, the research helped make me the nanny I was.  I did have some moments of doubt.  I fell in love with Waldorf after teaching some students in my children's Aikido class.  But a visit to a Waldorf kindergarten when dd1 was 4yo reminded me just how much of an unschooler I was.  It was beautiful, gentle, but it was still school.  I haven't looked back since.

 

 I was never motivated by a dislike of school, but a realization that I learned so much more after leaving.  My husband's school experience was so-so.  He never was able to pursue what he wanted, and so he loved the idea as well.


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#22 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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We are just starting our homeschool adventure, and will finish our first "semester" of HS at the end of may.  I never considered it until after my DD was born, and then I reflected on my teaching experiences in PS, my own educational experiences, and thought - I don't want that for my kids, now what?  I was going to wait until next fall to start preschool with my oldest, but last november she was BEGGING me to go to school, so we started in January 2012.  She loves school, askes to do school on the weekend, and her little sister (who is not yet talking) wants to participate!  I have enjoyed doing it this spring, and I am looking forward to a new cirriculum next fall.  I am pretty set on HS for PK-8th, and then we will let our girls have some imput on what they want for high school.  I am pretty set on using cirriculums (as a former teacher, and as an adult with ADHD I have a hard time with seeing unschooling as a good fit for our family.) but I am fine with switching cirriculums if my original plan is not a good fit for us.  We are also a military family and I love the thought of not having to research school options everytime we move.  My oldest just turned 3 in march and is starting to sound out short words, has used a wide range of art mediums, and has explored many topics I would not have thought to look into without a cirriculum.  So I think we are on the right tract thus far.  I will say, my family thinks it is awful that I am HS and gives me a really hard time about it.  My friends also are confused as to why I would make this choice and have made some pretty rude comments about it, and I am a little concerned about having the personal stamina to make it all the way (I am very career oriented, and am really struggling with my last year as a at home mom) but it is worth the hard moments.

 

Good luck!!!!


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#23 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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Seeing this is timely for me, as I am on my third day of homeschooling my 5th grade daughter.  Our reasons had to do with lack of discipline at school and difficult behavior by the other children.  My daughter can be argumentative. She is adamant about her opinions and righteousness, but she is not a liar. When known liars' word was taken over hers, and then the school staff called my daughter a liar, that was the last straw.  Ever since she first tried to lie in toddlerhood, she couldn't do it. Her eyes would get really big. They still do. She has given up lying, as a result.  I wrote this about our reasons:

 

http://ecochildsplay.com/2012/04/30/i-am-a-homeschool-parent/

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#24 of 49 Old 05-01-2012, 04:22 PM
 
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I started to think about home educating when those all around me started this frantic search for the right pre-school.  They spoke in breathy tones of their quest for the right pre-school, which would then feed into the right junior school, leading to the best senior school, catapulting their off-spring on to the best university, and a top job.  And all this before these little ones could even walk or talk.  I remember shocking them by doing nothing, on the grounds that we didn't know what our little one was like yet, so how could we choose the most suitable school?  Thus began my fledgling thoughts that following the child's proclivities and interests might actually map out a path that leads to the best outcome for that child.  Now our three children are 13, 9, and 6 and home education seems to suit us all fine - but that may change, because children do.

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#25 of 49 Old 05-02-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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The moment dd1 was born i knew i wanted to homeschool. She is approaching 4 and i never waiv ered (ok, there was a one week period last summer where i was scared...)

SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)

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#26 of 49 Old 05-04-2012, 05:07 AM
 
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Before I even knew I wanted kids I knew if I had them I would home school. I had a horrible school experience, to the point where I got depressed/suicidal at the age of 10.. My mom pulled me and put me in an independent study program. It made a world of difference in my life and I was able to return to school in high school (no choice, my mother was dying of cancer and couldn't keep homeschooling us) but I was confident enough to hold my own. I excelled through high school and college, graduating at the top of my class. Pretty good for a kid that in elementary school her parents were told she was "slow" and would "never amount to anything", thanks for the love teachers..

 

I'm glad I made the decision early.. My oldest is VERY much like me, I know she would me miserable in school. Homeschooling she is able to be herself and not be put through the stress of the school environment. Shes able to develop her skills on her time schedule, not some random schedule made my the state. My middle is a very intense child and I could see her being labeled a "problem child" by teachers because of it. They LOVE the fact they home school, when people ask who their teachers are (they are only 5 and 3 but a lot of people mistake them for a lot older) they very happily tell them that mommy teaches them.


~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#27 of 49 Old 05-05-2012, 07:22 AM
 
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For me, it was as a teenager when I realised that I could get a better education without school. It wasn't that I hated school, it was just that then, as now, I saw life as pretty short and I didn't want to be somewhere not making good use of my time.

 

I didn't go to school much myself as a teenager and I can honestly say that pretty much everything I learnt I taught myself. I am chronically unteachable, less so now, but I was terrible when I was younger. I found it very hard to learn from teachers, but I also had a lot of other things I wanted to do and was lucky enough to live in a city which is in many ways an audodictat's dream (London, UK).

 

My mother, who did her teacher training in the radical 60s/70s, had a load of books by John Holt, Ivan Illich, Jonathan Kozal and so on, and a lot of interesting friends. My parents were, while not delighted with me not going to school and becoming a doctor or whatever, at least tolerant providing I actually passed exams. I think I decided along the way that if nothing better was on offer, my kids would probably get more out of just living life than being in school.

 

Our educational style is geared towards making sure that they are competent to, as teenagers, access the resources they need to to do whatever it is they want to do, not least having some strong interests to pursue and some good friends around them.


Raising Geek_Generation_2.0 :LET ds= 10 ; LET dd1= ds - 2; LET dd2=dd-2; IF month=0.67 THEN LET ds = ds+1; 
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#28 of 49 Old 05-05-2012, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by wp135 View Post


How old where your kids when you started thinking about homeschooling or unschooling?

 

Well, the first time I started thinking about it, my oldest was a couple years old at most.  When it came time for kindy, we enrolled and did the public charter thing, for about 4 months before we came to terms that it really wasn't working.  Next school year we checked out a private school thinking maybe private would make a difference, but it was very stifling and harsh and he had an absolutely horrendous experience.  We pulled him after about 3-4 weeks.  Never looked back since... We've gotten a lot more serious since this past fall (that's when we pulled him from private) and have been more structured in our schooling, which has been good for us.  I've learned that we're not schooling material (I find all the ridiculous rules pointless: don't do this, don't do that, be sure you do your assignment exactly this way, irregardless of whether or not you reach the same conclusion...) and we like the flexibility to learn what we like.  We keep to a firm lesson plan that keeps us progressing in math, science, social studies, and handwriting, but then we veer off wherever our interests take us on things like literature, history, and art.  For us, it took trying both public and private to realize we're home schoolers to the core.


 

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#29 of 49 Old 05-06-2012, 05:50 PM
 
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I started doing some research when dd(15) was 6 in first grade (late fall 2002).  She was bored and unchallenged in school.  Then she tested into a gifted academy which I thought would be the answer for her.  It was alright, but after a year-and-a-half there, she started to dislike learning and the whole idea of school.  I started my research again and explained it to her.  She thought about it for 2 weeks and felt she was ready.  We started homeschooling in February of 3rd grade and went to the end of 8th grade.  It was the best experience ever and she got more out of it than I could have imagined.  


Angela

 

DD(20) Hair Stylist in Manhattan

DD(17) Dancer at the (real) Fame school

DS(13) Martial artist & experiential homeschooler

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#30 of 49 Old 05-08-2012, 10:57 PM
 
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I was preggie with my first when I decided I would homeschool "no matter what."  DH was not supportive at all in the beginning.  He was sure we should send out children to PS.

 

Well, after I worked with her through almost all of the reading lessons we use, I asked him to work with her.  She was 3 years old and basically reading.  He was so amazed, he's been a huge supporter, encourager, and fully FOR homeschooling our, now, 4 children!

 

Oh, I was a PS teacher at the time I decided to HS.  I think I had to be a teacher so that I would make the choice to HS... I had to see what they could end up in if we sent them to PS...  I did NOT work in a good environment for children to actually learn.


IntactaLactavist, HomeBirthin' Baby Wearin' Co-sleepin' Homeschoolin', City girl gone Country Livin' SAH(HSing)M

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