Convince me- Try kindergarten, or just homeschool? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 21 Old 02-13-2013, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize posting in the homeschool section will reap pretty biased opinions, but that's kind of what I am interested in.  I guess I might just be looking for that push of encouragement to ease my fear of homeschooling.

 

I have 2 children, DS 4.5, DD 1.5- both have never been cared for outside of home or family.  I am the primary care provider, as SAHM, and DH is easing his way into more alone time with the kids.  I feel I am mostly in survival mode- just trying to keep housework, meals, and hygiene under control most of the day, and have little energy to plan lessons or enforce routines.  We have plenty of educational materials of varying styles, as well as tons of art/craft supplies and a fully stocked music room (full drum kit, guitars, bass, amps, microphone, keyboard).  There's plenty to learn from here, but there's really not much routine or curriculum happening at this time.  I feel my energy is more geared toward keeping DD safe when DS is doing more mature things, or trying to occupy her so I can give DS some attention.   Our attempts at "school time" are either great success or complete failure, depending on the day.  DS has a hard time focussing when there's not 100% one on one attention on him, and I have a hard time giving him that.  DS has been occasionally skipping naps (usually both kids nap together), so we get a little more time when DD is napping on those days.

 

When DH and DS hang out alone, there is so much positive learning and teaching going on- even though the time is primarily evening and weekend due to DH's job.  DS is quite sharp for his age, but I don't try to label him gifted or anything.  He is very much interested and talented in music, art, sports, writing, having books read to him (chapter books and picture books), and mostly self-taught.  He is not in any lessons or organized sports.  We offer advice, tips and demonstrations when he asks, but unsolicited help falls on deaf ears.  The boy is very much determined to just do things his way.  He is also extremely fashion conscious, and dresses unlike most kids his age and has long hair that is generally in disarray.  He seems quite different from the average school kid.

 

So, my fear about sending him to school is that the demand for daily structure/conformity will create behavioral issues and take away from his education in general.  His disinterest in mainstream culture might make him strong and cool, or cast out and teased.  I can't quite tell if he'll thrive in a setting where his peers set the example for behavior expectations and structured learning.  I know that he doesn't always listen or care for what I have to say, with the exception of answering his questions and reading from books he chooses.  I wonder if having a non-parental teacher will be better for him.  Is it worth giving school a go, or should we even bother?

 

On the other hand, my fear about homeschooling is that he'll not reach his intellectual potential due to my limited education (I didn't finish HS), and my limited energy from caring for both kids all day.  I long for the break that sending him to school may offer, but to what end?  How can I care for myself and my children in such an intense closeness all day every day for so many more years?  We get tired of each other!  But he never can seem to get any quality special time with me either!  It's such a crazy dynamic, and I wonder if we'll ever find our groove.  I know with DD being so young, it will be hard for a little longer.  I suspect by age 3, she'll be much more manageable and can participate better in our learning and focussed activities.  

 

I just need a little reassurance and advice from those of you who have BTDT.  I am also interested in stories from unschooling families, not just curriculum based.  Thanks in advance, everyone.  I learn so much from this forum! 

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#2 of 21 Old 02-13-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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How does your husband feel about it? I find that being in agreement on the school issue is important in most marriages, so that should also be considered.

With regard to your concerns, when it comes to him learning things you don't know, you will have two choices: learn along with him; or provide him with ways for him to learn it himself (like online school or a particular site, or books).

As he is getting older, so will his sister, so those challenges will be fading.

He sounds self motivated, and homeschooling will reinforce that.

Will he have problems if he goes to school, or thrive, or a little of both? The only way to *know* is to try.

I took homeschooling on a year by year basis. Each year I reevaluated the decision. So, remember, homeschooling kindergarten doesn't mean you've committed to homeschooling through high school. He can go to school if that seems to be best a different year.


I hope you're not too disappointed by my response. I sense hesitancy, and am trying to merely hold provide info to help you look inside yourself for the answer.
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#3 of 21 Old 02-13-2013, 08:35 PM
 
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What is your heart telling you to do? I tend to think most times the first reaction or feeling is the correct one. How does he go in social settings now? Around here dressing differently and having long hair would get a boy teased. The schools here have quite a bullying problem though. Schools cater very well to the average and mainstream, do you want him to become more mainstream? Children who go to school generally start acting more like their classmates and the work they are given is geared to the average. Given a large class it has to be. It sounds like your son is perfectly on track for him. He's 4.5, he doesn't need curriculums unless he wants one. Having a 4.5 year old and a 1.5 year old is very different to having a 6 and a 3 year old. That's the same exact gap that my kids are and they will both change a lot in that 18 months. Right now you're in the middle of keeping your toddler safe and the house hygienic, and it's exhausting! My kids are 11 and 8 now, but I remember it well. But things will change and you will find you begin to have more time for doing things with both of them.

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#4 of 21 Old 02-13-2013, 08:44 PM
 
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We tried kindergarten. Part of it was also wanting a break from my intense DD, some fear thinking I couldn't handle homeschool along with everything else as a SAHM, and part of it was pressure from well-meaning relatives and friends who aren't very open to homeschooling (or anything "alternative" really.) I am glad we tried it but I am also glad we quit and are homeschooling!

 

DISCLAIMER : We had a mainly negative experience with our local public school but I don't mean my post to paint ALL schools as bad. There are many wonderful schools out there that are quite different from what we experienced. They key is to find out what his school will be like, what options and alternatives there are, and what you think would be the best fit for him.

 

1. I found having DD1 in school really wasn't much of a break. We had to be up at the crack of dawn to pack lunches, get cleaned up and ready and out the door (all the while with DD2 in tow). There were always requests to volunteer for this or that (fundraising, PTA, ect.). I was constantly having to find supplies for work and projects sent home. And then there was homework (yes, homework in kindergarten!), DDs other activities (church and gymnastics) and then getting all ready for the next day while trying to help her unwind when she got home. Now keep in mind, this greatly depends on your particular school. Some could be more laid back with no homework or anything, others even more intense. But for us I think they really expected a ton from these little 5 and 6 yo kids. Our life actually has a slower pace now with HSing. Since it is just us and we don't have 30 other kids, administrative stuff, getting in line for the next activity, ect. we can usually cover what we want for the day in an hour or two broken up throughout the day. Some days we don't do much if DD isn't into it, other days we do a lot. We can take breaks when we need too or go ahead full speed if she is really interested in something. We can travel and do life when we want too and not be dependent on the school's schedule. We can spend a lot more time outside.

 

2. Kindergarten just isn't what it used to be. There is much more expected of them and a lot of it I didn't feel was developmentally appropriate. DD actually did really well in school and I think she would have continued to do well, but she was also constantly worried about doing something wrong and not being one of the "good" kids. She started labelling a lot of kids as "bad" kids because they didn't behave as well as she did or excel as she did. I don't think this was intentional on the teacher's part.  DH and I tried to explain to her that kids are at different placed in their lives, learn differently and at different paces and that is all ok but kids call it like it is. It was clear to her that there was a separation of "bad" and "good" kids. Looking back I think the "bad" kids were simply not ready for so much strict structure and it is pretty ridiculous to impose it on 5 year olds.

 

3. Our particular school is known for high test scores and pride themselves on it. They are taught to the test and everyone is moving to the common core curriculum. Although DD did quite well, I felt she wasn't really being taught HOW to learn, but she was just learning to take a test. The focus was entirely on reading and math. Very little art, creative play, and no kind of science or hands on learning that I could discern. BUT, not all schools are like this. There are some fantastic schools out there that are much better but this was just our experience with our local public school.

 

So there is our experience. We are loving homeschool. We do have bad days where it seems nothing is getting done but many are good if not great. It is tiring but well worth it for us. We are taking a laid back / eclectic approach to kindergarten and will try Oak Meadow for first grade. I hope my long rambling post is helpful to you.


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#5 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 05:12 AM
 
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My kids went to kindergarten (homeschooling wasn't well-known then). They had a good experience because they had good teachers. It really comes down to the teacher. If the teacher isn't good, school is a disaster. You should be aware that kindergarten is now what first grade once was. It's all sitting at desks and doing paperwork and that doesn't work for all kids (most kids, at that age). I support homeschooling, but it isn't right for everyone and it isn't right for everyone all the time. Some of my kids went back and forth and we did it almost every way possible--at home, at school, at school part-time, district homeschooling, independent homeschooling.... What's best is whatever works for you at that moment. I think the choice is what makes homeschooling powerful.

 

It's important to note that teachers, not just students, make assumptions based on appearances and treat a child accordingly. Some teachers will make negative assumptions about his long hair and that could make school hard for him, since he's too young to defend himself and long hair is less common on young children. Other teachers will love it--you'll want to know in advance which kind of teacher your child has. I found meeting the teacher before the first day helped. They quickly saw me as an involved and intelligent parent no matter how quirky my kids were, or for that matter, how quirky I am. When they realized that as weird as we all were, we had regular reading time in the home, we wrote stories together (I'm an author) and we did huge amounts of home learning, they just tolerated the fact that my kids brought invisible elephants to school or believed that wearing clothes backwards was more interesting. If they didn't, I demanded a teacher change.

 

My experience, having been in the homeschooling world since the early '90s, is that parents whose children obey them well tend to stick out homeschooling longer. You do have to be able to get them to behave if you want them to learn things they don't necessarily want to learn and a lot of parents give up (often too soon, before they've had a chance to get the hang of it.) Of course, you will have more time to teach him how to obey if he's home and more control over what you consider good behavior. Some of the things my kids were told was good behavior was not good in my mind. Being in school will not teach him to follow instructions--in fact, he will learn more ways to get into trouble, thanks to "socialization." You can also structure his learning to suit his style. (Run to the end of the hallway and write the answer to the first problem. Run back to the start and begin again.)

 

As for the baby, I find toddlers love to be in the middle of things. Give her something similar to do during school and tell her it's her school work. If you can find a small safe space for school, you can just let her roam while you teach and that will help your son learn to work in distracting environments--critical if he ever goes back to school.

 

As most others said, you need to follow your heart and you don't have to do the same thing forever. If you want to put him in school, you can always pull him out after a month or two if it isn't working. Monitor what he's doing there and sort of line up ideas in your mind as to how you will do it if you bring him home. You have a great home for homeschooling, so whether he's in school or not, you will be doing homeschooling at some level. (I was afterschooled and it made me different from my classmates in ways that were good for the adult me, even though it made me not fit in at school--I was too academic for my classmates. I survived being different.)

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#6 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the wisdom, so far, folks!  

 

Pek64:   Great to ask about my husband.  His concerns are much aligned with my own as far as why school could be a bad fit, but he isn't necessarily on board with homeschooling just yet.  I think a lot of that is the ages of the kids and my ability to create routine and focus.  But, he may be more interested in knowing that it'll be much different, and likely easier, when DD is older.  We have gone back and forth about the possibility of skipping directly to 1st grade where he'll be more aligned with the kids in size and intellect, but will be behind in the practice of being in school.  I feel kindergarten would be important if we're going to do school so he can learn what is expected and how it feels to be away from home, since it will all be completely foreign to him.

 

joandsarah77:  i feel like my heart says to homeschool.  We live in Austin, TX, which means there's no shortage of home/unschooling groups and other organized activities to participate in for a break from home life.  We have a Children's Museum and other great fun, educational places.  I feel like he'll be so sad to be in school for many reasons, but maybe he would get used to it quickly.  I want him to be exactly who he is and chooses to become.  I have no expectations for him other than to be as happy and healthy as possible.  I know he is smart, and wild, and off the charts in his size and style.  That's fine.  And if he suddenly chose to try fitting in with the crowds, that would be fine as long as he liked himself and felt he was being true to his own values and interests. 

 

CrunchyMama19:  YES!  Thank you for that detailed experience.  When I look into the near future of life in public school, that is my very vision.  I also see loads of resistance from DS about leaving home, as he is absolutely set on homeschool and gets very angry or sad when we mention school, even in very upbeat positive light!  He doesn't have any interest in participating in any activities that require parental absence.  

 

So, I really do feel like homeschool would be great, as long as I can do right by the kids.  I love learning, and am eager to continue learning with them, regardless of where they are taught.  The only real pull toward school is the eventual need for me to be making some money, but there are ways to work that when the time and opportunity is right.

 

Thanks all of you, and please continue to share you thoughts and experiences!  :)

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#7 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

I realize posting in the homeschool section will reap pretty biased opinions, but that's kind of what I am interested in.  I guess I might just be looking for that push of encouragement to ease my fear of homeschooling.

 

I have 2 children, DS 4.5, DD 1.5- both have never been cared for outside of home or family.  I am the primary care provider, as SAHM, and DH is easing his way into more alone time with the kids.  I feel I am mostly in survival mode- just trying to keep housework, meals, and hygiene under control most of the day, and have little energy to plan lessons or enforce routines.  We have plenty of educational materials of varying styles, as well as tons of art/craft supplies and a fully stocked music room (full drum kit, guitars, bass, amps, microphone, keyboard).  There's plenty to learn from here, but there's really not much routine or curriculum happening at this time.  I feel my energy is more geared toward keeping DD safe when DS is doing more mature things, or trying to occupy her so I can give DS some attention.   Our attempts at "school time" are either great success or complete failure, depending on the day.  DS has a hard time focussing when there's not 100% one on one attention on him, and I have a hard time giving him that.  DS has been occasionally skipping naps (usually both kids nap together), so we get a little more time when DD is napping on those days.

 

When DH and DS hang out alone, there is so much positive learning and teaching going on- even though the time is primarily evening and weekend due to DH's job.  DS is quite sharp for his age, but I don't try to label him gifted or anything.  He is very much interested and talented in music, art, sports, writing, having books read to him (chapter books and picture books), and mostly self-taught.  He is not in any lessons or organized sports.  We offer advice, tips and demonstrations when he asks, but unsolicited help falls on deaf ears.  The boy is very much determined to just do things his way.  He is also extremely fashion conscious, and dresses unlike most kids his age and has long hair that is generally in disarray.  He seems quite different from the average school kid.

 

So, my fear about sending him to school is that the demand for daily structure/conformity will create behavioral issues and take away from his education in general.  His disinterest in mainstream culture might make him strong and cool, or cast out and teased.  I can't quite tell if he'll thrive in a setting where his peers set the example for behavior expectations and structured learning.  I know that he doesn't always listen or care for what I have to say, with the exception of answering his questions and reading from books he chooses.  I wonder if having a non-parental teacher will be better for him.  Is it worth giving school a go, or should we even bother?

 

On the other hand, my fear about homeschooling is that he'll not reach his intellectual potential due to my limited education (I didn't finish HS), and my limited energy from caring for both kids all day.  I long for the break that sending him to school may offer, but to what end?  How can I care for myself and my children in such an intense closeness all day every day for so many more years?  We get tired of each other!  But he never can seem to get any quality special time with me either!  It's such a crazy dynamic, and I wonder if we'll ever find our groove.  I know with DD being so young, it will be hard for a little longer.  I suspect by age 3, she'll be much more manageable and can participate better in our learning and focussed activities.  

 

I just need a little reassurance and advice from those of you who have BTDT.  I am also interested in stories from unschooling families, not just curriculum based.  Thanks in advance, everyone.  I learn so much from this forum! 


I would say no to kindergarten at this time but I would also say don't worry about the future so much no matter what you choose. Take the decision year by year. Do what works now. If you try school now it doesn't mean your ds has to stay in school.

 

We didn't use any formal curriculum until dd was around 7 years old. I think exploring their world, reading aloud, answering questions, playing, developing motor skills are more important than structured lessons at those younger ages. If you don't do lessons at all your ds will still learn and be fine.

 

Realize that you do not have to know something perfectly to help your dc learn it. You also do not have to be their only teacher. Finishing high school or college does not automatically make someone more intelligent or a better teacher.

 

If you feel the need for more structure/authority from an outside source then maybe an online virtual school like K-12 is an alternative to sending your ds to a traditional school.

There are also boxed curriculum like Sonlight that will give you a schedule and everything you need.

 

If you need a break realize that school is not the only way to get one.  Things really will get easier as your kids get older. 

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#8 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 09:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Amie View Post

 

When DH and DS hang out alone, there is so much positive learning and teaching going on- even though the time is primarily evening and weekend due to DH's job.  DS is quite sharp for his age, but I don't try to label him gifted or anything.  He is very much interested and talented in music, art, sports, writing, having books read to him (chapter books and picture books), and mostly self-taught.  He is not in any lessons or organized sports.  We offer advice, tips and demonstrations when he asks, but unsolicited help falls on deaf ears.  The boy is very much determined to just do things his way.  He is also extremely fashion conscious, and dresses unlike most kids his age and has long hair that is generally in disarray.  He seems quite different from the average school kid.

 

It sounds as if he is a good candidate for homeschooling.  Don't let your primary reason for not homeschooling be the breaks you sound like you desperately need.  Those can be had in other ways.  Homeschooling does not need to be a relationship of teacher-parent to student-child.  You can both be students.  And it sounds like he has more than enough motivation to pace his own development.  He is eager, curious, energetic-- the perfect candidate for homeschooling or unschooling.  

 

No one starts homeschooling without some doubts.  The best remedy for that is to just dive in and do it.  You know your child best.  Because of that, because of the 1:2 ratio you are able to give your kids, you have a huge advantage over the teachers they can never make up, despite their years of education.  (Many have written on this board how their years in education actually was an impediment to teaching their kids!)

 

We are unschoolers.  My girls are 6.5 and 8 and they are "self-taught with ample assistance".  (Right now dd2 is reading her candy hearts, and doing a fabulous job of it-- it's so exciting!)  I have never sat them down to teach them anything in a formal way, but somehow we have managed to cover the necessities.  I take no credit for it, except to say that I am there to support their interests and to learn alongside them.  I have had one year of college, BTW.  (It is quite a bit more random than formal schooling--some things will be learned faster, more slowly, you'll learn some things in more detail, and somethings you might not learn for a while.)

 

I always recommend to keep a homeschooling calendar on the fridge.  Write down anything remotely academic--stuff your schoolish side values-- and all the the stuff that you value personally.  (This will be good in the future for any record-keeping requirements your state might have).  Then, after a month or so, read back through them.  Wow!  At the kindergarten level, learning is so easy through board games and card games (yes-even video games!  DD1 learned to count by 10's and 100's that way.)  They learn by doing and playing.  Sounds like preschool?  Yes-- and that style still works beautifully for the younger set, far past 6yo-- especially for boys, who don't seem quite as ready to sit quietly as girls seem to.  (This might only be because boys simply can't comply-- it doesn't mean that girls are more "ready" for this kind of learning, intellectually, and they also thrive in a more hands-on learning environment.)

 

I also highly recommend learning your state requirements.  I think Texas is fairly "liberal" in their HS regulations (please don't tell fellow Texans I said that-- I would like to visit someday orngtongue.gif so maybe I should say their regs are more "libertarian"!)  Reading our state regs was liberating for me.  I didn't have to do or decide anything until they were 8.  Surprise!  Kindergarten is not required in most states.  Many have no requirements until at least the age of 7.  But you only need to concern yourself with Texas.  If you have questions, there are probably a HS organization that can answer them for you and put them into plain English.  HSing parents can make this a practicality.  (I have to test my girls every year--but what's this?  No one sees the results?  That's right.  You need to read how the regs are applied before panicking.)

 

Lastly, get thyself some time for yourself, for one kid at a time.  I never or rarely do, but then my girls are closer in age and I'm not feeling so quite overwhelmed- even though my house is most likely messier than yours!

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#9 of 21 Old 02-14-2013, 03:51 PM
 
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Structure and kindergarten are mutually exclusive, in my opinion. There is nothing about kindergarten that requires structure. Reading to your children, doing art, cooking/baking, getting outside for play or walks to the library pretty much covers it. Teaching cleanup comes as part of homeschooling, in my experience, and isn't taught at school.

It sounds like you are more decided today. If you need help convincing your husband, there's a book I can never remember the name of, that helped convince my husband, written by a NYC high school teacher who homeschooled his boys.

Good luck, and welcome.
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#10 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 06:23 AM
 
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If your heart is telling you to homeschool, you can find a way.

I find that it is much better for the soul to go at your own pace and keep your children near you. They learn so much in these early years and it is imperative that you ingrain your morals and thoughts while you can.

If you think your not finishing high school is a barrier, I tend to disagree, because if you really want him to learn you, will find the things for him to learn and guess what, you will as well.

Plus there are many resources out there, including a homeschooler social network, that can help you every step of the way. Tutors, churches, libraries and museums are all having homeschool classes now that will remove you from the home sometimes to break any cycles you rail against.

 

I sincerely think that your question being posted here was just a way of justifying what you already know. Regardless of your stature in life, you love your children and you will be dadgum sure to do a better job than anyone else, no matter what it takes. This is an important, ultimate feeling for homeschoolers! You can do it and you know you can, but you have heard all your life that you can't. Wrong. It will not be an easy task, but nobody says that it will, but then again, there are hundreds of thousands of parents who never have tried to see if they can be that shining light of learning for their children. They simply drop them off and hope for the best.

 

You are not ready to do that!

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#11 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 07:41 AM
 
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pek64, sounds like a book by John Taylor Gatto? Do the titles Dumbing us Down, Weapons of Mass Instruction, or The Underground History of American Education sound familiar?


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#12 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Structure and kindergarten are mutually exclusive, in my opinion. There is nothing about kindergarten that requires structure. Reading to your children, doing art, cooking/baking, getting outside for play or walks to the library pretty much covers it. Teaching cleanup comes as part of homeschooling, in my experience, and isn't taught at school.

It sounds like you are more decided today. If you need help convincing your husband, there's a book I can never remember the name of, that helped convince my husband, written by a NYC high school teacher who homeschooled his boys.

Good luck, and welcome.

sounds about like my very thoughts about this age range.  i love the book reference, and will honestly try to find one matching that description.  ;)  you're awesome.  and husband is increasingly interested in HS/US for the early years, even though we are touring a dual language school (spanish) and a charter school in our hood.  the kids will join us, so DS can make a more informed opinion and decision about his choices.  we don't want to force either option, but want to make sure he gets some exposure.  

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#13 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by homeschoolerhub View Post

If your heart is telling you to homeschool, you can find a way.

I find that it is much better for the soul to go at your own pace and keep your children near you. They learn so much in these early years and it is imperative that you ingrain your morals and thoughts while you can.

If you think your not finishing high school is a barrier, I tend to disagree, because if you really want him to learn you, will find the things for him to learn and guess what, you will as well.

Plus there are many resources out there, including a homeschooler social network, that can help you every step of the way. Tutors, churches, libraries and museums are all having homeschool classes now that will remove you from the home sometimes to break any cycles you rail against.

 

I sincerely think that your question being posted here was just a way of justifying what you already know. Regardless of your stature in life, you love your children and you will be dadgum sure to do a better job than anyone else, no matter what it takes. This is an important, ultimate feeling for homeschoolers! You can do it and you know you can, but you have heard all your life that you can't. Wrong. It will not be an easy task, but nobody says that it will, but then again, there are hundreds of thousands of parents who never have tried to see if they can be that shining light of learning for their children. They simply drop them off and hope for the best.

 

You are not ready to do that!

Agreed!  I tend to post these types of queries for both support and any opposing thoughts to be considered, respectfully and thoughtfully.  That is why i posted the same thing in a "learning at school" forum for thoughts from the other side.  Thanks for the observation and vote of confidence!  :)

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#14 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 09:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds as if he is a good candidate for homeschooling.  Don't let your primary reason for not homeschooling be the breaks you sound like you desperately need.  Those can be had in other ways.  Homeschooling does not need to be a relationship of teacher-parent to student-child.  You can both be students.  And it sounds like he has more than enough motivation to pace his own development.  He is eager, curious, energetic-- the perfect candidate for homeschooling or unschooling.  

 

No one starts homeschooling without some doubts.  The best remedy for that is to just dive in and do it.  You know your child best.  Because of that, because of the 1:2 ratio you are able to give your kids, you have a huge advantage over the teachers they can never make up, despite their years of education.  (Many have written on this board how their years in education actually was an impediment to teaching their kids!)

 

We are unschoolers.  My girls are 6.5 and 8 and they are "self-taught with ample assistance".  (Right now dd2 is reading her candy hearts, and doing a fabulous job of it-- it's so exciting!)  I have never sat them down to teach them anything in a formal way, but somehow we have managed to cover the necessities.  I take no credit for it, except to say that I am there to support their interests and to learn alongside them.  I have had one year of college, BTW.  (It is quite a bit more random than formal schooling--some things will be learned faster, more slowly, you'll learn some things in more detail, and somethings you might not learn for a while.)

 

I always recommend to keep a homeschooling calendar on the fridge.  Write down anything remotely academic--stuff your schoolish side values-- and all the the stuff that you value personally.  (This will be good in the future for any record-keeping requirements your state might have).  Then, after a month or so, read back through them.  Wow!  At the kindergarten level, learning is so easy through board games and card games (yes-even video games!  DD1 learned to count by 10's and 100's that way.)  They learn by doing and playing.  Sounds like preschool?  Yes-- and that style still works beautifully for the younger set, far past 6yo-- especially for boys, who don't seem quite as ready to sit quietly as girls seem to.  (This might only be because boys simply can't comply-- it doesn't mean that girls are more "ready" for this kind of learning, intellectually, and they also thrive in a more hands-on learning environment.)

 

I also highly recommend learning your state requirements.  I think Texas is fairly "liberal" in their HS regulations (please don't tell fellow Texans I said that-- I would like to visit someday orngtongue.gif so maybe I should say their regs are more "libertarian"!)  Reading our state regs was liberating for me.  I didn't have to do or decide anything until they were 8.  Surprise!  Kindergarten is not required in most states.  Many have no requirements until at least the age of 7.  But you only need to concern yourself with Texas.  If you have questions, there are probably a HS organization that can answer them for you and put them into plain English.  HSing parents can make this a practicality.  (I have to test my girls every year--but what's this?  No one sees the results?  That's right.  You need to read how the regs are applied before panicking.)

 

Lastly, get thyself some time for yourself, for one kid at a time.  I never or rarely do, but then my girls are closer in age and I'm not feeling so quite overwhelmed- even though my house is most likely messier than yours!

Excellent advice and experience.  Thank you!

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#15 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 12:39 PM
 
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personally I would homeschool I regret putting my four in public schools I just pulled them out over Christmas break the best thing I ever done. I think you should research it and really weigh the pros and cons.


Mom to  Rachel 15 Kimberly 12 Chloe 10 and Nathaniel 8
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#16 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a quick update on where we stand at this time, as I've posted it as a reply on the other thread:

 

 

We just returned from a full tour at a local exemplary public school specializing in dual language (eng/span).  It was not impressive- the campus and disorganization/crowding of the building and staff.  Loved the idea, but failed to be impressed by the actual experience.  though we were hoping to love it, as a few other good friends are planning to attend.

 

We also have an exemplary charter school that "provides a rigorous, community-enriched education guided by a commitment to excellence through personalized instruction".  It is in our neighborhood, and gets great reviews.  We've applied for their lottery (randomized admission system), so we'll consider even more seriously when we find out if we're accepted.  We're planning to tour that school next week, thus keeping an open mind so far.  It sounds really interesting, and the idea of it is certainly wonderful.  The public school we are zoned for is not exemplary in rating and has unappealing reviews from others in our neighborhood.

 

Ultimately, we're realizing that we might be in just the right position to provide an excellent academic experience at low cost by me (and DH).  We can learn spanish independently, and have many great supplemental resources and programs in our city.  In fact, we'd miss our usual homeschool adventures (nature & science center, botanical garden, children's museum, etc...) terribly if we're limited on time with a public school schedule.  We live right next to a public playground and pool, so there's never a shortage of outdoor social opportunities, either.  We're pretty lucky.

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#17 of 21 Old 02-15-2013, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CrunchyMama19 View Post

pek64, sounds like a book by John Taylor Gatto? Do the titles Dumbing us Down, Weapons of Mass Instruction, or The Underground History of American Education sound familiar?

Those titles don't sound familar. I don't know if he wrote other books, but we were discussing the possibility of homeschooling and my husband brought home the book. It was written by a NYC high school teacher, who had three boys being homeschooled, and his father was an attorney that disagreed with homeschooling while representing homeschoolers (on occasion). That book sold my husband on the idea of homeschooling. I just can't remember the author or title.
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#18 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


Those titles don't sound familar. I don't know if he wrote other books, but we were discussing the possibility of homeschooling and my husband brought home the book. It was written by a NYC high school teacher, who had three boys being homeschooled, and his father was an attorney that disagreed with homeschooling while representing homeschoolers (on occasion). That book sold my husband on the idea of homeschooling. I just can't remember the author or title.

 

pek64 -

I agree with CrunchyMama19, it sounds like John Taylor Gatto... however I did a quick search for his bio and it doesn't jive with your description of the author so i don't think he's the one http://johntaylorgatto.com/aboutus/john.htm ... so I'm not sure he is the author of whatever book you read... I wish you knew what book or author because I want to homeschool/unschool our DD when the time comes and DH is opposed because of the "socialization" reasoning... and I know he would read something to become informed if I asked him to... If anyone here can help, please post at this thread: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1374864/convincing-book-and-or-documentary-recommendations-for-homeschooling-or-unschooling

 

Thanks.

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#19 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 05:52 PM
 
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John Holt? 


Mama to DD September 2001 and DD April 2011 *Winner for most typos* eat.gif
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#20 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 06:06 PM
 
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John Holt had no children.  However, he was a teacher.

 

David Colfax (Homeschooling for Excellence) had 4 sons, but I don't know much more about the Colfaxes.


Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#21 of 21 Old 02-18-2013, 09:43 PM
 
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Colfax is Hard Times in Paradise. They lived in the Pacific Northwest, I believe.


I searched the Internet one more time and I found it!

I don't know if it's everyone's cup of tea, but it worked to influence my husband.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=23&ved=0CD8QFjACOBQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F1992%2F12%2F30%2Feducation%2Fa-schoolteacher-pushes-use-of-home-schooling.html%3Fpagewanted%3Dall%26src%3Dpm&ei=4xEjUdv1EYO4yQGqoIDYBQ&usg=AFQjCNEFM2L9yrFn4k_PA0pNp8Fm9d9h3w&sig2=_QQkeU3Y9N_jBIpcquAcWg
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