Having a low hs moment - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-08-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 dc 6 and 8 yrs old are enrolled in a PPP w/ the public school district. So they go to classes 2 days a week, 5 hrs each day. The other 3 days of the school week they go to art class and hs gymnastics (PE). Otherwise we are just "hanging out". When my dc were preschool age I made a pro con list for hsing vs school (public). Many of the pros don;t seem to be living up to my expectations. My kids are NOT academically more advanced than schooled kids their age. They actually fight more on our free days and get along better on the days they have separate classes. The idea of traveling and going on field trips during school days is not happening. We still end up only traveling on weekends and holidays so dh can join in. And I have realized I would much rather go to the zoo/science center etc on a weekend when each child is with a parent vs when schools do field trips and there are 25 to 30 kids running around with maybe 2 chaperons. My kids are not willing to do any sit down school like work at home and I honestly don;t have the patience or energy to try to be a teacher. In the past year numerous hs families that have been part of our socialization network have switched to public school or moved. My 6 year old NEEDs more socialization than I have been able to provide her. At this point I feel I need a pep talk about other benefits of hs that I am just not seeing right now or I might enroll them is school. I think I have lost focus on what it is I want for my children regarding educations, socialization and general childhood experiences. And this may sound odd, but I never realized how much the weather would effect  our lives. We have WET cold winters so are indoors for almost 6 months strait. During those times I feel that just getting them out of the house and in school is better than cabin fever at home. 

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#2 of 11 Old 04-08-2013, 10:30 PM
 
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Hi, I'm not sure what a PPP is, but from your description it sounds like you're part-time homeschooling. I've done it and I understand that there are good reasons for it sometimes, and it does give a parent a certain sense of security but ... well, in some ways it gives you the worst of both worlds. It's hard to get a flow that's school-friendly, or homeschool-friendly, and you can end up with the negatives of age-peer social orientation combined with still lots of sibling time. Kids adopt a lot of the assumptions of top-down institutional learning, and have a hard time letting them go with respect to a more organice style of learning at home. You're tied down by the schedule of the school but you still have ultimate responsibility for your kids' educations. Your kids come to associate school time with learning and home time with not-learning. It's almost like you have to deschool every week after classes, and you never get past the deschooling phase and into the self-motivated enthusiasm you'd hoped would be part of homeschooling. 

 

In some ways I think it might be better to choose one or the other. My preference is strongly for homeschooling. We've found that with careful attention to our balance of in-home and out-of-home activities we've been able to established an enjoyable and productive rhythm to our days most of the time. The freedom that comes of fully committing to homeschooling allows for some really incredible learning to happen. But school can work well for some kids and some families, and I actually have two in school full-time now (9th and 11th grade) and one ~7th-grader at home full-time. I much prefer this to the part-time juggling we've done in the past.

 

Good luck!

 

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#3 of 11 Old 04-08-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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And just a word of encouragement about cabin fever: it's almost over! Don't panic yet!

 

We live in the mountains in Canada. In many ways we may be luckier than you. We are still getting temperatures down to freezing at this time of the year, and it's been sleeting here all day, but at least we can count on January and February being good winter sports weather: downhill and xc skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, etc. If you don't have that, you must really be feeling it right now. Don't make any decisions at the end of the hardest six months of the year. Look on spring as an opportunity to start some fun new things now that the world outdoors is available to you again, and wait for May and June ... then look at the educational options with a refreshed outlook.

 

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#4 of 11 Old 04-09-2013, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Miranda, I never really though if it that way, one foot in one foot out... I know many hsers who this seem to learn well both in classes and at home. However, my dc especially dd2 really associate home=play; classes=work/learning. It definitely makes it much more challenging doing any school like work at home. I was kind of hoping I have dc who love to learn naturally... but they don;t seem to be those kind of kids. If I imagine I have to choose either independent hsing (no PPP) or FT ps, I honestly am more nervous about independently hsing than the negative aspects of school. IF I do enroll them, and if after a year they decide THEY don't like school and understand that they still have to LEARN and THEY decide to put effort into learning at home, then I would be willing to hs again. 

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#5 of 11 Old 04-09-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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yes I really want to second what Miranda has said. I've always had kids in part time kindergarten to age 7, its had a lot of benefits (in particular, a large percentage of hsers locally actually go through the Waldorf kindy so its a great way to get to know the community and form friendships) but looking back, its so true, you have this split energy. I actually was fed up with it enough that I pulled my 5 year old out (she knows enough people-she's the youngest of 3).

 

My sense is that you'll need a period of them being out of any kind of education for them to start showing independent learning, but more than that, really, they are on the young side for strong passions to be emerging. Mine have always started showing strong motivation to learn around age 7-8. Before that they have their obsessions and ideas and so on but its somehow different, they want to do things not learn about them its far more haphazard. You have to be comfortable with whatever you decide though.

 

Can I also say that this year here in the UK of all places we still have snow and sleet! And we don't get winter sports, just month after month of temperatures around or literally just beneath freezing. Everyone is properly fed up with it. Right now we are probably getting a good 7 months of awful weather each year and I have to say, it does impact on our life quality a lot. Just little things like not being able to go to the allotment So hang in there. Good luck with your decision making.

 

ETA tell me something. You must have chosen to hs, at least part time, for a reason. What is that reason? Is it still valid? Do you still believe in it? 


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#6 of 11 Old 04-09-2013, 01:07 PM
 
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I think it might be helpful to back up a bit and look at the bigger picture - your philosophy, values, goals, vision. If someone were to ask you why you homeschool (or why you think it's good), what would your response be? Maybe you can do a pro/con list for PS and for homeschool if that could help. I think it would help immensely to get clear about what your plan is and why, and in order to do so you need to have clarity about what your desires are for your family. Fortunately or unfortunately, our children really pick up on our energy so if you're not excited about HS then they probably aren't feeling inspired either. (hugs), I know HS can be a really soul searching thing but also a great learning opportunity on many levels.
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#7 of 11 Old 04-09-2013, 07:54 PM
 
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Well, here are some things I see as benefits of homeschooling, as compared to having the kids in school. You could think about whether you and your kids are getting any of the same benefits:

 

More time outdoors

More exercise

More time to pursue their own interests

More fun and less boredom

Less pressure to get up or go to sleep or get the kids ready to go at set times

More sleep for all of us

More time for me to read aloud to the kids or for them to read to themselves

Fewer unpleasant interactions with other kids.  (My always-homeschooled 4th grader has never had a really bad social experience with another kid.)

No battles over homework.  (The kids don't always want to do what I ask them to do, but we don't have any outside pressure to get specific assignments done by a specific time, and I'm free to make adjustments in what I'm asking if I decide something different would work better or if the kids have their own suggestions.)

No frustration over school policies or teaching methods I don't agree with.

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#8 of 11 Old 04-11-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Luckily I am not in such a low hs moment anymore. I talked to some ps parents and although they all had wonderful things to say about their child's ps, it kind of seemed forced. Like "look on the bright side of a situation that you can't change". I do still feel that I need to find a way to encourage my dc to put more effort into their education and I need to find a way to help them that won;t make me want to pull out my hair. It may be kind of selfish of me but as important as learning/knowledge/education is I don't want to be a force in my dc life that takes away from a present and future  quality mother/child relationship. And education neglect to forcing education could lead to this. 

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#9 of 11 Old 04-11-2013, 11:28 AM
 
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so glad to hear this. Have you decided to continue with part time school attendance? I'm interested in how that goes x


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#10 of 11 Old 04-12-2013, 09:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

so glad to hear this. Have you decided to continue with part time school attendance? I'm interested in how that goes x

Well its not really like going to school pt. Its a hs program through the public school district. They offer 5 1 hr classes two days a week. Subjects such as art, history science. Each class has only 12 or less kids, mixed ages. In part its a really great fit for us. But for hsers who want complete freedom from any kind of schedule, I'm sure they would not like it. Going from this program to FT school would be more drastic than going to independent hsing. 

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#11 of 11 Old 04-12-2013, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post

Well, here are some things I see as benefits of homeschooling, as compared to having the kids in school. You could think about whether you and your kids are getting any of the same benefits:

 

More time outdoors

More exercise

More time to pursue their own interests

More fun and less boredom

Less pressure to get up or go to sleep or get the kids ready to go at set times

More sleep for all of us

More time for me to read aloud to the kids or for them to read to themselves

Fewer unpleasant interactions with other kids.  (My always-homeschooled 4th grader has never had a really bad social experience with another kid.)

No battles over homework.  (The kids don't always want to do what I ask them to do, but we don't have any outside pressure to get specific assignments done by a specific time, and I'm free to make adjustments in what I'm asking if I decide something different would work better or if the kids have their own suggestions.)

No frustration over school policies or teaching methods I don't agree with.

I absolutely agree with all of this. The issue is that if you have a child who is not a self learner and  if the parent does not act as a stern drill Sargent like teacher then there is a risk of educational neglect. As much as I don't want to (can't) be that kind of hs parent, I  certainly don't want to create a educational neglect situation. 

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