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#1 of 18 Old 04-28-2013, 06:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there,
My son aged 5 years old is currently in mainstream education, one of the local primary schools which has an amazing reputation, he has a lovely teacher and an amazing principal.
He seems to be thriving, but in saying that dh and I don't technically agree with the methods/ the ways in which he is being taught particular things. We are a
So struggling with the fact that we only seem to get times of ds's day when he is less than happy erring on the side of insanely grumpy. In the mornings he is slow to get ready even with my help, and we end up stressing because we are running late. Once we are through the gate at school we all sigh with relief. In the afternoons he is tired and grouchy from not eating enough as he is rushing to chase after the other children at break times, also likely to be overstimulated for most of his day.
He is also socialising with children who come from very mainstream upbringings and they are teaching him many things that are less than desirable. He had the most beautiful manners before heading to school, now he demands things and throws tantrums which he never did pre-school. When asked what he likes most about school, his answer was art and crafting time.
He has only been there for a term which is about 12weeks, I'm just really unsure of how long to leave him, he likes going but as his parents what we are seeing in him as changes aren't what we had hoped for.
Has anyone else been in a similar scenario and decided to homeschool?
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#2 of 18 Old 04-28-2013, 07:58 PM
 
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We acturally tried school; my kids hated it.  We even tried a part-time option but realzied that it just made things worse. So, we pulled them out and decided to homeschool.  I think it was one of the best decisions we have made in recent years.  To say my kids are happy would be a massive understatement; they are thriving!.  It is not just them either, the entire family unit is happier.  

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#3 of 18 Old 04-28-2013, 09:10 PM
 
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Our kids have always been homeschooled. Actually we are on the unschool spectrum.

 

I used to joke that homeschoolers never get anywhere before 11. Now we resemble that. Our mornings are so leisurely with plenty of time to snuggle, feed the chickens, water our container garden, make pancakes, whatever. The kids do internet education or play. We go to park day or homeschool gym. We do field trips or have playdates. I have the Learning Is Living Guides by Nancy Plent http://www.fun-books.com/books/living_is_learning_guides.htm and my kids are in the ballpark of what society thinks they should know.

 

My stepkids went to school and it was always so rush, rush. We didn't like the teachers (but the ex-wife did so we didn't even try to get them a quality education.) I am so glad we're not living that life. We can go on vacation whenever we (and our finances) want.

 

My 7 year old son likes pink, likes to play Blue's Clues, misses Boo the talking bear (who was removed from the older level of books on www.ookaisland.com because they thought older kids wouldn't like him.) He doesn't have the peer pressure of other kids telling him what to like and dislike. (He can also cook, handle a drill, and mountain bike better than me.) 

 

My kids don't know about the Newtown murders or the Boston bombings. Few of the homeschooled kids in our area do. There's no need for them to have to sort that stuff out so the parents have just sort of kept it away from the kids. Without schoolmates to tell them, they've gotten by without the info.

 

We were considering moving to NZ so I searched for homeschool groups. For non-secular folks, the best groups I found were in the Christchurch area. Someone from one of the groups recommended this book to me. It's my favorite homeschooling book. http://www.amazon.com/Legendary-Learning-Homeschoolers-Self-Directed-Excellence/dp/0983151008/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367208292&sr=8-1&keywords=Legendary+Learning

 

My other favorite book is real non-judgmental about school versus homeschool, though from my perspective homeschool won out: http://www.amazon.com/Homeschooling-Rediscovered-Socialization-Education-Family/dp/1430308257/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367208490&sr=1-1&keywords=homeschooling+rediscovered

 

We totally love homeschooling and our kids are thriving. We are lucky to have a great homeschooling community, but even if we didn't we'd still homeschool.


Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#4 of 18 Old 04-30-2013, 01:14 AM
 
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I didn't pull my kids out of school until my hand was nearly forced, so my kids had a lot more school. This was our first year at home, and ds is in 6th and dd in 3rd.

 

We had many of the issues you described. Both kids brought home uneaten lunches every day. We were dealing with bus bullying, some classroom stuff, and in one case, a teacher (at a private international school) who really didn't care whether my ds was academically challenged or really, doing anything at all. Dd had mean girl problems in second grade. I didn't see changing schools as a solution, since we had put the kids through a lot of intense changes in a short time already. So I researched options, and online school was the one I was able to employ to get dh on board.

 

We are just now in our final weeks of our first year at this, and both kids have practically exploded with academic growth. In addition, we face a lot less material pressure than we otherwise might. We, too, get to do the field trips we want (and we do a lot more of them than they ever did in school). We can take off-peak vacations.

 

More important, I care deeply whether my kids attain mastery of basic skills, so I am going to repeat and reinforce as needed until they really get them. In addition, I care just as deeply that my kids' passions are rewarded through their school work. This means adding in art wherever possible for dd, allowing her to help make lunch, and alternative ways for her to "get" the subjects that she finds more difficult. Same for ds. He gets to run down to the corner shop for school supplies in the middle of class, or take a shower to clear his mind mid-morning. And we set aside the best parts of the day for such things as bike rides or swimming.

 

We may not homeschool forever, but I don't at all regret the decision. It was the right thing at the right time for us.

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#5 of 18 Old 04-30-2013, 03:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate your replies ladies, thank you for that.
I guess I'm wondering if I'm battling with myself, ds loves school, he's not unhappy and at times I have been happy with the choice to send him, I am just loathing the negatives that are coming from the situation. Wondering if I'll feel this way with any decision I make in regards to his education.
Another hefty factor weighing on my mind is the fact I am pregnant with our third child due in October this year and how the responsibilities of mothering a newborn will impact on my ability to home school my son.......
I truly wish my husband could be home to school our son, he was homeschooled his complete education and has such amazing strength and patience for learning. I think he'd make an amazing teacher but he loves his job, is thriving career wise and of course it's our livelihood.
Here In nz you technically don't have to send your child to school until aged 6 I so wishi had have taken advantage of that so we weren't encountering these issues.
I feel a little crazy taking on this battle but I'm not totally satisfied so something needs to change.
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#6 of 18 Old 04-30-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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I just wanted to add a couple of comments not unlike the others. I was thinking about homeschooling the year previous to my son's kindergarten year. The schools were implementing full-day kindy. I knew it would cause many of the issues that you were speaking of. So we decided to homeschool. In all truth- it hasn't been without challenges. It's not all rainbows and unicorns- we had a baby, moved and my husband continues to need to work 6 days a week. My son (now finishing his grade one year) went to spring break camp (school break babysitting/day camp hosted by rec centres) for one week. Oh boy. I was never so glad that we homeschool. It took us (not just him) two weeks to recover. It reinforced to me that I want the best part of my kid's day.

 

You can try homeschooling. You can reserve the right to change your mind. You don't need to commit to the next 12 years.

Oh and homeschooling with a newborn isn't that bad. I find the toddler more challenging than the newb. Babywearing made it practically easy. ;)

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#7 of 18 Old 04-30-2013, 07:16 PM
 
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That whole peer-pressure is a big one for us, too. 

 

Mine have been homeschooled from the start, but there have been moments where they were in classes (sunday morning religious ed, a terrible week of Vacation Bible School, and similar).  There is a difference in the socialization of school kids and homeschooled kids. Mine are both more mature (in the way they relate to each other, and speak) and less mature (they way they play, the things they like).  

 

I know that for the most part, if I see something I don't like in their behavior, it came from us.  I don't have the fight (yet) the losing battle of peer influence. 

 

Other benefits are the slower pace of our day, (your results may vary), the chance to both work ahead and slow down as needed, and the opportunity to visit with my parents and play in the woods, something that would be strictly for weekends if they were in school.


Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#8 of 18 Old 05-01-2013, 06:33 AM
 
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We also sent DD to kindergarten for a little while (one semester) and then decided to homeschool. We had a number of reasons. Some of these reasons may be particular to the schools in the United States but I think we would be happy homeschooling anywhere!

 

1. We weren't happy with the curriculum or how it was being taught. Many schools in the US are going to something called the common core and I hate it. The total focus is reading and writing and math. Obviously those are essential but social studies, history, literature, science and the arts are all on the back burner now. The school's in our local district want the teachers to teach exclusively to the standardized tests which gives them very little freedom to adapt to other styles of learning for kids that are struggling. One of my friends actually quit teaching because of it. A really good teacher can incorporate the other subjects into the curriculum but it is difficult to do with almost 30 kids in the class and the the district being concerned only with test scores.

 

2. DH and I don't agree with standardized testing. We were kids that could never study and then ace a standardized test because we would just figure out the system. So we know first-hand that it is not a true measure of learning or knowledge and yet kids hear are tested continually from 3rd grade on and prepped for years before that. Waste of time in our opinion. We wanted our DD to truly learn, to be free to follow her passions, and enjoy the process.

 

3. We felt our local district was demanding too much of small children and labelling them harshly. They only got 20 minutes of recess, 20 minutes for lunch (which was also always sent home barely touched as by the time they got everyone seated and lunches handed out she really only had 10 minutes to eat, not nearly enough time for her). I think kids should spend lots more time outside, moving, and exploring. DD was even getting stressed. Although she did well at her school, she always talked about the "bad" kids who didn't listen or sit still or do well in their work. She had to be a "good kid". We tried to explain that the "bad" kids were NOT bad, they just maybe weren't quite ready for sitting in chairs all that time or learned a little differently. But clearly the culture of school was that they were "bad" or otherwise deficient. That really concerned us. That and ADHD diagnosis of kindergarteners and first graders is VERY high here which I think is more of a consequence of the school environment that anything else.

 

All in all, we just felt that our kids didn't need school to learn. Although DD did well and was content there she is thriving at home. We have the freedom to learn what we want when we want, to travel, rest when we need it and wiggle and run when we need that. She was busier at school but she is learning a lot more at home and in a lot of different areas. Sorry this was so long, I Hope it helps.


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#9 of 18 Old 05-01-2013, 12:47 PM
 
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Hi there,

Just commenting because I was in a similar situation last year. My son completed full day kindergarten at a nice local charter school. He liked it just fine even though he was working far below his level most of the year. His favorite things were PE and recess. He'd leave a lot of food uneaten in his rush to get outside for recess. The thing that annoyed me the most is his change in behavior, his maturity level regressed. Lots of potty talk and these weird spazzy movements that he never used to do. Also mocking people and talking like a baby. I too felt like we could supplement at home but there are only so many hours in the day and he had homework besides. I ended up homeschooling him this year and he attends an awesome enrichment program one day a week. We couldn't be happier. I agonized over the decision for several months though!! We have a lot of resources in this area - coops, play groups, HS classes, etc so that made it easier for me to take the leap. It has been awesome to watch my son blossom this year into his own beautiful self. And it is also amazing to see the strong bonds that have formed with his younger siblings. One of the great things about homeschooling is the flexible schedule - you can do whatever works for your family. Including having your husband do some evening/wknd hours. I know of families who have also started and ended the school year late due to having a newborn. I have a baby who is now 18 mos and just having those two spend so much time together day in and day out is priceless.
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#10 of 18 Old 05-01-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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If you are unsettled about his school experience now, I have to say (based on my own experience) that your feelings will not improve over time.  It sounds like you have a different philosophy on things (education, child development, etc) that the school environment directly contradicts.  I was in your shoes at one time, and we (with our oldest daughter) stuck it out at public school for 4 years.  Each year I kept thinking things would get better.  They didn't.  They got worse.  

 

We kept her in because we didn't think we could afford private school tuition, and homeschooling (at that time) was not an option.  I felt powerless to change anything, even when I saw the damage being done to my daughter and to our family life.  It was beyond stressful.  

 

If you have worked hard to shelter your child from mainstream 'stuff',  public school (and even many private schools) will unravel everything you have done.  Sorry to be so blunt, but it is simply true.  (please note I am not bashing public school here, I am simply reiterating the fact that for many 'alternative lifestyle'  families, the two worlds do not mesh well).

 

I would research and make a list of other options out there that would better fit your family.  Even if you don't think you can afford private school, or homeschooling, etc.. still brainstorm ways to provide something more fitting.  I know I felt locked into the system for years b/c I assumed private school and homeschooling were 'out of the question.'  We were wrong-  where there is a will there is a way.  We finally got desperate and fed up enough at the end of her 4th grade year that we were willing to do ANYTHING to get her out, and we did.  

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#11 of 18 Old 05-02-2013, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This decision feels so huge, probably more so for me than my husband because I was mainstream educated. I worry about what my family will think (dh's family are on board) my mother is a teacher aide, so works everyday in a school.
It's really just feeling like to better my son and have him be the beautiful individual I know he is, like someone said above mainstream school is unraveling that.
I need to make connections with the local homeschool groups. Definitely feeling like I am going a little la-la trying to figure all this out.
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#12 of 18 Old 05-02-2013, 07:45 PM
 
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Although my daughter hasnt started publicschool yet, i have many of the same concerns as you. I worry about bad influences, bullying, the emphasis on teaching for the (standardized) test....there are almost too many things to list. Im going to have to go with my gut & homeschool her and the new baby when it comes time. I've been searching local groups too so that we can get together with like minded individuals.
Good luck to you in whatever you decide.

SAHM to DS (16), DD (13), DD (3) & a bun in the oven due 10/11/13 

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#13 of 18 Old 05-02-2013, 08:15 PM
 
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It made me feel better to think of it as a temporary decision.  I decided to homeschool for a year then re-evaluate.  This not only helped me not get overwhelmed but it also helped others around me who were nervous about my decision.  There are still skeptics but now that I KNOW for sure I made the right decision and want to continue with it, their opinion and questions just don't unsettle me as much any more, you know?  


Good luck!

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#14 of 18 Old 05-02-2013, 09:16 PM
 
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Twenty years from now, when you look back, what will you want to see? That question helped me when faced with a difficult decision.
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#15 of 18 Old 05-03-2013, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My gut tells me I want to nurture and protect my children and teach them about the really world, not about a world where people don't seem to matter as much as they should. I want to shelter my sons from media and societal pressure, from consumerism. I want to do "real" things, like riding bikes, swimming in the ocean and making real connections with other people not sitting inside becoming vitamin d deficient, being just one of the flock crammed into mainstreams idea of "normal".
I don't want him to struggle at school, I was always terrible at math, in the end afraid of it because know one taught it to me in a way I could grasp, there was one learning style and one only, if you didn't fit in with it, it was your lose.
I think thinking of it as temporary is a good idea, his teacher is leaving in July to have her baby and I'm wondering whether I spend this term preparing to homeschool and the have him come home to learn full time at the same time his peers at school also change learning styles by getting a new teacher...... I would then want to school until our third baby is born in October then take a six week break for what would be our "summer break" then during the usual summer continue learning. With the help of dh as he has time off for Christmas and new year.
I asked ds today if he could do his learning at home with me as his teacher would he prefer that over going to school everyday, his answer was a question which was could he do both, I said if you had to pick one and said he'd want to be at home. Which is a good sign, I know he'd be sad leaving his classmates but in the end I hope this will be the start of an amazing journey through learning for him, one that follows on from our philosophy and values as a family.
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#16 of 18 Old 05-05-2013, 12:34 AM
 
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Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#17 of 18 Old 05-05-2013, 03:05 AM
 
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At five years old, homeschooling can be pretty relaxed. I understand your concerns about when it's best to move him to homeschooling. I don't have much advice on that point, as I don't have experience with that. I would guess that you should do what feels right for your family. And remember that you can learn along with your child. So many homeschooling parents found they learned better when teaching their children than they had at school! Write down a list of possible sources of instruction. Maybe grandparents for history and help with childcare. A friend who is an artist. A nature center that has homeschoolers programs. Seeing that you will not have to be totally on your own may help make this less overwhelming. And math can be taught with games. Read lots of old homeschooling threads, here, for inspiration and suggestions. You can do this, if you think it's best. Whatever you choose, I wish you well.
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#18 of 18 Old 05-07-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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As a parent who started homeschooling at grades 3 and 6, I agree with others who have said "your feelings will not get better over time." I can also relate to the observation that I started homeschooling because our hand was forced-there was simply no other option and it was clear that things would only get worse as the grades got higher. I wish I had followed my instincts and started with kindergarten! We had to go through a year of "deschooling" and it was clear to me just how damaging the public system had been. My daughter had always been rail thin-because she was too stressed to eat-when we pulled her out she immediately fleshed out and is eating more healthily. Just one exampe of many. Good luck with your decision, whatever that may be. The good thing is there are so many options available now!

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