To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 4 Old 05-20-2013, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I received a call today from our local elementary school.  The kind social worker there asked me how homeschooling was going and would I like a tour of their school.  I replied that my daughter was enrolled in private school and we were unsure about the coming school year.  She offered us the opportunity to tour the elementary school at any time.  I will probably set up a time to do so with my husband and daughter in the near future.  At this point, we are still undecided.  Here are my thoughts.

 

My reasons for home-schooling include the following:

 

1. I love to teach.  I was an environmental educator for several years before becoming a mom.

2. I actually enjoy spending time with my daughter.

3. We have great support in our community from home-school groups and several friends.

4. My daughter isn't good at using public toilets when the need arises.  She tries to hold it until she gets home, with varying results.

5. My husband works in the evening, which means that we stay up late if we want to spend time with him.  Learning at home would allow us to have our family time in the mornings before he goes to work.

6. Being home would make it easier to feed her healthy food and teach her the life skills to eventually prepare her own food.

7. We can do some travel and experience-based learning.

8. Our daughter is asking to be home-schooled.

 

The only reasons to enroll her in public school would be:

 

1. I get more work done when she is not home.  I work from home.

2. She is very social.

3. I'm not sure if I will be able to motivate her to do her schoolwork with all the distractions of the home.

 

I would appreciate any tips from other moms who have considered various school options.  How do you get started in home-schooling?  What kinds of routines have you established?  What are your rules regarding screen time and other distractions?  I'm sure that there are several more questions that I should be asking.  Feel free to share questions and answers.

 

Thank you!

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#2 of 4 Old 05-20-2013, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephafriendly View Post

The only reasons to enroll her in public school would be:

 

1. I get more work done when she is not home.  I work from home.

2. She is very social.

3. I'm not sure if I will be able to motivate her to do her schoolwork with all the distractions of the home.

 

I would appreciate any tips from other moms who have considered various school options.  How do you get started in home-schooling?  What kinds of routines have you established?  What are your rules regarding screen time and other distractions?  I'm sure that there are several more questions that I should be asking.  Feel free to share questions and answers.

 

Thank you!

 

Your reasons for enrolling her in PS are valid; the question is, to what extent can you mitigate them so that you can comfortably homeschool.  For example, can you get enough work done in your current situation (I understand she is staying home with you) or do you need her to be away to get your stuff finished?  Do you currently meet her social needs?  You say you have a good homeschooling community.  I am inclined to think you could plan enough interactions to meet her social needs.  As far as motivating her to do her school work, remember that if you sent her to school, you will have to "motivate" her to do her homework.  I imagine there is almost just as much fighting and tears over homework as homeschool work -- although this is not the case for us.  

 

Screen time? We have Ipad and ipod use with little restriction but that is after some initial moderating and understanding of their appetite/use.  We have no TV and their devices have no movies/shows on them when we are not traveling.  My kids watch a couple of shows in the evening (about 1 hour)  on the computer and we do a family movie on the weekend.  This is enough and it leaves the rest of their time free to play and wander.  They are pretty good little explorers.   

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#3 of 4 Old 05-21-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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It seems to me there doesn't have to be a difference between the distractions of home and schoolwork.  At this age (I am assuming she's 5 or 6?), they are likely to be one and the same, if you make it that way.  Plus, even if you choose a HSing style that is more traditional, there is plenty of time leftover for distractions that a truly pure Fluff.  

 

We are unschoolers, so we don't have desk time or worksheets or anything, but that hasn't stopped my girls from sitting at the dinner table and working on whatever projects they have at the moment, all while I am making dinner.  (It all looks very Norman-Rockwell!)  I think this is a productive time of day for that kind of work.  "School" doesn't have to be in the morning, or at any particular time.  Reading can be in the morning, on the couch, math can be at night..... do what works, when it works.

 

Perhaps there is a good stretch in the day when your husband is awake and he can give some uninterrupted time to work before he heads off.

 

Disclosure:  since I unschool, I don't have to consider distractions or sit-down work time.  However, I would still advise new homeschoolers who might use more traditional materials to start slowly.  First, kindy/first-grade simply doesn't require a lot of dedicated time for school work, second, it is a sharp relationship shift to go from Mommy to Homechool Mommy, and I wonder if it doesn't burn out a lot of kids and parents. 

 

Being social, you might consider a homeschooling play group, or a "proper" homeschooling co-op, or even just activities such as 4-H or scouts that still give kids lots of time to socialize and play together.  

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#4 of 4 Old 05-21-2013, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the tips.  Our screen-time rules are similar.  We also don't have tv, just movies and online stuff.  I do think that she will have good opportunities for social interaction.  I was just thinking about the social aspect and realizing that one of her difficulties in Montessori school has been her focus on socializing rather than doing her school work. 
 

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