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#1 of 6 Old 01-27-2014, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there. I have 5 y/o twin girls who are in public kinder right now. I had major anxiety about public school and decided to give it a try just for kinder since I knew the teachers and absolutely love them. However all my fears of public school have been confirmed. I volunteer a lot at school and am seeing basically no socialization happening, barely any constructive classroom conversations, minimal creativity and my girls both seem to be getting stressed out, moody and feeling anxiety. I feel they do a whole lot more learning at home when we are on break than at school. Even the teachers are frustrated with how little leeway they have in instruction time. Common core is not looking good either. We have decided to homeschool next year. There are a lot of programs available here through charter schools that have learning centers and provide support for homeschooling. We have narrowed it down to one. The girls would be going to the learning center 2 days a week for Music, art, Spanish, robotics and science. I get to choose curriculum for core subjects ( except science). The center was very nice, 6-8 students per class, lots of awesome field trips and support from the educational partner ( who is my friend) to guide me through the social studies and core subjects we would choose. I have been really looking forward to this. However my mother inlaw is having a tough time dealing with this. We are very close and she is very supportive of us pulling them out of public school as she agrees with our concerns. However she is really begging us to try any private school of our choice for just a year ( my inlaws are paying for it) before we decide any "schooling" isn't for us. She has checked out all the homeschool centers with us and is very informed on the programs, likes a lot of what the learning centers offer but feels that the girls would miss out on normal school stuff like Christmas programs, valentines day school party and stuff like that. To please her we looked at several private schools and only one seems like we might tour at least to see what it is like. It is a montessori based private school, 7 children per classroom and they have the same enrichment programs in their curriculum as the homeschool learning center. My mother in law is all excited and I am honestly not. As interesting as the program sounds as nice an nurturing the classroom environment sounds and the academic part seems strong too, I long for the relaxed mornings where my kids paint and are free to be creative before we start our curriculum time. I find the school schedules so rigid and stressful for all of us. I am realizing now that I see a program that offers the good academics, safe environment with more personalized approach that what is bother me the most about regular school is the time I spend apart from my girls. These are precious years we will never get back. I am very close to them and we cherish every moment we spend together. I enjoy doing the simple things like cooking, gardening, cleaning with them and I really think homeschooling will work out fine for us. They are ahead academically at the level of 1 at grade already in reading/ writing and math and most of it is stuff they have learned at home not at school. They love learning in their own environment and always miss me a lot at school even with me being there to volunteer almost every day. I feel so alone in these feelings and worry that I want to homeschool for selfish reasons. I want to do what is best for my children. Did any of you have these feelings when you decided to homeschool? I am not worried about social interaction at all. They would get enrichment programs twice a week like I said and they are very involved. I just worry that I would choose homeschool vs a private montessori school for the wrong reasons if that makes any sense. My husband is very supportive of homeschool and feels the same way as I do. I guess I just need some reassurance that what I am feeling is not so uncommon. Sorry for the long post.
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#2 of 6 Old 01-28-2014, 09:05 AM
 
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Why doesn't she give your way a try for a year?  


"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
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#3 of 6 Old 01-28-2014, 09:30 AM
 
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I agree with looking at it as a one-year-at-a-time proposition, especially at this point. So, looking at next year:

 

Your concerns with school are the negative socialization, the stress and the lack of meaningful learning. If you try private school for a year you'll find out whether those issues are solved. If they're not that means extending to two full years, for very young children, the problems you're currently seeing.

 

Her concerns with homeschooling are missing out on parties, holiday celebrations and the culture of school. If you try homeschooling for a year, you'll find out whether missing out on those school trappings is a problem for your girls. If it is a major problem, that means your girls will miss some fun school events during 1st grade. 

 

Which is the most serious risk? Missing a year's worth of school parties and special events, or enduring a year of stress, negative socialization and lack of meaningful learning? 

 

To my mind, from what you've written, it's no contest. The year of homeschooling wins hands-down. And yes, what you're feeling is very common. Anytime you plant your feet firmly outside the flow of mainstream culture there's bound to be some self-doubt that creeps in. But think about it: because something feels instinctively right is no reason not to trust your reasoning that it's right. If your heart and your mind were saying opposite things, that would be cause for some careful reconsideration. But in this case, they're in accordance. 

 

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#4 of 6 Old 01-28-2014, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! That really helps. Yes, I am convinced that homeschooling with enrichment classes is the right thing for our family and so is my husband. My plan is to make her happy and look at the school in discussion and tell her that is our "back up" school if for some reason homeschooling doesn't work for us. I fully expect homeschooling to be a very positive experience for us. I am sure there will be hard days and good days, but the fulfillment I feel from having my girls with me most of the week will be worth it! I am hoping that once my MIL sees how well the girls will be doing in the homeschool program and how much they would get from the enrichment classes, she will realize that we know what we are doing. We have researched homeschooling before even having kids, this has been a work in progress. It just took me seeing public school and how capable my kids are to gain the confidence I have needed to try homeschooling. Thank you so much again!
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#5 of 6 Old 01-28-2014, 06:30 PM
 
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It sounds like you have a fairly big homeschool community if enrichment classes are offered, so you shouldn't have to "miss out" on parties and the like.
Just in the past month we've attended: a kid-made craft fair & recital, winter dance, talent show, skating party, medieval weapon making workshop and winter holiday legend/storytelling party. And this is just what we chose to attend during our "slow season"; not even a fraction of what was on offer!
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#6 of 6 Old 01-28-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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I'm a little confused about what you said about Montessori. Is it 7 kids in a class or student teacher ratio is 7:1? Are they the same aged kids? If it's 7 same aged kids in one classroom it looses a lot of what I loved about my Montessori experience with mixed ages and an open floor plan. There sometimes I could be a leader or a follower. I could watch big kids work or littler kids would watch me. I had the flexibility of choosing many of my lessons. When a bit older I had a check list for lessons of the day. Anyway, just curious. For what it's worth, DS went to one year of preschool at the same Montessori I went to as a child. It was a neat experience but we're homeschoolers now for many of the reasons you list. We love some of the Montessori materials though and incorporate them into our homeschooling. Maybe if in laws want to spend private school bucks they could furnish you with a mini Montessori room? You could invite some other homeschoolers over to get more check marks in socialization. Or just maybe they would furnish me with one ;-)
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