Want to homeschool, but scared to take the step - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 04:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay....I keep saying 'at the end of this school year I will re-evaluate my choice' and keep putting it off.

My ds is in public school (French Immersion pgrm) Grade 2. He is a Dec. baby and is younger than everyone. He is very bright and is always first done with his work always 100% correct. When we do our weekly spelling test study, he gets them all after doing it once. Math just clicks....etc. Okay, enough bragging you get the point....he is going to be bored to tears in a couple years, if not sooner and his brightness will go to waist when he is goofing off. His school is good and he loves going. He likes his friends, etc. and the play time he gets ther.

A little background...dh was homeschooled from Gr. 1 to 7 and his side of the family are all homeschoolers. All the kids are so unique and most importantly...'kids'.

We also have 2 girls that will be entering school in a couple years.

btw...i tend to get long winded, lol

We are just looking at the world of homeschooling and it is all so overwhelming to me, because I was always taught in public school. There is a big convention coming up, which I will attend with dh to look at all the schools that provide pgrms. We want a structured curricilum (i can't spell...its late) with play groups.

i would also like to explore the Montessori route, since I attended Montessorri for a year growing up and flourished. I have been looking at Waldorf too....oh this is all so confusing.

Could you offer any advice?

We will start next year and he will be starting grade 3 ( he will be 7.5yrs old). My dd1 will be 3.5 and starting some preschool stuff as well. My baby will just draw during 'school' time.
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#2 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I am scared to take the 'step' into homeschooling. I am scared of failing, I guess. I know its a great thing and all...but how do I know I will suceed. Also, my parents are not really homeschooling supporters and I know a lot of people wil give me grief, but how do you handle negative remarks, etc.

I guess the #1 question you all receive is "What about their socializing skills". I know that homeschooling kids have enough exposure to other kids, etc. I am not too worried about that at all...but just other people's comments, etc.

Any input is going to be really appreciated here.
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#3 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 12:23 PM
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if it's something you really want to do, close your eyes and jump in! we just started in december and the first week was pretty rough, but now we're having a great time! it is a scary step, but consider that you cannot possibly "fail". how could you? what constitutes failure? how could individualized attention from the people who love your son the most be worse than boredom in a large group setting?

you learn how to handle negative remarks. in the beginning, when people would ask where dd was going to school next year, i would hem and haw and say "I'm not sure (long pause), we might be homeschooling". Now with increasing frequency I say we ARE homeschooling, but I still don't say it with the level of confidence that I will in a few years.

socialization questions don't fluster me because I don't believe that's an issue. I simply point out what I observed when my child had been in daycare - that her social skills became worse, and improved when I took her out. if you read john taylor gatto's book 'dumbing us down' you'll come away thinking that school interferes with socialization. after all, how can children who are engaging with the family and community all day be less socialized than children who are isolated in herds from the community?

i think as you become more comfortable with your decision you will feel less stress from negativity. of course, there is the issue of implicitly criticizing other people's choices when you announce that you homeschool - kind of like sahm vs. working out of the home mom (my dh believes that every good parent should want to homeschool and if they aren't doing it they should wish they could be - it's kind of extreme but i'm sure it comes through). i think a lot of negative comments probably are really a form of rationalization and a defense against the implication that the other person is not/was not as good a parent as you because they did not choose homeschooling. maybe if you think about the comments in that light they'll be easier to handle.

i have also wondered about the private school route, but as we are not rolling in money, i think about how many trips abroad the whole family could have for the cost of the tuition, and how traveling is a better form of education than the best school (imho).

your family will come around within a few years as the results prove their worries wrong. maybe even sooner than you think.

obviously, i tend to get long-winded, too...
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#4 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 12:38 PM
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We just started homeschooling in October. I kick myself for not doing it right away. My son was in his second month of 4th grade and hated it. I'd been researching homeschooling for years. My father was a public school superintendant and my brother is a ps teacher. I thought they would both never speak to me again. I got the complete opposite response. They were so open to it and agreed that while public schooling is great for "the masses" if you have the ability and desire to homeschool then you should do it. I will say that I was outed from my neighborhood playgroup b/c of this. 90% of the women completely ignore me now. A couple of them won't even let their kids play with my kids! I say good! I'm glad I found out what kind of people they were before my kids wasted any more time with them.

The curriculums are very overwhelming. I've just asked around for this year but plan to use Waldorf next year. It seems that with your dh's experience and his family you could have some great resources. I did a lot of my exploring on the internet. I joined a homeschooling group through our local church. It's a very large group and while some members are way too religious for my taste there are many members that I really connect with.

It seems like you're ready to make your move. It's just hard to do it. Believe me, it took me so long to make that "final" decision! Once I did I never looked back.

If people say rude and hurtful things to you (they did to me) I just smile(d) and say "this is working really well for our family. I'm glad your situation is working for you".

Good luck!

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#5 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 01:50 PM
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We all see from the day our children are born the love of learning that we all have inside us. You say your son is doing great in school and it is because of this love of learning, the pride he gets from a job well done. If you provide a rich learning environment for him (and your other children) including lots of books, library visits, field trips etc then how could you possibly fail?
As for the negativity, I have not had to deal very much with my family in that way. They mind their own business for the most part and although for you it may be difficult you may have to put your foot down about negative comments (probably not more than once or twice though). It sounds like you do have opportunity for a good support network with DH's family so that is an option for the positive environment and there are wonderful homeschool associations in many towns.
Good luck with it! I am sure you will do GREAT!
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#6 of 7 Old 02-27-2002, 05:17 PM
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the wonderful thing about homeschooling is that it isn't a pass fail world. If something doesn't work you haven't failed you have learned. Just let it go and try something else. Take your son to the conference and ask him what he likes. I wouldn't jump right into a cirriculum. You have all the time in the world to take a break and get familiar with each others learning styles. I recommend reading the "Unschool Handbook". Even if you know you won't be cofortable unschooling it has a lot of great information and really helps to build you confidence in your childs inborn ability to learn. It is an easy read. give it a try.

Good luck

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#7 of 7 Old 03-06-2002, 03:08 PM
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Go for it!
My son was like yours in Kindergarten...reading the teacher's manuel. I knew he was going to be bored in school and already the kids were teasing him because he was "different" (i.e. sensitive and able to read so well)
We decided to home school him and his older brother (2nd gr.) the following year. It was the hardest decision we have ever made....that was in 1987, and no one we knew homeschooled, we had to explain it to everyone!

It was the best decision we have ever made. Our sons are both in college now, and they are doing wonderfuly. They are well rounded intellegent young men.

We are still homschooling our younger children and loving it. I can't imagine any other lifestyle, and neither can they!
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