Anyone start homeschooling after a few years at public School? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering if you wise homeschooling mommies could help me out...my dd is 8.5 and has been in public school since Kindergarten. She is now in third grade. She has been struggling with public school and for many reasons I am seriously considering homeschooling next year...so my question is, does anyone else have experience with their kids starting homeschooling late like this? I regret sending her to public school at all...if I would have known what it would be like I would have homeschooled her all along...I am sick of kids being forced to conform to these standards where they are all perfect little robots(my mom said this) who learn the same and think the same and the slightest difference is either because of abuse or because of something wrong with them..dd's friends also get this treatment. I am also sick of the shaming that is used when kids dont' do well on tests..sick of all of it, really.
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#2 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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Mememememe!!! Lol

My older two were in PS for 4 and 3 years. Lala did K twice, then 1s and 2nd. Daminator did head start, then K and 1st. They just entered their 2nd year at home...

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#3 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:03 PM
 
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I'm homeschooling my son this year after 2 years at a public charter school.
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#4 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool! What was the transition like for them? what made you decide to homeschool? did the school give you a hard time? Sorry for all the questions I am just so happy to have found you lol: My mom also suggested cyberschool and found out it is free and the computer for it and internet for it is also free.
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#5 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yaahh..another one..can I have your story too? This is so great..I figured nobody else would do this..
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#6 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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I pulled my oldest out of school in the middle of third grade.

Our reasons included those in your op. Ds was thrilled to not have to go to school. We found a homeschool group to join, and tried a few out before we found our current circle of hs friends. He's always maintained that he'll never go back to school and has been quite happily pursuing his own interests.

In the beginning, I tried to "do school" at home. I had lesson plans and outlines and all that stuff--but he was unhappy and I was boring myself and then I realized that this was one of the reasons we'd pulled him out of school. After that, we just set out exploring things he liked to do. We read lots of books together, we went to museums and the science center, we did experiments, he built things and took things apart, we played games.

When we first notified the school that we'd be homeschooling, the superintendent sent me a letter outlining his requirements. He was way outside the law with this and it sort of freaked me out. But, I just sent him a letter, and referred him to our state's law (which did NOT require that I do what he asked) and that was the end of that.

So, I'd recommend knowing your state's law so you're on firm ground if your district says anything.

It's been a great adventure!

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#7 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I, also, pulled my ds out in early 3rd grade. Let's just suffice it to say that school was not going well, I'd been considering homeschooling for some time and regret that I didn't do it sooner.

I was quite easy. I wrote a letter and pulled him out. We took about a month off (though it should have been more) and slowly eased into it.

I've never looked back. Easily one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Good luck!
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#8 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 02:21 PM
 
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Us!

We pulled the oldest in 4th grade, the middle in the 2nd grade and the youngest finished Pre - K.

It was for pretty much the same reasons. We do regret not homeschooling them from the start. You can see the difference in the kids. Our youngest is just a learning sponger. Pre - K was basically play time so deschooling him didn't take long at all. The other two have been harder to deschool.

I also had to deschool myself. I also found myself duplicating school at home that first year. This year I decided no more and we are all so much happier and relaxed. First I discovered their learning styles and tried to find things that would work with that. Also, if it doesn't work - I toss it and find something that will.

I wish we had done this from the start.
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#9 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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DS hated a lot about school, so the transition was fairly easy for him. We did it because he wasn't learning anything - he went to k reading at a 5th grade+ level (the assessment his teacher gave him topped out at 5th grade, so it could have been higher) and he wasn't enjoying spending all day with children. He's not particularly social, so he would contain all his frustration all day long and release it when he got home, which really damaged our relationship. His school and teachers were great - I really have no complaints about them - they were doing the best they could. But the truth was, we would only get him to his intellectual peers by skipping several grades and he wasn't emotionally able to handle that. So, we switched to virtual schooling, and he's mostly teaching himself. He has an official grade level one year ahead of age, and will probably be two years ahead in a couple of months. He's so much happier and our whole family is getting along so much better.
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#10 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
I was wondering if you wise homeschooling mommies could help me out...my dd is 8.5 and has been in public school since Kindergarten. She is now in third grade. She has been struggling with public school and for many reasons I am seriously considering homeschooling next year...so my question is, does anyone else have experience with their kids starting homeschooling late like this? I regret sending her to public school at all...if I would have known what it would be like I would have homeschooled her all along...I am sick of kids being forced to conform to these standards where they are all perfect little robots(my mom said this) who learn the same and think the same and the slightest difference is either because of abuse or because of something wrong with them..dd's friends also get this treatment. I am also sick of the shaming that is used when kids dont' do well on tests..sick of all of it, really.

Ahhhh...I could just change the username and that could be my post.

My son was to go into third grade in September but I made the decision to keep him home for the exact same reasons you are considering. Tired of the conformity, the making to feel "less than" because they don't get the correct letter grade on a quiz. Tired of the other kids setting standards in attire, the newest toy and who was popular and who wasn't. Tired of my son crying himself to sleep at night because he felt "stupid" because developmentally he just wasn't where "they" needed him to be to comprehend "their" curriculum.

So, yes, there ARE others of us out here. We chose not to send my kids back this year. We have been doing an on-line curriculum as this is the medium that my son reacts to best. He loves anything that involved a screen. And you know what? He is LEARNING. Subject areas where the school had last year wanted to get him "tested" for he is now exceling in. We no longer cry at the kitchen table every night doing forced and redundant math problems assigned for homework. I don't have to go pick up an over-stimulated and grumpy eight year old at 330pm everyday who just wants to get in the car, go home and shut himself in his room because he needs to defrag so badly he is almost in tears.

Nope, we don't miss any of that school stuff. Sure, it was scary at first - going against the grain. I had many, many moments of second thoughts. I felt a bit strange and lonely that I would no longer have the interaction with the school moms at drop-off everyday. But, we are a month into it now and I don't miss a thing. I LOVE having my kids home and they love it too. The difference in my son's attitude is so immense I can just see the joy in his heart starting to surface again. He is in his element. And, as a parent I couldn't ask for more. WE....ARE....HAPPY.

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#11 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 04:28 PM
 
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My dd was going into fourth and my ds into first when we decided to homeschool.
They miss their public school friends- I am so not good at keeping in contact with people and could probably do a lot better in that department (if I really wanted to).
Regardless though, it has been fantastic, and other than missing the interaction with their ps friends on a daily basis, I am sure that the kids like homeschool better.
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#12 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 05:53 PM
 
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My ds went to pre-school, K, 1st, and 2nd for public school. This is his 3rd grade year and our first home school year. We are both happy with home schooling, but he also liked public school just for the friends and holidays. I give him the option to choose when he wants to return to ps ..however I am starting to hope that he chooses to stay home.
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#13 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 07:28 PM
 
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I may get the procrastinator's award - I long wanted to try homeschooling, but only got the guts this year.

DD1 never went back to school this year, she was supposed to be in grade 6. DD 2 did go back, she is in grade 4. We live in a very small town, 1 1/2 hours from the nearest city. Our school is threatened with closure (the next school is in the next town 30 miles away). So we felt intense social pressure to keep the kids in school, to keep the school and the town alive (every kids counts). But I'd finally had enough, and decided I had to do what was right for us.

DD1 dances 4 days a week in the next town, and it was getting really hard to do homework and handle the stress of being in school all day, leave right after school, hang around the next town for classes, and then not get home till 7 or 8 pm. She loves dances, so we didn't want to give it up. I'd love to have dd2 at home too, but dh is very skeptical of hsing and this was our compromise at the moment.

I don't know if dd1 will go back next fall or not. If they close our school, that will be a factor to help keep them home instead of riding a bus.

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#14 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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My oldest was in public school through 4th grade. His little sister through 2nd grade. This is our first year homeschooling. We have had a great transition. I am not going to say it has been all sunshine and roses but we are having a great time.

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#15 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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I was going to ask the same thing!

May I ask . . .for those of you who now HS, did you and/or your children find certain aspects of school that you missed? For example, while I am not involved with DD's school (in terms of volunteering) I do appreciate that there is a built-in community. I understand that, over time, I could develop that sense of community with fellow HSers, but it is a scary prospect to think, what if it doesn't work? Then what? Will I miss things like tonight's Family Reading Night? (DD said her favorite part of tonight was the walk to/and from school . . .so maybe she won't.)

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#16 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 11:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
I was going to ask the same thing!

May I ask . . .for those of you who now HS, did you and/or your children find certain aspects of school that you missed? For example, while I am not involved with DD's school (in terms of volunteering) I do appreciate that there is a built-in community. I understand that, over time, I could develop that sense of community with fellow HSers, but it is a scary prospect to think, what if it doesn't work? Then what? Will I miss things like tonight's Family Reading Night? (DD said her favorite part of tonight was the walk to/and from school . . .so maybe she won't.)
This is the one thing I miss. I LOVED ds' school - they were in line with my educational and discipline ideas, there were lots of crunchy families, there was a very strong sense of community, etc - but I find that I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. I missed the close relationship I had with my son through the two years that he experienced as misery far more than I miss the community of his school.
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#17 of 44 Old 10-16-2008, 11:41 PM
 
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I missed the close relationship I had with my son through the two years that he experienced as misery far more than I miss the community of his school.
Yes, yes. And while DD is not complaining about school nearly as much as she used to (it's amazing, actually) I wasn't too pleased when I went to observe her. It was almost entirely direct instruction, with the children sitting in groups but not interacting (minus 20 minutes + 10 minute recess) out of the 3.5 hours I was there. Worth it? Maybe not. Like I said, while DD isn't really complaining much anymore, she doesn't hesitate when I ask her if she'd like to HS or stay in school, and she can give me a list as to why.

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#18 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I pulled DD out after Kindergarten, and we'd been lucky enough to make a really good friend that year, plus another friend that we'll be seeing this month, and we had two really good friends from preschool. Between those four families, we do pretty well, plus we've joined a home school charter and we have some new contacts there, although we haven't been there long enough to really have deep connections. If you have any extracurriculars, you can keep those up, too.

"Family Reading Night," and "Back to School Night," and those types of activities can help some parents feel connected to their kids' education. Guess what? As a homeschooling parent, you ARE connected to your kids' education--every night of the year. You will have your own little rituals, your own special things, and you have family time--lots of it--and there's no need for special little "nights" to help you feel connected.

Those kind of school-hosted things never meant much to me, because they seemed so ersatz. As a homeschooling parent, any importance that they may have had really falls into insignificance, because of the joy of seeing your child do so many things right in front of you.
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#19 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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"Family Reading Night," and "Back to School Night," and those types of activities can help some parents feel connected to their kids' education.
For me, going to that type of event (reading night, Hallowe'en party, fun fair, etc.) has nothing to do with the academic side of education. It's more about feeling like a part of something bigger than just our family, I suppose. Some people get that by attending church, having a large/tight-knit family, or a strong group of friends. Doing it through school is sort of the easy way out for me-- it's set up; I don't have to work for it. Granted, that means the connection is purely superficial, but I forget that!

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#20 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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Middle of 3rd grade pullout here as well.

It's been the best decision we've (she's) ever made and we have NEVER looked back. She's 12 now.

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#21 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 07:02 AM
 
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I was going to ask the same thing!

May I ask . . .for those of you who now HS, did you and/or your children find certain aspects of school that you missed?
No, we didn't.

Oh, wait, my dd (who'd only been to Kindergarten) told me once that she missed the paper and paste smell of school. Not enough to want to go back though.

I guess we never really felt a sense of community at school in the first place. I talked with a few of the moms on the playground and moms of parents of my kids' classmates, but we didn't share the same values or views of children/education so it was awkward.

It did take us a little time to find out where we fit within the homeschoolers, but then we found a wonderful, gentle, open group where we're all comfortable. We don't agree on everything, which is good, and they're people we really love hanging out with. (I am NOT an extrovert, so creating that community took a lot of energy, but was so worth it.)

Our community isn't our local geographic area, but it's made of people who share common values. I don't see a reason why you couldn't foster community within the homeschooling people AND within your neighborhood though.

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#22 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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My ds 1 and 2 were both in public school before I homeschooled. The last school they were in they loved. They had wonderful friends, the classes were small and their teachers were awesome. My dd had gone to pre-school for one year also.

We are military so we move a lot and I think that helped the kids transition to being home all the time. We have had ups and downs and there are some things they miss. I know they miss recess and being around other kids and I think they miss the organization of being in school, I'm not very good at that.

I really try to let them do things they wouldn't have been able to do through the schools so they enjoy being home, but once in a while they will still tell me they miss going to school. I think they just forget some of the advantages to being home and they miss being around all the kids all the time. Of course, when they were in school they had complaints too, so I take it with a grain of salt when they tell me how much they miss it.
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#23 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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My kids miss some of the social aspects and seeing their friends all day but not enough to go back to school. They both have other social activities to fill that space. Most of the time we love being together and I do not miss picking up my son only to find out he has a miserable day. I do not miss picking up my dd only to have her tell me how boring school is. I love that they are starting to lose some of the attitude they had at school.

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#24 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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My kids miss some of the social aspects and seeing their friends all day but not enough to go back to school. They both have other social activities to fill that space. Most of the time we love being together and I do not miss picking up my son only to find out he has a miserable day. I do not miss picking up my dd only to have her tell me how boring school is. I love that they are starting to lose some of the attitude they had at school.
Bolding is mine.....

Yes, yes and YES!!!

I also find that my kids picked up an undesirable attitude once they started school - especially my son who went up until the end of second grade. And now that it has been four months since they attended school I find the attitude is lessening.

I also find that my kids are becoming better friends - to eachother!

My kids really don't miss the social aspect. My daughter's best friend didn't attend school with her anyway (she is a child I care for in my daycare who attends a different school but has "grown up" with my DD since they were both 12 mths old).

My son is really not a social kid anyway and is fine with the hour of after school play he gets with the kids on the street when they come home. He has limits on how much interaction he wants and that suits him just fine.

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#25 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 12:17 PM
 
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I also find that my kids are becoming better friends - to eachother!
Me too! Mine were always close and they can still go at it like cats and dogs but there is starting to be a stronger bond that I am hoping lasts into adulthood. :

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I meet moms all the time that have removed their older children from homeschool. I met a mom the other day at a homeschool function that is in her first year of homeschooling and has 10 and 12 yr olds. Her kids were always in public school before this year. They seem to be doing very well.

My kids were always homeschooled with the exception of 2 years of private school. They are all home now and I *hope* it stays this way.

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#27 of 44 Old 10-17-2008, 01:10 PM
 
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I love that they are starting to lose some of the attitude they had at school.
DITTO!!! This is such a big thing with us and very noticeable after them being home for the past 5 months since the end of last year. I love it!!! My children are so happy being able to be themselves and enjoying every day of life.

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#28 of 44 Old 10-18-2008, 01:57 AM
 
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[QUOTE=melissabb;12407276]
I also find that my kids are becoming better friends - to eachother!

QUOTE]

I'm finding this same thing happening and I LOVE it!
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#29 of 44 Old 10-20-2008, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow guys! Thanks soo much for all the stories!! You guys are really helping a lot...sounds like everyone is happy with their decison. I am not sure yet if we will be homeschooling or cyberschooling but definitely taking her out of public school..and whichever I choose, I am inspired by all of you even if I don't choose the exact same method, I know we are all on the same wavelength.

The funny thing is...last week when my mom and I were discussing all this and I was on here asking stuff, we then went to dd's school top pick her up. Out comes dd's friend's grandmother who says she is homeschooling him. I was shocked...they are another family we know who has had problems with public school. He has adhd and the newst thing is that they are claiming he has special needs and needs to be in a special needs class now because he can't talk in complete sentences. I have known this boy since the kids were in Kindergarten and, believe me, he knows how to speak in complete sentences..so she, of course, is unhappy with this and tells the counselor she is going to homeschool him. The counselor says "what about socialization?" and grandmother says, "last week you said he was TOO social" and she says,"well, the team isn't going to like this" and she says, "it's not the team's decision, it's mine."

So we talked and I told her how my mother and I have also been discussing homeschooling and we are just trying to choose between that and cyberschool or unschool and so now we are researching info...all 3 of us...so her buddy since Kindergarten will be doing this with her!:

I too will look forward to getting away from all the emphasis on the most fashionable outfits and newest expensive gadgets and definitely THE ATTITUDE.
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#30 of 44 Old 10-20-2008, 01:40 PM
 
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Just have to ditto the new attitude and sibling closeness. It's one of my favorite things about homeschooling.

You don't realize how stressful school is for a child and how that stress effects them until you pull them out. A hsing friend of mine pulled her child out at the age of 10. It's been about 2 years since for both of us and we've recently both remarked how much less stressed our kids are. That plays a lot into the change of attitude.
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