former homeschoolers now going to school -- 2nd term - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 101 Old 01-05-2010, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I decided the old thread was too long and that we needed a new one! Let's re-introduce ourselves and say how things are going.

My DDs homeschooled in a relaxed way and then started school for the first time at the ages of 10 and 12. This is the second school year for the younger one and she's taken to it like a duck to water. This is the first school year for my older DD (she homeschooled alone last year) and it is bumpier for her. They are in 6 and 7th grades and attend the same school, which is a small, traditional public school that we really like.

I'm really loving having a real break and feel much fresher as a parent, and I'm going to take a couple of classes at a community college this term!

How is everyone else doing?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#2 of 101 Old 01-05-2010, 12:04 PM
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My son homeschooled for preschool and kindergarten and started 1st this year. He really likes school although over the break he said he wants to homeschool again next year, which we might do.
He was behind in reading at the start of the school year but is caught up now. He's great at math. His spelling is actually pretty good relative to the class, which I don't get since he struggles with reading. He plays soccer at recess every day. He hasn't made any good friends, but there are a couple boys he has playdates with.
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#3 of 101 Old 01-05-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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we will be here soon with you all... in process of getting daughter into our local charter school right now.
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#4 of 101 Old 01-05-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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I don't know yet if I will be joining this tribe, but since there is a chance we might I'd love to follow along and hear your experiences.

Ds1 is currently in third grade, and has hs'd since kindergarten. We have been very, very, very relaxed. Pretty much unschooling, although it had more to do with my disorganization than a particular philosophy. He is a super social kid and despite our almost daily attendance at classes and park days and such, he is asking to go to school. Insisting, actually. So we are considering enrolling him in our local public school so he can get to know all the neighborhood kids and see the same kids every day. I brought him with me on the tour, and even though he saw all the kids sitting at a desk in total silence filling out worksheets, he is all hot to go.

I'm worried academically. He reads pretty well, but spelling and writing is really bad. He understands grade level math on a conceptual level, but is pretty behind when it comes to actually doing a worksheet or anything on paper. He is advanced in science. History is a mish mash - he can tell you about some things his peers would know about, but wouldn't have a clue about others.

Our plan is to get him a math tutor in the next month or two - he loves math and I think I am too boring for him. I'm working on trying to up his Language Arts skills. I am very very nervous about him being really behind when he starts 4th grade in September.

Ds2 is in K right now and has never gone to preschool. We are considering a small private Montessori school for him, as he would be really lonely without ds1 at home, and his learning style and personality seem to fit better with what I saw at the Montessori school rather than the public. This of course depends on him getting in and us getting some financial aid. I'm not worried about him academically, but rather adjusting to a full day schedule and dealing with authority figures, something he's not too keen on right now.

Anyhow, I'd love to hear how others adjusted academically, socially, emotionally, etc. I adore having my kids home, and the idea of them being gone 30 hours a week kills me, but then again, I am woozy with the idea of all that time to myself!
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#5 of 101 Old 01-05-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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Heh heh, Oceanbaby, we're almost the opposite of you. My kids have been in school for almost 2 years now, and it's going.... okay. I'm happy with the socialization and I'm so happy that my kids have been able to make close friendships. I also am enjoying time to myself. But I'm not happy with the academics. My kids have been losing ground academically since they entered school, particularily in math. Not only have several family members noticed my children's lack of (previously solid) math skills, but standardized test scores have been stagnant since my kids started school.

I realize that I could simply work with them after school, but it feels like too much to expect my kids to go to school all day and then come home and work on more academics. They have better things to do- like PLAY! I'm also getting fed up with the amount of homework. It's not overwhelming, but it's what I consider to be busywork. I've started giving my children answers to their homework because I'm tired of working with them for over an hour on assignments I believe aren't doing anything to help them academically. *sigh* Some days I spend longer helping them with homework than I spent with them on academic subjects when we were homeschooling. The inefficiency is driving me nuts.

Anyway... I *think* we're homeschooling again next year. But we're finishing out this year in school, partly because I'm TEACHING at my kids' school this year. For the most part, I think their school is great. But I can tell you that participating in staff meetings with the other teachers has really opened my eyes to aspects of the schooling experience I hadn't previously thought much about.

I'm thinking about approaching the school director about a homeschooling program. It's a charter school, so they have some latitude with the programs that are offered. I know that if we homeschool next year, we'd all probably love a 1- or 2- day/week program, but I'm not sure what that would look like. Is there anyone here who participates in that sort of program? How does it work? Are the kids there for specific subjects? Do the HSed kids stick together, or do they participate in classes with full-time students?

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#6 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but spelling and writing is really bad. He understands grade level math on a conceptual level, but is pretty behind when it comes to actually doing a worksheet or anything on paper.
He sounds a lot like my younger DD! The first month or two of school were painful because she wrote so slow. She couldn't get all her work done at school because she wrote so much slower than the other kids and, at first, needed several hours of help at night to complete her school work.

Once she got up to speed (which was a gradual process) she spent less than 30 minutes a night on homework.

The math freaked her out at first. The school uses Saxon and the size of the book, transferring to paper from a text book, etc. really took some help.

The plus side is that her writing and spelling are now light years ahead of where they were homeschooling. Her ability to do regular math on paper is super. She is really getting a better, more well rounded education at school.

I'd plan to step back on extra activities for awhile when first starting school and expecting to help with homework for awhile.

BTW, DD loves school and makes straight As.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#7 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 03:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by annethcz View Post

I'm thinking about approaching the school director about a homeschooling program. It's a charter school, so they have some latitude with the programs that are offered. I know that if we homeschool next year, we'd all probably love a 1- or 2- day/week program, but I'm not sure what that would look like. Is there anyone here who participates in that sort of program? How does it work? Are the kids there for specific subjects? Do the HSed kids stick together, or do they participate in classes with full-time students?
We have a variety of parent-partnership public school/home school programs around here, where kids do classes on a public school campus of just homeschoolers. Some are specific days and some let you pick the classes and schedule. They all function a little differently depending on the school district and how they were started, funded and organized.

You might post on the LAHB forum asking about these types of programs because many home schoolers use them.

Another option available here and in many districts is to go to the school part time as a home schooler. For example, I could send my kids for gym class, reading or whatever and pick the days and subjects (provided there was space in the classroom).

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#8 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 02:59 PM
 
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If the worst case scenario was me having to help him a lot, I could deal with that. Hopefully that will be the case. What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class. It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!

We have another 7 months to get him up to speed, if we even decide to put him in school. I'd rather they not go to school, but I do have a feeling that ds1 would really enjoy it.
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#9 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class.
none of that happened for either of my kids.

my other Dd has mild sn and I was worried about teasing, but most people are quite nice to her. Her teachers all like her because she is quiet and does her work.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#10 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 08:12 PM
 
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It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!
My dd began 2nd grade in public school last year. She was reading well, but without confidence. She could only write in capital letters , because she refused to write in lower case for me. She also refused to practice reading with me. Sigh.

We did a crash course in practicing lower case letters over the summer, and she jumped in (she also had some anxiety issues to overcome, which took precedence over academic issues). She caught up so quickly with the writing and reading, and was far ahead of grade level by the end of the year. No teasing about her abilities, although she did notice that other kids could write much more quickly than her--but that just motivated her to work at it more (she's a bit competitive )

Third grade this year, and things are going really well! Friends, involvement in the gifted class (no formal gifted program at this grade). She doesn't even know the "Explorers" class is a gifted class, but she loves Explorers class! Her teacher approached her and 2 friends yesterday, telling them that they are her "pride and joy" (she probably tells that to all the kids, but it made dd's day!). I her school.
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#11 of 101 Old 01-06-2010, 08:43 PM
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If the worst case scenario was me having to help him a lot, I could deal with that. Hopefully that will be the case. What I'm really worried about is him being teased, or feeling bad about himself, or having a teacher single him out and say he needs to be in a remedial class. It is helpful to hear that kids can enjoy school even if they struggle to catch up!

We have another 7 months to get him up to speed, if we even decide to put him in school. I'd rather they not go to school, but I do have a feeling that ds1 would really enjoy it.
My son was behind in reading at the beginning of the year, and sent to remedial reading classes (5 of 22 kids in his class go!) I don't think anyone has ever teased him about it, and he really likes it. Now that he has caught up, I think they'll take him out of the class but he doesn't want to stop going! It's really not an issue for him. *I* felt bad about him being behind in reading, but I've let go of that. Last year we did what was right for him then, and this is what's right for him now.
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#12 of 101 Old 01-07-2010, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So many kids are in pullout programs for so many things that it is difficult for the other kids to keep track of who goes to gifted, to reading, to chat with the social worker, etc.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 101 Old 01-07-2010, 01:49 PM
 
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Well dd had her first day for this term at the charter high school she attends part-time. Since it is block schedule she is beginning two new classes. Sadly, the science teacher she loved last term has moved away. :-( Her new science teacher introduced herself, handed out books and then told them all to entertain themselves quietly for the rest of the 90 minute period. My dd was pretty bummed she'd left her book in the car. She told me, Mom, first days are busy I won't have time to read! LOL I asked her impression of the new teacher. She thought she seemed very tired.

She liked her Spanish class. The teacher kept them engaged and learning all period.

She is leaning more to going back to full-time homeschooling. I think it would be a good move for her. It is tough getting group learning situations together for her as a homeschooler, but even at this accelerated high school, the group learning is far from ideal.

She is having trouble feeling socially connected to school. She knows a few kids and they seem genuinely friendly toward her but they aren't friends. We are working through some communication and interpersonal skills issues, trying to help her be aware of the social dynamics and begin to see things she might work on.

We'll see how it goes!
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#14 of 101 Old 01-09-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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I was going to post this in homeschooling, but I thought this might be a more appropriate thread. I thought this was pretty funny:

So I signed ds1 up for a Spanish Club that meets after school at our local elementary, the one he will attend if he ends up going in the fall. It starts at 2:35, and school gets out at 2:30. We could have walked, but I was going to run a bunch of errands with ds2 while ds1 was in class so I drove. BIG mistake! OMG, I had no idea how to negotiate the whole parking pick up/drop off thing. It was a madhouse! There was no parking in the small lot to the right, and to the left was either the staff parking and driveway, or the pick up/drop off lane that had about 20 cars lined up.

I needed to just run ds1 in there since it was his first day so he would know where it was, and there was no parking anywhere. I saw a few spots in staff parking, and figured it would be safe since it was the end of the day. So we walk up just as the bell goes off, and they open the doors to the courtyard/access area of the school. Crowds of parents, kids everywhere, wow. I was a bit overwhelmed. So I get ds1 into his class, and sheepishly go back out to my car. The problem is that now the only way for me to get out is to drive out the staff driveway because I can't back up enough to get in line to out the regular driveway. So I drive out, and there is the principal directing traffic where the two driveways intersect. She motions for me to roll down my window, and tells me nicely that I'm not supposed to use the staff driveway. I tell her that I'm not a parent at the school, I'm so sorry, etc. And then I finally get out of there. The most hilarious part is that apparently it was Pajama Day at school because all the kids were in pjs, and the principal herself was in a big fluffy robe. It was all very surreal for me.

I am a city girl, it's not like I can't deal with traffic or crowds. But boy, did it drive home how completely ignorant I am about the whole school pick up/drop off procedure. Ds won't be the only one with a lot to learn! (Ds1 LOVED the class, btw.)
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#15 of 101 Old 01-20-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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This thread is very encouraging for me to read.

My children are 8 and almost 12, we have been homeschooling for 7 years now and Im SICK OF IT. I work full time, my husband works pt and is in college ft (to be an elementary school teacher) and I just cant do it all anymore. It's too much to do anymore. I am tired. Im an RN and I work nights and all the hs activity and groups are during the day when Im sleeping so my kids are missing out on friendships, etc. There are no more kids in my area where we live so even though they have each other and are happy kids and do socialize well, they need more.

I am ready to let them go but I am also scared to death!! The thought if sending my oldest to middle school for the first time is scary to me. I dont let her know any of this though. She is excited to go (mainly to make friends and I think the responsibility will be good for her) but scared of the work load. She is *very* behind in math, she hates math, is scared of it, and seems to retain nothing (lol much like me at her age, even though I went on to college and made As in college level math).

I guess what is freaking me out is the whole middle school thing. My husband, in his student teaching is always hearing nightmare stories and seeing not so good things in the middle schools especially.

So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.

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#16 of 101 Old 01-22-2010, 05:10 PM
 
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<So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.>

You're right, it is a hard age, but this is true regardless of how your child is educated. For my dd, her self esteem wasn't that great when HS'ing either, but after a semester in public school she seems, overall, happier.

I was really nervous too about middle school. We had not planned to send our dd this year, just ds. But dd begged to go. And she LOVES it.

Sure, there are things she tells me that make me shake my head (for example a couple of kids got suspended for 'sexting' a girl took a photo and the boys and her got suspended) BUT, this was also a good learning experience for her because they had an assembly about it and my dd learned that these kids are being charged now with a sexual crime, very unfortunate but that's how life is these days in schools!) Also, they have drug sniffing dogs fairly often to sniff lockers. It's unfortunate that this kind of thing is common now. But it's good that they address it, I feel better her going there knowing these things at least.

It's also not like the homeschoolers we met were perfect angels. Alot of them had problems and were not the kind of kids I wanted my kids to be friends with.

Overall, I was fairly happy with the school. My dd is severely dyslexic though and I had to put her through extensive testing to get her an IEP so she could get help, it's all integrated now too which is wonderful.

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#17 of 101 Old 01-23-2010, 10:34 AM
 
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My 7 yr old wants to start going to a local private school. We are considering enrolling her in the next few weeks. We still haven't decided. She went to school throughout preschool from age 2-5 and then kindergarten at another school in the area. Now she wants to go back. I'm hoping she can go back at least for the remainder of this year. I have a teenager who will remain at home and a baby in the house so I need a break. And DD really wants to return to school and is asking to go back on a daily basis at this point. So she definitely isn't going to be forced to do it.

I'm subscribing to this thread just in case we are back in this position again in a few weeks.

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#18 of 101 Old 01-23-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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So I guess I'm looking to hear your experiences of hsing and then sending your child to middle school. I think its a hard age.
My son will start 9th grade in the fall and wants to go to the local comm college for early college. I'm very nervous about it because it's the same as public school, some place he has never gone before. But I know it will be a good experience for him and he's old enough to know better on a lot of things and is pretty mature for his age.

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#19 of 101 Old 01-25-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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We are making progress.

Alex is doing a little better, finally had a SST Meeting not last wk but the week before, They have started the evaluation process which should be done before March 8th since that is when one of the evaluation teachers called and told me we will be having a meeting to discuss the results.Her teachers modified her homework and she now has til the following monday to turn it in instead of on friday like everyone else. She now only has 5 spellling words instead of 10,easier math pages.

We are going to just stick out the rest of the year since there are only 5more months of school left.


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#20 of 101 Old 01-27-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Who all here is thinking of going back to homeschooling again??

Half year analysis: public school isn't the best fit for my kids, either of them. My dd loves school though, mostly for social reasons. I don't know what to do now though because she's pretty adamant about staying.

DD carries an IEP with a 'specific learning disability' and I'm not very impressed with the services she gets. They are spoonfeeding her, not really HELPING her in the areas she needs help.

DS hates school and complains bitterly about it. He's on the autism spectrum and very bright, but he does not learn the way they teach, at all and he's starting to space out and retreat inside of himself in the classroom

 Mommy to Emily (16), Cal (12) and Claire Bear (3)
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#21 of 101 Old 01-28-2010, 11:44 PM
 
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Who all here is thinking of going back to homeschooling again??
We are!
Of course, that decision could change. As of now, dd is certain she wants to homeschool full time next year. She likes the school and finished her two courses last semester with high 'A's. However, she sees the opportunity for more exploration in topics of interest at home, and potentially more interesting collaborations with homeschooled friends. Being held to the same pace as everyone else - whether it is deadly dull or a scramble to keep up - is wearing on her.

This semester has been interesting so far. She switched one of her classes last week so she is still adjusting to her new class. I haven't seen any graded work yet from that class, so not sure how she is doing yet. She seems to have connected more with other girls at lunch. She definitely enjoys going to school, but has now learned the significance and joy of a snow day.

There have been definite benefits to attending school, but at her age the benefits to homeschooling seem to be coming out ahead. The scary part is that if we leave she may lose her spot at an innovative charter school. They are growing in leaps and bounds and will probably be enrollment by lottery should she want to return. Sigh.......decisions.
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#22 of 101 Old 01-31-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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Ponygirl, how old is your dd?

So she is going part time to the charter school?


I wish we had that option here, dd mostly enjoys her science and social studies classes.

DD was teary yesterday, she keeps having a dream about a homeschooled friend (now in comm. college ..we're good friends with this family) and said she does miss homeschooling..alot. She's obviously conflicted, but as the year goes on, she appreciates the free time she had while HS'ing to do things she she loves.

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#23 of 101 Old 02-01-2010, 12:15 AM
 
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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. We are an always-homeschooled (relaxed/eclectic) family who is heading towards school, likely private, next year. I am bordering on burnout and wanting to go back to my career, and I really think my kids, two boys and a little girl, could use a shift of climate and some more academic structure, at least for a little while. We are pretty social homeschoolers, so that is not so much the issue as structure, variety, and a break from the family dynamic. My girl, just 3.5, is just so excited to go to school, probably to get a break from her big brothers - who are awesome - but are boys nonetheless!

Anyway, I have been feeling positive about this change, and I love to hear that you all are staying attentive to each individual person as they go through school. I feel like school might 'work' for some of my kids, and maybe not others, and that homeschooling is always a possibility in the future. We will take this year by year, the same as we have always with homeschooling.
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#24 of 101 Old 02-03-2010, 12:20 AM
 
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Ponygirl, how old is your dd?

So she is going part time to the charter school?
She is 11. She attends school for 2 classes. They are on a block schedule, only 4 classes a day with an entire years course completed in a semester, so she is there half-time. They used to have MWF and TTh classes which would work better for us. I think part of our school burnout is how it chops up the day, every day. It would be ideal to have a couple of days at home. Maybe we need to wait and try school when she can do dual enrollment college courses. LOL

She told me today she wishes she could homeschool full-time again now. I told her to go to school and see how she feels. I asked her to make a pro and con list for us to discuss. She likes school. She gets good grades. Kids are nice to her. But, she misses having more control over her own time and her learning.

School has been broken up a bunch by snow days this semester. We'll see how she feels if and when she gets back to a regular schedule again!

I'm planning on discussing with the head of school the chances of returning to this school if she doesn't attend next year (or leaves soon). It just may be that school will have to wait until college for her - we'll see!
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#25 of 101 Old 02-03-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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It was a nice break but we are ready to get back to homeschooling this fall! Actually we've already started doing some online classwork afterschool that we'll add to over the summer and fall. My three girls were back in public school this year after two years' homeschooling but we are definitely headed back to hs fulltime. I was all ready to pull them out after Christmas break, but my DH is the less-impulsive one and wanted them to finish out the year--even though he was against them going to ps in the first place! We are doing our home school through Classical Liberal Arts Academy. Just love it! I'm happy to have found my motivation and excitement to hs again. PS has been over all fine...no problems for my 10yo, few difficulties for my 12yo (a few annoyances not really problems) and a few bumps for my 6yo that I will be happy to leave behind at the end of the school year.

"For me, You have created the skies scattered with stars...and all the beautiful things on earth." ~St. Maximilian Kolbe
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#26 of 101 Old 02-26-2010, 01:44 AM
 
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Hi everyone, nice that you're all still here! I'm really needing support right now.

School is NOT going well for all my kids. My 12 year old DD loves sixth grade and has transitioned super well, and is very happy and well adjusted. BUT I do notice that she reads less now and is more stressed in general, because of not getting as much sleep and having more pressure and all the damned BUSY WORK and crap that is totally unnecessary. But still, she is loving school.

Our first grade DD likes class, but is also really missing her little sister and little brother (who are home with me.) She has a mean teacher and I also notice that like her sister, my previously voracious reader has more or less stopped reading much on her own. In their school, the kids only read to get rewards, so any intrinsic and internal motivation just vanishes. It's AWFUL. Just like the Alfie Kohn book "Punished by Rewards." Just like that.

Worst of all is our 9 yo son, who is really struggling. His handwriting and composition are terrible, by school (or any) standards. Since he cannot write, and more or less refuses to just practice his penmanship, he is really struggling to keep up in class. And this is one truly brilliant kid, just incredibly intelligent and curious and on fire. He has also completely stopped reading on his own, and previously had been a VORACIOUS reader, because as far as he is concerned, there is no point to reading except to earn "points" and "rewards." So all his budding love of reading has been nipped, because it's all about rewards in school. The kids are being told that they cannot learn without rewards and punishments!! It's like my worst nightmare about schools coming true.

But more serious, our son is having trouble dealing with bullies and kids who get him riled up. He is VERY competitive, and while that serves him well in sports (he is an elite level competitive swimmer), it does NOT serve him well in interpersonal contact. It's funny, because he is a really, really nice, kind, gentle and generous person, but it's also easy to get his goat. Anyway, DS has been called to the principal's office three times now. Once for being disrespectful and rowdy during "reading class" (as if you need to be taught to read!), once for swearing outside on the playground, and today, for getting into a fight with a kid. Today there was a kid who was verbally bullying him, and taunting him, and DS got his dander up, and ended up punching the kid. (The kid took part of my son's lunch and threw it away and I guess that was the end of DS's rope, and he punched the kid.) The mutual bullying and stupidity had been going on unabated for quite a while and it finally escalated after this kid took part of DS's lunch.

Anyway, I do NOT condone hitting, for ANY reason. But then, my son received in-school suspension tomorrow, which means he must spend the entire school day sitting in the office, at a table, doing assigned work. No recess, no lunch, no nothing. I'm thinking, this is really NOT useful and cannot possibly help. Yes, you have to have consequences for hitting, but is this appropriate? And really, what will happen to our son's love of school and of learning? He was SO excited to start school, and it has turned into such a crappy experience, partly due to his own poor behavior on occasion, and partly due to lack of academic preparation (I'm pretty unschooling), partly due to other kids' cruel behaviors, and partly due to the fact that he does just not fit into a public school mold. AT ALL. He even got kicked out of preschool way back when. He was homesick and used to hide at recess and it drove the teachers ballistic.

In school suspension. And I actually like our principal. She is intelligent, understanding, doesn't take sides, and is a well-educated and nice woman. I know she cannot allow fighting, I totally get that. But how will DS be able to stand it, sitting in one room ALL DAY, and not even allowed to get up? To me, it feels like I'm putting him in prison. It really, really upsets me. I know he punched a kid in the stomach, and that's really bad. I'm just upset about my little guy being forced to sit in the office and do worksheets for like seven hours. I really feel like I'm letting something bad be done to him.

Homeschooling was bad for us lately too, though. I was totally burned out (we have five kids and the baby just turned one.) I was out of ideas. I was sick of being isolated and the kids were lonely and bored. The HSing community here is awful----either super conservative religious or totally permissive unparenting---and there is absolutely ZERO to do also. My son was bored out of his brains. It takes me so much work just getting everyone fed every day and the laundry done and whatever else it takes to run the house, that I had/have little time and energy left for HSing and driving little people all over creating for activities. Activities which, furthermore, we had a hard time with financially, since DH just got a pay cut.

I LOVE having the three older kids in school and having peaceful days with my little ones. But how do I know whether to call it quits with public school for DS? How could I pull him out and have him hanging around the house bored again? And me SICK of having him hanging around? God, I really do need some peace and quiet. Seriously.

It's been really hard. I HATE HATE HATE the idea that so many public schools are based on: "Kids do not want to learn and cannot learn on their own. We need to force them to learn and reward and punish them, and then they will learn." It's awful! It's just so wrong and backwards! Kids are dying to learn, and will learn unless someone (like the school) tells them that they're not capable of learning without being forced.

I'm really upset right now. And I'm sick of my kids not even having time to read anymore, and being so tired at night that they can only listen to one chapter before they pass out. They are spending all their best time and energy every day, full time, on something that is just not worth it. Plus, even though I am desperate for quiet time, I do miss them, and I HATE that they are, for the first time, separated from each other all day. DS really missed his baby brother all day.

Sorry for the novel. I'm dreading tomorrow. But I'm not sure that overall, pulling DS out of school is right either. I don't want to send the message that whenever there are challenges, we just quit. He actually likes his fourth grade teacher, and loves his viola class. But it's such a restrictive, confining environment, and there are 35 kids in his class and he's just lost.
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#27 of 101 Old 02-26-2010, 12:50 PM
 
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freestyler, I'm sorry to hear that your ds is having such a tough time

35 kids in a class is HUGE! That is nearly twice the number of students in my 3rd grader's class.

And, where are the adults when this classmate is throwing away your ds's lunch? I can't imagine that going unnoticed at my dc's school. Most of the kids are sitting and eating, and a child who gets up is noticed right away--and approached to see if they need something or need to use the bathroom or whatever. Where is the supervision??

I think you have some very valid concerns about your dc's school. However, I also hear considerable anti-school bias in your post. I would just caution you to try to separate out the issues--in what ways is this school failing to do its job, and in what ways is school maybe just not a great fit for your family. Because, if the teachers and administrators get the idea that you are anti-school, they might not take your concerns as seriously, kwim? Things like reading class and rewards are pretty standard in a lot of functioning schools. Boatloads of homework or busywork would be issues I would probably bring up--but supervision and bullying would be my first priority.
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#28 of 101 Old 02-26-2010, 01:11 PM
 
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Hi Freestyler,


I think it is possible you are over-reacting to the inschool suspension? It seems like a reasonable consequence to hitting someone. The only part that concerns me: is the other child (the lunch thrower) also in in-school suspension? I would expect he is - and if not, I would would be ticked that my child was bullied, fought back, got in trouble and the bullier got squat. The other thing that concerns me is you said "no lunch". I assume you mean no lunch break - not "no food". I would be horrified if my child were denied food at mid-day. I would call and say "in school suspension is fine - but he must be allowed to eat". If they refused this reasonable request, the proverbial poop would hit the fan.

Otherwise, I am just going to brainstorm some ideas and hope some of them work for you.

Can you switch schools?
Can some children remain in school while some HS?
Can you do part time schooling?

if the above are not options, and you consider returning to HS, can you do the following to ensure you get a break and cut down on bickering?

-day camp during the summer. Seriously.

-After school care

-Spring break day camps.

-send a child or two to grandmas or sisters or ??? for a visit for a couple of days a few times a year.

It is possible you may be able to cobble together enough time off and time apart from siblings that some squabbles end. You will have to plan this, though. May sure you have it in place.

Good luck!

Kathy
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#29 of 101 Old 02-26-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post

Sorry for the novel. I'm dreading tomorrow. But I'm not sure that overall, pulling DS out of school is right either. I don't want to send the message that whenever there are challenges, we just quit. He actually likes his fourth grade teacher, and loves his viola class. But it's such a restrictive, confining environment, and there are 35 kids in his class and he's just lost.
I agree with this, but I also think there is a time to cut your losses.

You can try and fix things ( have you?) but if that does not work, there is a point when getting out is the best option. It is similar to all things in life - relationships, jobs, hobbies, etc.

FWIW: looking back I think most of my teachers were nice and that I liked them. I barely remember them. Bullies, though, I remember vividly and I still bear the scars.
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#30 of 101 Old 02-26-2010, 01:55 PM
 
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Yeh, bullies are awful and I don't want DS to become one. His behavior since being in school has really gone downhill, and even blissfully unaware DH sees this. Oh, DS is allowed lunch today, just not in the lunch area.


And the kid who took DS's lunch, I don't think much happened to him. I don't even know that his parent got a phonecall. I'll have to ask the principal about that the next time I see her. But in general, they are pretty strict over there, so I'm sure he got in trouble too. What an obnoxious thing to do. It just isn't right.

It's hard to separate out the issues. I'm just hating the whole package right now. Especially the lack of supervision when there are such crowded classes, and crowded lunch area. The principal even told me that the teacher was not in the room when the kids started squabbling during class (which then later escalated at lunch, and still no adult present.) What the hell? Aren't there adults around?? I know there have been huge budget cuts here, but can't they keep the kids safe and orderly? I have a bad feeling about it all. These things should not have been allowed to escalate in the first place. I'm about it.

And I am also concerned about the forced learning part of things. I'm just seeing it destroy my kids' desire to read and learn on their own. It's bad.

If we were to return to HSing next year, or sooner, I really don't yet have anything in place at all. We don't have the $$$ for summer camps or a lot of special classes and activities. One salary and seven people to feed and clothe....not a lot is left over, even though we're very careful. I certainly can take the kids to museums and this nearby nature-based class, and the flying field, and other stuff, but I'm also pretty burned out on driving them around and having them fuss because no one can agree on what to do, EVER. If the nine year old wants to go fly R/C planes all morning, what are the rest of us supposed to do? If the little ones want to go to the beach and DS just wants to work on his model plane, then what? It can be paralyzing sometimes, and we end up doing nothing. It was a nightmare, when no one wanted to agree about stuff. The little kids are so easy. NO AGENDAS. Just wanna hang out with Mom all day.

It's all very stressful.
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