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I have always intended to homeschool my children. Ds 1 is 5 and will be in Kindergarten nextyear. I have been feeling overwhelmed, I suppose "burnt out" and don't feel like I have been able to be my best as a parent for quite while. I started to think about sending him to public school ( a small very local public school) just for kindergarten, mostly to give myself a little break and spend some one on one with my 2yr old. I know this could look selfish , but I beleive I need to consider my own health as a basis for the family's health. He is a highly ocialchild, and would most likely love school. It is me who has serious doubts about school in any form , especially public school...So I would be comprimising my values....<br>
Has anyone done this? Intentionally? Or not intentionally ? What was hard? what were the benefits (if any) of ayear in Kindy, then home. How was the transition?<br>
I keeep writing posts with questions like " how do you take care of YOURself while homeschooling...." and I jsut can't quite feel comfortable with the lack of self-care I can do while my kids are home/ with me full time...<br><br>
Thanks, as usual, for all your thoughtful responses!
 

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Well we kept dd in Montessori for her 'K' year. We needed it at the time with our work schedules. It was fine and we homeschooled for 5 years afterward. This 6th year we did half-time school, but next year we're back to full-time homeschool. Sometimes you just find the best situation for the time. It will work out fine! There will be things you don't like about the school, but there will be good things as well. You can always pull him out if the bad begins to outweigh the good.
 

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I think your son will be just fine doing kindergarten at the public school.<br><br>
It's also possible that you'll be just fine ditching the entire idea of formal kindergarten study, enjoying a fun unschooling year with your kids, and getting a babysitter two afternoons a week, and going to see some movies or get your nails done or hang out at a bookstore or whatever.<br><br>
If the problem is YOU not being able to do good self-care right now, then arranging to be at home alone all day with a two-year-old may not be the best remedy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> A babysitter for both while you recharge may be a much better remedy.
 

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I am currently hs my two oldest, and have yet to decide what I will do about kindy for #3. Clearly, I don't care for our public schools. But, I have loved our half day kindy program.<br><br>
My second dd only went to kindy and the first couple months of 1st. Our school is bigger so the likelihood of having any of your friends from k in you 1st grade class is very small. Our transistion was easy, but she really wanted to hs. We stay active with friends so there have only been pluses.<br><br>
With your situation, I wouldn't hesitate to do a year of kindy. Is it half or full day? I completely advocate for mothers taking care of themselves--you owe it to yourself and your children to do that. If this is what you need, don't feel guilty.<br><br>
Amy
 

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My son went to kindergarten in public school and has homeschooled for 5 years since. I totally, completely wish we had never had him in kindergarten. It was a drag to have to see him lose certain things about his personality, learn crappy things from other kids (many whose parents simply didn't seem to care at all), to get bullied, etc. We totally wish we had figured out the whole homeschooling thing prior to putting him in what was supposed to be an excellent school (best in our affluent county).<br><br>
So my vote is "no".<br><br>
The way I always stayed sane was to stay active with homeschool groups (playgroups, library activities, etc.) so that I could make friends, my children could make friends, and I would get breaks while my child/ren were off busy playing, I could chat with other adults, then I made friends who were willing to trade off childcare for playdates and such, giving me actual occasional breaks. Nice!!!
 

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I think it is fine to switch things around as far as school setting.K can be more appealing for kids resulting in them wanting to return.In your case it is just for a break and not the child wanting to *see* what school is like,so it might not matter to wait till grade one to have the child experience more of what school will be like.<br><br>
Most kids have a good time with school in K,but K IS getting to be more of a grade 1 setting as far as work.<br><br>
For us K was a disaster due to unresolved bullying that still has residual effects 3 years later.If you can afford it I would recommend Montessori for K.My ds did a half year of that after the horrid time in public K and he had a wonderful time.<br><br>
Honestly you just won't know until you have your child in the class.How it goes will depend on your child,the teacher,the classmates.Try it and don't hesitate to switch to something else if needed.
 

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I would also dig around and see if their are other options than "regular" K. You may have charter schools available as well.
 

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We did something similar - only it was preschool, not Kindergarten. Almost the same reasons as you - DD is our only child but I felt burnt out, and thought DD would just really enjoy the experience of playing with other kids every day.<br><br>
I can't say it was a disaster but we did end up pulling her out within a few weeks - again, not a huge disaster but she stopped enjoying it (she LOVED it for the first few weeks, then started asking us to not send her anymore).<br><br>
Most people here seem to be leaning toward recommending that you not do this, though of course your sample is biased against conventional school. I don't really feel strongly either way, myself, but my particular advice would be this: if you send your son to school, don't be afraid to pull him out if it's not working. Doesn't mean it won't work; I just mean that the real mistake, in my opinion, is just trying to "stick it out" if there IS a problem.<br><br>
Parents get in this state of mind (and I tell you this because I experienced this for a few days myself) where they feel they have to stick out the school year or at least the semester just because they enrolled their kid. Not so. If you intend to homeschool anyway, there is no benefit to trying to get your kid to deal with a bully if that happens (bullies are almost impossible for kids to deal with, and kids who have been bullied are not stronger or more confident as a result, nor have they in any way benefitted from the experience). If the school's values are counter to yours, there's no point in sticking it out. If you feel your kid's enthusiasm is being dampened by something, there's no point to just letting it get dampened more and more. If your kid has seperation anxiety, he won't suddenly become more secure just because you insisted he get on the yellow bus every day. If your kid just plain doesn't really like it, and the point of sending him was just to give him an enjoyable time while you got a break, then it's not working out even if there isn't a bully or something really serious.<br><br>
If you send him to K and he loves it - wonderful <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
If you send him to K and it's not working, be prepared to make the decision to pull him out even if there isn't a huge disaster, even if you come to that decision only, say, a couple weeks before end of semester or something. Don't worry about the school officials or the teachers - you're the parent, you get to decide, and pulling a kid out of Kindergarten is not the end of the world even if they think it is. (FWIW, pulling my kid out of preschool was not a big deal, I called up her teacher and told her we decided not to send DD anymore, she lamented that she really enjoyed my DD, I told her DD loved her and thank you very much, and she said she'd notify the office, and that was the end).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for taking the time and enerfy to reply! Some good thoughts. Now I will keep mulling it over.<br><br>
I think my biggest fear is that he will get used to it because it is fun (he's super extroverted and he has a few friends already in the class) and then will not want to homeschool...Which I am strongly determined to do. That it would create a big conflict....Also, when he spends a lot of time with his friends (various social events like this week we had four days in a row....) he gets pretty wild and overly energetic...If this happened with school, then it wouldn't be worth it because he becomes hard to be around....<br><br>
Anyway, ponder ponder and thank you!
 

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It sounds like what you need is to find a way to take a break without feeling like you will compromise your ultimate goal of homeschooling or your relationship with your child. I would try to find local homeschooling groups and/or co-ops, make friends with like minded families, and perhaps offer child care trades? Could you hire a babysitter to come often enough for you to feel like you are getting a break?<br>
Could you find some interesting homeschooling programs/classes that you could sign your child up for? He could get social time and make friends, while you get a 1 or 2 hour break.<br><br>
For us, kindergarten was a huge mistake and for many children there is a significant detox period after being in school.<br><br>
Only you know what is best and whatever you choose, it will be okay <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Dd1 went to 2 years of preK and Kindergarten at a Catholic school, then I started homeschooling her for 1st grade. We didn't have any issues with transitioning or anything, it went pretty smoothly.
 

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Are there any co-op Kindergartens in your area? Ours has a couple -- they're extensions of co-op preschools, and then they end after K. That would be a natural break if you're determined to homeschool.<br><br>
Whatever you do for K and beyond, if you homeschool, you are going to have to find ways to help him meet his social needs. Is there a way you can find to do that? I think it would be a bad idea to put him in a situation that's meeting his needs socially and then remove him to a situation that doesn't meet his needs socially. So, I would vote against public K unless you've got a strong homeschooling network to hook up with to meet his social needs afterwards.
 

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I don't see how that could be construed as selfish. You need a break and you strongly suspect that your child will be happy in kindergarten. You don't seem to have any negative feelings about this particular school, so why not?<br><br>
I realize you are determined to homeschool, but if your biggest objection to public school is the fear that your son will "love it," I want to gently suggest that you stay open to evaluating your position as the year progresses.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess it came out a little weird that I am worried he'll love public school. What I mean is, if he loves it, and it shows him a certain way to learn ( or not learn) and be with people and shows him things that I would rather he avoid for as long as possible-- then that becomes a big problem for me/us. I do have strong objections to public education in this country. . . my worry is he will get "acculturated" or something to it. But, that said, if I need a break because I can't find a way to be kind enough because I am "burnt out" then perhaps that is the best option for the situation for the time being. On the other hand, he does get lots of time with his friends ( at their houses -- I do have a couple childcare/friend swaps a week....It is just we do well with time apart and I long for even more of it...) Maybe hiring a bbaysitter one day a week ( hard to afford!) would helo with this. The question I keep coming back to right now is " how do people manage to spend so much time with their kids, as himeschoolers, and not go batty? " My DS is so intense and fiery and I wish it were easier to spend time with him...I know some people LOVE spending lots of time with their kids, but I just need a decent amount of time apart. What are the ways you go about getting time apart-- enought to feel recharged?<br><br><br>
Thanks again!
 

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I think you can do numerous things to help get a break. Perhaps a mothers helper - a young teen to play with your child a couple hours a week - might be cheaper than a sitter. You are still there just not fully occupied by your son. Look into homeschool co-op classes, sports, music, YMCA classes, etc.<br><br>
Having a few breaks through the week can really help. I remember, he won't be little for long. They get easier! Well until their teens then I think they get harder again. LOL
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>hanbanan</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15445669"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess it came out a little weird that I am worried he'll love public school. What I mean is, if he loves it, and it shows him a certain way to learn ( or not learn) and be with people and shows him things that I would rather he avoid for as long as possible-- then that becomes a big problem for me/us. I do have strong objections to public education in this country. . . my worry is he will get "acculturated" or something to it.</div>
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In our case, ds started to HS when he was in 2nd grade. When it came time for dd to go to school, (K this year,) she was adamant that she wanted to go, so we let her and ds continued to be HS'ed. DD has really enjoyed K this year and has done well (not really learning much there, but has enjoyed the social aspect of being with a bunch of kids every day.) A couple of months ago, she began talking about how she wants to be HS'ed when she starts 2nd grade. She says she'd like one more year at school, but then come home after that. Because we keeping her options open, she is coming to the conclusion on her own that she wants to be HS'ed. I would have never guessed that she'd even contemplate being HS'ed, but she is. You never know.
 

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Also, in many states, K is optional. By doing what mom2ponygirl suggests by getting a mother's helper or even seeking out HS co-op classes, or mom's club type activities (some even have babysitting co-ops) to give you a break while giving your ds a social aspect, you may find that keeping him home is easier than sending him to K.
 
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