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My oldest will be starting Kindergarten next year and I'm exploring our options. The regular public elementary schools here in our district start at 1st grade. I'm not really clear on where the kids go for kindergarten. I *think* there is a public early learning center on the other side of town and that's where it's held. I have to look into this further. Then there is the preschool Dd attends now part time. They offer kindergarten, but it costs around $230 a month! Not what we'd had in mind for kindergarten.

I never thought I'd consider homeschooling, but now I am.

Reasons why I'm considering homeschooling:

1. Cost (I have NO clue what expenses homeschooling entails, but it's gotta be under $230/month, right?)

2. Dd's behavior has become somewhat "undesirable" since starting preschool. She's picked up VERY annoying habits, that she'd never had a problem with before. Excessive whining, name calling, "tattle taleing", etc.

3. Dd is a bit advanced for her age, so homeschooling might help her excell???? Not sure on this one.

Reasons I'd never thought I'd want to homeschool / possible misconceptions I have:

1. I've sort of been looking forward to the kids starting school
: for selfish reasons. Mainly being able to keep up with housework. I envision the house a total disaster if I'm focusing a lot of time on teaching. Not that I'm a clean freak, but I do like things in order.

2. Don't you need to have extreme amounts of patience to homeschool? I lack in the patience department. Do you ever go crazy being with your kids 24/7? I love being with mine now, but will that change as they get older?

3. I don't have higher than a high school education. Does this make a difference?

4. How do you do it with multiple children? Right now my kids are 4.5, 2.5, and a new one due soon.

5. How will the kids be able to socialize with other kids their age if they aren't in a school setting? I don't want them to be socially "slow" (even though I consider myself very anti social and I went to public school all my life).

So folks, give the some advice here. What are the pros, the cons? Be brutally honest. Do you ever have days that you wish you didn't homeschool? Thanks so much!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by birthjunkie27
Reasons why I'm considering homeschooling:

1. Cost (I have NO clue what expenses homeschooling entails, but it's gotta be under $230/month, right?)
Homeschooling can cost almost nothing (if you get all your materials from the library or internet and don't use a canned curriculum) to as much as you want to spend. The only upfront cost we have that is specifically related to homeschooling is the weekly homeschool swim and gym class the kids take at the Y. We get all our books and things cheap and/or used, so there's very little monthly outlay there.

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2. Dd's behavior has become somewhat "undesirable" since starting preschool. She's picked up VERY annoying habits, that she'd never had a problem with before. Excessive whining, name calling, "tattle taleing", etc.
Kids can also pick up these behaviors outside of school, of course, but my experience is that homeschoolers do this less than their schooled peers. I'd say that this is a consideration in choosing to homeschool, but not the most important one.

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3. Dd is a bit advanced for her age, so homeschooling might help her excell???? Not sure on this one.
This is the reason we chose to homeschool in the first place.

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Reasons I'd never thought I'd want to homeschool / possible misconceptions I have:

1. I've sort of been looking forward to the kids starting school
: for selfish reasons. Mainly being able to keep up with housework. I envision the house a total disaster if I'm focusing a lot of time on teaching. Not that I'm a clean freak, but I do like things in order.
This is something that gets easier as your kids get older. By the time they are all school age, you'll have plenty of free time whether they are in school or not. School age kids can and do amuse themselves for hours and don't need mom to help them with every little thing anymore. They can also help out with the chores, so the time you spend teaching (which undoubtedly is less than you envision it to be) will be mitigated by the fact that you'll have other people helping around the house.

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2. Don't you need to have extreme amounts of patience to homeschool? I lack in the patience department. Do you ever go crazy being with your kids 24/7? I love being with mine now, but will that change as they get older?
Well, it hasn't changed for me!
I still love being with my kids and they are coming up on 10 and 8. I can't imagine them being away for 7 hours every day and then having to go to bed early just to get up and leave again. I'm not the most patient person in the world, either, which is part of the reason I don't send my kids to school. I don't think I'd be good at the strict schedule school imposes on families.


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3. I don't have higher than a high school education. Does this make a difference?
IMO, no. The most important factor in successful homeschooling is having the motivation to homeschool successfully.

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4. How do you do it with multiple children? Right now my kids are 4.5, 2.5, and a new one due soon.
I only have two, so I'll leave this to those with more.

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5. How will the kids be able to socialize with other kids their age if they aren't in a school setting? I don't want them to be socially "slow" (even though I consider myself very anti social and I went to public school all my life).
Well, I think you answered your own question there at the end. If your kids want to socialize with other kids their own ages, they will. If they choose to socialize with people of different ages, that's fine too. If they need more or less "socialization," believe me, they will let you know. That to me is one of the many beauties of homeschooling--each child has the time and space to develop in his or her own way rather than a system foisted upon him by those who don't know him.

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What are the pros, the cons?
PROS:

* My kids can learn at their own pace, whether that be faster or slower than the "norm."
* My daughter can engage in her many "extracurriculars" without having to worry how they'll fit in around homework and school activities/hours.
* My kids aren't locked into the segregation-by-age-and-grade mindset. Doing 9th grade math and 5th grade English? Not a problem. Want to be friends with a 3yo and a 12yo at the same time? No problem there either. They are, both literally and figuratively, "gradeless."
* We can keep our own schedule. We can sleep until noon if it suits us, and stay up as late as we want. OR if we need to get up super early for some reason, we can make up for it by taking a nap in the middle of the day.
* We can eat whatever (and whenever) we want, dress how we like, play or work as we need/want to, etc.
* We can go to the playground or library and have it all to ourselves.


CONS:

* Ummm... well, sometimes we get weird looks when people find the kids don't go to school.


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Do you ever have days that you wish you didn't homeschool?
I can honestly answer "no" to this question. Of course, some days I might wish one or another of us wasn't so grouchy, but that's not the same thing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by birthjunkie27
1. Cost (I have NO clue what expenses homeschooling entails, but it's gotta be under $230/month, right?)
This year (kindergarten), starting in August, I have spent a grand total of $50 on homeschooling stuff for BeanBean. I can see about $15 more in the near future, and potential library fines. Everything that I have purchased thus far is non-consumable, so BooBah will be using the same books. Much like cloth diapering, homeschooling gets progressively less expensive with each child.


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2. Dd's behavior has become somewhat "undesirable" since starting preschool. She's picked up VERY annoying habits, that she'd never had a problem with before. Excessive whining, name calling, "tattle taleing", etc.
That's a very good reason, but it makes me wonder about your socialization concerns (voiced later in your post).

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3. Dd is a bit advanced for her age, so homeschooling might help her excell???? Not sure on this one.
Absolutely. Even better, it can help her develop self-confidence in her abilities, without worrying about how she compares to her classmates. Having no classmates completely eliminates poor performance due to low self-esteem, as well as learning to think of herself as being somehow better than other children if she's advanced.

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1. I've sort of been looking forward to the kids starting school
: for selfish reasons. Mainly being able to keep up with housework. I envision the house a total disaster if I'm focusing a lot of time on teaching. Not that I'm a clean freak, but I do like things in order.
I can't really help you with this one. My house is a disaster because I'm a shoddy housekeeper.
:

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2. Don't you need to have extreme amounts of patience to homeschool? I lack in the patience department. Do you ever go crazy being with your kids 24/7? I love being with mine now, but will that change as they get older?
Depending on the state you live in and it's requirements, homeschooling may require some degree of organization on your part-- the state I'm in, for example, requires medical records or waivers and all sorts of other stuff to legally homeschool a child over the age of 8 or one who has attended first grade in this state. Patience, however... well, I love being with my kids. I can only see spending time with them getting easier as they get older, because there will be less need for intervention of any sort as time goes on. I'm a fairly hands-off parent, for the most part, but I still have to chase when BooBah runs into the street, you know? There's a lot less active chasing with BeanBean, even though he's still quite young-- the things that he does these days are more likely to be messy than downright dangerous or destructive.

In other words, while they get more expensive as they get older, they also get to be a lot easier to deal with. There's less work involved.
I also find that in my case, the kids love sitting still to "do school," so it's really quite restful for me. They're working on things which I can do without thought, so it's meditative and restful, and the kids are working and thinking and enjoying the time spent with mamma. We're all quiet, calm and happy in 15-minute (at least!) blocks, and that's just *brilliant*. 15 minutes of sitting quietly feels like a really long time to me!


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3. I don't have higher than a high school education. Does this make a difference?
Studies have shown that it doesn't.


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4. How do you do it with multiple children? Right now my kids are 4.5, 2.5, and a new one due soon.
I've got two little ones and a third on the way, and we're probably going to have one more after this. I think that it's probably (in most cases) hardest with the first one. You'll be amazed at how quickly the older one will start teaching the next sibling, though, and how much the younger sibling picks up. Just about everything about my second child has been easier than my first, though, and in her case she's working right along with her brother on most things (they are only 19.5 months apart).

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5. How will the kids be able to socialize with other kids their age if they aren't in a school setting? I don't want them to be socially "slow" (even though I consider myself very anti social and I went to public school all my life).
The behaviors that your daughter picked up in preschool only become more common and more horrible as kids go through grade school. I went to school and definately didn't learn to socialize there *at all*. Everything about it was just plain wrong. Then I got to college and something hit me right in the head-- nobody really cares if you can't talk to people who are, almost exclusively, within a year or two of your own age.
In one freshman class you might have a 15 year old from a local high school, an 18 year old high school graduate, a 22 year old who's been serving in the military and a 50 year old who decided to go back to school because her own kids have left home. More likely than not, there will be some of each in your classes, with various stories and ages and reasons for being there. Everyone will need to be able to communicate with people who are much older and/or younger than they are, and it's all good-- that's what real life is like, too. In my opinion, socialization is one of the best reasons to keep a child *out* of school.

Quote:
What are the pros, the cons?
Pros:

1. Cost. Public school may ostensibly be free, but the fact is that there are extensive costs involved. My niece has to bring a snack for her entire class to kindergarten twice a month, for example. Field trips generally cost money, and many (most?) public schools want you to send children with their own supplies-- backpack, crayons, pencils, erasers, scissors, paper, etc. Even supplies for the entire class, like paper towels, bathroom tissue (mostly kindergarten) and facial tissue. If you have to drive your child to school, this is another expense. It's really unbelievably expensive when you get right down to it; homeschooling can definately be cheaper.

2. Time. Even if your district only has half day kindergarten, you're going to have a severe time constraint. Your entire life will revolve around school-- when you can make doctor's appointments, when you can visit relatives, when you have to wake up and go to sleep. There's a heck of a lot more freedom when you're homeschooling. If your child gets sick in a public school and misses a key concept that his classmates have learned, you'll have to spend *even more* time dealing with school. Homeschooled kids never have this problem-- there are times when a child might be too sick for public school but still well enough to learn at home, and if they're too sick for that they can stay in bed drinking tea all day and you just put that day's schoolwork away for when they're better. There's no chance of missing something important. It's brilliant.


3. Knowing your kids. I read a lot of articles in parenting magazines about parents who feel like they don't know much about their tweens and teens. If you're homeschooling, you're going to know a lot more about them. You'll know that they're not spending all of the time that they ought to be learning mathematics drooling over the hot girl in front of them, and you'll know that they're not being harassed all day and ashamed to tell you about it. You'll know more about their personalities, their likes and dislikes, and you'll probably have a closer relationship overall.

4. Your child can learn the way that they want to, whatever they want to, whenever and however they like. My niece was getting nasty letters sent home to her mother, saying that she ought to be medicated for ADHD because she was bored out of her skull in school and spent a lot of time fidgeting and talking to other kids. She doesn't have ADHD, but she *is* a kinesthetic learner-- if you let her clap her hands or tap her feet, she could learn *anything* you set in front of her. Kinesthetic learners get totally screwed in regular classrooms, where they are expected to sit still for hours on end and listen to whatever the teacher has to say, without any regard for their own level or their interests. If you've got a kid who loves to read, they can spend all day reading about their favorite topics without being penalized for it. If they need to learn their times tables bouncing on a trampoline, they can do that and if they need a room that's perfectly silent and totally non-stimulating, they can have that, too.

Cons:

1. Homeschooling does require an investment on your part: you have to want to do it. If you're not really cool with the idea, your discomfort will be conveyed to your children and they won't do well.

2. In some areas, it's difficult to find adequate/appropriate support from other homeschoolers. Where I live, for example, the vast majority of homeschoolers are hyperChristian and are *very* exclusive-- the support groups all want you to sign a statement of faith before you can join. That's a real bummer for a Jew who is not homeschooling, primarily, for religious reasons.

Quote:
Be brutally honest. Do you ever have days that you wish you didn't homeschool?
Not so much, but my kids are little. I do have days when I wonder what made me think that I could be a parent... but everyone has those days from time to time.
I find that herbal iron and flax seed oil supplements really keep those days to a minimum. Most of the time, I love being with my kids and I'm excited to see all the new things that they learn. It was exciting to watch them take their first steps, and it's just as exciting to watch them discover the compost pile in the backyard or read their first sentence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your honest replies. You both made me really consider this seriously as an option. I always like to ask people who've been there and done that before I start my own research. It's like the launching pad for research. You both made such excellent points, and I really appreciate it!
Just think, you may have helped us to become another homeschooling family in the making!
 

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2. Don't you need to have extreme amounts of patience to homeschool? I lack in the patience department. Do you ever go crazy being with your kids 24/7? I love being with mine now, but will that change as they get older?

We all have our days. When you have them, you can take the day off. Go to the park. Declare a movie day.

3. I don't have higher than a high school education. Does this make a difference?

I dropped out of college, so no college degree here. My state doesn't require one.

4. How do you do it with multiple children? Right now my kids are 4.5, 2.5, and a new one due soon.

Sounds like youre kids have about the same age difference as mine. It's hard sometimes. My 2 year old doesn't understand why she can't participate in the older kids' tae kwon do and ballet classes, for example. When she was littler, we could just do anything academic during her naps. Then, there was a period where she was extremely hard to distract and didn't take regular naps long enough to accomplish much. Things are getting better now, and we've switched to unschooling. Check out this thread: Anyone HS multiple ages.

5. How will the kids be able to socialize with other kids their age if they aren't in a school setting? I don't want them to be socially "slow" (even though I consider myself very anti social and I went to public school all my life).

I always laugh at the s-word. When I was in school, I had friends that were homeschooled. My best friend in Jr. High was homeschooled. In high school, she stopped being my best friend... because she was so busy doing stuff she never had any time for me! She was the most socialized person I knew!

There seems to be this great myth in the institutionalized education system that kids will learn great social skills from spending 6+ hours per day in a classroom with 15-30 other kids the exact same age, being supervised by 1-2 adults, but that children who are educated at home for 1-4 hours each day with a much more reasonable adult to child ratio (in my family, it's 1:3), and who spend the rest of the day doing "real stuff" like shopping, volunteer work, and extra curricular activities, will somehow be "deficient" in this area.

Guess what. Just like math, reading, writing and sports, some kids are "naturals" in the area of social skills while others really have to work at them and need a great deal of assistance to be successful. In my own experience with the Des Moines Public School system, Des Moines Christian School, and a variety of preschools & daycares in Des Moines, none of them helped me to acquire these much needed skills.

Usually, The System ignores these kids until/unless they get violent. I never got violent, but I also never understood why I couldn't make friends. I certainly didn't know how to deal with teasing or bullying. I knew I was a "nice" person, but other kids didn't seem to like me. I still don't know what I was doing wrong, but I do know that I will do everything I can to ensure that my children don't have to deal with that type of heartbreak alone.

That's one thing that I really like about Dr. Mel Levine's work - he treats socialization as a SKILL which some kids must LEARN while others pick it up with no problem at all. He actually has a workbook that deals with just that called Jarvis Clutch - Social Spy. Here's a page from his site on "Learning to Relate to Others" as well.

As with any academic area, you need to figure out how much help your child needs in this area. Some only need to be provided with opportunities to interact with people, and they thrive. Others need instruction and support every step of the way. And, some may even need help from sources outside your home (as with hiring an instructor for piano lessons). You have your child's best interests in mind. You aren't concerned with prioritizing the needs of 10+ other children.

One of the benefits of homeschooling is that your kids aren't limited to just socializing with other kids their age. Let's be honest, 6 year olds aren't going to learn the best social skills from other 6 year olds any more than 13 year olds are going to learn them from other 13 year olds. My kids play with other kids their age at the weekly unschooling park day. They also play with older & younger kids there.

My kids also take dance & tae kwon do lessons, which are mostly same-aged peers (dance is 5-6 year olds, and tae kwon do is 7-9 or 7-adult, depending on which classes he goes to).

More on homeschooling an socialization:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by birthjunkie27
Do you ever have days that you wish you didn't homeschool?
My kids are only 3 and 2, so I am certainly not an experienced homeschooler, but this is how I look at it:

There are days when being a SAHM is hard. There are days when I am short-tempered, when I am irritated with the kids, when I am bored, and when I feel unstimulated. There are days when I really, really want a break. But never do I wish I was working instead. I would much rather be a SAHM, with all its attendent issues, than go to work every day and not be with my kids. I anticipate feeling much the same way when my kids are "(home)school-aged."

Namaste!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dharmamama
There are days when being a SAHM is hard. There are days when I am short-tempered, when I am irritated with the kids, when I am bored, and when I feel unstimulated. There are days when I really, really want a break. But never do I wish I was working instead. I would much rather be a SAHM, with all its attendent issues, than go to work every day and not be with my kids. I anticipate feeling much the same way when my kids are "(home)school-aged."
Just so! There are days I wish I had a staff--cook, maid, nanny, pool boy
--but I don't ever wish we didn't homeschool. As my kids get older, it does get easier, too.
 

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Hi,
I am going to be home schooling my daughter very soon. She is in first grade in public school right now. I havent told her yet but we did visit one private school just to check it out. Today she said to me "I wish I be disqualified from school". I hope she will be happier at home with me. I thought I would mention also that I discovered where I live that there is a church related program that provides "school" one day a week to home schoolers so you have a chance to have a day to your self.
 
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