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Children & Parenting
To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By millysmommy Comments: 847, member since Tue Jun 09, 2009
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 05:43 AM

This year I homeschooled my daughter in kindergarten, but really undecided about what to do next year, been asking everyone I know for their thoughts on the matter as I have to decide soon so thought I'd also ask the fellow parents here on their thoughts.

Like I said this year I homeschooled my daughter, and it went well, a little stressful on my schedule but we worked it out. Anyways next year my son will be entering Kindergarten and he has some issue I am afraid will make homeschooling him very hard, but Also make sending him to school very hard as well.

So I have three options which I'm weighing right now.

1. Homeschool both of them, but I'm worried with my work schedule I won't be able to devote a proper amount if attention to each one to meet the programs requirements. It was tight this year with just one student.

2. Send my son to public school and hope we can find someone qualified to help us with his issues and not make his experience terrifying and stressful. (which I doubt would be possible in this school system).
And if I do that I would also have to send my daughter who would insist, as she's a very social person and would live to attend "real" school.

3. Send just my daughter and focus my homeschooling efforts on my son so I know he'd have enough time.

Now the issues with option 2and 3 is my issues with the public school system around here and the lack of any alternate school choice. The test scores are abysmal and I regularly encounter kids in high school who can barely read or function academically. Second the bullying and level of violence I hear about is terrifying to me. Just this last year someone called the elementary school to threaten a shooting and the school chose to continue the day and didn't even inform parents of it until the next day when parents were calling asking about what their kids had told them that night. And thirdly, but probably least important is I had a horrific school experience and want my kids to not ever experience anything like what I did. Fourth, if I sent them to school I would barely see them as I work evenings and that would just kill me.

So I am really at a total loss of what to do, as I really want to do the best for my children. What do you think you would do in such a situation?

27 Replies to To homeschool or not? In look of opinions

re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:43 AM
What facilities do you have?

Particularly how many others in your area are home schooling, and what organization do you have for coordinating your activities?

Interaction is a vital part of education, particularly in the first few years. Some communities (and some churches) have solved this problem, but then, some have not.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By J1ll Comments: 2344, member since Wed Oct 14, 2009
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 04:23 PM
Do you have a homeschool group or co-op near you? I think those support systems are vital for socialization and also to support you in curriculum development and implementation. And because some of them offer fully developed curriculum it may help you find the time to devote to their actual learning.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:23 PM
Do you have online options by you? In my state (CO) we have K-12 online schools available. Some are better than others, just like any school.
They give you the laptop you need, and you just need an internet connection.

The benefit is that the online school has virtual teachers, so you aren't required to teach the lessons, and the good ones are fully accredited, so they are decent teachers who've really gone to lengths to make the virtual classroom expreience good.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By millysmommy Comments: 847, member since Tue Jun 09, 2009
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:37 AM
We currently do an online program, my daughter meets with a teacher 3 times a week online and they give her the assignments and full curriculum, and it is a full k-12 program that is fully accredited. And I have to decide before May if we are returning or not as it's a very in demand program.

It's been a lot of work still, and my daughter has been struggling with the reading part of the curriculum. So I'm worried about how to help her out next year when she has a bigger work load being she'll be in 1st grade and still having time for my son as I believe he'll be a challenge. And I feel kind of guilty for not pushing academics more with him before this point, but he just doesn't have the interest at all.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 2)
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:57 AM
NOTE: I was not ever homeschooled. My roommate WAS homeschooled for a while.

Personally, I was sent to a private school from kindergarten through eighth grade. My time there was absolutely abysmal. I was sent because of the "great education" and whatnot. I had ZERO friends because I was one of those "offbeat" kind of kids. Always thinking and acting outside of the box.

My roommate and I are VERY similar people... and she hated her time being homeschooled. It was very hard for her to relate to people socially, even with all the activities she had done. And when she finally got to high school she went to a public high school-- the same one as me. Luckily, she adjusted very well and she is now very outgoing.

I went to public school for high school... and even now, almost ten years later-- I LOVED high school. There was a spot for everyone. I personally made my groupings with the band and the other artistic types and could easily avoid the people I didn't get along with very well. On top of that, I went to a very urban high school. I vividly remember at least 6 bomb scares in my entire time there, along with gangs, bullies, etc.

But you cannot protect your children forever. There are going to be bullies and bad things that happen in the world-- but that is going to be their entire life. There will ALWAYS be bullies. There will always be bad things happening. Offices and workplaces get bomb scares, shooting, etc as well. Keeping them close to you isn't going to help them... it will only keep the fear in them.

I have taught many homeschooled kids-- and while they were EXTREMELY bright... and I mean near genius because of the intent focus on them. They had a lack of social skills. Some were better than others-- and I have met MANY homeschooled kids who can relate VERY well to others. But life is not about what test scores you had in high school. Jobs aren't going to ask what your high school GPA was. They want to know that you have interpersonal skills-- and THAT is what I truly believe school is for.

The kids you know in high school that can barely read-- I HIGHLY doubt that is the schools fault. If a kid doesn't want to learn, they won't learn. If you do send your child/children to school, just be a GOOD parent. Check in on them. Make sure their homework is done. If they're confused, help them. It's a balance of letting the school do their job-- and you continuing it at home.

Depending on your sons issues, it may not be a terrible idea to homeschool him if your public schools don't have programs that will work well for him. But I would say send your daughter to school and let her decide. Give her a full year of public schooling, keep an eye on her-- and at the end of the year... ask her what she thinks. Does she like staying at home and learning from mom? Or does she like being in school, being around other children, and having time away from mom?
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 04:38 AM
Luckily for me, my kids had a good experience in kindergarten and elementary school and I'd had a mostly great experience in elementary school (no kindergarten) so had no qualms about sending them. I'd say give it a try. Does your son have special problems? I advise meeting with the principal and also the eventual teacher to discuss this.

So much depends on the teacher the child gets! When my daughter got to middle school she had one teacher in the morning for math/science classes and another teacher for English/social studies type classes in the afternoon. She did great with the morning teacher but was in tears trying to figure out what the afternoon teacher wanted and was flunking all his subjects. I arranged for her to take both morning math/science and afternoon English/social studies with the morning teacher who was basically a mathematician and had a very practical, definitive approach to life, as does my daughter. (Personally, as a student I would have done much better learning from the afternoon teacher.)

So give the public school a try but keep an eye on what is going on. You can home school later if things don't work out.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 05:09 AM
toroandbruin wrote:



So much depends on the teacher the child gets! When my daughter got to middle school she had one teacher in the morning for math/science classes and another teacher for English/social studies type classes in the afternoon. She did great with the morning teacher but was in tears trying to figure out what the afternoon teacher wanted and was flunking all his subjects. I arranged for her to take both morning math/science and afternoon English/social studies with the morning teacher who was basically a mathematician and had a very practical, definitive approach to life, as does my daughter. (Personally, as a student I would have done much better learning from the afternoon teacher.)


This a million times.

The teacher makes a HUGE difference.

If you are worried about not having time to help both of them, I would go with option 3.

However, you are probably just hearing about the worst of it (bullying etc). My mom heard terrible things about the public schools here and had my brother do kindergarten and 1st grade in a suburbs public school but then had to switch to the cities and she saw no difference. Though, she did have us go to a magnet school for High School because the one we would have go to is terrible (And I know, I tutored there last year and was appalled).
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 3)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 05:22 AM
I laugh every time I hear about someone who knows a socially awkward homeschooler and uses it as a cautionary tale. Because every knows there are NO socially awkward kids in public school. {rolls eyes}
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By millysmommy Comments: 847, member since Tue Jun 09, 2009
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 05:54 AM
Oh d4j I totally get that. I have no worries about my daughter socially. She thrives with other people. Between dance classes, acting classes, girl scouts and other social events she has many many friends and she's very much a leader personality. Ten minutes in a park anywhere she'll have 10 kids following her around hanging off her every word. (I fear somedays cult leader may be a good choice of career for her). And her very social attitude is a big reason I am considering public school for her.

I have worked in the system teaching dance during gym periods and have seen what goes on at the school, so I know it's not just rumors, and I know they're test scores are some of the lowest in the whole state in almost all courses. But I know also that can be avoided by making sure I take an active roll in what's she's still doing. And I'm not so scared of the violence threats as I know that's sadly a fact of life in many places of the country know, but by the fact the school had no intention of Sharing the information with the parents until it got out on it's own. What else could they possibly be hiding?

Those of you who send your kids off to school and then own a dance studio or teach every night, how do you handle that? I would go to work before she got off school, and normally don't get home until around 10. I don't have the financial ability to change my hours, so I would barely see her. How do those of you who have similar situations cope with that. Because the thought of it really upsets me.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By KeepOnSinginPremium member Comments: 12372, member since Sun Dec 19, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 01:01 PM
Regarding the whole socially awkward kid thing: Homeschooling itself does not make one socially awkward. I know a lot of people who were homeschooled, and the majority of them act exactly how you would expect someone would act. I didn't even know half of them were homeschooled until they told me! The two big exceptions I can think of are my cousins, and I can tell you that they're super weird because their parents are super weird, and they were never socialized with anyone but them.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By J1ll Comments: 2344, member since Wed Oct 14, 2009
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 01:17 PM
Ugh. The whole social skills argument against homeschooling irritates me to no end. Yes parents have to take responsibility for integrating their child into other activities and be accountable for introducing them to other children with whom they can socialize.

You should read the following article :
childrensmd.org . . .

She makes very valid points on the caliber of children that your children will socialize with. Are there mean kids being homeschooled? Sure. But are you present while your child plays with a bully so you can address with your child appropriate ways to handle situations like that? Much better than trying to rely on a recess aide who is watching 100 kids at once to handle the problem or working it out 6 hours after the fact.
And homeschooled children still have access to all of the school extra curriculars as well as activities sponsored by homeschool groups and even those offered during the day that he/she would miss out on if they were in a traditional public school.

Sorry to branch off topic. Can you homeschool them both but arrange for your daughter to get language services through the school district? Any services that she would receive being enrolled in public school are still available to her if you homeschool. Quite honestly we have found that 1 teacher for 24 kindergarten students spreads very thin and if she's already struggling with the reading component a public classroom is not going to help unless you are ready to advocate for additional services. (Which I can tell you from experience is a full time job)

Good luck with whatever decision you decide is right for your family.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 01:45 PM
I'm not a big fan of homeschooling... But here there are so few kids homeschooled. Literally in my whole life I know 3 kids that were homeschooled here.

I do however think that regardless of whether a kid goes to school or not that there is some onus on the parent to take an active role in their child's education.

I had a patient who homeschooled her kids just because she missed them too much when they went to school. How healthy that is I don't know.

I think I would have your daughter go to school but also keep on top of things as much as possible and supplement if you need to. See how she feels about school.

Your son I homeschool to try to get a head start. Maybe he will be fine in school.

I know not all kids that are homeschooled are socially awkward... But I also know that there are certain experiences in life that can't be replaced. You can't protect your child from everything and sometimes that does more harm than good.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By SoClassy Comments: 316, member since Mon Dec 03, 2012
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 03:31 PM
Homeschooling, public school, private school, unschooling, military school, it's all the same: what you put in is what you'll take out.

I was a little surprised to hear that a kindergarten program was very demanding. Many people have homeschool ten kids at once. If you are going to keep homeschooling, it may very well be worth your time to look into other programs. You also don't have to use the same curriculum for every aspect. The thing with homeschooling is you can tweak it to fit with your child. Everyone learns in different ways, take advantage of that if you do homeschool.

Some people have mentioned how you can't protect your child forever. That's true, but homeschooling them isn't going to protect them from the world unless you keep them totally cut off. Trust me, the world has a way of making its presence known, homeschooled or not. Homeschooling is one of those things where it works great for some families and horrible for others. I would say look around at other curriculums. At that age, it's not that hard to do it without Internet classes.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 1)
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3643, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 09:42 AM
Edited by Nyssasistic (74238) on 2013-04-08 09:52:42
^^I hear that all the time, and to a degree I agree. I think that we CAN'T protect our children forever, but when they're young (elementary school age) I don't think "sheltering" them is going to be detrimental to their mental and social health.

My own homeschooling experience was horrible. I WAS sheltered and awkward and it felt like I got thrown to the wolves when I went to high school. However, I'm starting to realize that homeschooling doesn't have to be that way; and that homeschooling when done right can be very beneficial to children.

Milly's Mommy, I'm in the process of weighing my options between homeschooling and sending my kiddos to a school as well. I don't have any answers for you other than do what you believe will be best for your children and you. You won't be doing them any favors by stressing yourself to the breaking point. If you think you can handle it, then go for it.

Good luck one way or another, and feel free to PM me any time if you want to chat!
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 03:48 PM
Homeschooling for some reason always makes me think of the Duggars... cringe... I know it isn't all that way, but that family is seriously a cult. I so would love to see Jinger rebel and wear pants... or cut her hair someting. I picked Jinger because thats the stupidest name out of the bunch.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 1)
By SoClassy Comments: 316, member since Mon Dec 03, 2012
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 04:14 PM
Well thank God reality tv isn't the reality in most cases, or a bunch of you dance moms would be screwed.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 04:28 PM
No I know it's far from the truth.

I just think that if you have having a hard time managing time etc trying to do a kindergarden curriculum... how is it going to be first grade, second grade... etc... I know that the child will become more independant with maturity, but I don't know how managable things will be for you.

Maybe see if you can find a local homeschool group where sometimes moms trade off?

I plan on having my daughter reading and writing before she starts school because I want to make sure she gets an early start. We are sending her to a public school which the big issue is that there are so many students here that don't speak english when they enter the school system. This issue would be eliminated by sending her to a catholic school... but that poses other issues. Here we have access to both, and both are "free" in the sense that they are not private schools. It's hard to find a good private school here that isn't religious based. So that eliminates that option.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By KeepOnSinginPremium member Comments: 12372, member since Sun Dec 19, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 05:15 PM
I'm not that surprised that kindergarten was demanding. I have twin sisters who are in first grade this year, but even last year when they were in kindergarten, they brought books home every night that they were expected to read and had math homework and stuff like that. The expectations now in elementary school are much higher then even when I was in school in the late 90s/early 2000s (started kindergarten in 1996).
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By highlandrebelmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1138, member since Fri Jul 06, 2007
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 06:43 PM
I was home-schooled after my father (superintendent of a very large public school system, who also has a doctorate in education), get fed up with the massive holes in public education.
You may think you understand how bad it is, but it is worse. Way worse.

With a burning passion I *hate* the idea that homeschooled children are sheltered and awkward. Plenty of individuals who graduate from the public school system are incredibly awkward but no one tries to blame the PSS.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 2)
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 06:52 PM
Not all public schools are terrible. I really dislike it when the consensus is that all public schools are bad, bullying is rampamt, etc. Some public schools are wonderful and have excellent staff, facilities and programs!

OP, do your research. Check out all your options - public school, private school, home school. Be an advocate for your childrens education. Make the best decision you can with the options you have to choose from. Then do the best job you can with your choice. An active, involved parent is one of the best tools a child can have in their education.

If you give it a year and decide that your choice isn't working out, you can always change your mind.

kk~
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By millysmommy Comments: 847, member since Tue Jun 09, 2009
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 06:54 PM
Its not so much as it was demanding academically, as just time consuming with repeated work. And as it was an accredited program the work has to be turned into the teacher to get graded. And my daughter kind of shut down everytime we had to repeat a reading exercise we'd already done. Even if she didn't yet understand it, she hates reading the same thing twice or being asked the same question again, even if its in a different way. So maybe looking at a different curriculum might be the answer. (though she loved the math and science portions of the curriculum) If I do homeschool though i want to do so with an accredited program, so theres no issues with getting into any colleges or anything. Though I realize as homeschooling here becomes more and more mainstream - that worry kind of diminishes.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By SoClassy Comments: 316, member since Mon Dec 03, 2012
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 07:05 PM
If she loved the math and science, by all means use the program you are using for math and science.

Your daughter will be in first grade. Colleges will not look at it. All the same, keep papers and such just in case, though that chance that you will ever need them to prove it is very slim and it's more of legal proof than having anything to do with college. Once you get into high school, things get a bit trickier, but that's a long way off.

If you're in the US, does your state have some sort of homeschool coalition? In Texas, we have Texas HOPE (home operated parent educators, maybe?) which helps with the legal aspect, as well as being a major support group.

When I was in elementary, my mom had me take the CAT (California Achievement Test) every year, just to make sure I was learning what I needed to learn for my grade. I don't think they have it as young as first grade, but it's a great way to guage what you are doing right and what you need to work on.

As a final note, though: don't worry about college at her age. As long sa she is learning enough to progress through the grades, it does not matter for a long time.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions (karma: 1)
By saaammiemember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 440, member since Thu Apr 01, 2010
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 07:12 PM
I have to agree with kandykane, check out ALL options with an unbiased mind.

Personally, where I live you can't homeschool, it's against the law, so I'm not used to it at all.

However, I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing, BUT it depends on the kid, the parents and the amount of time and effort put in.

Remember, teachers after all go to school for years being taught how to educate, I believe that even with a curriculum and whatnot, it's difficult for a parent to keep up, especially if you're working at the same time.

But naturally, not all teachers are good. And some parents will be great teachers and others won't.
In the end, for me homeschooling would come down to if I believed I was TRULY able to give my kid a better education, with all that it entails. My (personal, biased) view is that a lot of parents that homeschool overestimate their own ablities and underestimate how much kids learn in school that isn't academics.

However, having a kid in a school is a lot of work too, it's not just about putting him/her there and leaving everything to the school, unfortuntately, especially if you have a son with "issues" (not that I know what they are.)


My brother has very severe dyslexia and while he got a lot of help from the school from junior high upwards, his 4th grade teacher told our parents he probably wouldn't graduate ninth grade.
My parents worked EVERY night with him, for hours, with homework and exercises. They read to him, raided the library for 100s of audiobooks so that he would get language skills even though he couldn't read, tried every supplement and alternative therapy available... I don't know how many hours they fought with different schools and teachers to get him the help he needed.

He's now finishing his Master's degree in business at a very good university.

But if they had just relied on the school... Well, he probably wouldn't have gotten into high school.

Good luck with your choice, I'm sure you'll do what's best for your kids.
re: To homeschool or not? In look of opinions
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6414, member since Sat May 15, 2004
On Mon Apr 08, 2013 08:07 PM
I don't care to offer an opinion on whether or not to homeschool your child...it's so regional and school district specific....

But I really feel for the difficulty of your situation with being a mom and a dance teacher. When i was growing up taking dance classes, it didn't really occur to me that my dance teacher hardly got to see her own kids. Her (cute!) sons used to stop by the studio at night occasionally when they were in high school and she would always stop class, bring them in and have us show them their dance. I thought that was kind of weird then, but now I realize that it was basically the only time she got to spend with them that day. I'm going into medicine and everyone is like, "Gosh! You will never get to spend time with your children!!" But I truly think I will get to spend more time with them now then if I had decided to follow my first career plans of being a dance teacher.
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