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How could I POSSIBLY be considering homeschooling

happysmileylady

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I am a big advocate of public schools, and schools in general. I think the school setting teaches a lot about life. I think there are things about having other authority figures in a kids life, having negative influences around, yes, negative, and the group setting that are important to a kids development.

 

On a more personal level, i specifically chose this house and area because of the district. I didnt have many options and this was the best one, and i did research quite a bit.

 

The problem is, they are confusing the heck out of my kid.

 

I have posted about Raeanna and school before. You all know about the homework situation. I messed up on the dates of conferences, they arent until next week. But, I have reached my own compromise for now. First, CVC words are just not being done. All the spelling words are still cvc words. Second, speech homework i am only doing twice a week. Finally, reading homework that comes home once a week is only done quickly-pages are skimmed, and if i feel like it, i read it to her instead of making her do it. And discussion will be had with ALL teachers next week when confrences actually are.

 

But, the curriculum just bugs me. I HATE Saxon Math. I didn't like it 15 yrs ago when i had to teach with it, and i still don't like it. I do get it. I get why the school uses it (beyond its convenience) and i can see how it would work for some kids. I dont think its working for mine at all.

 

And the reading curriculum is, i think, hindering her reading process. First, thinking back to when i was in school, it was phonics 100%. There was no such thing as sight words and "guess based on context/pictures." In fact, that was firmly discouraged. But thinking back to when Caiti was learning to read, that was all the rage, and it confused the heck out of her too. And its doing the same to Raeanna.

 

And none of that touches the lack of science and social studies I am seeing (which bothered me about all schools 15 yrs ago.)

 

Someone posted a comment on one of my other posts on this about thinking i (or maybe it was a general you) could not home school when I already seemed to be. And to be honest it did get me thinking.

 

I asked DH his thoughts and he said he thinks i am better qualified than any district in the area, but that doesn't know if i have the time or energy. A legit concern to me i wanted to do some homeschooling type things with the kids over the summer and struggled to fit it all in. I dont know if i have enough self discipline.

 

I dunno. The biggest thing for me is that i know what would help my kid and i know how to do it. What i don't know is if homeschooling would have unintended consequences.



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I work in a public middle school and we have a lot of kids that are homeschooled through the 7th grade and then enroll with us in the 8th.  That way they can get to know the kids and then move on to high school.  Many kids want the high school experience and to prepare for college, but need to ease into it a bit and start public school in the 8th grade.  They have all done well with us.  I think homeschooling can have its place and some kid excel with it.

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We homeschooled last year for 2nd grade and it was tough! More power to those that can homeschool and do it well. Now I was working full time and trying this so that made it extremely difficult. He is back in a new school this year and doing well, thankfully at grade level or above for all subjects, and the environment he is in is much better compared to private school he previously was at. Now if I didn't have a full time job and we could be out in the community more during the day with other homeschoolers I might still be doing it. Guess I'm not much help:)

Hopefully the meeting goes well and everyone can get on the same page has how to help your daughter!

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Good luck with your decision. When I hear stories from my friends with school age kids, I would strongly consider it, if my kids were at that age now.

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I also am a proponent of public schools.  I don't think we could do without them, even as poorly as I think they are doing.  

 

Here's the thing.  Even if you decide to homeschool, you are not deciding to homeschool for the rest of your or their life.  Even I, who have homeschooled for...... about 20 years give or take, will not commit to homeschooling every child through high school.  With three graduated and out of the house, one dual enrolled, and the other two sophomores in high school, the likelihood is now greater than not, but still it's possible that they would need to return at some point, for some reason.  So take a deep breath!  Take it year by year, or even semester by semester.

 
The most wonderful thing about homeschooling is that if something is NOT working, you don't have to do it for the whole year (including homeschooling) and wait for someone to vote on it, and choose a different curriculum.  You can choose, and if it doesn't work, then trade it for something else, and again if necessary, until you find one that DOES work.  If you want to do more social studies or science, or art, or music, or budgeting, you can.  If you don't want to do "sight" words then you don't have to.  You can address issues as they appear.  
 
Unintended consequences....  Like getting photos of WWII printed and mentioning the style of the 50's and have your 13yo correct you about the war being over by the 50's?  Or listening to the "oldies station" on the radio and hearing your teenagers singing in the back of the car.... and they know ALL the words?  
 
Sorry, she just cracked me up this afternoon.  *L*
 
Of course there will be unintended consequences.... whether you choose to homeschool or remain in public school.  This is the way of life.
 
I will tell you that when I brought my then 4yo home from public school, we took a break from ALL schooling for about a month.  He had to "unlearn" all the bad habits from school, before he could learn how he needed to learn.  I was lucky enough to have someone tell me that, so I pass that onto you.  =0)  Do with it what you will.
 
What are your specific concerns?  Just like getting and staying out of debt, taking your kids out of public school, pushes societal "norms".... although it's getting much, MUCH better.  There are now homeschooling groups that you can join to get support and vent your frustrations that no one else understands.  Perhaps you could consider joining one of those groups before making a decision, or at least going and meeting the folks.  Finding out what is available to you.
 
I think that in the early years you have to be flexible.  When your 5yo "vacuums" the living room, it has to be "good enough".  If you are one of the "perfect house" folks you may go crazy.  You will have to prioritize, just like with the early BSs.  
 
It does take time, but it is also very rewarding.  Somedays we STILL don't get everything done, but it doesn't matter.  We'll get it tomorrow, or the next day.  *L*  (BUT I do not work outside of the home.  And I don't work for pay inside of it.  Either of those would require more than I think could be easily handled.... at least in the beginning.  Mostly because it would require fitting "work" into my schedule.  =0) )
 
Regarding this summer.... was it really a priority?  Or was it a "nice to do?"  If it wasn't really a priority, then it was the first thing that could be dropped.  Optional.  Which would be different than doing it for real.  It's priority would move up the scale, and some things would move down.  So I'm not sure that it's a good indicator of future issues.  =0)
 
Good luck with your decision!
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I could have written your post.  I hate the lack of science, social studies, and writing that I see.  I hate that my fourth grader is getting 100s on math tests but 41 and 57 on assignments because he doesn't have enough time to complete them and she won't give him more time.  I hate that if they buy lunch, they only have 10 minutes to eat.  I hate my second grader isn't allowed to be challenged at school because she's past the acceleration the teachers are allowed to do, by district policy.  I hate that they require pretty much all work and all projects to be done at school so we have no idea what they're doing.  I really hate that almost every teacher who I considered great has left.  We are in what is considered one of the best districts in the state and I am seriously tempted to pull them out.

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When teachers are leaving in an exodus, we have a crisis in our schools.  A best district in a failing national system - is it best for children?  Or just a comparison between the other offerings?

I'm not going to lie, homeschooling is hard work.  Mostly because of three things the first year:
1. Getting rid of the 'school' mentality.  Many homeschools operate in more of a collaborative lesson system with their kids, where it's not lecture/do, but discussion/activity.  The idea of needing to be at a desk, with a blackboard, with set times, is thrown out.
2. The internal pressure.  You worry that you're not doing it right, not doing enough, not qualified, don't have the time.  It is stressful.
3. The external pressure.  New=scrutiny.  Those who love you may worry that you're not doing it right, not doing enough, aren't qualified, don't have the time.  And they will so kindly tell you so.

Go, talk to people in your area.  Join a homeschool group and hit up a mom's night so you can get real life answers and support.  You may decide it's not the best option for you, or you may decide it is.  But either way, it's only for a year.  You have to re-decide next year. ;)


And man, there is so much better out there than Saxon!  It's a git-er-dun curriculum that will definitely make sure children learn, but the ability to tailor subjects to a kid....that's the draw for me right there.

 

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We have been homeschooling for a year and a half (I think). When we pulled our girls out of public school our oldest daughter (autistic) was in special needs classes and couldn't be mainstreamed. Our second daughter was in remedial classes and failing badly. It took some time to find curriculum that worked for them but they are now both a year AHEAD of their peers. It is amazing what a one on one education with a tailored curriculum can do for a child. If someone mentions going back to public school they both get that deer in headlights look and turn to me in a panic begging not to be sent back. How sad is that?

 

Our twins have now joined the school process. They flew through their preschool and kindergarten curriculum and are now in 1st grade....they would be just starting kindergarten this fall if they were in public school.

 

We get a lot of "What about socialization" questions and I swear it makes me want to scream. Our kids participate in scouts, 4H, swim class, swim team, Co-op, ballet, art classes, gym classes, homeschool field trips with their peers, book clubs, and just old fashioned "hanging out". We are actually over socialized and I have to be careful that we have the time here at home to do our school work.

 

I honestly expected it to be harder to homeschool 4 kiddos. Once we found what worked however it has been pretty easy. I had to let go of the "school" mentality and stop expecting every day to run like clockwork. I print out their student sheets for each week. Each sheet has their required work outlined. As they complete their work they check it off. Once the sheets are finished they get filed as proof of attendance and work completed. As long as those sheets are completed at the end of the week it doesn't really matter to me the order in which they went about it.

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One more thing, there are hybrids of home & school settings that a lot of parents use.  University models (where a child attends 2 days a week, does 3 days at home), Classical Conversations (one day a week, 4 days at home, everyone uses the same material), umbrella or parent schools (different numbers of hours/days, flexible schedule, you pick classes for your child to attend), and traditional co-ops (one day a week, usually a requirement for the parent to help out in some capacity, can be electives, academic, or a mixture of both)

We did not find the classroom setting to be a benefit until jr. high, when the need to collaborate and build individual skills was great.  Before that, even in traditional schools, there is not a whole lot of true collaboration going on.  The students are guided through every activity. Small exposure to this sort of thing through sports, scouts, art lessons, weekly playgroups, are usually enough to build the foundation for working together as peers later.

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The sight words your DD has to learn is to help her flow of reading and comprehension. Some words you just have to know how to read--Dolch word list-- to help the flow of reading. Also you cannot sound out every word because the child gets so bogged down with sounding words out they aren't understanding what they are reading. The "picture clue" is a very beginning reading strategy. I use it with my preschool students when they "read".

 

I bet your DD's teacher is getting pressure from administration/district to show the students "progress" and achieving "goals" so she is pushing the students like crazy. Many teachers jobs depend on students showing "progress" and "achievments". It is crazy because it is making little ones and their parents hate school.

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Homeschooling isn't for me, but it can be done well. 

 

My only advice as an educator is to know your limits.  I've taught high school math for 11 years.  I would never attempt to teach high school social studies.  I don't know enough to teach it.  Same with many other subject areas.  But there are a ton of resources out there.  The job I'm starting on Monday is an online teaching job.  A TON of homeschooling students use it.  Their parents have done a great job with them homeschooling but they get to high school math and just need some help sometimes.  I think that's wise; to know when you need a bit more help.  A typical high school student receives instruction from 7 educated professionals who have all specialized in their ONE particular subject.  It's hard to get all of that from 1 person, no matter how educated or awesome that 1 person is.  

 

My only other advice is just to say that this may just be a difficult phase.  Our twins had a really rough time in kindergarten and part of 1st grade and they are doing amazing now in 4th grade.  I'm not discouraging you from homeschooling; I don't have a dog in that fight.  I would just want you to consider all possible avenues first.  It could just be that in another year she will be doing just fine.  It happens a lot.

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