F.G. asks from Aromas, CA on January 24, 2008
Ok, I swore I was never the kind of mom who could home school but here I am considering it...
I would like to get some pros and cons from any of you out there that have done it. What did you enjoy, dislike, would you do it again, why did you stop?
I will be starting with a 2nd grader and kindergartener.
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Well, after much reading from all of your responses, thank you very much, I have decided to give it a go. My husband and I are very excited as are our kids. In fact after having my preschooler home for a month, my first grader insisted he wanted to start immediately and not finish out the year at his regular school. We detailed everything he would be giving up in exchange for coming home and he was on board. I'll keep you all posted. A special thank you to the moms that gave me their personal contact info...you may hear from me in the future. Thanks, F.
C.A. answers from Sacramento on January 25, 2008
I spout the wonders of homeschooling and the only reason I don't is because I'm single and must work to support us all. If you want an email to talk to my sister and her homeschooling group, I'd gladly share it with you. Her kids are ranging from 16 down to twin 4 yr olds. She has 6 of them and homeschools them all and has all their lives!
J.W. answers from Yuba City on January 25, 2008
Oh my goodness. Homeschooling is so wonderful. I homeschooled my kids for 5 years. I pulled them out of public school when they were in 2nd and 4th. We ahd a blast. Everything is a learning experience and they learn so much better when they have fun.
The only con I had was that I didn't have "Me" time during the day while they were at school, but that wasn't so bad. Okay, one other, you have to buy your supplies but I found most of mine online for free.
Pros: You know your kids and their abilities. You can push them and see immediately what needs to be focused on. You pick what they learn; for example, if your child is really into frogs, you can spend a week on frogs - anatomy, general, habitat, etc. Think of all the science and reading they will be absorbing. You can spend extra time on subjects they need more help in and do it in a way that makes them less stressed and more open to learn instead of insisting they do it the same way all the other kids do. There is so much more. Also, on a practical level, there will be no tardies or absences to explain away to the school. You can plan and go on vacation anytime you want and still be "in school." (We went to DC to visit family and turned it into a week long social studies trip.)
There are some great books on homeschooling and excellent support sites on the web. I didn't think I could do it either until I bit the bullet and realized that my kids' education was more important and when my daughter came down with walking pneumonia from stress, I knew it was time. It was hard at first because I didn't know what I was doing but it got easy quick. You just have to have confidence in yourself and keep in mind you are doing it for them.
Oh, and I had to deal with teachers, family, etc., telling me I wasn't qualified to teach my child. Sorry, after seeing what the public school was doing to them, I was more than qualified. When they wanted to learn something that I didn't know, I found someone that did and "hired" them to teach my child. Like learning German. Just know your limitations and understand that it is okay that sometimes someone else knows more than you do and tap into it. :)
Also, I got the whole "they aren't getting socialization." Bah, I was never busier than when my kids were homeschooled and I was at home. We had Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, community gatherings and such. My kids were so social, I wish I had cut it down, but they really did thrive. Look around in your area. We had a group of homeschoolers that met once or twice a month for "playdates" and we would organize ourselves into a group and get school or group discounts to go to the zoo or museums - we'd arrange our own field trips.
Feel free to ask lots of questions and do some internet searches. Like I said, I found 90% of my eduational materials and teacher's supplies online for free.
While my daughter chose to go to high school, she was post-high school on all her entrance exams and has been able to have a fun-filled and exciting time in HS. She is a senior now and president of FHS-HERO, drama, choir and has been accepted to FIDM. Life is good.
1 mom found this helpful
L.C. answers from Sacramento on January 24, 2008
Hi F.. I'm the homeschooling mom of six kids ages ranging from 17 months to 14 y.o. We've been homeschooling for 7 years now and I would never consider putting my kids into the public school system again. The things I enjoy about homeschooling is everything - the kids learning at their own pace, not having all the peer pressures over petty things that really don't matter in real life, them receiving real life experiences with a variety of people and places, more relaxed life style, the child's ability to focus on what appeals to them academically, and I could keep going on and on. What I dislike - not as much time to myself, very few breaks. I will continue homeschooling until the baby is done with highschool and have no plans on any of the younger kids ever stepping foot into a public school. For more info on homeschooling, go to www.californiahomeschool.net.
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from San Francisco on January 25, 2008
I don't officially home school yet as my son is too young or school but wanted to offer a resource I access regularly - the blog "Life without School" http://lifewithoutschool.typepad.com I find the insights there thought provoking and comforting, not just on the alternatives to traditional school but on the basic individuality of kids and development.
I also stumbled across via MamSource the Cedarwood Sudbury School in Santa Clara, CA which sounds like all of the freedom of homeschooling/unschooling while still having your kids in the care of other adults during school time each day (for those who have to work outside the home)
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D.B. answers from San Francisco on January 25, 2008
I am a single mom with two boys ages 7 (2nd grade) and 11 (5th grade). I have been homeschooling since my oldest was 4. There is nothing better in the world. Unfortunately, three years ago I went through a divorce and had to put my kids in public school. They were there for 3 months and I pulled them out due to some real bad attitudes against homeschoolers at that particular school. My oldest son was humiliated constantly by his teacher in front of the other students. She tried to convince him that he was slow. Wouldn't even allow him to write in cursive because the other students didn't know how. When he was accepted into the GATE program, she said there had to be a mistake. My kids are not super-brains, but they definitely are at grade level in some subjects and ahead in others. So I pulled them out and started homeschooling again. I am lucky enough to have a boss that allows me to work from home so I can do that.
For the parent, it is the most rewarding thing to see your child learn and grow, knowing you are the one that taught him. You can move at your child's pace. If they are not grasping a concept, you can continue to study it until they have it. If they are getting it, they can move on and not have to wait for the rest of the class. The one-on-one time is so valuable in their learning process. There is tons of curriculum out there for you to choose from. If my kids were not doing well with one publisher, I scrapped it and went to something else. The class room can be more relaxed or very strict depending on how you like it. You are free to do errands with your kids in tow and come back to schooling later if you need to. The schedule is up to you. There are so many pro's I can't name them all. There are also many helps out there with sports programs, support groups, and so on.
The comment I get the most is that they can't get enough socialization if they are at home all the time. Big misunderstanding!!! Homeschoolers can get more socialization than a lot of kids. There are so many groups to join with and activities available. Plus they have the added benefit of learning to love spending time with their family. Because of the break down of the family and the forced teachings in public schools that go against my moral and ethical convictions, homeschooling was a must for me. I, like you, never thought I was cut out to do it.
The only real problem I've had with homeschooling is that my kids know how to take advantage of time. They can make an assignment last hours and not complete something if they know there is an activity to be done later that day. You have to be able to give consequences if work is not completed in a timely manner. I've had to allow my kids to get an "F" or "incomplete" if they failed to finish an assignment because they were playing around. But they eventually learn that it is no fun to get an "F". It is also easy for the parent to get lazy, so making a daily plan and sticking to it is helpful.
The other negative aspect of homeschooling is that there are a lot of people out there who don't think it is good for your kids. So you take the chance of being reported and being intruded upon by Social Services. You need to know that homeschooling is completely legal. You should join HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) to protect your right to homeschool. There is also an organization called CHEA (California Home Educators Association) that will give you all the legal info on running your own school, as well as helps to get started. SELAH is an organization of homeschool families that offer support groups in your area. Your support groups can help you find activities and sports programs to get involved in. Also, go on the internet to find printables. Curriculum can get expensive, but at your kids ages, printables are very useful.
I hope this helps you a little. If you have any specific questions you would like to ask me, please feel free to email me back.
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M.D. answers from San Francisco on January 25, 2008
I have been homeschooling for 11 years now. My oldest daughter graduated last year as a home schooled student. My oldest son decided to go to school his sophmore year so that he would be able to play sports at the high school level. I also have two still at home, in 3rd and 4th grade.
My kids LOVE being homeschooled. I tried to get my daughter to go to school her senior year, but she felt it would be a waste of time. She graduated a year early and had completed 18 untits of jr. college by graduation. My son had a hard time adjusting to the many personalities of school and to the fact that kids didn't want to be there, (so they made it difficult for everyone else around them). He has since settled in nicely and is enjoying public school life. My little kids feel that organized school would be the worst thing EVER. (Because, believe me, we've talked about it.)
Now that you've heard what my kids think, let me tell you how I feel about it.
I began homeschooling without a long range plan. I wasn't sure if I would continue until my kids graduated or not. It just kind of happened that here we are 11 years later, still home schooling. I started homeschooling because I knew that by bringing my kids home, I would be able to give them a better education and one on one attention. The school in our area was not very good. It was also quite important to me to be the person who shaped my children's moral character. Children that leave the home for school spend 8 or more hours with their peers and another adult. They will only spend a small portion of their day with their family. This dramatically influences their attitudes about many things around them. It also dramatically changes their relationship with their siblings. My children are very close. Especially the younger ones who have never been to school. They are each others best friend and tell each other often. They do have many neighborhood friends that they play with EVERY day, and we belong to a co-op school which they attend two days a week. But the majority of the time they are together. They do not pick up bad language from school, or disrespectful attitudes. They can talk to anyone, regardless of age. All of my children can make small talk with adults, while looking them in the eye. While most kids their age do not bother with adult conversation, because they really haven't learned that skill yet. They are also very secure in their place in our family and in the world around them.
My older kids are self starters and know how to study and learn. This isn't taught in school. Most students don't get it until they are in college, and therefore spend a lot of time in remedial classes. (My oldest is 17 and a sophmore in college living away from home at school.)
With all that said, homeschooling has it's down side. The down side is that you as the mom will have to take this responsibility upon yourself to be your childrens teacher. YOU are responsible. And with that responsibility there are few vacations. You get to take vacation, (a homeschoolers paradise of NO SCHOOL.) But there is little rest and relaxation during the school year. Your children are young enough that you can school year round and take a one month break every quarter. (Highly recommended) You can also take family vacations any time you want, keep up with a little spelling and math while you're gone and they count as school days. (The rule for homeschooling by the way is one hour of organized instruction for each year they are in school. Your second grader would need 2 hours of ORGANIZED instruction, the rest being read to and exploring with books and crafts.) Our family has traveled all over the United States seeing the Oregon Trail, and Civil War battlefields, national parks and colonial monuments, all as school trips learning about history and science as no one else can. But as the teacher I always had to be the reminder to "get your math done", "practice your spelling words". It is truly a J-O-B.
I admit that I am tiring of homeschooling. There are more and more days now when I want to quit. Eleven years is a long time, and I'm ready for some time for myself. But looking back, I wouldn't change any of it, and the gift I have received in the pleasure of my childrens company every day throughout their childhood is priceless. The gift my children have received in one on one mom and dad time, sibling time, and individualized instruction just for their needs, is also priceless. When I look into those little faces, I am encouraged to hang in there a few more years. I would encourage you to try it. There are MANY support groups out there. Other moms and families to come alongside you and support you. Your children will thank you for it later and you will receive a truly wonderful blessing.
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G.W. answers from San Francisco on January 25, 2008
will work if you really want it to....and I hope so.....g.w.
B.W. answers from Sacramento on January 24, 2008
I'm not sure where you are, but I too have thought about it. I have 3 kids currently in the public school system, and while I don't have any major issues, it's concerning me. I don't consider myself the 'homeschooling' mom, but there are a LOT of myths that a good friend of mine cleared the air for me. I am checking out the charter schools and some offer the homeschooling, where some of the moms actually do classes with the other kids. They have field trips and all sorts of activities, but you have your days to back. If that makes sense. Bottom line is that you do what is right for your family. I don't recommend extremes where they stay in the house all day. It's difficult to be their teacher and mommy at the same time. Check out what's available in your community, I'm sure there are options that can suit what you want/need. Good luck!
D.J. answers from Sacramento on January 25, 2008
I feel children need the social part of school, by home schooling your children will miss out on making friends and just being involved in the social enviroment on a daily basics. Do you remember as a child what you liked most when you went to school. Was it reccess, eating in the cafeteria or just sitting with your best friend. Why deprive your children of this? I work at a preschool with children form ages 3-5 and the most important thing to them is their friends. No matter what anyone says home schooling cannot compare to being in a regular school.