17 answers

Homeschooling - Buckeye,AZ

My son all of a sudden is begging for me to home school him. He is 8 1/2 and in 3rd grade. He woke up this morning (Monday) and begged to be home schooled. Sorry kiddo you're still going to school today! After school, all afternoon and at bedtime he kept talking and pleading to be home schooled. I tried to find out if there was anything going on at school, or what the trigger might be, but he doesn't say his reasons, just that he wants to be home schooled.

He actually was cute tonight, he wanted to talk to me about an important matter (of course it was post-bedtime) and was explaining to me all the different ways I could home school him, for example math, I could use the online program that their class uses and it has different sections, ie, guided practice, independent practice, review, problem solving. Writing he said was only every other Friday and Monday (I'm sure it's more than that as it's not his favorite!) Explained the school schedule & how they earned their bonus recess at the end of the week. He certainly has given it a lot of thought and got it all planned out!

My biggest hesitation, although I've always been a fan of homeschooling after seeing my two youngest sisters be homeschooled and my sister now homeschools her 4, is the fact that I am not organized!! I think I may have a touch of ADD as I get sidetracked SOOOOO easily and can't follow through and remember and stick to the task and finish things. My son is not that good at listening to me and doing what I ask, when I ask (I know most kids are I'm sure, but he is extremely frustrating and stubborn) although he was much better than usual today because I told him I couldn't home school him until he was able to do what I ask when I ask.

Anyway just wondered your thoughts about his sudden desire, and whether it is doable with my distraction and poor time management (both of us probably!) We have also been talking about moving him to another school next year, and once he heard that this school required uniforms, he was adamant that he didn't want to go! (Before finding that out, he was cool with the idea)

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It really seems like something is going on at school that he doesn't like. I would get to the bottom of it. If you homeschool him just because he asks you to...what is he going to ask for next??

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Of course it is doable. You can do this. Remember, school does not have to be institutionalized in structure or method. We had to deprogram ourselves from the public school mindset. Children actually aren't made to be institutionalized. :) A real-life home environment with one on one instruction is optimal for learning. And, you seem to be aware of your weaknesses. That is so good. It will help you to become more disciplined in these areas. And, homeschooling provides many opportunities for character training with our kids. People tell me that I am so patient. Well, 13 years of homeschooling has worked on my character, too! None of us are born patient and diligent. We learn these things by careful practice, forgiveness, starting again. Don't expect to remain unchanged if you homeschool. And, you will have good days and bad days, just like everyone else. Your relationships will be stronger. You will be the one with the major influence on his life instead of his peers. You will *really* get to know your son. I know it sounds crazy, but I had no idea what all I was missing out on before we homeschooled. I had no idea. Kind of like explaining childbirth to someone who has never had a child. You just can't do it justice with words. Oh, and the love and emotion that comes when you hold your baby for the first time (or 100th). You can't explain it, but it's there. I can say that, while I was so nervous to start homeschooling, I have never regreted a moment of it. And, I could never, ever go back. I wouldn't for anything. It makes me tear up to consider sending my kids away to school. I'd miss out on so much! And so would they. Let us know what you decide!!

2 moms found this helpful

We homeschool.
Here are my truths.

Homeschool kids take up to a year to understand and get used to mom as teacher and mom as mom.
THe first year you may only get math and reading/grammar done. There may be no science, history, music, art.
You don't have to be that organized.
It's time consuming. It becomes your life.

At 3rd grade, with cousins being homeschooled and seeing their freedoms and attention Auntie showers on them all day of course he wants to stay home with you. All kids want their mom when things arent' going as they want it to at school. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. My mom and dad were public school teachers, so I too asked them daily Why can't you be my teacher??
If you want to homeschool him then weigh your options, do some research. Is it the best thing for your family or are you caving into what he wants. Do you cave in other areas too? Discipline, food, toys ( I'm not trying to be mean, just asking a rhetorical question)

I would not include him in your search for other schools. Make a decision and go from there. So they wear uniforms, what is their education philosophy? He needs to know that just because he whines he isn't getting everything he wants. He also needs to know that YOU are in charge of where he gets his education. He can choose his college.

I homeschool two of mine. We didn't get anything done the first year. The test scores were miserable. But year number two my daughter did much better. THe next year my son started at home, same things with him. His test scores were so so. This year he is doing better.

I am unorganized, lazy, ADHD, extremely distractable, addicted to computer sites(mamasourse), and sometimes I just don't have the energy. BUt we are doing it and making it work. There are so many people who do it better than me.
I took my daughter out for her anxieties and my son because I figured I can do one why not two? Plus in the four years we lived in NC, hubby was deployed for 3 of them.

2 moms found this helpful

I homeschool and if my child asks about going to school, I ask her to clearly outline what appeals to her about school. We discuss the pros and cons of each. We try to get a real picture of both scenarios. You know your son best. Have a serious, ongoing conversation with him to determine what would be best for your family. See if he wants a trial period over spring break or summer. Ask him to commit to at least a year if he wants. Seek out your local resources.

You do not have to make any decisions this week and whatever decision you do make is not permanent.

As a side note, 3rd grade is often when children lose their love of learning in school, if it still remains. If prior to this they had great classroom experiences and lots of hands-on learning, often this is the year they move to worksheets and a strong focus on standardized tests.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I think it's fairly obvious that he's been talking to someone about this. His cousins, perhaps, or a neighborhood friend. I don't think it means there's something "deeper" going on at all. I mean, if I had even CONCEIVED of the idea of homeschooling when I was a kid, I would have begged my mom to do it. Daily. What kid wouldn't want to stay home and work less? Because what it takes a teacher with 30 kids to do, YOU can do with your child in a fraction of the time.

I'm interested to see your responses on this, because I plan on homeschooling my 4 and 5 year old starting next year and am nervous about my disorganized, procrastinative (lazy) tendancies. Hopefully, we'll both rise to the occasion. ;-)

I am looking forward to family vacations whenever we want as well as all sorts of fun field trips with the kids.

1 mom found this helpful

My son and I are doing a "trial run" this year before he's technically school age. The beginning of the year was very structured and we both loved it. But as the holidays hit and then I became pregnant and morning sickness took over my life, things have gotten a bit more haphazard. I feel guilty about it, but when I feel well enough and we have time, we fit "schoolish activities" into our day. And I have been pleasantly surprised to find that he really looks forward to our schoolish moments and that he is learning despite the interruptions we've had. I wouldn't recommend the schedule we've found ourselves dealing with the past couple of months, and think some structure is good for all, but homeschooling is flexible. And it's a different mindset. I like the comment that called it "deprogramming." You don't have to do school for 8 hours a day. Teachable moments are huge. Going with your child's interests is wonderful! For us, it's a far more relaxed "embrace life" atmosphere filled with a love for learning, and not just out of textbooks. That said, my little man is on the brink of reading! He loves math. He often pulls out his binder (filled with worksheets and fun activities in plastic page protectors) and his dry erase markers and does the activities on his own without prompting! He loves "serendipitous" moments when what we're learning and what we're living intersect: "Mom! We're learning all about the letter D and Dinosaur starts with D!" :)

I'm not sure why your son wants to homeschool and I agree that a little investigation would probably be a good thing. But I, for one, think there are plenty of convincing arguments for homeschooling, especially if the child is interested and the parent is willing. If you do, remember, you can change your mind... though I'd also recommend giving yourselves at least a year commitment so you're not constantly saying to yourself, "Should I send him back to school?" And also, you're the parent. You make the decisions because you are the best informed to make them. You know your family better than anyone. What is best for you, your son, your family?

The other thing I wanted to note was that, just like becoming a parent, homeschooling will stretch, challenge and change you. For the good of your child, you will learn to identify and work on your shortcomings that will negatively affect them, do your best to model good behaviors, stumble, apologize, and keep trying again. It's okay that you're not perfect. And that's a fine message to share with your children. They're not perfect either and you don't expect them to be. Teach them how to live with imperfection, joyfully. :)

1 mom found this helpful

i love that he's done his research!
but homeschooling does not need to be super-organized (online programs are a good option but require a lot of commitment and often money. don't be discouraged if they DON'T work for you. they tend to be touted as the perfect hybrid, and they're not necessarily.) rather than writing on mondays and fridays, try unit studies where you pick one area of fascination and build a limited curriculum around it. for example, if your kid loves goats (or robots or antique sailing ships or astronomy) you can work math into it (how many gallons does one particular breed produce per day? week? how does that compare with other breeds? if you can get this much $, how will that offset the expenses?), history (the role of goats in various cultures, how different breeds came to be developed), social studies (how are goats important to developing countries and emerging economies, what has their impact been on the changing role of family farms in america), writing, field trips, art....the list goes on and on. you can work all of the core curriculum subjects into educationese while you wallow in goats for a month or two, then move onto the next thing.
i do suggest that if you try it, you give a decent chance for success. no one will figure out how to homeschool effectively in a month. if you can't commit to a year, it's probably best to wait until you can.
he may be stubborn and frustrating because he feels powerless and frustrated. giving him a say in what and how he studies may transform him. i've seen it happen so many times.
you don't have to do child-led education, but i hope you give it a shot. homeschooling that is structured to look like school-at-home tends to fail more often than more relaxed models.
no one is more disorganized or distractable than i. your homeschooling will end up designed to fit YOUR family, YOUR kid, and YOUR personality and parenting style. don't compare it to others.
i hope you proceed!
:) khairete

It really seems like something is going on at school that he doesn't like. I would get to the bottom of it. If you homeschool him just because he asks you to...what is he going to ask for next??

You need to tell him that you won't consider it unless he's honest about his reasons, and then address those reasons first.

But hey, I homeschool and I love it! I totally support wanting to homeschool...but it does require dedication. However, there's a cheater way to do it (which I'm currently using because of an infant in the house)...check out www.k12.com and see if they have participating schools in your state. It's an online school that provides curriculum, computer, everything...tuition free because it's publicly funded...and they organize everything for you, essentially. You just log on every day, see what books/worksheets/lessons need to be done, and do them. Requires very little planning on your part...just follow through! And with him being a little older, I think it would be easy for you. I personally love the k12 curriculum and would recommend it to anyone.

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