J.B. asks from Houston, TX on August 07, 2008
To Home School or Not to Home School
Hi fellow moms!
Well I am really working this issue of public school or home school over in my mind. My son is only 13 months but I am already pondering on what will be the best decision for us. My husband leans toward the home school side because his experience in school was a lot of boredom due to being really smart and a little ahead of what was being taught in class. Plus there really are some things taught in public school that I know don't match up with the values we want to instill in our kids.
On the other hand, my experience with school was totally different. I really loved going to school. I missed my teachers during the summer and looked forward to getting back to school.
We have no fear of sending our kids to public school, we just want them to get the best education possible and have a solid foundation in the Lord. I know all parents are home schoolers no matter which way it goes, because most of the teaching and follow up is the responsibility of the parents when the kiddos get home.
Anyway, I would like to hear some perspectives from moms who homeschool and those who don't and how you came to your decision. I think both ways are totally valid, just trying to gather some more info from moms on both sides of the fence. Thanks!
K.B. answers from Houston on August 07, 2008
I am a former public school teacher and now SAHM. My son will be going into 1st grade in the public schools this fall. He was diagnosed with Asperger's, a high-functioning form of autism when he was 4. When he was first diagnosed we discussed the possibility of homeschooling him to avoid the social issues that he is bound to encounter given his condition. We decided to start with public schools and do everything we can to make it successful for him, knowing that if things do not work out homeschooling is our fallback position for him. We made this decision for him because part of going to school is learning how to relate and participate with people of different backgrounds, abilities, beliefs, etc. With my son's issues it would certainly have been easier on him in the short run to keep him at home and shelter him from the social stresses that I'm sure he experiences at school. However if we had done that I'm not sure how he would have ever learned to work with and relate to other people when he is older. For us it's been the right choice so far. He has far exceeded our expectations and has gained some independence and self confidence that I know would not have happened if he had stayed at home with me.
I think the bottom line is to find the place that will give your child the best overall education and foundation for their future. My son's school not only does a great job with reading, writing, arithmetic, etc. but they focus on a character trait ever month to discuss good values like honesty, courage, etc. In a few years when it's time for you to choose, contact the principal at your elementary school and go meet him/her. Find out what the overall philosophy at the school is. Talk to parents in your neighborhood who have kids in the school and see what they think.
As I said at the beginning, there is still a good chance that as my son gets older I may need to homeschool him but I do believe at this point he is gaining a lot from the public schools that I would not be able to provide for him at home.
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K.C. answers from San Antonio on August 08, 2008
Hi J.. I am a homeschool mom. My oldest son went to public school for kinder and 1st grade. Loved his kindergarten teacher!! She was the best. His first grade teacher was horrible. She had many complaints made against her by several parents. I was one of them. Therefore, my husband and I prayed about and discussed this matter before making the decision to homeschool. I am so glad that we did. I found the Sycamore Academy (out of California) and began on the journey of teaching my sons at home. It is hard work. However, the reward of being able to say that I taught them is tremendous. I always recommend Sycamore Academy. We are actually an extension of a private school. I pay a monthly tuition and they handle all of the administrative duties. They are fully accredited and also provide on-line classes. I purchase everything from them. I feel that their prices are very reasonable. I am thankful that my home is set up so that we have an actual school room. The boys have their own school desks (gotten at a thrift store for $12) and a library. We painted one wall with chalk paint and that is where we do our work in class. I also purchased each of the boys a bulletin board to display their work.
As you can tell, I am all for homeschooling! If you are seriously considering, it is not too early to begin planning and purchasing items.
I will pray that the Lord Jesus direct your steps.
1 mom found this helpful
K.K. answers from Portland on August 08, 2008
So...I read what the other moms had to say and it's full of very good advice, especially in the "do what feels right for your family department"...I just want to add something I did not see listed in there.
Nationwide there are new Homeschool programs that offer your child the ability to attend classroom learning for 2 or three days a week (for half a day) and then the rest of the week is scheduled by you and your child to get the work done and work on other things. THese programs offer the socilaization "old school HS" did not offer as well as easy access to certain group electives (i.e drama, music, sports, etc) that would normally cost more in a private setting.
These programs usually only cost the price of books and in the case of certain electives uniforms and such. making it less expensive than private school, and a cost you would incur anyways in HS. But gives you a much higher support level for you AND your child as well as helping with the socialization and cost of certain electives. In this way, any subjects you feel unprepared to teach or help your child with at any grade level can be covered by the classroom time and someone much more confortable with the subject at that grade level.
Plus if you have siblings, you can lessen your cost as they grow because books can be reused as long as they program is still using the same edition when the sibling hits that grade level.
I hope this added information has helped. I know it gives a very different approach to the entire homeschooling process. But as it is an option out there, I felt that you deserved to know all of your HS options before making any decisions...
For now...enjoy your son and give him lots of love and attention.
Good Luck ;-)
1 mom found this helpful
T.M. answers from Houston on August 08, 2008
I HS my now 15yr when he was in 3rd grade. We were living in CA at the time. The program they had allowed us to chose the curriculum as long as we followed the basic state guidelines. They also assigned us a Teacher that would meet with us, in our home once a month. For me it was a difficult time, although I had full support from my husband, he worked long hours and I felt he didn't live up to his end of the relationship. He was suppose to teach the math and science and I was to do the rest. Although, my son really enjoyed it, he was learning above grade subjects.
When he took the state test, his scores were really low. Kinder - 2nd grade he was in public school, his scores were always 2 or 3 grade levels high. So, that helped me make my decision to send him back to public school. We have since moved to Houston and now he is at Debakey High School, one of the best in the nation. He is still doing really awesome in school.
So, I guess what I am trying to say is, I think you have to try it out to see if it will work for you. In the state of Texas students do not have to enroll in school until the 1st grade. You can try it out with Kindergarten and see if you have the patience, discipline and enjoy doing it. I have two other sons, one starting 1st grade and the other 4th grade. Before my youngest started school we worked like we were in a school setting. We went to the library, worked on phonics, and math, science projects and art. He went to Kinder fully prepared for school, me on the other hand is a different story :-). When it came time for those state test, he was scoring in 2nd and 3rd grade levels. Truth be told I really don't like those test, but they are mandatory I think.
Sorry this is really long, but I feel you should really make sure that this is something you want to do. It is lots of work and a BIG commitment. You will have the education of your child in your hands, and that is not a bad thing, but it is a lot of responsibility. You have a few years to think it over and there are LOTS of support groups in Texas. Texas is a very friendly homeschooling state.
Trust your instinct, that is why God gave mom's that power:-) only we know what is best for our little angels :-) Good Luck
1 mom found this helpful
K.N. answers from Austin on August 09, 2008
There is definitely a hidden financial cost that you might want to consider...
If you own your home, your property taxes support your local school district. So, essentially, you're already paying for a public school education. When we bought our house, I did a little math on the property tax estimate and calculated we're paying $29 a day to use the schools in our area. (Luckily they got high marks, so atleast we'll get a good return on that tax money!) If you decide not to use your local schools, you will still be paying for the opportunity of the public school education... you'll just also be paying additional for all the materials, programs and furniture for the home schooling alternative.
Then you have to consider that you will be working in the home for 6 hours a day but not getting paid for it. Instead of homeschooling, let's say your child goes to the public school and you supplement his education yourself; let's also say that you find a part-time job, like as a bank teller, for just 4 hours a day, 9am-1am... Let's say you are paid $12/hour... That calculates out to $8,500 a yr after withholding taxes.
I assume that your household doesn't need that $8500 to live on, since you were planning to home school (making no salary). So let's say you decide to direct deposit the money from your parttime job into a college fund. By the time your son is out of elementary school, his college fund would have around $60,000 (not including compound interest). If you were to continue this plan through middle school and high school, that's $110,000 (without interest). That's a decent college fund!
So, to recap, the hidden cost of home schooling through elementary grades are your property taxes x 7 yrs (K through 6th grade) and lost potential salary... plus the cost of your own materials and accredited programs.
And of course, financial wisdom says you should be a home owner, paid off your cars and carry no credit card debt before you decide to work in your home for no salary.
K.J. answers from Houston on August 07, 2008
Oh, wow, you are going to get a BUNCH of responses from young Moms, I'm sure. Your child is young, so just take it one step at a time. I lean toward the side of home schooling as there are so many support groups, etc., out there. It DEFINITELY has to be something which both parents are in total agreement, or it will cause conflict. I wanted to h.s. about 25 years ago but it wasn't legal in Texas, only weirdos did it, and my husband wasn't for it. Then when our youngest was a freshman in high school, he asked me to homeschool him because I was a better teacher than his school teachers! My husband and I talked and agreed and it turned out to be a great experience. That son has grad from college, working, married, and very close to the Lord. One child (age 31) is in total rebellion and I know his school friends and some mistakes we made led him to make bad choices. He is the one I thought really needed the h.s. because he was adhd and quite insecure. However, he also grad from UT, but is a miserable person. Our daughter, the oldest, went to public school, did well, has a beautiful family, and is a wonderful Christian Mom.
Let the young Moms guide you. Just start with Christian picture books, let Jesus be your guide, and see how you feel about the public schools in 3-5 yrs. There is so much literature available out there, conferences to go to, so start educating yourself.
D.S. answers from San Antonio on June 13, 2009
I think you are wise to be thinking about schooling for your child now. It will give you plenty of time to talk to other moms along the way and research if you want to homeschool or not.
I read many books making the decision. I can't remember the names of many of them, but I know one of them was by Lisa Whelchel called So, you are thinking about Homeschooling? I think she gives some other books in there to look into.
I was educated in a Christian School, taught in a public school and now we are homeschoolers and love it.
M.P. answers from Houston on August 07, 2008
Girl if you are thinkin about school already you are gonna be a nervous wreck by the time school gets here, enjoy your baby you have plenty of time to think about school later.
I grew up in Mississippi going to public schools from K-3rd grade. The public schools were rough to say the least. There were cops there, at an elementary school, I was constantly fighting. My parents couldn't afford private school so they home schooled me. I think home schooling is ok as long as you make sure you child is still interacting with other kids. My parents never went anywhere or did anything with me, they never let me have friends or go anywhere to this day I am still upset with them for my childhood I would have rather stuck it out in public school. My kids go to public school, we now live in Texas, and are very active in our community. If the schools here were not good I would probably home school them and keep them active in the community. When the time comes I am sure you will make the right choice for your family.