Can't Decide Whether or Not to Homeschool My Children

Updated on October 31, 2006
C.A. asks from Lindon, UT
34 answers

I am having such a difficult time deciding how to educate my children. I have always d public schools, and I will definitely not send my children there, but I have considered a charter school or private school. I have also thought a great deal about homeschool, but I am worried that I will not be able to do it. I have a hard enough time just keeping the house clean and keeping the kids entertained as it is. Also, my son wants to go to school and I am worried about him not getting enough social interaction if I homeschool. Did any of you go through similar dilemmas? Anybody do the homeschool thing and have advice on how to make it work? I enrolled my son in preschool and it is his second day today. I just am not sure that I did the right thing. Would he be happier with me teaching him at home? Would he learn more? I think so, but am I cut out for it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?

I want to thank everyone for all their wonderful input. I was amazed to see so many responses so quickly. I really apreciate each adn every response. I am still not sure what I will do, but I feel like I have a better perspective and some things to think about that I didn't think of before. My personal feelings, with the very limited experience I have on the subject, are that I believe homeschool has the potential to be better than traditional school in several ways. My kids are very intelligent and above average in all areas, so I think that regular school may not be challenging enough for them. I know from my personal ecperiences in public school that I could have learned the same amount of material in a much shorter amount of time if I was homeschooled. I think 6 hours a day is too long for kids to be away from home. I think that the parents should be the main influence in a child's life and be the child's main teachers. Also, I am worried about my kids being taught things that don't coincide well with my personal and religious beliefs.
On the other hand, I see some potential problems and roadblocks to the homeschooling plan. I think that providing for my children's social interaction needs will be much more difficult with homeschool. Of course there are homeschool groups and extra-curricular activities they can be involved in, but it will take more effort on my part. Also, I want to have a lot of kids, atleast 5, maybe more. I think it will be very hard for me to do. Honestly it seems overwhelming and nearly impossible to me right now, and I only have two kids now. Maybe I could change my attitude and feel better about that by overcoming my personal problems with it, I don't know. I have a very difficult time keeping my house clean right now without doing any homeschool. My kids are very demanding and needy especially as babies. Also, I am prone to experiencing depression, and have been all my life. When I think about homeschooling my kids I feel ovewhelmed and depressed. I feel like maybe I just need to do whatever it takes to overcome that so I can do what is best for my kids, but I'm not really sure what is best right now.
Also, I see some really good things about sending my kids to school. For one thing, my son really wants to go to school. He has been in preschool for a week now, and he loves it. He is so excited about the whole experience of going to school, bringing a backpack, going without mom, playing on the playground, and learning new things. He is also really smart and wants to learn to read and everything else. I am personally very excited about the prospect of having some time without my kids each day to take care of other things, but I also can't help but feel guilty about that. A traditional school can offer some things I can't at homeschool, like peer interaction, the building and facilities, plus teaching subjects I don't know much about.
I am just not sure what the right thing to do is, and i guess what it really comes down to is that i am afraid of making the wrong decision and then regretting it later.

I think that the advice I got from a lot of you is exactly right. There really can be more than one right answer. I need to pray about it and think it through and wait for an answer. Meanwhile, I am going to relax and let Ammon enjoy going to preschool for now, and do some supplemental teaching at home too. Thanks so much for all your help.

C.

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K.C.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi C.!
I have been debating the same thing and I finally made a decision to do the homeschool...if you want to talk, I'd love to do that!

My number is:
H: ###-###-####
C: ###-###-####

Have a great day!
K.

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S.L.

answers from Billings on

I have three kids 9yrs, 7yrs, 4yrs, and this is our fourth year homeschooling. We absolutely love it! A good ciriculum and asking around is the trick. It is hard at first, but you will develop your own rhythmn and get everything done when it needs to be. If you are organized, patient, and can let things go when you need to, then you will be fine. It isn't so much about where you school your kids, but what kind of involved mom will you be for them. I think there can be more than one right answer. If you are social, then they will be too and that isn't a worry for them. If you can respond to this message, I would love to tell you how I started and my favorite resources.

1 mom found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from Portland on

Of course, everyone's decision is their own, and I think only you know what will be right for you and your children, but I chose to put my kids in private school. We give up a lot by having them in private school but I think it was the best decision for me, as I am not fond of the public schools in my area. That being said, I think that our children's education is our responsibility as parents more than anything else. I think that sending the kids to school instead of homeschooling is best IF you are willing to keep an eagle eye on them, stay in constant contact with their teachers and friends, moniter homework and talk with other parents. I am a firm beleiver that the kids need and crave the interactions with their peers, but of course there are other ways to get that should you choose home schooling. It is a lot to think about, and I hope I haven't just given you more grief about the decision. My kids are VERY happy at school, so I know I made the right decision for them.

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N.O.

answers from Sacramento on

I have been homeschooling my son for a year now and we have both truly enjoyed it. I had some issues to, not to sure if I could and how do I answer those people that bring up the social thing. My friend recommended a great book that helped me decide and answered those questions. The book is The Successful Homeschooling Family Handbook by Dorothy & Raymond Moore. Also, I belong to a great homeschooling group, we do field trips, holiday crafts etc. Great for social stuff and support.

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T.R.

answers from Cheyenne on

Hi Camille,
First off I want you to relax! We all try our best and I doubt that you are going to "ruin" their life by choosing either to send to school or home school. I myself have worked in the public school system. I have both a elementary education degree and a secondary in Science. I do not send my children to public school now. I am a fan of teachers but not a fan of public schools. Both my children attended pre school and then went on to the local gifted and talented public school. I wanted them to attend school so that they could meet friends in their neighborhood and to get the basic reading skills (reading skills have the potential to be tedious to teach - but you can do it!). I now homeschool my 4th grader and 2nd grader. I plan on homeschooling them until they enter high school. The reason I homeschool is so that I can teach my children at the grade level they should be at (they were both bored). I also am not a fan of my children spending so much time away from the family. I love and enjoy being around my children. I have several friends who do not have degrees in education that are doing an EXCELLENT job of home schooling. Their children are not only very bright but also very polite. Children learn best how to behave from you - not from interacting with other children. The lack of socialization skills that are always peoples first concern is a myth. If there is a socialization problem than maybe that child was being homeschooled for reasons due to mental conditons or maybe that family is not doing a very good job of modeling acceptable socialization skills. You should try to connect with some local home school groups. There are a quite a variety. I am not LDS myself, but I have a good LDS friend who has five children and one on the way and she successfully homeschools. They are the most well behaved polite children I have ever seen. There are also so many great books about homeschooling - check your local library. If you are doing it for religious reasons there are lots of books available. If you not doing it for religious reasons (like myself) than you will have a little bit harder time finding information but it is out there. Hope this helps! Feel free to email me about any questions! Tam

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

Hi C.,
I am a homeschooling mom. I started homeschooling last year when my daughter was 4. I had her in preschool part time and homeschooled the other part of the day. Did I have mixed feelings about homeschooling... Before my daughter was born, I had been a public school teacher, I sucked at it. I loved working with the children, but teaching to the state test, and following a curriculum that even I found boring made my job even harder. When I was about 8 months along, my husband come up with the idea of homeschooling, I thought he was crazy. What did I know about homeschooling. I grew up in the public school system, and though I didn't like school, I did graduate and only went on with more schooling because I didn't know what else to do with myself. My spelling is bad, and sometimes my sentences don't always make since.
After my daughter was born, I dreamed of being a part of the PTA, school plays, concerts, school pictures, etc. When she turned 4 she was so eager to learn, and after tutoring my nephews and realizing that the public schools were failing them... I didn't want to see it happen to my two.
My daughter is considered a 1st grader through The Dalles extended education Home School Department. She knows her letters, the sounds they make, simple adding and subtracting, and can usually read simple 3-4 letter words. If I put her in the public schools she would be in K. She loves to socialize, and we did consider puting her in school just for that social interaction. Instead we are looking to find a local homeschooling group where she and my 3 yr old can interact with other children in their age group. For my youngest I started a MOMS Club hoping to get moms in with their 3 yr olds. and with my 5 yr old I have started her in 4-H (well on Oct.1st) where she will be part of an Adventure Club with other 5-7 year old homeschool children. I will probably enroll her in dance classes again this year, and will look into other activities that get them out with other children their age.
As a homeschooling mom, I can say that I know where my children are at all times. When they have attitute, I can nip it in the butt before it gets out of control. I spend quality time with them every day, they always amaze me, and they are eager to learn. I know what they are learning and I am learning along side them.
So if you ask me, homeschooling is the best thing I can do for my children, it's even better then private school as I get to spend quality time with them every day, they don't have hours of homework after school, and when we are done with our paperwork, we have the rest of the day to do what we want...

T. C.

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R.S.

answers from Provo on

A great resourse in making this desision is the National LDS Homeschool Association website at http://www.lds-nha.org There are a lot of suggestions/options to help you decide what's right for you and your family. A dissertation by Dr Reed Benson called "The Development of a homeschool" was exceptionally helpful to me when I was considering wether or not to homeschool my son. There are also homeschool co-ops where you combine with other homeschoolers and trade off teaching different subjects, go on field trips etc that will help with the socialization issues you're feeling.

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G.L.

answers from Omaha on

Regarding home preschool. I do a home preschool program with my 3 yr old boys. For social interaction a group of other moms and I get together once per week to have preschool together. We attend regular playgroups with some moms groups I belong to. I have no worries of having a lack of social interaction because they get interaction with other children almost every day. And I have the satisfaction of knowing the education my children are getting. Plus it is much cheaper. I have printed off alot of projects off free internet sites.
G.

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S.T.

answers from Honolulu on

good luck to you... i'm sure things will work out fine. i have a cousin who home schooled her 5 children. It's not for everyone, but it seems to work for her... they are all very hard working kids, good family values. her oldest daughter is in college now. studying to be a nurse... she's doing very well. it just takes a lot of discipline and hard work. if you have the time and patience, huh? the only problem i saw was the social issue. some of the children simply didn't have the social skills they might have acquired had they been exposed to other kids their age. the siblings are very close to each other and very dependent on each other too. i guess it just depends on what you figure out is most important to you, your husband... and your children.

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K.F.

answers from Boise on

Hi C.,
I work for a foundation that funds a lot of education programs across the board, including public, private, charter, and even "public-charter" homeschool. I am LDS as well and have had homeschooled girls in my Young Women's class and my sister in law was homeschooled. So I've been exposed to it a lot. If you are concerned about public schools but can't afford private schools, you might want to check out charter schools (which are public but can make some of their own rules). I know of one in Boise that is very strict about dress code, behavior, and attitudes of the students. Many subscribe to the Harbor method, or others helping kids see school as a safe place to learn.

If you decide that homeschool is the way to go, you should look into an online public charter/homeschool model like www.k12.com. In Idaho they are the curriculum provider for a public online charter school called Idaho Virtual Academy...so it is pretty much free but gives parents a teacher to work with (a few times a week via phone) and the confidence that they are still giving their child a good education. From there you can also match up with other homeschool families in the program to do small group activities important for their social interaction.

If you decide to homeschool, my advice would be to make sure you select a strong program to help you. The biggest tragedy I see among some of the homeschooled kids I know is that they are not getting the education they deserve. I just taught a lesson on education in Relief Society last week so I know that it is something important to our children. Research your options, pray about it and make a decision. You can always change options if what you decide just doesn't work out. Good luck.
K.

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H.J.

answers from Pocatello on

Hi C.-I too, have had reservations about public schools. However, a school is what the parents put into it. If you are an attentive, involved parent (which I assume you are) your son should have no problems getting the education he needs. Children get so much more out of school than just the facts...the get independance, self-esteem, and pride. If your son shows that he wants to go why not try it? Stay involved and encourage his learning. The majority of teachers are dedicated, hard working, and have specialized training. There is a lot to teaching children and it is no easy task. Start with a preschool and see where it leads you, interview the teachers and principal at your district school, talk to neighbors who have their children in public schools. I'm not saying they are perfect but, they can offer so much more.
Good luck!

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M.V.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi C.!

I would encourage you to find some 'homeschool' groups in your area, and attend some of their events. It would give you a first hand look at how things work, how they do it, the program they follow (or don't follow) etc. I've got many, many friends who homeschool/unschool, and do a wonderful job and their children are very happy. I've also had friends who have given it a try and found that they were a better parent if someone else did the teaching, and others who have one or two children out the bunch who decided they wanted to go to school and homeschool the rest. The truth is, you woudln't know unless you tried.

Homeschooling is a wonderful thing, and it is very manageable. I would speak with someone at your church or other social gathering, and see if you can find a group that homeschools. They normally have social activities every week or more often for the kiddos to get together and play, and they also attend many playdates that are regular in their community.

it seems intimidating, but it's not so much after you learn about it and give it a go. where are you located? I can point you in the direction of some groups in the las vegas area.

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R.P.

answers from Las Vegas on

This dilema is very common here as the public schools are not that great. My older children (grades 6 and 10) and I don't like them. But for lack of a better option, they have to go. There are quite a few good private schools in the city, if you don't mind the expense. My first grader goes to a new charter school that is just opening up this year called 100 academy. They start at Kindergarten. You may want to look into it for the future. There are alot of great charter schools too. One of them is a cross between home schooling and a charter school, it's called Odyssey Charter School. They give you books and lesson plans and you teach your child at home on his or her own pace. A tutor comes to your house once or twice a week. I thing they also even have internet lessons. their office is near Jones and Sahara. However, homeschooling does lead to socially crippled children, so you may want to just find a school setting that you can live with and teach them at home as well. This is what I've done with my first grader and he's at 3rd grade level so far in reading and math. And off the charts in social studies, and english. Good luck to you and hats off to you for taking such an interest in your children's education. Feel free to email me [email protected]____.com

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B.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I went through the same thing a few years ago. I had such a hard time in school that I always said I would never send my kids to public school.
Be aware that people will be very critical, someone who I thought was a good friend, in the heat of a debate, told me I didn't have to be so anti-education because I didn't want to send my kids to public school.
I did feel totally inadiquate and overwhelmed to homeschool, and private schools are so expensive, although we decided that education was most important and that we could sacrafice other things for it if this is what we felt was right, and I had talked to other mothers that loved the local public school. So we prayed about it, and we ended up sending our daughter to public school. We decided that if we ever had problems we could always switch. She has now just started second grade and is doing really well. The thought didn't even cross my mind when I enrolled my second daughter into kindergarten this year. I am happy about the decision, especially after summer break, I don't think I could have handled homeschooling.
I'm not saying that public school is the right thing to do or that homeschooling is not. For every family it's different. So, the advice that I am giving you is to pray about it. I would not have chosen public school on my own and it has been so good for us so far. I hope this helps, Lori

a little about me:
I too am a stay at home LDS mother of three little ones ages 7, 5, and 1. I love staying home with my children but I also LOVE breaks!!! I am in desperate need of one now!;)

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T.S.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My kids are 3, 21 months and I am 7 months pregnant. I plan on homeschooling. I believe everybody has the same feelings as you. I grew up with kids that were homeschooled and their parents allowed them to decided if they wanted to go to high school or not. They adapted fine (3 of them wanted to go to school and 2 stayed with the homeschooling) and were extremely advanced to the point of skipping grades. They got their social interaction from church, neighbor kids, and from partipating in sports or other things.

The best thing is start doing research and read up on it. Then you and your husband can decide what is right for you. You could try it for one year and if it is too much, you can always put the child into school. At least you gave it a try and maybe it just didn't work for your family.

A book I read and enjoyed, "So you're thinking about homeschooling" by Lisa Whelchel. She has a bunch of different families that share their stories and the different ways each family handles it all.

Good luck with your decision!

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T.

answers from Portland on

Hi C.-
I think Moms forget it is okay to make decisions that may not be popular or we make the decision to give the appearance to our peers we are doing the right thing. You sound like you have so much going on now. Your son is requesting to go to school. Being a Mom is a huge responsiblity in and of itself, if you already overwhelmed, maybe its time to take a step back and ask what is in the best interest of myself, physically, emotionally,and my children. When making a tough decision I like to make a list of pros and cons. Seeing it on paper is most helpful.
Goodluck in your decision. It will all work out!

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R.W.

answers from Las Vegas on

Wow, lots of responses!! I just wanted to add a few. Everyone's answer is right and that is your hardest dilema! My sister homeschooled her 1st and started with the 2nd but the other 2 little ones made it very hard for her to keep focused. She also did the k12.com virtual academy which I think is an amazing program. Your child will learn more at that program than they will in school. It takes a lot of time and dedication out of your day! My niece did get an attitude when she started in 2nd grade and picked it up from some kids in school BUT... your child can learn an attitude from a kid in primary so it doesn't matter. I believe socially she developed in school but she is also very smart and she took a drop in her levels being in school. I know the schools arent the greatest but they are trying especially here recruiting teachers from all over the country and even outside of the country to come and teach and pay them a little better. We just moved here for that reason (my husband is an art teacher) If you do decide to homeschool I would definitly go the k12 route but then enroll him in sports or a local facility that teaches art or something to get interaction with kids and expand his horizens beyond your home. Some home schooled kids are naive about the real world and that can be dangerous. Good luck!! Oh and if you are looking at charter or private you may want to start looking at their waitlists now. Some will take you the 2 years you have until he is 5 to get in!!! ----- R.

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N.K.

answers from Honolulu on

I am not sure where you live and the options there. As a great advocate of education, I think first and foremost children learn through play and interaction with other people. Your child may be homeschooled and be the most intelligent person in your town, but what good is that if he has no social skills, skills that can be best learned though experiences with his peers. skills that he needs to carry him though life. An intelligent child who does not know how to make and keep friends is truly missing the most important things in life! I understand that your afraid to let him go, but he needs this. My opinion is unless you have a degree in education, it should be left up to the professionals.

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T.N.

answers from Portland on

I homeschooled my daughter. She now asks me to participate in my grandson's education. You have already been homeschooling without even knowing it.<s>

I would recommend the book "Idiot's Guide to Homeschooling" and that will give you some insight on how you may or may not wish to proceed.

As for the socialization, there are so many home school groups, scouts, sports teams etc. Also home schooled kids tend to socialize better with various age groups than do their public schooled counterparts, who are generally surrounded only by their age group daily.

You will make the best decision for youself and your child. The book I recommended is really good for hleping you make that decision.

Best of luck!

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J.D.

answers from Billings on

I recently went through the same thing with my son (3 1/2). The preschool he was in wanted me to put him on ADD meds, and I absolutely refuse. So I withdrew him. But I am a young mom, and I know I can't homeschool him. I do have another on the way also, so I just can't homeschool him.

I found a preschool that will allow me to take him 3 days a week only in the mornings. That is what I am going with for now, and I can probably handle the other days. This way he gets the socialization, and some basics for me to go off.

There are programs online that aren't near as expensive as school is. Just google homeschool, there are tons of them, they will send you the materials every month. That way you get age appropriate materials, and you don't miss anything.

I am not LDS, but I would be willing to bet that your church, or at least someone in it would help you also. I hope that helps :)

J.

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A.W.

answers from Boise on

Hi C., I have 5 kids and 1 on the way soon. I have been homeschooling 2 of them. They were great and did fine even with the day to day schedules.The school I go with is www.k12.com They are almost everywhere in the U.S. They are a public homeschooling system and they send all supplies including computer. You can also work with a certified teacher incase you should have problems with subjects. The school starts at 5 years old and up. As for socializations parents set up park dates and the school sets up outings for students and teachers to meet and then of course you have church and family socials. As for pre-school that is your choice, not all my children went to a pre-school, but the one that did go and went to public school got in with bad kids and committed suiside when he was 12. I am fighting my ex right now to take one back out of that school system.
A. W.

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K.O.

answers from Portland on

I am also of the opinion that there are important social skills learned in school; which cannnot be taught at home. If your son is asking to go you should listen to him. It sounds like he is yearning for interaction with peers that are his own age. I have two cousins who were home schooled, and although they are both very bright they are also socially inept.

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A.O.

answers from Las Vegas on

C.,

Wow, there are a lot of responses, this is definately a hot topic.

I think that most of us have known "homeschooled" children who are socially shy, and this may be because of homeschooling but I believe it has more to do with their personalities & opportunities. In the last 10 years I have known amazing homeschooled families whose children are socially amazing.

If you send your child to school just for socialization... you will get a child who learns the behaviors of 30 4 or 5-year olds without enough adult interaction.

Homeschooled children can have as much or little social interaction as you like, and their mentors are children and adults of all ages so they are not learning behaviors of only children their age.

I think many of us who are educated in public schools believe we need to create a "school" environment at home. Some of my favorite resources to "re-think" this assumption are HOMEGROWN KIDS by Raymond Moore (where I learned that Kindergarten was optional) and THE FIRST YEAR OF HOMESCHOOLING YOUR CHILD by Linda Dobson (explains all differents ways to homeschool).

Children are naturally curious and learn many things on their own by exploring & playing. This curiousity is often squashed in the classroom. Infact, by homeschooling you can teach your young child in less than an hour, what they learn in an entire day at public schools. (infact you don't need to start formally teaching until they are about 7 years old... again chldren are always learning.) (Boys usually like to work on a single project for a long period of time, wheras girls can move easily from one topic to another- like in the classroom. So beware of learning styles).

There are of course numerous homeschooling books to learn from. But the great thing is that our children need to be learning from mom & dad & working along side them until they are about 6 years old. And at such young ages their devolping eyes can be damaged if they do "close work" (like work sheets & reading...tv, computer games, etc) for longer than 20 minutes at a time (about the length of their attention span). Of course if your child is interested in learning reading, writting etc... teach away.

Overall, I think we stress ourselves by believing we have to teach everything and teach it by the time our children are 4 years old. Relax, educate yourself, give your child plenty of time to play outside, run, jump & make messes. And remember why you decided to stay home with your children... was it to clean house???(and I love having a clean house) or to teach them and spend time with them. An anonymous author said it best, "Please excuss the mess & noise, my children are busy making happy memories."

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B.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

My name is B. and I just thought that I would encourage you to go with the idea of homeschooling. Give it a try for a year and then reevaluate it! I am a product of Homeschooling. I graduated from a private homeschool program. I placed as a Junior in college when I graduated. That is ALOT more than I can say for all of the Public/Private school kids.
I am now a mother of 2 girls and I am planning on trying to homeschool. I am under the belief that I need to protect them and teach them the morals and values that this world has simply neglected to teach their kids! This is just my belief, and I also want to be the one to give my kids the Biblical foundation that I believe they need to have in order to become the women God intended them to be! Sorry if this is too much information. Good luck!

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E.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I personally don't believe in homeschool. I know thats harsh but I have seen many of my friends that were homeschooled struggle, and be less knowledgeable about whats going on, what things young teens and children should know about. It is better to have your child know about something, and influence its bad intentions, than have a child be unknown to it. Giving them a way to see the world through others as well as you. If a teacher feels that your student is above the rest, you have the chance to move them up a grade. I like private schools. that is where I will send my daughter. I think that a child needs a social life away from his parents. Either he will be too attached to you this way, or grow to not want to be around you at all. I think you did the right thing by letting him have the chance to be around many cultures and outside things. Either way, it is you that ultimately decides, but that decides the pros and cons of his future. GOOD LUCK!

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H.W.

answers from Reno on

I have two sister's that have homeschooled their children, and I have felt the pressure as well. You have to do what you feel best for yourself and your children. If you feel that you do not have the patience or the dedication for it, then don't feel bad about sending them to a public or private school. I am LDS as well and I have three children. I have sent my two youngest children to a Methodist preschool this last year, and they had a great time. They learned a lot about Jesus, and also learned a lot about the ABC's. I still teach them at home all that I can. I do not have the patience or the dedication to teach the full time at home. It would be sooooooooo nice if the Mormon's had a preschool here and there, but they don't. Anyway, don't feel guilty for your choices as a parent and just do what you need to do. If you decide to homeschool, just make sure that you involve your children in a lot of extracuricular activities so that they can interact with children of their own age. Good Luck.
Love, H.

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S.

answers from Portland on

Hi C.,

I know how pressured you must feel. I felt the same way when my son (9) was moving from toddlerhood to school age. My best advice for you would be to really spend some time with the Lord about this....pray, ask for His leadership and I promise He'll show you. I promise He'll show you if your willing to wait for His answer and not try and figure it out by youself. Search the scriptures, ask your husband and trustworthy elders, but most of all PRAY!

I found out that what I had initially planned for my son with lots of good intentions was never really what the Lord intended for him in this season. It's not that my desires where wrong, in fact He told me through witnesses that he treasured my desire to raise my children in a safe and Godly environment. I see now though that what the Lord chose for THIS SEASON, was more important to my son's development than my efforts to protect him. That's really what we want as Christian mothers anyways, the Lord's will instead of our best intentions.

I went from the high pressure of really wanting to homeschool (which I did for three years and still want to try when it's the right time), to checking out millions of private school options, to finally enrolling him in public school ( the last place I ever thought he would be).

The way I came to making a choice was by asking that the Lord would show me and give me the ability to know His will for my son. In my heart I had total peace about the last choice I ever thought I would make (public school) even though I was really scared on the outside, but I see now how much the Lord has been faithful, and it has been a very good choice for my son.

I would have never been able to see that with my flesh only!

I was so against public school, that I often said, " My son will never go to public school!" The last time I said that, I heard in my heart the Spirit say to me, "Never say never". I believe the Lord was being gracious to me on that day because within a year my boy was in public school. I've learned since then that I do not know the Lord's will, I have to seek it!

The first day of secular school was probably the worst day of my life, but it really built my faith. I saw the Lord totally take care of my beautiful baby boy (my only child), and I have seen him blossom into a very self-confindent, compassionate person who has no fear or shame in sharing his faith with his friends, and has strong personal boundries. I really don't think he could have developed this with me at home, even though I had tons of plans to make sure he wasnt' "isolated". The Lord would have had His way with my boy no matter what, but I feel certain things have been set down now in his little heart that would have been much more difficult to teach later on in life. Some of these are confindence in the world but not being of the world, learning to be friendly to have friends, courage, speaking the truth in love, being true to your Spirit and discerning the spirit of the world, praying for those who despitfully use you, and so on!

All of this took lots of prayer for me to not completely break down with fear, but the Lord has deepened my dependence in Him, and has helped me to lay my baby into His hands. "His plans are not my plans..." Remember Hannah, she sang a song of praise to the Lord when she went to leave her miracle baby at only 3, Samuel, at the Temple!

I think this is the prime reasoning I'm trying to share with you. Those babies you love so much are the Lord's first, and your job as their mama is to ask the Lord how he wants them to be raised. You know the basics, it's all in the Word, but as for door A or Door B, you need to ask!

It's much too much overwhelming for us to try and figure it our by ourselves. Ask the Lord to give your husband a vision or thought, opinion, directive, whatever about how the children shoud be educated. Then submit to it, even if it wasn't your best idea.

Don't worry if he just lays it back into your hands, you did your job, you asked your husband, he trusts you to make the right decision, now you ask the Lord to show you!

When you sense what the Lord is showing you, go to your husband and say, "Husband I feel the Lord is showing me so and so for the children. Can we pray about this together? What do you think?" This is God's order in the family, and His perfect order would be to include your husband in this decision. If he doesn't want to take responsibility for leadership in this, don't worry. You just go to the Lord with it...no matter what I promise you the Lord will make it clear what He wants for those babies. And if you are reverent towards your husband regardless of his leadership abilities, the Lord will bless you there too!

I have no idea what the Lord intends for your family. If it's homeschool, then you will be shocked at how much energy you have to handle it along with creativity, financial provision, everything you need. The same thing for any other option. Don't fret if you have to keep going to Him on every little step. That kind of submissiveness is powerful sister! The Lord loves it when we acknowledge Him in everything. Remember He's not just educating those babies, He's growing your whole family, especially you!

Whatever choice He leads you to, regardless of form, it will have these attributes:

You won't be able to use your strength to accomplish it, you will have a peace beyond understanding (even if it seems crazy), you and your family will be blessed in areas you didn't even know you needed blessing, and when people ask you- you will say,

"I had nothing to do with this... This only happened because of the Lord Jesus Christ's love and faithfulness. All I did was ask, 'What do you want me to do?', and I waited for an answer."

My family will soon be leaving and moving to a new state, and I have a whole new set of education choices to make.... I'm scared because I have no idea where the Lord is going to lead us, but I do know the Lord is leading me and I will make the right choice, even if it's the wrong one at first, because I am desperate for the Lord's leadership in my life!

It may be public school, private school, or homeschool who knows! But in His perfect timing He will show me, and my precious little one will be all right.

God Bless!

-S. D.

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M.H.

answers from Billings on

Hi, i feel your fustration. Our family just went through the same thing. I also thought about home school but like you i can barley keep my daughter busy. I have to say that if you have any question about home school i would not attempt to do it myself. I was worried that i would not be able to teach her the things she need to know for her grade level. So i decided to not even go down that road and look into other options. We did private school. We did public for 2 months and i did not care for it... My daughter is so much happier and she is making diffrent friends everyday... If you have any questions let me know and i will be happy to talk to you...

M.

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D.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

C.,
I know how you are feelings on this...This is what a dear friend of mine told me, she has 8 children and she does homeschool. She told me to let my 'babies' go to preschool/Kindergarten, let them get the social skills they need, also by doing so the teacher(s) can help you focus on any special needs your child might need/have you aren't aware of yet. Such as speach.

Both of my kids are now in Public school and I struggle because the teachers have to focus a lot of thier attention on the non-english speaking students.
Also, my daughter (1st grade) comes home with an attitude and that is driving me nuts. I have talked to my husband about Private school but we just can't afford it right now.
My son (Kindergarten) Loves school. We'll have to see what next year brings, if he pulls the same attitude I'll have to homeschool or Private school them.

I don't know if any of this will help, but I thought I'd share my 2 cents.

D. M.

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A.L.

answers from Provo on

If I was you I would put your kid or kids in to pre school cause I was a in and out of schools and home school and it was not an easy thing to do I would of loved to just be in school with kids my own age and be socialy active then not and I know some people that do home school with there kids and there kids are not copeing with other people when they are around other people and they are shy and dont speak unless they know that person they are talking to any way I think actual school is better as being threw it my self and seeing other people go threw it to.

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K.D.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I'm not terribly fond of Utah public schools, although that's how I was educated and I think I got a decent education. But that was quite some time ago, and I think the schools have just gone downhill since then. Anyway, I have no interest in home schooling my kids, but am interested in other options such as private and charter schools. I'm not LDS, but I've heard there is an LDS private/charter (not sure which it is) just off 10600 south and west of I-15. That may be what will work for your family - it's smaller but your kids will still have the social interaction they need and teaches them your religious values, etc. I think it's good that you enrolled your son in preschool. You'll get a good idea of what he'll likely get out of going to an outside school.
Good luck with your decision.

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B.V.

answers from Provo on

both of my sisters homeschool but I am sending my daughter to public. Feel free to e-mail my sister and she could answer your questions on homeschooling
[email protected]____.com
[email protected]____.com

B.

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C.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I think you need to first ask yourself what it is you don't like about public schools - it may be that public schools and charters may not be any different. That being said, I see that you are LDS, and I assume you live in Utah? Have you looked into any of the charter schools in your area? I've heard good things about charters, and this is what I am considering for my girls when they're old enough. I love that the parents are REQUIRED to be so involved in the curriculum. The charters in my area are very structured and the kids are even required to wear uniforms. There are even LDS charters in the Salt Lake area.

I think you made a great decision to send your child to preschool. I think that social interaction is key to a child's development. He will be learning social tools that are every bit as important as the education he is getting there.

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J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I would definitely find a way to put your kids in school rather than homeschool them, especially since your son wants to go (you don't want him to resent you...). They have so much to gain from being in school--social interaction, learning to play sports on teams, learning about other cultures, etc. If you plan to have 5 kids, you will be overwhelmed with all the normal mom duties plus being a schoolteacher! You are not a "bad" person if you send them to school--most of us send our kids to public school and they turn out fine (my guess is you yourself went to a public school). I went to a public school in Utah and am forever grateful for all I learned from my teachers and friends. Don't expect too much of yourself; you need your alone time too, especially with that many kids! I have a friend who homeschooled his three kids and then put them in public school--his kids were unfortunately behind and it has taken them years to recover. As I said, you are not "bad" if you do this--you need to let your kids grow, and sometimes that means letting them "go". I'm sure you could do it if you had to, but is that really the best way to go for your kids? Only you know the answer, but I think the benefits of school outweigh any negatives.

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