Considering homeschooling...few Questions

Updated on October 12, 2010
C.M. asks from Denton, TX
6 answers

I'm not really a homeschool type of mom, more of a private school type, however, lately I have been considering homeschooling. Here are a few questions that I'm hoping other homeschooling moms can help me with.

My kids are still young-one is 4 1/2 and the other is 2 so they still have a little while to go. I never have been a fan of public school and don't like the ones here. Financially, right now, we can't afford private. We will be here through my daughter's first grade year so I have to decide what to do, which is why I'm considering homeschooling.

Have any of you home schooled for a few years until you lived someplace else with better public schools or could afford private?
What made you decide to home school?
Was it a definite choice between you and your husband?
How did you face the challenges posed by others that were pro-public and anti-home school?
I have heard that home schooled children test better (maybe on the international tests?) than kids at public schools. Is there any proof of their experience at college compared to other kids?

I think that's all for now. I am super education oriented and I can't stand the thought of my daughter attending kindergarten or 1st grade at a school I am not satisfied with.


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answers from Reno on

There are answers from all points on the educational spectrum for your excellent questions. The best answer, however, is that you must do what's right for your philosophy and family, knowing that when you move (or your finances improve) your decision might change. And that's ok.

Many homeschooled kids do do better on standardized tests. But, I've met some homeschooled kids who, after years of working towards a high school diploma are still "too distracted" to finish it up. I've met some homeschooled kids who are incredibly well-socialized and some whose social skills are so awful it hurt to be around them. I've heard stories from college profs I know that their homeschooled kids have no idea how to interact with other college kids and some who say their homeschooled kids are the only ones who know how to work, write and think. I really think it depends on the child and on the environment you set up.

So, having said all that, have you approached the private school(s) of your choice and asked about financial aid? It may be easier than you think to qualify. Also, have you done any research into homeschool resources and curriculum? There's some great stuff out there (and some bad stuff, too...beware)!

To the naysayers, all you need to do is smile and say you're doing what's right for your family and leave it at that. How you choose to educate your family is your choice, no one else's.

I've been a teacher for 19 years now, both public and private. I've seen and worked in fabulous private schools and I've worked in private schools I wouldn't allow to care for my pets. I've worked in wonderful public schools and I've worked in some that were less than great. I've done extensive research on homeschooling because my youngest was having a horrible time in our local public school (one where my eldest had excelled) and I disliked our local private schools. There's no one perfect answer. Do your research and choose the best option for you and your family at that point in time. You can always change your mind.

I hope this helps. Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Fresno on

My kids are in public school now, but for a time we were so fortunate to have my mom (a retired grade school teacher) home schooling them. I HIGHLY recommend it. We used the Carden curriculum for all of our language arts, Saxon math, and she developed her own science curriculum. I loved being able to hand-pick the curriculum I wanted, that I knew would challenge my children. With so much one-on-one attention, they excelled far beyond what I would have expected of them academically. (My younger daughter just turned 5, yet is at the top of her public school class in First Grade. My older daughter scored in the 99th percentile in her Sat 9 tests in all subjects last spring.)

People will try to tell you that home schooled children have social problems, but actually I have found the opposite to be true. When you home school, you can go on all kinds of interesting field trips, during which your children will interact with all kinds of people - adults, other children, and all ages in between. Now that my kids are in public school, they interact with one adult (their teacher), and a bunch of other kids their own age. I find that their manners and social skills have decreased in the public school environment.

In short, if I could home school again, I would do it in a heartbeat. It was a wonderful experience for us.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

There is a great essay about homeschooling on, that will answer some of your questions.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

This is my third year homeschooling my daughter, my 2nd with my son. THey are in7th and 4th grades.
I had my daughter in public and private before I ripped her out of school. It was my decision, not hubby's and he wasnt' on board until after she showed marked improvement. Then he suggested I pull my son.

"Studies" show that homeschooled children do better on the standardized tests after the first year of homeschooling, especially those who have been in the school system. Mine have followed that trend. My daughter did fair on them in school, then fair the first year, then jumped over 40% in the math last year. She has always struggled in math but last year she "got it" and scored over 90% on her SAT/6 will point you to your state's laws and regulations so you are doing it legally.

The people who are against homeschooling I find are fewer than I had thought. Many are from the older generation and don't understand why we as the new generation homeschool. My mom and dad were both public school teachers. My sister and I both homeschool. The seniors at church don't understand these"new fangled ideas" moms have nowadays. Those I laugh off. Since homeschooling has become so much more accepted than before I find people accept is as just another way.

There are a myriad of curriculums. You can go Chirstian or non, you can go with fulll grade level curriculum or not, you do whatever works for your family.

There is a huge commitment. I treat mine like a job adn don't asnwer phones until break time. In my house there is no tv and no electronics until the weekends.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am homeschooling my 3rd grader until next year when hopefully I can find a job and afford private school. So far homeschooling is going great, with a few hurdles here and there while we were adjusting ( daughter doesn't like to write her answers down she wants to say them out loud and I have to stress the importance of writing etc).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Hi C.,
Like you, I used to be a not really homeschool type mom and never thought that I would be one until I made the decision a couple of years ago that changed everything. I was educated in a private and religious school out of USA and never crossed my mind that I would be homeschooling my kids, and so far I am happy, my family and mainly my kids are happy.
I made the decision together with my husband and my older kid, and AMONG other reasons, we did it because:
We wanted to give our son a more complete education and teach him to love and being eager of learning.
My son was coming home from school with tests or assignments with many mistakes and a stamp of "great job" or "good work" (often)
My son was at school from 8:00 to 3 pm, and I have to spend one hour or two explaining or teaching what he supposed to learn at school (material covered?)
My son was eager to share knowledge and participate in class, but often he was put aside without much stimulus or motivation. He was bored.
My kid was feeling very sad and anxious, and he didn't want to go school for several reasons. He changed a lot his personality from being a happy, enthusiastic and smart boy to a sad, unmotivated and angry boy.
He was learning things that he should not supposed to learn at school.
We wanted to enrich our kids' lives with a more deep and rich education in a one to one (or two with the little one) setting.
We wanted to give our kids a christian (not fanatic) foundation and encourage him to learn about life according to HIS maturity and HIS nature.
We didn't have the tolerance or patience to wait days or long hours to talk to my kid's teacher or the principal about important things or my kid's schoolwork or behavior. We couldn't wait for days for a simple answer by e-mail or just a phone call because these people were too busy.
Regarding schools issues, let me tell you that this is not just about once or twice, it is about an attitude that we found in the two best school districts were we lived.
As I said, these are JUST SOME of the reasons why we decided to home school my kids.
Results? In my experience which may be different to others, it has been a wonderful and rewarding journey for all of us as a family. I have seen so many changes in my kid and I see with my own eyes, how he LOVES to read, how he enjoys every single thing he is learning. It is not easy, you have to balance being a teacher, a wife, a mom, a woman,,,balance chores, preparing material, cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc...You have to be organized and motivated to do this.
Home schooling IS WORK if you want your kids well educated, well prepared and ready for a superior education (university, college, etc.) I want that for my kids, we study in a fun way, but we have schedule and responsibilities. My kid knows how and when to work independently. He learned already how to take tests because I test him in every subject, and he feels successful and thrilled about what he has learned so far. He takes the CAT/5 and others test also because I want him to know what he is capable of.
Regarding proof about their experience at college, my kid is still young and I am sure that there are plenty or information in libraries or internet or colleges themselves. However, I can tell you about my two nieces, and one nephew. They were homeschooled one since 3rd grade and the others since 4th grade, one is studying to be a nurse, she is the best in her class, the other is studying in Indiana in her last year to be a dentist, and the other one is already working and just graduated from Stanford University. yes, I am not kidding!.
I never felt it was a challenge to face people that were "pro-public" "pro-private" or anti-homeschool. I just respect their opinions, and listen. Actually I was convinced and I am now totally convinced about our decision, and that makes me strong because I have seen strong results and that is! Besides, every parent, every family has its own experiences and ideas and goals, and those should be met just based on your beliefs, values and experiences which are UNIQUE. Only you know what is best for your family, for your kids. So, opinions are opinions, you just have to take care of YOUR kids and do it with the best tools you have, and do it well.
Socialization? My kid at school never had real friends or friends out of school time (summer vacations, holidays..etc.) He was and he is a very social and funny guy, and always was invited to b-days parties, or a few events. Socialization? How? at school? while they have to be quiet and calm and like statues for more than 4 hours a day, at recess or lunch time? for 15 minutes/ During an assignment in a work group? Not at all!
My kid is 10 years old, he has 3 best friends, he attends to b-days parties and sleepovers; he has friends from public,private schools and homeschoolers also; he swims with a group of friends twice a week, he plays soccer once a week (in a field with more than 40 home schooled children of different ages), he attends P.E. class with home schoolers, and he likes his life.
Curricula, there are many. Expensive ones and more convenient others. You have many choices depending on what you want to teach them besides the basics (like public school) I use Kolbe; it is a Day Catholic School located in California and they have a program for Homeschooled children (K-HS). It is very complete, they send me all the material and textbooks needed (It costs money)assigned by grade. It is flexible if you want to change something. They send me also tests and quarterly exams, course plans and syllabus for each subject and my kid has an academic counselor who is there to help all the time. I love it!
Well, I am sorry this was so long, but I hope it helps to clarify your mind, if you need more help of information, I'll be glad to help you.
Good luck!
PS About the little one? He's 4 and half...oh yes...he is being home schooled already..!!!

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