Input on Single Parent Homeschooling Needed

Updated on June 29, 2009
C.R. asks from Aberdeen, NC
14 answers

Hi, I am a school teacher who, since on medical leave, has realized how dysfunctional our public school systems are and the damage my family has endured as a direct result of me being a teacher. My family and I have also benefited greatly from my position as a classroom teacher and enjoyed the majority of the years. However, the continued decline of the quality of education in public school has caused me to SERIOUSLY consider and research homeschooling. I am an African-American single mom of two elementary aged children (boy 6 and girl 9). My son has had a very difficult start in the traditional public school education. He is currently diagnosed as Developmentally Delayed by the school system and receives speech as well as occupational therapy services. My daughter receives speech services also. She has passed state exams in reading and math with math being her most difficult subject. Her main problems have been socially where she is ostracized or bullied. This year she was bullied to the point that her therapist asked for me to sign a wavier for an intervention because my daughter had reached a significant level of depression for her age. I want to be well informed about my options. Therefore, I am seeking any and all advice, testimonies, etc. about homeschooling especially from those that have taken or are currently on this journey.

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P.K.

answers from Jacksonville on

I did it and I dont have any regrets I would do it all again. It is so worth it it. I started when my daughter was a 2nd grade and son k-5. I loved it so much, would love to email more but must go for now. Just do it, you will be so happy. I worked full time and homeschooled.

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H.C.

answers from Hickory on

Here is a different perspective...I "rescued" my son in 6th grade and, though I would do exactly the same thing again for that year, I decided NOT to homeschool 7th on. It was just too much for me to be mom and teacher and tutor all at the same time (he has ADHD and I struggle w/ depression). I would be a great teacher for anyone else's kids, but being that wrapped up with one (of three) was too much.

7th through now, 11th, we have found a number of teachers who see his gifts and his brilliance and capitalize on them, a school w/ a principal who is more than glad to work with us (and surrounds herself w/ quality staff), an ADHD coach/counselor w/ a great relationship w/ our son, and many adults who simply enjoy our son's company. I, alone, could not offer all that for him.

If you do homeschool, I would caution you to make sure, especially being a single mom, to balance YOUR life so you get out and about and nurture your soul, hobbies and friendships. Perhaps look for alternatives that can serve you/your kids as well (other schools, counseling, adult mentors, friend groups, etc.)

You will do great at whatever route you choose. Go boldly, with a smile!! --H.

3 moms found this helpful
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B.S.

answers from Charlotte on

C.,
I highly recommend Alison McKee's book, "Homeschooling Our Children, Unschooling Ourselves". http://www.alisonmckee.com/
Also John Taylor Gatto's "Dumbing Us Down". http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/

Both books make the case for homeschooling. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
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C.P.

answers from Memphis on

C., I'm going to address the issue of being bullied and ostracized, for the most part. My husband and I had been discussing homeschooling our son for a while, when one day I decided it was just the right thing to do. It was like a light went off. We had just returned from Christmas vacation and I was substituting at another school. We had a family emergency and I knew we wouldn't be back for at least a week. When I went to pick him up, I told them he would not be back, that I would be homeschooling him from now on. He was in 4th grade at this point. They were NOT happy, and I didn't care. I can't tell you the relief we felt. My son was beginning to hate school, was being pulled into the wrong crowd because he was so quiet and wanted friends so badly, and his self-esteem was pretty much nothing. He was failing everything and they kept pushing me, in front of him, to get him put on ritilin for attention issues. That was not going to happen. My son has benefited in so many ways I can't even begin to tell you. He just graduated in May with good grades and with his head held high! His self-esteem was pretty damaged and he still has to work on that and now deals with depression but is on meds for it with great results. We gave him the option of going senior year to public school, but he always said he would never go back, and he didn't. Homeschooling was the BEST decision we ever made. It gives much freedom to get the work done in YOUR way, and you can add ways of learning to suit your children. My only advice would be this; go with an accredited curriculum. I hope this helps. Best wishes and God bless!

1 mom found this helpful
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J.W.

answers from Knoxville on

C.,
I was a career professional who was climbing the corporate ladder so to speak with no thoughts of homeschooling when the Lord got my attention 11 years ago and I quit my job and have been homeschooling every since then. That's the short version.

If you are serious about homeschooling, there are several recommendations I would make. (1) Join Home School Legal Defense Association. The cost is $100.00 a year (roughly) which they will do in four quarterly payments of $24.00 each. This is a natinoal organization who will represent you in court should you ever have any problems whatsoever with homeschooling. (2) Join your local and regional homeschool support groups. They are usually fairly inexpensive to join, maybe $20 to $25 a year for membership and you can network with other families/moms for field trips, socialization, sometimes coopeartive learning, and just plain support for you when you don't feel you can do it anymore or you lose hope. (3) I recommend you join an umbrella or cover school rather than your local school board. This provides legitimacy for you and usually is comprised of record keeping, attendance, grades, and even things like proms and high school graduation ceremonies. There are many, many resources out there for curriulum and most areas have annual curriculum fairs where you can go and actually look through a lot of the materials to help you determine what is right for your children.
I have two homeschool graduates now and am homeschooling my going into sixth grade and my 4 year old who I am going to do preschool with this year. I would be glad to answer any other questions you may have. My e-mail is [email protected]____.com and my name is J.. Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful
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D.B.

answers from Parkersburg on

I don't have a lot of information, but, this seems like it would be a great route for you. The public school system is horrible - I'm already finding that out at a day care age. I didn't realize it before I had kids myself. K-12 has really just become an overgrown day care for older kids. With your education, I think you would do extremely well, and your kids would benefit greatly.

There are great support groups that you should look into - it would be a great way of meeting parents and getting your kids to meet their social needs that they won't be getting by being homeschooled. Check out MOMS groups - and google other groups in your area.
I do know that when I was looking into homeschooling as a high school kid - I was told I wouldn't be able to get my high school diploma, but only my GED - so I decided against it. It was important for me to get my diploma - especially for the colleges I was looking into.

1 mom found this helpful

J.B.

answers from Memphis on

I vote "yes" with everyone else - and you have had some great cirriculum suggestions - Christian Liberty and ACE...there are many GREAT choices.

My three are 35,32,26 - and I would do it all over again - so blessed by what they were saved from - they were 12,9, and 3 when we started. Although I am a certified educator - I wasn't the best home education person...but God fills the gaps!

Find yourself a copy of Home-spun Schools by Dr. Raymond Moore...it will encourage your heart that you NEED to do this. Fun reading. It is stories of all types of career people that have chosen home education. Actually, any of Dr. Moore's books (non deceased - Father of Home Schooling) will convince you that you NEED to get that little boy out of the system.

Hey - what kind of health and wellness instructor are you? If you look at my site - you will see that is a passion of mine...

J. B.
www.joyboudreau.com

1 mom found this helpful
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R.W.

answers from Charlotte on

Dear C.! Go for it, girl! We have always home schooled and I absolutely LOVE IT! My daughter is going into 7th, my son into 5th and my youngest son into K5! Each year I get more and more excited when I order my books and we are ready to start when they arrive! I would definitely find some other HS moms in your area. I am in SC. Each state has different rules on how long you must home school each day and state testing, etc. Make sure you find a reputable association to join because they are the liaison between you and the state and if you have any problems with pulling your kids out of PS then they will help you. Also, find a HS group to join and that way your children will get time with other kids. I don't agree with all that people say about HS and socialization because my kids have never been to PS and they are very much social children! We have just as hectic a schedule as everyone else! LOL! As for the curriculum, that is based on what you feel comfortable with. I can give you my advice but someone else's will be different. Going on the internet is a great place to start, but can be very overwhelming. Don't let it be. Ask the association that you join, those are home schooling moms that are pros and they can tell you many pros and cons about each curriculum. If you would like advice on what I use, just contact me further.

Good luck and prayers to you and your family.

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A.W.

answers from Goldsboro on

Hi!! We live in NC and homeschool. We LOVE it!!!! It is a good fit for our family. The first thing you need to do is to check out the rules of your state. In NC the info is located on the web for nc dept of non public education. research as much as you can and have a plan, and see if you can search for some homeschooling groups in your county on the web. They will be a great source of help. I wish you the best of luck on you journey.

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

You didn't mention if you would be the one home schooling or if you would hire someone else to do it. I ask b/c you also mention you are a single parent. I absolutely agree with you about some public schools. I just recently got our children in a very small school that has a waiting list b/c it does not deal with the city directly as other public schools do. I got some odd comments for the fact that I did not like public schools. You have to do what is best for your children and I absolutely would NOT put up with bullying! I just could not imagine and would not allow it for one minute! I would set up a meeting with the princ and it would stop or I would go further. On the fact of homeschooling, if you plan to do it yourself, you may have to find a one day a week program that would help with your children's speech therapy. If you do have to quit working, a great idea for you might be to start a business of home schooling. I am sure you are not the only parent who feels this way. Many ppl do not want to pay for an education or cannot afford it but if you can get enough children to charge only $75-$100 per week, some parents may find that a homeschooled education is well worth it when they don't have to fork out for private. Plus, their child gets some social skills while receiving a better student/teacher ratio. If you do want to return to work, you may be able to find someone to homeschool your children. Good luck, I think you have the right idea in mind, they are only young once and it must be done right the first time.

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H.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hello, I am starting my 3rd year homeschooling. I taught in a private school for several years before I had children. I use the School of Tomorrow (ACE) curriculium. I find it to be very successful with students from challenged to advanced. My mom is Director/Principle of a private school that used the same curriculium. She also works with homeschool families. She has lot of experience & can offer great advice. If you are interested in more info please email me @ [email protected]____.com. I don't get on here very often & forget to check my mail on here. Good luck. This is a wondeful opportunity.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.C.

answers from Knoxville on

C., I personally think your kids would benefit GREATLY from being homeschooled - at least for a while. I homeschooled both my sons, and my older son has dyslexia. Because I was able to allow him to develop at his own rate, and was able to keep from labelling him, he learned to read above age level by the time he was in fifth grade and by the time he was in 7th grade he was reading (and understanding!!!) Plato! If you have a homeschool community where you live, you can make sure that your kids are socialized and you can also offer your talents to the other homeschool parents. Many homeschool groups trade teaching - one parent will teach a group of kids art and another will teach them science, or health and wellness, etc. It is sort of a cooperative learing experience and it is usually great for the kids and parents! Of course the only concern would be how to work and teach your kids at the same time, but I know that there are single parents who manage to do it, it just takes alot of creative planning! Good luck!

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C.R.

answers from Knoxville on

C.,

You do not state what state you live in. I had lived in MO for my entire life and we chose to homeschool our children. My husband was offered a wonderful job in Knoxville, TN so he accepted and we moved. In MO I have always worked either in nursing or daycare. I have most always worked evenings, weekends or very early mornings which left me to school the kids for the main part of the daytime hours. In TN I know that the rules state you may not work between certain hours. I think it is 8am-4pm. I am not 100% sure on those times. If you teach middle school that would interfere with that rule. I am a large advocate of homeschooling but each state has different rules so you need to be aware of those. There is a site for home school legal defense association, HSLDA.com I think. They have all info for all states on homeschooling. You should check it out. Have you considered what else you might do to bring income into your home if you homeschool? It is hard to work and homeschool at the same time. Being a single parent you need to take care of yourself and not get worn down. Good Luck and God Bless!

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J.M.

answers from Greensboro on

I too had problems with my children in public school. I pulled two sons out in January and started homeschooling. With online courses available and a good curriculum, it is not as hard as many think. Alpha and Omega is one of the best and easiest to use as a parent. Check on the homeschool site for your area, they can give you valuable advice, and activities for the kids to do. For the child that has dealt with bullying, really something has to change. Make sure the child is involved in good accepting environments with other kids to rebuild what has been torn down. thanks, J.

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