Looking into All Options for School

Updated on February 09, 2010
H.P. asks from San Jose, CA
12 answers

For any moms out there thy hbe choosen home schooling. My fifth grader is really struggling in her class. She us not getting the help that she needs in her classroom which is leading to frustration and anger. She comes home frustrated and upset that she dosent know the material for math. So my question is what made you decide to home school your children amd did you start in public schools and then pull them out and how was the transition? I'm just trying to look at all my options to help her be successful in school.

A little about me: I am a stay at home mom to four girls my oldest is ten and my youngest is 5

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answers from Indianapolis on

I was in school through 8th grade. HOmeschooled all of high school and excelled. I had always hated & did horrible in school up until then. Transition wasn't hard at all. It was wonderful!

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answers from Sacramento on

If the problem is only one subject and she is enjoying school otherwise, I would start by talking with her teacher. See what help she can get in the classroom. Then I would look into getting her a tutor. If she's struggling in school all around, I would talk with you daughter about the option of homeschooling. See how she feels about. There are lots of other options out there as well. You can also check out charter schools in your area.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have done private, public and homeschool at different times with my kids. Homeschool is BY FAR the best option if you are in a position to do so. There is much better curriculum out there than what the public schools use! Especially for math!
The transition can be rough if you set your expectations too high. Start slow!!!!!!!!!!!!
Don't worry if you maybe even have to repeat a grade. It won't matter in the long run.
Find a good homeschool academy and join it for the support, guidance, and resources.
A good place to start with lots of questions about homeschooling and how to get started is to call the Homeschool Legal Defense Assocation. They are WONDERFUL! www.hslda.org



answers from San Francisco on

I don't know how you truly feel about home schooling, but if you're looking for another alternative, try Kumon for additional help. My grandson went there and it really helped and they are nowhere near as expensive as say Sylvan. Also, there are great websites that can help. utilize your computer. There are homework help sites, ask.com and another site called iknowthat.com. All are great resources for extra help with school work.



answers from Jacksonville on

Here is our story.
I put all my kids in public school. It's what you do right? My first did OK my 2nd flourished.
then there is my third. I started her in public kindergarten but she already could read and add numbers under 10 and had a lot of the kindergarten benchmarks already completed before she went to school. She is was an older 5. The teacher would put her at a desk with the papers and expect her to read the directions and carry on without help. She couldn't.
She started wetting her pants and going ot the nurses constantly. By the end of Kinder she was in pullups and in tears every day.
So we moved her to a Christian school and things seemed to get much better. So for two years we had no wet pants and no tears, although she was in the nurses office quite a bit.
Then we moved here. The whole wetting her pants and calling home started up again, we had two teachers in 3rd, first one was pregnant and left at Thanksgiving. I was still steadfast that she needed to be in school.
4th grade she had a nice man teacher who really enjoyed her and things looked good and then the school put her into the academically gifted class, she fell apart. She was now 10 years old and wetting her pants everyday. She started calling home every day. She cried before school and was sullen after.
So in 5th grade I pulled her. I had no idea what I was doing. But we started homeschooling.
For all of last year we had math tears. She didn't want to read she didn't want to write a paragraph. I took things very slow. But now she is in 6th grade doing 7h grade grammar and prealgebra. She has had no tears at all this year and is finally talking about being something other than a stay at home mom in my house. She is finally stress-free and happy.
I should have probably pulled her in kindergarten. Now we are talking about putting her back after 8th grade. THat will give us two years to do algebra if we need and she wont' have to deal with the middle school drama.



answers from San Francisco on

Be aware that some towns don't allow home-schooling as an option, Pleasanton is one of them. So first look into the requirements in your district (call the district office). I am not sure what the rules are in California but Oregon was pretty strict about having your child tested at the beginning of the school year and at the end to make sure that your child was staying up with their peers.
If you decide to home school you have to understand that this is a real commitment. You will have to set up a daily schedule and stick to it! It will also take a lot of research on your part. What curriculum are you going to use? If you aren't going to use any (I didn't) then it will take a lot of reading and putting together a daily lesson plan. My children did 4 hours of intense seatwork plus 1 hour of reading, doing a daily journal and computer research. You will also have to find activities for them to do that will include other children such as art, music or sports after normal school hours.
It was very rewarding but very hard work. Both my kids transitioned back into the public schools and maintained 3.00 GPA and graduated.
You may want to consider a tutor first.


answers from Fresno on

We home-schooled for a time - well, actually my mom (a 25-year teaching veteran) home schooled my two girls. It was the best experience ever. The only reason we stopped was that my parents moved out of state. The great thing about home schooling is that you can choose a curriculum that really works for your child, and move along at her pace. If she understands the material right away, you can move on. If she doesn't understand, you can spend more time on it. If your daughter struggles in math, check out Saxon math. I found it to be an excellent curriculum for my older daughter, who also struggles in math, and it was also great for my younger daughter, who is a math whiz.

The thing about home schooling is that in order to do it right, it's not cheap. (Remember how expensive books were in college? Guess what? It's about the same price for elementary school books too! Ack.) Furthermore, you do have to spend a lot of time prepping, especially if you are home schooling more than one child. However, we found it to be tremendously rewarding.

When we went back into (private) school after home schooling, both kids were above grade level in every subject. My younger daughter actually skipped ahead a grade because although she is only 4, she can easily do 2nd grade math (because we were teaching to her strengths and going at her speed). Kindergarten is like child's play to her. My second grader is much more confident now than she was before home schooling. She's not afraid to try new and difficult things like she used to be. If you are worried about the social aspect, don't be. Both of my kids made the adjustment back to "regular" school just fine.

I'd highly recommend home schooling! Best of luck.


answers from San Francisco on

I chose home schooling for my children when they were in the 4th grade, It was primarily because 4th grade was junior high in the delta area and too much homework with very little work done in class. They are now in college and doing great. I went with an independent study program through the school system because I wanted records taken for me, yearly standard testing and all the curriculum that the system had to offer. It was also near our home. Later in Junior high and high school we went with a Charter School and Junior College classes. Junior College gives high school students three units for every one college unit because the courses are a challenge, but it is soooooo worth it. The entire time we were part of homeschool groups for the social side, art and PE programs. They even had graduation ceremonies and yearbooks for the students. It is hard work, but worth every second.



answers from Sacramento on


Whether or not to home school a child can be an especially difficult decision, especially when your other children will be remaining in public school. I'm putting on my educator's hat here. Many children go through different phases in their learning journey with many variables affecting them : i.e number of other children in the classroom, interest in the curriuclum, teacher's style of delivery, child's sytle of learning, peer relations, etc. I have seen children who have been removed from school when they have hit a low spot in their educational journey, homeschooled and returned to school far more confident learners than had they remained in a situation that would have continued to errode their academic desire.

As a mother, you need to trust YOUR instincts on this and do what YOU feel is best for your daughter. Contrary to our educational system design, not "one size fits all". There are many great home schools supports available, great communities to support parents on-line, and configurations that allow for your daughter to get her need for socializing with peers met.

I'm thinking of a particular mom who had twin girls. Both bright students, one of the girls was having a terrible time as she transitioned into middle school (6,7,8 in our community). The mother elected to home-school the child for one year and took her out of school in October. The young lady returned to our school as a 7th grader, much more confident, back on track academically and ready to learn.

The key to your daughter's transition will be your confidence that you are doing the right thing, and in the way that you present this to her. My feeling is if it is presented in a positive way where she feels she has some input into the matter, her transition will be a breeze. Good luck!



answers from Fresno on

Look into Charter Schools. (They are free and part of the public school system) My son was struggling in 6th grade in an overcrowded classroom with a teacher that didn't care. I moved him to a Charter school where they have smaller class sizes and aren't bound to teaching the traditional methods. (e.g. all 5th grade classes must cover chapter 4 this week and be on page 50 ) They use more real world creative methods to teach concepts. Also usually smaller classes so the kids get more attention. I have my son in a charter for 8th grade and instead of 38 or more kids per class with 6 teachers to deal with he has 1 teacher and 23 students. He is excelling and enjoying school. Lo'ok into the charter schools in your area. Home schooling is a big undertaking. We tried it through indpendent study in 7th grade. It was difficult on both my son and I. It's also a lot of work to do effectively.



answers from San Francisco on

Have you considered hiring a math tutor? You'd have to interview them and make sure that their style of teaching meshes with your daughter (i.e., is it fun? maybe she needs someone more conceptual as opposed to forcing rote (sp?) learning?). I still remember when my parents forced me and my sister to tutor our younger brother, and we just had NO patience. Should we have? I don't think so. I think it would have been wiser for them to hire a tutor for him to really dig down into the areas he need the most help in. It ended up that my brother had dyslexia, which was why he was not grasping a lot of things as fast as me and my sister.

I agree with the others that if she likes school but is just not excelling in math, I wouldn't pull her out just for math. Definitely look into after school tutors that can teach her the tricks/tips/concepts that will give her the confidence she needs when learning new material in school.



answers from San Francisco on

My kids were in a great public school and doing great. My eldest was way ahead of most of her peers (even though she was the youngest) and I felt I needed to do more for her so I switched her to another public school that had a special class for kids like her. It did not work out. She hated it. It was like independent study and she had previously gained so much from great teachers and the interactions that developed. I took her out and homeschooled her the rest of the year. I researched all the options available to me for homeschooling and there were many. I finally chose one that offered so much support and incredible resources and much flexibility. They also had once a week classes that you could choose and send your homeschooled child to which were the best classes I have ever seen.

I will admit, with 2 other younger children, homeschooling was very challenging. I had a hard time balancing my responsibilities with being "on" everyday as an exciting teacher with interesting lessons and activities (and I have a teaching background).

In the end, she returned to our original school for 5th grade after a good year of homeschooling. I'm glad we did it. I appreciated the closeness we developed and it was a special time. She just does better in a classroom environment. She gets so much out of all the interactions and things that go on there. She is still up at the top of her class and everything comes easily for her but I am relaxed about that knowing there is more to growing up and her education than where she places in the class.

I would suggest you look around your area to see what homeschool programs are available. Some (CA virtual Academy K12) are computer based and the child can work fairly independently at their own pace from what I understand. They also have help for the parent teacher, field trips and one day per week classes. They provide the computer and all resources. Some completely follow the CA standards for education, while some, like the one I chose is extremely flexible. Some people are "unschoolers" (meaning they don't follow state guidelines and follow their own definition of education). There's a lot of choice out there in CA anyway. I'd be happy to tell you more about my experiences but I'm sure there are other families who got way more into it who may help you better.

Good luck! I know it is so difficult to know what is best for your child but you will eventually find it! It's all a learning experience along the way so don't worry too much.

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