People Are Saying Bad Things Because I Home School My Kids, How Can I Cope?

Updated on May 05, 2013
C.F. asks from Plano, TX
244 answers

I've been homeschooling my kids for the past 2 weeks, and it has been going well, but the comments I'm getting from friends, family and other people are so harsh. Last night a lady told me that home schooled kids never do well if you ever decide to put them back in school, that I could ask anyone that has home schooled children before and they would all tell me the same thing. She said that I should not be homeschooling my kids unless I have a degree in education. My husband expects us to get up and follow the same public school schedule (7:45-2:45) because if we don't than we're really not doing any work, we're just slacking off. Every day he says that he worries that they will not learn anything even though I show him all the things we do and learn. Plus, we have to hide this decision from his mother because "She would not agree with it." Others keep telling me that it was a bad decision because there's nothing better than public schools, and that not only did I hurt my children, but I also hurt myself because now I won't have any time to do the things I enjoy. I tell them that statistics show that home schooled children are just as smart if not smarter than those in school, and that teaching my kids is something I do enjoy, but they just shake their heads and say it's not true. I want the best for my kids and I would not have pulled them out of school unless I saw it necessary. The school was telling me that one of my daughters had ADHD and they wanted me to take her to see a doctor so she could be put on meds. I know my daughter and she doesn't have a hyper or focusing problem, she might be behind because we moved not too long ago and she didn't take the move very well and that's when she started falling behind, but she has done well here with me and she has not shown any signs of being ADHD, I know how the system works, I worked for a family practice for 5 years and they would have put her on meds just because the school suggested she had a problem. I just wish I could get everyone off my back, my friends and family are making me feel down, I need some support.

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So What Happened?

I am so thankful that I have found this community of parents that are so supporting, thank you every single one for your kind words! I am standing firm on my decision to home school my kids and so far the experience has been great and rewarding. I am not letting anyone put my decision down anymore, if somebody says something negative, I am responding even if I have to be assertive. My husband has noticed the changes in our daughter and has become more supportive because of it. I am also told my MIL about the new changes and that she would have to accept it as it is. I also looking into joining a group. I feel so much better, thank you again.

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

I did not read thru all of the responses but did not know if you knew of the store in Tomball that is for teachers and home school parents. It's in the same strip as Klein Supermarket (to the right of it). One of the lady's that works there, Karen, home schools and knows a lot of groups and has information. She has been home schooling her kids for years and one son just started high school at Tomball.

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M.M.

answers from Corpus Christi on

I think you are doing a wonderful job. Keep it up. I have several friends who homeschool and their kids are the most polite, well-mannered kids that I have met in a long time. You can see the respect that they have in their mannerisms. More power to you. I never could homeschool because I just don't have the patience and I think that it is wonderful that you do.

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M.D.

answers from San Antonio on

Those who generally stick with it have children who are very smart and whiz past the college exams. Those who don't are the ones who don't "have school" every day. I've known some who teach whenever they feel like it. Those children are the ones who should have been in public school.

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K.I.

answers from Dallas on

My best friend home schooled her two daughters all of their life. The oldest one is now in college and is mad at herself because she got 1 B. The rest were A's.

For the people that tell you that you need a degree in education: respond by saying that there is a strict curriculum that you must follow and the books explain everything to you. You are smarter than a 5th grader after all!

For the rest of the people that are just plain negative: Tell them "thank you for your opinion" and that's it. You don't owe them an explanation, you don't owe them anything.

I know it's hard to shake off negativity, but you are doing what you think is best for your kids and that's all that matters. If it's in your heart, you will succeed. And your kids will succeed too.

good luck,
K.

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D.T.

answers from Amarillo on

C., I have been home schooling my children (3 of them) for 6 years. I too was told that my youngest child probably needed meds for ADHD. And like you, I knew that they were way off base. Any child that can play video games for hours on end or can sit through an entire movie, does not have ADHD. So, my husband and I decided to home school. My son who is now 18 graduated a year early and is now enrolled in college to become a graphics designer. He scored better on his ACT's than most public educated kids. My daughter, who is now 3 months from being 17, just graduated in June and will be enrolling for college in the Fall. My youngest son (the one they said had ADHD) is in 9th grade now and is more intelligent than most kids his age. Plus he acts more mature, kinder and more understanding than kids his age. Don't let anyone tell you they know more about what your child needs than you do. My advice: Stick to your decision unless YOU see that you need to do something different. The world has been indoctrinated with a belief that only the public school system is qualified to educate your child. But that is far from the truth. Remind the nay-sayers in your life that a lot of the teachers in public school are only there for a paycheck. You have a very real interest in your child's education and will therefore put a lot more effort into making sure your child is actually learning everything you are teaching (Not just memorizing it for a test, which is what most public schooled children do) Plus, your child will not be subject to bullies, drugs, alcohol, degradation, and sexual promiscuity. If that is not enough reason right there, then also remind them that your child can work at a higher grade level when he/she is ready, not continue at the "dumbed down" pace of the public school system. Remind them that the school system is "dumbed down" only because they can't (0r won't)hold children back who just aren't learning as fast as others. Don't let anyone put a guilt trip on you for doing what you think is right for your child. Remind them that this is YOUR child, thank them for their opinion, then do what you think is right whether they like it or not. The way I see it, You and I are not here to please others or to make decisions on the well being of others. We are here to make decisions for our children and families, whether others agree with it or not makes no difference.
D.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

I feel your pain. I started homeschooling my children in 1997. My son was almost 5 so I started him in Kindergarten even though ps wouldn't take him b/c his birthday was on the 29th of Sept. My daughter was in 4th grade then at ps and had been in that school from Kindergarten on. I had a few friends that homeschooled their kids. I learned a lot about it and talked to my daughter about homeschooling. I am not a formal teacher but have taken care of children all my adult life and taught at church. So I homeschooled her through highschool, she actually graduated a year early and went on to college. She is now a manager at a large retail department/grocery store. She is out going and very brite. She is also very good with children because I had two more while she was homeschooling and also watched children in my home. She learned all the ins and outs of running a home and a daycare and will be an excellent mom some day because of it. She will also be a great teacher, she is going to school for a teaching degree. My younger two children I also taught from the time they were born. When my first son was going into the 7th grade he went in public school for the first time. He adjusted well to the schedule but because he has certain issues, depression and a mood disorder, he fell through the cracks as far as learning goes. He passed because he passed the TAKS test. When he was in 8th grade it just got so bad there that I took him out since I wasn't working then. Because of his issues I knew I couldn't homeschool him any longer and found a wonderful private Christian school that works with those and other learning issues. He has excelled since then. He did 9th and is 10th grade there now. My other two children (3rd and 1st graders) are there right now because it is a good school with a homeschool atmosphere and it is cheaper for the 2nd and 3rd child so they are benefiting greatly. when my older son graduates then I will have to decide if I still want my children there or if I am able to homeschool them again like we want to.

Each year there is a Homeschool Book Fair at the Arlington Convention Center in May (which is homeschool week). I would encourage you to check into that and the local support groups. We were a member of AAHE homeschool group and they did lots of great things. Sports and small groups.

Hang in there and please don't be ashamed of homeschooling. Be proud, it is a great gift to teach your children. Have fun, learning is about having fun!

T.

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M.S.

answers from San Antonio on

I beg you, please do not be put off by what other people are saying to you. YOU know what is best for your kids, they do not. You are NOT harming your children by home schooling them, regardless of whether or not you have a degree in education. As a matter of fact, I would even venture to say that that is a plus! :)

My mother, who only has a high school education, began home schooling both my sister and I when no one even knew what it was (we started in 1984). Everyone told her she would ruin us, but she was determined to not put us in the public school system. My older sister was home schooled from 2nd grade all the way through high school, and I was home schooled from kinder all the way through high school. We BOTH went on to college (and had absolutely no trouble adapting, by the way); my sister graduated summa cum laude (4.0 GPA) and I graduated magna cum laude (3.8 GPA). Following our undergrad. educations, we both went on to graduate school. My sister received academic scholarships that helped pay her way through, and I got a full ride scholarship through grad school. After finishing grad school, my sister went on to a doctorate program (at Notre Dame), but has not finished yet because babies came along. I am not trying to toot my own horn here; we are not what you would have considered genius children. We were like any other children, with the same capabilities for learning. However, we had a mother who invested in us and was not content to leave us to the public education system so that she could do the things she "enjoys." By keeping us at home and teaching us, she WAS doing what she enjoyed.

Also, by no means do you have to follow the same schedule that the public school does. Neither do you have to use the same books/curriculum they use. My parents always took us to the Book Fair that was held in Arlington every year (I don't know if they still have this, but worth checking into). They have tons of wonderful books there that you can look through. My sister and I were allowed to look through all of the books and pick out books that we liked. We were told what books we needed (i.e. a 5th grade grammar book, a 6th grade American history book, etc.), and then we looked for something that wanted to use! This was such a great move on my parent's part because we were excited about picking out our own books (of course they had to be approved my mom and dad) and excited to learn! Also, we never used only one curriculum. Not all of the books in one curriculum are the best. You can mix and match.

As for following a schedule, we always did what was best for us, and sometimes it was different from one day to the next. As a general rule, we had to be up and working on school work by mid morning (but no need to get dressed! I often did school work in my jammies!). Our schedule was a bit more structured when were were younger; mom actually sat with us, helping us through our work and explaining things. However, by the time we were reading really well and following written directions well, we worked very independently. Mom did not need to be a coach, but rather, was the person we took work to if we didn't understand something and needed help. Once we got into middle school math, dad was our go-to person for problems (mom's strength was not math), so if we encountered problems with math school work, he helped us when he got home from work.

By the time we were in Jr. High and High school, we were essentially teaching ourselves through our books! I believe this was a huge advantage for later on down the road when we were in college.

Are you a part of a home school support group? I am positive you will find one, of not several, in your area. These groups can be very encouraging, offer additional activities for home schooled children, and even offer the opportunity to share teaching responsibilities with other home school mothers. There are a lot of moms who get together and offer classes to each other's children. For example, perhaps you are strong in art. You might offer to teach a once or twice a week art class at your home and then opt to put your own children in a science class offered by another mom.

There are so many opportunities out there for home schoolers, and it is, IMO, such an advantage for your children! Please do not be put off by the nay-sayers. You are absolutely NOT ruining them. You are setting them up to be successful, educated, independent adults, who will likely have a deep respect and appreciation for you because of what you are doing for them now. Keep doing what you know is best for your kids!

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L.T.

answers from Dallas on

We are going on our second week of home schooling
due to our move. I would do what you feel best for your family. I have met a ton of people who
home school and their kids are ahead of the game.
Some people think that kids need to interact with other
kids, but you also have to realize that your child is learning
from other kids as well and its not always a good thing.
My daughter actually told me things that some of the other 7 year old girls were teaching her and she wanted to know if it was ok (and it was not at all)this is not something little girls do.
Another thing to think about is, when kids are at school they have math, language arts, science, music, P.E. Library time, computer time,ECT. When you home school at home, all of your focus is on your child and you can accomplish much more in a shorter period of time.

Of course I'm not an expert, but I've talked to many people
in the past year trying to figure it out.

August 14-16 is a home schooling convention at The Woodlands in Houston. You can read more at www.thsc.org and click on the convention tab on the left.

Good luck

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C.W.

answers from Waco on

I can totally understand your situation. I homeschool but I have no other alternatives. (We live outside the US) I love it and know that my kids are getting a superior education. Public schools cover the same core subjects that homeshooled children cover but it takes less time because the teacher has 20 kids to motivate and he/she has to move the kids from subject to subject and also room to room so in an 8 hour day they get about 2-3 hours of accedemics. I visit great support message board at http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-pphschooling. Homeschooling is a really good option. Find a co-op group in you area and find some other people to talk to who are homeschooling their kids and even a few who have home schooled their kids who have now grown up and are attending college or working.

You don't have to have a degree in elementary ed to homeschool. You can buy pre-packaged curriculum. You know basic math and english grammer and history, When they are learning subjects more advanced you can learn with them. You also have time to find interessting subjects on the internet so yoiur kids can excell at their own speed rather than accomodating all the other kids in the class.

GOod luck.

Debra

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

Camilla,
Have you looked into a homeschool group in your area?
I was homeschooled from fourth through graduation and went on to college. Those in college who were homeschooled did much better then the public school kids. They were more self motivated and disciplined. They were more likely to show up for class on time and more likely to turn in completed assignments on time, and also made better grades! Some universities even give incentives to get more homeschooled students!

Have you looked at HSLDAs website? They have articles there that might help you to defend your position, or at least make you feel more confident.

You need a degree? My aunt dropped out of school in sixth grade. She homeschooled her three children. The first homeschooled third grade through graduation and graduated from a prestigious university,top of his class, a year ago. He works for a marketing company and Tommy Hillfiger is one of his customers! Her other two never went to school and have done very well in their universities as well. You taught your children how to walk and talk and tie their shoes and get dressed, why couldn't you teach them academics?

I homeschool my children and although my oldest just turned five I get a lot of flack from TOTAL STRANGERS. My husband's family are public school educators and none of them think we should homeschool. Oh, and as for special needs like ADHD, my girls are on the autism spectrum and I fully believe they can learn better at home then in a class full of a bunch of other kids, competing for the teacher's help, and pressured from all sides with sensory stimuli and social issues they aren't ready for.

Schedules vary depending on what is good for the family. It is not necessary for a child to have school six to seven hours a day. You plan the day's activities/subjects and then when they are done you can add more to it or call it a day. There is no need to say you have to have an hour for each subject or six subjects per day. As long as they are learning what they need to learn they will be fine. We had school about three hours a day when I was homeschooled. There's more to learning then just book work, too. We had educational videos and field trips and cooking and nature walks and babysitting...you get the idea!

you might mention to your husband that the children don't have class for X amount of hours a day in school either- the day is filled with waiting- waiting utill the next subject, for the teacher to finish with other students,ect. If it takes a teacher six hours to teach 28 students, how long should it take for you to teach only 2 or 3? Considerably less, I should think!

I wish you all the best, feel free to email me for support ect. :)

S., second generational homeschooler, momma to Faith (5) Hope (4) Grace (2) and Joy (10 months)

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

I have been homeschooling my kids for about 7 years now and love it. I also live in Forney. My husband was a little worried at first too, but he is ok now. There is a lot of negative hype out there and I have just learned to live with it for the most part. Even some of my good friends are very against it. However, I don't have that guilt anymore that I don't spend enough time with them.
There are a lot of pros and cons. One for sure is your time is gone. But I get to spend it with my kids.
I homeschooled 5 kids and 2 of them went back and forth between homeschool and public school. The only problem we had was the school doesn't like it. The made little threats that they would have to test them to see where they need to place them and stuff. But, the law says that homeschooling in Texas is considered as a Private School and should be treated as such. If your child was in Private School and transferred to Public, they would just take your records and put them in the class they are supposed to be in. Same thing should happen with homeschool.
I love it! You wont regret the time you get with your kids!

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T.L.

answers from Dallas on

C.:

I personally do not have the patience to home school, but that is just me. However, I know many people that do and love it. I've seen it from both sides, some whose kids were behind so they enrolled them in private schools and then some that actually were ahead. Two families I know travel a lot so the kids are fortunate enough to go and learn on these trips. This covers so much of Geography, Science and History. Also, the hours are never as long as traditional school as you do not have as many children to work with, the routines are different and just moving them from one class to another takes time. Most of the kids work for about 4 hours a day on average - sometimes less, sometimes more. Try it and if it doesn't work, you can always make a change. Keep them active and involved with other kids. Tell the relatives and friends that when they have their other children, feel free to educate them as they Wish. Good luck.

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Have confidence in your decision as a mom. I wish I had when the public schools told me my son needed to be on meds. It was the worse thing for him. He was dealing with issues around me divorcing his dad. He ended up hating school the rest of his time in the system and I finally took him off the meds but the damage was done in regards to his outlook and the attitudes of the school staff.

My sister in law home schooled her kids and they are all smart kids - a couple are now grown and one still home. She got involve in home school co-ops which helped with the social activities and provided group field trips and extra curricular activities. Her youngest (9th grade) is now very active in theater in their community as well as an avid reader and very intelligent. Home school is a wonderful alternative. People who complain are frightend and concerned for the best interests of children but they are not keeping an open mind that there are many avenues of learning that are equally if not more effective than public schools.

You are doing great so hang in there!

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A.P.

answers from Houston on

I am an elementary teacher and I really wish I had been able to homeschool my own son. The bullying he went through in elementary school still makes me want to cry after all these years. It even caused him to be held back a year in school.

You are doing what you feel is best for your children, and that is what your job as a mother entails! I'm surprised your husband is not more supportive of your choice to homeschool. I wouldn't worry what any of your family or friends say about your homeschooling, they are probably just jealous that they aren't able to have that kind of connection with their children.

The only downside I have ever heard of for homeschooled children, is that they are not socially as developed as other children. This is usually due to the lack of interaction with other children. However, when I lived in Indiana, my son's babysitter and her twin sisters were homeschooled and they were the sweetest girls you would have ever hoped to meet!! So, I say forget what others say, and do what you feel is BEST for your children!!

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K.G.

answers from Houston on

Just know you're doing the best for your kids. You love them more than anyone and who better to teach them? You've been teaching them since they were born. Do you really want your kids to only be able to socialize with kids their own age? I have witnessed it on several occasions. At parks, my kids will play with everyone. However, non-home schooled kids can only play with the same gender, the same age. It's horrible. I know I'm doing the best for my kids. I finally gave up listening to all the other people. Of course, I have a huge homeschool support group here in Texas. Check out the Texas Homeschool Coalition website. It's got tons of information. http://www.thsc.org/defaultpage.asp Even though you might not be in Texas, they still have good information. Where are you anyhow? Please feel to e-mail me [email protected]____.com I'd be happy to talk more on the subject. Whatever you do, don't give up. I've currently got an 11 yr old who just can't seem to get motivated to do his work. He's a smart kid (not just me saying this, others have too!) He does read. He's a wiz at math. I think he's just bored. I know this too shall pass. I've seen lots of homeschoolers put into high-school or go into the military. They "adjust" just fine. In fact, one girl who went into high school is excelling at all her classes. Her brother, on the other hand, is doing fine... but is more interested in dancing right now!! Just hang in there. As I said: you love your kids more than anyone else. You know what's best for them and will look out for them.

K.

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D.B.

answers from Lubbock on

I will tell you my answer is mixed but this is the truth: YOU know your kids better than anyone. Time and Time again this has been shown true for me. My peditrician, where I lived before here, told me he listens to mothers more than anyone when it comes to children. His advice "Never ignore your inner feeling with your children and never let anyone doubt you." He gave this advice because my son had been sick for 4 plus weeks and he had been out of town and I kept telling the sub doctors "something is just not right" and they blew me off. Finally after 4 weeks, my some became lethargic and was having tummy issues still coughing and wheezing. I took him and demanded he have a chest xray even though they said "His lungs sound clear" Guess what? pneumonia!

I truly believe God gives us moms a 7th,8th, and 9th sense. We too were told are child was ADHD and had him tested by someone here in town. Who had known him all of 6 hours and put him on meds that caused extreme anxiety. This year we took him off and none of his teachers have said anything leading to the idea that he is ADHD. His grades are still straight A's and the problems he was having before the meds, on the meds, and off the meds are ALL still there. I am not saying he will never have to take meds but at this point there are other things, like behavior modification.(google it)These are not talked about at school because they take time. They are easy and helpful but SOME teachers, not all (because we had AN AMAZING teacher last year in public school), do not want to take this time. I do not fall for the "there is not enough time in the day". Have you ever driven by a play ground and seen teachers what are they doing? Sitting! Not interacting or fostering good social skills and listening at free time. Just like home school is a good option for your child this year public school may be an option next year. I am a big public school or private school advocate because kids have to learn to adapt to the world around them and live in it. We can not protect them 24/7 and even have to teach them how to deal with rejection or an adult not "getting them" at an early age. This is where the mixed part comes in. I use to think that public/private school was the only option and after the year my son has had with his teacher I now realize why people home school. I have learned this year how hard it is to watch someone not value your child and the gifts they have to offer. I see why someone would want to customize a class room setting to help that child prosper. I also know my son has grown so much this year. He knows not everyone is going to "love him and his ideas" and it is up to us to help him deal with that in a positive and loving way weather he is home school or public schooled setting. I think you have to do what you see as best for your child. Is She happy? Is she learning what she needs to? Have you connected with other homeschool moms? Have you thought about Kingdom Prep, which is a mix of private and homeschooling? Is she getting good socialization time? Only you can answer these questions. I do not think it is a question of public or homeschool. I think it is a question of is my child prospering here and are her need being met? A year ago I would have never been so diplomatic but I truly mean it. Is she growing and if the answer is YES, IGNORE everyone else have confidence in your decision, and have a great time learning with your kids! Good luck it sounds like you are a great mom and doing a FANASTIC job!!!!!

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T.S.

answers from Dallas on

After reading your problem, the first question that comes to my mind is...why did you decide to homeschool? As a mother, I know you do not take your children's education lightly, but you don't seem confident at all in your decision. You may need to reevaluate WHY you decided to homeschool if you are having such a hard time standing firm with what you decided was best for your children. You have to understand that people will always feel necessary to tell you their opinion. But you didn't decide to homeschool based on popular opinion or everyone else's approval. So you should NEVER feel the need to explain and defend yourself if you don't want to. Those are your kids and you are their mother. Thats the bottom line. If other people don't agree with homeschooling and they love the public school syste, good for them. THey can keep their kids there. You have to do whats right for you!! People aren't always going to support what you feel is best. So as long as you know in your heart that your decisions are whats in the best interest of your children, don't concern yourself AT ALL with what other people think or say. My second concern is your husband not being supportive about this. You and your husband must work as a team, and perhaps if he is not supportive and positive and realistic about the homeschooling process, it may not be the best decision for your family. When it comes right down to it, you don't need the affirmation and acceptance from other people, but you do need it from your hubby. So if the two of you are not on the same page about homeschooling, you may need to step back and reevaluate. It he is fighting against you on this, making it difficult for you to homeschool in a warm, non threatening enviornment, then it is a losing battle. Talk with him and consider if his views are something that can be worked through or not. But don't waste your time, and don't put the strain on your marriage, or you doing something that your husband is clearly against. Just a quick bit about me: I am a single mother of 3 (just left my husband of 9 years), who works 2 jobs and homeschools my 3 kids ages 11,9 and 7. I homeschool my oldest years ago (for 4 years), then my oldest two went to private school (for 2 years) and then public school. I just recently pulled them all out of public school because I wasn't happy with any of it. Our lives immediately got better! Me and my kids are happier and spend more time together and we get to focus on the areas that I know they need work on (my son is not a strong reader and public school was not able to help him much with this). I stand by my decision everyday, and everyday I know without a doubt that its right for us. Homeschooling is not for everyone, but thats why we all have choices. Just like I respect other people's choices, I expect them to respect my choices. And if they don't, I don't even care because its my life and they're my kids and ultimately, I'm the one who is responsible for them and at the end of the day, I have to know that I am doing the best I can as a mother. And its enough. Be encouraged.

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R.A.

answers from Atlanta on

If you're in the DFW area, there is a great homeschool resource available every year on Mother's day weekend. It's the Home School Book Fair and it happens in Arlington at the convention center. Go to www.homeschoolbookfair.org to check out the information. It was a huge help to us when our daughter asked to be homeschooled at the end of her fourth grade year. We were able to compare so many different types of curriculum before making a choice, plus a lot of the exhibitors give big discounts for purchasing at the fair, including little to no shipping for orders. We chose to go with Alpha Omega Publishing. They have several different ways to go with your children's education. Whatever you choose to use, just know that you are not alone in your decision and you for sure are not alone in being ridiculed about your choice. Family do not always agree on what's best for your child, but who is the parent? Do what you have peace about. My family didn't understand either, but I think that after eight years, they can have no complaints!! She graduates this year. One other suggestion - choose to have your child tested each year so that you have a good idea whether or not your child is learning properly. These standardized tests will show where your child is in relation to other children nationwide who took the same tests. It allows you to see any weaknesses and strengths and go from there in sculpting your child's education. Good luck and God bless you for loving your children enough to give them the best - you.

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D.T.

answers from Austin on

C.,
At the risk of being vulgar and getting booted off this site, I say tell other folks to kiss you where the sun doesn't shine! How dare people pass judgment on you because of how you choose to educate your children! In Austin of all places I am surprised you have encountered this reaction because I know a number of homeschooled children and their parents and they are doing just fine. Additionally, there are lots of co-op programs where parents get together and share teaching so kids have interaction with other kids. Also, I teach aerobics at the SW YMCA and they have PE classes for homeschooled kids. There is also curriculum for you to follow and it makes sure that your children learn the required material for their age. I have found that homeschool and "other schooled" children fare better than children in public school. You and your daughter can go at her pace and she won't be confined to what the class is doing. You'll have the freedom to teach her about lots of things-and I guarantee much of it won't be in a public school classroom!

It sounds like you are getting feedback from people who really don't know you or your child or anything about homeschooling. As for your mother in law, it's really none of her business either. She's raised her children, she needs to step back and let you raise yours.

As for your husband, that is a different issue. Perhaps if he got more involved in your child's education he would see how well you are doing. It sounds like he is bowing to the pressure. As much as you can, stay strong.

As for public school being better, I beg to differ (at least here in Texas). I have had a couple of run ins with AISD and I have to say that I am not happy with them. My children attend Montessori school and my husband and I have committed to keeping them in private school for the time being to the point of being co-owners of the school. If AISD is so great, how come the schools are so crowded? If it's so great, why isn't PE required? If it's so great, how come so many students are doing poorly on the TAKS tests? I don't know if you are in AISD or another school district, but while public school is okay, it's not all that great here in TX.

I'm sorry to rant, but I want to applaud you and support you in your decision. Stand firm in your decision and know that there are many parents who have made alternative choices for their children's education. You're not alone and don't let people (who have no idea what is involved and business making comments) deter you from what you feel is right.

Best of luck!!
D.

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T.B.

answers from Houston on

C., I have two sisters who home-schooled their children all the way to graduation. They all have rewarding jobs and are doing quite well. I, also, home-schooled my children for 1 year until I had to put them back in public school and go back to work. The school did not want to recognize the year I taught them even though I had all their work and lesson plans for them to see. They finally agreed to put them in the correct grade, but said they would test them and if they were behind, they would put them back...I agreed. Both girls tested way above their grade level. My 2nd grader was nominated to be put in the G&T class the following year.
Being in a Home School support system helps alot! There are outside functions to take your children to so they can have the proper interaction with other children. They have HS choirs, HS ball clubs, HS field trips & picnics. Get involved! When it comes time for those hard classes, you can network with parents who are good at those subject and even parents who have their teaching certifications that will help you out.
HS does take dedication and commitment from both you AND your husband, and it can be very rewarding to you and your children.
Remember to stick to a schedule...it is important. One day your children, hopefully, will attend a college and will need that discipline. My children were to be up, dressed, and at the table by 9am each morning. (gave me time to take care of the baby) Then we worked until each subject was completed with a 30 minute lunch break. They were not allowed to go outside until the other children were home from school. Everyone has different schedules, depending on your family; make one that fits yours and stick to it.
God bless your endeavors and let Grandma know there are more HS students out there than she can imagine!

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D.M.

answers from Dallas on

Hi, C.!

Just weighing in with my two cents. Homeschooling is an immediate family decision, not extended. I decided to homeschool my three kids nearly two years ago, and I didn't care what anyone else thought. I didn't even ask them. No one but my husband and I know what's best for my kids. As far as kids being behind other kids in school or not being able to do well if they go back, we'll see. Next week my 1st grader is scheduled to take some tests to see where he is education-wise because he has decided he would rather return to school. I'll let you know how that turns out. Also, my husband has a discussion with the boys at the end of each day to find out what they learned for the day. This has two benefits: he gets to see what they're doing and be involved, and this also reinforces what they've learned. We only take 3 hours at the most to cover an entire day's worth of work, and then we go out on field trips in the afternoon and learn even more. I'll also say kudos to you about not wanting to put your child on meds. That should never be done, unless it's absolutely necessary. So, basically, imo, tell everyone else, friends and family, to take a jump in the nearest lake if they don't agree that you know what's best for you and your family. Also, I organize a meetup.com group, DFW Secular Homeschoolers, and we are having our next meeting February 9th at Dunlop Sports Center in north Arlington, if you'd like to talk to others in similar situations and get some support. Hope this helps in some way!

D.

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M.W.

answers from Dallas on

Homeschooling is a WONDERFUL way to raise bright, intelligent, creative children who aren't afraid to blaze their own trails. Unfortunately, the majority of people DON'T like to stand out from the crowd and believe the status quo is the way to go. So, yes, MANY people will disagree with the choice you've made; you have to learn to just let it go. After my reply I'll leave you some great links, including some for dealing with the nay-sayers.

I won't go into the socialization aspect because, as a past a past and future homeschooler (my daughter is enrolled in first grade at a PS currently, but we will be returning to homeschooling next year), I'm sooooo over hearing "but what about socialization?" Do some research; you'll find that, for responsible homeschooling parents, this isn't a topic worthy of worry.

As far as the time spent in studies issue, NO WAY do you need to school during the same hours as public schools or even the same number of hours. Treating your home school as "school at home" is the quickest way to burning out, for both yourself and your children. Some would say you don't need ANY formal learning time with workbooks and the like. Through trial and error you'll learn what works best for you and your kiddos and I can assure you it will be so much better if you stay away from the rigid schedule public schools keep. Remember, you're teaching two, not 20-30, right?

Also, you DO NOT need to get the text books schools are using. This is another way to cause burnout. One of the most awesome reasons to homeschool is that you are able to make learning FUN and REAL for your children. Text books are neither. There are tons of homeschool curricula from which to choose, or you can put your own together from things gleaned here and there. We got most of our stuff at Half Price Books, Borders and Mardel. There are a few homeschool resale shops around DFW, as well.

My family hates that I homeschooled my daughter; we both loved it. We homeschooled for kindergarten and then placed her in PS to appease my family. She makes excellent grades and is, infact, far above her peers in reading and math. The only thing she gets poor marks for is handwriting; her school has the children form their letters differently than how I taught her, so she's had to completely relearn that. I certainly did not use school-type textbooks or make her spend 7 hours a day working and she's adjusted quite well to public school expectations. However, while it hasn't been terrible, my mommy instincts are telling me that home learning is the way to go for us. I'm very excited to begin again, although I dread giving the news to my family.

I would urge you to join a playgroup or two if you haven't already. Your girls will have fun and you'll get some support.

Here are some links which you may find helpful.

www.homeschoolspot.com
http://geocities.com/collincountyhomeschoolplaygroup/
http://www.ahsom.org/
http://www.texashomeeducators.com/

There are a ton more I've got in my favorites folder but I've got to put my daughter down for a nap. Please feel free to email me and I'll be glad to direct you to some more helpful sites!

~M.

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H.C.

answers from Houston on

Don't let anyone tell you what right for you or your children, that is your decision as a parent and family not their's. Every home schooled individual that I have met has done just fine either way it is your choice. I applaud your strength.

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J.L.

answers from San Antonio on

I'm young and I don't know much, but I been surrounded by a great group of people that know a lot. My mother in law never went to college even but is an amazing homeschooling mom. She has now had three graduate with amazing grades and is still teaching at least 5 more at home with more on the way. There are so many books and references that tell you what your child needs to know. I was going to be a teacher before I go married and I was surprised to know that most teachers just follow a book anyway. The only thing they may know better would be some methods- something you'll learn even better as you go along and experience it all yourself because you'll naturally do whatever it takes to help your children learn- something no one else can do like you. In my own education career, I have attended a private school, been home schooled and have gone to public. If you're an organized mom and you really do devote yourself to your children's education than you're doing the right thing.
Most importantly your children are YOUR responsibility. Not the government's. This is the MOST responsible thing you can do.
I pray the best for you. Do not loose heart! If you're still looking for guidance I'd be happy to try and help find some info for you!
***A great mix is a school based in Chicago called Christian Liberty. It is mainly a correspondence type thing but the do all the grade levels!

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M.M.

answers from Dallas on

C., Hang in there!!! You have a couple of million people backing you! I am a Grammy of a 10 month old, my daughter went to public and private school while I was a single Mom. I would have given anything to home school her and she will be home schooling my grandson. There are great books of the pros and cons of home schooling. For many, many reasons home schooling is becoming more and more recognized. No, you don't need a degree in education! Please check out some of these great books on socialization and Q&A about home schooled children. These books will help you answer some of the questions you are probably asked. It will make you proud and happy you chose to educate your kids this way!

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D.G.

answers from Nashville on

It's your choice...tell them to blow it out their ears! I rather abhor what is happening to our public school system & am a big proponent of vouchers and private schools. If what's in place is as good as it gets, I'd like my taxes back, please! Good for you- I've no patience for HS myself, but the opportunities for socialization, group education & extracirriculars for HS kids is much better than it used to be. Good luck...toughen up, though- just know you are doing what you feel is best for your kids.

D.

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L.H.

answers from Tyler on

C.,

I too took my 14 yr old out of the high school she was attending and started homeschooling her. Yes, she does miss the time she had to "chill" with her friends and such but that is the only thing I regret about her homeschooling. I dont miss all the other problems she was having associated with "public schools" The homeschool programs they have available now are just as good as "public schools". Lauren will have an opportunity at scholarships just as everyone else will. Also, we dont follow the same time schedule as the schools do... Thats the wondeful thing about being to homeschool your kids. Have a set time every day that you do school and a set amount of time you stay on each subject and go on with your day. I dont know if you are in the Tyler, Texas area or not but if you are then The scroll book store has a time each week for homeschool parents to meet with some other parents and they can give you advice on some activities your kids can do to meet other homeschoolers and have friends who do the same thing. As, far as what other people say, just let it slide and say thank you for your concern but I am doing what "I" feel is best for "MY" kids. thats what I had to do. We have been doing homeschool now for 1 1/2 and doing well.. Lauren will Graduate early but not too early. She is on task with the other 10th graders her age and doing fine. When your kids get involved in other activities with other kids who are doing the same stuff you can have "your" time. I also have issues with my Mother in law. She is always telling me I need to put Lauren BACK in school. I just ignore it and say well she is doing just fine and will be just fine. You might also put an ad out in the paper advertising for other homeschool parents and get a group going. There are so many things you can do and are limitless ideas out there. Good luck and Happy schooling!

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L.

answers from Dallas on

If you don't already, I would recommend networking with those who do homeschool more. It'll give you the opportunity to have more moral support for your decision and coordinate efforts sometimes with other moms who homeschool, like group field trips. I see discussions about these all the time. They look like so much fun and educational in ways those in school don't get as much of an opportunity to do.

I don't know where you live, but two local groups that seem really good are Mansfield Homeschoolers at http://www.freewebs.com/mansfieldhomeschoolers/

They also have an email list.

And Tarrant County Home Education at:

http://www.thea-online.org/

Good luck. I applaud you!!!!

Best,
L.

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B.

answers from Dallas on

Boy...I wish I could give you the best answer in 5 seconds. Homeschooling is hard. But it is SO worth it for many families. I'm in my second year of homeschooling and there are days when I'm down and other days when I'm SO excited. Fortunately, I have a good support system.

I would suggest you join a home school support group. They can give you a lot more suggestions than I can in a short reply. There are many in this area...if you let us know where you live I'm sure someone on here can point you to one. I live in Collin County and we have at least 3-4 of them here, plus several co-ops.

You might also want to go to www.sonlight.com and look through their articles. They would give you some ammunition for your friends/acquaintances.

My biggest concern is your husband. The two of you have to be together on this or it will be REALLY hard.

I'll be praying. Homeschooling is not easy but I wouldn't have it any other way.

B.

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D.S.

answers from Austin on

I would put all your energy into loving and teaching your kids and don't worry about what others think.
When we all start out as new mothers we have no "formal"
training, it doesn't take "formal" training to homeschool your children. As long as they are learning thats whats important. Its all trail and error. You may try looking at Time4Learning.com, if your children like working on the
computer, I've heard good reviews about this homeschool cirriculum. Not every child is the same, and not every child does best in the "traditional" setting of a public school.
Some people are naturally critical of what they don't
understand, or what is not considered traditional. From
the articles I've been reading homeschooling is becoming
a more popular option these days for parents who have
the ability to do it. People should never critize ones choices til they have walked in their shoes. Let your
motherly instinct guide you, you above anyone knows whats best for your children, so quit doubting yourself and enjoy homeschooling them. Yes it can be challenging, but it can
also be rewarding too. Some of the smartest kids
I've been around were homeschooled. Goodluck!

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R.V.

answers from Dallas on

First of all, who cares what anyone says. These are your children and you know what is best for them!! I have two younger children that I homeschool and two older children that go to public high school. Public school is not the best, it is no where close. Public schools in Texas only teach what is necessary to pass the Taks test. I have a junior in high school that is a true testimony to that. She's and A student and is in most AP classes but cannot tell the time on an analog clock, she cannot do simple math without a pencil and paper. When I started homeschooling my younger children I got the same response from everyone around us that you are getting, some didn't think we were really working on school work, some would talk about social aspects of school and others would just out right be rude and say what they thought. If you start researching, homeschooled children actually are doing better in College, are more disciplined, more well rounded, and do very well socially.
As far as following a schedule like the public schools, that is the beauty of homeschooling. Your children get the book knowledge they need in addition to the worldly knowledge that they will get while running errands with Mom, going to visit someone in the hospital and so on. I don't know how old your children are but in elementary school they spend about 45 minutes on math, reading, writing each. These are they key study points for elem. kids and they spend a lot of time on recess, lunch, pe, music, going to the library, art, and so on. So every time you visit the library - you are doing school, when you go for a walk with your children and talk about the changing season and all that you are seeing - you are doing school, (pe and science), and when you put on music and dance around the house while you do chores - you are doing school. Public school to me in the early years is nothing more than a babysitter and a big time waste that our children are forced to attend on a daily basis where they learn some good and a whole lot of not so good from other children who may be more worldly for their own good. For me, my children are only little ONCE and do I want to give them the foundation for their life or do I want to let some under paid teacher that really do care what happens to them in 20 years mold them. Feel free to email me and I will give you my home number--You can never meet to many homeschoolers!!!! [email protected]____.com

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K.C.

answers from Austin on

Your responsibility is your children. You listen to you instincts and ignore the ignorance of other people. As long as it's working for EVERYONE, then keep plugging away. I don't think PUBLIC schools are GOOD for everyone and, in MY opinion, focus on standardize testing too much. Keep up the good work and stay positive. You can do it!

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R.M.

answers from Waco on

C., Hi! I am a SAHM who has homeschooled my kids for 9 years. We began homeschooling because of the poor quality of the public schools around us at the time and because of the expense of the private schools. Also, when we visited some of the private schools, they weren't doing much more than playing with play-doe(sp) and learning ABC's. I thought "I can do that, and for less than $300/month." This is how we got started and we never looked back. Yes, we have had plenty of rough days and plenty of funny stares when we tell others that we homeschool but I wouldn't change a thing. It was so rewarding the day that my kids finally "got it" and started reading, and the day that we got our first set of tests scores back and both kids were way above the national average in almost every subject. How can kids not do well when the student/teacher ratio is 2 to 1. Homeschooling has come so far in the past few years. We now have so many things available to us: sports, music, clubs, etc. and the list goes on and on. You need to find out about and get involved in a support group. Take it slow at first because there is so much out there that it can be overwhelming. Also, it would be very helpful for you to call an organization called Homeschool Legal Defense (HSLDA). They can help you find a support group in your area and they can send info. for your skeptical friends and family on the benefits of homeschooling as well as lots of examples of successful homeschoolers. Here is their # ###-###-####. I guess the most important thing for me was that I felt God calling me to do this. I did not set out planning to homeschool but the Lord prepared me for it. My husband and I went to a seminar about homeschooling and we took classes at a homeschool convention in our area. The conventions are wonderful but, again, be careful because you can get overwhelmed and buy too much! Anyway, I feel the Lord has blessed out efforts and I have a very close relationship with my children. My 14 y/o daughter thought she might want to go to a private school for her freshman year of high school just to prove to herself that she was "normal" and that she could keep up with others in her same grade. We said we would give her that option but after a couple of months she decided that, after being around a few adults who had been homeschooled, that she was perfectly normal. And since on her lasts test scores she tested "above high school", she decided that she was just as smart as the other kids her age also. Both of my kids have gotten to have some really neat experiences that they would not have gotten to have if they were not homeschooled. And on the other side of that coin, there are several unpleasant experiences that I had in public school that my kids have not had to go through. Is this sheltering? Yes, somewhat. But they are children for goodness sake. Why do they have to be thrown into this harsh world at such a young age?! Why not give them a good strong base and discuss and teach and prepare them for the harshness they will meet. You won't be able to shield them from everything and those will be your teachable moments that will help prepare them for the world. I beleive kids are exposed to too much in todays world and at too young of an age. Why can't they be kids for a while longer? You have the chance to let them be. I hope I haven't bored you to tears and I hope I have given you some useful info. Don't let others intimidate you. They are your children and you know what's best for them. You are the one that is responsible for how they turn out as adults and how they are prepared to meet the world. Of course you do want your husband on board. You can't do this without his support. That's why I think the HSLDA will be helpful. Men like facts and numbers. The HSLDA will be able to give you info. about how homeschoolers do very well in college because they are prepared and self-motivated to do their homework and how many influential schools (Harvard and Yale) seek out homeschoolers for scholarships because homeschoolers do so well on the SATs. I'm droning on again. I hope this info. is helpful. And be encouraged, once you get plugged into the homeschool community, there are lots of neat people out there that are like-minded, friendly and helpful. There are thousands and thousands of homeschoolers in this country and around the world. You are not alone! Candy M

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J.H.

answers from Abilene on

Bless your heart. You must feel surrounded. Fear not, however, these things just take time. I had a doubting husband also, who is now very much on board. His parents were very skeptical. His Dad is a retired teacher/principal/superintendent. They came around as well. In fact, the other day he was telling me how he would be just as apt to homeschool his children if he were raising them in this day and age!
You really need to get in touch with other homeschool moms in this community. Brownwood has a thriving homeschool community and if you enjoy company and activity, (or if it might encourage your husband), you ought to join HOTHE. (Heart of Texas Home Educators)
If you have any preschool age children, you might enjoy the MOPS program conducted at Southside Church on Indian Creek. There is at least one homeschool mom on the organizing committee there. Her name is Jessica. She is very involved and active with her kids.
I live out of town toward the lake and tend to be less involved in town, but I enjoy lots of friendship and my kids are doing well. There are countless ways to go about homeschooling and countless more ways to measure the success thereof.
Be calm and confident. This is just one more growing experience that God has blessed you with. Feel free to email me with questions if you'd like some more info.
Sincerely, J. H.

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J.G.

answers from San Antonio on

Me personally i have no patientce to homeschool my kiddos, i cant get them to sit down to do anything, now i have a friend who has 5 kiddos and 1 step kid, she homeschools them all, and they do really good. I have to "give it up" to anyone who has the patientce to do it, i wish i did. That said, they are YOUR kids, only YOU know what is best for them, if you truly believe it is, then it is. As far as everyone else goes, just tell them well you have your opinion and i have mine, they are my kids and i will do as i please, when you have yours you can do what you want/or/you had your chance to raise your kids the way you wanted, now these are mine and i will do what i want. I have used this before, even with my mother in law, it works (after a couple of times saying it on diff. things), but she doesnt say anything to me anymore. Just let what they say "go in one ear and out the other", hold your head up, after a while of them telling you they will stop when they see it is doing no good. I hope this helps you, good luck and God Bless you and your family.

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M.C.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

I understand how you feel. Most of the time it is just from ignorance on homeschooling. It is unfamiliar territory for most people and they tend to be fear based. My in-laws were a little like that, although mostly to my kids instead of me. Now that my oldest is in college and doing so much better than their public schooled grandchildren, they have stopped thinking they were "behind." Even my 16 yod is enrolled in a college class at our community college for dual credit. She hadn't been in a classroom since the 1st grade. She has adjusted without any problem (as did her older sister).

My dh was a lot like yours in that he felt they needed to sit at a table from early morning until afternoon. Well, if your child wasn't doing well with that method in public school, the last thing you want to do is repeat the same setting at home. Not to mention that there is nowhere near the disruptions that you get in the classroom and there is one on one instruction at home. You can accomplish what public school does in less than half the time. My husband sees how well the kids have done so he is now a proponent for the way we have taught the kids.

As far as someone commenting that public school kids don't do well if they go back to public school, that is simply not true. Some might not, but that could very well be the same kids that wouldn't do well in public school anyway. I have had plenty of friends that decided to let their children go to public school for high school and they have excelled beyond their peers. One good friend just moved back to WI and put her girls in public school. She has had teachers who told her how they were amazed at how well her daughters were doing (fitting in and excelling academically). They had the wrong image of homeschoolers too until they actually had them in their classroom. If homeschoolers are so ruined, they why are many colleges these days actually recruiting homeschool students? I just went to a college fair that was put on by a homeschool association. There were a number of colleges there wanting to speak to us about what they can offer our children.

I would still be happy to meet with you sometime if you need to talk to someone. I've been doing this for 10 years now. If you need any information about research studies on the success of homeschoolers, I will be happy to point you to some. Just let me know the specific concerns.

M.

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J.C.

answers from Lubbock on

first of all who cares if you home school or not???????? i tried to my son in the fourth grade untill i could get him in aep class (no i had no luck) but i tried to do it without help now i know better. there are groups in our area now. contact them thru you supplier or find another bookstore (bible stores might been a good contact good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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W.C.

answers from Dallas on

You need to trust your own judgement. It can be hard when others are against you but YOU are the children's mother and if your husband agrees with you then that is the decision. I teach in the public school system and have had children come back into the main stream classroom. Most of the ones I have seen are ahead of the others as they have had one on one attention. I really wish the size of the classes were smaller in the public schools as it would be much better for the children. Children that are home schooled are not exposed to the social downfalls that are occurring. Home schooled children have better manners and learn more as there is no distraction from other students. From what I understand there are quite a few people that home school in Leonard. There are people that will teach art and home skills. I would seek out others who are home schooling as they may plan field trips and other activities that will help you in the education of your children. These parents will also be of like mind with you and can more than likely give you the support you need as well as tell you how they have dealt with the same issue. Good luck and stand firm.

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S.S.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C. F:

Don't let any of these people try to undermine what you are doing. As a mother, we want to do what we feel would be best for our children and you have made the right decision for yours. With what goes on in the schools today, you should feel at ease by homeschooling them. They will grow up to be more respectful of others and so what if they are not able to interact with the other children, at least your children will have the chance to stay drug free and out of the different clicks that get kids in trouble.
As for those that are telling you to take your child to the dr. for meds because of ADHD, don't do it, my oldest son was diagnosed with ADD back in 1987 and that was the worst decision I made to give him Ritalin. He was a very passive 7 yr. old and with the meds he became very violent and it made him sick on top of that. Thank God I took him off of it because it was making a wreck out of my precious child.
I only wished I could have home schooled my children, things might have been tons different. But thankfully, with my guidance they turned out to be terrific adults.
Do what your heart tells you C., don't let everyone try to stick there nose where it doesn't belong.
Be strong, stick to your decision.

P.S. The Dr. that gave my son the Ritalin said that it helps these kids focus better, he said he had a patient that was a 17 yr. old football player and he could not play his game without it. I told the Dr. that sounded like an addiction to me. So stick to your decisions for your kids.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

I think it takes a very strong woman to homeschool. I myself do not homeschool my son at this time, but I admire moms that can and do. I know several kids that are homeschooled and they are fine. There are many avenues you can use to keep them in a "social" circle. That is the only thing I see sometimes it that some kids that are homeschooled have a hard time socializing with kids that are in Public schools. That's my only observation. The kids that I know personally that are homeschooled are very very smart and amazing. They learn things that public schools don't have time to stay on if you will. I think you should press on and if you are happy, not your friends and family, but you are happy, then keep it up. This world is about staying within the lines. People need to step out sometimes. Keep up the good work.

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F.L.

answers from Houston on

I see you already have loads of replies, so hopefully this is helpful..

I am a teacher in the public schools who believes if you feel you can, than you probably you CAN do a better job at home - especially during middle school. Kids are using their time extremely poorly, disturbing & distracting others from learning.
Getting out into the real world, experiencing all sorts of different things, NOT fitting into a neat 45 minute or 1.5 hour sessions is GOOD.
I used to teach special ed in a contract school that allowed me to decide when we would do each lesson. Kids learn better sometimes when they can continue or take breaks at their own pace.
The world is changing. People are becoming more aware that we need balance in our lives - one hopes anyway. I personally see many who are forming lifestyles which incorporate this into career choices. The worst thing we forget to do is think about how we will spend our daily lives once we have any particular job. Does your child have a desire to be outside? If so, a career down the road might take this into consideration.
I also am a facilitator with ECSTATIC DANCE HOUSTON. We have children who dance with us of varying ages. please feel invited to come and bring your child[ren].
In fact, we have 15 and 17 year old brother and sister who are amongst the most intelligent, thoughtful, creative, loving & enlightened beings I have ever met - and they are home schooled.
I definitely encourage you to explore alternative ways to learn, not only academics.
One of these kids is studying homeopathic plants.
Yoga... art museum visits.. look at surrealist art and just TALK about it...write stories from pictures...make musical instruments and record your own music. etc...
If you need ammunition, look up BLOOM'S TAXONOMY...

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D.L.

answers from Houston on

Your decision is yours. Do not let anyone tell you what is best for your children. People always criticize and challenge any methods (schooling, child rearing) that are not the norm. My five year old is not home schooled but he attends a school that is considered different. Students learn in a small environment at their own pace and own their own schedule. The school emphasizes respect and peace. We are always questioned about his education but we (and he) are happy so that is all that matters. I have taught high school for 10 years and have had many home school students enroll in my class and they have all been very successful.

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L.S.

answers from Dallas on

I don't homeschool but I know many who do so and very succesfully. One thing to keep in mind, is typically the kids who go from a homeschool environment to a public school one is going because his or her homeschool situation has failed for whatever reason. You don't see the homeschool successes end up in public school do you? See what I mean?

Here's an excellent homeschool rant I found that I think covers some of your complaints here: http://www.familyhack.com/2007/11/09/homeschooler-rant/ It's priceless really and might give you some ammo. I think the one thing that's important for homeschoolers is to develop connections and support so they can succeed. I suggest you do this (if you haven't already) so you can help your husband better understand why what you're doing is best, etc.

Good luck!!

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M.T.

answers from San Antonio on

Dear C.,
Do what your heart tells you is right. Do not listen to what people say. You are doing the right thing and putting your families welfare first. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but does it mean that you have to listen to them . Who's to say?
You are setting footprints in your children's life's that will follow them for the rest of their life on earth. I think you are doing a wonderful thing . Don't loose faith , keep your chin up !!!!

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H.F.

answers from San Angelo on

You are the Mother and that buys you the right to make decisions that are best for your children. The END. Whenever anyone offers you advice or criticism, simply say "I have taken that into consideration, thank you for your concern."

Now, make sure you HAVE taken those things into consideration.

The first thing is: you are using an ABECA or other standard curriculum right? This is absolutely imperative so that you do not inadvertantly skip fundamentals. As for you not having a degree in education, this will not be a problem until you get to about 5th grade, provided you are fairly good in Math (you wouldn't belive how fast it gets tricky!)

You didn't say how old your children are. The first question I will pose is: "Is it the right decision to homeschool all of your children?" I know you have been offended by the administration (and rightly so) but do consider the needs of your other children and do not let a few know-it-alls take away opportunities for your kids. The real issue for me here is sociality (especially since you have just moved to a new place. I was a Navy brat so I moved every three years). Is there any way that you can keep just the one home so you can work one-on-one to get her back on track? That way you can put her back in next year if you want to.

If you do decide to continue to homeschool one or all of your children:
I know many home-schooled children...for whatever reason a lot of people of my faith home-school. I know Mothers who have been insulted by school administrators, who put their children back in school later on and their kids are doing great (are even in Talented and Gifted programs) so don't worry about that. That said, I do have a few points to make on the subject...all are in support of your decision.

First of all the home-schooled children I know, even from different families, have some social difficulties. They haven't had the experience interacting with others their own age and are often bossy and controlling with other children. They also seem to have no respect for authority (familiarity breeds contempt, so you as a teacher may end up with some behavior problems from your kids as the novelty wears off). Some of these kids don't seem to have self-control with their thoughts. They often blurt out things that hurt others' feelings like "I don't like that shirt."

In order to combat these isssues is imperative for your children to be involved in as many extracurricular activities as they can. Dance, soccer, baseball, cheerleading, gymnastics...all will teach them concepts such as acceptable ways to deal with others, with frustration, build team concepts, etc.

Also I agree with your husband to a degree with the daily schedule, but not for the reasons he says. Most jobs in the world are from 7:30 - 4:30 or "9-5" not including morning routine time. Your children should be able to adhere to a schedule ESPECIALLY if you EVER decide to put them back into a school. Every day at X-o'clock they should have reading, every day at Z-o'clock they should have Math. Routines build structure into the day and limit chaos...this will transfer over into their behavior too and can go a long way to breaking your daughter of some behaviors that may appear ADHD related (sitting for periods of time focused on one task).

I am sure that you can make it work to be both SAHM and School teacher, and you can take "Lunch/recess" if there are things you have to do during the day, but if your full-time job is schoolteacher, it should be that. It will be very difficult to be a SAHM and full-time teacher in the same place. That is why I do not homeschool!

Also my friends have made absolutely sure to have a place for schooling. My one friend turned her office into a schoolroom. This should be a place where the children identify it as a place to do their work, not where they can watch TV or play with toys at the same time.

Anyway, I do have these friends as a resource. If you want more specific information, just e-mail me at [email protected]____.com and I can put you in touch with at least two HSMoms.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
First of all I am very proud that you have decided to homeschool your children. I am also a SAHM and Homeschooler.
There are many support groups out there for you to tap into.
Where are you located? McKinney's group is called M.A.R.C.H., Plano's group is called P.E.A.C.H., and Frisco's group is called Frisco H.I.S. I pray that your husband gets on board, it's very important to have his support. One way I chart my children's success is by having them take the TAKS tests that the public schools take. You can pull practice tests off the internet for free with an answer key. It you show your husband that "according to the state's standards" your children are succeeding then maybe he and others will see what you see. I know that my support group has been a great help, especially in the very beginning. You're in my prayers. CS

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S.A.

answers from Dallas on

I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time. You know you are supported here, just by the sheer number of responses to your post!! :) I recommend www.triviumpursuit.com for some great ideas, as well as their book _Teaching the Trivium_. For me and my DH, it crystallized what we have been thinking about our children's education. We have been homeschooling for 6 years, and I have 2 in "formal" school. The fact is that a child's first teacher is the parent. Why give that role away just because everyone else does? This is a new concept to a lot of people (it was to me, too when I met my (homeschooled) DH). Seek support elsewhere for now, and just politely ignore these people who have no authority over you, or your children. When you have been homeschooling for a while, you (and your DH) will be confident in your teaching abilities, and it will be a lot easier to let the comments roll off your back. Also, kids under about 10 years old can complete the same amount of *useful* work as a public school kid in about 1/3 the time, and retain the knowledge better, too. There are also many learning experiences in cooking and shopping with mom (think math, community helpers, precision in measuring, following directions, general life skills). Also check out www.home-school-inc.com for great tips, support, and help with organization. I've used it for 18 months or so, and my family really enjoys seeing what's going on with my kids' school.
Good luck!

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D.B.

answers from Houston on

I am amazed at the way your husband seems to want to control the situation. I do not see anything wrong with what you are doing and I can relate to the issues you are having with your daughter. I would say that the sturcture public school provides is something I am not sure that I could keep up with. I would get on Your ISD's website and be sure that your curriculumn is on. As far as your start and stop times- do what works for the kids. regardless of the school schedule. If it works better to star @ 8:30 and end @ 4:30 then so be it. Make sure that you are executing the standardized tests that the schools use. this way you can prove yourself as your childrens teacher by performance. Set goals,chart progress. Use results as your ammo to objecting parties. And if it proves good for the kids based on the controls you are using to measure than you have your answer. You will know what you have accomplished based soley on the childrens performance. Great or not it will be what it is. If it proves not as beneficial as you hoped. Get the kids some tutors to bring them up to speed and put them back in school. Mostly you have to try and base your decision on what is best for the children, not what is best for you or your mother in law or anyones else. As long as you do the best you can with the knowledge you have and make sure you are able to effectively deal with whatever the outcame will be you have much to gain in wisdom knowledge and insight and nothing to lose. Best wishes and good luck.

Full time WM + Member of the armed forces and devoted wife and mother of 2 girls. Sugar Land

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W.S.

answers from Amarillo on

I would just let people talk bad as long as I felt that my child was on track with his learning. I am thinking of homeschooing mine jut because he likes to learn and I don't want him getting bored in school and them trying o tell me he is diruptive or something just because he is bored. I think that your husband should support you more and not make you and your children hide things from his mom. It could end up causing issues between the two of you and send bad signals to the kids. Sorry about jumping up on my soapbox and I really hope everything works out for you!

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I would very politely tell "these people" that you did not ask for their opinion. You feel you are doing the best for your children and you are all happy - butt out! Just because someone else didn't like it or someone else's kids didn't enjoy it doesn't mean you and your kids won't. Everyone is different.

Kudos to you for making such a brave decision. Bottom line, it doesn't matter what other people think, it matters what you, your husband and your kids think. Your husband should stand behind you and beside you and tell his Mother what's going on. By not telling her, he is saying that he is not on board with this.

Easier said than done, but it's your decision and as long as you're okay with it, then it's okay!!

Stay strong and may I suggest some prayers!?

Good luck!!

T.

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A.S.

answers from Sherman on

It doesn't matter what we do with our kids there is always going to be someone out there that doesn't agree with. If you stay on a routine (I do agree with your husband on this) and keep them interacting with other children on a consistent basis they will be fine. Routine prepares kids for the world outside of there home. It teaches them to be on time to work and to be reliable. As far as your daughter, both my children have been diagnosed "ADHD". I put that in parenteses on purpose because there is not set level of this disorder. One of my sons I would NEVER think of having ADHD but someone diagnosed him as having it. My other son is very energetic. Neither one of them is on meds and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It is good to work with them on holding still when being spoken to, listening intently, and stuff like that but alot can be done with just pure discipline. And I don't mean spanking or stuff like that. Really just teaching them PATIENCE! Good luck! Stay strong!

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H.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hello C.,
I just wanted to tell you that I think that you are doing a wonderful thing homeschooling kids. There are so many advanced tools now the kids are getting the best of both worlds. My son is 3 and my daughter is 1. I am thinking very seriously about home schooling myself. I think there are so many programs out there and you and your husband should talk to them (both of you). I think you will find that you don't need to teach them all day like your husband suggests. Also there is programs that you just pop in a DVD and a teacher is telling your children exactly what to do. So you are just there to monitor and guide them. I know tons of parents these days and I am proud of you. All you have to tell the other people to do is to do there research on what they are talking about before they give an opinion. There test results are most of the time (when a parent is following a program) are better than the regular classroom because you can give your child that individual attention that the student does not receive in a class of 26 students. The poor teacher can only do what they can do. Also, have you heard what these elementary school age children are talking about these days, I don't know about you but I don't want my child at age 7 knowing all about sex.
Sincerely,
H.

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S.S.

answers from Wichita Falls on

I am a certified teacher with 10 years of experience in the public school classrooms. If there is nothing better than the public schools - this country is in for a world of hurt over the next 20 years.

I've seen children put back into the classroom after assaulting teachers, after assaulting other students, after masturbating in the classroom, after threatening death to another kid.

I've seen kids bullied, bad mouthed, and socially ostracized - and when it's reported, the jocks get off, the misfits get punished, and the circle goes on again.

I've homeschooled my child until this point - I'm planning to start him in public school this year because he keeps begging. Oh - my homeschooled four year old is reading at a first grade level, and does 1-10 digit math through multiplication.

My public schooled 10 year old step daughter has struggled with reading and math every year - we catch up over the summer (an hour or two a day), and she does well through Christmas break - then she falls behind again.

You might also inform your husband that, of the 7 hours the public school has your child (420 minutes), 30 is spent at lunch, 30 is spent passing between classes, another 10 is spent in the hall way going "somewhere", 30 is spent taking roll, and 1 hour and 15 minutes is spent correcting misbehavior (that is in a GOOD class). That leaves 245 minutes (about 4 hours) for instruction - 215 if the students still get 30 minutes of recess. Of that, about 140 - 210 minutes is group instruction - the teacher at the chalk board and the student at the desk.

That leaves 35 minutes of time for one teacher to provide one on one instruction - or 5 minutes per period - to between 22 and 30 students.

Is it any wonder that a homeschooled student can cover the public school curriculum in 3 hours or less per day?

So much so that the public school system here counts 4 hours of private homebound instruction as a week of attendance (35 hours of school).

S.

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J.D.

answers from Dallas on

HOGWASH!!! I have home schooled my children until this year and they were always ahead of the public school system!! It seems to me that people who are commenting have not walked in the shoes to give the comments. You can only understand what you've been through so, first of all, ask them..."How do you know what your talking about?" Then get a network of people around you that does home school. I have had so many people and connections through home school groups either online, or CO-OPs, that have done nothing but encourage me, give me ideas, exchange resourses and everything else. I don't know how I would have survived if I hadn't had those connections. Then remember, colleges fight for kids who have been home schooled. If they have been home schooled and not been "lazy" (believe me, there are those who do give us a bad name)then they score higher and know how to study and do things on their own. I applaude you for standing up and doing something you believe in. If your Mother in law finds out then ask her to support you no matter how you choose to teach them and listen to your God given, mother instincts instead of a bunch of baloney that people who have not ever home schooled and don't know what their talking about say. My 10th grader, by the way, just entered into an Universtiy Model School this year and got in with Honors and my other two had to go to half a year last year to a public school because of a personal reasons, and were way ahead of the other kids. The teachers had the nerve to stop them from writing in cursive and pulled them back in other areas because they weren't teaching that yet. When I brought them back home this year they jump right back into the ciriculum that we use just fine and we are still ahead of public school kids.
Remember...proof is in the pudding! Get around the right people and stand up for what you believe is right for your kids. A big AMEN to those moms who decide to not conform to what others think is best for your child. God made you their mom for a reason!!!!

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E.D.

answers from Dallas on

Cope?
Tell them to MIND THEIR OWN BUSINESS!
There is more than one RIGHT WAY and if you have the skills and it is best for your children, people should be encouraged to BUT OUT.
I'm sorry... but it bothers me that so many folks think they have the right to tell others what to do.
Do your thing!
GOOD LUCK!

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K.M.

answers from College Station on

People are afraid of what they know little or nothing about. I've been a public-school teacher for more than a decade and I applaud any parent who "home schools" - as opposed to "no schools". You have to see the flip side of the situation to understand where these negative comments are coming from.

Example: [Note: For privacy's sake, I'll refer to the student as 'it' which is in no way meant to be disrespectful!] I have a student who was sent to the alternative school for flat-out refusing to complete any work of any kind. At A-school it sunk even further and slept from the time it got there to the time it left, if it even bothered to show up at all. After many unsuccessful meetings with it's parent (who claimed that s/he had no idea how s/he could possibly get it to do work or at least stay awake during school hours because, after all, it stays up all night playing XBox so of course it's tired during the day), the parent withdrew the child from the public school to be 'home schooled'.

Now, if the parent - who works a full-time job - cannot get the child to work at school and cannot get the child to sleep at night instead of play XBox, how is s/he going to educate the child at home?

Sadly enough, this is NOT an uncommon situation. Stereotypes are unfortunate, but they exist for a reason. Done properly, home schooling can be an amazing gift you give your child(ren). That's what you tell the nay-sayers. You tell them that you are sacrificing - home schooling is a very difficult task - so that your children get a proper and valuable education. You tell them that you are NOT one of those parents who is going to use the term 'home school' as an excuse to ruin your child's future. You are, in fact, working harder than is necessary because you believe in giving your child(ren) the best future possible.

If they don't accept that, then to H-E-double-hockey sticks with them! (If you can't tell, I am very passionate when it comes to education!)

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D.S.

answers from Houston on

Do you ask them for their oppinion? If not, it is none of their business and they need to keep their oppinions to themselves. Homeschool is certainly not for every mother and every child, but for those who do it, hands down to ya. If you are passionate, determined, and able, I say GO FOR IT. I have several friends who homeschool and I have to say, homeschooled children are some of the best behaved children I know. They are respectful of adults and other children of ALL ages. They fall out of "age segregation" category which means they get along with anyone at any age.

I hope this helps!!!....smile!!!

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K.A.

answers from Austin on

Its hard to tell people to mind there own business, Especially if its some one you care about. You can do it with out being rude. Just explain politely that though they may have differing opinions, you have to do what you feel is best for your children. If they press on just say that you are not discussing it further. As for your husband, He may be nervous about it especially if his mother would not approve. Just keep talking openly about your concerns together and see if you can come up with a meeting point. Not all schools start at 7:45.

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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

C.,
You have to do what is best for your children. Then you need to take care of yourself. You need a support system in this undertaking. Please find a homeschool co-op or a parent group where you can go and exchange ideas and make friends with people who are in your situation. You need someone/several people who you can call during a difficult day and get support. You also may need help. I partially home school and need to use a babysitter during some of those "school" hours because I need intense one on one time with my oldest for subjects that interruptions by the little kids would make very difficult. And as for keeping to a timed schedule, that is great if it is working for you. We have found that a lesson that would take 45 minutes to an hour to teach in school takes us between 10 and 15 minutes at home because I am only dealing with one student and one student's questions. We work all morning and if that goes well meet friends in the park the afternoon or go visit grandparents. I think it is important to connect with other families doing the same thing...not for "socialization" but for mommy support! You need some fun!

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J.N.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Congratulations!!! You are able to home school your children!!!

My best friend home schooled her 3 sons who are now in college and they are doing GREAT!!!

Keeping a schedule will help with staying on track for lessons. Not necessarily 7:45am to.. (I'm not a morning person).. But a daily schedule will help keep all of you on track. You would have to look at the curriculum you are using to see how it's spaced out...

I know my friend had to register her kids and purchase home school materials for so that the classes her sons took could be tracked and count for credit when they went to college.

Good Luck with everything!

J.

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D.Y.

answers from Dallas on

From a little bit different perspective, I was homeschooled from the first grade on ... we lived overseas. We came back to the US when I was in 4th and 9th grades, and I had absolutely no trouble fitting in. As a matter of fact, I was in honors classes in 9th grade and excelled greatly. I was much better prepared for college than anyone else I knew because I had learned the art of learning things on my own from textbooks instead of expecting the profs to spoon-feed me the information. Though I will very likely put my son in public school when he is old enough, I loved being home schooled and feel that I got an excellent education. I graduated Suma Cum Laude in Honors Studies with a degree in Biology. I think I turned out all right! Hope this gives you some hope from someone who's been on the other end of things.

P.S. I do think it's very important to find good social outlets since they will not have that through school. I was very involved in church and had friends in my neighborhood, and I feel very well adapted socially! =)

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K.A.

answers from Dallas on

C., you are ABSOLUTELY doing the right thing by home-schooling your daughter. Public schools leave a lot to be desired not admired. I have home-schooled my children in the past and it was the best decision at that time. My daughter was also having difficulties in school and we felt it necessary to pull her out and try homeschooling her. You must get your husband on board with you or it will not work. He needs to be your buffer between you and family members and friends. He needs to be your support. Because you homeschool, your school day does NOT need to be the same hours like public schools. In public schools, the teacher is distracted by other students or slower students so things are not learned as easily as at home. Plus, the public school day is set up with important subjects in the mornings hours (when the students are fresher) and the afternoon subjects are secondary subjects. Your school day should normally be around 4-5 hours during the day. This all depends on your daughter and how quickly she can get through her daily lessons. You should be able to school in the morning and run your errands after lunch. It is VERY IMPORTANT not to answer the phone or the front door when you are schooling! When you homeschool, you can set up your day/week to your schedule, not anyone elses. It is very important for you to find a homeschool group in your area. This way you will meet other moms going through the things you are going through. Homeschooled children are much smarter than public school kids and they have NO PROBLEMS getting into any college that they choose. YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR YOUR DAUGHTER and your husband needs to get on board. This doesn't mean that you will never return to public or private schools, you must take it one year at a time. You DO NOT need a degree in teaching to teach your children! You should let your husband teach your daughter one subject on the weekends or after he gets home from work, such as Math or History. This would show him what you do all day and how she learns. Don't worry about what other people say to you. Their opinions don't matter to your family. YOU are doing what is right for your family. Keep up the good work!

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J.H.

answers from Houston on

I would suggest you take a page out of Ann Landers book and reply something like:"Why are you so interested in my children's education?" or "This is a decision my husband and I made and we don't see that it should concern anyone else" or "I have consulted with professional educators and the program I am using is the accepted one, so I see no problem" then say something like:"Lets talk about something else" or just change the subject yourself. As long as you try to defend your decision to homeschool there will be someone willing to argue with you about it. Refusal is your best defense.

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D.C.

answers from Houston on

If people are saying bad things to you when they find out you homeschool they are rude. Do you do that? Go around telling other people their choices for the lives of their kids are bad? The lady who said you need a degree? Who said? Are you able to read, research and learn? Can you make arrangements for help if you don't feel capable in a subject? Hasn't she read the stories about people who learn more than people with college degrees just by reading? and living? Homeschoolers come out with very high test scores most of the time and are very much wanted in colleges.

As for your husband and the time he wants...maybe you guys need to meet some other homeschoolers, so your husband can talk with them and get a sense for all the different ways folks homeschool.

Some keep a real strict schedule and some don't. Generally because you can move at a much faster pace with homeschooling you don't need the same amount of clock specific time. You are in teaching mode so to speak all day with all activities

Andrea, the elementary teacher said "The only downside I have ever heard of for homeschooled children, is that they are not socially as developed as other children. This is usually due to the lack of interaction with other children. However, when I lived in Indiana, my son's babysitter and her twin sisters were homeschooled and they were the sweetest girls you would have ever hoped to meet!! So, I say forget what others say, and do what you feel is BEST for your children!!

I homeschooled my daughters when it was not cool to do starting 26 years ago.

Here is the deal. My definition of success in raising my daughters was to have young women who were intelligent,loving, could speak and write well, knew how to learn, how to find info they wanted.. who loved the Lord, had compassion for others, who knew the value of work and money and who knew the value and importance of being wives and mothers.

I had seen sooooo many women spend tons of money on college and then quit working after they had their babies because they wanted to be mothers full time.

As for socialization, I don't know why this keeps coming up.. All childrren are socialized by those whose company they share. That means homeschooled kids socialize with their own siblings, being raised in a similar fashion...and with their parents and with other adults and children of all ages because homeschoolers tend to include the whole family in activities often without all the age segregation that is not "real world". When folks are in college, or the workplace they are not age segregated.

If your child is socializing with other children of all ages who are being taught how to learn and research on their own level and speed then they don't have to be constantly instructed on "what to do next" like in public school. We traveled with my husband for his work and so had "field trips" and opportunities to see lots of places.

They often learn to be self starters and self motivators and they can spend extra time in topics that are important to them or in places where they need extra work, without the pressure of being swept along in the current of where their class is now or is going.

So in my mind socializing with grown mature adults and children, (whose families are generally extremely more involved in the guidance of their kids just by the amount of time they spend together alone) is not a bad idea. I did NOT want my kids to socialize with the packs of same age kids and to learn bullying, sex, drugs, disrespect for authority, rotten music etc. It worked beautifully. They did not grow up wanting the latest "in" items in fashion or electronics.

The schools are trained to look for kids that wiggle or make teaching difficult so they can drug them with serious drugs that affect their sleep, their weight, and their bone growth. Funny thing is though you hardly ever find ADHD kids in homeschool groups. The guidance, training and discipline that can happen with one on one parenting/teaching seems to cause ADHD to be scarce.

Our children do not have shortages of drugs in their systems. They have parents that are too busy, diets full of garbage, not enough sleep and too much stimulation and too many activities.

If you are going to homeschool you must become strong in your own belief in the rightness of it for your family and you must be able to be an apologist for it to your family, and then stand firm with others. They are your kids, not your MIL'S. If your husband is in agreement,he should tell his mother to lay off.

Homeschooling is definitely not the easy way out! It requires a hugh amount of committment, extra money cause you pay school taxes but then have to pay for all your own supplies, and a lot of energy and the willingness to sacrifice your own desires for your kids day in and day out.

It is not the societal norm...and you will be partly swimming upstream in strong waters, but it can be done. Hang in there!
I've been encouraged to see the comments here...don't forget to do your homework, research homeschooling stats concerning test scores, college desirablity, etc.

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C.S.

answers from Amarillo on

Homeschooling is a very personal choice. I disagree with the people telling you that public school is the best. It isn't always the best. I don't like the public elementary schools here, so my kids go to private school and we love it. I would probably never consider homeschooling personally, but I know lots of people that it works really well for. I do think you and your husband need to have a better agreement about it though. You sound like you have all your ducks in a row as far as what to teach and how to do it and make it work. Just try to ignore the people telling you it is wrong--bc it is your kids and your choice. Good Luck and just hang in there!

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L.M.

answers from San Antonio on

I can't say I'm an expert about this because I don't home school and I don't have a degree in education. But I have friends that do home school. I think the problem with your friends/family is that they are a little short-sided. First of all it is your decision (meaning you and your husband)on how you will educate your children. If you feel good about your decision and your kids are doing well then don't worry about what anyone else is saying. Second of all there are so many opportunities now for home schooled children that can keep them interacting with other children. As for the amount of time you are spending homeschooling If people really thought about how much time is involved in other activities besides the core subjects. At school(elementary)you have parties, recess, lunch, music, art, assemblies, field trips, etc. The amount of time they actually spend doing the core subjects can be shrunk down into a few hours. I figure if you are committed to doing it and spend the time necessary to help them learn then you're doing great. The only thing that might be hard for your children if they go back to school is structure but most kids can adjust just fine. Good luck!

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M.

answers from Dallas on

I would say your biggest problem isn't about home-school versus public school. You and your husband need to provide a united front and stick to it. If he is going to be negative and require everyone to keep it a secret from his mother, then the children are going to learn that homeschooling is wrong. If there is arguing - they listen to it all.

My other question is about the people asking about your qualifications - IS there any reason they would ask this? If not, then forget about them. Be confident in your decision.

I would actually keep it short and sweet when dealing with others - there is no need to defend yourself with casual friends and even family members. Just say "this is what is best for our family." If you follow your stance with "shhh - don't tell my mother in law" you don't look very confident in your decision.

I also agree with the other posters about getting involved in a home school group - you will meet tons of supportive families and have a entire new social circle.

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J.Z.

answers from Dallas on

I say, "Good for you!!!!" I think you know what is best for your kids. I think most people are not aware of how much homeschooled kids learn and how much effort it takes for the teacher!! I have a degree in education and I do not homeschool my kids. Let people say what they want and just know that your thought it through and you are doing what is right for your family. Most homeschooled kids are brilliant!

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R.B.

answers from Houston on

Once again, hang in there. You are doing the right thing. We have been homeschooling now going on our 4yr. As my husband has seen and experienced the joys his attitude becomes more and more on board with what I had invisioned. I taught in public school and pulled out to homeschool my son who was having reading difficulties. It is sooo amazing what we have accomplished. The other wonderful advantage of homeschooling is that you do not have to adhere to the public school system/schedule etc... It is hard to break that train of thought! You will see your homeschool change over time. You will most likely see your husband change too! Oh and we have dad's day homeschool when dad is home during the week the boys will do projects with dad. Academics are important, but not everything! Relationships are most important as well. How many parents wish they had had more time with their children, or say they don't know their kids? How can they when they spend 8 hours or more at school!
Be encouraged and do what your heart is telling you to do.

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

Do some research and get stats of "smartness" before public education. You will be amazed at what you learn. Good Luck. You are the only one tha knows what is or is not good for your family.

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J.D.

answers from Austin on

first of all, kudos to you. I have homeschooled my daughter since 2nd grade, she is now 16. I do not have an education degree. First - find a support group locally. Almost any area will have a homeschool group. Lots of good advice there. Second - you do not have to stick to a school schedule. Let's face it, there is lots of filler in a school schedule. It does not take 7 or 8 hours to teach a child one on one. Some subjects will take less time, some more. Third - Be flexible - I agree with needing some kind of schedule, but you can't be rigid about it. That will only lead to lots of frustration if something comes up. Fourth -do the Iowa Basic Skills Test yearly so you know how your child is progressing. COntact Bob Jones University regarding who can test, how to order, etc. Fifth - make sure your child is involved in outside activities. Again, a homeschool group is a great option, church activities, scouts, 4H. That will also give you something to respond with when others say they will not be socialized. Sixth - be proud of what you are doing. IF anyone says anything negative - respond with pride, and kindness. They are entitled to their opinion, but that should not influence your decision. Seventh - homeschool kids can go back into the public school system - I have friends who have homeschooled until high school, then put their kids in for the sports. I have friends who homeschool every other year. My two youngest are actually in public school, I only homeschool the oldest.
Eventually, people will stop griping about you homeschooling - and will probably admire you for it when your children are bright, well behaved, polite, and educated, despite their dire predictions!

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P.K.

answers from Houston on

oh wow, you are amazing!! i wanted to home school my kids (7 and 3), but it wasn't the right choice for many reasons. but if you feel the call, enjoy the work, and your kids are learning, then there are so many rescources for you. i don't know where you live, but i live in houston and there is a wonderful homeschool store. i am 38 and am friends with many people who homeschool, as well as being friends with people who were homeschooled, whom i met in college. they were completely intelligent, and had another kind of wisdom that i can't really describe. every child is a special force of nature, and homeschooling is the right choice for YOU if it feels that way for your family. in-laws are great for many things, many many things, but you are in your situation. i so belive in you. kids are just magnificent, and you are, so... if you want more support, i am at [email protected]____.com!!!!!

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

The best way to get everyone off your back is to do more of your own research so that you will have an answer for everyone's comments and can back it up by facts.

Also there are plenty of homeschool moms groups. Sounds like you need to join one and socialize withouth home school moms. Some educate their kids together and go on educational field trips. Since you are homeschooling it is important to use a structured curriculum, but sticking to the public school schedule is not necessary, you can schedule it any way that works best for your family.

I strongly suggest getting in touch with other hoemschool moms, the more knowledge you have the better the result will be. If done correctly your children will be well educated and well rounded and will have no problem integrating back into public school or society in general.

Good luck!

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L.S.

answers from Killeen on

I am not sure where you live, C., but so many people home school in the area where I live. In many other states there is actually different programs which include kids going to school for music and forgiegn language programs while being home schooled in academics. I would home school if I did not have an affordable private Christian school in my community.
Public schools do a great job with the kids who excel (TAG programs) and kids who understand well without much help. They also do a good job with kids who have special learning needs-not a great job, but good. But, for the average everyday kid who might be a little lazy at times, who might get behind, the teacher does not notice these kids. My daughter was in 2nd grade when I saw no help for her problems in math, and she was not keeping up because the teacher didn't care. Not to mention, when I was volunteering in the classroom, the class was totally chaos. Sure, no kid can concentrate when there is constant noise, kids moving around the classroom, kids sharpening pencils, continuously.
You are doing a wonderful service to your kids, and just know there is a lot of help out there, online, home school groups. Take a look. You can take your kids on field trips whenever you want. And you can take vacations when your husband's schedule allows, not just summertime, because you can home school all year long.
The advantages of you being able to spend so much time with them and instill your values and dreams in them is so important. Don't forget to use your public library as a great source for reading books. Many people home school and your reasons are excellent. I would never put my child on meds if she did not need them. The school tried to tell me my daughter had ADHD also and I say no, she doesn't. Best of luck and know you are not alone.

G.M.

answers from Texarkana on

Don't pay any attention to all the lazy nay-sayers! Get in a group of home school moms in your area. I'm sure there are several and here in the Dallas area, the moms get together for field trips and author visits and other special events. Yes, you must be responsible, but you do NOT need a degree to teach your own children and I hold with you that you are the best choice.

The Bible says - train up a child in the way he should go - - our public schools are NOT accomplishing that and many children go through the 12 grades and still don't know how to read. I'm sure you have chosen a good curriculum to follow. Be still and rest in Him who makes it possible for you to do ALL things!

Blessings
Grami

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L.B.

answers from San Antonio on

C., you need to do what God has put on your heart. Yale, Harvard and other top notch schools love homeschooled kids because they can do their assignments without their hands being held. I always let people know that I didn't ask for their opinions. Many presidents have been homeschooled. I would also get involved in a homeschooling co-op/organization. You are going to do a wonderful job homeschooling! And the reason children have a hard time going back to a public school is that they are usually farther ahead than their other classmates, they don't handle the drama of public school well, and there are too many students to teacher ratio.

I'm sorry but it makes me angry that people are so scared of homeschoolers and will say anything to try and make their uneducated point. Now I know it's not for everyone, some parents cannot homeschool and for them I am grateful that there are public/private schools. But for us that know that this is what we are to do with our children - just give us some support or keep quiet!

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K.R.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C.,

You've gotten alot of good advice, but I wanted to give you some encouragement and perspective from someone who was actually homeschooled. I went to public school K-5th grade and then my parents decided to homeschool us (I have a younger brother and sister). I was homeschooled 6th grade through my freshman year of high school after which I then wanted to go back to public school. Now, our first year of homeschooling, we were in and out of court because at that time, it was considered illegal. Try having the truancy officer show up at your house demanding answers! My family was part of the Texas landmark case in the 1980's that went to court where thankfully, the ruling was that homeschooling is not illegal in Texas. All that to say, I know and remember what it was like for my parents to be discouraged and looked down upon for doing what was best for us.

Now, a little about me...this is not to brag or toot my own horn...this is meant to encourage you about your kids and give you some comebacks should you decide to respond to the naysayers. When I went back to public school, I made straight A's the entire first semester. I was in honors English classes every year. I was president of our choir and show choir. I graduated in the top 10% of my class and had automatic admission to A&M. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Woman's University and also received my Master of Science degree from Texas Woman's University. I passed the Registered Dietitian exam, did a neonatal nutrition fellowship at Texas Children's Hospital, and worked as a neonatal dietitian before my kids were born. Oh, and my mom didn't have a college degree!

As for the social issue, even back in the 80's, we had a homeschool support group and did field trips together, parties, programs, you name it. Find one near you and ask for help. I promise you that someone there has dealt with the same issues you're facing. It is true, unfortunately, that there are still many misconceptions and sterotypes about homeschoolers. But there is too much information available today for anyone who cares about you and your family to attempt to dissuade you from your decision without all the facts.

Ultimately, your children are yours and your husband's to raise. You guys need to be on the same page, and he needs to support you in the schooling decision. He just may not know how to do that or what to ask. Read and learn together. Invite him to do a lesson with your daughter. As for your mother in law, she will find out sooner or later, so it's better to just be honest with her and go on.

I'd be happy to talk more about this - it's near and dear to my heart. We're planning to homeschool our oldest who will be 5 in March.

Thanks,
K.

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N.Q.

answers from Dallas on

I did not Home School my children but I have a few friends that did and their children did very well. You need to do what you feel is best, nobody knows your children as well as you.
Good Luck!!

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J.B.

answers from Dallas on

C., it's similar to a lesson that I'm constantly trying to teach my own daughter--who dances to the beat of a different drum. If you know what you are doing is truly right, then you must not look to the right or to the left, but perservere and keep going! There are many times when I have considered pulling my child out of school because she learns so differently, but I know that this would not be right for her (the dynamics of our relationship will not allow for such)--so the best that I have been able to do is to work closely with her teachers and work with her at night.
The biases that those people around you have come from being misinformed. I have known many a homeschooling parent who have truly done so much better by their kid's education than would otherwise have been done in a private or public school--because the parent's motive was right on. It wasn't about "smothering" or holding their children too close--it was about truly doing what was in the best interest of their child--to help them learn according to the child's ability and method; to help them develop their natural gifts that can often be overlooked in a public setting--because one size does not fit all. Homeschooling, when done correctly, can be awesome. Just burrow down, focus on the task at hand, and keep going if your children are being benefitted more so than they would be in a public setting.

To help the homeschooling parent with respect to character education, you may want to visit my Web site at www.villagerdustbunnies.com. When developing the action guides, we approached the curriculum from the standpoint that every child is unique and has inherent talents to be developed.

I wish you the best. All of us who have children have the responsibility to raise wonderful, healthy and productive children--they are our future! J. Bloom

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

You REALLY need to join a locval homeschool co-op. I don't know where you live, but yahoo groups usally has some options. Ihave a dear friend that is president of her homeschool assoc. she lives inPlano if you would like her contact info.

When one chooses an alternative for their family, they often meet with resistance from those who consider the "norm" to be the best becasue it IS the norm. I don't homeschool, but I home birth, do not vaccinate or give antibiotics unless absolutely necessary. I get the same defensive reactions from people. I think it stems from people feeling like You are attacking their choices becasue they choose to do what everyone else does...make sense? I get comments all the time about how dangerous birth is ...blah blah blah...when ALL the research meant to disprove the safety of homebirth actually PROVED its safety. Its just that they dont understand why I decided to "buck" the system when its not that at all...its just my decision to make the best choice for MY family. I ama doula and student midwife, so I still attend both hospitla and homebiorths and support each family in the decision thats best for THEM.

You also need to really get your dh involved in your homeschool group so he can understand the dynamics of how this option works.

email me off list if youwant my frineds info @[email protected]____.com

Hang in there!!

K.

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R.J.

answers from Houston on

What you do with your kids is your business. What you should say to those people is, "I appreciate your concern, but I know what is best for my kids." I have never heard of any statistics where home schooled kids are behind public school kids. I have however heard horror stories about public schools. They are not the best. What you need is to get involved with a home schooling network. There are lots of home schooling mommies out there who compare lesson plans and techniques and get together for field trips, even dances when the kids are older. This can be your support system, when you are obviously not getting it at home.

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R.C.

answers from San Antonio on

C.,

I am a SAHM and I used to be a teacher on the outside world once before I had my children. Homeschooling can be difficult but I think it can be very beneficial too. I do not homeschool my two children (ages 7 and 5) but that is not to say I never will. We are military and we move around a great deal. I am not sure that I have the patience to teach my own girls at this point, but if we ever move to a place where they are not challenged, I will. I don't think you need to teach the whole day because a school day is set up differently. I think there is some "wasted" time during the school day, and I think a day from 8-11 or 12 would cover your basic curriculumn. I think just because you are not a teacher does not mean you are not qualified to teach your own children. There are always programs out in the community that cater to homeschoolers. Since I just moved here 6 month ago, I am not sure where they are, but I know you can find them. People will always be skeptical, but if you think you can do the job, then you can. If it doesn't work, put them back in school. But treat it as a job. Turn off the phone during "school hours", treat it like school. Make sure you have an outlet for yourself too, because you can get burned out in a hurry. When we lived in NC the top 3 state spelling bee winners were all homeschooled. If you feel you are called to do this for your children then do it. Let tongues wag, you know what is best for you. Children are strong, they can withstand a lot. Believe in yourself and get help when you need it. Good luck! R.

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E.L.

answers from Dallas on

Do an exceptional job and they will get off your back. Consistency is the key. Homeschooling is more of a tutoring relationship with your child and looks very little like classroom learning.

Just think: it is what all parents do when they come home after work only to spend 3 hours working with their children.

I have homeschooled my 3 boys all their lives: 12, 9, and 3 yrs. old.

I do have a teaching degree and I can honestly say this was a hinderance most of the time.

You just need to be a resourceful parent and keep yourself on learning mode. I know more as a teacher from homeschooling my children than from teaching in public schooling.

a little about me: married to hubby 16 years/homeschool mom/home-based business owner.

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A.J.

answers from Dallas on

They are your children and you need to remind people that. and tell them to butt out.

But I do think you should join a homeschool co-cp so you will have the support of other families and your children can remain social. Most home school co-ops are a group of families that get together and go in on educating the children there are different types of co-ops but it seems better than going it alone.

The public school system can be a good thing it just depends on what district you are in. you have rights within the school system and they can't force you to medicate your child. they have to educate your child its the law but they can not force you to medicate them.

Good luck- A.

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C.R.

answers from Dallas on

I've been a homeschooling mom for 17 years now, and in the beginning, all those things people said to you, they said to me. I've heard everyone one of them WAY more than once. To top it off, I had a couple of public school teachers in my close family, which made it worse. But I stuck to my guns, and kept homeschooling. After a few years, you fruit begins to show. My children were better behaved than other children in the family. And finally, my first totally homeschooled son ended up being accepted at Georgetown University in Washington DC, and hard school to get into. He just took the LSAT to get into law school, and made the top 1%. My 16 year old is taking college classes, too. And even if they hadn't, just the fact that they are good, moral children would have been enough.
Let 'em talk. It takes a while for your fruit to show. All the words in the world from you is not going to convince them.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME: I'm a homeschooling mother to 9 children and a foster mother for the state with a 6 month old foster baby.

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M.G.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C., please ignore the comments made by rude and uncaring people. If you believe in your heart that this is right for you then follow those convictions. I home schooled my two boys until they reached high school age - and then quit only because they wanted to join their friends at a local high school. I loved home schooling!! Was it hard sometimes - yes. Did I have days when I wanted to quit - yes. But thoe are normal feelings and usually a field trip to wherever we chose helped relieve the pressure. I wish I had time and space to tell you of all the womderful experiences we had while we were doing this (including starting a 4-H group in our HC support group). But just let me add that my boys did well and when they entered high school had no problems adjusting. All this took place many years ago when home schooling was really in the early stages and there was much opposition - my boys are now 31 and 28, productive and well adjusted.
My daughter, who lives in Lubbock, has been home schooling her kids since kindergaten. They are now 11 nad 13. They are the most knowledgable kids I know (and not just because they are my grandkids - though I am very proud of them). They are involved in many activities and belong to a home school support group in Lubbock. I suggest you look for one in your area - they are life-savers for all the nay-sayers with whom you will come in contact.
I wish you much success and many blessings. You will be in my prayers. I will look forward to hearing from you again with good reports - you are on the right track.

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P.L.

answers from McAllen on

My wife and I have been homeschooling our kids the past 5 years and are loving it. There are days that are better than others, but that goes with all aspects of life as well. We have an active son, now 11, who people insinuated needed meds and we were both AGAINST it. I am a credentialed teacher, but the one who does 90% is my wife. People are always going to say negative things about homeschooling, but from those who don't understand. In reality the colleges today are looking for homeschooled kids because they are better students more rounded and less problematic. You may want to go to a seminar WITH your husband on homeschooling to look at pros and cons. We use SONLIGHT curriculum, a Christian literature based curriculum and have seen our kids TURNED on to reading and life. Look into also a legal defense program to be sure that if anybody tries to send the social worker on you there is someone to stand up to them in a professional way www.hsdla.org. This organization will be able to advise you on what laws you need to meet in your state to avoid problems with the local school district. Look at www.sonlight.com and go through the reasons they have to do or not to do home schooling. One things is for sure you AND your husband have to be 110% sold on homeschooling because your mother-in-law will find out and begin to make comments that confuse. My mom doesn't agree either, but most arguments against homeschooling are NOT well founded. Hang in there you are going to see your kids grow leaps and bounds. See if you can find in your area a homeschool mom's support group or a coop for homeschooling that will take the edge off.

If you and/or your husband need to bounce things off again my wife are more than willing. I have never answered an email via this www so I don't know how to do it.

Dad happy with home school.
P. & S. L.

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A.D.

answers from Tyler on

I can't believe how negative people are about homeschooling! I admire you greatly and people like you are an inspiration to me. I have 2 children, 2 yrs and 6mths. They are not at the school age yet, but I plan on homeschooling both of them. I have an aunt who has homeschooled all 6 of her boys and my sister homes schools her 2 children. I see no other way to go. When I tell people that I plan on homeschooling I sometimes get the same response, but where I live, I feel there has been a break through and people are seeing that the school systems aren't what they once were. I know of many around town that are homeschooling, and would have it no other way. Is there a home school group in your area? I really feel like the people who are against it are ignorant in the matter that they are not well educated on the subject. The biggest response I get is, you can't shield them from the world. DUH! But, as a parent I feel it is our job to protect our children from the awful things of this world! And lets face it this world isn't getting any better! These small children know more about sex and drugs then ever before. I don't blame any mother for not wanting their children around that. You wouldn't let your child play in a busy street, but you would sure warn them about it, and let them know it was dangerous. Well, I could get on my soap box all day, but I will stop now. Pray about it, and keep your head up high. Just know you are doing the right thing! YOU know what is right for your children - They are YOURS! Not the drs, not the teachers, not the publics... A mother knows best. GOOD FOR YOU!
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart form it. -Proverbs 22:6

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C.L.

answers from Dallas on

Keep up the faith you are doing the best thing for your child’s educational health. I am a mom of two crazy, fun and creative children and I home school also. Coming form a Public school background I speak with experience. Those schools are not the best option for our kids now-a-days.
My Hubby was home schooled and then in jr.high his parents had to stop and place him in Public School due to lack of funds.
He was so advanced he got board and they found out there really is a significant difference in the quality of education.
Hay, we have options and that is part of being blessed to be in the USA. Just remember you’re the mother and your choices are the final end and say in your child’s life....not you friends or family.

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L.E.

answers from El Paso on

First,know that you are not alone in all of this. The thought of homeschooling is new and different for most folks and that means it's wrong. I am a SAHM of 4 and homeschool my kids. It was something we felt the Lord called us to do as well as something we saw necessary due to us being in the military and moving every 17 - 24 months. I too have family that does not agree with me homeschooling. Most of them are educators and of course the public schools are the best in the country. My best advice for those who comment on your choice is to smile and say nothing. Defending yourself doesn't help and you will not change their opinion of it. It puts you on the defense and then cements in their minds that you are not comfortable homeschooling and doubt your abilities. As far as your husband is concerned, respect his opinion of the situation. He may be feeling the pressure of others opinions as well. It's human nature for all of us to fall into the trap of caring what others think even as adults and if this is a new idea for him, he's struggling with all of the same emotions you are. Once he sees that you are not goofing off and that you are taching and learning (and it takes much less time when you are schooling one child and not 20-30 children working at different paces), he will calm down. Our biggest fears as parents is that we are giving our kids the best. That includes education so I doubt as as parent you are going to skim on educating your little ones. You will find that there is a big homeschooling group here and you can get a great deal of support from them. Southwest Homeschoolilng Network is one of them. You might be surprised that there is a family down the street that homeschools and you just didn't know it. Keep pressing on and in. This will be one of the hardest things you will ever do but once your husband is on the same page you are, life will be easier. As for family and friends, some may see the difference and change their minds. Others may not but you can't do things to please them. You have do to what's right for your children. Again remember, you are NOT alone. God bless.

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

"I should not be homeschooling my kids unless I have a degree in education". Ive heard that one before. Meaningless dribble. Teaching your kids is not rocket science.

People are skeptical because often the parents dont really put in the work required. But it can certainly be done. My cousin did an excellent job with her children and when they eventually went back to school, they were well ahead of the class.

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G.B.

answers from Dallas on

You're the parent of your children and only you (not your friends, neighbors, hairdresser etc) knows what is best for your children. I homeschooled for a year after we moved to CA. The public schools where we lived were atrocious and my little boy who used to love school after two weeks started hating it. My family and some of their friends - including a pschologist friend of my mother's who said I was ruining my children socially - said many of the same things you're hearing. It was not easy (especially for me) but the kids did far better than the ones locally. Your schedule won't need to be the same as public school since you can teach your children in a much shorter time and you can do lots of fun stuff with them. Museums, parks, the aquarium etc. I'd encourage you to talk to your husband you both need to be on the same team - this is hard enough to do - almost impossible without his support. Also to try to get involved with other homeschoolers.

good luck.
xoxo
g

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

Honestly, I think you educating your children at home is better than them being in an overcrowded public school system. Or even worse in a charter school where the kids are thugs and it rubs off on your children, like mine are experiencing. I think you should schedule the way you want to schedule your teaching how you want. It seems a bit controlling of your family and husband to put limits and negative comments when they may not know what you are trying to accomplish. If home schooling fails to work it would not be due to your teaching or schedule but the family being close minded. Maintain your convictions and stick with them. Opinions are bountiful, sort through the opinions, use the constructive ones and push the negative out of your mind. If your family is concerned about the social ramifications of being home schooled, allow your children to have play dates with other children so they may also adapt socially.

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C.S.

answers from Dallas on

Do not, do not, do not listen to other people. YOU know what's best for YOUR kids. It sounds as if you thought out the best solution. You might mention to your detractors that there are many, many homeschoolers who are doing very well out there. In fact, the Ivy League schools actively recruit them (a homeschooler was recently valedictorian at one). Homeschoolers also do well in contests like the National Spelling Bee (at least one winner in the last few years was homeschooled). I really sorry that I'm not providing more concrete facts here, but you can easily find them with a little research (I'm typing this in a hurry before my youngest wakes up for a midnight snack :-) ). Feel free to send me a private message if you want me to inundate you with links to the homeschooling sites that I frequent. By the way, not that any of this is going to hold any weight with your nay-sayers, but I'm not a teacher. (Well, of course, I'm a mother...so I'm a teacher by default. What I mean is that I was not trained as a teacher by profession.) However, my 3 1/2-year-old son has been reading independantly for over four months now. Seriously, he sits down with any book and reads it. Catalogs, billboards, graffiti, you name it... Yesterday, my one-year-old was telling me what letters different words start with. Okay, okay...he'll be two next week, BUT STILL... All kids need is some encouragement and direction. Homeschooling is an incredible way to give your children the best education they can get anywhere. It's more work for you, but the pay-off is so great. I can't wait until next year when I begin teaching my sons. ;-)

By the way, if you want a more structured program for your homeschooling, Texas Tech University has a K-12 offering that is actually the same curriculum as what the Texas public schools use (http://www.depts.ttu.edu/ode/). You get a transcript and everything. It's used by actors, athletes, and people who are living out of the country. And, of course, regular ol' people like us.

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A.H.

answers from Austin on

C. dont worry. If you feel in your heart that you need to homeschool your child you do that. There is nothing like following your motherly instinct. I am a SAHM as well and I am homeschooling my 12 yr. old daughter. I had the same criticism you are having. But I had to learn to ignore people and have the mentallity that this is my kids future and no one has any better interest in it than myself. I have 3 year old twins and everyone would say that I was not going to give her the attention she needed. It can get hard at times but we manage through. Go at your own pace enjoy your child. This is your opportunity to bond with her and show her that she is smart. My niece was detected with ADHD but I refuse to believe that. She is under medication. When she spends the night over at my house I dont give her the medication and all she wants is to be kept bz and she is very smart. So sometimes I think teachers dont want to give kids the attention that they need since they are sooo smart and instead they slow them down with the ridiculous story of being ADHD. I live in Texas and I dont have to be certified to homeschool. Homeschooling here in Texas is considered like having your child in Charter school. So when people try to throw that in my face I give them that simple answer. I will be praying for you and I suggest you look for other moms that are homeschooling. That will encourage you and your daughter. I know that has helped me alot. They will share tips and try to make it as fun as possible for your daughter. You are not by yourself there are more of us out there.

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G.S.

answers from Killeen on

Tell them to back off and leave you alone...Hun, you don't have to explain your actions to anyone as long as it feels right to you. I want to homeschool my kids when they are old enough and I have already met with some opposition to it. I don't think the public schools are that great and b/c of our beliefs all I see is problems occurring. Another reason is the one that you pulled your kids out for. Did you know that schools get so much money for each child that is special needs (yes add and adhd fit into special needs)? It's ludicris. Most of these kids have nothing wrong with them. Many need glasses, aren't chalenged enough, are like your daighter, or just simply learn differently from the other kids and the teachers don't understand that. As to you having to have a degree, just last week I was talking about with my husband and his best friend about it and was informed that Texas just passed a law that says you do have to have a teaching degree. I for one think that is bull crap. Regardless I plan to homeschool my kids, even if that means moving to another state. So keep your chin up, you are doing nothing wrong.

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P.N.

answers from Houston on

Hang in there! Homeschooling is on the rise and there's definitely more resources out there today than ever before. I have to say that homeschooling isn't for everyone but you seem dedicated and I think that's the most important thing.

I believe parents are the best teachers. Sure it's a sacrifice but it's also your decision. I taught for 3 years and am familiar with the public school system. I think it's great but a teacher is stretched so thin. There are 22 different needs. I think it's wonderful to teach your kids and to have plenty of time to do other things with them. There's no limit to field trips,outings, service and you can have God as part of the formula. Now, that's amazing.

I met a brother and sister when I was at college and he was 16 and a junior. I was impressed because they were well socialized. I think homeschoolers get a bad rep. for social problems but I don't think they need to. I asked the sister what her mom did. She said they had lots of opportunities to serve and perform for other people. She made sure that had plenty of social opportunities.

My husband isn't fond of homeschooling but I'm already doing it with my little boy. Where there is any teaching or training, there is learning. When he matures to school age, we'll evaluate and make a decision. You've made a decision, hang in there. I have a friend that homeschooled her last 2 children and they have recently entered the public school system. They wanted to "check it out". A teacher asked her little girl if she could do things over, would she choose to be homeschooled. She said she was enjoying her school experience but yes, she would choose homeschooling. :)

I think the best way to combat what friends and family say is to give it time. Your children will be proof that homeschooling is a great choice you have made.

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S.M.

answers from Dallas on

I can't believe no one has responded to you yet. My cousins home schooled both there daughters through all 12 years of school. These 2 young ladies are extremely intelegent and very well rounded. There are home schooling groups you can get involved in to keep your children scocialized. I commend you for home schooling your children. You do what's best for you family and don't worry about everything else you are being told. If you are dedicated to this, I know it will be the best for your family. Hold your head high keep taking such wanderful care of your family.

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M.G.

answers from Sherman on

C.,
I homeschooled 5 of my kids including one with a disability. They are adults now and all doing VERY well. They all retured to public school for the high school years (mostly for the sports activities)and had no trouble with the return except maybe being ahead. My advice is find a local homeschool support group and they are everywhere. Surround yourself with supportive people and pretty soon others will be asking what you are doing. I even had people who were negative in the beginning end up homeschooling their kids. As for your husband give him time to see how well your childern are doing. If he only new how little they really do in a day at school. Good Luck and if you do a search for homeschool support group in your area i'm sure you'll find one
M.. SAHM

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D.B.

answers from Austin on

Every one gave very good advice here. I will add only be a good example to your children. Show them how there will always be nay sayers and when you are doing what is right you hold your head high. There is no need to dispute other peoples opinions or hide what you are doing. You are doing what you think is best for your kids. Look em in the eye and say I respect your opinion if you can contribute to our home school environment I'll contact you.

http://www.B..etsy.com/
http://www.cafepress.com/delladesigns

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J.M.

answers from Dallas on

Are you a member of a home school group? You might consider searching for one in your area. I am sure that would be a good source of support for you.

With acquaintances I would simply limit the discussion and when you talk to them say things like, "It is working really well for us." or "The children are really thriving." It really is not their business. People can be so rude.

The harder issue I think is your husband's lack of support. If he would be willing to do a little research on home schooling he might change his tune. While there are the very rare cases of children not doing well and parents lack of ability to control the 'classroom' this is not norm. I know several people that have home schooled their children and the kids are all above adverage academically. One mom I know returned her son to regular school and he was able to be placed one grade higher than his age group. Plus he has adjusted to the change very well.
Good luck to you. I hope this helps.

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S.P.

answers from Houston on

Know that you, as the mother, made this decision for all of the right reasons. We homeschool our daughter after taking her out of what everyone says are "fantastic public schools" because she was bored. Almost all public schools teach to the standardized test. I taught in a university for over seven years and I can pinpoint the freshmen class year that had kids subjected to intense standardized testing in highschool - most couldn't think their way out of a wet paper bag.

We get raised eyebrows from acquaintences, but most of our friends homeschool as well. Find a local homeschool group that meets your needs. Get your husband on board. By the way, you should be able to cover an entire day's worth of work in only a few hours, not the standard school day length. After all, you aren't teaching to a class, you are teaching to one child, which goes much faster and more effectively.

Do what you can to surround yourself with homeschooling families, especially those whose children have successfully made the transition to a public school, high school, or college - there are many out there.

Good luck!

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S.B.

answers from Austin on

Hi C.,
Isn't it wonderful how people feel they have a right to tell you all of the horrible things you are doing to your children. What do they know!?!?!
I'm sorry I can't give you any websites, but I know there are a lot of homeschooled families that keep in contact with each other. My neighbor homeschooled her kids for a number of years and they turned out fantastic. They decided they wanted to go back to public school and didn't have any trouble adjusting.
I'd do a search for homeschool groups, that would help to find a support group and give you some different ideas on how to teach them / where to take them (field trips and such).
I'm proud of you for making such a tough decision. Only you and your husband really know what's right for your children. Don't let anyone else tell you differently!

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A.M.

answers from Dallas on

Camilla,

Unfortunately, your husband's views of the public schools are different from the actual truth. I'm very active on the PTA at my daughter's elementary and I've made the decision to pull my oldest from the 7th grade in about a week (as soon as I finish putting together my lesson plans). He has been struggling with school for years. Beginning in the 3rd grade, the teachers tried to label him as ADHD. I did ask his doctor if they could be right and his doctor said no. The way the public schools are now are so different than when I went to school. My son does better than average on the TEKS test, manages to pull his failing grades up to a 70 right at the end of 6 weeks and keeps moving through the system. But that's all he's doing - moving through it. I showed some of his 6th grade writing papers to a teacher at my daughter's elementary school. My son is writing on the level of a 3rd grader. He can't spell, has no grammar skills and doesn't know his mulitiplication tables. Well THAT is not good enough. I have pointed out his writing skills to his Language Arts teachers at the start of every school year and they tell me it will correct itself during the course of the year. Not one teacher has ever mentioned his writing skills to me. The only conferences I've had with the teachers have been at my request. As long as he covers the points they are looking for in a paper, he gets a 100. The misspelled words aren't circled, no corrections are necessary, etc. All of that aside, he simply can't get the help he needs in a traditional classroom environment. I've sent him to tutoring and tried everything else. I found out that he goes to tutoring and spends half the time just sitting there or reading a book. At my daughter's elementary tutoring is reserved for children that have failed the subject for 12 weeks. The ones that are struggling just have to muddle through and once they hit rock bottom, then they qualify for the tutoring program. The more I see while being at the schools volunteering, the more I know I'm making the right choice for my son.

My daughter is in 1st Grade and will continue in the public school system (for now), she has an incredible teacher this year, loves school and would miss her friends. But if I start to see her struggle or if she asked to be homeschooled after watching her brother do it, then I will definitely homeschool her as well.

Don't let the nay-sayers bring you down. It's a wonderful thing that your doing for your children and your family. Tell your friends if they can't support you, then to at least respect your decision and keep their opinions to themselves. Your husband's opinion is the only one that should carry any weight. Encourage him to research homeschooling if he hasn't done so already. Or ask him to get more involved and "teach a class". It may just be the unknown that has him uncomfortable. But I'm sure he'll come around after he sees your children thriving in their "new school".

Good luck & stick to your guns!

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A.M.

answers from Houston on

Dear C.,
Please continue to do what your heart tells you is right for your children. I took my son out of a prestigious private school in the middle of first grade because they said he was uncooperative and had ADD. In truth, he was ready to do third grade work and they didn't want to make exceptions. It was tough at first. Searching for the right curriculum, establishing a routine, quelling my self-doubts, etc. However, it got easier with the reassurance of other homeschooling families and support groups. Public school teachers I know privately commended us. It was so much fun and I learned more than I ever learned in 'real' school. We homeschooled thru high school and several universities courted him. He is on the Dean's list and has many friends of all ages and races. He is well-rounded, self-assured, and never been in any trouble. I'm not telling you this to brag, but to encourage you to believe in yourself and your children. Every day there are horrific reports of events in and around our nation's schools. No one loves or will protect your children more than you. Join a support group and the HSLDA.
Best wishes and God bless!
A. M.

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J.K.

answers from Dallas on

Well, you will definitely get support from me!!!! I have been homeschooling for 3 years now and love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. As for homeschool kids not being as smart as schooled kids in the public system is just down right absurd. My 6 year old because of his late birthday would have just started Kindergarten this past fall. I started it when he was 4 and now he does second grade curriculum and can read and write at that level. You know what is right for your children and not everyone will always agree with you about what you choose to do. One thing that I learned early on was to know why I am doing what I am doing and have my responses ready to all those doubters at there so that I am not blind sided. It usually shuts them down quickly. Believe me I have had my share of looks like I had a third eye on my forehead when I tell people, but believe me I rest assured in my own mind that I am doing the right thing for my children and that is what is important. As for the people who say that you don't have a chance to do things you enjoy. Right now in this season of my life I want to be with my children this to one day will pass and I will have all the time in the world to do whatever I want. I enjoy going on field trips with my boys and I still get to get out without the kids in the evenings. As for your husband he needs a little education on homeschooling. Homeschool families will all do a different schedule to what fits their needs. Not any one home school family is going to look like the other. Also, you will not have enough work to fill up the hours that they are usually in school usually. He needs to talk to other homeschool families and get a reality check. I am going to give two suggestions check out the homeschool conventions in your area, one that I have gone to is NTHEN.org I know there are quite a few, but I don't have them right in front of me. They have great speakers that talk on different subjects. You also need to get into a homeschool support group in your area. I don't know where you are at, but the one I belong to is PEACH it is in the Plano area. They have organized outings and field trips and meetings and you can even have a mentor homeschool mom that can assist you. The great thing is that you will be around other homeschool families that can support you and give you advice and so on. The most important thing to remember is that you and your husband raise your children not everyone else.

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G.O.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi C., I would like to applaud you for making the decision on homeschooling your children. I decided to home-school my children 4 years ago because after spending time with them during their classes(which many mothers don't do), I didn't like many things I saw the Staff doing. Won't go into details on that, but I will tell you that they also told me that one of my child was very slow in learning. Right now she is doing so good that she's doing better then the one they told me was very intelligent. Always remember that no one knows what's best for your children but you alone. Four hours daily is enough for teaching the curriculum to your children with 2 breaks in between. You don't have too follow the same hours of the public schools, it is why they call it home-school and is consider it to be private school. You make your own hours at your own schedule. Always be determine and persistence. Let everyone you are homeschooling and be proud to say it and don't let no one tell you how to raise your children. Hope all goes well for many years to come on your teaching. Go to Texas Home School Coalition at [email protected]____.com to get more information on home-school and the law. God Bless!!

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J.G.

answers from Dallas on

Stay strong! Home school kids are doing exceptionally well,
getting into Harvard, Princeton, etc. without all the biases public education instills. They are winning the geography and spelling bees left and right! You are right, it is easier for schools to put kids on drugs than help them modify behavoir.

Now there are classes home schoolers can take with other home schoolers which helps the socializing side. Also, regarding the schedule, home schoolers are able to get through material faster, because they are not waiting for an entire class to "get it", and they can then spend time on field trips to museums, blueberry farms,city buildings, etc. The value of homeschooling is you can learn MORE than in public school,
plus you instill your family's values and do not have to correct what the school is teaching when they do not line up with your family's core beliefs. Also, there are lots of home school sports teams and some private Christian schools allow home schoolers to play on their teams. I know home school publications are available and will encourage you as well. Go to www.texashomeschooler.com. Do not be discouraged!
Find other home school parents to share your struggles and joys. Blessings as you pursue what is best for your children.

J. G.
Dallas, TX

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

C.,
Sounds like you need new friends! I have lots of friends that home school. It is a personal decision and is no one place to judge. You know your kids better than anyone else and you should follow your instinct. I would find a home school co-op and get some emotional support. As far as keeping the same schedule as public school -that's insane! With one-on-one teaching you could teach way more than public school. You also don't have to deal with all the crazy assemblies, announcements and transitioning that public schools have. I bet half the day at public school is used for getting 20 kids to sit and listen and get back and forth from lunch, pe, library, art and music. You can teach those subjects with little transitioning time.
Bottom line - follow your instinct and stick to your principles. You've got to get your husband to understand and back you up!

(personally, my kids go to public school because it's best for them. My 7 yr. old daughter needs the social interaction and my 11 yr. old son is autistic and needs the professional help. I would also need professional help if I didn't get "MY TIME" during the day!)

Hope this helps and good luck!
C.
Stampin' Up Independent Demonstrator

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N.P.

answers from Austin on

When you are defending your decision to homeschool, try not to be defensive about it. The fact is that homeschooling stacks up well to all the other educational options and soundly "beats" them in my opinion. In the end, you decide that homeschooling is best for your kids. Be comfortable and confident in that decision and you will be better equipped to educate others about homeschooling. Because dealing with our kids can quickly get emotional, especially when someone challenges our decisions about our own kids, such discussions can get out of hand, especially if you aren't confident in your choice. You don't need to worry about convincing anyone that homeschooling is the best choice for you; all you should try to do is to present some of the reasons you have chosen to do so. It is up to the other person to evaluate these reasons for themselves.

I found some info online that may help you...you can take from it what you want:

*Homeschoolers spend lots of time with their parents, especially with the parent who manages the homeschool. This is a good thing because the parent is able to help the child develop in a positive and purposeful intellectual and moral climate.

*Because homeschoolers tend to spend more time with a variety of people (rather than mostly with kids their own age), they tend to develop better social skills than do traditionally educated kids. Most homeschoolers are more comfortable interacting with adults, older kids, and younger kids than their institutionally schooled counterparts.

*Homeschooled kids have more and more varied opportunities to interact with other people than "regular" school kids do. If you look at how typical school kids spend their days, they are basically "locked" in a situation in which the vast majority of their interaction is with kids their own age, with some of that time being unsupervised or inadequately supervised. Homeschoolers, on the other hand, have a more varied social life and spend lots of time with their parents and families, other homeschooled kids (typically of a wider age range than they deal with in regular schools), as well as adults during activities such as field trips, special projects, and so on.

*Kids being primarily influenced by their peer group (by spending all day with other kids their own age) isn't a good thing, actually. It amazes me that the most common cause cited for problems such as drug abuse, unwanted pregnancies, and other such issues is peer pressure. And yet, many people still think that kids spending most of their time being influenced by other kids in an institutional setting is a good thing. It seems clear that less peer pressure and more "parental pressure" on kids can only be good for them. It is much better that kids be primarily influenced by their parents and families than by other kids who lack the maturity and wisdom needed to guide their development.

&Homeschoolers can learn more efficiently than institutional school kids, which results in more learning in the same or less time. Actual instruction time in most school situations can be boiled down to 2-4 hours per day when you take away all the wasted time, such as commuting, various breaks, waiting for administrative activities, and so on. Plus, homeschool's pace can be set for each student, unlike the typical classroom in which the pace is usually based on the lower end of the performance spectrum, often leaving high-performing students bored and unchallenged.

*Homeschoolers learn to think independently. Because they aren't part of a "pack," homeschoolers tend to develop more independent thinking skills than do their school counterparts. This better prepares them to succeed in college and careers.

*You know your kids much better than any formal teacher would. This enables you to tailor your instruction more closely to their personality and needs better than that which might happen in a public or even private school.

Good luck and be confident in the choice that you made for your kids. I think it's awesome that you are homeschooling--if I had the patience I would definitel do it. LOL. We have a neighbor that homeschools both of her daughters and has for the past 3 years. They are the most independent, vibrant, and bright kids with wholesome values that I love to have my kids around.

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C.B.

answers from Killeen on

Just a note, C., I am a grandmother of 5, and my
son and daughter-in-law, have home schooled my grand
children, for over 8 yrs, the oldest being 14 now, these
are wonderful kids, and have learned alot, and still stay
active in sports! She keeps them on schudule also, and yet
keeps up with soccor practice, and still has time for her
self! These kids are polite, and well behaved, and very
knowledgeable of what is going on around them!

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J.T.

answers from Austin on

Hi there, C. --- I am a homeschooling mom and I wanted to offer you some encouragement in your endeavor. First of all, I hope you and your husband will ask yourselves why you are homeschooling. Just to have smarter kids than those in public school is not enough to keep you motivated in the long haul to keep going. Smarter kids is not what life is about...neither is going to college so you can "get a good job". If you have a vision for life and for your children's lives that is much bigger than that, then you will know that public (and most often private as well) schools can't help you accomplish that vision. Our responsibilities toward our children are not as small a thing as sending them to school so they can get a good job...our responsibilities are so much bigger than that...it is about raising children to an adulthood that glorifies their Maker in all they do, think and say. Public schools will by no means begin to accomplish such a task. So I want to ask you a couple questions...
1. Who gave you your children? Did the state give you your children or did God?
2. If God gave you your children, then who do you have to answer to about how they are raised? Your family, your friends, society in general, or God?
3. Do you believe that your relationship with your children is more important to your children than the stuff they learn at school?
4. Do you believe that if you have the hearts of your children (that is, they trust you, love you and desire to please you) that you will be able to not only protect them from the evils of this world, but raise them to be competent to stand up against and fight the evils in this world?
5. Do you think public school is the arena to equip your children for such a task?
6. If God gave you your children, and you have the interest of your children's hearts in mind, do you think there is another person on the planet more qualified than you to teach them anything?
7. Is teaching about imparting facts or building relationship? When trust is there and the teacher is totally invested in the student, the child will learn.
8. Are teachers in public school as invested in the lives of your children as you are? Will they speak to the heart of your children, or will they simply be trying to get your children to have a good enough grade that those looking over their shoulders will approve of their teaching?
9. A teacher's goals for your child will not be goals that address the whole person. Brilliant people have often been thoroughly corrupt, because throughout the teaching process, no one addressed the issues of their hearts. Can a teacher who does not love your child care as much about the heart of your child as you?
10. If you are going to be a good steward of this time of teaching your children, will you have to discipline yourself to give up time doing things you like?
11. If you are going to be a good steward of this time of teaching your children, will you have to discipline yourself to learn things you might not be comfortable with in order to be a better teacher to your children?
12. When your children and their children after them are people who not only glorify God but make the world a truly better place, will you think that your efforts and sacrifices now were worth it?
I have three books to suggest to you and your husband, C. :
Keeping Our Children's Hearts, by Steven and Teri Maxwell
When You Rise Up, by RC Sproul Jr.
Shepherding A Child's Heart, by Tedd Tripp

Also, please check out the resources available in the Cedar Park and Austin area for homeschooling groups...there is Sunshine in the Park (Cedar Park homeschooling yahoo group), Austin Area Homeschoolers, and others you will find...You need to get connected, if only in an email group, to others who are doing it so you can bounce ideas off of them, commiserate with them about the people in your lives who think you're doing the wrong thing, etc. Just as a side note, we have not had the easiest time with friends and family either. But again, our vision is simply bigger than what the state could possibly provide for the future of our children, so there! ;)

C., I hope you and your husband will not let what other people say and think fall so hard on you --- you are made to do what God has called you to, not the world. Seek Him through His son, Jesus and find true peace. Also, let the hearts and lives and attitudes of your children reply to the harsh criticism of others...my son who is 7 is the answer I give to the criticism...his attitude and ways are so uniquely more lovely than most children his age, that people's criticisms come to a halt when they see the fruit of our homeschooling him.

May God bless you and call you to Him and may you and your children and your children's children rest in His love and care forever!

J.

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B.B.

answers from Houston on

Well I think you are doing the right thing by homeschooling your kids.If I could afford it That's what I would do Because I do not trust public schools,and after seeing the news and all the things that keep happening in public schools.I just don't want my kids going there.....But I have another year before my oldest has to go to school....and as far as your family and friends don't worry about them if you truely believe in your heart that homeschooling is the right thing to do for your kids then thats all that should matter....I hope everything works out for you and your kids....

B.

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N.J.

answers from Dallas on

Please do not listen to the negative. I had to distance myself from the negative. Parents know what is best for their child. I homeschool because I refused to allow my children to be a statistic in the district where we were located. They have done well. Be blessed.

Updated

Please do not listen to the negative. I had to distance myself from the negative. Parents know what is best for their child. I homeschool because I refused to allow my children to be a statistic in the district where we were located. They have done well. Be blessed.

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S.A.

answers from Houston on

I will be homeschooling my children next year. This was a decision I made years ago. I like the nearby public elementary school and felt comfortable with the teachers and loved the principal. We got a new principal last year and the changes have been horrific. But I decided years ago they would finish up through 5th grade and I would take over from there. My personal decision is based on my own personal factors. I have a toddler that I will pre-k at home next year, depending on how that goes I may just homeschool him from the beginning.

Now to address your frustrations:
1- I have a friend that I've known for 14 years and she homeschooled her children until this year. Her oldest is 9 years old. Her children are very smart and have done well with homeschooling and they have adjusted just fine to entering public school this past year. She was quite pleased with how well they adjusted to the change. She made this change b/c she needed to get a job outside the home.
2- I have talked to seasoned homeschool moms. One that stands out the most homeschooled all ten of her children. Three of them have finished their highschool years early and entered college without any problems. She told me I can pay a minimal fee to have them tested each year to measure how they stand up to the state standards. Her children are well educated and very well mannered. They have been socialized wonderfully. Her current highschooler has his own lawn business with large accounts such as churches.
3- Check out the prominent college website's sections that talk about homeschooling. Many of them encourage it and offer great scholarships to homeschoolers. Yale and Harvard included. One of them states how much they enjoy homeschooled students, because they are more focused and dedicated to education.
4- There are many very good homeschooling resources available and almost all of the books I have found are available at my local library. You do not need to have a degree in education to properly school your children at home. Mom's no longer need to write their own curriculum with all that is available. However, some mom's still prefer this free-style method and that's okay. The experienced mother of ten I mentioned above never even finished college and she has written most of her own curriculum. She uses a computer program for the highschool math courses. One of her first bits of advice to me was to never let anyone tell me I wasn't smart enough to prepare my children for adulthood in all areas.
5- Time schedule. Structure is very important for both you and the children. However, look closely at a typical school schedule and the fact that it includes much play-time and extras like art, computer lab, choir, etc. Therefore the actual time spent on academics is only a few hours per day. Don't get so plugged into the "full day" routine that you burn yourself out. Pace yourself and even though it's hard work... have fun with it. Children follow our lead and they learn the most from what they see us do and what they hear us talk about when we think they're not paying attention.

I'm going to be in the boat with ya soon, hunny! So you'll be giving me encouragement this time next year! Take care and don't let anyone talk you out of what you know is best for your children.

~S.

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P.J.

answers from Hickory on

First of all, you are correct that home schoolers are indeed at least as smart as their peers in the public system. Inmany cases smarter - this is why many colleges across the country (including Ivy Leagues, such as Harvard) accept home schooled children. However - that is only the case if YOU create a curriculum above the standard of the public system. So to that end make sure that you utilize ALL resources available to you such as homeschooling magazine, church groups, message boards etc. The biggest fear that I would have with homeschooling is the lack of socialization with other children. Of course, if you do homeschooling correctly you will be able to address that, hopefully, by connecting with other homeschoolers in your area. YOU need to get right with your decision, on every level, and that will make it easier to defend if you feel that you need to. Personally, I don't think you do need to IF you are pursuing this option in the correct manner. YOU have been charged with the well being of your children, no one else. I agree with your husband that the "school day" should have an actual begin and end time, maybe not 7:45a till 2:45p but something consistent - I also think that that the kiddos should get dressed, just like they are going to school - SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO SCHOOL (just so happens that it's not in the brick & mortar facility they are used to.

For your Mother in law - you really need to address that, in short you need to stop hiding it. a) it's really not her issue b) at some point she will find out c) by making it a secret you are essentially confirming that you have not made a good choice. If she gives you any BS about it explain to her that the alternative was her grand-child being unneccesarily medicated and that is somthing you (and her son, their father) were unwilling to do. Then leave it - end of story - present this an an informational meeting NOT a discussion - the decision has already been made.

As for your friends, tell them to kiss your tail. Again, YOUR children are YOUR responsibilty, any friend worth their weight will chill out once you draw the line and make it know that you are acting in the best interest of YOUR kid. They may disagree but they will have to disagree silently.

While you have chosen a path that I do not believe would be for me, I can certainly understand your motivation for doing so. YOU need to have faith in your decision and once YOU come to terms with it, I suspect that it will be much easier for you to ignore the criticism and feel more comfortable. Good Luck!

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M.L.

answers from Dallas on

I too homeschool my children. I have 9,7,3 yo boys and another boy due to arrive any day now. This is my second year homeschooling and my choice was also influenced by the school system talking meds for my 7 yo. In the beginning, I really worried about what people thought and wouldn't take my children out in school hours, etc. But I finally came to the conclusion that what I do in my family is absolutely no one else's business but mine, my husband's and God's. If I am doing what is best for my family, then I had to just not care what others thought. We have some family that thinks we are crazy. I remember going to a family function about a month after we started homeschooling (noone knew we had started homeschooling) where my husband's family absolutely starting trashing and belittling everything about hs. I stayed completely silent with tears in my eyes and left feeling like I wanted to throw up, but today, in the same situation, I would not stay silent. It gets better with time. You are just a few weeks in, so cut yourself some slack. There was a huge adjustment period for me. Part of the benefit is the flexability it provides. I would encourage your husband to see that. We never homeschool full school hours, we just don't need to. Think of all the "fillers" and wastes of time in the public school day. I do require various chores out of my kids during the other hours so they just are not having idle time. If we want to do something fun one day, we will double up the day before, so we can take the day off! Also, I myself graduated from homeschool. I homeschooled, went to private school and public schools intermittenly during my own schooling. I can say there is no truth to not being able to go back into regular school, I did. In the end, I preferred to hs. Also, I don't know where you live, but I would encourage you to try to find a hs group near you. Lots of larger churches have homeschool classes you can put your kids in and support systems. If you live in the Fort Worth area, I could tell you of a few.

Good luck to you!

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V.H.

answers from Dallas on

First, please put your mind at ease, children do very well being home schooled. I was home schooled until college and have done well with my life (I'm a piano teacher, wife, mother). I have had friends as well as students who have home schooled and gone on to public or private schools with no problems at all.
I recommend telling the people that are attacking your decision to home school that it is really none of their business (in a nice way, of course).
Also, there are LOTS of home schooling support groups, play groups, educational outtings, etc. I know Dallas has a huge group.
And please don't stress about what time you start and stop your schooling(ie 7:45 to 2:45). You are dealing with far less than the 20-30 kids that are in a normal school class room and will require less time for lessons. As long as your daughter does the work that you set up for the day, all is well.
If your husband is concerned about the level of schooling that happens at home, consider a home school ciriculum that you subscribe to. Oak Meadows is a possibility for this kind of learning.

I hope the above has been helpful.
Smiles,
V.

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

Find a support group! You definitely need to be around those who support your choice about what you think is best for your children. It's so important to talk to other moms who have made similar decisions just so you don't find yourself questioning your sanity.

My first child will be Kindergarten age this fall, and I have been debating this question myself for over a year now. I'm still not certain what course of action will be best for my child, but I can definitely say KUDOS to you! It takes a lot of courage to take on the task of homeschooling your children.

Parents choose to home school for many different reasons: religion, children struggling, children too smart, etc.

There are a lot of different ideas about what type of education is best, and there is no single answer that is right for everyone. Public schools are just fine for about 50% of children, but it's hard to meet the individual needs of each child when you teach a classroom of 20-30 kids.

A lot of classroom time is actually spent on busy work, waiting for other students, etc. Most public school days can be boiled down to about half the time or less in a one-on-one environment.

I personally know of several families who have and continue to home school their children. Some of these children are now adults and are now attending universities or even starting families of their own. they are capable, fully functioning young adults who love to learn.

Hang in there. Good luck!

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C.D.

answers from Dallas on

The first thing you should do is get some support! Find a local group of people that home school their kids. I am sure that they have experienced some of the same things you are going through. Home schooling isn't for everyone and most people don't understand the concept! I wish your husband was more supportive. There should never be anything that has to be "hidden" from a grandmother because she wouldn't approve. What is he teaching the children? Tell him how you feel, ask for his unconditional support, and get it! If you know in your heart that you have made the right decision, stand up and be proud. If someone tells you that you've made a mistake, tell them that you respect their opinion, and everyone has an opinion, but since they are not walking in your shoes, they do not know that your situation is. Be confident in your answer, believe that it is the right choice, and do what you must to take care of your family! I admire your strength in the face of so much adversity, and I wish you the best of luck!!

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C.S.

answers from Houston on

I have worked in a school system for about 12 years. Yes, some students do have a hard time adjusting to being back in school. Sometimes the teaching is done at a faster pace. Sometimes, it is the child trying to find out where they "fit in", as homeschooling does not allow for socializing. Yes, home schooled children have friends. They can be your friends children, or neighborhood children. Basically, some one you already know. Homeschooled children don't always learn how to make the right decisions on choosing friends because they are more sheltered. And, in today's society, that may not be a bad thing. But what happens when your child decides to go to college, will they have learned the skills in making the right decisions? And, what difficulties will there be in entering college if you continue to home school your child through high school. Those can be the negative issues. As for the ADHD, I hate to think a doctor would just hand out medication without having all the facts and medical history. That is scary. You said you recently moved and that may be what was causing your child to be behind. Does the school offer help after school? What about private tutoring to get back on track? Maybe your child would benefit in a public or private school. Getting out of the house, instead of being isolated at home, may be a postive thing. Home schooling can have benefits. You can concentrate on areas that are more challenging for the child, and move at a slower pace. But, if you can not let your husbands mother know about homeschooling, have you asked your child to keep this secret also? If you truly feel you are making the right choice for your child, then it does not matter what other people think. You are the parent, and should not feel you need to justify your decisions. I would just listen to what people have to say, and thank them for their advice. Sooner or later, they will give up.

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D.S.

answers from San Antonio on

The only person that matters in your decision for how to school your children is your husband. As for the other people saying things. It is hard to hear negativism. Don't let them get to you. If it is your conviction to homeschool then focus on that. Get involved with people who are pro-homeschool. There are a ton of support groups out there. :)

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D.H.

answers from Waco on

Check into local Home Schooling groups. There are many different supports if you look hard enough. Check with who you buy your home schooling program from and see if they know of a local group. Local groups will go do field trips together, have sporting meets, etc... You can also check into local team sports to give them time with peers.

I have known people that were homeschooled their whole life and went to college and made higher grades then I did in nursing school. I was a straight A student in high school, a product of the public school system and I was 39 at the time. She also was alot kinder than the children in the public school system... a Christian, raised right and excelling in the main stream.

I've also known children that were homeschooled and re-entered the public school system. They were removed from the school system because they kept passing the one son and he couldn't read... but they didn't bother to teach him, just kept shoving him through the system. The mother kept all three home, and got him up to speed and made sure they were all excelling before putting them back in the public school system. They were also good Christian children.

Children in the public school system are exposed to far more adult situations at tender, impressionable ages, than they need to be. I wanted to home school mine, but was unsupported by my husband. My kids know way to much about sex, deviants, drugs, etc... than I'd have wanted them to know. It's not a good thing.

The best thing that ANY mother can do is provide the best upbringing for her children that she can. Whether she teaches them, or has them taught outside the home. I was a stay at home mom until divorce made me re-enter the work force. But I believed in raising my own kids... and teaching them MY VALUES.

Best wishes to you and yours... and if you truly believe that you are the best person to teach your kids, then ask your husband to support you and the children. Offer him a trial period to show him that the kids CAN excel under your guidance.

Oh, home school hours don't HAVE to be the same as public school, as there is less time needed due to fewer students/teacher ratio... BUT you need to have structured time. If you're not doing structured studies, and your children are sitting in front of the TV or playing video games all day and doing an hour of lessons, you're not doing them any favors.

Do your homework as well... and make a presentation of those who came before that WERE homeschooled... a little history lesson... Presidents, scientists, etc... even with modern science, many of them have YET to be OUTDONE!

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K.N.

answers from Houston on

WOW! 44 responses - now that's what I call a support network! This website is truly an amazing place! Now, with that said, C., I homeschooled for 9 years. I started with my oldest child when she was 3. I schooled her until the 5th grade, my son until the 1st grade and my youngest through Kindergarten. It was pretty rough some days, but I wouldn't trade all the time I got to spend with my kids when they were little for anything! They got a good foundation and when my husband and I decided to put them in public school, the teachers were very welcoming and helpful. People are often afraid of the unknown. I didn't even know that you could home school until my oldest was 2. I had never heard about it. A friend of mine turned me on to it and that is the road I took. You have to do what is best for your children and if people don't understand, help them to. If they still give you a hard time after that, well, then it might be time to find new friends! LOL :) It is not unusual to get static from going against the grain. Most people have their kids in public or private school and that is what is deemed "normal" or "acceptable". The truth of the matter is "normal" is different for everyone. If homeschooling is what you and your husband chose for your family, then people should respect your decision and not judge. Unfortunately this is not a perfect world and there will always be those that judge unfairly. You and your husband just have to stand up for what you believe (like I did) and know that God is on your side! Hang in there girl - homeschooling is not always easy, but then things that are extremely important usually aren't!

K.:)

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R.L.

answers from Killeen on

The hard thing usually the right thing. Every student has different needs. If you feel confident in your choice, you need not explain to anyone, there are pros and cons to everything.
In reply to the school recommending your daughter be put on meds. That is not the only answer for ADHD. Try following the diet for ADHD. Not processed foods, not red or yellow dye (macaronie and cheese dinners, cheetos- almost every premade food is full of the junk. Follow that diet and you will see the effects with kids who do not even have ADHD.
You do no have to be a super mom. You should pursue some of your own interest, make the time for yourself for your family to refuel and regroup.
You sound like a great mom and when you kids want to public school - give it the consideration it deserves. Until that time you are their mother and as long as they have interaction with other children and learn the coping skills they need to face the real world (I am sure you do not want to hide them from the world - expose them - so they are prepared.)
You have the hardest job in the world - It is true that the kids who want to go to college need to have the opportunity to be exposed to the AP classes, the community involvemen, the clubs and org. but start looking at the FAFSA website to find out how to prepare for college-now.
Be honest and proud of your choice- Maybe you can pull the nay sayers in- like the mother in law. Can she tell stories of her childhood that may relate to history or a lesson that you are teaching - she could play a very important role in their learning process - get those folks involved in the effort - DO NOT keep them at bay. They are probably some of your greatest resources.
When folks are against something it is sometimes because they do not have the knowledge for the opinion they share. Sounds like you could be teaching more than just the children a lesson or two. Get the mother-in law involved- she has something to teach everyone as well.
good luck - don't be shocked by people behavoir - Be Prepared!!!!

fl

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K.H.

answers from Dallas on

Don't listen to the critics!!! I agree you are doing what is best for your children and family. Some people believe that public school is the only viable form of education. But YOU know your children best, and frankly, its none of anyone elses business. I'd suggest getting in with some groups of other homeschooling moms.
I think people not trained in the health profession as a DR. SHOULD NOT be demanding you put your child on meds. There are some that are ADHD, I'm sure, but not ALL spirited children are. In my opinion, its an attack on our civil liberties to force us to put our kids on meds when they just need a little extra attention. (my aunt was threatened by her son's school system to TAKE HER SON AWAY from her if she DIDN'T get him on ritalin!) This is unacceptable. If they can't effectly teach your child, maybe YOU can and what would they care?!
My husband is a public educator and we fight extensively over which is better, public or private instruction. Its not a battle that will be easily won, but stick to your guns. You know what's best for your family. If they do seem to fall behind at the end of the semister, then you can re-evaluate.
Again, get with a support group of other homeschoolers. There are people in other countries that are having their children TAKEN AWAY from them for homeschooling. You have the right, here in America... at least right now, to do as you see best for your children.

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J.P.

answers from Houston on

Hey mama!

If you have a solid, bonafide curriculum that you are sticking to Monday through Friday, don't worry about what others say. People have their opinions and that's all good, but they are YOUR children and it is YOUR choice!

Good luck!

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A.R.

answers from Amarillo on

Been there done that. My advice to you would be to tell them you can support my decision or we just won't talk about it. Tell them "My husband and I made this decision becuase it was the best for our family, I am sorry that you do not feel the same way but this is my family not yours." My mother in law was the same way and we just had to stand up to her and tell her how it was going to be. I know that it is not and will not be easy, however you are correct in saying that some if not most of the children that are home schooled are smarter that those in school. The reason for this is to many of the schools and teachers only teach the test that is now required. Where as when they are at home you have the ability to teach them so much more.
Just believe in your self and your family and that you and your husband made the decision. The rest of the world be damned if they can't support your decision.

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A.R.

answers from Tyler on

Trust in yourself, no one knows your kids as well as you do. We homeschooled our oldest through 2, 3, 4th grades so we could travel with my job and my Mother was sure my son was ruined, but he wanted to go back into 5th grade and he has done great in 5th and now 6th. He has a little reading disablity, but we had him tested and he has learned to compensate well for it. And from other parents that homeschool ADHD children, it works great for the kids. And if you are working one on one you should not have to spend 8-3, 5 days a week teaching, it should go much faster. So, in other words, just smile and nod when the people who know better start telling you its not working and find a support group if you can. Everything has its good and bad sides to it, but just listen to what your kids tell you. And as bad as my son dislikes going to school somedays, I just remind him it was his idea and he sucks it up and stops complaining. Hope all works out and there are alot of parents homeschooling and I think it is great to have that option.

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J.S.

answers from Houston on

It's time to grow a thick skin! I had to do the same thing with homeschooling my daughter, who is in kindergarten. I know a lot of people who homeschool their kids here locally, and most times their kids graduate a year or two before everyone else. It also takes me only about 2 hours to complete the day's lessons, so a 7:45-2:45 schedule is a little steep.

And you're absolutely right, statistics show that homeschooled kids learn faster and are more independent workers, AND do better in college. (Self-study isn't a culture shock.) I know a lot of homeschooled kids, and none of them had problems transitioning to public if they chose to attend, but most chose to continue homeschooling. And these are some of the brightest, well-rounded, level-headed kids I've ever met.

I had to learn to let these comments from people who don't know any better roll off my back. It's all I could do, because I wasn't going to change their mind by arguing with them. Instead, I plan to prove them wrong by showing them how much my kids are learning in homeschool, and how far ahead they are.

I'm sorry your husband isn't supportive! You need that support! Keep working on him, his opinion is the only one that matters, and he will see how much your children are learning in a short amount of time and hopefully come to support your decision. (BTW, the opinions of anyone else, including your parents or his, DON'T matter. They're YOUR children.)

As homeschooling moms we sacrifice more than people who are uneducated about homeschooling could appreciate or understand. You DON'T need a degree. You just need resources. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are plenty of them.

These people seem eager to share a judgement and an opinion that is neither requested or appreciated. My gut instinct is to tell these people where they can stick their nosiness, but most often I just reply, "Thanks for your concern, but we're doing very well." And then I'll have my (barely) 5-year old read a book in front of them, or show them Texas on a map. Or do addition and subtraction. Or count to 100.

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C.P.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Take it from a public school teacher turned homeschool mom: you are doing the BEST possible thing for your children.

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N.B.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C.,
I know lots of people who are home schoolers, including my daughter-in-law. They are to be commended in my oppinion. Who can know a child and their needs better than mom? If you are able to keep a fairly consistent schedule and can keep their attention to learn, and you enjoy it then don't let anyone intimidate you into stopping! Also there are activities available where homeschoolers meet for outside group learning,such as field trips,etc.
I am praying for you and for God to bless you as you are seeking to do what is best for your children. I believe He will send you some other home-schooling mothers who wil be a big support and encouragement to you.
Sincerely,
N.

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S.S.

answers from Austin on

You are right, you need some support. I don't know what area you live in, but there are Homeschool groups everywhere! Go online and find out where your local homeschool group is. Get in touch w/ other homeschool families. Many of them plan activities together so the kids have social time. There you'll find a group of parents and children who believe the same thing you do... there's nothing wrong w/ homeschooling your kids as long as you take it seriously.

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W.D.

answers from Dallas on

I have heard that a lot of people home school their children in the Denton area so maybe it would be good to connect with those moms for more support and/or to schedule field trips or projects with. My children are little so I have not really thought about home schooling them. One of my friends home schools her daughter and it is working really well for them. She said there is a lot of material out there.

You are doing what is right for your children and you are a fantastic mother. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your decisions.

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K.M.

answers from San Antonio on

You should be very proud of yourself for having what it takes to at least try to do what you think is best for your kids. If I had what it took to be a good teacher to my 12 year old daughter I would home school her but in our case she is better off in the public school system.

My sister-in-law home schooled all four of her children.Her oldest daughter graduated from HIGH SCHOOL with an associates degree in college, her second daughter graduated high school and has gone on to college, her son is trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life and did go to underwater welding school, and her youngest graduated a year early from high school and has now gone off to college. She surrounded herself with other homeschooled familied and had her children involved in extra carricular activities as well as church.

My daughter is allready talking about homeschooling her daughter that is only 1 now and I am all for it. Where we live, I am not impressed at all with the school my daughter goes to. There are very few teachers that make teaching fun. Especially the older they get.

K.

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L.R.

answers from Houston on

Don't worry about what others say. You do what's best for your children. I am a teacher and I am considering homeschooling my 4th grader. I have a heart and compassion for kids. I love my job, however my son has a horrible teacher. She only cares about the smarter kids. She treats my son like an outcast. All the schools care about are their TAKS scores. These kids need to know the basics.

I know kids who were homeschooled and did well in college. They went on to do great things. Always teach above grade level. Repetition is key to learning. Always review what you have done in previous weeks. I hope this help. Goodluck

God Bless

Single mom of three

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K.C.

answers from Longview on

OH boy, I could go on forever, but I won't bore you. The advice and criticism you are getting from others are from others who are only judging you and have no idea what they are talking about. Not that there aren't some people who have home-schooled and it not worked out for them. They really should check their research... home-schoolers typically are the ones colleges are focusing on these days because of their level of maturity and what they contribute to the school. IF you put them back in school the only reason they might lag behind is because they were studying different things and would need time to adjust just like anyone moving in. More than likely they would excel way more than the others.
As for schedule, that is wide open!!! They do NOT need to do the "busy-work" that the public schools do. The schools have to do it because they have to teach to 22 different levels and account for bathroom breaks and discipline problems. Kids learn on so many different levels. I suggest you and your husbnad work together on this because he will tear you down and you both will destroy your marriage if you can't work out something together. YOur marriage has to come first! You can't keep this a secret for long. How old are your kids? He needs to listen to you as well as you listen to him and do some research together.
Will you give up "things" that you want to do? Like lunch with friends? A completely clean house? Yes, you will to some extent, but you will so surprised at how your needs change. I was very social and wanted my time. I also wanted my home flawless (okay that was just dreaming, anyway). Since I pulled my son out last year and had my daughter join us this year, my needs have dramatically changed because of what I have seen happen in my children. They are different and some of my friends notice it too. There are others that just don't say anything and that is fine with me. At least none have been mean to my face (now behind my back, who knows or cares).
Teaching degree? God gives you what you need to be their teacher. He gave them to you didn't he? There are too many resources out there to help you and friends to help-other homeschoolers). Join CHEC or LARHE if you are in Longview. IF not, find a homeschool group in your area. Having advice an email away is worth it, believe me!!! Curriculum is in abundance and many of them are free so money should never be an issue. I was not a likely "homeschooler", but my children needed more than what they were getting. Not more work, more focus, more life, less pressure and less social issues. Meds? Stay away from that advice unless you truly see the need. Schedule? Who needs to stick to that schedule when you don't have the interruptions of school. I would love to talk further with you. You need the support (we all do) of others who have gone this path). It is NOT easy!!! but I will NOT go back. The rewards have been too great already. I have days I want to pull my hair out and days that I am filled with joy! God gives you the strength.
K

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R.D.

answers from Dallas on

Hi!!
Wow!!!!There are a lot of good pieces of advice here. I just wanted to let you know that you can down load last years TAKS tests and give them to your children just to show your husband(and his mother) that your kids are doing well and if you Google TEKS you can show him where the state says they should be.(Don't get me wrong, I am anti-TAKS but my husband and my mother-in-law sound like yours and doing this helped with the husband part.) I know that it is hard but people who have never homeschooled don't understand, they(like my mother-in-law)only know about the stuff on the news about the weird peaple locking their kids away. They don't get that this is not the norm. If anyone tells you that your are not qualified to teach your children, tell them that God says that you are qualified enough and thats why He gave them to you. I know that its hard when you feel like you don't have any support from friends or family but as a product of homeschooling and a homeschooling momma, you have my full and total support!!! My biggest piece of advice to you is don't give up! You know whats best for your kids!! If you don't get the support and understanding that you need from you family talk to other homeschoolers. That has been the biggest support for me!! I hope that it helps. If you need someone to talk to I am here. Just shoot me a line.
R.

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K.T.

answers from Dallas on

Ultimately C., its nobody's business how you educate your children. I can definitely see your concern with putting your daughter on meds when you know that it isn't necessary...

As you stated, there are children who are very successful being home-schooled. The only negative that I see is socializing your children. To remedy that, I would say to sign them up for some activities outside the home. Other than that, I think you're doing what you feel is best for your family. The next time someone makes a comment, just politely tell them that its your decision to make and if they don't like it to please keep their comments to themselves. You do not have to entertain their thoughts on what they think you should be doing with YOUR kids.

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M.D.

answers from Austin on

C.,

I commend you for taking the time out to help your children, and going "against the grain". I think that you just have to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing...for your children! Of course you enjoy being with you kids and teaching them about the world. If other people want to let "other" people teach their children, then let then. You tried that, and now you are trying your own way. I am sure too, that your kids are not isolated from the world, that they get contact with other kids and activities outside the house. So you just have to remain strong and consistent. This is the best thing for your daughter right now, she obviously needs this one-on-one time, and who better to give it to her that her momma.
Home-schooled kids are generally smarter than public school kids!
I hope to home school my son someday, even if it is just for a few years. Good luck, and thanks for inspiring us!

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T.

answers from Dallas on

I'm so sorry you're having these problems. I home schooled my kids for 3 years and I know it's very difficult to do without the support of friends and family. Unfortunately, many people don't understand it so they think they should just put it down. I wouldn't change our time home schooling for anything. It gave our kids a great foundation during important years in their development. We usually started school at 8 and finished between 12 and 1. There's so much "non-teaching" time in a public school day that you don't have (lining up, going to music/art/pe classes, recess, etc.). You just don't need as many hours in a home school day.

Just hang in there...your progress with the kids will eventually be proof to your family and friends that you're doing the right thing.

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A.M.

answers from Austin on

Bottom line: they are your kids! I think as long as you have a way to test them at the end of the "year" to make sure they are meeting the same standards, or accomplishing the same things kids in public schools are, then you are fine. I applaud you for doing the hard thing and trying to teach them yourself and trying to keep your daughter off meds!
Do what you feel is best and ignore the other people, or just stop talking about it to them.
I really suggest you and your husband get on the same page about this though. Talk to him about what is really bothering him about the home-schooling. Videotape a day in your "school" to show him or have him watch you while you teach the kids and see if he's ok with that. Teachers teach 30 kids at a time and your only teaching yours, so you can get more accomplished in a shorter amount of time than they can.
Good luck and hang in there!
A.

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S.V.

answers from San Antonio on

C.,
PLEASE don't listen to those people!!!!!! Not only have I homeschooled my daughter for a year and a half (she excelled!) but she is back in school and is doing well. Now, did she do well the year I put her back (not by choice by necessity) NO but we had moved to a different town, went from private to homeschool to public, and they told us the same things they are telling you! I have MANY friends who homeschool and whose children are not only successful after school but incredibly MORE successful than their public school peers have turned out. IF you need any support please ask for it! I've got a degree in education but did not when I pulled her out of school, now I was/am a teacher but that does not change anything. My friends who homeschool range from just a high school diploma to nurses and former attorneys! These people who are talking to you really haven't a clue in the world what they are saying. There is abundant research to show that homeschooled children are incredibly smart and incredibly successful. Just google it and you will find it! Also, please note that many state school board officials HOMESCHOOL their children OR send them to PRIVATE schools instead of the failing public school systems in our country! Ask yourself WHY this would be if 'public schools are the best place for our children' as you say someone told you! You totally have MY support!
S.

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L.C.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Good for you! People can be so judgmental! That's what my husband and I are afraid of. Our four year old has a speech delay, but no other signs of autism. He's in a PPCD class now, but we're afraid they'll want to put him on medication for some reason or another. I think you're great to put your kid's health before other people's suggestions. You know you're own child. And you say you are happy homeschooling. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I say kudos to you! And I hope the people who tell you otherwise have the same thing happen to them (i.e. someone being judgmental with them)!

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L.C.

answers from Dallas on

I have full respect for anyone who homeschools. My children both attend a christian private school because I don't believe in our public school ability to give a well rounded education. They spend all their time prepareing for standard ized tests. I think as long as you involve your children in extra curriculm activities such as gymnastics or soccer perhaps chess whatever the interest are they will thrive and learn great social skills along the way. As far as the add or adhd goes try not to be to defensive. My son was diagnosed with ADD while in the first grade. It was a private school with only 10 kids in his class. I fought against it until his teacher expressed concerns about him being able to keep up once the work load increased as he got older. I cried and prayed about it not knowing what would be the best thing to do. I did put him on medication and after 2 days of being on it he thanked me because now he can pay attention. My son is not hyper or disrespectful he just had a hard time listnening with out his mind wandering. He is going to be in the 4th grade and is a straight A student. I am trying to keep this short, my point is try not to be to deffensive and block your child from getting help that she may really benefit from. The home school thing, my children would love to be home schooled. look at all the things you can do with them and how creative you get to be in teaching them. Congradulations on such a wise choice.

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L.M.

answers from Houston on

C.,
First I want to commend you for being brave enough to go against the flow and try to do what is best for your children.
Second, I would like to refer you to a book that might help with all the naysayers. It's been around awhile, so you may have heard of it, but just in case, the name of it is: "Homeschooling: The Right Choice" by Christopher Klicka. You can get a copy on Amazon for a few bucks or maybe even less than that! That will help you to be more confident in your decision.
Third, find a support group in your area! I belong to one and it is a real blessing. Having friends that have made the same decision I have really makes a difference. If you live anywhere near me, I would be happy to give you info on the one I belong to and point you in the direction of other ways to meet other homeschoolers.
Finally, I know what it feels like to have a lot of people tell me that I need to make other choices and that I am crazy (I have eight children and we homeschool all of them...and yes, it can be very crazy!!) But all in all, it is a blessing and I believe that my children have done far better in the things that really count (character, virtue, etc.) and I have so much hope for them, even if some would say that we have been neglectful academically. (I would point you to another book here by Ray Moore called, "Better Late Than Early", which makes the case that if we do the best we can as parents in the areas of teaching obedience and respect, hard work and basic skills, much of the academics can be self-taught (and that catching up can happen a lot faster than we might think...) This book is probably available on Amazon, as well.
I pray that you will continue to walk on in courage and that God will lift you up and support you...and surround you with encouraging people to give you the badly needed boosts when you are down. I wish I could offer my shoulder personally...I sure have cried on many in the last 17+ years!
Hugs and blessings,
Laura
[email protected]____.com

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P.S.

answers from Dallas on

I'm so proud of you for wanting to be THE major influence for your kids. God gave those kids to you, not the STATE, not your friends, nor your parents or in-laws. You have the responsibility and the JOY to train them in the way they should go.

Now, to answer your question: Everything that people have said, including your husband, is BS. Sorry, Dad, but following the public school schedule is crazy and unnecessary.
With one on one teaching, and you knowing how your child learns, and because you don't have to take roll, quiet the kids down, discipline the unruly kids, so you only actually have 25-30 minutes to teach anyway, your day could only take 3 hours, depending on your kids and their grade level.

There are so many resources available to you. The Texas Homeschool Coalition Review magazine [ www.thsc.org ]. The Home Educator's Resource Store in Duncanville & Lewisville-they are the absolute best![homeeducatorsresource.com] ###-###-####. Ellis County Christian Homeschool Educators (ECCHO). And if you need help with one or two particular subject, Waxahachie Preparatory Acedemy is a University School that many homeschoolers use. And my absolute favorite (although not a resourse, per se) is: http://www.familyhack.com/2007/11/09/homeschooler-rant/

Please don't be discouraged or derailed by anyone in your homeschooling journey. You are doing what you KNOW to be the best for your kids. YOU are best for your kids. Dad has a responsibility to teach also, and while it may not be math or history, he can teach life lessons from a man's perspective. Those are very valuable, especially when your kids are teenagers. Please find a support group; make one if need be. You are not alone in this struggle with negative people. There are over 100,000 homeschooling families in Texas, and so many have gone through what you are going through.

Best Wishes to you, C. F. Enjoy your kids!

P. S.

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C.P.

answers from Odessa on

Wow Camilla! What an incredible decision you have made and I am so proud of you for doing this! I am a SAHM too and I homeschool our 4 with ages ranging from 6 to 15......you hang in there and do not let ANYONE put you down for your decisions. You and your hubby have made this decision together, and although there are adjustments to be made and some "outside mentality" to overcome, over time it will pan out very nicely. I have been homeschooling for 7 years now and would not have it any other way, despite what inlaws and a few outlaws say! You are both good parents and have made a sound decision for what you believe to be the best for your family. STAND TOGETHER and be strong! I would love to talk with you sometime on this and be an encouragement in any way I can. I too have issues that I deal with in a couple of my children, so I know how you feel.

Let me knwo if you ever want to chat sometime! I'd be happy to help in any way I can!
God Bless You BOTH!
C. P

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

C.,

I'm sorry, but I have to say, as a public school teacher, it is my experience that it is much more beneficial for you to put your children in public school or private school, but not homeschool. It is so much better for them to get use to this type of setting before they go to middle school or high school and college. I know a lot of my friends that have attempted home schooling, and after a year or two they give up.

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J.H.

answers from Waco on

I work at a print shop and we have done printing over the last several years for an organization called Greater Waco Christian Home Educators (GWCHE). I googled them and their website (www.gwche.org) comes up with information about the organization. It might be something you want to check out to put you in touch with other families who home school. The website has information about how to join, meeting schedules, etc. I know they have meetings for members to interact and learn, as well as a library that members can use. According to the website calendar, they have a Valentine party and a science fair this month. I never had the chance to home school my child, but I couldn't think of a better way to do it. I know several families who did home school. Stick to your guns! The kids will be better off for your dedication to this.

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

I considered home schooling my kids. My son is indeed ADHD, and I felt like the school environment was best for my son, and I am an acredited public school teacher, and a happily married SAHM.

You need to tell all those people that you have researched the issues, and you will ask their advice if you feel you need it, but you feel you are doing well. None of them but your husband gets a say on what goes on. The same goes with "his mother", it isn't her job to riase the kids.

Keeping a schedule seems like a minor enough caveat. I'm stunned that the school would suggest that your child was ADHD, as mine seemed more of the side of wanting to deny anything that might force them to provide increased services for my son.

There are homeschooling groups if you really do feel this is right for you. They can help you our with techniques for attitude adjustments as well as educational enrichments.

Public school is a right and a service in this country. You need to educate your kids, but you have the right to do it outside of the public school system. Home schooled children often go on to have exemplary careers.

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A.S.

answers from Austin on

I think that what you are doing is awesome. I only hope I am able to do the same with my own children. I do not want to send them to public school at all. Don't let the monkeys get you down.

Drea

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J.P.

answers from Austin on

First of all, they are YOUR KIDS. You are RIGHT to do what is right for your kids.
Second, many of the public schools are sooooo packed with kids that the individual attention we got from our teachers as kids ourselves is now non-exsistent!!!
Some children learn at different levels. My step daughter was the same way. Her first grade teacher told me she should be medicated because she was SURE my SD had ADHD. Her son supposedly had it and she had to "put up with his crap all night" and didn't want to deal with my daughter's durring the day!!! Get that!! I never had her tested. In the second grade, she had a different teacher with different teaching techniques and she did great. She just learns and gets things better if she stands up. It had nothing to do with ADHD!! (now she is on the HONOR ROLL)
As for ruining your children, I have talked to a elementary school teacher about this very same thing and homeschooling my other two children (ages 4 and 2). Her response (and it's her opinion, we all have them) is that in her experience, most homeschooled children that she has encountered in her class (after returning to the public school system) have been behind in some aspect of schooling because a lot of homeschoolers are simply not prepared to spend the "time" with the children sitting doing work. That the homeschoolers do tend to get off track somewhat as far as the learning is concerned. However, the kids that were a bit behind coming back into the public school year did just as well by the end of the year as the rest of the class.
NOW....... She also said that she has had some children who's parents were very well disciplined and the homescooling was just fine.
My opinion is that homeschoolers also learn a bit more "ahead of the game" than other children. The thing is that here in TEXAS, EVERYTHING FROM FIRST GRADE ON is geared toward the TAKS testing. It's almost like they don't teach anything else. They come home in the first grade with TAKS worksheets. Forget multiplication tables, do your TAKS!!! Why can't I teach my children budgeting and mechanics and home-ec when they are little? I feel that if you have the discipline and the knowlege and know how and DESIRE to teach your children at home, GO FOR IT!! It's perfectly fine to homeschool and if at some point you feel that you might send them back to public school, there are plenty of TAKS worksheets and resources to keep your kids up-to-date with the public school system!! Getting some TAKS stuff might also bring your husband on board since you will be "keeping up with the class" as far as the public school system goes.
You are doing great and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. For most people, I truely believe that it is the insecurities with their own teaching abilities that make them worry about you.
MOTHER KNOWS BEST. Good luck mom!!

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B.P.

answers from Houston on

Dear C.,

You are right to reject the idea that your daughter has ADHD. I know what you are saying is true also about the family practice putting kids on psychiatric medicines just because someone SAID the child has ADHD. There are NO physical tests that can be done to determine this, such as blood tests, biopsy, scans etc. I applaud you for rejecting that "diagnosis". Read the book by Dr. Fred Baughman: The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes "Patients" of Normal Children.

As regards the home schooling issue: I am the Executive Director of a literacy center in Houston and I see children every day that have gone to public schools their whole lives that can't read, can't write, are basically illiterate. They can't think or reason. You don't want this for your children!

When I got into the field of education I was discouraged by my mother-in-law who thought only those who are the "authority" on education should be doing that work. However, who taught children how to read before public school was invented? The parents, the great aunt, the grandparent. Someone very close to the child who had a vested interest in that child doing well and being able to survive. Most teachers get into the field because they want to help children but they see 25 to 30 students a year and their hands are tied in many respects. The students just keep moving on and they lose track of them. YOU and your husband are the best people to teach your children. As one lady told me a couple years ago: "I want him to be able to read my prescriptions when I am very old!"

I will say that you should make sure that you are secure in your ability to teach them. You have the interest and the love which is #1. We have free seminars on education and how to recognize the barriers that stop a student from learning anything he wants to learn. I would suggest getting as much training as you can to ensure you give them the best possible teacher. If you are interested, call me at ###-###-####.

One last thing, your husband is right about not letting the day slip away from you and being on a schedule. I don't think the public school schedule is necessary and there is a LOT of wasted time in their schedules since they are dealing with controlling large groups of children.

This is my 2 cents worth. I will be happy to help you as the head of a literacy center and a fellow mother.

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S.M.

answers from Houston on

I started to write you, then looked up a website to refer you to, and poof, my first note was gone! I don't know if you go tthat or not. I will start over I guess!

My husband and I have home schooled our 2 boys for 7 years, and it has worked out beautifully for us. It sounds like you really need to get hooked up with a good support group that is going to help encourage you and it will give you the confidence to face the nay sayers. We have been fortunate that most of our friends and relatives have been very helpful and supportive. If you live in the Houston area, you are so lucky as there are just tons of options for homeschoolers to choose from. I will tell you part of our story and feel free to write back to me, I will share more.

I started going into how and why we got stated in my first note attempt, but it is kind of long and complicated. So I would like to just fast forward a bit to the success of our story. Home schooling certainly can work out well, public school is not necessarily the best choice. Home schooling is not necessarily for everyone, there are some who take advantage and do not pursue it in earnest and there are a few bad eggs that give the overall image of the homeschooler a bad rep and ruin it for everyone else. But let me tell you about my guys...

My oldest is a senior this year, and he will be graduating with honors. He is a member of the National Homeschool Honor Society ESA chapter at Home Education Partnership of TX which is the sponsor of the graduation. He takes dual credit classes at San Jacinto College South Campus. He is a member of the Homeschool Ballroom Dance Club (and absolutely loves it!) He is a very motivated, self learner who has been accepted at Steven F. Austin State University and will begin there this fall. He was awarded the Academic Excellence Scholarhip from SFA, based on our homeschool transcript, his application to the college and his high SAT scores. Statistically, homeschoolers are proving to be better students on the collegiate level, they score better on the tests and become very successful, self reliant individuals. He has been very active in community theater and has proven to have some natural talent in this area, especially with his very big voice which we have trained with a couple of years of voice lessons. He will be double majoiring in Theater and Media Arts, and hopes someday to be a voice actor, especially for film dubbing. We are pretty excited to watch what has been developing for him.

My oldest son was also labeled as ADHD, and we were encouraged to get him on meds as well when he was in public school. When we did finally agree to seek some counsel on this issue do you know what we found out? He did not have ADHD, but anxiety because he had been enduring bullying in the public school (right under the teachers noses) that started in Kindergarten. By the time we took him out of the public system, he was nearly debilitated, and it felt like we were going to lose him if we didn't do something. It felt like we were reclaiming him when we pulled him out, and it took a couple of years almost to detox him from some of the stuff that had happened to him. He now recognizes the advantages he has been able to enjoy because we made the changes, he has grown up so much and is doing very much better with his self esteem and interest in learning.

My younger son is very different from his brother, and our reasons for taking him out of the public system were very different also. He is a bright kid too, but more social than academic. He is now a freshman, and is very active with friends and extracurricular fun. He has been involved for the last 2 years with the Homeschool Family Baseball Association in Friendswood, and loves it, they are all about having a good time and helping the kids to learn, so it is relaxed and not the cutthroat "gotta win at all cost" attitude of some of the more traditional baseball leagues. He has also been in the ballroom dance classes, but has recently decided that isn't for him. That's ok, I don't force my kids to do activities they are not really into. What I do though is tell them what is available and encourage them to keep an open mind about trying new things. So, now my son has decided to be in the Yearbook Club at HEP. He is looking ahead to going to college, will probably follow in his brother's footsteps by starting dual credit classes at San Jac in a couple of years, although it isn't too clear yet exactly what he wants to do as far as a major in college yet. Time will tell, the important thing is, he wants to go to college, and he will be well prepared.

Our reasons for homeschooling our younger child are different than for the older one. Where he loved going to school, was very social, made friends easily, and he did well academically his kindergarten and 1st grade year, the 2nd grade was a disaster. He was placed with a teacher who felt that status quo was good enough, she refused to challenge him in any way, even though I begged her to, because that was going to mean that she might have to do more work. His interest in learning and his abilities in spelling, writing, grammar all went downhill. He was strong in reading thank goodness and his math skills were good, but in all honesty the other stuff went to pot. He was doing better work at the end of 1st grade than he was when he finished 2nd grade, and by then we had already pulled his brother out. Since I was already having to teach him everything he was supposed to be learning at school, we finally decided he may as well join us at home full time! It was a little harder to make that decision, because he wanted to go to the school, but when I asked him what he would miss most if he didn't, his answer was - kickball!

The main things we have learned over the years are~ I have relearned everything I already learned and forgot! Also, and more importantly, we have learned flexibiiity, nothing is written in stone- if you try something and it isn't working for your child, make the necessary changes. When we were looking into what to do differently for our kids (the older one in particular) we researched private schools (too cost prohibitive) and homeschooling, which I knew little about. But we knew we had to do something different. A friend put a book in my hands called "The Well Trained Mind" by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer that totally changed our lives. It made such common sense to me, and made me realize that this was something we could do, their plan seemed very manageable and so encouraging. My husband read it as well, and when he agreed, we were ready to start our big homeschool adventure. The books travel and school can happen anywhere and at anytime. We had an opportunity to live in NM temporarily for 8 months, and that was just the most treasured time~ we visited 5 national parks and learned a lot about the history, culture, architecture and cuisine about a very different location than where we normally live. I hope you will share some of this with your husband, he needs to be your ally and partner. If you live in the Houston area write back to me and I'll be happy to share more with you, such as links to homeschool activiites and support groups. Good luck! S.

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C.S.

answers from Corpus Christi on

C.,

The first response you should have is that you have the freedom of choice to homeschool. The second thing is that it never hurts to try if you are determined to teach them. I know a handful of people that homeschool their children or that have. The kids whose parents stayed on focus with the homeschooling went back into public school at level or above.

If someone is being judgemental b/c of your choice, then they are the one's with the problem. I think it is great that you are willing to teach them at home and have the freedom to make it fun. I don't have the patience. Tell your husband you need his support vocally & visibly. If you aren't going to get his support fully, then his mom and those around you will never shut up about it. Also, let him know the reason public school is such a long day. There are 20+/- kids in every class so it takes much longer to teach & complete work than it does for you at home. Most people I know had a schedule from 8-12, lunch, and maybe some type of fine art in the afternoon such as painting, drawing, craft, etc. You have to give them time to play. They have PE and recess at school. Do what works for your kids, after all, since your not teaching other people's children (like our public school teachers do) you can cater to yours. Other moms like me are just jealous that we can't teach our own and have to depend on someone else to do it. As for the degree....it they really feel that way then they should make sure any substitute their child gets in public school has a degree to teach. Some of them substitute for weeks at a time. I say, GO C.!

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T.C.

answers from Dallas on

Dear C.

#1 you get your value through other people that's why you care so much what they think - which can hinder your good judgement.

#2 Stand strong - you kids will probably be no more or no less smarter than if they attended public school
#3 However I think they will enjoy life more and have a greater opportunity to seek their indidviuality and be able accommoplish the purpose God has for them
#4 I heard the same things from my husband (my son went to a private 1st year Christian school) My son is the apple of my eye - He went on to Denton High and has dome awesome!!
#4a -don't say hting to his mom (but don't lie either) until he is more comfortable with the idea.
#5 You are doing the right thing- some people think the govt should raise our kids.
#6 Be patience everyone - look for amazing individuals that were home schooled and when appropriate bring up examples, soon they will shut up :)
#7 Join a home school group for support and ideas
#8 Enjoy! You can create your own day, go on field trips, make volcanos in the kitchen. What a great mom your are!!!

PS Husbands require alot of love make when he gets your special attention. (even when he can find nothing good to say, you will be rewarded in the long run)

Love,
T.

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A.B.

answers from Houston on

It's too bad your husband isn't being a bit more supportive, but as for the others: I'm sure they feel they're being helpful, but you need to do what's best for you and your family.

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M.M.

answers from Houston on

I hope this helps. I just started homeschooling my daughter this year. I got so sick and tired of public school. She was in there for 5 years and I dealt with problems with the schools each year. They always had an excuse why they were not helping her.

I am enjoying homeschooling. My daughter is the type of child that does well with one on one help. I have 2 sisters who teach school and I thought that once they found out, they would be upset but it was just the opposite.

I had my daughter tested 2-3 weeks ago as the school kept telling me that she was autistic and speech impaired and learning disabled. The psychologist said, no autism, no speech impairment and not learning disabled just behind and I am working with her.

Homeschooled kids when they are tested test 2 grades above where they should be. We have joined a homeschool group and Molly gets interaction with them and they have helped me so much.

The problems I get from people is from strangers when if we go out during the day, they stare or stare and say how old is she, is school out today?

I had a badge made with her picture, name of our homeschool group and her grade and people do not stare or ask as much.

The only person who is not on board with this right now is my mother-in-law and she is 88 years old and a retired school teacher and she does not understand how the schools are now.

There are problems, they are violent and kids cannot learn.

You keep homeschooling as I will. Our kids will be so much better for this. There are so many wonderful homeschool programs out there and I am going to put Molly in one next school year.

M. M. Murdoch

[email protected]____.com

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S.B.

answers from Waco on

I was home schooled as a child. I can say from my point of view it was the most wonderful experience. My parents gave me the choice to try public school and it was okay, but I loved home school. I was able to work at my own pace, not the traditional pace of a public school. Most of the reason a school must have such a long schedule is because they are teaching to 20 or more students at a time. It takes so much longer to ensure that all the students are doing their work and are learning. Working one-on-one or with a couple of children can be more effective. Also, more work can be done in less time. Small group or individual time with a child with any kind of learning disability can actually be more beneficial. If the school was right about your daughter having ADHD it could actually be more helpful to her because you can give her the attention a public school teacher cannot. She would also learn more effectively because she wouldn't have all of the distractions a classroom with lots of other students creates. My brother has ADD and he thrived in homeschool. The schools told him because of his reading comprehension he would be lucky to make it out of high school and that he would never make it in college. My mother home schooled both of us for several years. He was able to attend college, function socially, and maintain a GPA of 4.0 and graduate with honors. He is now working in the computer field. I was able to excel beyond the traditional pace of public school. I was a child that was eager to learn new things. My experience with public school was hampering. Classes were taught to the students the furthest behind. I was bored because I wasn't learning new things. I never had a problem adjusting to being in public school. I just found home schooling to be a more productive way to learn. I spent the time from the middle of my 8th grade year through that next summer and was able to complete all of my lessons through 10th grade. I spent the next year completing the last two years of high school. So by the time I was 15 I was entering my freshman year in college. And through it all, I had friends both in my peer group and older. I was socially adjusted and emotionally mature. I was capable at that age to relate both to adults and my peers. Beyond the benefits of learning at my own pace and feeling like I had control of my education, I feel that homeschool gave me something much more. I was able to learn from my parents. My mother was my primary teacher. Our relationship is so strong because of the time we shared together. Also, since my parents were the ones to choose my curriculum, it reflected their values and not those of some politician. I feel that there are very valid reasons to choose home school. Not only that, I believe it is an individual choice one must make for their own situation. There will always be people who believe home schooling is a poor choice for education. Most of those people have no idea about home schooling. The next time you have someone tell you something negative about home schooling, ask them to cite you an example of home schooling harming a child. Name a child who was worse off for being home schooled. Ask them where they read the statistics they claim shows home schooling to be bad. Then tell them you have heard from someone in person who has lived the life of a home schooler and thrived. And believe me, I have met many others and all of them are intelligent and socially adjusted individuals. There are ways to ensure your children are getting a proper education. You can have your children tested at the end of each year or whenever you feel it is necessary to see that they are on target. Assure these doubters that you love your children and haven't made this decision in haste. And should their education needs change in the future, you will make the appropriate decision to meet those needs.
I also recommend you find other parents in your area or online who have made the choice to home school. Get yourself a support network. That way should you have questions or concerns you have a group of people you can turn to for help. Turn to the doubting crowd and you will just get more negativity. If you can find people locally it is wonderful to meet. The children can get together for social time and the parents don't have to feel like they are alone. I wish you the best of luck. Hopefully you will be able to not only have a wonderful time teaching your children, but you will also be able to convert those doubters into believers when they see the benefits home schooling has on your kids.

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A.B.

answers from San Antonio on

I'm a college professor. The students I've had who were homeschooled have been at the top of the class, and so far, that's without exception.

I agree with those who suggest finding a homeschool co-op for support. It will be so much easier to deal with people's comments when you know how others are dealing with them.

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C.B.

answers from Odessa on

I think that homeschooling is the best thing you can do for your kids! I was homeschooled from 4th grade up thru high school. I LOVED it! My husband was homeschooled his whole life and has a fabulous career! We have many friends that were homeschooled and their SAT scores were noticeably different from that of public school scores and they got amazing college scholarships at big universities. My brother was homeschooled from 2nd grade thru high school and is in college right now getting his degree in biomedical equipment technician and is passing with flying colors.
Something to tell you family about the time thing: Schools are sort of like day cares. They have school from 8-3 to keep them busy. They have unnessesary "busy work" for homework and learn nothing from it. My brother did HORRIBLE before we homeschooled. He was told he had ADD and needed medication. But when we started homeschooling we realized he was so bored because he was so smart and was having to stoop down to the other kids' level.
As far as your husband is concerned: I would show him the alotted amount of work you have set out for the kids in each subject. Explain that some days it won't take as long but as long as they are getting all their work done, they are fine. They have coops wher you can take your kids for SAT testing and everyone will know you ARE doing fine and your kids are learning just as much, if not more, than public school kids.
I admire your desire to keep your kids at home. YOU know what they need and how they learn. I don't know one mom that had a teaching degree that homeschooled their kids.
I think you should find a homeschooling coop to go to. They have monthly meetings, get togethers for the kids, and have great resources to books and curriculums.
You deserve a big pat on the back for doing your job as a mom.
Keep up the good work, Supermom!

T.C.

answers from Dallas on

Wow! That is crazy stuff you're dealing with! What rude, uninformed people. I can definitely see why you're having a hard time dealing with their comments.

First off, I want to give you my support. I think it is ABSOLUTELY wonderful that you have decided to home school. I am going to home school my children. My daughter would be starting school next year, but she's going to be learning at home. We are already doing some preschool things, like learning the alphabet, numbers, days of the week, shapes, etc. Just normal fun little things to learn. We try to always keep it fun and we only work on it for a short time per day (15-20 minutes). We like to play lots of games and incorporate learning into everything we do - such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc. She learns without realize she's learning.

I think you are doing the right thing for your children. I don't mean to say that the right answer for everyone is to home school, but those who feel like it's the right thing for their family, then I totally agree! Others who don't want to home school, shouldn't do it because it likely wouldn't go well.

As for your husband wanting you to home school all day long, is there anyway he can do some research? According to info we've read, children in public school are actually only learning for two hours out of the whole day. The rest of the day is busy stuff or going over old stuff. There is actually very little stuff being learned.

My sister also home schools her daughter, who is now 11, and they don't do more than two hours a day. Her daughter reads excellently (started reading very early and way beyond her age). She does really well with everything she does and generally excels in everything. The only thing she seems to struggle with is math and they are working on that. She has excellent social skills, as she gets to interact with kids regularly when they come home from school...and she also gets to spend lots of time with another family that home schools. Anyway, maybe he can do some research and see that all day long would not be beneficial.

Plus, some of the cool stuff about homeschooling is that you get to learn by real hands-on learning. You get to go to museums and go out on regular field trips (if you want) and learn things in a really fun, exciting way that doesn't generally get to happen in the classroom setting.

I'm sorry for rambling so much! I do think it's smart to not include your mother-in-law in any of your decisions. If she can't be supportive, then she needs to not be involved. You don't need to deal with negative influence.

I do not believe you need to be a teacher in order to be able to teach others. Besides one of the great things about homeschooling is that you teach your child to learn...they generally learn things faster and finish school quicker and it helps prepare them for life. We have homeschooling groups here where kids get together for the social aspect of it all. But honestly, even without that, I see SO many public schooled children who are not normal socially...and I believe a lot of that can be attributed to being in public school.

I don't know how supportive your husband is, but I had a little suggestion. Maybe you can write a letter to your family and friends explaining your decision. You can be sympathetic to their worries and concerns and reassure them that you know what you are doing and that you are confident in your decision. While you understand they may not agree, you are not interested in negative comments from them. If they feel like they can't be supportive to you in your decision, that is fine, but they need to keep their comments to themselves. This is your decision to make, not theirs, and you would like respect giving to that. You can also mention that you appreciate that your family is important enough to them that they are so concerned, but that you are fully aware and comfortable with what you are doing.

We had to do this with our extended family regarding a decision we made that some were giving us issues about. It was a serious issue and we wrote a three page letter explaining what we were dealing with and why we ended up making the decision we did. We wrote it as kind as we could, but we made it very clear what our feelings were and that we knew what we were doing and we actually received very good responses to our letter. It was a rather big surprise!

Oh, and whoever said that public schooling is the best schooling option clearly is confused. Even those who have their kids in public school often don't agree with that!

Anyway, I'll quit rambling...you ARE doing what is right for your family. Homeschooling is a great thing. Your kids will not be social rejects or weird because of it. It's very easy to keep them socially involved in things and they will probably have a lot more fun learning things this way than being in school all day long. I know I would've loved to have been home schooled!!

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M.F.

answers from Austin on

Camilia,

I've recently been toying with the thought of homeschooling my children, and I'm also considering a university-style program (www.veritasacademy.net - classes on T-TH, "homeschooled" with the school's curriculum on MWF). My mother-in-law is also vehemently opposed to homeschooling, but I agree, that (even though I don't have a degree in education), the pros highly outweigh the cons of homeschooling.

I have several friends and neighbors that homeschool, and I've found that talking to them has greatly helped to ease my anxieties. Each of them has told me that one of the benefits is that the time required in a standard public school is much greater than the focused one-on-one time that you can spend at home. You don't have the distractions of other kids, messing around, or not catching on as quickly, holding up the class, so keep that in mind, that a 7:45 - 2:45 rigorous schedule isn't a total necessity, and may even burn your kids out quickly.

My friends have also told me about lots of great resources we have available. www.smoothingtheway.com and www.amblesideonline.com, as well as http://www.cheact.org/ (I haven't checked out cheact, yet). They've also told me about homeschool book fairs, and how wonderful they are. They usually have several speakers/seminars, that answer many of the questions and concerns that most homeschool parents face.

Good luck, and just remember that you are NOT in this alone!
M. F.

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K.C.

answers from Sherman on

I as well homeschooled my children for 2years. I did because at 3rd grade they let my child spell however they wanted to. I enjoyed homeschooling and learned allot about my children. You are doing the right thing. I have since put my children back in public school one is in college and the other one will be going this fall. The one child went from a B - C student to an A-B student. I have gotten some negative feedback from them but will one day understand why I did it. Make sure your reasons are just for you and the children. I as well come on negative criticism. You just have to hold your head up high and do not defend yourself. You will have peace if this is what God wants you to do.

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K.N.

answers from Houston on

I wouldn't worry about what others are saying. Of course everyone will say what they think and give you their advice... but it's not about others, it's about you, your husband and your kids and that's it. It's got to be aggravating though I'm sure.
I know of 2 families that have done homeschooling, one still is. The one family homeschooled their 2 kids til high school and then they put them in public schools. They said that once they got there they were so advanced. They just wanted to get them homeschooled through middle school (the tough years) and that's it. Then the other family I know that does it, has elementary age children, 3 of them. The K was reading on a 3rd grade level and doing awesome. They are a very structured family, as far as being on a schedule and discipline and all. They had me and my kids over one day during the week as if it was their 1/2 day off and that was still ok for them.
I think everyone is different and you're entitled to whatever you think is right for your children. Good Luck and more power to you!

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J.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Dear C.,
I couldn't finish reading your letter, because I am so pissed...who cares what other people think! The only important thing here is that you care enough about your kids to do this...bravo for you!

If I had the patience to do this, I would home school mine too, but I feel that my son would benefit from some structured time away from me.

Home school children have the benefit from learning from someone who truly loves them and wants them to excell.
Tell your husband to back off about a schedule...kids may go in at 7:45 and come out at 2:45, but yours can start at 8:00 or 9:00 and finish at 4:00 or 5:00. Plus your kids have the advantage of having the whole world as their classroom...you can teach them outside or at the zoo or in the park...

I have heard that many homeschooled children often start college at a younger age and are better equipped knowlegde wise then their public school counter parts.

Put your head up C.! You are a wonderful mother and as any formally educated teacher would tell you, you as their mother are their first teacher! I wish you all the success and love their is, and if you ever need some friendly support, don't hesitate to email!

Love,
J.

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D.P.

answers from Houston on

I know it must be hard, but try to ignore all of these people. I applaud your decision to home school your kids rather than allow them to be drugged. Get online (www.homeschool.com) and try to connect with some other homeschooled families. Join one of the YMCA or similar programs with PE and sports for home schoolers. There are plenty of people that home school their kids and they would be the best place to turn to for support. Don't give up after only 2 weeks. And don't forget that kids sometimes learn better in ways other than what is thought of as traditional lecture type classes-nature hikes, visits to the grocery store, trips to local museums, life can (and should) be a classroom. Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi there,
I also homeschool my 4 kids and have for nearly 8 years. Poeple don't always support you, even if you're doing the right thing. If you felt like this was necessary for your children then as the parent it's your call.The most important support you need is that of your husband, if there's any way to be unified on this, it will benefit everyone, especially the kids. Let the other poeple in your life know you appreciate their concern and that their support would be greatly appreciated but whether or not they give it,you feel like it's the choice you had to make. It sounds to me like you need to hook up with other homeschool moms for support. There's a wonderful organization called FEAST located on 25 Burwood in San Antonio.( I think they offer a class on getting started homeschooling, with alot of good information to boost your confidence.) That's the largest homeschool organization that I know of but there are sooooooo many local groups and co-ops. FEAST has a wonderful sports program all the way to varsity level.They offer classes to support you in tougher subjects. Many churches have homeschool groups, but FEAST will likely be able to give you info on exactly what you're looking for. Whatever you do, find a group that works for you, you will need the support, especially if you plan to do it for the long haul! Be encouraged, homeschooling is a wonderful endeavor. To be with your children all day and teach them the things they need to know is such a huge honor and the rewards are great!! The first year is definitely the toughest, but each year has it's challanges, too. Get a good schedule in place(needs to work for you, example: we start school at 9 am and do chores before we start, cuz I can't work in an untidy environment)also, find some extracurricular activities. Get out and do schoolwork in the park sometime, or schedule a field trip somewhere you're all curious about but have fun. The possibilities are endless, but enjoy and keep a positive atmosphere. When you're feeling down, that's when you need to be involoved with a support group. Don't get bogged down with negative thoughts. Hope you have great success in your new adventure! By the way,at first, my husband wasn't sure about homeschooling either, now he promotes it!!!

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L.S.

answers from Sherman on

Wow, people are just plain rude!! They should be applauding you and supporting you for caring so much about your the education your children receive.
As the comments, maybe you could have a witty comeback like "Wow, that's a really personal question." or "Thanks, I'll be sure to remember you when I need advice." Something witty to catch people off-guard, something that lets them know they crossed the line.
You're right that tests prove kids who are homeschooled learn as much if not more than public schooled children. My only concern is that many kids who are homeschooled don't function well socially because they're not with a lot of other kids everyday so make sure you have them in activities so they can socialize. They are groups for homeschooled children and they take 'field trips' together simply for the purpose of socialization so perhaps you can join one of those.
You don't need to be schooling them the same hours as they'd be in school because there are not 25 other kids in the class to teach. Teaching a lot of children takes a lot more time than teaching 2. Trust me, my degree is in education.
I think as long as you're staying ahead of your lesson plans, reading about effective way to homeschool, and making sure your children have plenty of outside socialization, you'll be fine. People are plain rude so I hope you can find a way to deal with thm.

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L.R.

answers from Austin on

I feel the right to home school is your choice and with the concern for others saying anything I would let it roll off your back. The only one you need to support you is your husband sit down tell him you need him to see your efforts and not belittle you by asking of saying that your child is not learning. I know because I am sub. teacher, children are not being taught every hour of the day that they are in school. I also know that there is drugs, sex talk, and fighting that goes on in school this starts as early as fifth grade. I will be home schooling my daughter before she goes to middle school. I also know that there are charter schools that are free to enroll your child that are only half day and they learn more than public schools going full day. I hope you can find an at home school group to join I know several mothers that home school and go to the library for groups and parks and other places

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C.L.

answers from Dallas on

I do not homeschool myself, but I have a dear friend who does and loves it. She has a website that might offer you some support. www.successful-homeschooling.com. You can also contact her via her website for questions or support.

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Y.B.

answers from Dallas on

You have listed the reasons why you prefer to home school your kids because its obvious the pros out weight the cons of your kids educational success. I say that if you see your kids healthier because of this decision and they are progressing well, who cares what anyone else thinks. You and your husband will have to develop thick skin to the response of everyone else. However let the friends and whomever know that you will seek their advice when you need it or ask.
I think you made a brave decision and one you felt best. Be Firm and ask for support from your husband. The last you need is your husband disbelieving the results only to add to your feelings of frustration.

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J.O.

answers from Dallas on

Hi! I'm a mother of a boy it ADHD in the begining I was like you, I don't accept my son have that condition, a friend of my explaind to my a situation with a friend in him work afther that I take my son with a professional ( it the only one can tell you if she have the condition or not) sometime our childrens actin at home different that school. Every one have a diffrent situation if you enjoy know do home school good foryou but think in the futurewhen they be like high school Are you ready? Good luck
J.o

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L.D.

answers from Houston on

Hello C.,

I know I am very late in responding, but I felt I should just give you some good news.
I am 27 years old, a college grad with a degree in Music Education and a wonderful job as the minister of music at a large church.
That being said, I was homeschooled for 4 years (6th-9th grade). My parents only put me back in school in the 10th grade because I wanted to pursue music and get scholarships, which we all felt would be an easier task if I was in a public school. (Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of scholarships for homeschoolers also.)

I had no problem going back to school. In fact, I was almost bored because homeschooling was much harder for me (Mom used a very advanced cirriculum). I graduated with a GPA of 4.15 and was 45th in my class of 498.

I am, to this day, grateful to my parents for homeschooling me through those very tough years of adolescence.

So don't be discouraged. There are lots of homeschool groups and co-ops you can be a part of. (My mom chose not to enroll us in co-op and taught us everything herself).

You are doing a great job! Keep with what you know is right and remember that most of the people who down homeschooling have no idea what they are talking about.

L.

P.S. My mom didn't have a college degree of any kind.

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S.A.

answers from Lubbock on

You should try not to listen to what people are saying if it feels right to you and your child that is what matters most. I have brother-in-law and a sister-in-law who were home schooled and they have done great, and have college degrees. You should get involved in a local home school group, there are many other parents out there facing the same problems and it would be a great support. Also, tell your husband that in public school they are not learning the whole time they are there. They have P.E and Lunch and recess and 15 to 19 other kids in class who have to have help from the teacher while they sit and wait. Kids are tough, so don't worry so much!

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K.E.

answers from Dallas on

It looks like you are getting a lot of great advice.I hope mine helps as well.

I began homeschooling a year and a half ago. I'm far from what the general concept is of a "homeschooling mom". I run my own business, have only one child, have traveled the world and am married to a highly educated man who is equally amazed at the very basic schooling that goes on in public schools in Texas. We became frustrated with the entire mentality surrounding the education of children in this country, both private and public.
The lack of foreign language and the dreadful lack of art education, the emphasis on a test that is linked to funding and not to better education, the frustration of the teachers who will tell you, off the record, the test is useless and kids are not getting an education.
There are teacher blogs all over the internet attesting to this fact.

If your child is having a hard time in a subject , he will be left behind. If he is advanced, he will be bored and a target for "causing trouble" due to that boredom. The present formula for schooling children is beyond broken and only the people who turn to homeschooling seem to realize that. It's as if we have all found "the secret".

Teachers want to keep order and they are expected for all of their students to reach a particular target at a particular time. Anyone who has a different learning style will be left in the dust or labled and told they need medication. The alarming rate at which children are being medicated in this country should be enought to warrant legislation against it. Teachers, in particular, don't want their boats rocked, so they assume just about everyone who doesn't keep their head down and their eyes on the board, "needs medication". Parents should be bringing lawsuits against teachers and schools rather than running to the doctor like sheep. For every child that truly needs medication, there are dozens more that do not.

The State of Texas recently threw out the third grade math book that has been used for some time. My child actually expereinced this particular book and went from being considered "gifted" in math to being totally confused, all due to the way material was presented in this book. It took me a good four months of concentration in math, revisiting where he got stuck (and using a better curriculum to do so,) for him to get back on track.

The curriculums available to homeschoolers are far superior than anything available in public school. Public schools today produce students who are not leaders, but followers. They make no allowances for learning differences. All your husband has to do is read the paper. Almost every day there is something terrible about DISD. Many people, sadly, have no choice. The bottom line is people are afraid of what they don't know. Public education is "safe". Everyone understands it. It is also a great meeting ground,not for children , but for parents. Many parents entire social circle revolves around the people they meet at their childs' school so they would feel quite a loss if they were to consider a different form of education. I would say that is the only loss I felt, hanging out before and after school with other moms. However I make up for that by having my mom pals over for coffee, where they invariably , complain about school , the 'test' and the teachers!

Homeschooled children generally get their work done in half the time institutionally schooled kids do as there are no distractions, no announcements, no waiting for the kid who is disrupting the class to settle down, no fire drills, no lining up to go from point A to point B. We do 10 subjects in 4 hours. My ten year old can discuss the merits and flaws of most European and American artists with an adult, read two grade levels above his own, write engaging and witty stories and now works a grade level ahead in math. If he is interested in something, we read about it, research it and write about it. We have the time to pursue interestes that he'd never be able to pursue in an institutional school setting.

You don't have to have an education degree to teach your kids. You and your husband have always "taught" your kids: to read, to tie their shoes, to be good citizens. Remember, every curriculum comes with ANSWER BOOKS!! When you get to the stage of teaching physics, well, there are co_op classes for that!

As for "doing the things you want to do". what better use of your time is there than spending it with the people you love the most? I am reconnecting with my child in a way I never knew possible. You will find, after about a year of decompressing from institutional school settings, your kids will be kinder, nicer, more respectful and a whole lot smarter.

These are YOUR kids, not your mother-in-laws. It is simply none of her business. Try to get your husband to talk to some other home schooling dads. He needs to be on board and he needs to "get it". There are many wonderful home schooling coops in town. The Richardson Home School Association is one of the oldest. There is a lot of support there. Check the website and connect with other moms in your situation.

Google www.peoplenewspapers.com and do a search for homeschooling. There is a very well researched story on homeschooling that may help you and your husband.

You might point out to friends and family that many many famous people home school their children as well.Will Smith and Tom Cruise to name but two.Will Smith has been particularly articulate on the subject. Our own SMU has a designated home school admissions counselor as do many of the "name" colleges out there. Major universities are not only realizing homeshoolers are a force, they are actively seeking them.

Be "armed" with reprints of homeschooling stories. When people begin to nag, hand them printed information. They will have more of a tendency to believe something in black and white than anything you say.

If you need a helping hand, email me privately and we can chat more.
Homeschooling is a journey worth taking. It doesn't require 7:45-2:45 diligence, it requires interest and love.
You are not alone, you are part of a growing trend in America, parents who truly want to make a difference in the education of their children.

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P.B.

answers from Dallas on

Hi C., I read your details and felt that I should respond. Considering I was homeschooled and attended public school, I have experienced this first hand. I don't know all the details of your childrens behavior but these days too many children are put on meds just because they behave like children. I support your decision to avoid that route completely. You do have other alternatives to meds, just keep in mind it does mean more work for you and your husband.
As for homeschool, I must admit that it took a very bad toll on me and my siblings. My mom was great with us for about 2 months. As soon as something went wrong or things got off schedule do to sickness or schedule changes, we got behind. Things quickly got off schedule and the whole system quickly unravelled. I know your intentions are good and perhaps you won't have any of the issues we did. Long story short, we wound up back in public schools soon after and we never could get caught up. All of my brothers and sisters struggled terribly with grades. I my self barely got out of hihgh school, struggling just to make C's. Yes, I had tutorials and summer school but it was never the same. And unfortunately you are not the only one that will be insulted for the "home-school" education. We were made fun of by constantly for years. I wish terribly that my parents would have just let us be, to learn how to cope and be educated like everyone else.

If you do choose to continue home-schooling, then only time and your childrens intelligence will prove your critics wrong. Good luck, I hope it goes better for you than it did for my mom.