Seeking Input from People Who Homeschooled Their Kids Then Stopped.

Updated on May 24, 2012
C.L. asks from Arcadia, CA
11 answers

We are considering homeschooling or private school for our kids (currently 1 and 3, so not right away), but I am not sure if I or my kids are a good fit for it.

It's easy to find lots of information on the advantages of homeschooling- I have friends who do, and I will be attending a homeschooling conference this summer, so I don't need that perspective.

I also don't need to hear why homeschooling is wrong in general.

But what I would like is to hear from parents who seriously tried homeschooling, then realized it wasn't working with one or all of their children- would you share what changed your mind?

This would be very helpful to our decision.

Thank you!

1 mom found this helpful

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K.W.

answers from Seattle on

It shouldn't be presumed that if someone decided to stop homeschooling, it was because "it wasn't working." Educational needs change over time. It's okay to move from homeschooling to other kinds of schooling (and back) as needed to meet the needs of your children.

The number one reason I hear from parents for moving from homeschooling to public schooling is child request. If a kid expresses a coherent interest in going into public school, most parents will let them try. Usually, that goes well. Sometimes the child does one year and then asks to homeschool again.

I also hear from a lot of introverted parents who choose to enroll their extroverted children in public school. A parent who prefers to have playdates 4-5 times a week may find it difficult to meet the social needs of a child who prefers to have playdates 4-5 times a day. This is also an issue when there is a significant difference between kids. When a parent has one child with significant social anxiety and one child who is an extreme extrovert, the extrovert often goes to public school.

Sometimes parents/kids are seeking specific resources: sports, music, drama, science lab, etc. This is especially an issue in high school.

Sometimes parents discover that their teaching style is simply a terrible match for their child's learning style. For example, a highly auditory parent who teaches by speaking may have trouble providing good education (or communication) with a completely visual child who must see everything.

Money and schedules. Disagreement between parents.

Those are all the issues coming to mind right now.

7 moms found this helpful
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A.K.

answers from Houston on

homeschooled my son, because I thought it was the best thing for him - he is very intense, very OCD, exceptionally high energy, aggressive, and can be hard for others to deal with. also he has difficulty concentrating, so I thought it was for the best
I enjoyed some aspects of it, but there is 5.5 years between my children, so there was no way they could both do school together. So there I was torn between schooling my 7 year old, and trying to concentrate on his studies, while my 18 month old wreaked havoc on the rest of my house, and generally destroyed my sons concentration. I got more and more stressed out by this, trying to be in two places at once, trying to wear a mother hat and a teacher hat, and a crafty hat, etc.
I did it for almost 2 years, and in the end I hated and loathed it with a passion, it was horrible.
Now that my duaghter is older, I could do it again, and would probably like it more.
Ironically my son "needed" school, his social skills are so much better now - he has gone from being the eccentric kid who nobody talks to, to a kid with actually a few friends.
You see, I think kids need to be with other kids, they get guided by good kids behavior, and turned off and repelled by bad kids, I think it is important to go to school!

2 moms found this helpful
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W.E.

answers from Sacramento on

for me it was all in the curriculum set up! i homeschooled my son for 4th grade thru our county office of education. he had previously been attending a waldorf school. i requested the waldorf teacher thru the county and was told we were on her list. the first day the teacher showed up at our house she thought we were montessori - she wasnt even the waldorf teacher we were supposed to get! i then had to pick all the curriculum myself, make up the tests myself, it was a nightmare. constant fighting and yelling and crying with my son. he went back to private school for 5th and 6th grade. I am homeschooling again this yr (7th grade) thru an online school. I love it. i dont have to do anything but supervise and assist. all the tests are online, they sent everything we would need for the year, microscope, slides, books, everything. not sure if that's what you were looking for...hope it helps!

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T.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Not really a question of whether your kids are a good fit, it's whether you can educate them to "fit" their needs. Everyone is unique. And your circumstances are unique and can sometimes change.
My kids have been in private, public, and homeschool just depending on what their needs and our family's needs were at the time.
When you have babies/toddlers it's great to homeschool because you can work around their nap schedule....no cranky babies/toddler who fell asleep in the car for 5 minutes on the way home from their sibling's school and missed a good nap.
When I was pregnant and deathly ill with morning sickness for my 3rd pregnancy, my older two were in public school that year because I was too sick to homeschool them. God worked that one out for us, they both got great teachers that year thankfully.
This year, I pulled my 2nd grader out of the same public school because both 2nd grade teachers were lousy for his learning style and he is booksmart and was too bored in class, it was a waste of time for him.
My 7th grader has good teachers for the most part this year in public school, but his school is full of wannabe gangbangers, so we are over it, and he's moving on to a charter school next year, which is half school / half homeschool. He will be in class 2 days per week, at home 2 days per week, and in electives the other day.
So for us, it hasn't been black and white each year.....to homeschool or not to homeschool, we've assessed what each kid needed and was or wasn't getting in their current situation and did what was best or necessary for them. I'm not one for moving my kids all over the place, but being in LA Unified has kind of made it necessary. My main concern is to give them a good education that isn't at the expense of their social/emotional/spiritual health.

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A.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

We are looking for families who homeschool their children for a new reality show. We are looking for moms and dads who have homeschooled their kids/teens all or most of their lives. What do your kids think about homeschooling? What are you reasons behind it? Send us your story to [email protected]____.com.

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't homeschool my kids yet but I was myself. The only negatives I would say was my mother stopped focusing on our schoolwork when I was in fourth grade. A parent needs to be committed to the process. Also you have to really focus on keeping your kids socialized.

Updated

I don't homeschool my kids yet but I was myself. The only negatives I would say was my mother stopped focusing on our schoolwork when I was in fourth grade. A parent needs to be committed to the process. Also you have to really focus on keeping your kids socialized.

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am going to answer from a friends perspective. i have one friend who took her kids out of public school and home schooled. One of her 4 kids died, she felt that it would be better for her kids if they were together more. Well, she did it one semester, and that was enough for all of them. They missed their friends, and she realized she isn't a teacher. Another friend did it until her girls were in high school. and then let them have a "normal experience". one of them thrived, they other never quite "got" how to fit in. So, obviously neither of theses situations are the same as yours.

L.G.

answers from Eugene on

I homeschooled at first with a pool of mothers. Later on my oldest had to go to a meeting of the vice principal of the jr. high to show her lessons. The poor woman had gone to Bible college and did not know much. She asked who Lillian Hellman was and other writers my daughter read. My daughter explained to her how the banking system worked and she still didn't get it and so on.
In the middle of that year I realized my 12 year old needed to go to school and so she did. The following year I put her in a Quaker School.
My next daughter was homeschooled and then I sent her to private schools.
Public school did not work out for her until the 7th grade.

S.M.

answers from Kansas City on

We homeschooled for many years. Then the older 3 started school and it went okay in public school. Their grades were spot on. I didn't like the attitudes they adopted in public school. Then our 2nd daughter wanted to go back to homeschool. That's very EASY in California. We were living there at the time. They have the same books, a satellite school to visit and get help from. When she decided she missed the public school she just went back. She didn't miss a beat.

I have a friend that went back and forth several times and all her kids have graduated :) My 10, almost 11 year old daughter is homeschooling now and I haven't decided if we will send her to school at all or when. But I have no real qualms about her going other than I will miss her when it happens and I HATE my kids to be away from me. But that's my paranoia about the world talking.

C.C.

answers from Visalia on

i failed miserably home schooling my 5th grader, she had to redo the 5th grade in public school. reason was no support from husband, he wasnt too pleased about home school and never made sure she did her work while i was at work. my job is strenuous so after work i was in bed resting while she did math next to me. her older sister werent much help either.

so the key is family support. my daughter ended up going to alternative school, she really didnt belong there as a person but scholastically she did, graduated earlier than her regular high school class mates with B's and A's.

S.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

i homeschooled my oldest for preschool (from age 3 to 5) then put him in kindergarten. in first grade i hated his teacher! she was the rudest person! but he loved it so i kept him in. then in second grade he got bullies and hated school. i tried working on it with the principle and teacher but they turned around and called my son the bully. long story, they were crazy so i took him out in the middle of the year and homeschooled him with curriculum i found online. I actually didnt even want to take him out of school and homeschool. the only reason i did it was because my husband, who is math phd student, told me he would do half the classes with my son.
well it didnt work out that way!
my hubby got overloaded with school work which made me overload with school work (third grade, but still) that was the LONGEST six months of my life! i could NEVER homeschool BY MYSELF with four kids under age of 7 ever again!

you need more than support, you need physical help with something like this.
there are a lot of homeschool programs in california that would have been a lot more helpful had i known about them before i started!

oh yeah, we put him back into school (a different one) but this new school is a LOT more helpful in resolving bully issues.
i wish i could homeschool all my kids, but it would be a million times easier if we had a house with other rooms for kids to play in while my older kids did homework!

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