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Topic: Why did you start homeschooling?

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Subject: Why did you start homeschooling?
Date Posted: 8/8/2007 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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well, someone mentioned that they wanted this forum to come to life so here is another question. What made you start homeschooling?

For us, our daughter was so behind in school. She couldn't get any help because she doesn't have any learning disabilities. She just needs a little longer to pick things up. She came home frustrated every day.

By the beginning of 4th grade last year it was terrible. Her teacher picked on her something awful when she didn't get something. She came home crying every day.

I also am tired of how much emphasis they put on the state tests. I'm not sure about everywhere else, but it's like that is all they care about here. They teach the test and hardly anything else. When I asked her awful 4th grade teacher what plans for the year were so I could help where I could she said "to get them organized and get them prepared for the WASL" (WASL is the Washington state test) Well, la-ti-da. Who cares about being organized if you don't learn anything?

So we thought, heck we could handle 4th grade. So we pulled her out. It didn't go smoothly at first but I have planned and organized all summer, so I feel better prepared. Megan swears she is going to try harder this year too. Hopefully so.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 8:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Your story sounds like ours. Our daughter was in 2nd grade. She was bringing home papers with grades in the 40s, 50s, and 60s every single day. Come report card time, though, she'd bring home A's and B's! Explain that! It felt to me like she was being pushed through the grade levels. Her teachers all assured me that things were going fine, just dandy! B would come home sobbing over her homework because she had no clue what was expected of her. Her reading level was awful, her math skills were nill, and I was at a loss to help her. The things she brought home were confusing for ME. (Her teacher wanted her to solve 18 + X = 54, but she was not to use subtraction to get there.) Also, she was often held back from recess and LUNCH periods to finish her work. One teacher asked her, in front of the entire class, if she needed medication to keep her calm!!! She was always bullied, too. Finally, enough was enough and out of school she came. It's still not EASY to do school with her. She still struggles, and we are working hard to overcome some major mental blocks in math and reading. However, her reading level is now that of a sixth grader, and she is dividing nicely. By the way, I hate teaching for the test, too. Luckily, in Colorado, we have the option to have an evaluation instead of standardized testing.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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yeah, on the grades thing--here they don't even give grades in elementary. They just give reports "at grade level" "below grade level" what the heck do I do with such a vague assessment?

My daughter used to have to miss recess alot too. And her teacher wrote everyone's name on the board that had late work. How embarrassing. One day she sent her in the hall to finish some work. She missed science during that time so she was then behind in that. I didn't understand the point of that.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 4/2/2006
Posts: 1,443
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The year my son was to start K, they changed the age requirement.  You now had to be 5 by September 1.  (his bday is Sept. 9th).

We knew a few years before that the change was coming, they planned it that way for preschools and such.  So we consided homeschooling.  I took me about 2 years to decide that it was what I wanted and what was best for us.  He did attend a small home based preschool for two years, and the second year just didn't like going to school at all.  He enjoys being home, we still have issue about doing our school work, of course.  We live in a regional district, the elementry level schools are ok, but once they get to middle/high school is another story.  The middle school and high school are on the same campus.  So 5th graders are going on the same buses with high schoolers.  NOT my kid....no way....

 

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2006
Posts: 200
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Last year was our first year.  I decided in the early parts of the year before that.  I had one in pre-school, second grade, and one in seventh grade.  I was just completely fed up with the older ones school.  So, the next year.....they were alll mine!

My middle child only got to go to recess ONCE in second grade.  His teacher felt it was that important for him to write his name on EVERY paper.  If he missed one paper between recess one day and the next, he had to stay inside and write his name over and over.  (You think he would have learned....he's a little hard headed and stubborn).  Other than that, he was good on his schooling.  He did get somewhat picked on by older kids on the bus.  I put a stop to that one personally.  I knew where they lived.

My oldest child is another story.  His teachers/principal had a meeting with me in sixth grade.  I had already decided before the meeting that I would have them just hold him back a year in school.  They told me that his test scores were so high that they didn't feel that would help him at all.  He pretty much had straight D's and F's.  They also told me that I didn't have the right as a parent to fail him.  That was totally the responsibility of the principal and that she never failed the kids that did well on tests.  HMMMMM???  They decided to send him to summer school and he would pass to seventh ONLY if he did well in summer school.  At the end of the summer session, I had a meeting with his teacher who informed me that all didn't go well and he would be in the sixth next year.       I'm thinking, VICTORY!!!! ---------------------He was in the seventh next year.   Although, he made better grades that year, they failed him.  I believe it was due to the fact that I already informed the entire school staff that my children would not be attending their school or any other public school that following year or any other year for that matter.  They told me they were sorry......<---for what???

 

So, here we are.  I now have one in 1st grade, 4th grade, and on in 9th grade.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 10:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2007
Posts: 102
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This will be our first yr. Since we switched schools 1 1/2 yrs ago I haven't felt that his teachers have been very supportive of him. He will be in 3rd grade. His self esteem dropped badly last yr and we decided that that was it. He is emotionally and socially immature but academically he is above grade average. He is so excited he wants to start school already, I keep telling him I'm not prepared yet. We do have another son who will be going to Kindergarten but I feel like having a yr alone with my older son where he is the center of my attention will do him a lot of good. It will be strange keeping the older one home and sending the younger one off though. Anybody else do that?? I would be interested to know how it went.

June

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 10:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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Jennifer,

we wanted to hold Megan back in 3rd grade and we were told we could not either. we had to go to meetings with her teacher, another 3rd grade teacher, the principal, the special ed teacher, the counselor and the school psychiatrist. It was ridiculous.

Date Posted: 8/8/2007 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 2/9/2007
Posts: 121
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My parents decided to Homeschool my brother and I because they simply did not like the kids in school. I think most people will agree that teenagers now are NUTS! The middle school where we lived was right next to the high school, and there were definitely security issues (one of my friends was actually raped by a student). So clearly that was not the best place to attend.

Also the school system itself is designed to hold students back. I often found myself waiting for all the other students to finish their work, and the subjects taught were often "watered down" so all the students would understand it. Where I live, over 60% of students could not pass the national standard for BASIC Mathematics. That is totally unacceptable in my opinion. (I would like to add, the lack of good education is not the teacher's faults, but rather the fact that teacher's are forced to cater to students in general, and can not focus on the areas where individual students may be struggling)

I don't recommend homeschooling for everyone. The student needs to be motivated, and see the importance of a good education in order to really benefit. The parents need to be diligent as well. You, as a parent, may not be doing the actual teaching, but you must make sure your child is doing their work, and enjoying it! Try to help them find fun ways of doing their homework, and it will be well worth it!

 NOTE: I homeschooled from 6th grade until Graduating Highschool. I graduated with a 3.9 GPA. I like to say that whenever people "poo poo" homschooling (some say it is "lazy school," and not a good education). Homeschooling IS a good program for certain people. But it honestly depends on your child and their individual needs and qualities.



Last Edited on: 8/8/07 11:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 12:08 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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It's always nice to hear from homeschool graduates. :)

Another question for all of us: Are your family members supportive of your decision to homeschool? My mother is fabulous, and has even helped pitch in for books now and then. She is very interested in what we study, and has been supportive since day one. My inlaws, on the other hand, just choose to pretend it's not happening at all. They don't ever mention education of any sort around me.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 2:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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We decided to homeschool from the get-go.  My husband and I see it as our responsibility (and privilege, to me) to raise our own children, not to let the 'system' do it for us.  What kind of parenting can you do if your kids are away from you for most of their waking moments?  = P  I take my role as a wife and mother very seriously, and we plan to homeschool through high school.  (Our kids are entering 3rd and 5th grades this fall.)

~Jori

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
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We had our son in private school for prek and k.  When we saw the tuition for 1st we knew we couldn't afford it without me going back to work.  We had several friends who were homeschooling successfully so we committed to 3 years up front.  It has been such a blessing and for so many more reasons that when we started.

When he was in K he would get papers home that were unfinished.  The teacher told us he would talk instead of work.  So true for our talkative child.  What we realized late into our first year of homeschooling was that he had only been talking because he couldn't read the papers on his own. 

We are starting 4th grade and he is just a slow reader, but I know in any classroom setting he would have been labeled with a learning disability and his self esteem would have crashed.  Homeschooling is great so that we can move ahead in the subjects he is good at, and take our time with reading, it's coming together, but it has been a lot of work.  He also has an active learning style and would not do well having to sit still all day. 

We had a long distance move that stretched out over several months, so it was nice to have the flexibility to take off when we needed.  Our 3 yr committement was up this year and as a family we decided to homeschool all the way through high school. 

-Paula

 

 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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I have not committed through high school, although DH jokes around about home-college. :D I am committed through 8th grade at this point. In high school, the option is open for putting the girls in a nice, private, Christian high school. We'll see...

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 7/12/2007
Posts: 137
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This is our second year, but last year was sort of a warm up, half K and half pre-K year for my 5 year old. This is our first "official" year, since the state requires school or  notification by age 6. We've been thinking about hs-ing since my daughter was a nursing infant, and I started having issues of conscience with sending my kids into The System.

As for the question of family reactions, some have really surprised me and others have had just the reaction I expected. I come from a family of public school teachers, many of whom think not only that traditional school is the way to go, but specifically only PUBLIC school. They don't even agree with sending kids to a private school. So I'm really bothering them - LOL.  My sister makes a point of telling me at every opportunity, "MY kids will only go to PUBLIC school, of course." and my mom kind of just  ignores the subject most of the time. I've been  trying to point out all the cool things we're getting ready to start this year, and her eyes just seem to glaze over and she changes the subject. 

The surprising one, on the other hand, is my 80 year old grandmother. She was a public school teacher, and I thought, of all the people in my family, she would be the one most freaked out by my educational choice.  After all, she's of the generation where public school was MUCH different than it is now, and has trouble seeing some of the huge societal changes. She's surprisingly become my only supporter in my family.  She is always asking about what my daughter is doing, what things she's studying, and is truly interested in what we are doing.  I've had many really interesting discussions with her about the reasons behind why we decided to hs, and she actually likes to talk about it.   The first time she asked me about it, I began to brace myself for the onslaught of criticism, but it never came. You just never know, I guess! :-)

 

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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We decided to HS after much research when DS was 4 and in public preschool.  His teachers said there was no way their district could accomodate his needs.  We didn't know at that time that he was profoundly gifted, just that he was "bright".  We could not afford the private, elitest school in our city that may have worked for him, so we jumped head first into HS'ing even before his preschool year was up.  We're starting our 5th year now.

My DD is in public school due to both physical and mental disabilities.  I cannot HS her as there are just too many issues going on.  That's the beauty of HS'ing - doing what works for each child.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2007
Posts: 73
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Many influences led my decision. One of which was my own experience in school. I was bored. It was not a challenge and I clearly remember that by fourth grade it was not "cool" to be smart. I stopped answering questions in class. I wanted my children to continue being curious and never think being smart was stupid.

Another important reason for me is a matter of principle. God gave children to parents not to the state. It is our responsibility to teach them when they rise, sit down, walk on the path, and lie down at night. The purpose of education is to train children for their future stations as parents, business owners, employees, statesmen, good neighbors, etc. I think parents, who know the individual bent of each child, can do that better than the state. I'm not saying that anything other than home school is wrong, just that the desicions of how and where to teach children should be up to the parents. They are much better equipped to know the correct answer because love seeks to be wise.



Last Edited on: 8/9/07 7:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/26/2006
Posts: 3,201
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great thoughts everyone. I really like the comment God gave children to parents not to the state. I believe this is very true.

Date Posted: 8/9/2007 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2007
Posts: 73
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Whoops, I asked FrugalMom a question she already answered and now I can't delete this post.



Last Edited on: 8/9/07 8:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/9/2007 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2006
Posts: 457
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I agree with Renae as well.  God gave parents the responsibility of raising their children.

I forgot to mention in my previous post about family support.  We have the support of both sides of our family.  My parents love the fact that we homeschool.  My brother and sister-in-law homeschool as well.  My parents are convinced they have the brightest grandchildren on the planet! 

My husband's parents are all for it as well.  My mom-in-law was a public school substitute teacher for many years, and supplies us with lots of good literature and a few textbooks.  She says that she probably would have homeschooled my husband and his brother had that been an option at that time.  And she would have been GREAT at it!  My dad-in-law teaches art to a couple of homeschooled boys (sons of the veterinarian in their area).  My dad-in-law is an EXCEPTIONAL artist and truly loves passing on what he knows.  And he knows a LOT!  He paints pictures that look like photographs.  He carves duck decoys that you would swear were about to take flight.  He has designed a couple of pieces of furniture in their home.  I hope those 2 boys realize what a treasure they have in their art teacher!

~Jori

Date Posted: 8/10/2007 6:16 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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We started homeschooling because our oldest has severe and multple food and environmental allergies.  I can barely keep him safe at home and at grandma's house some days- I certainly wasn't going to put him in a group setting where food is served. :-)  It has worked out very well and we now homeschool for many other reasons; religious and other. 

Date Posted: 8/10/2007 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 4,505
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Well I am JUST starting out into the world of homeschooling.  We sent my older daughter into public schools when she was 5.  She's doing fine, but of course there are a few things (mainly other kids behaviors) that don't thrill me.  But she likes school and enjoys her friends, so we are keeping her in public school for now.  She's going into third this year.  My son turned five in April.  He's been in two years of preschool and we were planning to send him to public school, but the school decided to move some students around due to class size issues and my son was picked through lottery to attend a strange school in a strange town 7 miles away, while my daugher would continue to attend the school 3 blocks down the street that she's attended since kindergarten.  I don't know anyone in the town my son would be bussed to, he would be bussed with a bunch of Jr High students... the school is decrepit and falling apart (they don't even have sinks in the restrooms... the kids have to go back to their classrooms to wash their hands.  Yuck!).  We had no choice in the matter and there was no option to appeal the decision, so we decided not to send him at all.   I am homeschooling him for Kindergarten.  If we do very well and really like it I will plan to continue next year. I might even start to homeschool my older daughter if things go well with my son and I gain knowledge and confidence in the homeschool process.   If things don't go great with my son this year, we will probably pull both kids out of public and send them to a private Catholic School.  Wish us luck!

Edie

Date Posted: 8/12/2007 11:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2007
Posts: 375
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My mom homeschooled both my brother and me from 5th grade to graduation. She had worked at the middle school that we would have attended and saw kids getting pregnant, bringing knives to school, and doing drugs. There was no way she wanted to send us into an environment like that. She was also frustrated because I was very advanced for my grade, but the school refused to skip me a grade because they said, "She brings the test scores up." I graduated highschool with a 3.9 GPA at age 14. I got my bachelors with a 3.8 GPA when I was 19, after I had taken a year off to work to pay for college. I have had so many advantages because I was homeschooled.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 10:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2005
Posts: 87
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We started homeschooling for many reasons.  Like most of you, we had some problems with the school where my 9 year old is concerned.  We had an incident where the principal actually forced my son to lie because she did not like an explanation that he gave her.  HMMM, not exactly a value that I want to be taught.  That ended up being the last straw, but we had decided to homeschool my youngest until he was ready to take care of himself.  He has severe food allergies like one of the other posters and we did not feel comfortable having others "try" to keep him safe by segregating him and making him an outcast.  So, he will homeschool until he is ready for school.  And if he choses to stay home entirely, well, that is fine too.

We are commited to junior high here.  Not sure if that will change or not.  I really like reading all your reasons on here.  It is great to see other parents doing all they can for their kids.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 2:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2006
Posts: 184
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My son went from being popular, bright and happy in K-the first part of 2nd grade, to crying, hating school, and miserable.   What happened? 

1. Writing was VERY hard for him and no one would listen to any of us.  

So hard, they started saying he had some 'expressive disorder.'  We went through test after test after test.  High IQ, why doesn't performance match?  I kept saying - He needs more help with writing.  It is painful for him.  No one would listen - they said he might have ADHD.  We took him out of school before they tried to drug him.

They sent home a paper wanting to know "If he smeared feces on the wall:"  That was SO disgusting and insulting.  OMG.  You just don't know unless that has happened to you about your child. 

2. Boredom

Even though he couldn't write, he was totally bored and not getting any science education - and that is all he wanted.

3. Bullies

My son was attacked by 5 students, kicked, and beaten.  All over a bug he found on the ground - which they took away and stomped.  He didnt' want to give it up.  Before this, he had told me one boy was always trying to get the other kids against him and calling him stupid.

There was this meeting about it - the psychologist said that my son 'needed to learn forgiveness'....nothing was EVER done to the other kids about this - and then the teacher was saying "The cool kids just don't like him"  (It was the 'cool' kids bullying him?)  The meeting where that statement was made, we said "We're going to be homeschooling him immediately."

 

Well, after 6 months homeschooling him, I saw THE big problem and took him to the doctor.  My son was non-lateral.  He had NO hand preference and could not develop one.  He had a severe fine motor skill delay.  No problem with his intellect - his IQ is in the superior range.

He had OT for writing for over a year and I lowered his written requirements for hiim.  It really WAS hurting him to try to write.  Now it is 4 years later and his handwriting is legible and picking up speed. 

I am still trying to overcome his anxiety about actual penmanship though.  Gosh, writing this, I still get mad! 



Last Edited on: 8/14/07 2:44 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/14/2007 3:01 PM ET
Member Since: 12/5/2005
Posts: 21
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When it came time to put them on that school bus, I just couldn't do it! I had friends that were homeschooling at the time and had told them I would just never be able to homeschool! As of this year, I have graduated both my children so guess I figured out a way after all!!  LOL   We started in Pre-school and never looked back.

Date Posted: 8/14/2007 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Wow, Kristi, what a nightmare! Some of the stories I hear about public schools curl my hair! I can't believe some of the things that go on in such an important place!

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