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What if I homeschool because I feel like it's my only choice? Questioning and struggling with lack of choices.


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#51 tori729

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 01:57 PM

Wow, you guys have blown me away with your input! Trying to, again, reply as much as I can. :) 

 

 

 

Take this with a huge grain of salt from an inexperienced outsider.   Reading your latest update makes me wonder if you don't have an idea in your head of what homeschool SHOULD look like and you are comparing yourself to that yardstick.  

For example, "My oldest is a self-learner and they both love reading all kinds of books about animals and history. So they get it. It's just not led by me."

 

I think what you've got with your oldest is a GOOD thing.  Even with crafts, just because YOU aren't leading the academics and crafts doesn't mean that what is done, isn't without value.  Honestly, I think that what you don't lead has MORE value.  

 

Your second might need more social time.  If I were you, I think I'd look into less co-op and more homeschool field trips and park days.  

 

I also wonder, do you enjoy the mystery shopping and selling on ebay and the other things?   I used to do mystery shopping, but then the money you got wasn't worth it.  

 

I also wonder if your standards for house cleanliness could be lowered.  Look at it as priorities.  Maybe vastly lower your daily cleaning schedule.  

 

I DO think we need more field trips! Our one co-op does them once a month but last month it was a trampoline place?!?! and would have been $40 to go there and no educational value so yeah. The other one we were busy. 

I think I need to pare down MY activities. I'm trying to do too much myself, and then I get annoyed or stressed out when I have to spend time on the kids instead. 

And I laughed so much about the house cleaning thing. If it got much worse, we might get diseases. lol I kid, I kid, but really I'm pretty lenient when it comes to cleaning, plus I outsource a lot of it to the kids. ;)

 

 

FWIW, I find it much more useful to compare myself to my dh than my friends. He's tired and stressed and doesn't get barely any time for hobbies too, lol. And we're both kind of depressed and frustrated about it, but we chose this life and we feel it's what's best, so we're just trying to hang in there and not take it out on each other.
*please ignore this if it's out of line* but if you just issue an ultimatum and quit, and he feels like he has to work a bunch if ivertime to send the kids to Christian school or else send them to a school that he feels is detrimental to them, I can't imagine how rough that would be on your marriage, and dealing with that is waaay worse than not having enough time for hobbies.
I hope you can work something out, I know how rough it is. ((Hugs))

 

GOOD POINT!

 

I get it. I homeschool not because I truly want to, but because it is the least bad option for our family. 

 

Something that works pretty well for us is Library school. I have the youngest in M-F preschool (which you could do with your two youngest) and we do school at the library during that time. The second grader can get all of her work done in that time and the 5th grader can get through everything he needs me for and go home with a list of the remaining things that he needs to do on his own. You do need the right configuration of library for this. One with lots of cozy nooks, or a faraway spot tucked in a corner. Or available study rooms. This is actually to help keep ME on task, because there are so many distractions at home, I'll have a hard time actually focusing on the task of educating these kiddos. 

 

You might want to do a cost-benefit exercise on CC verses putting the two youngest in preschool. The open afternoons might make life better even if you are with *some* kids 24/7. Hugs. 

 

I feel a lot better since several of you have said something like this. I DO like teaching my kids, but I think I prefer more of the hands-on teaching than the book work. BUT at the same time, I LOVE being able to choose our curriculum and what they are learning to tailor to their and my needs. 

I am going to look into preschool for my almost 4yo. I would already have to pay for him to go to CC, which I don't think would really be worth it this early in the game for him. So maybe 2 days a week in preschool would be better.

 

OP, this is a discussion we've been having at home, too, and I was struck by something I realized: my husband has to work and, in some ways, is stuck. He can't just quit his job. If he wanted to, it'd take a year or so to work out the logistics of quitting and transitioning to a new career. That helped me see my current situation in a new light - people do things because they have to (and because it is the least bad option) ALL THE TIME.

 

Does that mean you have to homeschool? No way! But this isn't a unique position to be in.

 

Emily

 

PS If I do put them in school, I'll be getting a full time job. But that's probably off a while in the future for a whole heap of reasons.

 

My hubby feels the same way about his job - he doesn't love it, wants to do more (actually a high school teacher, haha) but for different reasons, he's just not there yet.

Homeschooling may not be my "ideal" in a perfect world, but it is the best we can do for our kids right now. 

 

 

 

If you can't take time off entirely, get a mother's helper or something. Someone needs to give you a break. 

 

Also, you need to give you a break. Tell me exactly how much you remember from your second and third-grade history and science classes..................That's what I thought.

 

 

CC might be great if you need the community and you want to spend time with other moms, be encouraged and not worry about science and history. I love that it is academic so my kids aren't just having fun, they are learning and so it takes things off of my plate at home.

 

HOWEVER,

 

There is no way I would do CC, and another co-op, especially if I was already overwhelmed.

 

If you are doing CC, how are you going to find more time to do the things you need to do for you? Because you won't have to worry about science, art, history, writing , grammar? Because you are going to use CC as the base of your homeschool and therefore simplify things a great deal?? (if you don't have an idea of what this looks like, PM me and I will give you a run-down)

 

CC can be great and make your life easier, but it isn't going to give you less time with your kids.

 

Really think it through. You need to make choices that give you time to be a person. You are important too.

 

 If you are an introvert, you may be better off doing NO co-ops and just making school as simple as you can for yourself. Just the basics. Use that money you were going to spend on co-ops and CC to hire a mother's helper a couple afternoons a week. Part of her job would be to read nice books about history and science to the older kids while the little nap. Boom, those subjects are done while you do what you need/ want to do.

 

I do like the idea of CC for the reasons you said - in some ways, it forces me to be there for my kids and be more involved and I like that idea.

 

Funny - we have some great charter schools for middle school, so I'm leaning towards that from middle on out. 

 

 

Have you considered a 4 day school week? Fridays / Mondays off and free?

Also, with kids your age, you probably should only be teaching half a day with the afternoon free for yourself while allowing them to explore their own interests, self-directed learning. 

 

I do only teach in the mornings but if I want to do anything else that day, I have to plan for it and sometimes I need time in th emorning to plan because if I start after lunch, it's like 3 or 4 when I finally get out and by then, I'm too tired lol.

 

 

 

This all being said, I'm leaning towards CC for the older two, and we will see what to do w/ the younger ones. I would probably still keep the Wednesday co-op - gives them time with other friends, is only $100 total for the year for all three, and I'll get a little time to run errands. We will see if that's what the Lord has in store. I'm going to look into PS for the one kid.

 

There is also a possibility of my in laws moving to town this year but they have to sell their house first. If they moved, I would feel SO much better about hsing because if I needed a break, they could help me.

 

And don't worry; I'm not offended when people suggest public school. I have plenty of friends who use it and have liked it and I'm not against it. :) I would NOT like K12 though because yo uhave to use their curriculum and the thing I love about hsing is being able to choose what you want yourself. 

 



#52 4kookiekids

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:09 PM

So many people have given to such great encouragement. I find a lot of it encouraging to, since my kids are (or will be in a few months) 8,6,4,2.

I just have two more thoughts to consider: first, as good as it is to get great ideas from others, really think about what works for you and what doesn't. For instance, I tried for two or three years to do the "school mornings, rest during afternoon quiet times" thing that works so well for many. Time and time again, I found myself frustrated and ready to the in the towel. Eventually, I figured out that myth sanity is helped more by spending an hour of afternoon time whiner littles nap to clean my kitchen, prepare dinner, and do the little bit of bookwork needed with my older kids while they sat on the kitchen counter and talked with me. I wasn't rushing them, I wasn't in a hurry since I was doing something else with my hands but they had all my mental focus still, and our mornings were much more enjoyable when we could all be together instead of trying to school while my littles wanted my attention or got into trouble. It turns out that even thought I thought having time to myself was the answer, it was much better for me to skip my me-time and instead have more relaxed time with my kids.

My second thought is that I let kids do as much as they can independent as soon as they can And I cover"extras" likes science, history, etc only in passing out by checking out fun library books for them to look at. I make sure they do math and reading 3-4 times a week, and I'm happy. Everything else is up to then to pursue at this point.

Also, sending a 3/4 year old to preschool for a year when they're "almost" old enough for school (not napping super well anymore but I'm not really up d for starting K yet... ) has always been a blessing for us. :)
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#53 LucyStoner

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

Homeschooling has an opportunity cost. The opportunity costs vary depending on whatever it is that the primary homeschooling parent would otherwise be doing. For me, that was my career and my ability to work more than very part time. I decided that it was worth it to me but I saved myself a lot of sanity not trying to juggle both and just admitting that I could not have it all at the same time.

It's perfectly legitimate to decide that the opportunity cost of homeschooling isn't worth it. I would try to remove the judgement from it. Homeschooling, homemaking, entrepreneurship, career, hobbies are not inherently selfish or unselfish. They are just many competing interests for our time. And in prioritizing several of the them, something else often needs to be dispensed with. Unless school is a horrible option for the kids, I wouldn't deride an inclination to do something on the list besides homeschool.

My brother is a SAHD and he could never homeschool. He needs the downtime that school provides in order to be on for the other parts of the day, including some kickass PTA volunteering he does and a substantial commitment of time and money and volunteer coaching to his daughter's soccer leagues. It's not selfish for him not to homeschool, it's wise in his reality and family situation. You are the person with the most knowledge of and wisdom about your family and reality.
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#54 Meadowlark

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

Homeschooling has an opportunity cost. The opportunity costs vary depending on whatever it is that the primary homeschooling parent would otherwise be doing. For me, that was my career and my ability to work more than very part time. I decided that it was worth it to me but I saved myself a lot of sanity not trying to juggle both and just admitting that I could not have it all at the same time.

It's perfectly legitimate to decide that the opportunity cost of homeschooling isn't worth it. I would try to remove the judgement from it. Homeschooling, homemaking, entrepreneurship, career, hobbies are not inherently selfish or unselfish. They are just many competing interests for our time. And in prioritizing several of the them, something else often needs to be dispensed with. Unless school is a horrible option for the kids, I wouldn't deride an inclination to do something on the list besides homeschool.

My brother is a SAHD and he could never homeschool. He needs the downtime that school provides in order to be on for the other parts of the day, including some kickass PTA volunteering he does and a substantial commitment of time and money and volunteer coaching to his daughter's soccer leagues. It's not selfish for him not to homeschool, it's wise in his reality and family situation. You are the person with the most knowledge of and wisdom about your family and reality.

 

I couldn't agree more with the last paragraph here. It took me 5 years (and almost 6 kids later) to realize that I too need the downtime. I had tried many of the suggestions that people here have made. I did mom's night outs, my husband started teaching science, we did the afternoon quiet time, got a housecleaner, chose independent curriculum...I did everything. I love that people have recommended all of these things to you because it just may make the difference! And that would be awesome. What I've learned is that I NEED some separation-more than what those things can provide. At this point in life with everything we have going on, I just can't be around my kids 24/7, be responsible for their every educational need, feeding them 3 meals a day, laundry, and everything else. And then be a patient, loving wife who wants to sit down and play Candyland after supper. I'm *hoping* that the change next year provides us will morph me into the kind of mother I hope to be. To be decided I guess-but my point is, only you really truly know what's in your heart. And I want to encourage you to make the choice that is best for your whole family-not just the kids. I am not of the opinion that every decision we make MUST be the best for our kids (aside from dangerous situations of course). I think the whole family's needs must be considered including mom and dad's relationship, stress, mom's sanity, etc.


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#55 Quiver0f10

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:16 AM

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

See, for my, taking the children out of the co-op and just being *home* would have been my answer. That might seem to be the counter-productive, but the thing with co-ops is that there are two days a week shot, that I'd be having to get the kids up and out on time, and be back on time, and then the other days would always feel as if we're trying to catch up, and I wouldn't have time to just...relax and be *home* with my children, to develop a daily, relaxed schedule that would involve and engage all of us. I'm thinking that since you say you're not getting things done on the other days that dropping the co-ops might be a solution for you, too.

 

Do your children have early bedtimes? (e.g., by 7 p.m.). Because that would give you time in the evening to do some things on your own. Are you a member of a support group? Not a co-op, but a support group? Some support groups do monthly Moms' Nights Out, which is great support for *you*. What books about homeschooling have you read? Are you able to do field trips with your children, or do you feel that you have to stay home and Do School with them on their non-co-op days?

 

 

This. I would drop the co-op and CC and work on making your home school day run smoothly and more efficiently. Install a quiet time during the day where everyone has a book and/or quiet play for a set period of time so you get some down time. And yes, early bedtime is a must :-)



#56 4kookiekids

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:10 AM

I couldn't agree more with the last paragraph here. It took me 5 years (and almost 6 kids later) to realize that I too need the downtime. I had tried many of the suggestions that people here have made. I did mom's night outs, my husband started teaching science, we did the afternoon quiet time, got a housecleaner, chose independent curriculum...I did everything. I love that people have recommended all of these things to you because it just may make the difference! And that would be awesome. What I've learned is that I NEED some separation-more than what those things can provide. At this point in life with everything we have going on, I just can't be around my kids 24/7, be responsible for their every educational need, feeding them 3 meals a day, laundry, and everything else. And then be a patient, loving wife who wants to sit down and play Candyland after supper. I'm *hoping* that the change next year provides us will morph me into the kind of mother I hope to be. To be decided I guess-but my point is, only you really truly know what's in your heart. And I want to encourage you to make the choice that is best for your whole family-not just the kids. I am not of the opinion that every decision we make MUST be the best for our kids (aside from dangerous situations of course). I think the whole family's needs must be considered including mom and dad's relationship, stress, mom's sanity, etc.

 

This is so interesting to me, because I tried so many of these suggestions too, and was still exhausted. It took me a really long time to realize that, contrary to all the advice I was getting, I (personally) did NOT need more of a break from my children - instead I needed more relaxing and quality and conflict-free time with my children. So after a hard day of breaking up fights, I don't need my husband to "relieve" me by letting me go have time to myself; instead, my heart is genuinely restored by him helping me make it possible to just sit on the couch and cuddle my kids and read to them for an hour, or coloring with them, or playing a game or doing a puzzle with older kids for an hour while I talked with them about life. And it took years to figure this out, because I'd only ever heard that I needed to take care of myself, etc. in order to stay sane. I just love hearing how different people tick! :)


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#57 tori729

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 02:46 PM

This is so interesting to me, because I tried so many of these suggestions too, and was still exhausted. It took me a really long time to realize that, contrary to all the advice I was getting, I (personally) did NOT need more of a break from my children - instead I needed more relaxing and quality and conflict-free time with my children. So after a hard day of breaking up fights, I don't need my husband to "relieve" me by letting me go have time to myself; instead, my heart is genuinely restored by him helping me make it possible to just sit on the couch and cuddle my kids and read to them for an hour, or coloring with them, or playing a game or doing a puzzle with older kids for an hour while I talked with them about life. And it took years to figure this out, because I'd only ever heard that I needed to take care of myself, etc. in order to stay sane. I just love hearing how different people tick! :)

 

I'm leading toward this might be what I need. 

So thoughts now after a couple weeks:

 

We visited my friend's CC on Monday and I'm pretty much in love. I really think it's what I need to motivate me to teach them better through the week. We already do FLL, WWE, SOTW at home and I'm familiar with the classical model. I love how you can tailor to each kid, and that each kid is doing the same types of things, just on their level. (They were all surprised to know that their science project was the same for all three of them!) It will be more money, and I'll have to be there but it's really not taxing to sit and listen and observe classes. Easier than being home trying to teach AND take care of the littles!

 

We've been doing more field trips this week too and I really do love hands-on learning. I prefer to go with another group though so we would have to work on their timetable for scheduling those. Not that I couldn't go by myself but I'm too social I think for that too regularly.

 

Lastly, I think I was trying to do too many extra things and I don't have time for them all! And it's OK. I do like couponing, but shopping multiple times a week is just too much. And I was trying to fill my afternoons without the older kids with outside things and that was running me ragged. I think I've found the passion I used to have, at least I'm closer than I was before. :) 


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#58 mykidsrmyjoy

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 04:18 PM

This is so interesting to me, because I tried so many of these suggestions too, and was still exhausted. It took me a really long time to realize that, contrary to all the advice I was getting, I (personally) did NOT need more of a break from my children - instead I needed more relaxing and quality and conflict-free time with my children. So after a hard day of breaking up fights, I don't need my husband to "relieve" me by letting me go have time to myself; instead, my heart is genuinely restored by him helping me make it possible to just sit on the couch and cuddle my kids and read to them for an hour, or coloring with them, or playing a game or doing a puzzle with older kids for an hour while I talked with them about life. And it took years to figure this out, because I'd only ever heard that I needed to take care of myself, etc. in order to stay sane. I just love hearing how different people tick! :)


Thank you for chiming in with this perspective! I want to remember this the next time I've having an intense day with my children.
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#59 Berta

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Posted 15 April 2017 - 08:39 PM

I haven't read all the replies either but I just want to say that two years ago I was caring for my terminally ill mother in law and thought I would have to put my daughter in school. There just wasn't enough hours of the day for me to properly school her, take care of MIL and get all the other things done that needed to be done. Where we live the schools are awful and the thought of putting her in there just made me cry.

 

I found BJU Press Distance Learning. It's not cheap, but it's way cheaper than Christian School. We were only going to use it for the one year but we both loved it so much that we have continued with it this year and will also use it again next year. The DVD's are awesome. My daughter loves that she doesn't have to sit with me lol. It freed up the time for me to care for MIL and now this year I've had custody of my newborn granddaughter, which would have completely set us back if I had to spend the time teaching every subject. 

 

 

 


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