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Afterschool or Homeschool?

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To make a long story short, we were successfully afterschooling until my son entered first grade. His teacher was terrible and he started to lose his love of learning. Also, academically she was nothing to write home about. He has begged me for a year to homeschool him. I would love to, but I'm struggling with emotional conflicts. Will I cover everything? What if he changes his mind midstream? What if he doesn't do as well as he would have in private school? I have a Master's degree, I am motivated and interested in their education, and I love them. I have no problem teaching them. Why is it such a difficult decision?


We are doing a homeschool "test" for 5 weeks this summer. Curriculum is in place. Everything is ready. I said start Monday, he wanted to start the Saturday before because he's excited. I have him registered for second grade at his school so he can see if the second grade teacher is better. If not, and if he does well in our test, we'll probably homeschool. Anybody else experience this?

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I say homeschool! I mean, really, your son wants to, you want to and know you are capable. It sounds like you haven't really made that paradigm shift away from institutional school (be it public or private) being the default form of education. You have to think outside the box and decide what's really going to be best for your son and your family as a whole. Don't think in terms of 'what if's', look at the concrete experiences you and your son have already had.


You're worried he won't do as well at home as he would in school, after he had such a bad year in school? Yes, his teacher might be better in second than the first grade one was, but does that mean she'll really be better than you? Especially while you still have your son's interest and the system hasn't completely killed his love of learning, you are very likely to do well homeschooling.


Bring him home! You can do it!


Also keep in mind that just because you bringing him home now, doesn't mean that has to be what you do from now until he graduates high school. You might plan for him to go back in Jr. High or High School, when one bad teacher isn't going to destroy an entire academic year and may be switched away from or made up for with afterschooling and/or tutoring.

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I think you're right, Ravin. I keep thinking of everything my son would be giving up by leaving private school, but he says he's bored with the work, the teacher was mean to him, and he loves the work I give him. I know in my heart I should follow where he's leading me. Although it is very much like jumping off a bridge and not knowing where you'll land. I just would love to give him the opportunity to really stretch his wings academically. He spent much of first grade being restrained (for example, he wanted to work ahead in the math workbook, but they were only allowed to complete one assignment per night) and I find that incredibly annoying. I understand a teacher cannot teach to 34 different levels (that's how many kids were in his class-there are large classes in Catholic school), but the teacher spent more time helping the kids who were behind, and holding back the ones who were ahead instead of challenging them. I just really thought he would be much more challenged in a private school. He can't be that unusual a child. It seems almost everyone is working with their kids at home today. When I tested him at the beginning of first grade, he was doing third grade math and reading at a fourth grade level. I kind of feel like we're being punished for not being average.


I can't help that my son missed the school cutoff by two months so he was home with me for almost an extra year. I taught him to read at 4 years old, and he loves science and history. The classical curriculum does stress reading, writing, math and spelling, with less of an emphasis on history, science, music and art, but the latter are exactly the areas my son is super-interested in. He would learn history all day long. I feel like afterchool isn't working any more because he's so tired when he gets home from school, he just wants to vegetate, not do science or history. So the areas he normally really enjoys are getting pushed to the back burner, which bothers me. And the things he's exposed to, even in private school, make me uncomfortable (language, teasing, etc.)


This is the tentative curriculum I have set up for us for our test. Any opinions?


Reading ½ hour to me, ½ hour to him

Reading Comprehension MindSprinting Website

Math Mindsprinting Website

Science http://www.msnucleus.org/membership/index.html

Grammar First Language Lessons

History The Story of the World

Spelling Modern Press Spelling Workout

Latin Prima Latina

Art Meet the Masters

Music Violin


I'm not sure yet how often we'll be doing art, latin, history or science.

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I must chime in and say trust what you believe to be best. Doubts aand fears are exactly that...FEARS! We all experience them at one time or another, regardless of whether or not we homeschool. My oldest started off in public school (K-2nd). He begged to homeschool. I won't go into all the issues, but a terrible teacher was just one issue. So, after much prayer we began homeschooling his 3rd grade year. His 7th grade year I was "Off-track," and decided to send he and my daughter and to school. She was in 1st grade at the time and had never attended school or daycare before. We loosely did Kindergarten (whenever she wanted to do "Work" we did...However, we filled our days with lots of conversation, learning activities, and educational type toys...She didn't even realize she was learning.)


Anyway, daughter's year in 1st grade was nominal. Oh, she had a WONDEFUL teacher, but the behavior of other children was so bad that learning was greatly interrupted. She totally repeated all the math she had learned previously. Keep in mind, we had kept a very natural, laid back learning approach and she was STILL ahead.


My son's year was TERRIBLE!!!!!! He begged everyday to come back home. Kids were very disruptive (In every class). One of his teachers admitted to me that she wasn't sure what she was supposed to be teaching this particular class, and this list goes on. Needless to say, I came back to my senses and brought them back home the following year. I'm not saying we have been without trouble or fears; however, I KNOW that they are where they should be. I further know they are not having things taught to them that I disagree with.


My son has now just finished his junior year. A few months ago we were talking and he started telling me how some kids used to bring alcohol to school everyday. (That was when he was in 7th grade!) I had NO idea. Sure, I know of high schoolers who did this, but 12 year olds! Even worse, though my child did not participate, I just heard about it several years later.


In addition, I drive a school bus, it is totally appalling what these kids are witnessing everyday. If for no other reason than to protect the innocence of our children, bringing them home is a wise choice.


By the way, my son was in the "Best" school in the district. Did I mention they didn't have textbooks in two of his classes?


Oh, and the killing the love of learning...Yes, that was another thing. I see a huge difference in how my two children view learning activities. I know part of it is personality, but a lot of it has to do with how much exposure to "School," they each had. My son sees learning activities as "School" and immediately is "Turned off." My daughter, on the other hand, sees learning as a part of life, even exciting. (Not always, of course, but for the most part)


I encourage you to think "Outside" the box and view education as learning to learn, not following a system.

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I agree. Don't let fear stop you from homeschooling. We all start off not knowing what needs to be done but we all learn. I've been homeschooling for 6yrs now and have days when I'm wondering if I'm doing enough. I find though in the end that we are doing plenty and then some. If your son is asking you to bring him home then do it. If you have questions then come here and you'll get plenty of help.

I too have days if I feel like my girls are missing out on something. Then I have days like today when our neighbor boy decided to call my daughter a lesb*ian when they were playing outside. He's only 9 years old.My daughter is 11. So NO. They aren't missing out on a thing by being in our "wonderful" public school! Luckily for me my daughter's know better then to say things like that. I have wonderful little girls that are enjoying life to the fullest and my husband and I are enjoying our family.

Its always scary when you have to change, but sometimes change is good. Homeschooling is a lifestyle and with lifestyle it takes time to learn and then time to change. You'll have your good days and your not so good days. In the end, no one can ever teach your child better then you.

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Thank you to everyone who replied. I spoke to my husband about homeschooling yesterday, and he said he will support whatever my son wants to do. We begin our homeschooling "test" Saturday and it will run for five weeks. We both need to see if we can really do this. I will keep you posted, as I'm sure I'll have questions or concerns. Thanks again!


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I'm glad you are getting support on homeschooling and from your post I gather that's where you are headed. Just wanted to chime in and say afterschooling can be good too if that's where you end up. I think the biggest red flag in your original post was how unhappy your son was and how bad the teacher and school situation is. The main thing that has kept my kids in public school is how happy they are there and how great the teachers are. This isn't really the place for me to witness about that :001_smile: but I just wanted to say that if your son is/was happy in school, kids can make up a lot of academics by after and summer schooling. Even/especially gifted kids, which it sounds like your son may be.


But enjoy the homeschooling. :001_smile:

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:iagree:I agree with everything everyone has said. I was a wreck trying to make the decision for my two five year olds. I'd wake up in the middle of the night thinking, "I can't believe I'm considering this."


Like you, I have a masters etc. etc.


Definitely read:


Hold Onto Your Children (sounds extreme, but it's excellent) and


Family Matters Why Homeschooling Makes Sense (the dad is an English teacher at great highschool)


I made the decision in December and am soooooooooo happy I've gone this route.



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Anybody else experience this?


Are you joking? Those are the classic worries of most parents who consider homeschooling, I wager. They were mine for sure, but were coupled with an unsupportive spouse as well.


If you're diligent rather than negligent (and I can see that you are!), you'll likely give him a far better education than he would get from public school. In our two years in public school, we've learned that MUCH depends on the teacher, and once you've assigned her/him the task of educating your child (by enrolling your child in their class) many teachers will only let you "meddle" so much. That, coupled with the incredible efficiency of one-on-one instruction that he couldn't possibly get in public school, even if he needed it, will ensure he has a significant academic advantage over his peers.


I've also learned that our public school district's standardized tests to which the entire curriculum has been modified are a woefully inadequate assessment of whether a child is being properly prepared for college. I put next to no weight in our district's tests, only in college level tests. My two cents.


Good luck!

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We too found that the emperor was not wearing any clothes at the private school we went to. We left right after first grade becuase I knew that second grade was going to kill my son. It was very clear early on that Catholic school was not what was best for my yahoos. At the school we went to they applied the one size fits all approach to education which could not have been farther from my son. With 36 kids in a class they could only teach to the mainstream kids which my two are not.


For us I decided to enroll them in the close public school which offered a full time gate emersion program. Both of my kids test off the charts for private school but just above average in public school. What I liked about our public school was that they customize the programs for the kids if you child qualifies and you request it. Public school has proven to be more challenging than our old private school was, but does not take a classical approach that I would prefer.


This first year we had a couple bumps in the road but in the end both mom was happy and the kids were happy. We afterschool four days week with language arts, history with science on fridays and Kumon math daily.


So far the kids are not aware of the fact that we are afterschooling and think that we are just reading like always. My son is the hardest to stimulate. He loves history and science which are two subjects that a second grader does not get to study in depth. I keep telling him to hold on till fifth grade when he will get a chance to shine...but until them we will read and learn about it at home.


DH and I have discussed that down the road we may be homeschooling our son fulltime at home. We are prepared but as for now he is a highly social boy who likes going to school.


Sorry it is late and I can tell I am rambling....

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Guest EliotLe

If your son wants homeschool, you should try to accept his wish and teach him. Since he lost the motivation to learn in school, it's probably the only way to make him learn efficiently. Don't forget to take care of his social activities, he should have contact with other kids of his age.

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To make a long story short, we were successfully afterschooling until my son entered first grade. His teacher was terrible and he started to lose his love of learning. Also, academically she was nothing to write home about. He has begged me for a year to homeschool him. I would love to, but I'm struggling with emotional conflicts. Will I cover everything? What if he changes his mind midstream? What if he doesn't do as well as he would have in private school? I have a Master's degree, I am motivated and interested in their education, and I love them. I have no problem teaching them. Why is it such a difficult decision?




Wow. I could have written the above. We were not afterschooling, but my older daughter has always loved learning. She was completely bored in K and her teacher actually said to me, "Maybe she needs to slow down and let the other kids catch up." :001_huh: Still, I didn't consider homeschooling. I knew I wouldn't be able to handle being her Mom and her teacher and quite frankly I have always enjoyed having some time to myself.


First grade came and her teacher was AWFUL. Really it was like she had something personally against my child. It was in February of her first grade year that I made the decision to homeschool. I'm not a patient person. This child is JUST like me (which means we butt heads often) and I had zero clue about how I was going to homeschool my child. No idea. Panic!


This past year we homeschooled (2nd grade) and it was far better than I could have imagined! I have bouts of worry, wondering if I'm doing the right things for her, academically speaking. But I think finding this forum has helped me find my way and gain confidence.


Next year both of my girls will be home and we'll be doing 1st and 3rd grades. This experience has been such a blessing to our family. I'm a better Mom, even. :001_smile: Anyway - way more than you needed to know, but the line about your son losing his love of learning really struck a chord with me. I remember that fear I had for my own child and wanted to share where we've landed because of it. Best of luck to you & your family as you make the decision that works best for you all.

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Wow. I could have written the above. ...


... Anyway - way more than you needed to know, but the line about your son losing his love of learning really struck a chord with me.



Me, too. Sadly, I didn't take control soon enough, and then lost it again when dh insisted ds re-enter public school. I was so young (17 when he was born), naive, and lacking confidence (as a parent and an adult) that I didn't build the courage to homeschool until he was in 5th grade, sadly watching his love of learning get squashed along the way.


The four years we spent homeschooling until he went back into public school in 9th grade were the best spent years of his education so far. By far! He's confident and feels smart compared to his peers (and the student body in general) and that's something he certainly couldn't say before we homeschooled. I wouldn't take our years together back for the world and would give almost anything to have him back now.


Don't be afraid. It's a matter of priorities, and it will be whatever you make it.

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I brought my dd home for second grade and we've never seriously looked back. I felt just like you when I started. In first grade by the time she played outside for an hour, did her homework, ate dinner and a bathed, it was time to read and sleep. I'm amazed that you good parents find time and children's energy to afterschool.

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