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Considering giving up homeschooling --what should I know?


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I am considering to put my kids in PS. They are 7 , 6 and 5 . I am burned out ! It's too hard to teach so many at the same time. I barely have enough time to finish the 3R's ( my 18 month old makes it harder ). It's important for me that they have strong LA and math skills so we spend a lot of time in that.

But I feel it's not enough. We hardly ever do art or foreign language .I have curriculums for these but it's untouched . Even science &history gets behind .

Very hard to read aloud too !

 

Not to mention that the house needs some cleaning, mountains of laundry to wash &fold , cook, etc .

 

I am frustrated and even depressed!

 

They all are great readers , very good at math, way above their grade level and I feel they might loose these skills if they go to ps. I wonder if the teacher will work with them at their level or give them worksheets at their level?

 

What is your experience?

 

What else should I know before making my decision?

Please convince me ps is not that bad :bigear:

 

P.S. Besides , I am an introvert type and I feel I need to spend some time alone every day ...having the house full of kids all day doesn't help and I have no outside help (all my family lives in Europe,my parents in law who live here , are not help at all )

I feel that if they went to school , I could fulfill my need ... have some alone time ... is it selfish?

Edited by blessedmom3
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I would consider lightening your load immensely before sending them to PS. At those ages...why kill yourself with a foreign language? How much Language arts and math are you doing? 5-7 year olds don't really need that much yet.

 

At PS, the teacher generally has to teach to the lowest common denominator. This means your above grade level kids will likely be bored, unchallenged, and will not be moving forward with their learning.

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Guest ME-Mommy
I wonder if the teacher will work with them at their level or give them worksheets at their level?

 

What is your experience?

 

What else should I know before making my decision?

Please convince me ps is not that bad :bigear:

 

P.S. Besides , I am an introvert type and I feel I need to spend some time alone every day ...having the house full of kids all day doesn't help and I have no outside help (all my family lives in Europe,my parents in law who live here , are not help at all )

I feel that if they went to school , I could fulfill my need ... have some alone time ... is it selfish?

 

A PS teacher is NOT going to have time to work one-on-one with your children. They will be expected to "fit in" with the other children. If they are "ahead", they will be "reined in"...and they will be bored to tears.

 

Honestly, I don't understand the need for "alone time"...

 

I would consider lightening your load immensely before sending them to PS. At those ages...why kill yourself with a foreign language? How much Language arts and math are you doing? 5-7 year olds don't really need that much yet.

 

At PS, the teacher generally has to teach to the lowest common denominator. This means your above grade level kids will likely be bored, unchallenged, and will not be moving forward with their learning.

 

:iagree:

Edited by ME-Mommy
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We took my ds out of ps after 1st grade because he wasn't being challenged AT ALL! with your children's ages so close you should be able to combine most everything to make it easier on you. The oldest will start becoming a bit more independent in a couple years, too--which will be helpful. We have home-ec days around here where we all pitch in to get the housework done! Maybe it's time for a fall break so you guys can unwind & come back refreshed in a week or so? (((HUGS))) ai thinknits so much easier to want to sendthem to school when they've never been. It seems like a great solution but realize it comes with it's own set of problems too. :grouphug:

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Before you decide on PS I would reflect on why you started homeschooling in the first place and see if it is still true for you. Other than that, I agree with the PP - cut something out. Your kids are young still and there is no reason for any of you to be burning out. Take a break if you need to but don't make drastic decisions when you are in burn out mode and tired.:grouphug:

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I would consider lightening your load immensely before sending them to PS. At those ages...why kill yourself with a foreign language? How much Language arts and math are you doing? 5-7 year olds don't really need that much yet.

 

At PS, the teacher generally has to teach to the lowest common denominator. This means your above grade level kids will likely be bored, unchallenged, and will not be moving forward with their learning.

 

:iagree: Hang in there! I'm not in your situation but my brief experience with having an accelerated kid in a p.s. and then a private school situation was that she was bored, frustrated, not learning, not being challenged.....a classroom teacher simply can't give the individual (or even almost-individual) attention that kids this age thrive on. Go easy on yourself, do lots of reading aloud and whatever math you feel is necessary and call it good, just for a little while.

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I speak two foreign languages and I think my kids should speak at least one , I don't talk to them in my native language , it was my mistake since they were born ,but when I used to do it , my hubby who is American , would always ask me what I say so I stopped.

 

Start up again! What a wonderful way for your kids to learn!

 

As an aside, I DO understand the need for alone time. It was this feeling that led me to put my oldest dd in school for two years in the beginning of her "school years." Oh, how I wish I had those years back. I do understand that need, and I wish for solitude every day, but honestly, as hard as the lack of solitude can be, homeschooling is so worth the sacrifice.

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A couple of thoughts come to mind.

 

1. Have you considered doing a DVD school (A Beka, Bob Jones Etc), or something that is scripted so your day is more streamlined? many large families I talk to say this becomes a necessity in their homeschool. It might be something to think about.

 

2. A friend of mine was having similar problems and put her kids in PS. What she didn't count on is the Homework. She has adjusted and it really was the best thing for her family, however, she says your entire day is simply shifted. Instead of having "school" during the day, from the time they get off the bus to the time they go to bed, Homework=school. And, she says in some ways it's harder than homeschooling because the kids are so hyper, tired, crazy, hungry. You name it, it's nuts.

 

But, like I said, it was worth it for them. They simply are doing better as a family with the kids in PS. Whatever you decide, I'm sure it WILL be the right decision for you guys.

 

:grouphug:

Dorinda

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I have also been teaching 3 at once. I spend about 3 hours a day (more if its Science day.) I use Language Lessons for the WTM for Grammar and Writing with Ease for Writing. I follow these lessons pretty much as writen and they go pretty fast.

For history I use History of the world: Ancients along with the PDF of Ancients workbook and Tests. These are also well written and dont take a terrible amount of time.

We also do a Nature walk once a week (Learning Tree's) and some kind of field trip at least once a month. This really helps break up the grind. I teach on a 7 day a week schedule so I know how you feel.

 

I would try sliming down your schedule so that its not consuming so much time.

Public school is horrid, not only for the crap education but the influence of other kids can really drag down your childrens progress. (While they are in school you can't monitor what kind of kids they hang out with)

 

Remember even if you have to take a week off from homeschooling its not going to destroy your progress. Call it Fall Break and get some R&R in, then revamp your schedule.

 

Keep the Faith and good luck. Our homeschooled kids will be the future in a poorly educated america.

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I understand your need for time alone, I'm like that too. We used to live across the street from family, and I finally realized I had a pattern of going to get togethers, then coming home for some excuse, and then just staying there, alone for a few hours. I need a few hours alone to recharge.

 

I am homeschooling 5- and the alone time deficit does get better as they get older. My husband usually takes the kids who can read to the bookstore one evening a week- which now, is all the kids. That is my alone time. Now that I have 2 teenagers, I can leave the gang at home to do errands or take kids to lessons and I have alone time in the car or while I am waiting. When they were younger, my husband used to give me a few hours on Sat to go to lunch by myself, it really helped.

 

I know the need, and as they get older, it does get better. I know it's a difficult decision you are facing, peace to you has you decide what is best.

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:grouphug:

 

I do understand the need for alone time.

When I had four little ones, I hired a high school girl to come play with them for a couple hours a few days a week. Sometimes I would just go sit at the library by myself. Always returned home refreshed and ready to tackle whatever the day brought.

Is that do-able for you?

 

It sounds like you have some high expectations for your dc and may not necessarily have them met at ps. If you are frustrated they aren't getting a foreign language now~do you think they will at an elementary public school? And like a pp mentioned, the teachers will be limited in how much they can challenge kids who are not on the most common level.

 

I wish I lived by you...I was just thinking today that my 11 y.o. would love to be a mommy's helper for a family with many little ones.

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I don't know what the public schools are like by you. By me, they consistently fail to meet state average on their standardized test scores, so if I wanted my kids to have strong language arts and math skills, I would hardly expect them to develop those around here. I can't even tell you how many times I've heard a teacher around here say "you's guys" or something cringe-worthy like that.

 

I would also doubt that any teacher in a class of 20 or 30 kids is going to be able to come up with separate assignments for your kids to help them at their level and they might either A) regress, B) be bored, C) be resented, D) be moved up grades (if they really are that far ahead) which might suit them academically, but socially....? Not so much.

 

You had reasons for wanting to homeschool... good ones, I'm sure... but it sounds like you are doing/expecting too much at this point from such young children and burning yourself out.

 

At 5-7 years old, I don't think ANY of them should be spending more than two hours a day on schoolwork and at such close ages, it seems you could probably combine at least somewhat.

 

Try to focus on bonding with them and having fun with them and a little less on academics if need be!

 

And they don't need formal "foreign language" studies and things like that, just talk to them in your native language, describing things and objects as you did when they were babies- pointing things out and telling them the foreign word and the English translation. Informally/casually, I mean. While hanging out with them, playing, driving in the car, doing errands, etc.

 

Alone time- well, that's certainly hard to get when you're a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. But assuming your toddler naps, the 5-7 year olds should be able to occupy themselves for chunks of time for part of the day, freeing you to do your own thing for a little bit.

 

Of course... if it REALLY comes down to that you're going to have some sort of mental breakdown and REALLY feel you need to put your kids in school for your own sanity, then you have to do what you have to do! Only you know whether that is the case! Good luck either way, I hope everything works out for you!

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:grouphug:Take a Fall Break. Re-evaluate the academic priorities. It's sounds like you are going waaaaaaaaaaaaaay above and beyond. As to alone time, I NEED IT so I can understand your need for it. Can you find some time at night? I love my girls nights outs, for some me time. How about "rest/nap" time in the afternoon? The olders could have quiet reading time in their room, 18 month old is napping, still? You take a rest too! Remind hubby that you are teaching during the day, so some housework really does need to be shared at night.

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My dd went to k and 1st grade. I never saw her during her good hours. We played outside for an hour after school because she had been inside for so long. Then it was homework (please,nothing interesting here), dinner, bath and bed. I'm sorry you are feeling exhausted. We had an hour or more of rest/reading time on our own beds for many years. The alone time gave us all a boost. :grouphug:

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I speak two foreign languages and I think my kids should speak at least one , I don't talk to them in my native language , it was my mistake since they were born ,but when I used to do it , my hubby who is American , would always ask me what I say so I stopped.

 

Start by speaking to them in your native tongue. You can forget the curriculum for a bit. They may resist and not like it, but they will start to understand.

 

My husband does not speak German. I do, although it is not my native tongue.

 

I made the same mistake. I only spoke German to my first ds when he was born. Around four years of age he stopped speaking German because he noticed I was the only one who understood. I was getting tired of translating to my DH what my DS was saying. So I stopped the German. For 3 years. Big big regret now. I wish I had just kept on with it. I have started again and I speak as much as I can to my older boys in German. I only speak German to the toddler. I am standing firm this time. My older boys are catching up. I just wish I didn't have to play catch up with them.

 

 

So speak your native tongue. It should be easier for you than it is for me to keep up the German as it's your native tongue. English is my native language so I have to make an effort to speak German regularly. ;)

 

As for other subjects, do what you can. Don't feel guilty for not doing everything. I have a 23 month old. I know how hard it is with a toddler.

 

Sometimes if we really fall behind during the week, we catch up on weekends when DH is with the toddler.

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If you are burned out....are you implementing the mandatory rest time for everyone? I know it might be hard with the 18month old...but at least the rest shoudl be giving you a 2 hour break in the afternoon, and then be in bed by 8pm at the latest in the evening.

 

And....the WTM sets a very high bar. Much higher than schools, generally speaking. So, if all you are doing is the basics, thats ok too, especially if your kids are ahead. In school they would probably do ok too...and if you need to put them in school for your own sanity, they would be fine I am sure...but they wouldn't get the one on one and they might lose that spark for learning.

 

I would say your own emotional wellbeing is more important than whether you homeschool or not. Homeschooling IS exhausting and your kids are still young. It does get easier. You might just need a break. Or a different schedule. Or to worry less. Or to accept your limitations- either regarding homeschooling at all, or how much you can realistically cover. These boards can make you feel like you are inadequate, but plenty of people homeschool "the basics" and just enjoy the other advantages of homeschooling- free time, close family, less stress overall, and being able to have lots of play time and time to follow interests.

 

I am putting my son back in school soon because I have accepted my limitations in being unable to give him the academic stimulation he needs at this stage , especially since he resists me every day- but he is not an advanced student, and he is 15.

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I totally understand and sympathise with you as we have very similar circumstances. All my family is abroad too. A schedule might be worth considering. Your 7 and 5 yr olds should be able to do some work independently. Have you heard of "Managers of Their Homes?" This has helped me order our day and feel a sense of accomplishment daily with our 3 children. Dd 4 enjoys workbooks and sticker books, painting, and gluing so this frees me a little while I teach her brother who is 6. Meanwhile DD 2 gets an old, used workbook for "school". She insists on doing what her siblings are doing otherwise it gets chaotic. When I have one-on-one time with DD4, DS 6 plays with DD2. These are just some of the ideas I glean from MOTH. Also, we are done with school by lunch time except for reading to the children and DS fun reading time, which we do for an hour after lunch/break.

I also feel a need to spend time alone (which is why I am up at midnight-bad habit though!)otherwise I get weary and irritable. When DH comes home, he helps by giving baths to the children.They are amazingly calm around him. Meanwhile I get out my audiobook on the ipod while cooking and doing chores and that's quite satisfying to me. After dinner DH makes me escape to the bedroom and lock the door on some days for about half an hour to recharge. I have also found grocery trips alone bring a measure of serenity. I had to find new ways to recoup my energy. A nice long brisk walk is something I really look forward to but it doesn't happen consistently. Wish you the best!

Edited by Jemimah
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I get the alone time! I must have me time to be a sane normal individual. I think it is very important for those like us to get a chunk of time to ourselves. If you are like me your toddler doesn't nap and the kids have insane levels of energy. This leaves me completely burnt out by the end of the day. I am not a good mom let alone a homeschooling mom when I am that tapped.

 

In the end we did send dd to PS. We had multiple reasons for this (like we needed school assitance on diagnosing her LD's) but a big one was she was SOOOOOO draining. Because of her learning disabilities, she is on an emotional roller coaster ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Or so I thought. Apperently the child is a dream at school and is adjusting very well. Her homework does take time at night, max about 1.5hr (this has to do with the LD not the amount of work assigned) but she is much happier to be around, the other kiddos are learning faster, and the whole enviroment is relaxed because I am not a raving lunatic!!! :)

 

I say if you think that PS is best for your kids/you/family right now, then do it. No matter what any of us say on here, you have to be at peace with your decision. I can tell you if it weren't for the testing that is going on, we would withdraw DD and figure other ways to work.

 

There is a reason why the saying "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." exists. It is a simple truth. If you are overwhelemed and have no options for help then do what you have to do to make your family work smoothly.

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Two things to consider:

 

1) Your kids are very close in age, and they're also very young; you could easily complete school with all three of them in 2 hours or less per day, combining most subjects. This may take a big load off of you.

 

2) Public schools (and even most private schools) in America are a far cry from schools in Europe. From experience (withdrew my accelerated son on the third day of 1st grade), kids who are accelerated beyond the "average" of what is expected by the school will not only be bored, in some districts they're even medicated so they won't cause disruption in the classroom. (My now-12yo was threatened with ADHD meds in said 1st grade classroom because he was bored silly...apparently that makes him "severely ADHD" and "an extreme problem child". This same "severe ADHD" child is now writing the first novel in a planned trilogy, planning an Eagle project for Scouts, and taking a pretty rigorous 9th grade course load. He's also set himself a project for this year to research and plan out a full home renovation so he can see how it's done, so that when he's old enough to do so he'll have the knowledge of what to do and what not to do. ADHD my backside.)

 

I would think long and hard before putting them in school...not because "schools are evil", but because most schools in this country teach to the lowest common denominator - and expect the rest of the kids "not to rock the boat".

 

To combine your kids, you might try working on non-core subjects with things like literature and short unit studies. They're still very young, this is completely age-appropriate. While your toddler naps, the older kids can be given something quiet to do so you can have some you-time.

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Does your toddler nap? If yes, then that might be a good time to do school. With children so young, if you school in the morning, you should be able to finish well before lunch time. They don't need much time on each "subject", but just need to keep making progress. I agree that you should be able to teach them mostly at the same time. The oldest will probably be more advanced in math, but there's no reason you can't have the others listen in on his math lesson, and then just give them a few minutes to explain their math - the work after that should be done on their own. As for science and history, I would think that one day a week for each should be sufficient at their ages. You can get a membership to a science museum, visit historic sites and museums, etc. to make both subjects more fun for all of you.

 

I think it's great that you want to teach them other languages! You may want to just set aside an hour or so a day where the rule is that only that language can be spoken. Of course you'll need to accommodate the toddler, but the others should be able to manage for an hour. Teach them stories and songs, and have fun with it. You didn't mention if you schedule any time for fun. I would recommend making one day a week for a field trip, and having lots of time playing games of all kinds during the week.

 

Just because you're teaching them doesn't mean that you have to spend every minute with them. If you need some alone time, have a quiet half hour or so where everyone goes to their room or somewhere and reads. The older ones can watch the toddler during this time and read to him or her too. Then you can have some time alone with the rule no disturbing you unless it's an emergency. At their ages, I wouldn't try for longer than 30 minutes, but that may be just enough for you. You might also ask someone else in the family to watch them in the evening for you for an hour or two here or there, and you can get some alone time that way too. Or hire a babysitter for a couple of hours after school to give you some alone time. There are lots of ways without having to resort to giving up homeschooling. Maybe if you have some alone time, you'll treasure the time you're together all the more. It must be a lot of work with four little ones, but they're only little once, and all the work your doing will benefit your family in so many ways.

 

Our experience with school has been that no matter how much you beg and plead, and they say they will challenge them, they won't. That was our experience anyway.

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I just sent my always homeschooled 12 year old to public school. I still homeschool my 10 year old, and I have a 3 year old, too. Just so you know that's my perspective. So, do you really want to hear that ps is not that bad, or do you want to continue to homeschool? That's a pretty important factor!

 

If you want to keep homeschooling, I would look long and hard at what you are doing. With children that age, you can combine so much (history, science, literature for sure, maybe a couple of them in math, grammar and spelling).

 

Drop the language curriculum and start speaking to all your kids, including the 18 month old, in your native tongue. That blows away any curriculum you can use. And I say do this even if you do put them in PS. I'm jealous!

 

Assign one or two of the school age kids to play with the 18 month old while you do one on one work with the other one.

 

Use what you are learning in history/science/lit to teach other subjects. For example use a sentence from history for copywork or dictation. Talk about the noun and the verb in it. Have them narrate what they learned in science.

 

For art, put on some classical music, put them all at a table with some art supplies (baby too) and some art books and set them loose. Mention the artist whose work they are looking at and the composer they are listening to. Then go do the laundry or read a book of your own while they create. I guarantee you that's more art than most homeschool OR public school kids get!

 

If you really want to send them to school you are looking at a whole different kind of busy. Rushed mornings getting lunches and supplies organized; carpool; crazy afternoons and evenings finishing homework, getting dinner, doing whatever extracurriculars you do and trying to get them to bed at a decent hour; fundraisers; and trying to find time for them to just be kids and play are all things you'll be facing. Then, since you are the type to homeschool, you are probably the type to volunteer at the the school. Add that to your days, too.

 

Our PS experiment has been good (except for DS's English class which I'm supplementing here at home), but we pretty much hit the lottery with teachers this year from what I'm hearing.

 

DS does get to play bass in orchestra (including an in school private lesson every week for a very reduced price) and he has PE with 40 other 12 year old boys every day. I certainly couldn't replicate that at home. He loves the class discussions in history and brings them home to continue at the dinner table (this week it's the Diaspora, Zionism, and other sources of conflict in Israel). His preAP math teacher was teacher of the year last year and he finally understands that he's really good at math. Somehow Mom saying it is like Mom saying he's handsome. Apparently Mom is blinded by love. :001_smile:

 

But what if the teachers don't challenge your kids appropriately? Or what if your schools are just bad? Can you live with that? Will you afterschool? Or bring them back home?

 

In the end, you have to look at your kids, yourself, your schools and what your goals and values are as far as education is concerned. You and your husband are the only ones who can decide what's right for the family. Good luck!

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I do understand the alone time .. or at least quiet time. I start to lose my mind without some each day so the children have been taught to occupy themselves quietly in their rooms until I call them for breakfast and there is an enforced quiet time between 1pm and 3. I also take time after they're in bed (7:30 - if they're not sleepy at that time that's another chance to occupy themselves quietly until they are - its an important ability IMHO). Doesn't always go smoothly but generally, over all, the schedule has worked well and keeps me sane. I don't take the whole afternoon time to myself though anymore but use half of it to do school with my son while it's quiet and relatively distraction free since the littles are napping. Perhaps you could work out a schedule that would work for your family. Takes some work to get everyone on it and keep them on it but well worth it.

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If you are burned out....are you implementing the mandatory rest time for everyone? I know it might be hard with the 18month old...but at least the rest shoudl be giving you a 2 hour break in the afternoon, and then be in bed by 8pm at the latest in the evening.

 

 

:iagree: Oh, that afternoon time is the *best thing ever*. I cannot believe I didn't implement this years ago. I have now and it's amazing. (Oh. This includes teens too, I might add, even though they work independently. No coming up to bug me on bunny trails.)

 

I agree also with the rest who suggest you consider lightening up a little on yourself, if just for a season. Perhaps read some Charlotte Mason and make the art and science more of a natural extension, where if you get to it, great! If not, oh well. The same could happen with language. Instead of formal lessons, could you make the foreign language more of a game to speak it exclusively at certain hours of the day only, like during chores, clean-up, fixing dinner, or walks, then back to English later when dad is around so there isn't as much need for translating?

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It sounds very tough for you at the moment :grouphug:

 

You might consider doing a more unschooling approach for couple of weeks while you all have a break. Then you could slowly add some structure back in, beginning with the basic three Rs. For the other subjects, could you maybe think about outsourcing some (either swap with a friend for a few hours a week or hire a teacher for that subject)? And maybe you could do some subjects in a less formal way (eg listen to foreign language CDs in the car instead of doing it as a structured subject)? Also consider whether some subjects aren't so essential and could maybe be taken up later?

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If it is selfish to want alone time, then I am also selfish. I have my kids in an outside class most evenings, so I get about two hours alone from that. But aside from that, dh is with the kids at night when he gets home from work. Whether they have class or not, most evenings I go out by myself for an hour or two -- a walk at the corniche, an exercise class, just sit and have a coffee at a cafe. I started this back when my youngest was a baby. As soon as she was old enough to take outside foods (not solely breastfeeding) I headed out, lol; I joined a women's club near where we lived and dh took control of the kids (then 7, 4 and under-1) for a couple of hours while I went to swim.

 

As others have said, it really does get better as they get older. You mention not having family around, and neither do I, is your dh able to help give you the free time you need?

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My main thought? You're doing this to yourself. If you send your children to school, they are not likely to get nearly as much systematic 3R's instruction as you're giving them and they will give VERY VERY VERY little of anything else, especially at their ages. All the things you're afraid of not giving them, you'll be giving them even less by sending them to school.

 

Additionally, school will take plenty out of you also. My kids were in school for 8 weeks (1st and 4th grades) and that was a considerable amount of work and schedule, just different. And the guilt was difficult for me though there was good reason they were in school...well, or we thought there were.

 

But if you decide to send them, it probably will be okay enough. Seriously, most kids go to school. Very rarely does it go as poorly as our experiment.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I have been through a very similar thing, my children are much older, but I'm feeling burnt out and broken. I'm working on it, and re-examining how things run in my home.

 

I think a week or two off is in order for you, and then a very serious look at your schedule and priorities. I totally agree with what others have said about school offering LESS. I don't subscribe to the view that we could do nothing and still do better than school, but I do think that we could slack off TWTM way quite a lot and still do better than school. We homeschoolers set very high standards for ourselves, and sometimes they come at too high a cost to the Mum who teaches.

 

School is not the worst thing that could happen to your children, if you need to put them in for 6 months or a year, so be it. If one will do well at school, and you will find it easier only schooling the others, that's an option too. Year by year, kid by kid, that's my motto. If their Mom is a wreck then school may be the better option.

 

I also agree with others who have suggested ways of getting alone time, it's crucial for me, or I just go mad. Make it a priority.

 

Honestly, I don't understand the need for "alone time"...

Lucky you, don't dismiss those who do.

Edited by keptwoman
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I would not hesitate to send them to school if that is what is best for you unless it was truly a horrible school. I prefer homeschool but chose to send ds to a private school this year and would have sent him to public school if the private was not affordable. I need this time this year to get my health back and to down-size our house. I need this time for me since I have been devoting all of my time to ds for the past 9 years:) We currently afterschool a little bit. I do hope to return to homeschooling next year:)

 

I guess what I am saying is that sending them to school is not the end of the world and is an option especially if you are an involved parent. Many children do well in public school:) I would try to take care of yourself because if you do not then your kids may not have you at your best:(. I know if I do not get my health back then ds may not have me since I am an older mom so therefore I am taking care of that:)

 

Did you visit the local school to get a feel for it? If you call the principal and ask for a tour they should grant it in my experience. Also ask to meet with potential teachers and to see curricula.

Edited by priscilla
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:grouphug: I have been in your spot. Some days I am *still* in your spot.

 

I have no advice on the public schooling thing. I can tell you that it's fine to need your alone time. I am the exact same way, so I have a 'rest time' during the day where my 3 girls play together or rest or do whatever -- just without me.

 

I can also sympathize with how crazy it can be to carve out time to teach everyone with little ones also needing your time. One thing that works for me is to have the child I'm not working with play with my 2 year old while I work with the other child. If I begin early in the day, we can usually breeze through the work while we are all fresh and in good spirits.

 

Good luck in whatever you do -- PS or HS. I hope you get the downtime you need.

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I am considering to put my kids in PS. They are 7 , 6 and 5 . I am burned out ! It's too hard to teach so many at the same time. I barely have enough time to finish the 3R's ( my 18 month old makes it harder ). It's important for me that they have strong LA and math skills so we spend a lot of time in that.

But I feel it's not enough. We hardly ever do art or foreign language .I have curriculums for these but it's untouched . Even science &history gets behind .

Very hard to read aloud too !

 

Not to mention that the house needs some cleaning, mountains of laundry to wash &fold , cook, etc .

 

I am frustrated and even depressed!

 

They all are great readers , very good at math, way above their grade level and I feel they might loose these skills if they go to ps. I wonder if the teacher will work with them at their level or give them worksheets at their level?

 

What is your experience?

 

What else should I know before making my decision?

Please convince me ps is not that bad :bigear:

 

P.S. Besides , I am an introvert type and I feel I need to spend some time alone every day ...having the house full of kids all day doesn't help and I have no outside help (all my family lives in Europe,my parents in law who live here , are not help at all )

I feel that if they went to school , I could fulfill my need ... have some alone time ... is it selfish?

 

I wouldn't do it. I know it's hard, but I wouldn't put mine in school. There were times when mine were younger where we did just math and penmanship, and some grammar if we were lucky. History was just the SOTW cds in the car, and science was whatever they read about or found in the backyard. There was only our family read aloud at night (which isn't always great literature).

 

I didn't send them to school, though, because I didn't want to have to deal with homework or someone else's schedule. I didn't want to have to get them up 5 days a week and rush them out the door. I didn't want them to have to go to bed at 7 or 8 so they would have enough sleep.

 

I'm very glad I have kept with homeschooling--the benefits include a lot more than academics (which was the main reason we homeschool). One of the best benefits is that my boys like each other. Yes, they bicker and even fight at times, and yes they annoy each other, but they really enjoy each other. They like me, and they like dh. They spend their free time learning about what they are interested in, and since we spend our days together they often end up "teaching" their brothers what they've learned (how can one reenact the battle of Lexington-Concord in the backyard if only one person knows what happened?).

 

The older 4 are gone to a wonderful enrichment program 1 day a week that runs from 8:20-3:20, so it's a typical public school day as far as hours go. It's great for them, and they are loving it and learning so much. However, I was lamenting with a friend recently that I really don't get all that much done, and she agreed with me (her kids are in the same program). My youngest, who is still home with me, plays very well independently and isn't demanding of my time on those days, but I really don't get that much accomplished. And the boys come home exhausted, and I can't imagine trying to add in getting homework done on those days.

 

I do understand the need for alone time, and we don't live near family, either. I wake up at 5:00, so I get alone time from 5-7 everyday. Even when we are on vacation somewhere, I get up at 5 so I can have time alone. I know others take alone time in the evening after their kids are in bed.

 

Your children are young. Take some time off and recharge and reconnect. When my oldest was almost 7, I took over a month completely off of school and was just a mom. We baked cookies, we read, we had fun. I didn't look at anything schoolish during this time. I'd let myself become consumed with the teacher portion of my life, and felt burned out and like I was losing his heart because of my high standards with academics.

 

:grouphug:

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What curriculum are you using? Your 7 year old is getting to an age where he/she should be able to do some independent work. Are you using all very teacher-intensive materials? I did that when my kids were little - SWR, RS, SL and others and I really burned myself out. I was losing it every day and then it suddenly occurred to me that I could do things differently. Yes, I really wanted to use those programs, but it wasn't working for me. And the funny thing is, my kids have done just as well, and in some cases significantly better without those types of programs.

 

Your kids are young, but it won't be long before they can do more and more on their own and you won't be juggling so much between four young children. Of course, I only have 2, so things will probably always be a bit more challenging for you than they have been for me, but I would still think they would get significantly better in a couple of years.

 

And if you are so burnt out that you need to use the school system for a season or two (or even indefinitely) there is no shame in that.

 

Lisa

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When my DD was just 6, I put her into a Lutheran kindergarten. I had always wanted to homeschool, but didn't feel that it was fair to do that with an only child.

 

I had started 100 EZ lessons with her, and piano lessons. I assumed that we could continue those. I had also signed her up for a lot of local children's plays, and figured we would keep attending those.

 

Now, the K teacher was great, but we could not really continue with the reading lessons because DD was so tired and stressed by following all those rules during the days that when she came home her brain was essentially done. Also, piano became onerous instead of joyful. We did continue with the plays, and I read to her a lot. We kept going on outdoor excursions and to the local science museums. But really, her education pretty much stalled. She just about lost a year of progress.

 

I didn't really understand how different it was until we went on vacation over Thanksgiving or winter break. I brought along the EZ lessons book, and low and behold, it was easy to teach first thing in the morning, and then we just could go about our day. DD made more progress that week than she had the entire previous two months.

 

I should have pulled her out right then, but instead I waited until the end of the school year. She ended up doing well as a homeschooler, having time to develop her own interests, skipping first grade, reading at a sixth grade level by the end of second grade, and having a good time doing it.

 

I think that you'll know that your children could do better than they will in that school, and that you'll regret it. It would be better to keep them home and slow things down a bit than to put them in school. I would say, institute a nap buperiod every day, teach history together (with read alouds, no tests, just discussion), and take a half day off every week to go on a science field trip--either to a natural history site, a children's science museum, or a library with Ms. Frizzle books to read aloud, over and over. Speak to them in the foreign language every day, as a game. Buy quartermile math to teach them math facts on the computer. And since they are way ahead in LA and math, consider doing those only 4 days per week for a while to avoid burnout.

 

October and February are the classic months to burn out. I would suggest preceding implementing the above plan with a one week library books only break. Encourage puzzles, logical board games, baking together, and building with Kapla/Keva blocks during that week, and get some rest. You can do this, and you'll be glad that you did.

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My kids are now in public school and we have had a great experience overall. Our schools high-ranking as far as test levels and funds and I think that helps.

 

You should know that there will still be work to be done when they get home. My kindergärtner has one sheet of homework a night plus we are supposed to read, go over his letter sound chart, sight words, ect. There is a family project each month. It adds up. I often think that it would be easier just to homeschool him if I'm just looking at the time aspect. I should also mention that he's only in school half day - 9:00-11:50.

 

For the older kids, it can be difficult as a homeschooling mom because as you help with homework you see things being taught in a different way. Your child doesn't always want to hear your way and is determined to understand it the other way. As former homeschooling moms, we likely miss our kids and want to spend good quality time with them when they get home but the reality is there is homework to be done and if your child gets involved in any after school activities that just more time away. Now, those activities have great benefits as well and they can beneficial and fun for the whole family but they are time consuming. I can't wait for the end of October for some activities to end just so we can have regular sit down meals together again

 

One more thing....money....it costs a lot to have your kid in the free school! Lunches, book fees, booster clubs, PTA (or PTC, PTO), book fairs, supply donations, fundraising, box tops, snacks...the list goes on. It really adds up. I think homeschooling was much cheaper in the long run!

 

I absolutely have no regrets putting my kids in school. Is it the perfect scenario? No, of course not! But neither was homeschooling. You really have to decide what's best for your family. Looking at your kids ages though, I think what you are doing at home is plenty. I homeschooled for 9 years before putting mine in school. We had the 3R's down but all the other things got done...most?? of the time. I'm being generous with myself there! They went in to school doing just fine - A's and B's. Go easy on yourself. They are still young and I bet you are doing a great job right now!

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Guest ME-Mommy
I feel that if they went to school , I could fulfill my need ... have some alone time ... is it selfish?

 

Honestly, I don't understand the need for "alone time"...

 

Lucky you, don't dismiss those who do.

 

The OP asked the question, "is it selfish?"

 

I answered that I didn't understand the concept...I didn't dismiss anything...just saying that I don't understand it.

 

Why are people SO cranky these days?? :001_huh::blink::leaving:

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Guest ME-Mommy
Your comment sounded dismissive and judgemental. That's why people are not taking it well.

 

So, would I have been judgemental if I answered her question, "yes, you are selfish?"

 

Not being snarky...just truly trying to understand...

 

It seems lately that if people answer a question, they get flamed...why ask the question in the first place if you don't want people to answer??

 

Hijack over...

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I haven't read the other responses yet, but WOW! Your kids are SO young! You shouldn't be experiencing burnout from school at this point. They should all have their own math and LA (although with the ages so close, you may even be able to combine two of them!) but everything else can be shared. My boys were 3 years apart and they had their own math, spelling and LA, and we did history and science together, and this is what I am doing with my girls.

 

In the younger grades, focus on what's most important! I'd HIGHLY recommend you NOT go with a rigorous program like Tapestry of Grace if you're burning out. History and science can be lighter at this time.

 

Also, keep outside activities to a minimum. Being too busy OUTSIDE the house is a HUGE contributor to burnout!

 

Once you have a good pattern going with school, you should be able to make out a good schedule to keep the house in order without having to stress too much. It's harder with a little one, but it will get easier.

:grouphug:

 

ETA: If you need alone time, TAKE IT. Send all the kids to their rooms in the afternoon for QUIET play, or listen to stories on tape, etc. You can recharge in any way you want. You KNOW you need that time alone, TAKE IT!!! I can't tell you enough how important it is if you need it!!! While I never really thought I did, I think if I took more time alone when my kids were younger just to recharge myself, I wouldn't have been so cranky while schooling my boys, I wouldn't have burnt out, and I wouldn't have put my kids in school. Putting them in was not a good experience, and I'm in this to the end now with my girls. If I need my kids out of my hair, I send them to their rooms with the CLEAR understanding that it's NOT punishment, but that Mom NEEDS some quiet time alone.

Edited by Denisemomof4
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For kids who are advanced, especially in the early grades, the schools are going to teach them the same thing as the average kid in the class. They will most likely not be given work at their level. For reading, you will most likely see a separation for levels; but it will probably not be up to their reading level.

They will most likely not have a foreign language study. Art is most likely going to be coloring worksheets in with some crafts for holidays. History is probably not exactly what you would consider history, but a study of the neighborhood/local areas type of deal. Science can be fun, but is extremely, extremely basic. Not much more than just reading a picture book, though it will be from a text.

 

They will bring home homework which must be done when they are tired. The homework will, for the most part, be trivial and silly. Well, other than the math practice and reading aloud which must be done daily. You will most likely need to be able to sit individually with each child to listen to them reading aloud each day. The school usually sends project type of assignments to be completed. To be quite honest, in my experience, you can expect to spend about an hour a day with each dc doing homework for K and 1. This is homework that requires adult participation, not a go to your room and do your homework type of stuff.

 

The truth, I found it easier to homeschool than to send my dc to school. At least that way, I get them when they aren't exhausted. We also are able to work together on many subjects.

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Hang in there. I'm totally there with you, sister. Not a day goes by that I don't consider getting a job and putting the kids in private school, but dh isn't on board with that. I also completely understand your introversion, because I am the same way. I have three kids (7,6 &4) and they are extremely relational and they wear me out. One thing that has helped me keep sane is having an 8 week on and 1 week off schedule for school. I use that one week off to catch up on everything that has been neglected and to give myself a little peace. I agree with the other posters and would think twice about putting your kids in ps, esp. where they are academically. I think you would regret it. Don't worry so much about art and languages. Do it when you can. Put on a classical CD when you are doing seat work or making dinner. There's "Music Appreciation" right there.

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I have 3 kids. 2, 4 & 6. For those that say you should spend no more than 2 hours on lessons with 3 kids...theoretically, that is a nice concept, but realistically, it's hard to implement. Yeah, some subjects take 15 minutes or less, but some take 30-45 minutes, especially when they are very interested in the subject you are teaching them. Yes, Charlotte Mason says not to spend more than 15 minutes per subject/per day, but it isn't realistic for all subjects.

 

When you have other children to interrupt, that '2 hours' gets drug out longer. Plus kids ask questions...those questions take time to answer and take away from the lesson. This is normal and I believe most questions should be answered when asked. Not all, but most, because they have to do with the subject.

 

I homeschool one and it takes me about 2-3 hours/day to do my lessons. Yes, you can combine subjects when you have more, but I can't imagine when I homeschool all 3 that it will only take me 2 hours. I would think about 3-4 would be more realistic. I would use my oldest to read to the younger children and help.

 

I just don't want the OP to feel bad if she isn't getting it all done in 2 hours.

 

When my 2 & 4 year old come in, I try to give them something to do to stay busy. My 2YO is very good at staying in the room, my 4YO is not. Yesterday he got some nestle chocolate powder and was eating it on a couch. I thought the pantry was locked. Oldest doesn't always re-lock it when he is in it...Then he wandered out of the room while him and 2YO were coloring and he colored the couch. So I have to stop what I am doing and clean up these messes. This drags the time on. Having a young curious child will delay the process.

--------------------------------------------------

 

Anyways...my advice is this...if you live in a town that has a workout place with childcare...join it. (i.e. YMCA). We pay $85/month for a membership. Childcare is included in the price. Time to leave kids ranges from 2.5-3 hours/day depending on location. You could drop off all 4 kids in childcare and go workout or just chill out. You could go for a walk outside the premises (you have to stay ON the premises), go to the sauna, hot tub, swim, run, or just chill and check e-mail if you have a phone that does that. I did this 2-3 times a week last semester and it was wonderful. I needed it. I am very social, but I need time from "I want, I want, I want; I need, I need, I need." :) I haven't implemented the Y as much this semester, and I need to put it back in my schedule. Between the activities I have my oldest in and the therapy for my 4YO, we are on the go almost every day. I only like to go to so many places a day. :)

 

Taking the kids to a park can be great for your unwinding time as long as they don't normally hang on you.

 

This is how my schedule goes on a good day...

Phonics & writing: 30 minutes (this includes WWE, FLL, AAS or some other phonics lesson)

Child reading: 15 minutes

Math: 30 minutes

Science: 30 minutes

History: 20 minutes

Spanish: 15-30 minutes

Me reading chapter books: 15 minutes

Art: 15-30 minutes

 

Sometimes when he does a lot of reading in other subjects, I knock out the child reading. I do either art or science. I don't do history every day, but I try for most days. Spanish doesn't happen daily, but I would like it to. I use Saxon math, and there are simple things that take 1-2 minutes to do in each lesson, but it all adds up in the time it takes. Science takes longer because he loves it. Sometimes history does too. Add in interruptions, 2 hours just isn't feasible. I would love to do the 30 minutes/day of CM nature study, but that just doesn't happen. It was more feasible when we lived on 5 acres rather than .2. :)

 

Good luck. You have your hands full.

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THANK YOU so much for all your wonderful advice ! I need to take notes . Some of you gave me excellent ideas and I really need to apply them.

 

Mostly I agree - I need a break. We are going to the beach today :)

 

We use CLE &Singapore with some Rightstart sprinkled in.I like them all and cannot give up any .

FLL , Phonics Pathways for the youngest and WWE&CLE LA for the oldest .

Then there is Bible , handwriting , science , history , reading aloud ,memorization, etc . If there is any time or energy left .

Then piano lessons and gymnastics . They love both but I hate driving .

 

 

I will consider BJU DVDs for next year but I am not sure if this will make it easier ...

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My experience with PS with a child who was (is) advanced (this was 2nd grade):

 

Ds was terribly bored, so he started being a behavior issue (he has always been the one to report trouble, not cause trouble). The teacher gave him more advanced work, but there were two problems with that:

 

1) Instead of replacing the regular work, it was in addition to the regular work. So basically he was being penalized for being advanced by being required to do more work than everyone else.

 

2) The teacher didn't have enough time to explain things to him (which is understandable), so often he wouldn't know how to do it, then would be marked off because it would be incorrect or not completed.

 

The other thing that was happening was that he wasn't doing the regular work in class. Turns out that he would look at it, realize it was way too easy, and basically say to himself, "Why should I waste my time doing this when I already know this stuff?" (This is what he told me when I asked him why he wasn't doing the classroom work.)

 

I took him (and his older sister) out at Christmas break that same year.

 

Having said all that, before we did PS, they were in an academically advanced private school that was wonderful (we relocated). If that's not an option, though, I don't think PS is going to get you what you're looking for in an education. JMHO, though.

 

I totally get the need for alone time, though. I'm the same way. I need to do a better job of that, myself. I'll be watching this thread for more ideas on that aspect.

 

HTH.

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