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Humor me: What's the homeschooling worst-case scenario?

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OK, so we're a couple of years away from what most of you would consider school, but it's time to start planning and thinking about our educational options for kinder and beyond. I've floated a homeschooling trial balloon around these parts lately, and of course some people think that's total insanity. DH is totally on-board with the idea and I think we have a lot of the family attributes and values that would make such a thing a success, but I've been taken aback by the extremely vociferous objections I've been hearing.


I'm pretty sure they're just wrong, I don't mind being out-of-synch with the rest of the world, and I know to pass the bean dip, BUT...


Help me think through the disadvantages, just so I don't feel like I'm being completely naive and idealistic. What could go wrong? What kind of unforeseen homeschooling disasters could lie ahead? What's the worst-case scenario? Any thoughts?

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Okay, I'll play...


I wanted to homeschool, but when my oldest got to K age, I found that I needed to continue working (part-time, professional job). For three years, I homeschooled him on my days off, knowing that when my dd got to K age, something was going to have to change. My biggest fear was putting my kids in school. I was 100% sold on homeschooling and couldn't imagine anything else. I hoped and prayed that I would be able to stop working.


Fast forward to this year - my fear came true. I wasn't able to stop working so dh and I decided that it would be best to put the kids in school. So we did. And my kids like it. And they are doing well. And I don't hate it. (which is completely shocking to me!)


Ds is doing great in school...and this is with some very inconsistent homeschooling on my part (meaning that I worked, so it was more difficult to keep up with a consistent schedule). Also, because I worked, ds missed out on many of those oh-so-cool homeschool things that you see in the blogs. We really just did the basics and spent a lot of time reading. Again, he is doing great in school this year.


So I guess you could say that my worst case scenario would be having to put the kids into school before I was really "ready"...been there, done that and really, it wasn't so bad.


Even though ds didn't get to have the homeschooling experience that I dreamed of (again, because I was working so much), I still feel that his time homeschooling was good for him. He enjoys learning and he loves books. Really, what more is there??? :D

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OK, while I haven't experienced any of the following myself, I can imagine it happening:


1) Your relationship with your kids is harmed because your expectations are way off base, you are too controlling, your kids and you already have a lousy relationship and this will make it worse.


2) You don't take it seriously, in other words, you don't see it as the real job it actually is so you are homeschooling simply so you can all sleep in every day.


3) You don't know how to read or write well yourself, and have an over inflated sense of your own skills.


4) Your hubby suddenly does an about face and decides it is crazy, but you still push for it.


5) You have kids who yearn for "real school" and resent you for keeping them home.


6) You curriculum bounce every 3 months, leaving your kids with an odd assortment of knowledge gained but nothing cohesive.


7) You buy everything you love, assign every single page, and wake up one day to realize that if you were to homeschool until your children were 65 years old you'd never be able to cover all that you want to cover or have purchased.


8) You decide you know it all, and never, ever turn to anyone for help or advice.


9) You can't shake that school at home ought to look exactly like school away from home.


10) You go absolutely bonkers being home all day and regret the decision to do it.


Other than that, all ought to be just fine! :tongue_smilie:


Tongue in cheek aside though, take it one year at a time. Try it with no long term commitment beyond your first year. Get your feet wet, in other words, and see how it fits you all. So often we are overwhelmed because we are looking too far down the road. Sure there are things that can go wrong! That doesn't mean they WILL go wrong. Everyone is so different that what might seem awful or disaster-like to someone else might not disturb you at all! It's hard work, it's also incredibly rewarding. Do NOT go into it without recognizing that it is a true lifestyle choice, but one many of us are profoundly grateful to have made.


You are being very wise to ask about worst case scenarios!!1




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For me there is the guilt I feel that I'm not crafty or fun enough.


There is the constant worry that I'm doing or will do something wrong or will somehow mess up his life beyond repair.


There is the constant battle of finding the balance in every little thing. "Push him hard enough so that you challenge him, but not so hard that his brain shuts down."


There's the constant need for perfection in myself and when it doesn't happen, I beat myself up over it.


All of the above come from my own uptight, perfectionist nature. If I were to look at it from a healthy perspective, I think we're doing ok. It's only first grade (hard to mess up), but I do force myself to get something done every school day. I don't care how much we do, but we go until his brain hits that spot where it starts to shut down. That's good enough for me. He's ahead in reading and math, doing pretty well in handwriting and grammar and writing, so it's not as though I'm failing him somehow. The best thing I did was teach him to read (which was mostly his initiative. I just had the book and did lessons with him). The love of reading has taken him quite far.

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Mostly burn out, I think. For some people, I suppose you could fall into a rut of letting school fall by the wayside every time any little thing comes up and realize at the end of the "school year" you haven't actually really done anything.


I am in my 11th year and I am starting to hard core fantasize about sending two of them to school next year. But one really doesn't want to go. The other I'm not sure I am ready to let go. :tongue_smilie: (Two others I would never send without some extremely necessary, no other way, out of this world, reason. They have special needs and are best served at home, regardless of my level of insanity. :D )

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