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Poll: General feelings about homeschooling.


Homeschool vibes...  

374 members have voted

  1. 1. How smooth are your days?

    • The vast majority (or all) of our days are smooth as silk.
      35
    • Most days are wonderful, but some days...YOWZA!
      139
    • We have a balance between rough days and smooth days, with most being just OK.
      160
    • We are struggling quite a bit of the time, and smooth days are rare.
      32
    • We are in utter misery and/or chaos virtually every day.
      5
    • Other
      3
  2. 2. Please rate your happiness/satisfaction with homeschooling overall.

    • Happy as a clam.
      127
    • Happy enough.
      185
    • Unhappy with our days but satisfied with the choice to homeschool.
      48
    • Miserable but committed.
      8
    • The dream is over. Ready to throw in the towel.
      2
    • Other
      4
  3. 3. Does the reality of your homeschool days match your dreams/plans/vision?

    • Exactly or almost exactly.
      12
    • It is pretty close.
      136
    • Not so much, but it is great in its own way.
      138
    • Not so much, but I have come to accept it.
      65
    • Not at all, and I am disheartened.
      14
    • Other
      9


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I am an accidental homeschooler and had never planned to homeschool - so I had no visions or expectations. It certainly is not like anything I read/see/imagined about others homeschooling, LOL.

Most days are really smooth, but my kids are motivated (DD extremely so, DS reasonably so) and older (I am sure it would be much more stressfull with little ones). We do not schedule; they have a lot of input in what they want to do. So everything is rather relaxed, except for DD's dual enrollment courses which are time consuming and challenging, but she handles it extremely well (and it's not technically homeschooling - so any stress related to those should not count)

We are rather happy; it works for us. Not that there isn't always room for improvement, but I feel confident that we can finish this without screwing up too badly. (Ask me again in a year when we know whether DD got into the college of her choice)

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We're happy as clams, most days are wonderful, and it pretty much matches my vision. We have those YOWZA! days too, sometimes more than others.

 

However, I didn't have a real vision of schooling, I had a vision of educating MY child. My sister and I used to play school as kids. We had a classroom in our basement filled with antique books and we would give each other lessons. Yeah, we were nerds. That was fun, but I never envisioned OUR school looking like that. Ds is different, he's unique (like everyone else ;))... I know that schooling him would not be the one room schoolhouse we played as kids. I didn't see a Sonlight catalog until we'd schooled for a few years, so snuggling on the couch all joyous and happy wasn't a vision.

 

I realized I would need to mold school to him, not him to school, when we watched Little Women the movie for school in 3rd grade. I wrote down questions as we watched. Ds paced and played with cars or Lego the entire time. He never sat down to watch, but he was paying attention for the most part. At the end of the movie, I asked him 25 questions. He answered 24 correctly, missing only one that took place at the very beginning of the movie. I was amazed. I knew then that teaching would not involve this somber student sitting still. Dh has a similar learning style, learn while moving, so I had his experience and my observations of him over the years.

 

Our school would probably look weird and chaotic to some. It's just where it needs to be for us, that's what makes it work.

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I have been homeschooling for a number of years and this year just have my 10yo dd home (boys are in local public high school). Our days are smooth as far as homeschooling goes...dd likes to learn, does her work well, and we get along together. So I voted "smooth" because your other choices did not really go for us. The thing that doesn't always go all that smoothly for us is our schedule, not the work itself. With my part time work and dd's music life, sometimes it gets a bit crazy, actually a lot of the time but we seem to fit everything in and go with the flow.

 

I am very happy homeschooling her. It is the best choice for her right now and I enjoy spending time with her and helping her learn. I like reading about learning and picking our curriculum or putting together my own program for her. She is doing a couple outside classes this semester and it's going really well. She loves them.

 

My dreams for homeschooling involved lots of sitting around on the couch reading together. We do that when we can fit it in. My dreams and plans have evolved over the years as my views on homeschooling and learning have changed so when I started homeschooling (because it seemed like the only choice back then) I had more of a school at home view of things but I have evolved and become more flexible and child-led as the situation warranted.

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My oldest works hard, but occasionally balks at having to do work. The challenging part for me is keeping my 3 year old son and nine month old daughter entertained. We are doing first grade and it feels like it takes all day. The actual lessons are manageable, but I need to stop to nurse, wipe, change diapers, clean up the mess that happened during math, and put away contraband.

 

On the rough days, I remind myself that I am raising three kids and doing an additional job of homeschooling my oldest. At least, I think that is why I am so exhausted at nine o'clock! I love teaching my kids. Love it.

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It's been rough because it's impossible to get into any routine around here. The past 18 months were sheer heck - family illnesses - multiple deaths, etc. Now it's making them get things done around the therapy appts that have to get done, the workers that come in the afternoon, etc.

 

I know beyond the shadow of a doubt they get more here than they did when they were in public school. They were out of class more than they were in it. I wish things were smoother but they just aren't. I'm pretty satisfied with that.

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I didn't vote in the poll bc none of the choices actually describe how I feel about homeschooling.

 

Like Regentrude, I didn't plan on homeschooling. I didn't even know homeschooling existed. I didn't know other homeschoolers and didn't have anything to compare to other than my own background in elementary ed and child psy. I knew if I could educate other people's children being micromanaged with pre-fab lessons and ditto sheets that I could certainly teach my own children.

 

I didn't have glorious visions of what it would be like and I still don't. My see homeschooling as a mix between parental responsibility, household management, and a full-time teaching job that allows me to teach how I view as the best methodology for each individual child.

 

Just like any of those roles, some days are joyful and some days leave me wanting to lock myself in my room. Again, like all of those roles, most days are what I make them. When I lose sight of balancing the 3, life will start to implode. Education can't supersede regular daily parental responsibilities (includung character training) and household management or our house will be chaos and my children's behavior will deteriorate. Equally, if I focus too much on the those, school will slide.

 

So.......I guess I just see it all as full-time obligations that I have consciously chosen.....parenthood, homemaking, and education. Anyone who thinks parenthood is pure pleasure will stink at homeschooling bc being a parent is the hardest job one can ever take on. Homeschooling amplifies those responsibilities.

 

The reward is doing what I love......being with my children and helping them become the best they can be. Hard work with immeasurable rewards. Keeping the big picture in mind in the midst of dirty diapers, screaming toddlers, cranky school agers, and hormonal teens means that you know that tomorrow will probably be happy kids playing, great conversations, and fun games and laughter. Life. ;) And then one day when they are adults and tell you thank you for all you did, you know that it was all worthwhile, every single moment. :)

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This is our first year hsing. Dd is five but doing first grade type work. She's a fun student because she's very curious and super quick to learn new things. I have a three year old DS. He is what makes our days hard. He's a wonderful little boy, but he's three, so... It's a struggle every day to keep him busy and out of trouble (the kid can get himself in SO much trouble!), so that DD and I can work together. I'm feeling really frustrated and disappointed right now, and last night was trying to find threads about keeping little ones busy during school time. Also, I think he's feeling left out. :(. Sometimes he joins us and has fun (science experiments and other projects), but he gets bored often when we're trying to read or listen to an audiobook.

 

So homeschool would be exactly how I had imagined it, if it weren't for Ds. Poor DS! I'm trying to figure things out though, and looking forward to when he has a longer attention span.

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We have a balance of rough and smooth days, I'm happy enough with how it goes, and it's about what I expected.

 

I expect the balance of rough and smooth considering I am dealing with two very active, very stubborn young children.

 

At this point I feel like I've figured them out pretty well (we've been homeschooling or at least playing around with homeschool for 3 years) so I'm happy enough with how it's going.

 

We are homeschooling because ds is quirky and advanced and all over the place on ability (asynchronous) so I didn't have any real expectations other than him learning at least what he would in public school, without constantly getting in trouble or pushed on medication. He's working ahead of where he'd be in public school, showing actual interest in learning new things and reading about them. I think our reality has exceeded my expectations (which to be honest, were pretty low).

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I said most days just OK, but also voted "happy enough" because the fact that most days are OK is a big improvement and I see more improvement ahead. I hope. My baby just turned two and my toddler is four today and in the last couple weeks they've both turned a corner in their ability to entertain themselves. And my 4yo is suddenly really interested in school. He's the kind of kid who has awful meltdowns at the drop of a hat but it so incredibly engaging and sweet and wonderful when he's happy and occupied. His new interest in more complicated toys, puzzles, and schoolwork mean that he is engaged, sweet, and wonderful more often than he is tantrumming.

 

And my 2yo just took himself to the potty while I was typing this. So I feel pretty much on top of the world at the moment (of course it's a day off because of the birthday today so I'm spending my morning on the boards and reading Jane Austen rather than fighting over math so you caught me on a good day!)

 

With regard to my vision--dh and I have wanted to homeschool since we met and I started reading up on it during our engagement. I definitely had visions but I'd also moved through every educational philosophy there was by the time we started schooling so I didn't--and still don't--feel locked into a certain way of doing anything. My whole life is so different than what I pictured and school is just one piece of that. But it is all really wonderful and most of the time I can step back and see that.

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I voted smooth as silk but I have a Kindergarten boy so my expectations to sit and do school work are not high (even though he's working way ahead of grade level). If I feel we're going to have a yowza day we just go for a bike ride or something.

 

My only dissatisfaction with homeschooling is that I wish I had more energy for hands on stuff. I always imagined doing big creative projects. I plan to work on that once DH comes back from deployment so I voted other.

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We live by routine here, so as long as we all stick to the routine things go pretty smoothly. The kids know what is expected of them and when it should happen, so that helps us avoid most issues. There are the occasional tantrums or general whininess, but I give myself a timeout and fix my attitude, and then we are good :D .

 

I am the one who admitted aloud on another thread that I find the nuts and bolts of teaching elementary subjects rather boring, but I knew that about myself ahead of time so that wasn't a dream-killer for me. I never wanted to be a teacher, and I actively avoid teaching in co-ops and sunday schools for this very reason. I don't need the intrinsic motivation of finding pleasure in in teaching (or the subject that I am teaching) to be a good teacher to my children, though, and to continue to do it year after year. I find external motivation through compliments (my children get complimented on their handwriting, how well they read aloud, and the ability to hold a conversation with adults, and those compliments often get passed on to me) and viewing their successes. For example, my middle child was still at a first grade level in math understanding at the beginning of this school year so I put her in MUS Alpha and basically started over with her in math. Today she got a perfect score on a test that included two digit addition with regrouping in Beta. That is major progress and a *huge* achievement for her. We celebrated. :001_smile: Those are the moments that keep me going.

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Thanks, everyone! I find the results very interesting so far. I am starting to contemplate the overall effect of reading posts on the boards. Maybe we get a false impression of overall happiness/satisfaction because people are more likely to post their problems than their successes here? So with thread after thread about burn-out, uncooperative children, mismatched curricula, I have started to wonder how many of us are happy homeschooling.

 

I didn't vote in the poll bc none of the choices actually describe how I feel about homeschooling.

Despite my deep and abiding distaste for the "other" choice on polls, I included it for just this eventuality! :tongue_smilie:

 

Anyone who thinks parenthood is pure pleasure will stink at homeschooling bc being a parent is the hardest job one can ever take on. Homeschooling amplifies those responsibilities.

 

I think this is a really great point. In my time on the boards, it has slowly but surely dawned on me that many people posting here about homeschooling problems are really having parenting/discipline/relationship problems. Of course parenting is all wrapped up with homeschooling when we are with our kids 24/7, but it seems to me that many times the advice taken needs to be more about parenting than writing, math, etc. ETA: And here I do NOT mean 2e issues, learning challenges, special needs, etc.

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I didn't vote in the poll bc none of the choices actually describe how I feel about homeschooling.

 

Like Regentrude, I didn't plan on homeschooling. I didn't even know homeschooling existed. I didn't know other homeschoolers and didn't have anything to compare to other than my own background in elementary ed and child psy. I knew if I could educate other people's children being micromanaged with pre-fab lessons and ditto sheets that I could certainly teach my own children.

 

I didn't have glorious visions of what it would be like and I still don't. My see homeschooling as a mix between parental responsibility, household management, and a full-time teaching job that allows me to teach how I view as the best methodology for each individual child.

 

Just like any of those roles, some days are joyful and some days leave me wanting to lock myself in my room. Again, like all of those roles, most days are what I make them. When I lose sight of balancing the 3, life will start to implode. Education can't supersede regular daily parental responsibilities (includung character training) and household management or our house will be chaos and my children's behavior will deteriorate. Equally, if I focus too much on the those, school will slide.

 

So.......I guess I just see it all as full-time obligations that I have consciously chosen.....parenthood, homemaking, and education. Anyone who thinks parenthood is pure pleasure will stink at homeschooling bc being a parent is the hardest job one can ever take on. Homeschooling amplifies those responsibilities.

 

The reward is doing what I love......being with my children and helping them become the best they can be. Hard work with immeasurable rewards. Keeping the big picture in mind in the midst of dirty diapers, screaming toddlers, cranky school agers, and hormonal teens means that you know that tomorrow will probably be happy kids playing, great conversations, and fun games and laughter. Life. ;) And then one day when they are adults and tell you thank you for all you did, you know that it was all worthwhile, every single moment. :)

 

This is pretty much how I feel. I voted that our days go as smooth as silk and that I am very happy with homeschooling and I have 6 young children with one more on the way! Homeschooling has been a fact of our life from the time my first child was very young, I decided I would homeschool and school just has never been an option. Okay, it was an option for a very short time when my oldest was in preschool and 1st grade but that was because my sister was on the school board in our town and REALLY pressured me to put her in school, she was only in for 6 weeks both times. I love being with my children all day (even though they drive me crazy, I can't imagine them gone most of the day).

 

I think a large part of this is because it IS a fact of life, I don't have these pie in the sky dreams and expectations for our homeschooling. I keep everything in life as simple as it can be, and that helps a lot. My children all love school and I think part of that is because I don't have these really heavy expectations for them. So doing schoolwork has never been a huge struggle. Math is a struggle with my oldest, but she is getting better with not fighting it as much as she gets older.

 

Not sure if I'm making any sense. Even though life can be chaotic and being home with my children all day is very tiring and draining, I wouldn't have it any other way. Even though I don't put as many academic hours in compared to what they would be getting in B&M school, I do believe they are more solid in what they are learning because of the individual attention and time I give them vs. what they would get in school.

 

So overall, I am very happy.

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I have a pretty even balance between the rough days and the good days. There are days we all end up crying and days when we're done by 10:30 and havin a blast. I went into this fully aware though and it's pretty much the way I thought it would be.

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For your first question, I chose the option: We have a balance between rough days and smooth days, with most being just OK.

In all honesty, I would personally rephrase it as, We have a balance between rough days and smooth days, with most days being good. The answer above it didn't seem quite right.

 

I am totally happy with where our homeschooling is at and it matches my vision close enough when I think that I always consider things are not going to go "exactly" the way I plan it to.

 

The hardest part of homeschooling for me is the discipline, especially with my son right now. I would have these issues whether or not he homeschooled, though; although it is more apparent since we homeschool.

 

I would say that I truly love homeschooling and I wish that I didn't second guess myself so much.

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Yeah, but let's face it, parenting some kids is just harder than parenting others, and teaching some kids is also going to be harder than teaching some others. Some of us have more obstacles to overcome, and more victories to rejoice when they occur, but that doesn't necessarily make the present any easier or more pleasant.

 

I voted not at all what I envisioned, but mostly at peace with it. Then again, parenting these children is not at all what I envisioned either. I identify a lot with the "Welcome to Holland" article.

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We have mostly smooth, happy days. I find that the rough times come in 'phases' rather than days, and usually result from the way life insists on happening despite my best efforts to focus on school. When I'm totally focused on school and on enjoying being with my boys, then homeschooling is everything I dreamed of and more. My happiness diminishes rapidly in proportion to the number of extra, unforeseen, stressful demands on my time. If only life would conform to my homeschool schedule :tongue_smilie:.

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I, like pp, feeL like hs is one of my parental responsibilities, so even when things are not perfect, I am still happy. I do wish I was doing more with my two littlest. I feel like I should be working more with Piper on colors and shapes (both of my boys knew them by this age), and numbers with Jax. It produces enormous guilt that I carry most of the time, even though things are going well with Asher, who is technically my only hs'd child. So, I feel great about A, and like a failure with P and J, which balances out to "happy enough".

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The one thing I knew I didn't want in my life was that crazy, stressful getting everyone out the door every. single. morning. The fact that we have some yowza moments a couple of times a week (depending on the yowzaness of each kid on any given day :tongue_smilie: ) has never equaled the hellishness of those kinds of mornings. In that regard? I am very happy. The part of our homeschool that doesn't look like what I 'pictured' before we started (ie. in my imagination it looked more like a ps room) is actually better though, in reality, I would like a more regimented day. . . my being regimented looks a lot like Hitler reincarnated so for the children. . . this way is better.

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We have mostly smooth, happy days. I find that the rough times come in 'phases' rather than days, and usually result from the way life insists on happening despite my best efforts to focus on school. When I'm totally focused on school and on enjoying being with my boys, then homeschooling is everything I dreamed of and more. My happiness diminishes rapidly in proportion to the number of extra, unforeseen, stressful demands on my time. If only life would conform to my homeschool schedule :tongue_smilie:.

 

Yes, our rough times are in patches usually as well - a rough few months because of various outside commitments and issues, or a rough few weeks thanks to a growth spurt or a developmental change is more common than a rough day once every two smooth weeks.

 

I find that the expectations piece depends a lot on where you started. When I first started in education, I did have a sort of wide-eyed innocent view of things - hopeful that if only I could just do it the "right" way philosophically, everything would fall into place in terms of behavior and methods. I was quickly disabused on that notion, of course. Philosophy has to inform pragmatism and sometimes learning is just rough because it's meant to be rough. Plus, you can never do enough when you're talking about kids - not when you're a teacher or a social worker and certainly not when you're a parent. You have to set boundaries to take care of yourself and do the best you can within that framework. So by the time I had kids and had decided to homeschool, I had already lost much of the idea that anything in education could be idyllic. So my expectations start in a place where I expect that things will be difficult and imperfect most of the time.

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Yeah, but let's face it, parenting some kids is just harder than parenting others, and teaching some kids is also going to be harder than teaching some others. Some of us have more obstacles to overcome, and more victories to rejoice when they occur, but that doesn't necessarily make the present any easier or more pleasant.

 

I voted not at all what I envisioned, but mostly at peace with it. Then again, parenting these children is not at all what I envisioned either. I identify a lot with the "Welcome to Holland" article.

 

I edited my post because I was not at all referring to 2e issues, learning challenges, special needs, etc. I have challenges of my own that relate to my kids' learning that have nothing to do with parenting, so I definitely get that. I have talked about math here before, right? LOL

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The one thing I knew I didn't want in my life was that crazy, stressful getting everyone out the door every. single. morning. The fact that we have some yowza moments a couple of times a week (depending on the yowzaness of each kid on any given day :tongue_smilie: ) has never equaled the hellishness of those kinds of mornings. In that regard? I am very happy. The part of our homeschool that doesn't look like what I 'pictured' before we started (ie. in my imagination it looked more like a ps room) is actually better though, in reality, I would like a more regimented day. . . my being regimented looks a lot like Hitler reincarnated so for the children. . . this way is better.

 

:lol: Totally agree that not having crazy mornings balances out a lot of HS pain. I am not pretty with a strict schedule either. We have a schedule, but we flex a lot.

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Things are very smooth around here. It isn't because the kids are especially easy or anything though at least I don't have any toddlers or babies in the mix. I think I tend to consider things to be going smoothly because I'm just at that place with my parenting experience and skills that I can handle most any behavior or attitude thrown my way by the younger kids still at home after dealing with my older crowd. Of course, I'm talking about kids who are bright and mostly NT and not kids who have any particular challenges. I do have one adult with intellectual challenges and he was tough to parent, though I did not educate him. I have another adult with a serious mental illness who was the most challenging for me to both parent and educate. The younger ones still at home are pretty easy for me to manage. Though I must mention that I do have one child who has displayed an aptitude for STEM that is quite unexpected in our language arts oriented family.....I actually had to price snap circuit kits last night. :bored:

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I originally planned to HS, but DS12 ended up in the public school system for the first two years. That's really my only regret. Things are smooth now and we rarely have a bad day, but they weren't always that way and it took a lot of time and work to get here. I hope it stays smooth but you never know! Things became smoother with DS12 about three years ago, but we only got to the smooth phase with DS7 this year.

 

I'm happy enough with our curriculum choices and basic school days, although I always find room for improvement. It may not match my initial dreams and plans, but those too have evolved over the years so our HS days match our current plans. I would say it's matching up with the big picture I envisioned at the start of the journey, even if the details don't match up anymore.

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Most days are wonderful, but some days... We have our bad days, and sometimes they are very, very bad, but most days are wonderful. I chose this and I could send my kids to school tomorrow. This isn't a burden or a life sentence. It is a conscious choice that I (and my dh) made for a number of reasons. Now that is not to say that everything is wonderful all the time, but I can't imagine homeschooling if it made me or any other member of my family unhappy. (I'm talking continually unhappy - not a bad week or even a bad year. I get that that happens.) Life is too short, IMO.

 

Happy as a clam... It is like talking about weather and climate. There are stormy days and we have some nasty weather from time to time, but the climate is lovely. ;)

 

Not so much, but it is great in its own way... I have wanted to homeschool since I was in 9th grade. I wanted to be hs'ed and I thought that if I had kids someday I would give it a whirl. I always envisioned a one room schoolhouse... with individual desks... and a flag... I may have been wearing a floor length skirt and a bun. :blushing: That is not what our homeschool looks like, but what we have fits us much better.

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Most days are wonderful, but some days... We have our bad days, and sometimes they are very, very bad, but most days are wonderful. I chose this and I could send my kids to school tomorrow. This isn't a burden or a life sentence. It is a conscious choice that I (and my dh) made for a number of reasons. Now that is not to say that everything is wonderful all the time, but I can't imagine homeschooling if it made me or any other member of my family unhappy. (I'm talking continually unhappy - not a bad week or even a bad year. I get that that happens.) Life is too short, IMO.

 

Happy as a clam... It is like talking about weather and climate. There are stormy days and we have some nasty weather from time to time, but the climate is lovely. ;)

 

Not so much, but it is great in its own way... I have wanted to homeschool since I was in 9th grade. I wanted to be hs'ed and I thought that if I had kids someday I would give it a whirl. I always envisioned a one room schoolhouse... with individual desks... and a flag... I may have been wearing a floor length skirt and a bun. :blushing: That is not what our homeschool looks like, but what we have fits us much better.

 

 

Weather vs. climate. Makes perfect sense!

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Yeah, but let's face it, parenting some kids is just harder than parenting others, and teaching some kids is also going to be harder than teaching some others. Some of us have more obstacles to overcome, and more victories to rejoice when they occur, but that doesn't necessarily make the present any easier or more pleasant.

 

I voted not at all what I envisioned, but mostly at peace with it. Then again, parenting these children is not at all what I envisioned either. I identify a lot with the "Welcome to Holland" article.

 

Yep. I used to get irritated by parenting bks that proclaimed to have all the answers and then read that the author had no kids or 2 angelic children. ;) Now I just laugh and realize that if I only had #3&4 of our kids, man, I would have thought I had all the answers to parenting. But, my other kids, #2 especially, have brought me to my knees so many times that I know that sometimes good parenting is just surviving through the day with relationships in tact.

 

If parenting overwhelms someone, then homeschooling is probably not the best idea. Never having a break from a stressful situation is not going to benefit parent or child.

 

Flip-side is that in other situations that parent-child relationship is one that brings out the child's strengths and allows them to conquer hurdles that outside professionals dismissed as ever even being possible.

 

There is no one size fits all answer. I love homeschooling, but I know it would be a disaster for others.

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I haven't answered the poll yet. I'll have to think about it. I'm afraid my answers would sound negative, but I don't mean them to be. I love our life. Many of our days are rough in one way or another, but they aren't necessarily bad. I have high expectations for myself and my kids. So high that we couldn't possible meet them. We do what we can and I worry about what we aren't doing. That dissatisfied worried feeling isn't an accurate reflection of my kids or our homeschool, though. I have conflicting goals that cannot be met at the same time. I want to cover x, AND I want the kids to spend hours and hours outside on a nice day. Both are not going to happen. Whichever one I choose will leave me feeling dissatisfied and concerned. One of the reasons we chose to homeschool is so we can have the freedom to visit family. We travel often. We usually lose Thursday afternoon, Friday and Monday morning when we travel. Those days add up. As we get farther and farther behind, I get more and more stressed. And yet my kids are holding their own academically. We aren't behind. We are behind my schedule. Objectively, I am content with our homeschool. I don't feel content, though. I'm going to think about this some more to sort out our reality and my feelings.

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When I started HSing, I had all these visions of Pinterest-worthy (though this was before Pinterest) WTM-style notebooks, lapbooks, timelines, etc. written in beautiful penmanship. Instead, it's like pulling teeth to get my kids to write, and basic legibility has taken priority over anything else when it comes to penmanship.

 

OTOH, my kids are far exceeding my expectations when it comes to science & math. So while I've had to adjust to my kids' reality, overall I'm at a place of acceptance.

 

My youngest's autism has definitely thrown me for a loop, but she isn't currently being HSed (I do hope to bring her home when she's a bit older).

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A great thread...enjoying all responses.

 

I never thought I would homeschool. Didn't know it existed. My DH suggested it after our son had a bad experience at a kindergarten. Being the all or nothing sort of person I was back then, it terrified me. I didn't consider for one minute that I could just do it for a year or two or even 5-6 months. It felt like a lifelong commitment. A few months in, I fell in love with it but burned ourselves out badly trying to incorporate WTM, then CM, then a host of other things including LCC and our local district's textbooks. Once I learned that we could be eclectic and take untrodden paths, things became much smoother.

 

I do have a somewhat angelic child so it helps make our days much smoother...but some days are yowza either because of him, me, the DH or all 3 of us together lol. We are kinda intense people. Drama kings and queens in some ways. Mostly though I really love the lifestyle. More than anything, I love this chance to "re-learn" stuff I was never interested in pre-kiddo. I love that you can doodle AND learn at the same time or read mass market tomes during school hours AND do great in the knowledge department while in my school days all this was frowned upon heavily. I love that we can dictate school hours or learn all the time. AND I love that the bond I share with my child is super close. I credit homeschooling for this.

 

I'm no teacher though. I don't have it in me to teach. I can be a good facilitator and guide. So that's what I do. I can make my son laugh and help him love to learn. So that's what I do too. I think that's what makes most of our days pretty smooth. But I don't know how long it will last. So far, we are as happy as clams (at least the ones not chosen to prepare clam chowder!).

 

So far, the reality has been better than the dream/ vision I had. Grateful for that. Immensely grateful.

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I wonder if people whose reality contrasts sharply with their visions of homeschooling experience this in other areas of their life. Was there a sharp contrast between their expectations of parenthood, marriage, spirituality, career, etc.? I guess what I want to know is, is this a personality type that has unrealistic idealistic visions of things in the abstract that they haven't done yet, or did they just not have enough good, honest, warts and all, accurate information about what homeschooling is like before they started? Are people speaking and writing about homeschooling afraid to tell parents that there are bad days and some kids are harder than others? What have other people experienced? I'm planning to do some seminars in the future, so I'd like a better sense of what is causing the problem so I can attempt to address it.

 

I notice lots of the homeschooling convention workshops and writings are very abstract when it comes to educational philosophy and motivation, which is very different than the nitty gritty details of teaching kids math facts, punctuation rules, and science concepts while running a household, teaching toddlers to share and use their words, meal planning and teaching kids to clean bathroom properly. I think there's a place for both of those things, but one should not be confused with the other.

 

It's similar to a discussion about geo-politics. Sure, talking about foreign policy and military strategy is one thing-being the Navy SEAL who hunts and kills terrorists, the ambassador that has to negotiate hostage releases, and dealing the reporters' questions about it is another matter entirely. I've complained for years that far too much theory is spouted to new homeschoolers with a conspicuous lack of practical, hands-on, day to day living suggestions from very different people with very different kids and very different situations.

 

Are people who answered that homeschooling is chaotic people whose lives are or have been chaotic outside of their homeschooling careers? Are they experiencing life management problems like not knowing how to develop and follow through with routines, struggling with time management in general, living a very reactive as opposed to pro-active life, lacking parental skills, experiencing marital conflict in general, and the like? Or are they just experiencing those things that happen out of the blue like chronic illness, a child with medical or behavior issues even with consistent parenting, industry collapse causing un or under employment, caring for a dependent adult, and those sorts of things? They all cause chaos but the solutions to those problems require very different strategies.

 

Since I knew I would probably homeschool when I was in public high school (homeschooling had to be on the table to marry me) I was always thinking about how each lifestyle decision would affect homeschooling so it was all one long slow gradual transition into homeschooling. I wonder what factors there are for people who are here not because it's their first choice, or for people who didn't think about it until just before it happened and had to transition very quickly.

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My life is cake now that I'm only teaching one child. Homeschooling HS for me was a big challenge. I have one in college now and one who returned to school for high school, so I'm only doing sixth grade, which I've already taught once before. My student, fortunately, is very pleasant and cooperative, so our main difficulties arise from my other committments (work), his minor learning challenges, and unforeseen life circumstances. No, it's not all fun and games, but I'm extremely fortunate.

 

Life right now is the easiest I've had since becoming an adult so I am very happy!

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For me it's 50% an easy-peasy, rewarding, smooth as silk, greatest thing since sliced bread experience(Trinqueta) and 50% a nerve-wracking, frustrating, worry-inducing, second-guessing angst fest (Geezle). Realistically, I won't put him in school because I know that he's doing better than his peers in ps special ed, but it's still a long, hard slog most days. I could check both the top and bottom boxes on the first question. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only hser here that could.

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did they just not have enough good, honest, warts and all, accurate information about what homeschooling is like before they started?

 

 

Most of the HSers I knew IRL when I first started were relaxed, Waldorf, or "unschoolers" so I didn't really have a sense of what Classical education was like in practice as opposed to the very idealized description in the first edition of TWTM.

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There is a reason I named my blog Our Homeschool Adventure.

Overall we have a balance of smooth, wonderful, and yowza!

This is my first year doing high school and there is a fair amount of yowza in making that work.

 

Overall, happy as a clam. Even with the bad days I still think our lives are pretty wonderful.

 

It is not so much how I envisioned it to be. My visions of snuggling on the couch with our daily lessons and everyone getting along and cupcakes and unicorns is more like "His foot is on my side! Make her stop looking at me! Why do I have to do science today!" But this journey is definitely wonderful in its own way.

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I've always wanted to homeschool since before I had babies but now I am doing it it I don't love it. Maybe it's the fact I have a child who hates schoolwork and has issues and meltdowns every single day. Maybe it's because both kids say constantly they would rather go to public school. I have one child that struggles with math and I can't help thinking its because I'm not teaching them right and maybe would do better at school.

 

Every day the kids ask when they can go to real school - it sort of takes the joy out of it.

 

I admit if it wasn't for the fact I felt I HAD to homeschool - DD with behavioural, sensory and health issues, DS who is gifted, and the school in our areas are rotten (rapes in the high school, sexual abuse in the elementary school, low standards) I probably would have put them in public school already.

 

So most of the time HS is just what I have to do rather then what I want to do - even though it started out that way in the beginning.

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I've always wanted to homeschool since before I had babies but now I am doing it it I don't love it. Maybe it's the fact I have a child who hates schoolwork and has issues and meltdowns every single day. Maybe it's because both kids say constantly they would rather go to public school. I have one child that struggles with math and I can't help thinking its because I'm not teaching them right and maybe would do better at school.

 

Every day the kids ask when they can go to real school - it sort of takes the joy out of it.

 

I admit if it wasn't for the fact I felt I HAD to homeschool - DD with behavioural, sensory and health issues, DS who is gifted, and the school in our areas are rotten (rapes in the high school, sexual abuse in the elementary school, low standards) I probably would have put them in public school already.

 

So most of the time HS is just what I have to do rather then what I want to do - even though it started out that way in the beginning.

 

 

Are their ages 5 and 6, or are those their grade levels? if those are their ages, I wouldn't even let "where" be open to discussion. Nor would I tolerate temper tantrums related to schoolwork (regardless of their ages). I have had little kids that didn't like school, but in no way can they behave in anyway impolite or ill-behaved during school time. They must respect me as well respect their daily duty......school work is their job and it must be done to the best of their ability.

 

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. (((Hugs))) Those ages should be light, fun, and relaxing even if bordering on boring and unstimulating. ;)

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I wonder if people whose reality contrasts sharply with their visions of homeschooling experience this in other areas of their life. Was there a sharp contrast between their expectations of parenthood, marriage, spirituality, career, etc.? I guess what I want to know is, is this a personality type that has unrealistic idealistic visions of things in the abstract that they haven't done yet, or did they just not have enough good, honest, warts and all, accurate information about what homeschooling is like before they started? Are people speaking and writing about homeschooling afraid to tell parents that there are bad days and some kids are harder than others? What have other people experienced? I'm planning to do some seminars in the future, so I'd like a better sense of what is causing the problem so I can attempt to address it.

 

Are people who answered that homeschooling is chaotic people whose lives are or have been chaotic outside of their homeschooling careers? Are they experiencing life management problems like not knowing how to develop and follow through with routines, struggling with time management in general, living a very reactive as opposed to pro-active life, lacking parental skills, experiencing marital conflict in general, and the like? Or are they just experiencing those things that happen out of the blue like chronic illness, a child with medical or behavior issues even with consistent parenting, industry collapse causing un or under employment, caring for a dependent adult, and those sorts of things? They all cause chaos but the solutions to those problems require very different strategies.

 

Since I knew I would probably homeschool when I was in public high school (homeschooling had to be on the table to marry me) I was always thinking about how each lifestyle decision would affect homeschooling so it was all one long slow gradual transition into homeschooling. I wonder what factors there are for people who are here not because it's their first choice, or for people who didn't think about it until just before it happened and had to transition very quickly.

 

 

 

No, no, and no to most of these questions. My reality of marriage, life, and spirituality does not clash at all with what I anticipated. I'm a realist, just ask dh ;). I get to choose my faith, my spouse, my career, etc., and I while I definitely can't control all the variables, I had a pretty good idea of what I was choosing in each case.

 

I don't get to choose my children, and genetics are funny things. There are interests and issues that skip generations, or even just appear out of the blue for no reason at all. I didn't even know what some of these issues were pre-kids, let alone how to parent or cope with them. I have a kid whose issues are so disparate, that even the evaluators told me that teachers would see 1 child like this in their entire 30+ year careers. There is no handbook for a kid like that, and no way to prepare for that reality whether homeschooling or not.

 

And no, other areas of my life do not have chaos. ;) I'm generally considered very organized.

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I have had little kids that didn't like school, but in no way can they behave in anyway impolite or ill-behaved during school time. They must respect me as well respect their daily duty......school work is their job and it must be done to the best of their ability.

 

 

Not said sarcastically or any other way but honest and true: I have an impolite, ill-behaved, pouty child in regards to her schoolwork and getting started. In every other social situation, she is not. She never gets out of it, she's been punished, she's been given rewards, we've been consistent with her. She just will not shape up that attitude around school. What do you do to insist on the respect?

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Great poll! Overall, I'm happy with homeschooling, and am glad we chose this route, but there are days it's a struggle, and I don't think it quite matches my initial vision of homeschooling.

 

For example, I think the vision often projected is that when you homeschool, your students will be advanced. I find that my kids are a mix. Sometimes they really amaze me, but sometimes they have significant struggles too. Statistics show that 34% of children struggle with learning to read for example, but somehow I thought homeschoolers were immune to such struggles. Nope!

 

Also heard early on that one advantage to homeschooling is tailoring your child's education to his or her interests. However, just like the rest of society, some high schoolers know what they want to do and have strong interests, and some high schoolers haven't discovered those interests yet, despite all mom's efforts. Sure, I can find things here and there to capitalize on, but I have no greater insight into the future than the next person. Welcome to life!

 

I've never expected our lives to look like the catalog and magazine pictures designed to "sell" homeschooling, but I think many homeschoolers get discouraged and disillusioned when their lives don't "match up" to that picture.

 

I do wish that our years looked a bit more like Pocketfull of Pinecones, but I've learned to satisfy myself with glimpses of those days and lots of ordinary days and some hard days in the trenches too.

 

One significantly different thing for us--my husband became disabled in 2000, and I never pictured homeschooling without him being more of the process--we did most things as a team before (even shared a work position once!). But one thing that hasn't changed is his desire to be involved in our children's lives, and he gives all he can, even when it's not all he wishes he could give.

 

It's been a great blessing to get to know my kids, and to walk with them through the good times and the struggles.

 

I think I've been surprised to learn how much homeschooling is not about teaching and curriculum as it is about learning to rely on God--and God has really carried us through some rough times here. All in all, I'm so thankful to have gone on this journey, though it's not the journey I pictured.

 

Merry :-)

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I am curious. Define smooth and anything else however you see fit. :)

 

ETA: If you were thrown into homeschooling and never dreamed of it in advance, please answer the last question considering whether your days match your plans and/or your initial vision of homeschooling before you did begin.

 

 

Homeschooling was a lot closer to ideal when dd was in elementary and the boys were very little. We spent way more time at home, dd was a dream student, and we got a ton done.

 

They boys are not as easy to teach, but they're a lot of fun. They like to be out and about more and, with no babies at home to act as excuses, we have more outside activities. This leaves us with less time at home which means I've let go of some things that I wanted to do. What I am doing is making sure that the things we are doing we're doing really well. So, I'm really happy with the quality of what is being done, even though I'm not doing everything that is on my ideal list.

 

The biggest energy sapper for me is when the boys purposefully aggravate each other. It drives me crazy. At the moment I work with them in different rooms - ds (10) works in his bedroom, ds (12) works in the dining room, and ds (7) works in the kitchen. That cuts down on the arguments.

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Not said sarcastically or any other way but honest and true: I have an impolite, ill-behaved, pouty child in regards to her schoolwork and getting started. In every other social situation, she is not. She never gets out of it, she's been punished, she's been given rewards, we've been consistent with her. She just will not shape up that attitude around school. What do you do to insist on the respect?

 

 

Depends on the child and the situation. As long I know that the attitude does not stem from work being inappropriate for their ability, I might make them sit there and do extra work related to what they are complaining about or sit on their bed with absolutely nothing to do until they are willing to come out with a changed attitude or take away all tv/movie privileges until they sit and do their work pleasantly. If they are older than 6 or 7, I might add in unpleasant chores for every complaint.

 

And, yes, I have parented very difficult children, 3 children with wills of steel, and one an Aspie who was has multiple behavioral issues.

 

Eta: I should add that we also raise our kids with the understanding that we live our lives to glorify God. We serve Him by doing our daily duty to the best of our ability. School work is one way they do their daily duty . They write AMDG (ad majorem dei gloriam) on the top of their papers as a reminder that their work is not for me or just for them, but using the gifts they have been blessed with for honoring God and bringing Him glory.

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Depends on the child and the situation. As long I know that the attitude does not stem from work being inappropriate for their ability, I might make them sit there and do extra work related to what they are complaining about or sit on their bed with absolutely nothing to do until they are willing to come out with a changed attitude or take away all tv/movie privileges until they sit and do their work pleasantly. If they are older than 6 or 7, I might add in unpleasant chores for every complaint.

 

And, yes, I have parented very difficult children, 3 children with wills of steel, and one an Aspie who was has multiple behavioral issues.

 

Eta: I should add that we also raise our kids with the understanding that we live our lives to glorify God. We serve Him by doing our daily duty to the best of our ability. School work is one way they do their daily duty . They write AMDG (ad majorem dei gloriam) on the top of their papers as a reminder that their work is not for me or just for them, but using the gifts they have been blessed with for honoring God and bringing Him glory.

 

I guess I'm not as good at getting through to my child than you are with yours. I have done all of those things on a daily basis sometimes and she just does NOT swallow that "I don't wanna do that" attitude. If I ignore it, by about 20 minutes she's compliant, but I feel like she's "winning" when I just ignore it. She writes JMJ on her papers and she knows that school is her God given job. For us, we haven't found her currency yet. :(

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I guess I'm not as good at getting through to my child than you are with yours. I have done all of those things on a daily basis sometimes and she just does NOT swallow that "I don't wanna do that" attitude. If I ignore it, by about 20 minutes she's compliant, but I feel like she's "winning" when I just ignore it. She writes JMJ on her papers and she knows that school is her God given job. For us, we haven't found her currency yet. :(

 

 

If the attitude is always there but goes away if you ignore it, is it possible she needs more help with making transitions?

 

What is your before-school routine like? Is she being called away from play without much warning, or are you starting school at a time of day when she might be hungry, or is she not getting enough exercise and fresh air...

 

I'm a tough Mama when it comes to attitude, too, but when consistency from Mama doesn't bring about the change, it's time to look at other factors.

 

The one possible factor jumping out to me in your post is that your dd's attitude subsides once she's transitioned into school time. What are your thoughts about that? How did she do with transitions as a baby and toddler?

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