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If you pulled kids out of public/private school to homeschool...


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...Why did you do it? Was it one thing or many different things? Was there a "last straw"? Are you happy with your decision? Do your kids miss PS?

 

We have been afterschooling for the past few years, but we are thinking of taking the plunge and homeschooling. My son has struggled for the past 3 years and 3rd grade is not off to a good start. He is bored and frustrated and lonely. He loves parts of PS but seems to now hate more than he loves. I feel like my smart, funny, creative kid is wilting. He's started having behavior problems at school and seems more sullen and almost defeated at home. I want to make it better for him but it's such a hard decision to make.

 

I'd love to hear some "been there, done that" stories if anyone is willing to share! Thanks!

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I pulled my son from private school halfway through first grade. He was bored in school. His reading and math abilities were well above grade level, while his writing was a struggle.

 

He LOVES homeschooling. He doesn't miss school one bit (and nothing "bad" was happening there). He loves having more play time, more reading time, and the ability to work at his pace in each subject.

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We went from B&M school to virtual academy (online school) for different reasons for each child. My older was because the school couldn't cope with his asynchrony while for my younger it was because he need plenty of potty breaks due to gastro issues. We were considering for awhile but re-zoning was the "last straw". From walking 500 feet to school, we had to walk more than 1 mile to the other school since I can't drive. We did check out a few private schools but none was a good fit.

 

The first year of online school was okay because my younger was done in an hour and my older was done in two hours. The second year was starting to go bad due to siblings getting on each other's nerve and I had to put them in different rooms. By the third year, kids were sick and tired of online school and wanted friends. So this year we are homeschooling with lots of outside classes to supply the socialization and for them to be away from each other. It is almost as costly as sending them to private school. My older have always love being in school though so we would put him back in B&M for 6th grade if we get into the charter middle school.

 

ETA: both boys are extrovert leaning and there are no social activities in my area other than paid classes. No neighborhood kids to play with as all are in afterschool care. We were at the library and no school-aged kids were at the park or library. It has always been hard to see any kids in this neighborhood year round.

 

They are counting down to private classes so different kids different needs. I was joking with hubby that our next home should be beside a YMCA.

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We pulled out our youngest son towards the end of 5th grade (March) due to him being bullied by the principal and the situation was becoming unsafe for him.  Our daughter became embroiled in this simply because she was his sister.  We let our older son finish the year.  We pulled him out after 7th grade because the school refused our request for a written evaluation, did not accommodate him in any way and my husband and I disagreed with the administration on several points (the teachers per se were not the problem except for his 7th grade math teacher).  My daughter misses "friends" but is otherwise happy with homeschooling.  The boys were happy with the decision and were rather relieved when we told them we would do a double take on 6th and 8th grade.  They know they can go back to PS any time if they want to, our daughter is considering it for high school, our boys say no way.

 

That said, we never considered homeschooling until we were literally pushed into a corner.  We walked out of a meeting with the principal and dis-enrolled our children on the way out, seemed like a perfectly reasonable and logical solution to our problems :lol:

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I've told my story of pulling my kids out many times. We loved the local public school from K-4. When we switched to an upper elementary building in 5th, we didn't love it any more. We pulled out after a year there. Ds was bullied, he was convinced he was stupid in spite of being highly gifted according to testing. He was bored at times, frustrated... lots of issues built up. 

 

Are we happy with the decision? I consider it the single best parenting decision I ever made.

Did my kids miss public school? No. Really, just no.

 

I'll add a few more...

Were my kids able to excel beyond what they would have in public school? Without a doubt.

Did it take some time to find the right social and educational opportunities to really soar? Yes.

Did we love it right from the beginning anyway? Yes! We loved the freedom. We loved being able to follow interests and learn what they really wanted to learn. We loved slowing down when something didn't make sense and flying on by when something was easy. 

Did it strengthen your family bonds? Yes! My kids were best friends when they were little and they weren't friends at all by the time I pulled them out of public school. They are very different now, but if they aren't close friends, they are at least great allies. It has been very good for all of our family relationships.

What about socialization? Really, I had to throw it in. Ds really struggled socially in public school. I actually had people ask me what I did to improve ds's social skills so much after he'd been home a few months. People at church and people who just knew us more distantly would come up and ask the change was so positive. Dd is a great people person and is as popular as she chooses to be wherever she goes. Homeschooling had no adverse effect on her. Never think a brick and mortal school has a monopoly on teaching social skills. It is just too far from the truth.

 

Good luck in your decision.

 

 

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We pulled our then-first grader (DS#2) out of PS last year, a month into the school year due to issues with depression and anxiety. We have four children and our youngest (DS#3) is medically-complex and spent most of his first 18 months in the hospital. This was especially hard on DS#2 and his needs were often being overlooked due to his brother's urgent medical needs. Homeschooling was a great way for him to get the attention he needed and as an added plus, it kept him and DS#3 healthier with fewer germs coming home from school. We are homeschooling both DS #1 and DS#2 this year, choosing to pull DS#1 out because he is bored in school and we weren't happy with the lack of academic rigor in his school. Both boys were bored in school and spent most of their time waiting on other kids to finish their work. I see the ability to integrate our faith into school as an added benefit of this situation, but it was not the primary factor in our decision. 

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Ds13 attended a small private school for K and 1st.  He had terrible separation anxiety and cried every morning.  He hated it.  His teacher was not a warm fuzzy type.  I propped him up to finish the year, and then decided to homeschool him only.  That was seven years ago.  And here we are with no turning back.  No regrets.  :)

 

(Oddly, I saw his teacher many years later at a social gathering and wanted to thank her for being a mean lady because she is the reason I homeschool.  :D )

 

ETA:  Ds13 never, ever wants to return to any type of school.  He is happy as a clam.  He tells the other kids about his negative experience if they have doubts.  Helpful stuff.

 

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Pulled DS10 out in middle of 2nd after my boy who loved school and was a dedicated, confident, straight A student had a year that deteriorated so rapidly we are still dealing with the emotional aftermath.  I wish every single day we had done it sooner or at least switched him to a different school BEFORE the damage was so severe.  FWIW, he never wants to go back to a brick and mortar school.  

 

DD14 started homeschooling for 6th.  She was ahead in some areas and struggling in others.  She was an undiagnosed dyslexic through 5th grade but managed to maintain a mostly A GPA for many years.  But her self-esteem suffered and she was falling behind despite hours and hours and hours of work every single day.  After assessments we decided to try homeschooling for 6th (before DS even got pulled) but would let her finish 5th grade with her classmates, just providing accommodations to help her through. If we had already known what was going to happen with DS we might have just pulled them both but we didn't.  She also never wants to go back and unlike her brother would probably have always done better at home.  

 

But they both want more social interaction. NOT interaction with peers in a classroom setting or with structured extra curriculars.  They want interaction of a more social nature, more casual.  Unfortunately, ps neighbors are always too busy with homework/school activities and the homeschoolers in our area are mostly introverts that rarely do much together socially.  So we are relocating to a more homeschool friendly environment.

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I would just say, if you decide to do this, give him some detox time.  Do fun projects.  Do lots of math games.  Read a ton together.  Find some really interesting extracurriculars to try out.  See if there are any cool skills he wants to work on.  Get involved in local homeschooling groups so he can develop some friendships with other kids who are homeschooling.  And if he is struggling in some areas, try to find out why and address those issues with targeted help and lots of positive reinforcement.  If you need to go back even a couple of grade levels to review and solidify something, do it.  You will both reap the rewards.  Just pushing forward if key steps of understanding are missing could just make forward movement a very frustrating and possibly useless proposition.  Also, self esteem may be an issue and he could end up very resistant.  Going back a bit and having some successes may really help with that.

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I am pulling my DS (most likely!) out of private 5th grade.  He is in a combo class (4 and 5) and has the same teacher as last year for 4th (a looping situation).  His teacher is rude, grumpy, and has decided that DS is a troublemaker because he likes to READ.  As in, if there is dead time in the class room (no instruction, no work to be completed) he wants to read.  This is not ok for her.  She was rude to him a couple of times on the first day and that really crushed him.  He has had a lot of anxiety about the year due to this teacher and while we love our school (and hope to return next year, probably) we will not stay for this year.  It is an unfortunate situation and feels like we are "breaking up" with our school because it is very small and really has a family atmosphere.  It is sad, and will be difficult for me to navigate socially (with the other parents), but we've got to do what is best for our kid. 

 

I home schooled for 1st grade years ago b/c he was very ahead in reading (started Kindy at mid-year 5th grade level) and I wanted to focus on the areas that he was at grade level or somewhat ahead instead of having an intesive, reading focused year. 

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Mine were in 2nd and 4th when we took them out, there was no catalyst other than another move. I just thought I could do it better, have freedom, and eliminate the frustration that goes with frequent relocations. I haven't regretted it one bit, we will most likely homeschool right through high school. Both kids love it and don't want to go back either, especially when we hit the beach on school days. ;)

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...Why did you do it? Was it one thing or many different things? Was there a "last straw"? Are you happy with your decision? Do your kids miss PS?

 

We have been afterschooling for the past few years, but we are thinking of taking the plunge and homeschooling. My son has struggled for the past 3 years and 3rd grade is not off to a good start. He is bored and frustrated and lonely. He loves parts of PS but seems to now hate more than he loves. I feel like my smart, funny, creative kid is wilting. He's started having behavior problems at school and seems more sullen and almost defeated at home. I want to make it better for him but it's such a hard decision to make.

 

I'd love to hear some "been there, done that" stories if anyone is willing to share! Thanks!

 

i withdrew my dd from a private Christian school during Easter break of first grade. It was a school that used all ABeka; those schools tend to be very rigid and structured in every possible way, as in not allowing children to talk in the bathroom, such that if one little person asked if she could borrow some T.P. from the little person in the next stall, the person who talked would be sent to the office. Yeah.

 

Anyway, my dd was doing well academically, and really loved her teacher, but after Christmas her behavior became...strange, emotional, just...not right. At first I thought I would let her finish the school year and send her to a different Christian school the next year, but then one day she came home with a little half sheet of arithmetic homework, and cried inconsolably for 40 minutes. That's when I went down to talk to my weird homeschool neighbor. :-)

 

Two weeks later, during Easter vacation, I went to the San Diego County Office of Education and filed a private school affidavit. The next Monday, I took my dd to school so she could say good bye to her teacher and friends while I went to the office and withdrew her. We were the first ones in that school to homeschool--this was April 1982.

 

I decided that we would just consider this an extra long summer vacation and that we'd be Officially Homeschooling in the fall; and if by Christmas we were all still normal and we all still liked each other, we'd continue. :D

 

Because I was convinced that my dd was burned out, I purposed to do Nothing. It was 18 months before I felt that she was back to herself and we could buy and do something that Looked Like School.

 

So there you have it. :-)

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(Oddly, I saw his teacher many years later at a social gathering and wanted to thank her for being a mean lady because she is the reason I homeschool.  :D )

 

I feel this way every time I see the principal of the school I pulled ds out of. She was horrible and made our lives miserable. The terrible things she said... I still cringe. In spite of that, I now feel a huge wave of gratitude every time I think of her. If she hadn't been my worst nightmare incarnate, I might never have homeschooled and I would never have known the great joy of sharing my kids lives with them.

 

Next year ds will move into a college dorm. I will miss him terribly, but I will always cherish the memories and the time we have spent together. I am so glad the nasty principal pushed me to do it!

 

Sorry, back to your very reasonable thread and away from my emotional babbling.  :leaving:

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I decided to homeschool my daughter when she was in the middle of 1st grade, but I let her finish 1st grade and started with 2nd. I wish I had just pulled her out, but I guess I needed the time to do research and gain confidence that I could do it first.

 

Why did you do it? We get to control our daughter's education, I believe it is the best way to provide the Christian education we desire for her, it fits our family.

 

Was it one thing or many different things? It was a combination of many things: my daughter was advanced, she could read at a 6th grade + level at the end of kindergarten, but too wiggly for school. I could see all the joy she had previously had for learning being sucked out of her. Several of our friends were homeschooling and we thought it would be more fun to hang with them. Sometimes I kept my daughter home from school so we could go on fun field trips with them. Also, at the time I was responsible for taking care of a lot of my mother and father-in-laws needs. I am not kidding when I say I had to drive one or both of them to a doctor appt. at least 3-4 days a week. Trying to get back to pick up my daughter at school sometimes was an exasperating experience.

 

Was there a "last straw"? Yes. A parent was yelling at the secretary for teaching about the 10 Commandments during a world religions unit in the 5th grade class. Not any other religion, just the Judeo-Christian. I then decided that I want my daughter to have a Christian education, and since we couldn't afford private school, homeschool it was.

 

Are you happy with your decision? Extremely. My daughter just started 10th grade.

 

Do your kids miss PS? Not at all. She has several good homeschooled girlfriends from a group we found that keep her busy. She doesn't care for some of the stuff she hears the kids at youth group talking about that happens at public school, and after asking to go back to public school for a little while during 8th grade, she made the decision to keep on home schooling.

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I feel this way every time I see the principal of the school I pulled ds out of. She was horrible and made our lives miserable. The terrible things she said... I still cringe. In spite of that, I now feel a huge wave of gratitude every time I think of her. If she hadn't been my worst nightmare incarnate, I might never have homeschooled and I would never have known the great joy of sharing my kids lives with them.

 

Next year ds will move into a college dorm. I will miss him terribly, but I will always cherish the memories and the time we have spent together. I am so glad the nasty principal pushed me to do it!

 

Sorry, back to your very reasonable thread and away from my emotional babbling. :leaving:

I hear you, sister!
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My son had a dreadful first grade teacher. We talked about pulling him out of the school, but I was incredibly reluctant to homeschool. Finally the situation got so damaging to my son that I had no other choice but to withdraw him, which was halfway through first grade.

 

Once I started homeschooling, I was shocked that my son hasn't mastered or even started covering basic first grade knowledge. Therefore I doubled up lessons and completed the whole year of first grade from Feb- June. Then it was my experience to be shocked by how quickly and well he learned at home. I was kicking myself that I hadn't withdrawn him after the first week of that school year.

 

Homeschooling has been incredible for my kids academically because I can teach them so much more and so much more efficiently. Homeschooling has been one of the best decisions we ever made for our kids. We will probably send them to public for high school level classes, but I see no advantage to send them before then.

 

My son is one of the most extroverted people I have ever met , but he doesn't miss public school at all. He actually tells all of his public school friends how great homeschooling is, and they in turn ask their moms to be homeschooled. Consequently, I am not the favorite mom on the block. Haha

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I pulled my son out after 3rd grade and wish that I would have done it sooner!   even in the middle of the school year.

 

 

One of the main reasons was that I did not like how it was affecting how he felt about himself.

 

I think we need to trust our motherly instincts when it comes to Our children...  after all we know them better than anyone else.

 

When I decided to homeschool him,  it just felt right.  In answer to other peoples  questions I would say that we were going to take the next year

and work on things at home.  I never said anything negative about the school and that helped to make  it a peaceful change.

 

 One year at a time.   That is what I give as my answer to the questions  about how long we are going to homeschool.

 

One year at a time.  That is what I tell myself when I started to feel any pressure about his education.

  It has helped me to focus just on the now.

  

 

 

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Why did you do it?  The top three reasons we withdrew DD from PS after 5th grade were because of the test prep culture/teach-to-the-test mentality (about 25%-30% of 5th grade was devoted to testing or test prep of some type), the school allowed children with behavioral problems to remain in the classroom and disrupt learning for the majority of well-behaved kids, and the curriculum was not challenging/rigorous enough.

 

Was it one thing or many different things?  In addition to the top three reasons we withdrew DD, a number of other issues had reared their ugly head by the end of 5th grade.  PS had been a happy little place up through 3rd grade, but then we started to notice things going awry.  Gradually, test prep increased, behavioral issues among students increased, teachers pushed through material even when the kids didn't understand the lesson, skimpy recess, recess taken away for the most minor infraction, excessive busy-work homework, class size increased, and the administration was unresponsive about these issues.  We ignored most of these issues (or justified them, I'm not sure which) and told ourselves 5th grade just was a bad year, but by the end of 5th grade, we couldn't ignore it any longer.  By this time, DD had become unenthusiastic about school and my normally happy kid would come home crying a couple times a week.  

 

Was there a "last straw"?  Oh, yeah, there sure was a last straw, and it was a doozy.  Toward the middle of the spring semester, a few kids got into a spat in their neighborhood that spilled over into school hours.  Kids took the sides of their friends and joined the playground "club" which supported their friends.  Typical aligning and defending playground friends; childish behavior, for sure, but nothing that couldn't have been solved peacefully by calling the parents of the two original kids involved.  Instead, one of the 5th grade teachers herded all the kids into her classroom one day and accused them of being "gang members" for siding with their friends; she told them the police would be coming to their house to arrest them because they were gang members.  These were 10-11 year olds and they came home crying that night.  I calmed my kid down and told her the teacher was being an intimidating moron, and that no police were going to do anything about a playground spat.  Then DD told me that all kids in class would be called into the office to tell everything they knew about the spat and confess whatever their "involvement".  That's when I saw an opportunity to teach her all about the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination. LOL.  We talked for hours about that and researched those rights online.  Quite a lesson.  I told DD she was not to discuss anything with any school representative, nor was she to write anything down for them, under any circumstance.  After all, if this was truly "gang-related" *insert eye roll here*, I explained that not incriminating herself was vital.  If it wasn't gang-related, she didn't have to play ball with them.  She was just to reply "I choose not to say anything, but you may call my lawyer  mom".  Repeat as often as necessary.  I gave her a note to carry in her back pocket that said she was not to be questioned without my presence, to trot out if she needed the fortification.  I let her know that they might lock her in the office to intimidate her, but they could only keep her there until dismissal and they could not hurt her, and to just sit tight until that time when I picked her up.  Then I told her to take her cell phone and text me from the bathroom if the situation was too much for her and I would pick her up.  As an absolute last resort, I gave her permission to walk out of the school and home if any teacher/administrator tried to bully her as was done previously.  I told her that was a last-ditch option, but that I would not make her go back if she felt necessary to exercise that option.  She held up wonderfully well; she looked them in the eye and told them she wasn't talking. Her success in standing up to those bullies made the rest of the year bearable for her, because she knew she had a homeschooling out if it got unbearable, and that she was not powerless, and that she could stand up to those administrative thugs and not suffer for it. That whole scene was just the straw that broke the camel's back. It was just administrators bullying kids into submission over nothing, and I was fed up with the whole show.  It was just so typical of the abusive crap that had gone on all year.  After that, we decided there was no way that she was going to apply to any of the public magnet schools and that we didn't want any more association with PS. 

 

DD was headed for private school after the above episode, but decided she wanted to homeschool instead.  So after getting our acceptance letter from the well-regarded private school we craved to be admitted to, we turned them down to homeschool and haven't regretted a minute of it.  DS is joining us this year.  He loved 3rd grade at PS (remember, PS was quite nice through 3rd grade), but we are done with those clowns, and I hope never to have to look back to PS again. The whole experience in 5th grade left such a sour taste in our mouth, and discolored what was a nice experience at that school. It's a shame, because the other teachers in the school were so amazing and dedicated and wonderful people. 5th grade was like another world, though.

 

 

Are you happy with your decision?  Happy doesn't describe it; we are thrilled with our decision.  Homeschool has worked so well for DD in every way; she was able to explore topics she hadn't been able to while in PS, improved her weak academic areas, and learned so much this past year.  It's been especially rewarding because I now see what deficiencies the PS foisted upon DD and that I have to remediated.  I would not have even recognized those deficiencies had I not begun to homeschool.  My only regret is that I sent them to PS at all.  Although, they did go to a play-based private preschool that I loved, and I don't regreat a minute of that.

 

 Do your kids miss PS?  DD does not miss it; the ugly memories are too fresh, I think.  She shows no signs of wanting to return to school (I told her we could go private if she wanted to, but that we were done with PS).  DS is ambivalent about homeschool.  He says he is afraid he'll miss his friends (bunk; his friends are the neighborhood kids he plays with anyway).  He has only good memories of PS.  I did tell him if he disliked homeschool, he could go to private school also, but that we were done with PS.

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Was there a "last straw"?  Oh, yeah, there sure was a last straw, and it was a doozy.  Toward the middle of the spring semester, a few kids got into a spat in their neighborhood that spilled over into school hours.  Kids took the sides of their friends and joined the playground "club" which supported their friends.  Typical aligning and defending playground friends; childish behavior, for sure, but nothing that couldn't have been solved peacefully by calling the parents of the two original kids involved.  Instead, one of the 5th grade teachers herded all the kids into her classroom one day and accused them of being "gang members" for siding with their friends; she told them the police would be coming to their house to arrest them because they were gang members. 

 

:huh: -->  :eek:  -->  :cursing:  

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...Why did you do it? Was it one thing or many different things? Was there a "last straw"? Are you happy with your decision? Do your kids miss PS?

 

 

Now, this is starting to feel like a long time ago...  About 6 years ago, my oldest went to public school for 1st grade and my son went to Kindergarten.  We paid WAY too much money for a small, rundown house, so we could live in a school district that was #2 in the state.

 

After a week, my son would start crying when it was time to get ready for school.  Then, he would try to argue and negotiate with me when it was time to get on the bus.  I was constantly being called up to school.  One time, my son just crawled into a corner and fell asleep in class (looking back on, he was just too little to go to school), so they carried him to the nurse's office and told me to come get him.  My daughter would also go to the nurse's office several times a week trying to be sent home.  She had constant stomach aches (or so she claimed).  Every day after school, she would come home and cry for about an hour.  She would lay on her bed, scream and kick the wall.  For an hour.  Every day.  I asked around to see if other people's kids did that (?) and everyone reassured me that their kids just loooove school.   :confused:  Um, Ok...  

 

Somewhere around the middle of the year, we had a parent-teacher conference and my daughter's teacher said my daughter looked confused during class and had a "deer in the headlights" look when the teacher asked her questions.  Anyway, the parent-teacher conference didn't go very well.  The lady thought my daughter couldn't grasp what was going on in class.  About a week later, all the kids went through testing and my daughter ended up scoring in the top 1 percentile.  The school district had a gifted specialist come to the school and talk to my daughter and they did some more testing.  Anyway, that was when my eyes were opened to the possibility that public school probably wasn't going to work out for my daughter.  The stomach aches, anxiety and fits were starting to make sense.  

 

Also, my son...the ENTIRE year at school...did not learn anything.  I'm not kidding.  At the end of the year, he still did not know his letter sounds and was being pulled out every day to work with the special ed lady (who he really liked, BTW).  Oh, sigh...  Anyway, I pulled them both out at the end of the year.  

 

Am I happy with my decision?  Yes.  We plan to homeschool to the bitter end.   Are the kids happy?  Yes, they don't want to go back.  My two younger kids have never been inside a school.  In fact, one time when the younger ones were being punks, I bought them ice cream cones and we took a little drive by the elementary school here.  I told them that's where they're going to go if they don't straighten up.  No more David Attenborough animal documentaries all day, no more reading to the neighbor's cat (he's stoically listened to hundreds of Bob books and easy readers), no more eating little cheesy pizzas while you do your Singapore math...(in my best Clint Eastwood voice)  

 

My one regret is that I put so much into the public school thing - buying a house that wasn't a good fit for our family, so they could go to a good school.  I wish we would've just started out homeschooling.    

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I pulled my now 11yo out in the middle of grade 1.

 

Why did I do it? I had suspected since preschool that a regular classroom wouldn't be a good fit. He was working way above level and the school had nothing to offer him. But at the time of starting K, we had some practical reasons for trying ps.

 

Was it one thing or many things? Primarily it was because of #1. His teachers resented him and me for seeking out solutions. I resented having a child who, after being in a classroom for 8 hours, would come home and beg to "be allowed to learn something". (no wait, that sounds wrong. I didn't resent the child--obviously!--but that he was forced to feel that way--that his time and energy and passions were being ignored and wasted)

 

Was there a last straw? Yep! His teacher had absurd rules about independent reading time, and wouldn't allow my son to read what he was capable of. "Keep them down" seemed to be her motto. I'm very grateful now for that silly book about cats that he wasn't allowed to read. :)

 

Are you happy with your decision? Every day, in unlimited ways.

 

Do your kids miss PS? Not at all. As soon as the idea of homeschooling him became an option, he jumped on it and hasn't looked back. He feels very, very sorry for his public schooled friends that they would have to endure such mind numbing foolishness. He knows it's a big waste of time, and he doesn't have time or patience for that! :)

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We pulled my son out of public school at the end of 3rd grade. We lived in NYC and always afterschooled, we had a great nanny and basically considered school free childcare. I don't think elementary school, so long as safe, matters much. But when stuff like getting in trouble for talking at lunch, taking away recess because one kid was "acting up" in class happened, and when they administer a state test on a curriculum completely not aligned with the test (I fully support the common core), and the lack of options for middle school glaring me in the face, we did this radical life change.. I felt our only option in the city was moving into an excellent school zone or paying 40k a year for private. For many reasons, we felt those would be even bigger compromises than what we ended up doing.

 

Edited to add that yes, he misses the social experience of school, such as it was, because we also moved away. We try to go a quarterly overnight playdate but it is hard to manage; these kids are busy now. Also, he did excellent in the state test. My kid is not gifted, but institutions in general are not great at assisting individuals unless their respective goals are closely aligned. No one has an incentive to spend time on a kid who already has one of the highest scores in the school.

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I pulled mine out when they were in the 3rd and 6th grades.  The younger two were on board with the idea, the oldest absolutely did not want to leave PS.  (friends)  

 

We pulled them out for a whole list of reasons.  I wasn't happy with the level of education they were receiving.  They were at the top of their classes and stuck waiting on everyone else to catch up.  They weren't being challenged.  The schools were expecting developmentally inappropriate behavior out of my 3rd graders and their classmates.  (One daughter's class was on complete silence in their classroom for 6 weeks.  Eight year olds!  And they were being denied recess for behavior problems, go figure) One of my 3rd graders was missing a lot of school due to stomach aches, vomiting and headaches.  My oldest child was getting harassed at middle school, basically for being a good kid that followed rules.  Her personality had changed from a happy-go lucky child that loved everyone, to one that came home crying more often than not.  

 

The final straw on a big pile of straws was when my oldest daughter had to watch as a 14 year old fractured her 11 year old friend's jaw.  It was a fight over the 11 year old telling the 14 year old that a woman flashing someone was gross.  

 

They have done very well at home. I was astonished at how little my 6th grader knew in math.  The top of the class A student couldn't work on grade level.  My two 3rd graders, who had been in different classes, were on completely different levels although they were both top A students.  (one knew fractions, multiplication and division, the other was still on addition and subtraction)  We had to spend around 18 months re-mediating my oldest in math.  The other two caught up quickly, I think mostly because they were brought home earlier.  

 

Now, my oldest is graduating this year and retained her loving personality.  She is SO thankful I pulled her from school.  My younger two are on track to graduate a year early.  One of my twins would happily go back to PS tomorrow if I let her.  She doesn't give me a hard time about it, but does get wistful. It is mostly because her best friend is PSd.  BTW, she is the one that had all the stomach and headaches...which went away for the most part after she came home.  The other twin has no desire to go back.  

 

I am absolutely happy with our decision.  My kids wouldn't be the people they are today if they had remained where they were.  We have also become so much closer as a family, and the girls have become stronger in their faith.  My only regret is that I ever sent them to PS in the first place.  If I had a do over I would have kept them home.  

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Our zoned middle school is the seventh circle of hell. Seriously. It's weak academically, and it is socially awful - not to mention overcrowded and underfunded.

 

There are other concerns - the older kid gets asthma and migraines and misses a lot of school every year due to that so we're hoping that she effectively misses less of her education if we can work around her rather than asking her to be up and ready in the morning after crying all night with aheadache, the younger one, although in a good elementary school with great teachers, was spending a lot of her day reading because the work was below her level - but really, the first, second, and last reason is because I wouldn't send them to that middle school for a day, not even if you personally handed me $5 million in exchange. (I probably wouldn't do it for $6 million either, but I might. I mean, it'd just be for a day.)

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Our zoned middle school is the seventh circle of hell. Seriously. It's weak academically, and it is socially awful - not to mention overcrowded and underfunded.

 

Just visited my zoned middle school last week due to admin messed up. It's really a yucky situation like you described plus street gang issues. The registrar was calling up all the incoming 6th graders while I was there and most are going charter or private school so her leftover list was a lot less.

 

The schools in my district are very well funded by property tax. However all extras are funded through the PTA and that is where the school demographics play a part. The amount PTA raised by parent's donation and employer matching range from very high amounts to almost nothing.

 

It does become a vicious circle here though because parents transfer/pull out from "underperforming" schools. We are definitely not sending our kids to the assigned middle school.

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He is bored and frustrated and lonely. He loves parts of PS but seems to now hate more than he loves. I feel like my smart, funny, creative kid is wilting. He's started having behavior problems at school and seems more sullen and almost defeated at home.

I would pull him out if it was my child feeling that way. Just play by ear and tackle any issues as they arise.

 

Ask him what he still loves about PS and supply that elsewhere. For example, my older misses the art lessons and we enrolled him for outside art classes. He also miss PE so we enrolled him in gym and golf classes (partially for gross motor skills issues). He miss the peer discussions in school, that we are trying to solve.

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I pulled my DS out of a "top-notch" private Montessori school half-way through first grade, and we had multiple reasons. First, the expenses just got to be too much for our family: $11k tuition, and then steady nickle and diming throughout the rest of the year- $100 in supply fees, $150 each semester for the school camping trip, $50 for the class fundraisers, books once a month for "book club,"  the expectation to give (and generously!) to the school foundation, art supplies, Earth Day party, class snacks once a month. The last straw on that was when I informed the headmistress that at the age of 8 ds couldn't read three letter words without help, and was certainly not able to read the books they were assigning for book club (Because of Winn-Dixie, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Charlotte's Web). I was offered the chance to send him to the reading tutor lab- for an extra $1k a semester. After that, I just got fed up and we pulled him in December. By May, he had whizzed through all the Hooked on Phonics programs and was reading the Magic Treehouse books. Although reading tends to still be an issue for him, it's so much better.

 

Ds likes being at home, but he does occasionally miss school, especially when I haven't given him enough social time. Right now, he takes a homeschool science class at the local science museum, and has a winter swim program for the team he swims on in the summer, and he'll be starting a Latin class with some of his homeschooled swim team members, which I'll be teaching. I also make sure that he gets plenty of play time with his former classmates.

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We did :)

 

We pulled both of our kids out of public school after Thanksgiving last year. My son, who sounds about the same age as yours, had struggled with school since kindergarten. He was a struggling reader from the beginning but always fell on that line in schools: not 'bad' enough to qualify for the extra reading program but not far enough along to work independently, which is what was required as there were 28 kids in his 2nd grade class. Every year he was just a spot or two away from getting into the program but it just never happened. He started to notice that he was moving a bit slower than some of his friends because last year, before we pulled him out, he started to make comments about how much smarter one of his friends was than him. How he wished he was more like this other kid, because he was "smart" :crying: . Of course we did all that we could to show/tell him different but, as a mother, that broke my heart.

 

We were basically after schooling with my son. He would get home from school at 3:45 and we would almost immediately start in on reading and math practice. Then we would move on to his actual assigned homework and correcting the papers he would bring home. By then time we would finish up it would be time for showers and bedtime not long after that (of course we squeezed dinner in there). We did that for a couple of months, and he was a good sport about it; worked hard and was making progress. But....he was always going to have to work a little harder and I just didn't want to make him do that kind of work after he had been in school all day. I wanted him to have time to still be a kid and actually relax and play at some point during the day, not go to school from 9-4 and then do homework from 4-7:30. I just didn't feel like it was fair to him and it definitely wasn't fair to my daughter, who was getting little attention during that time because his work was so intensive and my husband works evenings. So, after a month or so of doing all of this I started thinking about homeschooling and the hubs and I decided it would be a good move for our family.

 

And my daughter, who was in kindergarten was the opposite of my son, she was BORED with what they were doing. She wasn't being challenged what-so-ever and was just using school as more of a social thing than anything else.

 

Both get a little lonely sometimes, but they are both on the soccer team and have friends there (many on my son's team were in a couple of his classes in ps). They also play with neighborhood kids and both will be starting a class at our local science/history museum that will have 30 or so kids participating. I'm hoping those things along with the occasional field trip that we will (hopefully) be able to take with other local homeschoolers will fill that gap for them both.

 

So yeah, we pulled both out and there is nothing that I regret about that decision. I have noticed such a big change in both kiddos, but with my son especially. His confidence is much greater and he's happy to just be who he is, play what he wants without having to worry about what the other boys may say. He also has a better verbal vocabulary. I hadn't really noticed that but a friend mentioned it when she came to visit for the first time in a year or so. I honestly think it's due to the read alouds we did last year. He has time to be more creative and explore interests and he couldn't do that before we homeschooled. He didn't have time for anything extra.

 

And, we ALL love the freedom that homeschooling allows us to have. My husband works Tuesday through Saturday, so he would really only get to see the kids on Sundays (his hours the other days of the week are 11-9 so he would get home after bedtime). But now? Now we school Tuesday through Friday and do field trips as a family on Sundays/Mondays and the kids get 2 days with dad instead of just 1. We're also taking 2 out of town field trips next month with my parents, in their motor home and we wouldn't be able to do that if they were still in ps.

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...Why did you do it? Was it one thing or many different things? Was there a "last straw"? Are you happy with your decision? Do your kids miss PS?

 

We have been afterschooling for the past few years, but we are thinking of taking the plunge and homeschooling. My son has struggled for the past 3 years and 3rd grade is not off to a good start. He is bored and frustrated and lonely. He loves parts of PS but seems to now hate more than he loves. I feel like my smart, funny, creative kid is wilting. He's started having behavior problems at school and seems more sullen and almost defeated at home. I want to make it better for him but it's such a hard decision to make.

 

I'd love to hear some "been there, done that" stories if anyone is willing to share! Thanks!

 

We initially started homeschooling because dd(now 18) was bored to tears in school.  She was an incredibly precocious child (hit every milestone very early) who loved to learn any- and everything all day long (from about age 2 "doing workbook" was her favorite activity at home).  But she was miserable in mainstream school and got in trouble a lot.  I thought the district gifted school (full-time/self-contained) was the answer (25 kids were chosen out of over 2000 first graders), but 2 years there killed her love of learning.  It was so sad to see her become indifferent to EVERYTHING.  That's when I told her about homeschooling.  She thought about it for 2 weeks and decided to give it a try.  It was the best decision ever.  It took a while to get my daughter back to the curious, determined kid who loved learning, but we got there - although she never did read for pleasure again,  :sad: .  

 

She homeschooled for over 5 years (3rd grade to 8th grade) and chose to audition for some performing arts high schools.  She got into the school of her dreams and just graduated this past June.  She'll be attending a performing arts college in the fall.  Homeschooling made her an incredibly amazing person academically, socially, and emotionally.  She didn't miss school for a second.  I say go for it!

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There were several reasons we chose to homeschool instead of private school.  We went to a great classical school.  I truly felt it was the best school environment money could buy.  I wasn't particularly crazy about his first grade teacher, but she did not return.  

 

One reason was finances.  Public school was never an option for us, and we had two other children at home.  I was faced with a choice of returning to work and doing day care and tuition or homeschooling with some supplemental income.  I wanted to be home with my kids more in this season.  That was the biggest reason.  We wanted time with our kids.  I was tired of being drill sergeant mom and running them from school to home to activities to doing homework, get dressed, go to bed so you can get up early mom.  I wanted time with them, AND I wanted them to do activities, and homeschooling was a way to do that.  I also wanted to do more life learning with field trips, etc.  I wanted flexibility and to be able to take a family vacation in the middle of the year.  As great as his school was, I wanted to tweak some things and teach him my way.  He had high marks in everything, but he is easily excited and chatty.  He would get in trouble for talking too much, and classroom behavior was a little stifling for my wiggly boy.  I also wanted him to slow down and really solidify his math facts, and I saw him start to hate math and have issues even though he was smart in math.  He didn't think he was smart in math because he couldn't write 20 math facts in a minute or something like that.  It was lots of little reasons.  

 

This is our second year.  I am so thankful because we are moving across the country, and we don't have the same school options even available to us.  We are probably moving mid-year too.  God always knows what He is doing.  We definitely have some kinks to work out, and it doesn't always look like my idealized vision, but there are moments I have had with my son that I would have never had if he were in school.  He even got to take an art class at his old school that I organized for homeschoolers (which is his favorite.)

 

He is ultimately glad to be home.  The only thing is that he misses some of his friends on occasion.  We did soccer with one, and we have done some birthday parties, but we are moving, and I plan to get involved more when we move for him to make new friends.  He is very social.  We will start scouts, a new church, a homeschooling group, sports, etc., and he will have more family around.  As long as they have outlets for friends, most kids are fine and like being home.  If he gives me a hard time, I just remind him of some of the things that are harder in school.  Sometimes he doesn't realize that the work would have gotten harder there too because he is older.  

 

Overall, it's one of the best decisions we made for our family, and we are able to pour into our children and their character more than if they were in any school, even the best.

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I don't believe that all schools suit the needs of all students.  My DS attended a private Christian school from pre-k to half of 5th grade.  I sent him back for 6th grade and he came home permanently two years ago.  My son tests gifted with a maths/handwriting/reading disability.  It's hard to imagine, but the dysgraphia stumped the school.  They just couldn't handle my DS typing in class.  He started carrying a NEO Alphasmart in 4th grade.  By 6th grade, he was typing most everything, but his teachers kinda acted put out and discouraged the NEOs use.  One teacher would not allow a small printer to be placed in her room.  The school's algebra teacher was very disgruntled about my son's calculator accommodation.  We just grew tired of it.  Why they felt they were even entitled to an opinion about my son's NP report and accommodations is beyond me.  DS had an A average when he left the school and he earned it.  

 

DS has numerous friends in public, private, and the homeschool setting.  He sees his homeschool buds on Friday and texts his friends throughout the day.  DS misses his best friend that he has known since pre-k.  They met for lunch this summer and played Air Soft multiple times.

 

My priority is providing a sound education.  Homeschooling is way easier than afterschooling.  I hire certified tutors where necessary and things just go smoother now without the daily junk of people that don't care or understand his needs.

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My first three children attended public school through grades 5, 2, and 1. My very bright firstborn son was endlessly bullied for his academic accomplishments, including incidents where his glasses were dismantled right off his face and his pants pulled down on the bus. My parents remarked that every time they visited he seemed increasingly withdrawn. The breaking point for me was when we met with the vice principal to discuss his bullying, and the vice principal said, "Your son needs to get tougher." I realized we were not going to have much success working within this system. Well, that was my rational insight. Mostly I was outraged and disgusted.

 

There were other factors, too, actually...but that was the biggest. I've grown to love homeschooling in ways that would be too lengthy to describe here. One of the best things ever to happen to us!

 

BTW, that son is now an Ivy League grad student on full scholarship...something we often imagine might not have been possible had we continued in public school.

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After reading all the stories here, I just have to say how touched and awed I am by the immense love you all have for your children, and the selfless sacrifices you've made to bring them home, whether it was to help them heal, regain a love of learning or to become fulfilled and reach their highest potential. All of you are just amazing parents. :wub:

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We pulled my oldest out at the end of 1st. We had basically been planning to do so since about mid-way through the year. We felt like it was killing his spirit and turned him into this tense,anxious little guy. By the end he would literally be devoid of facial expressions and was withdrawn at home. We would get called all the time because he was being teased and would get Fed up and have a screaming fit on the bullies and get himself in trouble. It created so much stress for the entire family. On the last day of school I asked him how he would feel if we never came back and he literally yelled with delight and ran to the car. It has been pretty much the best parenting decision we ever made. He smiles, is confident and can talk to anyone now. The family is closer,happier and we just have so much peace in our lives now. I realize now that he was bored out of his mind as well. He reads at a 7th grade level and they were trying to get him to read basic readers and he just didn't want to.Plus we had a major health crisis which caused me to reevaluate my priorities. Why are we sending our 6 year old away from us for 7 hours a day? I missed him, he was miserable, I'm dragging my other children around and they were miserable and for what?

 

I've been trying to gauge why he was not excited about starting 3rd grade and he finally broke down crying yesterday because he thought this was temporary and he would be going back to school. He said he never wants to go back and wants to homeschool until college. He still seems his friends from school ans we have made some great homeschooling friends this year, so he has not brought up any social issues once. Besides he's was getting in trouble almost every day for "too much socializing". DD and DS2 have never stepped foot into a school and won't for as long as I can help it. It has been simply life changing in every way.

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DD is a Distance Education student, so we are not Home Schoolers, but many of the issues that put us on this path are the same as for those who choose to become Home Schoolers. The first private school DD attended ($$$$$) in K4, K5 and First Grade was *wonderful*. She loved it and we loved it. Sadly, there was a huge drop in my income and in the value of the U.S. Dollar (we live in South America) and we had to pull her out of there in 2008.

 

Then, we found another (church run) private school ($$) that had a very good reputation and she was there for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. The student population dropped, because they were not replacing the graduates with enough new students. So, the budget they had to work with kept going down. The quality of the education dropped each year during those 4 school years. DD began there with English as her strongest subject. She had been getting Advanced English instruction, in the first school she attended. When she left there, in 2012, English was her worst subject. My wife believes that if it was not for the fact that DD speaks English with me at all times and that she is on the Internet, that she would have lost all of her English, during those 4 school years...

 

DD was very bored in the 2nd school. The teachers would explain things, that DD had grasped, during the first explanation, 2 or 3 times, for the other kids.

 

We were concerned that DD was going to be the victim of bullying, because she was one of the smartest kids in her group, if not the smartest one.

 

During April 2012, I attended 3+ hours of a Saturday morning meeting that went even longer than that. The Director of the school told us (the parents in the auditorium) that they had decided to close the school, at the end of that school year. They didn't, but I believe that they should have closed it.

 

When I came home from that meeting that Saturday and I told my wife about what had gone on (I listened to what was said with my solid grasp of “Spanglishâ€, but I got the idea of the issues very well) she tasked me with finding an alternative for DD, since we already had issues with what was going on in the school.

 

I googled “home school†and on the first result in the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) I found a lot of information. I contacted Calvert and Keystone for information. A day or 2 later, probably on that same web site, I found mention of TTUISD having Middle School courses. For our family, TTUISD was exactly what we needed.

 

During October 2012, we enrolled DD in 2 TTUISD sixth grade courses. One of them was English. I knew that if she could pass that course, with the weakness she had in writing English and with English grammar, that she could pass any of their courses. She passed and with an excellent grade. I'm certain that it was a horrible struggle for her, to come up to speed in U.S. English, after 4 school years of very bad English instruction. She has just completed the second semester of 7th grade English. She received a 99 on the Final Exam (TTUISD Final Exams count as 25% of the semester grade) and her teacher wrote her that she will get a 97 for the semester. Truly, that is an accomplishment for her.

 

The thing that we did not expect, was that our family is much closer now that DD is studying at home. When she was in the brick and mortar school, I would wake my wife and DD up at 450 A.M. and DD was out of the house at 550 A.M. She would get home about 315 P .M. So, that was very stressful for everyone and we rarely ate meals together. Now, we eat all of our meals together, we can sleep later, and we talk a lot more. Probably having a closer family is the best benefit of Home Schooling or Distance Education.

 

As a parent, the only thing I would like to see is for DD to be involved in activities outside the house. Sports, music, etc. When she was in 4th grade, they had Cheerleading as one of the optional/mandatory/extra cost activities and she loved that. Then, in 5th grade, Cheerleading wasn't one of the activities...

 

In the 2nd school DD was in, the teachers usually only covered part of the material in the textbooks. DD would read ahead, but all of the material wasn't taught, because most of the other kids were not picking things up quickly. We were paying for textbooks that were only being partially used. And, the textbooks were very thin, compared to the textbooks for her TTUISD courses.

 

If we were to win the lottery, possibly DD would go back to the first brick and mortar school she attended (K4, K5 and First grade), but failing that, we plan for her to graduate from the TTUISD High School.

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Why did you do it?

DH accepted a job in a new city that required extensive travel. In planning for a move, I spoke with DS's second-grade teacher mid-year about "what else" he needed to learn to move onto third grade. The teacher stated he was essentially "done" with second-grade and just needed to learn multiplication (something we'd worked on the previous summer).

 

DS had started coming home with packets of puzzles, games, and similar worksheets. He was coming home with little else but these packets. When I asked DS about them, he said that the teacher told him to work on his packet while she assisted other children. I suspect that she was bringing her other students up to grade level since standardized testing started in third grade. There was tremendous pressure on students and teachers to perform well on the tests.

 

I'd contemplated homeschooling DS prior to sending him to PS kindergarten, but didn't know how to do it. A homeschooling family moved into our neighborhood and the mother kindly sat down with me to explain her philosophy. She had been homeschooling for awhile, had dabbled in several philosophies, and used many types of curriculum. She was a wealth of information and a huge boost to my confidence. I did not and still don't use any of her favorite materials, but her laid-back approach inspired me to try homeschooling.

 

There was no last straw, but public school was difficult with DS's education needs. When we pulled DS, he was on-level with writing, above-level with math, and extremely above-level with reading and comprehension. He was not moving ahead in math and reading while he was in PS.

 

Are you happy with your decision?

Yes. There was a brief time this summer where PS was contemplated for the kids. After talking with other parents and researching the local district's schools, we opted to continue homeschooling. I did not want the kids going to these schools, but my opinion wasn't the only one considered. They may possibly go back to PS for high school as the county has excellent high schools, but for now, they're home.

 

Do you kids miss PS?

DS11 does not. He likes controlling his own time and doing his own thing. He's enjoyed the literature, history, and science he has studied and we have interesting conversations. He balks at times because I expect more from him but overall, he is a thoughtful, well-spoken young man. His personality has led to minor problems with some local boys. A few incidents with these kids make me glad he's homeschooled.

 

DD8 has never been to PS, but she has expressed a desire to go. She wants the social aspect of public schooling. I've joined the local co-op for an elective class so both kids have more ties into the local homeschooling community.

 

We have the kids in scouts, athletics, and other extracurriculars.

 

What are some of the biggest adjustments? You didn't ask this question, but it's a biggie for BTDT stories.

 

Alone time: The biggest adjustment for me was managing our family's dynamics. I used to work, clean house, run errands, buy groceries, go to the gym, etc. while my children were in school. I struggled with spending so much time with my kids when I'd had so much time alone previously.

 

At first, I pushed to get school done so I could attempt to get back that "me" time. There were set times for school. Chores were clustered in the morning or right after lunch so I could have afternoons to myself. There was too much emphasis on other things besides school.

 

The flow of our day has eased with experience. I try to clean in small chunks of time. I take the kids on walks for exercise. Read alouds are scattered throughout the day. Sometimes, school can extend into the early evening especially if a child is slow getting things done. Our family life is a homeschool; we don't just school at home. One caveat: we try to not make everything a schooling moment. It's easy to fall into the teaching mode.

 

Deschooling: There is an adjustment period for kids (and moms) coming out of PS. When I started homeschooling, I didn't know about deschooling so I jumped in and pushed too hard. My relationship with my kids suffered. I spent some time deschooling the kids for a few months so that we could find our rhythm together. 

 

Deschooling for us was not unschooling. Every day, the kids were expected to do math, reading, and writing, but I let them pick their own topics and books. Other than math, I didn't use any formal curriculum. It helped my kids adjust to the new experience and it helped me discover my teaching style.

 

Focus on the positives: There are moments I miss my clean house and free time, but I try to remember the benefits. Today, I had a serious conversation about faith and logic with my DS11. My DD8 happily wrote a few sentences on the frog life cycle. My DS1 told me to "read book" and climbed into my lap with a book clutched in his hand. All the while, DD2months slept against me. It's tough, but I love it.

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...Why did you do it? Was it one thing or many different things? Was there a "last straw"? Are you happy with your decision? Do your kids miss PS?

 

 

 

I'd love to hear some "been there, done that" stories if anyone is willing to share! Thanks!

We just started homeschooling after spending four years in public school. We were in a decent suburban public school but we had a combination of things happen that led us to homeschool, and we did so for different reasons for each of our two kids.

 

I originally intended to homeschool, but when we moved to the suburbs with the requisite good suburban school we went with public school. My daughter had relatively good teachers, apart from a not so good kindergarten teacher. She is bright and inquisitive but her classes kept getting larger and larger. Also, even though she is bright she never tested into GT, and it turned out there was a huge discrepancy between the GT classes and the regular classes, and a problem child in a regular class could derail an entire day. I could tell that she wasn't receiving the same level of education as our GT friends. I was a GT, AP kid, but I really don't like the GT designation because it segregates kids instead of challenges all kids. And I wanted her to have a challenge. Through a lottery system of sorts, she ended up in a GT class last year, but there was no guarantee she would stay that route, and even then the 'true' GT kids were still pulled out of that class to do special enrichment activities. So that was one thing. We also encountered standardized testing for the first time last year and I discovered that half the year was spent preparing for the test and then very little happened after the testing. Which means school, for all learning purposes, was essentially over in March. So, my husband and I decided that we could give her a better and more challenging education if we homeschooled her.

 

My son was completely different and he was the real catalyst. He had an amazing kindergarten teacher but a truly awful 1st grade teacher and he was hating school to the point that he was having recurring nightmares. He was also getting lost in a huge class (my daughter also had a large class, both class's were around 23 kids) and he was completely disengaged from what what happening in class. He had a speech delay and was very quiet in school, which can sometimes come off like he doesn't understand what is going but he is incredibly bright and, despite the awful teacher, was still learning. Even so, he was getting all sorts of points marked off because he does math in his head (not using strategies) and almost failed because he refused to do an end of year reading test for his teacher (despite reading fine for us at home). I was in close contact with his teacher but it was clear that something needed to change.

 

My daughter is a little bit nervous about not seeing her friends on a daily basis but we are working on finding new homeschool friends and she really likes our new flexible schedule. And we will of course keep up with all the old school friends. My son has absolutely no desire to ever go back to public school.

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Oh boy. I have not read the stories yet but here is ours. There is a lot here that is critical. I just want to emphasize this was OUR experience. I had a friend with a son in a classroom next door with a dramatically different one.  I really do think it was something God used to nudge us to make the jump to homeschooling.

 

Our local elementary does full-day kindergarten. Because my son had a late birthday (two weeks before cutoff) and because he was tiny and because he is a boy and because I honestly hated the idea of full day--we put him in another year of preschool and enrolled him in K at six.  I had my hesitations then. I had a horrible school experience socially. I learned a lot but had troubles from K-12. So I had to fight thinking that might be his path. I suggested homeschooling, but dh opposed it at the time. He said we needed to give it a chance.  We needed to believe his path would be better than mine. Socially, his was better, which was a blessing.

 

From the very beginning of the year things started off in an uneasy way. The teacher took off six weeks a couple weeks in to have foot surgery and they had a new college grad as a sub. She seemed nice, but I didn't know what was going on in there. Meanwhile my son was getting sick-- a lot.  Little things mostly--strep throat, ear infections.  He would come home with his sleeve chewed on from anxiety and boredom. He was exhausted from the long day. And he was asking to read, and they had not started any form of reading instruction and wouldn't until January. I *thought* I didn't know how to teach my son to read (I know better now), so I asked the sub for help. She sent a book home that I had no idea how to use. It didn't use phonics at all.  It is my fault for not looking into it further.

 

Then my dh's father died and i got the eleventh degree for missing a week to go to a state 20 hours away for the funeral. It made me upset.  I got letters from the district about how many days we had left, etc.

 

Meanwhile I was noticing from volunteering at the school that his teacher did not have a great reputation (nice, but kids don't learn) and her classroom control was not always good. One day, I found the kids unsupervised during indoor recess. I learned that apparently this was the policy. One hall monitor for five 27 student K classrooms.  The teachers were not present. The classroom was crazy.

 

Then there was lunch. My dh called it prison camp lunch. Eat quietly or get sent to the quiet table. Once chew time starts, no one is allowed to talk.  Put your head down on the table when you finish eating.  

 

So this was all going on and meanwhile my son was having more and more health issues--coming down with strep, ear infections that weren't clearing, stomach pain. It took months to diagnose him, but finally in June we did (autoimmune condition). In the meantime I felt anxious anytime he was sick because I had to get a doctor's note every time. We had used up our days.

 

My son was coming home telling me that they watched videos every week in library, more often than not in music, and even once in gym.  

 

In the spring when things did not seem better in the classroom or the school in general we started talking about homeschooling. Dh was not totally on board until our last parent-teacher conference. That was when the teacher said that he was reading level C (? don't remember letter) but he could go down three levels over the summer and that would be okay. (Um, no, it's not.)  Also she said something about him being the youngest in the class. He was the oldest.  His reading went up a couple grade levels that summer when I worked with him.  I am convinced now that my son learned very little that year except to hate ps and videos.  Other people at the school had a positive experience. On the whole I think God used it to push us to homeschool.  I am in my third year of homeschooling now. No regrets. My oldest always tells my youngest he should be glad he is not in ps because they could not take breaks and would have to watch boring videos.

 

 

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