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It seems to me that around 4-6th grade, homeschoolers drop like flies around here.  I'm guessing there will be another huge drop off around high school as well.  

 

Why do you think this is?

 

I've not been been shielded from the challenges and frustrations of homeschooling and have considered sending some/all of mine to school, but I wan tot know why others do it.  

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With my kids:  by the time Calvin was 13, he knew my views inside out.  He needed to bounce ideas off other adults and children.  There were no IRL classes he could join and our use of distance learning classes didn't work out.  Hobbes was 10 when he went to school, at the same time as Calvin - I thought that he would be sad at home on his own.  

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Do you mean people who no longer elect to home educate? Or people who don't hang out on the boards much any more? There are always people who come here with a flurry of questions but don't stick around once they have the information they wanted. As for people opting for school enrolment, there are probably many reasons. (A few that spring to mind. Kids who were always going to go to school but weren't ready until a few years later. Mothers who preferred to stay home but needed to get back into paid work. Parents who started with unschooling or gentle academics and then decided school was needed to prepare the kids for further study. Families who began home education with one or two children and found it too much later on with more children. People who gave it a go but just didn't like home educating. Children who got into that perfect school that wasn't an option before.)

 

I sent mine to school mostly because I was unwell, generally overwhelmed and lacking both confidence and adequate support to continue with home schooling. (And I sort of secretly hoped that school might be a panacea for all my kids' problems! It wasn't, of course.) After a bit of school, we found that didn't work out well so I came back to home schooling and so far it's working well for us.

 

Edited by IsabelC
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With my kids:  by the time Calvin was 13, he knew my views inside out.  He needed to bounce ideas off other adults and children.  There were no IRL classes he could join and our use of distance learning classes didn't work out.  Hobbes was 10 when he went to school, at the same time as Calvin - I thought that he would be sad at home on his own.  

 

This was similar to our experience.  We were lucky to have a great community for 6th-8th. Not everyone does.  Come 9th, though, and my oldest was isolated at home all day.  New community, and we weren't welcome because we could not sign statements of faith to join the activities other than playdates (and most were not grade level appropriate it, anyway).  It was worth it to push him into a small school - he may not think much of their academics, but he has friends and ideas to bounce around again.

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In my little circle of homeschoolers, a lot of boys wind up going to school in high school.  I think the moms just feel like they can't handle them.  But then this causes a dearth of high school homeschooled boys around here, which means there are slimmer pickings for socializing for those guys.  And so then they decide they'd rather go to school!  It is a vicious circle.  Some of it might have to do with sports too.  

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I think there are five main reasons for the middle school homeschool exodus. It seems pretty obvious to me why people do it.

 

1. Parental burnout

Lots of the families seem to have done it all the way through. That's about five years of homeschooling. It's a lot for many parents. The pressure to be creative and new and learn new things gets tough.

 

2. Subjects get harder

This is the age that people begin to be intimidated by math. A lot of people are intimidated by writing at the middle and high school levels as well. And when people look ahead to high school, they often want the kids to have middle school to adjust to school style work.

 

3. Kids ask for it

It's easy to say to a 7 yo, sweetie, homeschooling is better. It's hard to say to an opinionated 12 yo, sweetie, we're just doing what's best. Older kids have opinions and desires and they speak up. A lot of parents feel they need to respect that, especially if some of these other reasons are tugging at them to make a change anyway.

 

4. Middle Schoolers are hard

It's a hard age for a lot of kids and they make it hard on the parents. A lot of people are ready for some separation from their newly moody child. How many threads have you seen here where people are asking for help with their tweens who suddenly are having problems getting work done or with attitude or with friendship drama? Middle school is just a tough time for a lot of kids.

 

5. Everyone else is doing it

When everyone else is sending their kids, you begin to lose your community. It's just harder. It makes all of the above things even harder. If you don't have a community for a child, they're more likely to want to go to school to get some community. If you don't have community, it's harder to find people to help with difficult school subjects and to give you support for dealing with a rocky period of early adolescence or support you through burnout. And it becomes a sort of peer pressure as well.

 

All that said, we're not planning on bailing any time soon. :D I know this sounds horribly judgmental and I really do know and believe that you have to make the decision that's right for you... but I can't help but have a "NOOOO!" reaction when I hear that people send their kids to middle school. I taught middle school. Don't do it! If you can only homeschool for a short time, make it middle school instead of elementary.

 

:iagree: Everything here, especially the last bit.

 

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All that said, we're not planning on bailing any time soon. :D I know this sounds horribly judgmental and I really do know and believe that you have to make the decision that's right for you... but I can't help but have a "NOOOO!" reaction when I hear that people send their kids to middle school. I taught middle school. Don't do it! If you can only homeschool for a short time, make it middle school instead of elementary.

 

I agree with everything you wrote, but I'll quote this part. I taught middle (and high) school too. I agree that middle school is a really ideal time to homeschool in a lot of ways, even with all the age related difficulties.

 

I'm finding a lot less family support for homeschooling as my kids have entered middle school. That's going to intensify in high school.

 

Beyond that pressure, I sometimes wonder if I should send my son to high school. In our case this is mostly because his twin takes a lot out of all of us due to special needs. Plunking him directly into 9th after no school experiences seems a bit risky, so the idea of middle school to adjust to the whole thing is appealing. Except, our public school middle school has major issues and my teaching experience makes me hesitant anyway. But I can certainly see why middle school might appeal as a transitional period if high school is planned.

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I agree with everything you wrote, but I'll quote this part. I taught middle (and high) school too. I agree that middle school is a really ideal time to homeschool in a lot of ways, even with all the age related difficulties.

 

I'm finding a lot less family support for homeschooling as my kids have entered middle school. That's going to intensify in high school.

 

Beyond that pressure, I sometimes wonder if I should send my son to high school. In our case this is mostly because his twin takes a lot out of all of us due to special needs. Plunking him directly into 9th after no school experiences seems a bit risky, so the idea of middle school to adjust to the whole thing is appealing. Except, our public school middle school has major issues and my teaching experience makes me hesitant anyway. But I can certainly see why middle school might appeal as a transitional period if high school is planned.

 

One of my boys wants to go to school eventually and he made some noises about middle school. I'm not sure what we'll do for high school for sure, but I also had a moment of "the adjustment, maybe..." thoughts before I decided I simply wasn't going to go there for a lot of reasons, but especially the ones I've always believed as a teacher. If he wants to go to high school, we'll go into the lottery and see what happens and what the options are, but not before.

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Around here, a lot of people seem to homeschool elementary and send kids to high school. Middle school varies. The most common reason seems to be that parents find it stressful to navigate/accomplish/plan the more weighty academics, knowing that it will impact post-secondary, etc. At least that was the reason many of my HS friends went to high school.

 

I found homeschooling through high school very positive. My brother, one boy in a house with four sisters, went to HS in grade 9 and stayed until grade 12. I would not say it was positive, in the least. For him it was primarily a social motivation, but the social situation was not a good one in the school (and he was a "cool kid") and the leadership at the school did not handle it well.

 

After my brother's experience, my parents went from "we will see what the kids want to do in high school" to "our remaining kids will stay home if at all possible." I have the same feeling about my kids, though you never know what life will throw your way...

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Farrar, I didn't think your post sounded judgmental.  Which part did you think was?

 

I find myself torn right now.  I watch my oldest's friends start to drop and it becomes even harder for me to find quality friendships for her (since it involves driving and I have other kids to tend to) and then I wonder if it would be easiest on all of us if she just went to school.  But she says she wants to keep homeschooling.  Whatever...we'll just play this one out.  I'm not needing advice or anything.  

 

I, too, think that middle school seems like just about the worst possible time to put your kid in school (for social reasons, not academic).  You couldn't pay me enough to go back to middle school myself!  But then again, I think that there are days you couldn't pay me enough to keep educating my own!

 

I hadn't thought of the expenses ramping up.  That makes a lot of sense.  Around here, we don't have co-ops and have more traditional drop off programs for homeschoolers.  They aren't cheap!  I assume if you had 4 kids all taking 2 classes, it would be close to 2K, which most people don't have just lying around.  

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My goal was never to homeschool for the sake of homeschooling. Although I've loved homeschooling, it's not about me -- I've done it to meet the needs of my kids. Sending my kids to high school will meet their needs better than I can do at home. I'm not fluent in a foreign language, can't teach advanced math or lab science, and just can't provide the club, band, theater, sports, social experiences. This has been a great experience for my daughter and me, but I wouldn't be doing what is right for her if I insisted on homeschooling her through high school. We're both excited about next school year.

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Farrar, I didn't think your post sounded judgmental.  Which part did you think was?

 

Oh, just my, "Nooo!" to the parents sending their kids to school for middle school. I know there are good reasons, but every time I hear it, my gut reaction is like, mistake! You're making a horrible mistake!

 

There's a co-op that just started near me that was set up recently in large part because the parents of the middle and young high schoolers felt like they were in crisis mode and that if they didn't get something like that going for their kids, they were going to have to give up and send the kids to school. They were very clear on all their things that the group was geared to kids age 10 and up. Younger kids welcome for a few classes, but that's their focus.

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With DS now in 7th grade, I'm definitely questioning why we continue to homeschool. He might want to go to the public high school (no decisions until next year), and I will admit that's putting a tremendous pressure on me. I definitely wonder if it would be best if he went to the middle school for a year to get his feet wet first, to figure it out before it "counts". He wants to go to a competitive university, so all 4 of his high school years will very much matter.

 

We've never had a homeschool community so I have no idea what "most" people do in this area. He is involved in various sports at the middle school and from my perspective it seems like a great place. Nothing about it sounds like my (awful) ms experience and he has quite a number of friends there, both of which makes me question further if it wouldn't be a terrific experience for him. He's at the age now where the accelerated classes that he needs are offered, unlike when he when we took him out of elementary. I'm spending a lot of sleepless nights over this right now.

Edited by MEmama
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We have that around here,too. People homeschool till about 8th grade and then quit. One reason here is there is a pretty good Christian school locally and most people put their kids there for high school to get "the high school experience". We quit homeschooling oldest DS this year and sent him to parochial school for 7th grade because he was becoming too difficult to educate. He has this idea in his mind that if he doesn't want to do something he doesn't think he should have to do it. And with a bunch of other kids to educate, I just didn't want to battle him. Plus, no matter how structured your homeschool is, it's not as structured as a classroom and he needs that much structure. This has definitely been the right move for both of us. I have had to come to the conclusion in my mind that I cannot be dogmatic about homeschooling. No matter how committed I am, the child does have to cooperate. You cannot force an education down his throat.

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My youngest son went back to middle school this year because they offered options I could not have provided.  He is taking Chinese with a native speaker, has Applied Technology with a male teacher and a huge room with tools that make my husband envious, Drama & Theater, not much fun when it's only you who is interested (his class is all boys and they will perform Romeo and Juliet at the end of the year.  I can't wait to see who will be Juliet.)  He also found a gaggle of friends and since this is a DODEA school, for the first time he is surrounded by kids who can relate to his life (moving every two years, deployments, academic differences because of moving etc).  We will probably do a hybrid for high school for as long as we are here because I still cannot teach Chinese or Japanese and he simply feels better when he has friends and a community to belong to.

My daughter was missing other kids and even though she is bright and works hard, academics are not the focus of her life.  We will probably leave her in school for another year and re-evaluate for high school.  One of the good things is that she has a lot of validation of her knowledge and skills.  When we were homeschooling she was never quite sure why she was supposed to learn something, or how well she did compared to other kids.  Now that she is in school and sees that particularly in math she is ahead plus she was openly acknowledged for her achievements in math she has developed a much better focus in academic pursuits.  It helps that her teacher is a woman with a degree in math who is slowly helping her to see that math is not something only boys do (one of the remnants of a disastrous 3rd grade year in PS and among the reasons we pulled her out of school).  I love math and do it for fun, but apparently I am just weird.

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Unfortunately, I have noticed that several previously very prolific posters here who are homeschool veterans have stopped posting (as much) recently. I miss some of their voices a lot. They are probably busy doing stuff that prevents them from posting here, but it is a shame to see this. I have learned a lot from some of these people. 

 

Me too! I miss the veterans! And I think it's a cycle. I find myself posting less, partly because I am in a busier stage myself and partly because a lot of the meatier conversations are missing along with the veterans. :(

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I think everything Farrar said is true.

 

I also think that to some extent, p-3 is a group that for many more naturally belongs at home - In classical education language, I consider that to be roughly "pre-grammar" age where kids are still quite attached to home, their needs are still related to early childhood approaches rather than desk-work, and they may vary significantly between children of the same age.  Many people keep children that age at home because institutional schooling does not seem at all appropriate for such a young child.  Most children, by grade 4, are really ready for some kind of significant institutional experience, which is why even homeschooling parents often seek that out in other settings.

 

Another factor that may play in is money - that much time out of the work force can start to add up, younger kids may by then be school-age which takes daycare out of the picture, and sometimes life events like divorce or job loss come into play.

 

 

I am at this point planning to send my eldest dd to middle school (which here is grades 7 - 9) despite agreeing that those are the worst years.  The reason is the school is offering something I can't - language immersion.  She is a good student with a solid academic grounding and also very personally grounded, so I am hopeful she can manage the social aspects and that we can keep her up to scratch academically with some judicious summer work.  But I can't give her real second language fluency at home.

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Both my boys have a big ramp up in social needs by 8 (4th grade). Oldest was content as long as I bring them to crowded places like the library or bookstore or starbucks daily because he need to see and be surrounded by people. Youngest was depressed at being isolated at that age so we had to sign him up for plenty of outside classes. It would honestly be cheaper to put him back in school and we would have done that if we couldn't afford to spend.

 

My oldest enjoyed his time at B&M public school for K and 1st so other than academics, public school was not bad or sometime to avoid in our case.

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Yes, we noticed a lot of people putting their kids in school in the middle school years. I don't blame them! It does get tough socially at that age and the thought of high school seems pretty foreboding. I definitely started feeling the pressure when my oldest hit middle school age and I seriously thought about public school. In the end, I didn't think it would be a good fit, so we started participating in coops for social reasons and then some online classes for subjects I didn't feel I'd be able to teach well at home.

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From what I have observed, many parents seem to have difficulty teaching math to their child and it's about 4th grade that the realization hits that their kid is not learning what they should in the math department and so they give up and put them in school.

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It's definitely intimidating teaching the upper grades. 6th grade was a hard year for me because I was looking at the step up in academics I felt needed to happen then to prep for high school. 8th grade was similarly hard, seeing another step-up coming, and also learning about transcripts and so on--I think there's a learning curve to teaching the upper grades with regard to academics, record-keeping, and teaching style (you have to be able to change your parenting and teaching styles as the student ages). I often found it nerve-wracking but also exciting and invigorating. I probably came closer to wondering if I should just give up in those grades than I ever did in the younger years (when I felt we had "time" to get harder things and it seemed easier to count a variety of activities from play dates to field trips to baking days for school). Sometimes the days were incredibly hard and I did wonder what on earth I was doing, continuing to homeschool. 

 

Losing community and less extended family support (you're NOT going to homeschool high school ARE YOU?!) plus fears of the future also can make moms second-guess their decision. And, as others have pointed out--you really need the older student fully on board. My kids wanted to keep homeschooling and ultimately it was what I wanted too, so we found ways to make it work, and I wouldn't trade these years for anything--what a joy to have these times with my kids! (My son even wrote a paper for his English class and said he wouldn't trade his homeschool years for anything--what a gift to hear his heart on this!) 

 

All that to say--if you're willing to learn (it's certainly not impossible and many others have gone before you) and your daughter wants to keep going, go for it! The high school and college boards here are a great place to get info and support.

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Since we have NO homeschool community here I can't say I notice it IRL but I do notice that there are certainly a lot more 'homeschool' blogs written with families with little kids rather than middle school or highschool.

 

Due to our own personal circumstances (moving around a lot) and the fact our son has already been in and out of school twice we have made the decision to stick with homeschooling bar major unforseen change. It is going to be a challenge but I think once you make a decision that 'yes, I am going to stick with this' things get a bit easier. Of course we only have one child and are fortunate enough that there is not the financial pressure for me to go back to work.

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In my area lots people just seem to home educate the primary years and put their kids back for secondary. It always surprises me because our local state secondary schools are not very good. But numbers noticeably drop off at 7 too, not sure why maybe because people find their groove and don't mix as much. I've met a few people each year just home educating to help their kid pass private school entrance exams too which can lead to quite few short term home educators.

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In my area lots people just seem to home educate the primary years and put their kids back for secondary. It always surprises me because our local state secondary schools are not very good. But numbers noticeably drop off at 7 too, not sure why maybe because people find their groove and don't mix as much. I've met a few people each year just home educating to help their kid pass private school entrance exams too which can lead to quite few short term home educators.

 

The exam-based university entrance system in the UK also pushes people towards school, I think.  A lot of people are scared of doing GCSEs and A levels at home, and it's true that it can be pretty tricky, especially for sciences.  I don't know how I would have put Calvin through a full set of GCSEs a the same time as giving Hobbes enough attention; one or two at once was time consuming enough.

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It seems to me that around 4-6th grade, homeschoolers drop like flies around here.  I'm guessing there will be another huge drop off around high school as well.  

 

 

Yep.  My oldest two are 14 and 13 and we only know one kid the same age who still homeschools.  The other homeschoolers are all 10 on down.  When we do a homeschool class, it's my teenagers and a bunch of 8 year-olds.   :tongue_smilie:

 

It's hard to find encouragement to continue.  If you look at homeschooling blogs, it's the same.  Most of the blogs seem to be geared towards parents with grade school-aged kids.  

 

Unless something happens to me, we'll be homeschooling till the end.  

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I get it. I really do. By around 5th grade a mom is TIRED.  I dealt with some pretty messy burn out last summer before beginning year 7 of homeschooling.  If there had been a decent school option for the girls I would have jumped on it!  

 

The girls would *love* to go to a brick and mortar school for middle school to experience something new and different.  I sympathize (truly, I do) but I've put my foot down.  Socially speaking, at least in our town, middle school is the arm pit of the K-12 educational system.  Just.... no.  On campus we have drugs, rapes, gang activity, consensual sex (on campus, wth?) along with the usual issues of vulgarity, rudeness, and bullying.  There's no way I'm exposing my kids to that.

 

High school is less of a pit AND we have the option of a private Christian school, so it's when I plan to retire.  I kind of can't wait to not be homeschooling anymore, but when we transition it will be from a position of strength.

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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By the way, I've noticed the "dropping like flies" phenomenon in our area. I've noticed families with middle- and high-schoolers participating less in park days, field trips, etc.  It's really frustrating!!  My kids used to LOVE going to park day but now that it's basically a half dozen 8 year old boys... ugh.  My older DD has one friend (yea!) that goes, but my younger DD (11 yo) has completely given up.  It stinks.  I know there are middle school homeschoolers in our area, but they're so busy that we never see them anymore :(

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I think there are five main reasons for the middle school homeschool exodus. It seems pretty obvious to me why people do it.

 

1. Parental burnout

Lots of the families seem to have done it all the way through. That's about five years of homeschooling. It's a lot for many parents. The pressure to be creative and new and learn new things gets tough.

 

2. Subjects get harder

This is the age that people begin to be intimidated by math. A lot of people are intimidated by writing at the middle and high school levels as well. And when people look ahead to high school, they often want the kids to have middle school to adjust to school style work.

 

3. Kids ask for it

It's easy to say to a 7 yo, sweetie, homeschooling is better. It's hard to say to an opinionated 12 yo, sweetie, we're just doing what's best. Older kids have opinions and desires and they speak up. A lot of parents feel they need to respect that, especially if some of these other reasons are tugging at them to make a change anyway.

 

4. Middle Schoolers are hard

It's a hard age for a lot of kids and they make it hard on the parents. A lot of people are ready for some separation from their newly moody child. How many threads have you seen here where people are asking for help with their tweens who suddenly are having problems getting work done or with attitude or with friendship drama? Middle school is just a tough time for a lot of kids.

 

5. Everyone else is doing it

When everyone else is sending their kids, you begin to lose your community. It's just harder. It makes all of the above things even harder. If you don't have a community for a child, they're more likely to want to go to school to get some community. If you don't have community, it's harder to find people to help with difficult school subjects and to give you support for dealing with a rocky period of early adolescence or support you through burnout. And it becomes a sort of peer pressure as well.

 

All that said, we're not planning on bailing any time soon. :D I know this sounds horribly judgmental and I really do know and believe that you have to make the decision that's right for you... but I can't help but have a "NOOOO!" reaction when I hear that people send their kids to middle school. I taught middle school. Don't do it! If you can only homeschool for a short time, make it middle school instead of elementary.

 

Exactly. One always-homeschooled kid in college, and one always-homeschooled 11th grader. It's been hard to keep at it, but no regrets now that I'm nearly done. If I had to, I could even graduate my 11th grader in May and send her to the community college, but we'll finish it up.

 

I live in an expensive metropolitan area, and the number of moms who need to go back to work for pay is a driver too. Some juggle work and homeschooling, but some just need to put theirs in the classroom in order for that to fly.

 

Locally there were a lot that sent theirs to the classroom for 6th because that's the start of middle school here. It's a natural break logistically, and indeed the road of hormones, pre-algebra, and foreign languages can make it harder to stay through middle school.

 

Then there's another wave for 9th because the schools here aren't kind to homeschoolers in terms of letting you bring in credits. They're also not friendly about part-time enrollment and sports, so that's a driver.

 

It happens!

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The exam-based university entrance system in the UK also pushes people towards school, I think.  A lot of people are scared of doing GCSEs and A levels at home, and it's true that it can be pretty tricky, especially for sciences.  I don't know how I would have put Calvin through a full set of GCSEs a the same time as giving Hobbes enough attention; one or two at once was time consuming enough.

Yeah I guess so, I don't quite get how people who've been so careful and involved in their kids education can feel comfortable with the particular school option we have here but maybe the fear  and cost of handling exams pushes them into that route, I get it for some really inspiring and supportive learning environment that gives you lots of options, that's just not the case in my town. 

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All that said, we're not planning on bailing any time soon. :D I know this sounds horribly judgmental and I really do know and believe that you have to make the decision that's right for you... but I can't help but have a "NOOOO!" reaction when I hear that people send their kids to middle school. I taught middle school. Don't do it! If you can only homeschool for a short time, make it middle school instead of elementary.

 

Uh yeah.  My 5th grader said he wanted to go to school.  I have no plans to send him, but absolutely I am not going to start him off in middle school.

 

Unfortunately, in his drama class lately they are doing skits on what middle school and high school will be like.  And of course all the kids think it'll be the best time ever.

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Now that all my kids are school-age and the oldest is in high school, I can totally see the lure of putting kids back in school. dd14 does volleyball, drama, art and literature/composition with local groups. DS12 is also starting some activities (drama and robotics club). I pay for all that. I drive to all the practices. I have to drag dd through her lit homework some weeks. It's exhausting, it's expensive, and I can see all the places where I've failed to give them the great liberal arts education I had envisioned when I read TWTM 7 years ago. If the schools here were better, I'd have dd at a local high school. All those activities in one place (almost) for free would be lovely.

 

We have great homeschool community (and terrible public schools) so I will keep plugging along with my older two. DS12 would be starting middle school in the fall and there is no way he is going to one of the local middle schools. They are all horrible options. I have some friends who are considering homeschooling just for middle school to avoid that environment.

 

There is a K-8 classical charter school that opened up this year. It's 2 miles from my house and it looks awesome. DS10 is on their waiting list for 4th grade, and I'll apply for dd6 to go there next year. I'm just tired and burned out and I don't think I can educate 4 children well. I know people manage to homeschool twice as many kids all the way through, but man, it's hard.

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Since we have NO homeschool community here I can't say I notice it IRL but I do notice that there are certainly a lot more 'homeschool' blogs written with families with little kids rather than middle school or highschool.

 

As a former blogger, I'd just like to say that it's much more fun writing a blog about all the cool projects you can do and places you can go with little kids. No one...not even me...wants to read about the 3 weeks my oldest spent reading up on the fourth dimension for his research paper. Or the 3 weeks of outlining and editing. The stuff the older kids are doing just isn't as picture-pretty as pk-3. 

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Now that all my kids are school-age and the oldest is in high school, I can totally see the lure of putting kids back in school. dd14 does volleyball, drama, art and literature/composition with local groups. DS12 is also starting some activities (drama and robotics club). I pay for all that. I drive to all the practices. I have to drag dd through her lit homework some weeks. It's exhausting, it's expensive, and I can see all the places where I've failed to give them the great liberal arts education I had envisioned when I read TWTM 7 years ago. If the schools here were better, I'd have dd at a local high school. All those activities in one place (almost) for free would be lovely.

 

 

This ^^^ is the # 1 reason I would send my kids to school.  It is getting absolutely exhausting to find ways to integrate my kids into the community.  Between driving to ballet, friends' houses, Lego classes, even a trip to the library, I feel like we're just all over the place.  Next year we'll add orchestra and choir.  I often wonder what it would be like to send a child to school and have PE and music taken care of for free, with no effort on my part.  

 

I honestly have no idea what we'll do in the long-run.  We just moved into a school district that is actually quite good, yet I still have no desire to put my kids in middle school.  

Edited by AnniePoo
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It seems to me that around 4-6th grade, homeschoolers drop like flies around here.  I'm guessing there will be another huge drop off around high school as well.  

 

Why do you think this is?

 

I've not been been shielded from the challenges and frustrations of homeschooling and have considered sending some/all of mine to school, but I wan tot know why others do it.  

 

I don't know about middle school so much, but yes, you'll absolutely see a huge drop off at high school age.

 

In many states the public high schools will not grant credit for classes not taken at an established public or private school.  They will refuse to recognize homeschool grades/credit.  Many parents are making a four year commitment at the beginning of 9th grade and it is an overwhelming thought for many.

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I wonder whether having access to dual enrollment opportunities (or similar) in high school plays a role in whether keep homeschooling? We have a few good options in our area for taking university undergrad courses as a high school student, and it tends to keep more people homeschooling into high school. 

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Yeah I guess so, I don't quite get how people who've been so careful and involved in their kids education can feel comfortable with the particular school option we have here but maybe the fear and cost of handling exams pushes them into that route, I get it for some really inspiring and supportive learning environment that gives you lots of options, that's just not the case in my town.

 

Because, I think, at age 12 home educating starts to feel so much more "serious". Before then you can keep it light and fun and child-centred, with projects and park days and museum visits, and all of that feels worthy and educational. At 12-13 there is a - real or imagined - increase in external pressure: if your child was in school they'd be taking GCSE exams in 3 or 4 years. That's quite scary!

 

// I also think there is a definite change in the child at this age, and their needs change, too. Mine definitely needed to be in a more adult environment, they needed real practical tasks with real-world purpose. They also became far more picky about friends and friendship groups, and that equated to more travelling and greater expense. I understand why, under these conditions, a lot of parents struggle and lose confidence, especially if they have younger children that have different needs.

 

 

//We didn't put ours in school. We kept on home educating, travelling large distances to cater for their pre-teen needs. They also joined volunteer groups, which gave them the adult interaction and responsibility they needed and prevented a lot of frustration and parent-child conflict.

 

 

//My kids have always had the option to go to school if they want. It's not always been a smooth ride, but I consider myself to be very lucky. Not everyone has the confidence, money, time, energy or support to get through those final years :)

Edited by stutterfish
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I saw 95% of my friends stop homeschooling after 8th grade.  There were various reasons depending on each family, but here's what I saw:

 

*Lack of confidence in tackling upper level math & science

*If you start homeschooling in 9th grade, you pretty much need to continue through graduation (in my state) - that is daunting to some

*NCAA hoops to jump through if the student will play Division I or II sports in college - more difficult as a homeschooler

*Burnout by the parent/teacher

*Social desires/pressure of the child

 

That's what I saw in my circle.  One thing that really hurt me was once those moms (and dads) sent their child to public/private high school, all of a sudden that became 'such a great experience' and 'the best decision we could have made' and I got the feeling that they thought homeschooling was now something less than....  It could have been a defense mechanism on their part, but regardless it was incredible insulting.  

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Sending our kids to school was the right decision for them and us, of the options we have available to us here and now. I still get together with my homeschooling buddies when I can. While I hope they know ps is a possible option, and not to be afraid of change, what they're doing is awesome. I love to hear how their year is going, and I really hope my kids consider homeschooling a valid option for their own kids. I loved what we had, imperfect though it was, but love what we've got going on now, imperfect though it is, too.

Edited by KathyBC
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To answer the OP, one of the things we considered was how to make growing up a bit more gradual, rather than the leap of 24/7 with family to leaving home. Another was lack of realistic understanding, on their part, of what is expected of all students. With the prevalence of co-ops and dual enrollment in bigger centres, I think that we could have crossed those two bridges without p.s.

 

Being in a small, rural location, finding social, sports, and skills opportunities for everyone on our own was just not doable.

 

ETA: And I should add that we bumped up putting our two youngest in school by a year so that I could return to work earlier than planned.

Edited by KathyBC
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That's what I saw in my circle. One thing that really hurt me was once those moms (and dads) sent their child to public/private high school, all of a sudden that became 'such a great experience' and 'the best decision we could have made' and I got the feeling that they thought homeschooling was now something less than.... It could have been a defense mechanism on their part, but regardless it was incredible insulting.

I've said the same thing regarding our decision to put DS in parochial school. But it's not a slam on homeschooling really. For us, it was the best decision. He is flourishing in b&m school,as opposed to homeschool. And our relationship is better, since I am not battling him all. day. long! But I also think there is some "drinking the Kool-Aid" that some of us homeschoolers have done (not everyone, but I do include myself in this group). I used to be a 100% committed homeschooler, this is what we are doing because I believe this is the best (and only thing) for my kids. But, when you discover it's not.... that's not a insult to homeschooling. That's swallowing your pride and finding options that are best for your kid and yourself.
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I've said the same thing regarding our decision to put DS in parochial school. But it's not a slam on homeschooling really. For us, it was the best decision. He is flourishing in b&m school,as opposed to homeschool. And our relationship is better, since I am not battling him all. day. long! But I also think there is some "drinking the Kool-Aid" that some of us homeschoolers have done (not everyone, but I do include myself in this group). I used to be a 100% committed homeschooler, this is what we are doing because I believe this is the best (and only thing) for my kids. But, when you discover it's not.... that's not a insult to homeschooling. That's swallowing your pride and finding options that are best for your kid and yourself.

 

Oh, I absolutely understand your response &  I know that there are plenty of people out there who say it and mean it and it is the absolute truth.  AND I am genuinely happy that people find the right fit for their kids - truly!!  

 

In my circle though, I feel like there are some that try hard to convince me that it would be a wonderful thing for our kids.  There are no reasons for them to think that I am not doing a great job - ugh, that sounds to conceited - I don't mean it that way at all.  With one in college and one soon-to-be, I feel like I've given my all and I have no regrets.  

 

Anyway - I didn't want anyone to think that public/private schools are never the right choice - just that we can all do what works for us without trying to defend ourselves or convince anyone.  

Edited by clementine
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I wonder whether having access to dual enrollment opportunities (or similar) in high school plays a role in whether keep homeschooling? We have a few good options in our area for taking university undergrad courses as a high school student, and it tends to keep more people homeschooling into high school.

Yes, I think the availability of DE, excellent online courses, good local tutorials and community through sports, church, scouts etc. make homeschooling the upper grades well possible for people in my area.

 

I think location can play a big role too. Living in/near a decent sized city and state capital with a university and several other colleges, good fine and performing arts, an interesting mix of people, good internet, average COL, excellent libraries etc. makes a world of difference in what I can provide for my homeschooled kids.

 

I cannot even imagine homeschooling high school without these boards. I have learned SO much here and my oldest is only 10!

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