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Homeschooling stigma & judgement


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We had some dubious friends and family when we started, and my husband was fine with it but not enthusiastic. We only committed to doing it one year, and by the end everybody was OK, and some were impressed. As far as milestones, I've found that a lot of markers aren't school-based. Movng up to the 'big kid floor' or 'youth' at church, playing on the biggest field at the ball park, getting a bigger violin, earning scout awards - these are our milestones. But, we start co-op around the same time that most friends start school. We post 'first day of co-op' pics when they post 'first day of school' ones. Last year, we went to a scholastic books warehouse sale on our 'last day of school', and the kids have already asked if we can continue that 'tradition'.

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1.  First, it can be terribly painful and unnerving when those you look to for support undercut you.  BTDT.  :grouphug:

 

2.  To homeschool you are going to have to find a way to develop a thick skin.  I strongly advise while you are first starting out that you NOT discuss homeschooling with anyone, except maybe people on this site or other homeschoolers you find locally while you seek out your footing/path and gain some confidence.

 

3.  Since your DH does not seem adamantly opposed, just concerned, I think it is still very possible to successfully homeschool.  (I would be faaaaar less positive if he were actively trying to undermine your attempt).  It is perfectly valid for him to have concerns and express them to you.  Please take his concerns as simply a parent who cares and has misgivings about a path he doesn't have much experience with.  Perfectly normal.    You are the primary care giver, however, and should have significant say in this matter.  You have been the one to put in the vast majority of the time raising your kids and know yourself and your interaction with your kids much better than your weeks long absent husband (my husband travels too).  Explain that you feel strongly about trying homeschooling and would like to commit to this for the next year.  Then do so.

 

4. Don't turn to your DH or your unsupportive father/parents whenever you have doubts (and there will be those days).  Not right now.  Later, if you feel it will be productive, just not right now.  It won't help any of you.  Work through your doubts here or with other homeschoolers who actually have experience and can genuinely offer assistance based on knowledge.  That isn't easy to do, I realize.

 

5.  Don't toss only the good in their faces over and over and over either.  It may make them defensive and doubt that you are being truly honest with them.  They may push back.  It also sets up an "I told you so" negative dynamic that can undermine the relationship later, even if they start to see positives in your homeschooling journey.  It also opens up room for criticism from them when you are not ready to deal with that criticism.  Wait this out.  Get your land legs first, so to speak.  If they ask questions, be pleasant and maybe share some highlights but don't open yourself up to a debate on the merits of homeschooling, at least not right now.

 

6.  Prepare for well-meaning family members to start quizzing your kids to confirm whether they are truly learning or not.  You may have to put your foot down and refuse to allow them the opportunity to do so if it becomes an issue.

 

7.  Prepare for tough days.  Homeschooling is a lot of work.  It can also be wonderful but it can be hard.  Just because you are having a hard day doesn't mean you made a mistake.  Everyone has hard days.  Take a deep breath and move on.  Come here to vent if you need an outlet.

 

8.  Be open to suggestions from your DH, even if it doesn't immediately fit with what you are planning.  Don't cut him out completely.  You want him to get on board so help him feel a part of things (without letting his doubts take over).  For example, my DH had serious concerns regarding what we were covering for Science.  I felt defensive, like he was criticizing my efforts, but what he really wanted was reassurance and a chance to be part of things even if only in a very limited fashion.  I asked him to brainstorm with me on some experiments he could do with the kids.  He is a lousy teacher but I was able to scaffold the kids with needed terms/concepts ahead of time and DH had fun running some experiments with the kids over a couple of weekends as we had time.  DH felt better, the kids enjoyed it, and it improved the overall homeschooling discourse between us.  With DH feeling like his concerns and suggestions were respected and considered, he was more likely to listen to me and believe what I was sharing with him.

 

9. Recognize your weak areas and find ways to scaffold those.  For example, do you have poor organizational skills?  Before you begin homeschooling and end up completely overwhelmed, start a thread on ways to stay organized for the organizationally challenged homeschooler.  Then take those suggestions and come up with a workable way to implement the ones you think will work for you.  If you need accountability, we can help with that, too.  :)

 

10.  This is your job, now.  People with jobs have time off and time for preparation for things.  Do not let others make you feel like you should be doing it all 24/7, with no break or time to think and prepare, simply because your job is home based.  You are going to need time for prepping lessons and time to yourself.  You are going to have to be the one that stays strong on this.  Set aside that time.  If it means that your house is less than spotless, so be it.  If it means that sometimes your DH (when he is in town), who is also tired, has to step up to the plate and keep them occupied, so be it.  You have a job, too.  You need time off and time for prep, too.  Help train the kids early to have some down time themselves while you take your break/work on prep.

 

11.  Let me reiterate the above because I think a lot of us don't do this and take on too much right at first:  Carve out break time for you.  Seriously.  Especially with littles, when you are covering parenting AND academics, virtually alone, it can all blur together and take a real toll.  You can lose yourself.  Set aside time every.single.day. where littles have quiet time while you take a break.  

 

12.  Don't let your own health suffer while you try to juggle everything.  Commit to getting some exercise every day, even if only for a few minutes every few hours.  Make healthy eating and sleeping a priority.  Remember, you are modeling good life habits for your kids as well as making sure you are healthy enough to get the job done well.  They need you.  Don't lose yourself, damage your own health, making them your priority.  Get a routine going where you aren't having to constantly remember when to do what.  Build upon that routine slowly and steadily until you have a rhythm that works.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

I'm sorry that this was such a tough series of conversations.  Hugs and best wishes.

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In the past few years when I have spoken to friends who want to homeschool, it's *always* the dad who isn't on board and worried about things.  Heck my own DH was skeptical, but he's done a complete 180 on that now that he's seen the results.  I agree with the others - you need to get him on board.  One way I convinced my D was to say "Let's give it a trial period of 1 year; nothing is set in stone and we can always return to school if homeschooling goes south."  That worked for us, and D has been on board ever since.  Dh has since admitted that it was because he knew no homeschooling families and didn't know how it worked.  The fear of the unknown can be powerful.  Can you and DH sit in on some co-op classes/homeschool events in order to re-assure your DH that this is a valid and excellent school choice?  Maybe have him pop on here and ask questions of the experienced homeschooling parents?

I agree.  And that's a huge part of why I feel so disheartened.  We've had conversations leading up to this where he was agreeing with me; and just today he started saying all these things, which lead me to call my parents and ask for THEIR advice.  A total chain reaction that caused me to feel defeated and saddened.  So, maybe I should change the topic to: how to follow this path when you have a spouse who isn't completely on board. :)

 

Edited by reefgazer
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I apologize upfront for not reading the entire thread. (Exhausted from a long trip for a college scholarship weekend for my 12th grader.) I read your posts, though, and wanted to encourage you.

 

I started homeschooling back at a time when even I had never even heard of it. Seriously, not joking. We had withdrawn our ds's name from a private Kin July bc he has an Aug b'day and just didn't seem ready for K. His spot was immediately released to a child on the waiting list. In Sept, he wanted to learn how to read. I actually have degrees in child psy and elementary ed, so I contacted our state's superintendent's office to see if I could teach him at home for K and then have it recognized so he could enter 1st grade the following yr. They are the ones who introduced me to homeschooling. (Pretty ironic!!). That was in 1994 and I have never looked back.

 

But, in 1994, my dh was incredibly dubious of the whole thing. He agreed to that yr bc we had already decided to hold him back anyway, but he absolutely was not sure what he thought of the whole thing. There were only 5 homeschooling families in our entire county. His parents were incredibly vocal against it. Me....I was furious that somehow I was qualified to teach other people's kids, but they didn't think I could teach my own!

 

To answer some of your questions while describing what happened with us.....I am pro-imaginative play and unstructured, self-entertainment for little kids. So, no, my kids have never been "homeschooled" before K. They are simply little kids playing, exploring, and having mommy time. As soon as I started K at home, I immediately realized just how much freedom I had for teaching my kids at home compared to the rigid structure and dictates of a classroom. I loved it!! We could study what we wanted, how we wanted, for as long as we wanted. We could explore subjects they loved and I could design assignments around those interests.

 

As our ds flourished, my dh started to realize this was not such a weird choice. It took yrs, but my inlaws realized that I was sticking with this for the long haul. Eventually they became homeschooling advocates bc they saw just how much our kids blossomed in our homeschool. Now even my former ps teacher sister-in-law calls me for advice for guiding her math-loving ds bc she has witnessed the accomplishments of our kids.

 

I still have 2 brothers who are anti-homeschooling, 1 being venomous. Back when we first started, it was about how I was ruining their lives. When we had more kids than he "approved of," he described our lifestyle as criminal. When our oldest graduated from our high school and was in college, he told us we were forbidden to comment on anything about parenting at any family gathering! Our oldest graduated with honors with chemE degree, is married, has 3 beautiful children, nad my brother is still convinced I am destroying my kids lives. I have a current college student majoring in physics and math on full-scholarship with a 4.0 GPA, and I don't know anything about raising kids or being a good parent. His argument is now starting to shift toward the common good--that all kids should only be able to receive the exact equal educational opportunities. (While ignoring that he lives in a school district of million dollar homes. :p)

 

My point is simply this--some people will start of negative and change their minds and some will disapprove no matter what bc they are anti-parents making different choices than what the approve of.

 

If your dh is willing to take it a yr at a time without a long-term commitment, it will give you the opportunity to explore what you want to try. Give yourself the permission to flail until you find your sea legs. It might take you a while to figure things out. That is ok. It takes time. 1st grade is a great time to start bc it is very low pressure. Work on building those solid essential reading, math, and basic handwriting skills and then have fun!!

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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As you make this decision, bear in mind that your child isn't necessarily always going to do "better" than a child in public school. There are no guarantees. Homeschool because you believe it is the right thing to do. Have confidence in yourself. But don't count on being able to prove anything to anyone.

 

Every child is unique. I have four children and they are all over the place with regard to math and reading levels, despite having the same "teacher." If I threw out my delayed reader as proof of my skills as a reading teacher, I wouldn't look so great. If I put that same child out as proof of my skills in math instruction, I'd look like a superstar. 

 

If you put yourself in a situation where you have to demonstrate that you are doing more, better, greater things than the alternative then you'll feel pressured and so will your kids. Set goals and stick to them, but be realistic.   :grouphug:

 

 

 

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I'm very sorry people aren't being more supportive.

 

Honestly, I think how much and what kind of feedfback you get depends a lot on where you live, prevalence of homeschooling there, people's past experience with homeschooling, and political/civic views on the role and purpose of school. You can't change that.

 

But I also believe it depends upon your personal reasons for homeschooling. The more you explore the question "why homeschool" the more confidence you will have in the face of opposition. What's more, the better prepared you are to answer questions (and fend off attacks).

 

Even more important though, is the fact that having a clear understanding of why you are homeschooling will buoy you up in the winter doldrums, or when your children aren't being particularly cooperative, or when you are tempted to ditch your curriculum and try something else everyone is raving about.

 

I do hope your family and friends come round. And while you're waiting for them work on getting that clear vision of WHY.

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To all of you: thank you.  I know I continue to say that, but having this group of you is so helpful.  The support, the advice, the knowledge you all have - it's priceless.

 

As I think about all the advice for my husband, I'm just still not sure what would work.  I don't know if he'd take to reading books or asking questions on a forum, because as bad as this sounds - he's not that "interested."  I think he has an interest "against" homeschooling because he is under the perception that our son will wind up socially awkward & "weird" (his words and a total misconception, clearly).  He sees my vision and really believes in it (I am of the thought that a classroom of the world - the ocean, the mountains, the woods - is a much better environment than a row of desks & busy work - at least for us).  He trusts that I am able to take on the load and provide a proper education.  The only thing he tends to question is our son's social situation.  Today he commented "But we want him to be the cool kid in high school with a girlfriend going to prom!  The neighbor girl (our son's best friend) will be a cheerleader and dating the football star and <our son> will be left behind!"

 

Do you see what I mean?  He's so STUCK on the wrong ideals that he's not even really thinking about the right thing.  So I'm trying to figure out how to kind of get him past that - because if I can, I think the rest is golden.  He's just stubborn :)  And luckily (and sometimes not so luckily), so am I!

 

To OneStepAtATime - thank you for all that you wrote.  I think the reason this is quite a struggle is that I understand the weight of what I'm choosing to do.  It's a lot to think about and I know I need to stay strong and get on my feet before I let little things bother me.  You all make it look so easy but I know it's one of the hardest challenges with some of the best rewards.

 

I also really appreciate all the personal stories of when you got started and how the first few years went.  Being a "newbie" is difficult in most areas and this is certainly not the exception!  I'm learning so much more than I ever thought I would with my first post here!

Edited by sandydawn
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To all of you: thank you.  I know I continue to say that, but having this group of you is so helpful.  The support, the advice, the knowledge you all have - it's priceless.

 

As I think about all the advice for my husband, I'm just still not sure what would work.  I don't know if he'd take to reading books or asking questions on a forum, because as bad as this sounds - he's not that "interested."  I think he has an interest "against" homeschooling because he is under the perception that our son will wind up socially awkward & "weird" (his words and a total misconception, clearly).  He sees my vision and really believes in it (I am of the thought that a classroom of the world - the ocean, the mountains, the woods - is a much better environment than a row of desks & busy work - at least for us).  He trusts that I am able to take on the load and provide a proper education.  The only thing he tends to question is our son's social situation.  Today he commented "But we want him to be the cool kid in high school with a girlfriend going to prom!  The neighbor girl (our son's best friend) will be a cheerleader and dating the football star and <our son> will be left behind!"

 

Do you see what I mean?  He's so STUCK on the wrong ideals that he's not even really thinking about the right thing.  So I'm trying to figure out how to kind of get him past that - because if I can, I think the rest is golden.  He's just stubborn :)  And luckily (and sometimes not so luckily), so am I!

 

To OneStepAtATime - thank you for all that you wrote.  I think the reason this is quite a struggle is that I understand the weight of what I'm choosing to do.  It's a lot to think about and I know I need to stay strong and get on my feet before I let little things bother me.  You all make it look so easy but I know it's one of the hardest challenges with some of the best rewards.

 

I also really appreciate all the personal stories of when you got started and how the first few years went.  Being a "newbie" is difficult in most areas and this is certainly not the exception!  I'm learning so much more than I ever thought I would with my first post here!

Well, FWIW, homeschooling... 

A.  doesn't have to be a forever thing so maybe your children will end up going to a brick and mortar school for High School and can still go to Prom  

B. and Homeschoolers frequently have proms, too (DD has attended 3 so far)

C.  And I never was terribly enamored of Proms so I agree his focus seems to be on superficial not substantive things but I do understand when a parent has a certain vision for their child and maybe something sort of superficial, like a prom, represents part of that vision.  Maybe not logical but it is human.  

 

I would also like to say, though, that while homeschooling does not automatically mean your child will be unsocialized (as many, many can post to the contrary) it does mean you need to be more proactive in providing opportunities for your child to interact with peers.  For some children, they do great with once a week play dates or outside activities, especially if they have siblings.  For other kids they need  a LOT more time with other children.  A LOT more.  Still possible to provide that but you have to stay involved in making that actively happen.

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I always wonder how the people who assume school attendance will guarantee against social awkwardness explain the many socially awkward kids who attend school. Surely there were "un-cool" kids at your husband's high school?

Edited by maize
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OP,

 

You have gotten some great advice here. I'll add a couple of thoughts.

 

When I was considering homeschooling, I got a spiral notebook and kept notes and reflections as I read through every homeschooling book I could find. Most interesting to me were the "a day in our life" type collections and books which thoroughly explained a particular approach or philosophy of home education. As my thoughts and ideas developed and changed, I continued to journal and take notes. The ability to look back and reflect on on my mistakes and the ways our homeschool has changed as my kids have gotten older has been so helpful. Two older books I read that I found very encouraging are The Well-Adjusted Child by Rachel Gathercole and I Saw the Angel in the Marble by Chris and Ellyn Davis.

 

With regard to your Dh who won't likely read a book - select an article, a quotation, a chapter and ask him to read the short piece.  That has been helpful with my Dh and my mom. Meeting other homeschooling families, whose kids are obviously well educated and doing fine, has been helpful too.

 

As 8 and some others have said, some people are just anti-homeschooling and nothing will ever change their minds. Some of those people are also rude, disrespectful, and even mean. All of my in-laws fit this description. Pass the bean dip, keep your boundaries firm and find friends and support in other places. Do not waste your time and emotional energy trying to convince them or prove anything to them!

 

These boards are the best. You will find amazing depths of experience, knowledge and wisdom here. The dizzying volumes of info about curriculum here can be overwhelming. Keep it simple for and with your 1st grader while you all get used to a new paradigm.

Enjoy the journey!!

  

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I would also like to say, though, that while homeschooling does not automatically mean your child will be unsocialized (as many, many can post to the contrary) it does mean you need to be more proactive in providing opportunities for your child to interact with peers.  For some children, they do great with once a week play dates or outside activities, especially if they have siblings.  For other kids they need  a LOT more time with other children.  A LOT more.  Still possible to provide that but you have to stay involved in making that actively happen.

 

I would disagree that it will be important to provide opportunities for the dc to interact with peers. :-)

 

If we teach our children to have good manners, they will be able to interact with anyone. Our children learn how to behave like adults because of they have more interaction with adults; they will be adults much longer than they will be children, and eventually, all their age peers will be...adults, too. Of course our children will enjoy being with other children, and when we can find opportunities for them to get together, we should...as long as the age peer interaction does not cause our children to be peer dependent. That's what happens in age-segregated classrooms: the equally immature age peers become more influential than the mature adults. Our children need adult role models, not peer role models.

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As I think about all the advice for my husband, I'm just still not sure what would work.  I don't know if he'd take to reading books or asking questions on a forum, because as bad as this sounds - he's not that "interested."  I think he has an interest "against" homeschooling because he is under the perception that our son will wind up socially awkward & "weird" (his words and a total misconception, clearly).  He sees my vision and really believes in it (I am of the thought that a classroom of the world - the ocean, the mountains, the woods - is a much better environment than a row of desks & busy work - at least for us).  He trusts that I am able to take on the load and provide a proper education.  The only thing he tends to question is our son's social situation.  Today he commented "But we want him to be the cool kid in high school with a girlfriend going to prom!  The neighbor girl (our son's best friend) will be a cheerleader and dating the football star and <our son> will be left behind!"

 

Do you see what I mean?  He's so STUCK on the wrong ideals that he's not even really thinking about the right thing.  So I'm trying to figure out how to kind of get him past that - because if I can, I think the rest is golden.  He's just stubborn :)  And luckily (and sometimes not so luckily), so am I!

 

 

I would ask him if he knew "kids who weren't cool" in school.  If sending a kid to school would make him a "cool kid" then all kids would be cool and their wouldn't be any socially awkward kids.  I heard that argument from family members, the same ones who berrated me as a kid for being so unpopular.  One thing that homeschooling can do is allow a kid to learn confidence in being themselves without peer pressure to conform to some (usually superficial) ideal.  I have two kids that would have been considered socially awkward in school.  But, by being homeschooled, we were able to set them up for success socially rather than leave things to the often brutal social culture of school, especially a school in a somewhat wealthy area where we are.  We were able to find peers for our kids based upon interests, not just being born in the same year and living in the same geographical area.  I am not saying that there weren't any social problems from being homeschooled, but I think they were much happier and healthier as children.  My daughter has been homeschooled her entire life until she decided to go to the public high school part-time.  She had very few problems adjusting.  She has mentioned that her part-time status has been more of a hindrance socially than having been homeschooled ... only in the fact that she doesn't share other classes with many of her peers.  I do like the fact that she doesn't feel the need to "fit in" or try to be popular because that would likely set her down the road of making unwise choices.  She is comfortable enough in her own skin and has found friends who are really genuine people. 

 

One other comment ... your husband seems very stuck on one particular outcome, based upon his own experiences.  One of the biggest adjustments of being a parent (not just a homeschooler) is that we need to let go of our "dream child" and love, accept, and parent the child we have.  This kid may never be prom king with the gorgeous girlfriend.  But, he will likely be a wonderful human being with many beautiful qualities that have nothing to do with popularity.  THAT should be the goal. 

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I would disagree that it will be important to provide opportunities for the dc to interact with peers. :-)

 

If we teach our children to have good manners, they will be able to interact with anyone. Our children learn how to behave like adults because of they have more interaction with adults; they will be adults much longer than they will be children, and eventually, all their age peers will be...adults, too. Of course our children will enjoy being with other children, and when we can find opportunities for them to get together, we should...as long as the age peer interaction does not cause our children to be peer dependent. That's what happens in age-segregated classrooms: the equally immature age peers become more influential than the mature adults. Our children need adult role models, not peer role models.

I didn't make myself clear and I apologize.  I meant that kids can get very lonely, damagingly so.  My DD can go days or weeks without peers and do fine but my DS has suffered some serious emotional damage from not having consistent interaction with peers.  He was much happier in school.  

 

It isn't just about kids learning how to be polite and how to properly interact, it is about how they are wired inside.  If they are the type of person that NEEDS consistent, frequent interaction with others, including peers, then homeschooling can be hard on them unless the parent is willing to be proactive in getting them that interaction.  It can cause mental health issues, increase anxiety.  Is this true for all kids?  Heck no.  But newbie homeschoolers need to be cognizant of the fact that the "socialization" myth is not necessarily a complete myth for all kids.  Not that they won't learn how to properly interact but that they can get crushingly lonely.

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Perhaps it is because I live in a (small) city but I can't imagine how my kids could go for weeks without interaction with others unless I very consciously kept them from people.  We live around people - a whole street of them - of all ages - that we interact with even if most of it is superficial.  Though not all of it is and esp. when my kids were smaller, they were out running around with other kids all the time.  We go on errands to "town" (literally minutes away) daily and my kids know and interact with all sorts of people when we do.  We go to the Y and to other activities.  My kids are interacting with others online and by text etc. daily.  (Because my kids are older, the online/texting has replaced some of the neighborhood playdates and running around.)  Getting together with others seems to be just a parenting thing to me.  BTW - we never did homeschool specific co-ops and classes.  They interfered with our studies too much and we were too busy just being out in our community.  (I know that many live in different areas - rural and not - and have a wide mix of opportunities.  So I'm just relating my own experience.)

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I didn't make myself clear and I apologize. I meant that kids can get very lonely, damagingly so. My DD can go days or weeks without peers and do fine but my DS has suffered some serious emotional damage from not having consistent interaction with peers. He was much happier in school.

 

It isn't just about kids learning how to be polite and how to properly interact, it is about how they are wired inside. If they are the type of person that NEEDS consistent, frequent interaction with others, including peers, then homeschooling can be hard on them unless the parent is willing to be proactive in getting them that interaction. It can cause mental health issues, increase anxiety. Is this true for all kids? Heck no. But newbie homeschoolers need to be cognizant of the fact that the "socialization" myth is not necessarily a complete myth for all kids. Not that they won't learn how to properly interact but that they can get crushingly lonely.

I agree with this, with one addition:

 

Some kids can be socially isolated and crushingly lonely IN school. And being alone in a crowd can I think feel even more awful than being actually alone.

 

As parents, I think the best we can do is be aware of our kids and seek out the best opportunities we can for them; there is just no particular setting than can guarantee all children will thrive.

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I didn't make myself clear and I apologize.  I meant that kids can get very lonely, damagingly so.  My DD can go days or weeks without peers and do fine but my DS has suffered some serious emotional damage from not having consistent interaction with peers.  He was much happier in school.  

 

It isn't just about kids learning how to be polite and how to properly interact, it is about how they are wired inside.  If they are the type of person that NEEDS consistent, frequent interaction with others, including peers, then homeschooling can be hard on them unless the parent is willing to be proactive in getting them that interaction.  It can cause mental health issues, increase anxiety.  Is this true for all kids?  Heck no.  But newbie homeschoolers need to be cognizant of the fact that the "socialization" myth is not necessarily a complete myth for all kids.  Not that they won't learn how to properly interact but that they can get crushingly lonely.

 

Oh, I agree about socializing. I just don't agree that they have to do all their socializing with age peers. :-)

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My parents thought homeschooling was a phase, and I'd get bored with it after a year or two. My in-laws were flat out opposed to it. My mother-in-law is an educator and very pro-Waldorf, so she was opposed to homeschooling and to my pursuit of academics "before the change of teeth."

 

Now to hear them all tell it, you'd think homeschooling was their idea in the first place. ;) They're all the staunchest homeschooling advocates I know. It's pretty awesome. 

 

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Oh, I agree about socializing. I just don't agree that they have to do all their socializing with age peers. :-)

:iagree: 

 

My definition of peers has definitely broadened since homeschooling and so have my kids'.  I guess I should have clarified that as well. Now they are far more likely to gravitate to a wide range of ages of kids.  Peers now encompasses children from infancy to just graduated High School  :laugh: .

 

In fact, at a birthday party we had for DS a couple of years after starting to homeschool there were kids there that were way younger, around his age, and quite a few that were in High School that had met him through homeschooling groups.  They all interacted without the stigma of "Oh, he's in a different grade/age than me.  I don't want to hang out with him."

 

I just wasn't prepared for how lonely DS would get not seeing people for extended periods of time daily.

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You did say your dh doesn't want to read about homeschooling, but sometimes seeing articles in the mainstream media can really help.  Yes, homeschooling is really a thing.  

 

On cool kids:

 

The Curse of the Cool Kid in the Atlantic

 

Downsides of being Cool in Time Magazine

 

Revenge of the Nerds

 

On homeschooling:

 

Homeschooling in the New York Times

 

Homeschooling in the Washington Post

 

Homeschooling in the Wall Street Journal  (link may not work. Google  "my education in homeschooling" to bypass firewall)

 

Rich kids homeschooling in the Wall Street Journal

 

Homeschooling in Time Magazine

 

Homeschooling liberals in Slate

 

edit:  fixed link in WSJ.

Edited by daijobu
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It's wonderful to hear that all of you had people in your life "turn around" their viewpoints in homeschooling.  My family and community are reserved and typically not very open to change; so I think that I've realized this journey will likely be judged easily and often, but I need to let go of that concern.  Do you ever find it affects your children at all?  For, I don't mind what others say to me, but it somewhat bothers me that my child will have to deal with it.  I suppose the thing is: kids are kids, and if it isn't about homeschooling it'll be "why is your hair so long?" "why do you wear glasses?" "your name is stupid!" --- or whatever. So it's more that I teach him the importance of not worrying what others say and being self assured in who he is as a person.  I'm hopeful, if my husband can jump on board, that we can begin to receive support from our family members and friends, but I suppose I can't base a decision on that.

 

I agree with all of your sentiments with socialization - and agree with what two of you said about high school.  There are cool and uncool kids no matter where you go, but that bothers me to even "write" because I don't think there should be "uncool" kids - it's just crazy.  A huge reason HS is just not great at times. My son is of the personality that would most likely be quiet, introverted and not super social.  So I'm of the thought that homeschool would suit him better and speak to him much more positively than a busy, social setting.  My younger son (who is only 2), I am not sure yet.  But I don't know that I want to do PS for one and HS for the other - I'd like to keep it in the same realm.  Although, clearly, it will be a year to year situation.  But my youngest would be what some of you are referring to as NEEDING that social time, where as my oldest actually craves ALONE time.  He's a lot like me, which means we'll both have to work extra hard to keep up with social appearances.

 

And really, isn't that what you all love about homeschooling so much?  The ability to tailor it to YOUR child's needs - and not a one-size-fits all type of deal?  That's what is really pushing me towards it, because I really feel we could create a pretty amazing dynamic for all of us - with each child choosing his way of learning and socializing to their needs, so we don't have a lonely child or an overstimulated child, etc etc.  

 

 

Edited by sandydawn
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I think the most important thing I learned about homeschooling is to not announce before I do anything.  I don't want to give anyone a chance to feel like they have a right to an opinion on our family life choices.

 

That said, I do share what I like.  I post pictures of what we do.  I share what a week or day looks like in our house.  But it's on my terms.  It gives a small peace of mind to those who feel that homeschooling is awful for kids - just like private and public schools, each one is individual.  I'm sure if I used public school in Detroit as a reason for why the set up is horrible for kids, those in Massachusetts would not see the comparison in their own school at all.

 

My children aren't affected, but that is because I protect them from people who do not love them in the early years.  And love is NOT cutting down their parents in front of them, or quizzing them mercilessly, or attempting to undermine parental choices.

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I agree that you should disregard whatever your friends/family have to say, but your husband HAS to be on board. 

 

My husband was not in favor of homeschooling. And he is not one that can be convinced of ANYTHING simply by arguing with him. And forget about giving him a book on the topic. MAYBE he'd read an article, but it is highly unlikely to convince him to change the opinion he's already formed. He can be very frustrating!! But gradually, over time, he came to the conclusion that homeschooling was best on his own. If your husband is anything like mine, probably better to not pester him about it, but just let the idea marinate for a while. His initial objections were because he was a high school football captain and he didn't want to deprive our kids of that experience. Also his niece and nephew were homeschooled and they were very quiet and withdrawn and he didn't want our kids to be like that. But over time, he would see things on the news about what's going on in public schools that outraged him. The niece and nephew matured and became wonderful people that you would want your children to be like. And my son's personality developed and proved that he is NEVER going to be a football star. Also, he's a pastor, and greeting families at the door he started to notice a distinct difference between how homeschooled kids greeted him and how public school kids greeted. He got to where he could tell before he even asked. Finally, my son's birthday is in December, and he seemed like he was ready to get started at 4 1/2. The public school would have made him wait another year. Or if they hadn't, he'd be the smallest kid being small for his age besides a year younger than everyone else in his grade. So all of that put together, and my husband was in favor by the time my son was ready for school.

 

As far as everyone else in your life goes - people are going to judge you for whatever choices you make. I've been in tears over other people's comments, ironically for making the exact opposite choice. I worked full time up until my daughter was born and I started homeschooling. And I got the "pay someone else to raise your kids" comments on a rather regular basis. The comments I get about homeschooling now are nothing compared to what I went through then. The big difference being that I am happy and confident with my homeschool choice, but I was not happy with putting my kid in preschool all day while I worked. People are going to say hurtful things no matter what you do, but it will be much easier to deal with if you know in your heart that you are doing what is best for your family.

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Perhaps it is because I live in a (small) city but I can't imagine how my kids could go for weeks without interaction with others unless I very consciously kept them from people.  We live around people - a whole street of them - of all ages - that we interact with even if most of it is superficial.  Though not all of it is and esp. when my kids were smaller, they were out running around with other kids all the time.  We go on errands to "town" (literally minutes away) daily and my kids know and interact with all sorts of people when we do.  We go to the Y and to other activities.  My kids are interacting with others online and by text etc. daily.  (Because my kids are older, the online/texting has replaced some of the neighborhood playdates and running around.)  Getting together with others seems to be just a parenting thing to me.  BTW - we never did homeschool specific co-ops and classes.  They interfered with our studies too much and we were too busy just being out in our community.  (I know that many live in different areas - rural and not - and have a wide mix of opportunities.  So I'm just relating my own experience.)

This was me as a child.  Same with my husband.  I guess that was one of the harder things to adjust to when we moved to this area.  When I was a kid there were kids to play with all over the neighborhood.  On weekends I would be playing outside for literally hours. I just had to be home, inside, hands washed, in time for dinner. I guess I always assumed that would be what my kids would have, too.  

 

Sadly, even when they were in school, that was not our reality.  I had to invite kids over for specifically scheduled play dates and frequently had to drive them to and from my home because parents were too busy.  None lived near us.  Once we started homeschooling it was even harder in many ways.  There are virtually no homeschoolers in our immediate area.  No kids to play with from ps either.  I have to work even harder to create opportunities for the kids to interact with friends.  

 

So it isn't that homeschooling in particular has made this challenging.  It just made it a bit more challenging than it already was.  Fine if you don't need a lot of deep, meaningful interaction with others multiple times a week.  Not so great if you are a social extrovert that gains energy from meaningful interaction with others and gets depressed and anxious when you don't have access to that interaction on a regular basis.

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Milknhoney - I think our husbands sound similar.  I know mine needs time; which is a huge reason I'm starting to talk about it now, so hopefully we can be in a better place by the summer so we can prepare for 1st grade curriculum before fall.  And, I am sorry you had to deal with mean comments on the "other side" as well - that's just awful.  It's so hard to be a parent and be so judged for the things we do - and I appreciate your post because gosh, how grateful should I be that I am given the chance to even consider this as an option?  I am SO grateful.  And I know it may not always be an option either.

 

We live in a neighborhood very similar to the one it sounds like OneStepAtATime lived in when she grew up - kids to the left, right, and everywhere.  My son was outside all day long last summer catching frogs, playing with his best friends in the neighborhood, riding bikes and making up fairytales.  He is surrounded by lots of neighborhood pals.  So that helps me feel better; although again, I think he could go weeks without much interaction and not mind a bit.

 

So here we enter another evening where my son was crying about school (that he'll miss me & the work is boring) - and every morning he wakes up he's a mess; sigh.  It is getting SO hard!  It makes me dread every morning!

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He trusts that I am able to take on the load and provide a proper education.  The only thing he tends to question is our son's social situation.  Today he commented "But we want him to be the cool kid in high school with a girlfriend going to prom!  The neighbor girl (our son's best friend) will be a cheerleader and dating the football star and <our son> will be left behind!"

 

Do you see what I mean?  He's so STUCK on the wrong ideals that he's not even really thinking about the right thing.  

 

Honestly, those don't seem like inappropriate concerns to me AT ALL. Like he might be saying it with something you don't think is very important (the prom), but what he's really seeing is how do you make sure he grows up to be a guys' guy, buff, knowing how to be a man, etc., if he's hanging with his MOM all day. This is something homeschoolers really debate with themselves and something that's really valid to ask!

 

I can't remember where I read it (in what book), but there's this idea that men are really interested in making sure their boys become MEN, that they kind of give them an extra hard time, no passes, and want things to be HARD to make sure they really get it. And the same was true for women, that women give their dds a hard time to make sure they really GET how to be women. 

 

So me, I look at what your dh is saying there, and I really think there's some validity to it! I would take that seriously and go OK what IS our path on the social issue, the man issue... It's real! Your dh is gone a lot. Who is modeling for him? Who's going to mentor? 

 

I'm not saying school is better, but I totally think it's reasonable. You have a relative with a business who is going to have him come work? You have someone to mentor him on Saturdays? There ARE ways to do it, but I think your dh is legit on this. Maybe not about the prom, because guys can be dweebs with or without homeschooling. But just in general, to make sure he's growing up confident and manly, sure, take that seriously. 

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OhElizabeth - you hit the nail on the head.  That is a good observation and yes, he's made comments that he doesn't want our sons to be "momma's boys" - I tend to baby them and he tends to be from the school of "hard knocks" as that's how he was raised.  He hated school and disliked the way he was treated by his dad, but now that he's adult, thinks it's what shaped him and made him more of a man.  So he's repeating the patterns.  Which, while I don't agree, I do understand.  I also don't want our sons to be coddled & only want to be with their mother - so I don't want to create that.  It's kind of a hard one, isn't it?

 

On the other hand, it doesn't just seem to be my husband.  Last night when I expressed to my mom that I feel bad for my son who cries daily about school - her response is basically that I really have no choice and it's good to teach him that "he can survive" and also that (in relation to his crying) "he knows how to work me."  Somehow that doesn't sit right with me.  But I do seem to be alone in that thought, at least within my circle.  It confuses me.

Edited by sandydawn
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As I think about all the advice for my husband, I'm just still not sure what would work.  I don't know if he'd take to reading books or asking questions on a forum, because as bad as this sounds - he's not that "interested."  I think he has an interest "against" homeschooling because he is under the perception that our son will wind up socially awkward & "weird" (his words and a total misconception, clearly).  He sees my vision and really believes in it (I am of the thought that a classroom of the world - the ocean, the mountains, the woods - is a much better environment than a row of desks & busy work - at least for us).  He trusts that I am able to take on the load and provide a proper education.  The only thing he tends to question is our son's social situation.  Today he commented "But we want him to be the cool kid in high school with a girlfriend going to prom!  The neighbor girl (our son's best friend) will be a cheerleader and dating the football star and <our son> will be left behind!"

 

Do you see what I mean?  He's so STUCK on the wrong ideals that he's not even really thinking about the right thing.  So I'm trying to figure out how to kind of get him past that - because if I can, I think the rest is golden.  He's just stubborn :)  And luckily (and sometimes not so luckily), so am I!

 

These concerns about the kids' social development are common and normal if a person has no experience with homeschooling. I had many questions before I started homeschooling, because I did not know anybody who did such a thing, and my family and friends also could not wrap their mind around it initially.

 

The only thing that helps here is information. Not by having him read books, but maybe by sharing what you learn when you poke around here on this board: the things homeschooled kids do, the opportunities they have to interact with other children and adults, the paths they take when they are older.

Share the anecdotes you read here. My homeschooled kids always had activities where they interacted with other kids; they have friends, jobs where they are held in high esteem by coworker and employer, participated in sports. They have girlfriend/boyfriend, respectively. They lead rich lives full of social interactions. They got admitted to good colleges. 

 

I am a college professor and have homeschooled students in my classes, and you cannot tell the difference: they are not in any way socially awkward, they are well liked, have friends, are prepared for college.

 

So, my advice would be to research what opportunities homeschoolers in your area have, socially. In my town, there are homeschool PE and skating, playgroups, a very successful theatre group run by a homeschooling mother, music lessons. These are just the things specifically geared towards hoemschoolers. Then there are art classes, sports, library programs, robotics, where homeschoooled and publicly schooled kids participate. One big mistake beginning homeschoolers often make is to load their schedule full of outside activities, because they are concerned about socializing - there is so much, if you start searching, that you can fill all the time and not have enough left for "school" :)

 

Good luck.

 

ETA: As for a homeschooled boy being momma's boy and sissy and not becoming a "real" man: my homeschooled DS is competing in martial arts on a national level, trains six days a week,  is well respected by his coaches and adult team mates. (Not that I think that this is what makes a "real man", but you know what I mean.) He's persistent and tough. And homeschooling allowed us to make this possible.

Edited by regentrude
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Highly opinionated post warning:

 

I do not think today's public schools exist to turn boys into men. I think boys are punished for being boys - made to sit still too long, over-medicated, having to write too much in subjects such as math, not allowed enough wholesome competition, given too much homework...besides, the majority of elementary school teachers are still women, so "get him away from too much female influence" is not solved by sending him to school! And women don't turn boys into sissies, anyway. I haven't. My mother didn't.

 

I recommend firmness and kindness in raising boys, lots of time in nature, minimal screen time because of weird messages and deleterious effect on attention span, and looking for good mentors (men AND women) in all walks of life who will model the qualities that you want your sons, and daughters, to emulate.

 

My sons found male role models in Civil Air Patrol, taekwondo, rec league sports, clubs for shared interests such as folk music and arts/crafts, neighbors, uncles, cousins...they've also learned a LOT about justice, manners, and a million other "manly" (or "humanly") skills from women.

 

 

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I would suggest discarding and stopping all outside influence. This is between you and your husband.

 

 

Next, play an open ended "if we..."

 

 

If we did homeschool, how would we give our child this or that?

 

And meet some real older hs families.

 

I laugh at the worry about toughening up a hs boy. Really. Some of the most masculine 14 boys I have ever know are homeschooled

 

When you are not at school all day, you have time to work and learn real life skills.

 

Who needs a bully when you have pigs to feed and fences to mend. Ha!

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Isn't that the truth!?  Sitting in a classroom being directed vs mending fixes and taking tae-kwon-do - hmmm, which sounds more "manly" :) And to be fair as far as male influence at school - every single teacher is a girl except for ONE third grade teacher which everyone "requests" so he'd likely never get him as a teacher anyway.  The only other older male influence at his school is the custodian which he reports is "mean and yells at us to get back in line" - ha.  So, the only real influence of boys that he's getting is from his direct peers who I also don't feel are the best role models (6 year old boys!  push, hit, throw things, call people names) :)  So, how to convince hubby of this, I am not sure.  He's still really stuck on you have to get knocked down to toughen up.

 

And yes I really need to turn off the viewpoints from the outside world, even if they're my mom & dad - but they echo the same as my husband, so I'm trying to work through it all and (sadly) desperately just want a companion in my thoughts.  I think my husband will get there.  I hope.

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I hope all goes well! I think your dh's concerns will quickly fade, when he sees how normal your kids still are...these are still stereotypes you're working with.

 

As far as having to get knocked down in order to toughen up, I agree with that. My (100% homeschooled) boys have certainly had their challenges and battles. It does matter that everyone gets to go out into the world and live, learn, and grow.

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It can be hard when parents seem critical. Even now, 6 years in, I still occasionally get 'Well, you wouldn't have that problem if they were in school' if I mention that I've heard too much bickering or some other totally normal 'mom complaint'.  But, my dad, who had also worried about 'toughening up' a boy, no longer mentions it.  My son plays rec league in 2 sports and will be moving up to middle school or travel teams soon, and my daughter does martial arts.  She also plays a musical instrument and my son is in scouts.  Both go to overnight camp, away from home, with no problems, and also local day camps for their sports in the summer.  They get along well with the other kids on their teams (not 'coddled' homeschool kids - they're whoever signs up for the program from the community - some kids are sweet, some are rowdy).  We've even dealt with a bully (in, of all, places, church).  Somebody is at a volunteer job, practice, or rehearsal almost every day, with the accompanying coaches who push the kids and tolerate no nonsense and the 'non-participant' sibling entertaining themselves with whatever other siblings happen to be waiting for practice to finish.  

 

But, until folks see how it is working for your particular family, they will have an opinion based on what they worry about.  When people say that they couldn't homeschool, or 'what about X?', I always say that it's a matter of what you're more comfortable with having to worry about or work through.  Parents of kids in school worry about which teacher they'll get, if they'll get bored or left behind, or if they'll make friends.  Parents of homeschool kids worry about whether they'll be able to teach everything, whether their kids get enough time with others, and if they're missing opportunities. The lists really aren't that different, but which approach works for a particular family depends on the people and situation.  

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Highly opinionated post warning:

 

I do not think today's public schools exist to turn boys into men. I think boys are punished for being boys - made to sit still too long, over-medicated, having to write too much in subjects such as math, not allowed enough wholesome competition, given too much homework...besides, the majority of elementary school teachers are still women, so "get him away from too much female influence" is not solved by sending him to school! And women don't turn boys into sissies, anyway. I haven't. My mother didn't.

 

I recommend firmness and kindness in raising boys, lots of time in nature, minimal screen time because of weird messages and deleterious effect on attention span, and looking for good mentors (men AND women) in all walks of life who will model the qualities that you want your sons, and daughters, to emulate.

 

My sons found male role models in Civil Air Patrol, taekwondo, rec league sports, clubs for shared interests such as folk music and arts/crafts, neighbors, uncles, cousins...they've also learned a LOT about justice, manners, and a million other "manly" (or "humanly") skills from women.

Could not agree with this more!! As usual, very well said Tibbie! And the more intelligent and outgoing a boy is, the more flack they seem to catch for it in the younger grades. I truly do think elementary in particular has become "anti-boyhood" in many, if not most, schools here in the US. And to be honest, the stereotypical prep, jock football player dating all the cheerleaders isn't who I would want my son to grow up to be anyway if given the choice. I don't think the pressures of what guys "should" be in high school usually end up leaving them in a good place. But that's a whole other discussion........ :)

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Oh gosh, if my DH was on board, we probably would have homeschooled beginning this year.  The first two years (my DS was in 4 year pre-school and we did a Young 5's program) were just as bad and I kept thinking things would "get better" - but clearly after 3 years, things are not "better" - my DS just isn't a fan of school.  I didn't really start thinking about homeschooling until about one year ago - and I've been slowly (and quietly) watching videos, reading - getting inspired - on my own.  I'd casually mention it to DH and he'd say "No way" - so I was too nervous to even tell him I was seriously considering it up until a few months ago.

 

So that is why we are where we are - and as much as it hurts every morning to send my boy off and see him crying (it's REALLY hard), I know that my DH needs to be on board.  It'd cause more family problems if I did something that he didn't fully agree with and I think this is so important that I need to do it in the right way (if he winds up resenting this process, that'd be even worse).  And right now I think that means - having to wait.  In the back of my head I secretly hope that maybe we can try for after Spring Break, but again, my DH needs time.  All of you are also giving me so much encouragement and that's more helpful than I can ever say.

Edited by sandydawn
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Can you sell it to DH as a temporary solution? i.e. pull DS out now and homeschool until the end of the school year, with the plan to evaluate with the possibility of sending him back to school if things don't work out?

 

At the beginning, I found it very important that I did not have to commit to hs indefinitely. We initially started with the plan to bridge a few months; it was much less scary to make that decision. Maybe your DH would respond better if he could feel that you always have the option school again?

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Maybe?  I feel scared, to be honest.  I am not sure what materials I'd use and I'm nervous I would not succeed. There are a few nature programs I've seen we could enroll him in, but he probably wouldn't have a lot of social interaction the first few months either, so I'd also be worried my DH would notice this and put it down.  I also (and my DH especially) feel that if we've committed to a year of school, we should finish it.  I know that's silly to feel that way, but even I feel like I'd be "failing" if we had to pull him.  I just don't know.

 

In all of my research, I've also read a few stories of folks who pulled their children mid-school year and regretted it for a certain number of reasons; mainly because it was so sporadic that they just weren't prepared.  I so badly want this to work for us that I don't want to make a mistake being hasty.  Does that make sense?

 

ETA: this may be a better way to pitch it though, as I think about it.  DH has mentioned in the past "it's only Kindergarten" - so he may be more 'open' to letting me try for the last few months.  food for thought... you guys are definitely challenging & encouraging all of me! :)

Edited by sandydawn
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He is in K. It is pretty next to impossible to mess up K simply bc there is nothing they learn in K that can't be easily mastered in 1st. (I actually skipped K with one of my kids bc he was just too hyper to sit still. He started 1st not knowing his letters and ended the yr reading Charlotte's Web. )

 

If you bring him home, you snuggle together and read lots of great books on all kinds of topics, bake cookies, have play days at the park, hike in the woods, visit museums, and do about 15 mins each of math, phonics, and handwriting, and you have done all that is needed for K.

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A quick response from my hubby - I told him our DS had a tough night & morning and he replied "Yes, I know it's hard to go to school.  I had to do it too!  We all have to do it every day!"

 

...how do I even suggest I'm considering it?  You see what I mean?  He thinks it's coddling & not teaching him to "work hard"

 

:mellow:

 

 

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Something that I consider sometimes is that everybody only has a certain amount of mental energy, or 'coping energy'. We can only do so much 'hard stuff' at once. It's why diets go out the window during times of stress. If somebody is having a positive, or neutral, experience in an environment, then they're probably fine. But, they are upset before they even get there, and it isn't going away once the inital 'new place and separation' anxiety should have passed, then what is actually being learned? I've used this to consider whether certain curriculum is worth the effort. One of my children doesn't participate in a yearly group activity at church because they dislike it so much that they wouldn't get the benefit of what is being taught. This is NOT to say that they never have to stick it out - baseball wasn't a favorite for one kid, but there was no trauma, and we finished the season. They have been anxious about new situations and done it anyway. But, if improvement isn't happening, it can be reasonable to ask 'what are they actually getting out of this activity?'. Perserverence and 'stick-to-it' is a laudable goal, but there is a cost. Going to 3 more ball games was totally worth teaching that lesson to my kid. Having them hate church because they don't like an activity was not worthwhile, so we opt out of the particular disliked activity. Only your family can figure what the right trade-off is.

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Perhaps it might be best to think of it in a different way.

 

Your ds is showing that he does not have the capacity at this time for the classroom.  That doesn't mean that he never will.  He just doesn't now. 

 

Your ds needs an environment that helps him to learn from a position of strength, not in spite of difficulties.  Not in kindergarten.  (He will have difficulties in life as he gets older whether he's homeschooled or not.)

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If it is God's will for you to homeschool your son, He will change your husband's heart. The best thing you can do about your situation is to just pray hard. Homeschooling may be in your future, but it may not be for right now or even this fall. God's got a reason for allowing you to experience your current struggles. Trust Him, and trust your son to Him.

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If it is God's will for you to homeschool your son, He will change your husband's heart. The best thing you can do about your situation is to just pray hard. Homeschooling may be in your future, but it may not be for right now or even this fall. God's got a reason for allowing you to experience your current struggles. Trust Him, and trust your son to Him.

 

Thank you for this!  xoxo - I kind of have to give this to God for now and trust in him.  Much appreciated :)

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(I haven't read everyone else's responses, so this is just a response to the OP's original post.)

 

Lots of people, especially the people you love the most, will say very hurtful things to you. They are saying these hurtful things because they are trying to save your children from damage and harm. In their minds, you are planning to ruin the children through homeschooling. Their motives are actually good, and they care about your family. That is the reason they are saying these things. If you can keep that in mind, it will help you not to be as offended and discouraged.

 

You must do what is right for your children, even if no one else understands--yet. Someday they will probably come around, especially if you have good results. I have been homeschooling for eight years, and now my parents can finally appreciate the tremendous benefits my kids have received through our homeschooling. The negative comments have completely ceased.

 

If you do your best to provide your children with a quality academic program and work hard each school day to teach them, you will probably be able to outdo anything the public or private schools can provide. If you also help your kids have opportunities to interact socially and make friends, they should have no problems with "socialization." In fact, your children will likely be far better socialized and mature than most kids their age.

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A quick response from my hubby - I told him our DS had a tough night & morning and he replied "Yes, I know it's hard to go to school.  I had to do it too!  We all have to do it every day!"

 

...how do I even suggest I'm considering it?  You see what I mean?  He thinks it's coddling & not teaching him to "work hard"

 

You could tell him that this is not the only way.

That there are ways to make learning enjoyable and developmentally appropriate.

That suffering through school is not the only way to be a functional productive adult.

That homeschooled students learn to work hard.

 

I am sorry he is so obstinate. especially since we are talking kindergarten. There is absolutely nothing that needs to be hard about kindergarten! In fact, many countries in the world don't even send their kids to school at that age.

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