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Questioning my mental sanity-can't decide whether I"ll keep homeschooling or not...


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So, I've posted a few times lately about this huge battle within myself about continuing to homeschool or sending my kids (at least the older 2) to public school. I got tons of great advice from lots of different angles, which I've been pondering ever since. Here's the problem: (and I apologize if this is all over the place, but I'm all over the place)

 

I'm seriously starting to question my mental sanity. During my first trimester (baby due in late July), I felt absolutely rotten, and so naturally said YES I'm sending them all to school. I was just done. To be honest, the second part of this year has been very rough and I've been barely hanging on. Much of that has to do with the pregnancy, but some of it has to do with me feeling like I never did quite find my groove with this homeschooling thing-and failure that I have never lived up my idea of what it was supposed to look like. Also, not finding the curriculum of my dreams, etc. I know a lot of that comparing and idolizing is just that...and not healthy, but I still did it.

 

So here I am now, trying to make this impossible decision. There are tons of pros to both sides. I just wonder if I can really DO this...or if I'm just crazy even entertaining the thought. There's never enough of me to go around, and I feel like things are just starting to get complicated as my younger 3 approach those teacher intensive years of 1st, K, prek, etc. Don't get me wrong, I feel good about what homeschooling has done for the most part. I love that our family is close and they are shielded (somewhat) from the ugliness of the world. But it's at a huge expense to me. And now with a baby coming....I'll feel pulled even more. So now I'm contemplating putting my older kids in school for upper elementary and middle...which is pretty much the reason why I started, to keep them OUT of there! But this baby is unexpected and I feel like mom can only do so much.

 

As for the mental sanity part of it, I just cannot make a decision to save my soul. I can't even say I change my mind every day, because I change my mind DURING the day! This morning I was definitely sending them. Tonight, I want to homeschool them. What is wrong with me? I have prayed and prayed about it, and nothing has come to me yet. I feel like if there is a pull in my gut to keep them home, then that's for a reason. But we also live 5 minutes from a really great school and I feel like sometimes they'd just be better off there. 

 

I feel tortured trying to make this decision. Any tips on how to make it?

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So, I've posted a few times lately about this huge battle within myself about continuing to homeschool or sending my kids (at least the older 2) to public school. I got tons of great advice from lots of different angles, which I've been pondering ever since. Here's the problem: (and I apologize if this is all over the place, but I'm all over the place)

 

I'm seriously starting to question my mental sanity. During my first trimester (baby due in late July), I felt absolutely rotten, and so naturally said YES I'm sending them all to school. I was just done. To be honest, the second part of this year has been very rough and I've been barely hanging on. Much of that has to do with the pregnancy, but some of it has to do with me feeling like I never did quite find my groove with this homeschooling thing-and failure that I have never lived up my idea of what it was supposed to look like. Also, not finding the curriculum of my dreams, etc. I know a lot of that comparing and idolizing is just that...and not healthy, but I still did it.

 

So here I am now, trying to make this impossible decision. There are tons of pros to both sides. I just wonder if I can really DO this...or if I'm just crazy even entertaining the thought. There's never enough of me to go around, and I feel like things are just starting to get complicated as my younger 3 approach those teacher intensive years of 1st, K, prek, etc. Don't get me wrong, I feel good about what homeschooling has done for the most part. I love that our family is close and they are shielded (somewhat) from the ugliness of the world. But it's at a huge expense to me. And now with a baby coming....I'll feel pulled even more. So now I'm contemplating putting my older kids in school for upper elementary and middle...which is pretty much the reason why I started, to keep them OUT of there! But this baby is unexpected and I feel like mom can only do so much.

 

As for the mental sanity part of it, I just cannot make a decision to save my soul. I can't even say I change my mind every day, because I change my mind DURING the day! This morning I was definitely sending them. Tonight, I want to homeschool them. What is wrong with me? I have prayed and prayed about it, and nothing has come to me yet. I feel like if there is a pull in my gut to keep them home, then that's for a reason. But we also live 5 minutes from a really great school and I feel like sometimes they'd just be better off there. 

 

I feel tortured trying to make this decision. Any tips on how to make it?

 

:grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug:

 

We all feel as if sometimes our children will be better off in school. And sometimes they might be. But if you're feeling a pull in your gut to keep them home, then that's what you should do.

 

FTR, your little persons are not approaching teacher-intensive years. Your 6yo can do some phonics, maybe a little arithmetic, but that's it. Your littles just need to be home with their siblings and you.

 

I only have two children, and so I have no real advice as to what you should do or how you should do it. There are, however, many people here with a house full of children, so we'll wait for them. :-)

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Neither decision has to be permanent. You can sign them up for school and change your mind and pull them out mid year. Likewise you can homeschool and if it is not going well, you can enroll them whenever. Not that you want a lot of instability or anything,but it seems like maybe you think you are making this huge monumental decision that you have to live with forever. It doesn't have to be like that- so take some of the pressure off of yourself.

 

Honestly you sound a bit overwhelmed and maybe it is time to just focus on you and the new baby. It's ok if mom needs a break. What you need does count too, even though moms always make it all about what is best for the kids. What is best for the kids is a mom not overwhelmed and sinking. Regular school or homeschool is small potatoes compared to that.

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming
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I understand. And I'll say the opposite of Ellie. Even if you feel a pull in your gut (or your heart) toward homeschooling, that doesn't meant that it is the best choice for your family at this time.

 

I really struggled with these kind of questions. For years. And for years I continued with homeschooling. We finally enrolled the kids in school when the youngest were in fourth grade.

 

And it has been a good thing for them and for our family. And for me. Even though I loved being a homeschool family. It hasn't been without its own set of struggles, and it took some adjustments along the way. Homeschooling was a good choice before, and school is a good choice now.

 

It sounds like you are overwhelmed and tired and need a change. And that is okay. And it might be the right choice for your family. It's okay to try something new. God is good! And homeschooling is not the only way for a family to honor Him.

 

 

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I think that public school is a general default educational option for a reason. Homeschooling is a joy but it can be a pretty all encompassing job especially when there are a lot of little ones taking your time and energy. I would put your kids in the ps. Then as you get some more stability in your home and thinking, you can revisit the idea of homeschooling down the road.

 

 

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I agree that 1st, K, and pre-K are not teacher-intensive years. They are parent-intensive years, which is actually more of a challenge for me personally, but they are not years that require a lot of educational planning or academic structure.

 

I also agree that if sending your kids to school relaxes you and allows you the pleasure of enjoying this season of your life instead of surviving it, it is probably the happiest option for your family. There are lots and lots of loving, close-knit families who send their kids to school, and hopefully you know a few of them in your neighborhood so your fears can be assuaged a bit!

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So, I've posted a few times lately about this huge battle within myself about continuing to homeschool or sending my kids (at least the older 2) to public school. I got tons of great advice from lots of different angles, which I've been pondering ever since. Here's the problem: (and I apologize if this is all over the place, but I'm all over the place)

 

I'm seriously starting to question my mental sanity. During my first trimester (baby due in late July), I felt absolutely rotten, and so naturally said YES I'm sending them all to school. I was just done. To be honest, the second part of this year has been very rough and I've been barely hanging on. Much of that has to do with the pregnancy, but some of it has to do with me feeling like I never did quite find my groove with this homeschooling thing-and failure that I have never lived up my idea of what it was supposed to look like. Also, not finding the curriculum of my dreams, etc. I know a lot of that comparing and idolizing is just that...and not healthy, but I still did it.

 

So here I am now, trying to make this impossible decision. There are tons of pros to both sides. I just wonder if I can really DO this...or if I'm just crazy even entertaining the thought. There's never enough of me to go around, and I feel like things are just starting to get complicated as my younger 3 approach those teacher intensive years of 1st, K, prek, etc. Don't get me wrong, I feel good about what homeschooling has done for the most part. I love that our family is close and they are shielded (somewhat) from the ugliness of the world. But it's at a huge expense to me. And now with a baby coming....I'll feel pulled even more. So now I'm contemplating putting my older kids in school for upper elementary and middle...which is pretty much the reason why I started, to keep them OUT of there! But this baby is unexpected and I feel like mom can only do so much.

 

As for the mental sanity part of it, I just cannot make a decision to save my soul. I can't even say I change my mind every day, because I change my mind DURING the day! This morning I was definitely sending them. Tonight, I want to homeschool them. What is wrong with me? I have prayed and prayed about it, and nothing has come to me yet. I feel like if there is a pull in my gut to keep them home, then that's for a reason. But we also live 5 minutes from a really great school and I feel like sometimes they'd just be better off there.

 

I feel tortured trying to make this decision. Any tips on how to make it?

Sorry you are struggling. Why not try school and see how it goes? It sounds like you've been unhappy with what you are doing. Why not try something new? Especially since you have a good school nearby. If you change your mind or it doesn't go well, you can pull them out. Maybe it will just be for a semester or a year while you are adjusting to having a new baby and you'll want to bring them back home after that, or maybe school will turn out to be ideal for your family.

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I wanted to pop on quick before the craziness of the day begins, and ask if we can talk about the idea of sending them for a year, and then bringing them home. I'm not sure why, but this idea seems so out there to me. I know logistically, it could work...but how would it really work in real life? What I mean is, would you really put your kids in school and then pull them out again? It feels so unstable to me. I guess I really do feel like this decision is more than just for one year-that it's for forever. I really cannot imagine bringing them home when they've made friends, possibly really love it, etc. Maybe it's just me, idk. 

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I wanted to pop on quick before the craziness of the day begins, and ask if we can talk about the idea of sending them for a year, and then bringing them home. I'm not sure why, but this idea seems so out there to me. I know logistically, it could work...but how would it really work in real life? What I mean is, would you really put your kids in school and then pull them out again? It feels so unstable to me. I guess I really do feel like this decision is more than just for one year-that it's for forever. I really cannot imagine bringing them home when they've made friends, possibly really love it, etc. Maybe it's just me, idk.

Eh, I put ds in for 2nd grade and pulled him out for 3rd. He's in 6th and still homeschooled. He did just fine with both. For me, at that point in my life with three kids and being overwhelmed, it was the right thing to do. It wasn't the only thing to do and I do sometimes wish we had been unschool-y or something else instead. However, and I mean this most empahtically, it was just fine in the larger picture.

 

Whatever choice you make does not have to be forever. Your health and well being matter too.

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I have had times like you describe.  It happens during pregnancy and I had a really really rough time last year.  I too had that dreadful feeling that I needed to keep homeschooling.  I have a very supportive husband.  He and I decided I had to simplify everything else.  So, during that time I did minimal housecleaning(he helped, the kids helped...things were not tidy. lol)  I bought paper products for meals(and I did not consider the environmental or financial impact of them.)  Laundry was a clean heap and dig through and get what you need.  Meals were heat up and cream of soup crockpot at times.  We decided for our family, homeschooling was our priority.

 

It took months, but I slowly owned one thing at a time...meals, laundry, shopping, etc.

 

For our family, I don't think trying out ps would have been a good choice for the same reasons you described.  And honestly, school brings a whole host of other stresses.

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With 7 kids under 12 many people would be overwhelmed. Some get help, others cut back and decide where to keep and what to let go.

 

I would say you can try public school and see how it goes for a year :) it's not Forever. Then you can focus on the baby and get a little nap during the day and hopefully when the older 6 arrive home you'll be excited, refreshed and ready.

 

Remember it's not a permanent decision.

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I wanted to pop on quick before the craziness of the day begins, and ask if we can talk about the idea of sending them for a year, and then bringing them home. I'm not sure why, but this idea seems so out there to me. I know logistically, it could work...but how would it really work in real life? What I mean is, would you really put your kids in school and then pull them out again? It feels so unstable to me. I guess I really do feel like this decision is more than just for one year-that it's for forever. I really cannot imagine bringing them home when they've made friends, possibly really love it, etc. Maybe it's just me, idk. 

My friend had nearly the same number of kids you do and was pregnant and overwhelmed and exhausted and worried about her physical and mental health and that she was failing her older kids.  She went through the same up and down cycling of what to do for months and months.  It was unhealthy.   She finally, after a health crisis, put her kids in school despite feeling called to homeschool and feeling horrifically guilty for even considering putting them in school.  She agonized over that decision.  They did not intend it to be forever but she was afraid that bouncing them back and forth would be detrimental, especially if she then pulled them back out again.  Also, if she put them in they might fight her if she made them come home.  

 

Here are some of the pros and cons they experienced, in case it helps you...

 

Cons:

1.  They were tied to the school schedule which meant that even when she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep she still had to get up and get the older kids out the door and pick them up again when school was out.

2.  She had to keep track of paperwork to sign and help with homework in the evenings and they could no longer go on family trips when the opportunity presented itself.

3.  The oldest two boys started fighting with each other sometimes (although not bad) and wanting to spend more time with peers than they had before (not necessarily a con and developmentally normal for most kids at their ages but it was hard on her to see them start to pull away from wanting to spend all of their time with siblings).

 

Pros:

1.  The kids that were in school had been starting to resist the work they were doing at home.  Once they were in school they realized that actually, while the work at home had been challenging, it wasn't wasting their time.  No or very little busywork compared to school.  They came to appreciate homeschooling more.

 

2.  They actually thrived having a different teacher and competition from classmates and started working much harder on their studies.  They started caring more about their education as a whole.

 

3.  They made some really solid friends in their neighborhood, something they had not been able to do before.  Those were positive friendships and with one of the boys that had struggled with social skills this helped him to get out from under the shadow of his very extroverted older brother.

 

4.  Having a different perspective on the concepts being learned helped their struggling second oldest to really finally "get" what mom had been trying to teach in one particular subject.  

 

5.  They discovered areas of interest that they had not been exposed to before and thrived, working hard to pursue and perfect those areas of interest (which could also easily be turned into useful careers later on).

 

6.  Mom got the rest she so desperately needed.

 

7.  Once she saw that they were actually doing well in school she stopped feeling so guilty and cycling through whether she was a failure for putting them in school.  The cycling back and forth over what to do had been terribly detrimental to her mental and physical health.  The cycling back and forth over the guilt she felt for putting them in school was also detrimental to her mental and physical health.  Once she was finally able to let go of all of that, let it all fall away and accept that actually her kids were doing fine in school, she was able to focus on her own needs and therefore help her family more effectively as well.  

 

7.  Mom's mental health AND physical health improved dramatically.

 

8.  After a couple of years she was in a good place to bring them home again and they were very happy to come home.  The kids are now VERY willing to work hard at home, happy to be homeschooling again and appreciate the effort their mom puts in every day, but they still have a lot of good friends from their time in school.  They also have expanded their areas of interest.  The parents have no regrets whatsoever for putting the kids in school for a season and now realize that families need different things at different times.  For some, just riding it out works.  For others not chaining themselves to a choice they made, being willing to try something different, is the best option.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:   I wish you the best in your journey.  I know it is a hard decision to make

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Just wanted to send you lots of hugs and support. (FTR, I don't think there is anything wrong with you! You have a large family and a lot on your plate, and it would be a lot for anyone to handle. I think it is absolutely normal to feel overwhelmed, unsure, etc. Please allow yourself some grace for your particular situation.) 

 

For me, to help myself make this decision, I would think of this along the lines of: What will my day-to-day life look like with each scenario? That is, I would try to imagine what an average day will look like next year with choice (a) the kids in school, and choice (b) the kids homeschooling. Because I think it's the day-to-day reality of our lives that either creates happiness or causes distress.

 

With choice A, I'd make a list of what the reality will be. "If my kids were in school, the average day would involve...."

 

-Drop offs and pick ups. Will you be the one dropping them off and picking them up for school, or will DH be able to take care of that? (Personally, I would find wrangling 2 big kids and 4 little kids into the car twice per day pretty stressful/aggravating, but for you or someone else, that might be a welcome breath of fresh air two times per day.) 

 

-Lunch-making for the school kids, managing homework/assignments/forms, etc. for the school kids, etc. 

 

-Any extracurriculars and the tighter schedule of school. 

 

-And so on. Just write out everything you can think of. 

 

 

Then do the same with the homeschooling scenario. Perhaps getting a sense of the day-to-day will help focus your mind and help you ease into a decision.

 

I will say that if you do decide on homeschooling, there is no reason you can't make it a "survival mode" year and just do the bare minimum. (Ask yourself: What is the bare minimum I have to do this year in order to not be negligent/to fulfill my state's requirements? THEN DO ONLY THAT. This is short-term--a year or so--to get you on your feet. Your children will be fine! You could just make it a low-key year--do math, reading, and some writing, and let your read-alouds cover everything else. If it were me, I'd also consider putting a hold on extracurriculars, co-ops, or anything "extra." Just...do as little as you need to get by and spend your time focusing on caring for yourself, the baby, and the kids in general. But, let the house go, let the cooking go, let the extra things fall away for a year.

 

Another way to think of it: Next year, you do not need to be a SUPER AMAZING homeschool mom. You simply need to be a good-enough homeschool mom. So, maybe seek out curriculum that is Good Enough and will get done, even if it isn't your perfect "dream" curriculum, you know? And here's a thought, too: there are years at school where kids get stuck with a truly awful teacher. My sixth-grade teacher was terrible and I still remember the classroom was chaos every single day and I learned nothing. But the year before, in fifth grade, I had an incredible teacher. The bad teacher was a bummer, but did it really matter in the context of my entire education? No! In other words, I think homeschoolers deserve that same grace--I think it's okay if we aren't super amazing teachers when life is hard for a period of time.

 

I feel like I'm trying to convince you to homeschool, and I'm honestly not trying to do that at all! If your heart is screaming for relief and school is calling to you, by all means, use school! It's a totally viable (and free!) option. There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of it for a year, or forever. I guess I'm just trying to convince you that you're not a failure, that it's okay to be ambivalent, that it's okay to feel like you want space, that it's okay not to be perfect. Do not feel guilty; just be honest about what you want in your heart. I do agree with the previous poster who suggested that you wait a little while to decide. I think we can probably all agree that the pregnant brain is not always the most rational/clear-thinking one (at least mine wasn't!). Maybe once the new baby arrives in July, all will become clear. In most states, you don't have to decide on school enrollment until 15 days before the start of the school year, so maybe just set the whole thing aside for a while, daydream about the new baby, binge-watch some Netflix, or relax with a novel, and decide not to decide for a bit. But above all, be kind to yourself.

 

Wishing you all the best!

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Making big decisions is hard but it will be ok no matter what you decide. I agonized over a decision this year that was hard to make and I was very emotional afterward but it ended up being fine. Like someone else mentioned if you put your kids in school because it was too much you can always pull them if it is not going well or things get better or if you kept them home next year but things got overwhelming and you just could not keep up then you could put them in school. Maybe hold off on making a decision until after the baby is here and you see how it is to manage it all. You do not have to spend much time individually on 1st grade, kindergarten and preschool though if you decide to homeschool.

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Last year we had a lot going on- pregnant/new baby plus we moved overseas for Dh to start a new job. It was SO overwhelming. I really was losing my mind, I had to see the dr. And get out on medication. I ended up putting my 2 oldest in ps to save my soul. And you know what, they hated it! I was shocked! It was mid year when we started so we finished out the school year, but then we went back to homeschooling for this school year. It was a helpful experience for us. You always imagine ps as so much easier, and it was really a hassle! I am now more confident of my choice to keep homeschooling. That being said, it was absolutely essential that they went last year. I now consider homeschooling a luxury that is dependent upon physical and mental health and family finances. If not able to do so, I'm super glad we have a ps to fall back on.

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I don't have any advice but I hear you on the frustration of flip flopping in what you want to do! Our actual schooling is going better this year but our homeschool group has just about died out. A lot of kids are older and moved on or some have gone back to school. We have joined up with another group but it's hard starting fresh and trying to get to know people.

 

Also this is very much first world problems but I often feel we don't fit because we are too "normal". Most of the homeschoolers we meet seem to be either unschoolers or special needs kids.

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I only have 4 but I also have them on the younger side. My 8 year old was driving me CRAZY so I put her in ps in January then we found a private Classical school to put her in while I took a breather and got my sanity back. Honestly, I love the classical school, but I'm already so over all the homework that's assigned every night and I'm already tired of the drop off and pick up (that's right in the middle of my toddler's nap). We were going to put her in the school again for 3rd next year but now I'm having second thoughts. I just don't know what to do. I feel homeschooling to be so overwhelming and I don't know how to relax about it.

 

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My friend had nearly the same number of kids you do and was pregnant and overwhelmed and exhausted and worried about her physical and mental health and that she was failing her older kids.  She went through the same up and down cycling of what to do for months and months.  It was unhealthy.   She finally, after a health crisis, put her kids in school despite feeling called to homeschool and feeling horrifically guilty for even considering putting them in school.  She agonized over that decision.  They did not intend it to be forever but she was afraid that bouncing them back and forth would be detrimental, especially if she then pulled them back out again.  Also, if she put them in they might fight her if she made them come home.  

 

Here are some of the pros and cons they experienced, in case it helps you...

 

Cons:

1.  They were tied to the school schedule which meant that even when she was exhausted and just wanted to sleep she still had to get up and get the older kids out the door and pick them up again when school was out.

2.  She had to keep track of paperwork to sign and help with homework in the evenings and they could no longer go on family trips when the opportunity presented itself.

3.  The oldest two boys started fighting with each other sometimes (although not bad) and wanting to spend more time with peers than they had before (not necessarily a con and developmentally normal for most kids at their ages but it was hard on her to see them start to pull away from wanting to spend all of their time with siblings).

 

Pros:

1.  The kids that were in school had been starting to resist the work they were doing at home.  Once they were in school they realized that actually, while the work at home had been challenging, it wasn't wasting their time.  No or very little busywork compared to school.  They came to appreciate homeschooling more.

 

2.  They actually thrived having a different teacher and competition from classmates and started working much harder on their studies.  They started caring more about their education as a whole.

 

3.  They made some really solid friends in their neighborhood, something they had not been able to do before.  Those were positive friendships and with one of the boys that had struggled with social skills this helped him to get out from under the shadow of his very extroverted older brother.

 

4.  Having a different perspective on the concepts being learned helped their struggling second oldest to really finally "get" what mom had been trying to teach in one particular subject.  

 

5.  They discovered areas of interest that they had not been exposed to before and thrived, working hard to pursue and perfect those areas of interest (which could also easily be turned into useful careers later on).

 

6.  Mom got the rest she so desperately needed.

 

7.  Once she saw that they were actually doing well in school she stopped feeling so guilty and cycling through whether she was a failure for putting them in school.  The cycling back and forth over what to do had been terribly detrimental to her mental and physical health.  The cycling back and forth over the guilt she felt for putting them in school was also detrimental to her mental and physical health.  Once she was finally able to let go of all of that, let it all fall away and accept that actually her kids were doing fine in school, she was able to focus on her own needs and therefore help her family more effectively as well.  

 

7.  Mom's mental health AND physical health improved dramatically.

 

8.  After a couple of years she was in a good place to bring them home again and they were very happy to come home.  The kids are now VERY willing to work hard at home, happy to be homeschooling again and appreciate the effort their mom puts in every day, but they still have a lot of good friends from their time in school.  They also have expanded their areas of interest.  The parents have no regrets whatsoever for putting the kids in school for a season and now realize that families need different things at different times.  For some, just riding it out works.  For others not chaining themselves to a choice they made, being willing to try something different, is the best option.  

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:   I wish you the best in your journey.  I know it is a hard decision to make

Wow, Thank you SO much for sharing the pros and cons, and for taking the time to write it all out! This helped me immensely because I'm pretty sure it was me you were talking about. Things are so similar, right down to the extroverted older brother and younger brother in his brother's shadow-that's what we have going on here. Those pros seem very attractive to me right now, and I think I can deal with the cons. 

 

Guess what I realized today? I want to homeschool my kids when they are sleeping, and I want to send them to school when they're awake! Ironic, huh? I think I'm coming to realize that keeping everyone home is just not a healthy decision for anyone. I am 39 and feeling it, plus this will be a difficult c-section in late July. I just can't see that homeschooling them right now would be the best for our family. It's very difficult to let go of that notion, but those of you that pointed out that 1) mom needs a break and 2) plenty of close-knit families go to school...really hit home with me. I'm also trying to remember that nothing is forever-that I actually could bring them home IF it was the right decision for all.

 

I had a talk with my oldest tonight 1:1 and he really does want to try school. I think he will thrive there. My second in line on the other hand, may have social issues, but that's something we may just have to work through. Hubby and I talked tonight and we both agree that the most important thing is that mom is healthy both mentally and physically. There's really no perfect solution here, but thinking about the daily grind-the day after day after day reality of what I'm about to face...makes me realize that I have to relieve some of the pressure. I feel like a balloon blown up too big...with fear of popping at any moment..and someone needs to let out some air! That's what this feels like to me.

 

I am going to keep my younger 3 at home because I know that 1st, K and pre-k will just be snuggles on the couch, playdoh, field trips, and lots of hugs and kisses. I'm really looking forward to giving them the attention that they deserve. I've been so focused on the older and the more serious academics, that they've been pushed to the backburner. Time to move them up and focus on them and these sweet years. And believe me when I say (as everyone would) that they are 3 of the sweetest little sweeties ever...and they deserve this time with mom (while sharing with baby of course). Okay, mind made up. Older 2 are going. Btw-bus ride is 5 minutes to school, which means I can send them out the door to meet the bus at 8:20, and then pick them up at 3:30. Leaving the house once a day seems doable. I have no idea why I make things so hard, but you ladies have certainly given me lots to think about-and I thank you.

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Does a year (or even half a year) at school have to mean you're done homeschooling?

 

Another thought, can they attend part time?

 

Great question. I have an inquiry out to our local homeschool group asking about dual enrollment. Has anyone ever done that? I've heard of it in middle/high school but I guess not in elementary. And no, I guess a year does not have to mean forever. It has seemed like that to me in the past, but I need to keep in mind that it's just a year.

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Great question. I have an inquiry out to our local homeschool group asking about dual enrollment. Has anyone ever done that? I've heard of it in middle/high school but I guess not in elementary. And no, I guess a year does not have to mean forever. It has seemed like that to me in the past, but I need to keep in mind that it's just a year.

 

people in my town do it for elementary and middle school

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Seasons, of life are just that--seasons.  We have to decide what is best for our families in this season of life and be open to change.  Best of luck to you in the next season. I found that once my oldest was in ps it really gave me time with the younger ones and I was in a better state of mind when she came home. 

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"Much of that has to do with the pregnancy, but some of it has to do with me feeling like I never did quite find my groove with this homeschooling thing-and failure that I have never lived up my idea of what it was supposed to look like. Also, not finding the curriculum of my dreams, etc. I know a lot of that comparing and idolizing is just that...and not healthy, but I still did it."

 

The bolded part is me every day. It's never what I dreamed it would be, and when I feel like we are getting closer to that dream, something happens to blow it all up in my face. But I can tell you that I am 100% certain that it is better than my kids being in public school all day, since we lived that life for many years. My kids were in public school thru 5th and 7th grade. My daughter, who will be 17 in a week, doesn't regret home-schooling one bit. She attends the public high school for band and sometimes one other class (plus extra curriculars) and is thankful every day for not having to deal with all of the BS that her friends have to deal with in school. My son will do the same next year, he's 14 and been home since 5th grade. He is looking forward to going back for social reasons, but most likely he will also do band and only one other class. He knows how lucky he is that we can be flexible with what he studies and if a curriculum doesn't work for us, we chuck it and try something else.

 

I don't have little ones at home, and I can't imagine trying to homeschool with babies and toddlers around, but I am sure you ARE doing enough, that it IS good for your kids, and you WILL survive  :thumbup:

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Does a year (or even half a year) at school have to mean you're done homeschooling?

 

Another thought, can they attend part time?

 

Honestly, I'd imagine part time in elementary school to be difficult.  The kids change classes -- to go to art, etc. But it is not on a block basis, but every class having its own schedule. and the teacher doesn't do "I'm always going to teach lit in the morning and math in the afternoon" -- they may have weeks where they teach poetry and all the other subjects are folded into that topic. And if you are there half a day, then you are constantly "missing" parts of it.  Its bad enough when kids are sick. But I can see teachers not signing up for that all the time.

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From my experience, both personal and observed, either you get yourself on even ground now or you'll do it later. Either way, you'll still need to do it. If you're not on firm footing yourself, it is a rare person who can be both a great teacher and a great mother while hurting. One or the other inevitably will suffer unless you yourself are rock solid emotionally and mentally. Take the time to care for yourself and then pull them out when you are ready. There's nothing to feel guilty about in taking good care of the mother of your children. :)

Edited by Susan in KY
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From my experience, both personal and observed, either you get yourself on even ground now or you'll do it later. Either way, you'll still need to do it. If you're not on firm footing yourself, it is a rare person who can be both a great teacher and a great mother while hurting. One or the other inevitably will suffer unless you yourself are rock solid emotionally and mentally. Take the time to care for yourself and then pull them out when you are ready. There's nothing to feel guilty about in taking good care of the mother of your children. :)

 

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From my experience, both personal and observed, either you get yourself on even ground now or you'll do it later. Either way, you'll still need to do it. If you're not on firm footing yourself, it is a rare person who can be both a great teacher and a great mother while hurting. One or the other inevitably will suffer unless you yourself are rock solid emotionally and mentally. Take the time to care for yourself and then pull them out when you are ready. There's nothing to feel guilty about in taking good care of the mother of your children. :)

Yes, you are so right. I've realized that this year more than anything-mom has just HAS to be in a good place or else everything else falls apart. Since the start of this thread, I have kept the conversation alive with my oldest two...asking them to consider the pros and cons and give it some serious thought. Just over lunch today my oldest said he definitely wants to go. This is an extrovert and a kid that thrives in almost any situation. I really think it will be great for him. My next in line (3rd grade) surprised me and said he wants to stay home. I'm fine with that because I think homeschool would be best for him in almost every way. 

 

I do wonder about one thing though...separating my oldest two boys. They are very different, but have been joined at the hip their whole lives being 18 months apart. For example, they're outside playing right now and I wonder...what will my 9 year old do next year without his brother? His younger brother is 2.5 years younger than him, and while they get along pretty well, it's just not the same. Should I be worried about this? Or is this just a great opportunity for him to get OUT of his brother's shadow? And a great opportunity for my oldest to get his social needs met and just fly? 

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One thought that has been on my mind as I read this thread:

 

As mothers, each of us needs to somehow come to peace with the fact that we can not and will not be able to provide an ideal childhood/upbringing/education for our children. Life is just too messy for that. There is no way to ensure that at each step of the way the very best option is accessed by each person in the family. In fact, I can guarantee that most of the time our children will be in less than ideal circumstances.

 

And that is OK.

 

What we can do is remain flexible and willing to adapt as we are able to changing circumstances and changing needs. And we can accept that both the process and the eventual outcomes will be affected by our own and our spouse's human limitations, the limitations of our children, and the limitations of our circumstances.

 

Parenting is very much a journey of faith in the dark. It takes courage to step out and even more courage to keep going.

 

I can't think of a more worthwhile journey to make though--even with the understanding that sometimes things can and do go horribly off track. There just is nothing in life with more meaning than the nurturing of another human being.

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One thought that has been on my mind as I read this thread:

 

As mothers, each of us needs to somehow come to peace with the fact that we can not and will not be able to provide an ideal childhood/upbringing/education for our children. Life is just too messy for that. There is no way to ensure that at each step of the way the very best option is accessed by each person in the family. In fact, I can guarantee that most of the time our children will be in less than ideal circumstances.

 

And that is OK.

 

What we can do is remain flexible and willing to adapt as we are able to changing circumstances and changing needs. And we can accept that both the process and the eventual outcomes will be affected by our own and our spouse's human limitations, the limitations of our children, and the limitations of our circumstances.

 

Parenting is very much a journey of faith in the dark. It takes courage to step out and even more courage to keep going.

 

I can't think of a more worthwhile journey to make though--even with the understanding that sometimes things can and do go horribly off track. There just is nothing in life with more meaning than the nurturing of another human being.

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Your post sounds almost exactly like me a year ago.  I'd been running on empty for so long, and while my intentions were good, i was seriously struggling.  I felt like I was going to snap.

 

I'd gently like to point out that sending only one kid to school isn't exactly going to give you a huge break.  If you're on the verge of breakdown, a small improvement doesn't really help much.  To give your kids the best mom, you may need significant time to relax and heal.

 

My advice: send anyone who can go.  K on up.  If you need a break, you need a break!  I told my kids 2 weeks before school started (because that's when I decided that enough was enough) that they wouldn't be homeschooled anymore.  They cried.  But you know what?  They're all super happy where they are now.  They're all thriving.  Nobody has asked to come home and would probably be devastated if I suggested it.  If given a choice at the time, my kids would have wanted to stay home, but they didn't know what was best for the whole family.  And the ones most opposed were stretched out of their comfort zones and thrived!  They grew in ways they never would have at home.  Peer pressure isn't always a bad thing.  All of them have made friends with great kids.  They seem to sense who the jerks are and steer clear.  

 

Something I've noticed is that while sending them has been super helpful, a year has not been enough to recover from the intense burnout.  I *still* feel like I'm recovering from the constant stress and having to be everything to everyone in the family.  Because I waited so long to find a healthy balance in my life, my recovery is a lot longer than it really had to be.  

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I wanted to pop on quick before the craziness of the day begins, and ask if we can talk about the idea of sending them for a year, and then bringing them home. I'm not sure why, but this idea seems so out there to me. I know logistically, it could work...but how would it really work in real life? What I mean is, would you really put your kids in school and then pull them out again? It feels so unstable to me. I guess I really do feel like this decision is more than just for one year-that it's for forever. I really cannot imagine bringing them home when they've made friends, possibly really love it, etc. Maybe it's just me, idk.

When I was pondering homeschooling, about 18 years ago, the absolute very best piece of advice I got was exactly this! My pastor's wife (mom of six and homeschool family) told me to decide for THIS YEAR. I only had two children then, and they were K and 1st. I was overwhelmed at the thought of schooling at home for 11 more years! So yes, you can absolutely decide for this year. (((BIG HUGS MAMA)))

 

 

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Your post sounds almost exactly like me a year ago.  I'd been running on empty for so long, and while my intentions were good, i was seriously struggling.  I felt like I was going to snap.

 

I'd gently like to point out that sending only one kid to school isn't exactly going to give you a huge break.  If you're on the verge of breakdown, a small improvement doesn't really help much.  To give your kids the best mom, you may need significant time to relax and heal.

 

My advice: send anyone who can go.  K on up.  If you need a break, you need a break!  I told my kids 2 weeks before school started (because that's when I decided that enough was enough) that they wouldn't be homeschooled anymore.  They cried.  But you know what?  They're all super happy where they are now.  They're all thriving.  Nobody has asked to come home and would probably be devastated if I suggested it.  If given a choice at the time, my kids would have wanted to stay home, but they didn't know what was best for the whole family.  And the ones most opposed were stretched out of their comfort zones and thrived!  They grew in ways they never would have at home.  Peer pressure isn't always a bad thing.  All of them have made friends with great kids.  They seem to sense who the jerks are and steer clear.  

 

Something I've noticed is that while sending them has been super helpful, a year has not been enough to recover from the intense burnout.  I *still* feel like I'm recovering from the constant stress and having to be everything to everyone in the family.  Because I waited so long to find a healthy balance in my life, my recovery is a lot longer than it really had to be.  

 

This is really interesting to me. So, do you plan to ever homeschool in the future, or are you taking things year by year? I know there are pros and cons to every situation. I really think my kids will be fine no matter which direction we choose. I think you're right in that sending one won't feel like a huge change to me, esp. when he will be replaced with a new baby in July. But-this particular child is a BIG personality. He really dominates and is the ring leader of a lot of shenanigans. I do think having him at school will bring a different kind of feel to our home, esp. if my next in line can really get some academic attention from me that he needs. The other thing is, the lower grade classes at this school are gigantic. I'd be sending my 1st grader into a class of 28-29, and the teachers have told me that this class is particularly low. I can't wrap my head around that. So if I don't send him, then it wouldn't make sense to send his Kindergarten sister. So that's where things lie there. I do admit it relieves quite a bit of stress knowing my oldest will be at school. The only thing is, as far as buying curriculum...my 2 oldest do so much together. So if my 2nd oldest stays home, I'm going to feel guilty about spending the $ on new curriculum! A little easier to justify that 2 will be using it.

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