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extrafor6

Just curious, why do you send your dc to ps?

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I have three children whom I have homeschooled from the beginning. This past school year, my 8th grader went to public school and I homeschooled the others.  I am a high school teacher by training and substitute in the local public schools a few times a month. 

I am just curious as to the many reasons some of you out there choose to send kids to public school for middle and high school. Why don't you continue homeschooling? There were many positives to our year in school, but we will most likely be homeschooling again next next. I know schooling is a personal choice for us all, but it also tends to be an emotional decision for myself. My child wants to return to ps. We felt the negatives outweighed the benefits.  I always enjoy hearing the perspective of others as food for thought. Thanks!! 

Edited by extrafor6

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I sent my oldest two to PS in high school. I plan to not do it this time around with my other three. I felt the negatives out weighed the positives in my situation for sure. I think I would do it primarily for social reasons (but then that ended up being part of the negative). If I choose to send these guys to school in later years it will be a private school but as of now I am hoping to go all the way through homeschooling.

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Because CA is horrible with micromanaging the high school coursework for not just PS students but also for private school students, including private homeschoolers. If the family cannot afford to send the child to a private or out-of-state college, then they're stuck with having to jump through the UC a-g requirement hoops. There is an "admissions through SAT scores" option but that is a LOT of eggs to put into one basket.

 

Nearly every HS family I know either stops after 8th grade for PS or does dual enrollment at the community college like we have chosen to do.

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I have every intention of homeschooling all the way through. However, I'm not musically inclined nor so I speak aanother language. In my area the PS has a complete monopoly on this so that's where they'll go.

 

Though currently, the PS is saying no. However, we are willing to fight for this.

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PS was the right choice for our oldest for both social and developmental reasons. We were butting heads too much and she needed a lot more social interaction than she was getting at home. We're overseas too and there aren't too many peers available outside of the school. The academics at her school are not where I would like them to be, particularly in language arts, but DD is taking more responsibility for her learning and managing her time effectively, something she was not doing at home. Having to keep up with homework, tests and quizzes has been a good kick in the pants. DD has said that she wants to homeschool again at the end of next year but we'll see. DS has no desire to attend regular school.

Edited by Sneezyone

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I keep my kids home and have no intention of sending them to school

 

My homeschool friends that send kids to school usually either do it because they feel inadequate to teach high school at home or because of finances (mom needs to work as well as dad).

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My oldest homeschooled through high school and just finished his freshman year of college. My other two wanted to play team sports and in my state, in order to do that, you have to attend the public school. My youngest will be going to high school this fall for that very reason. I wish our state allowed home school students to participate in pubic school activities, but they don't.

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We did a mix of homeschool and public school in high school.  Our small town school allows that, and it worked out well for us.  Why did I do it?  For more opportunities, and also to delegate some classes like foreign language and upper level sciences that I found more difficult to teach at home.  But I'd say the biggest reason was for the extra-curricular activities.  My kids absolutely loved being involved in sports, choir, musicals, speech, and so forth.  If they could have gotten that from non-ps activities we probably would have done that.  (If our town offered non-school related theater or sports, for example.)  Or if there were homeschool co-ops.  But we had none of that here.  Our town is too small.  (5,000)

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We're sending our oldest to public kindergarten in an immersion program next year. I speak several foreign languages poorly, as does my husband, and we would like our children to surpass is in this, off at all possible. I hang out here on a homeschooling board because public school didn't work out for my husband or his younger brothers, and I want to be ready at any moment to start homeschooling if the public option is clearly not working.

Part of me would love to keep dd home, but she's so excited to go, and sending her will let me give her middle child little brother some good attention.

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My boys currently go part-time because their Japanese teacher is a native speaker and the school has kilns and other materials that make a ceramics class much more worthwhile.

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I REALLY wish going part time were an option for us because that would be the perfect solution. I suppose I could go ask the school board? We are in PA so I think it is up to each district. I'm not sure anyone has ever asked...

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We're sending our oldest to public kindergarten in an immersion program next year. I speak several foreign languages poorly, as does my husband, and we would like our children to surpass is in this, off at all possible. I hang out here on a homeschooling board because public school didn't work out for my husband or his younger brothers, and I want to be ready at any moment to start homeschooling if the public option is clearly not working.

Part of me would love to keep dd home, but she's so excited to go, and sending her will let me give her middle child little brother some good attention.

We are using ps for the same reason. Our daughter will attend an immersion school starting in K this coming fall.

 

We do academics at home as well though and she craves them so I hang out on homeschooling boards for tips and resources. We'll continue to do some afterschooling as well.

 

I can't provide my daughter an immersion language experience and we truly desire them to be bilingual.

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We homeschooled for middle school specifically to avoid a combination of a bad social environment with subpar academic expectations.

 

For high school, we were able to pick from a wide pool of options. She wants to go back to school for high school. I don't really want to teach her for high school. It's an easy choice.

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My son requested to attend after a move and continual butting heads with me. He's way more social/extroverted and needed more daily interaction than I could give, he had special needs that our new district was willing and able to meet, and our relationship needed serious changes so that we could interact better. It has worked very well for him.

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We homeschooled k-6 and then sent our kids. All have special needs (cognitive impairment). Homeschooling allowed me to really focus on the basics and give them a good foundation in reading and math. Homeschool K-6 groups worked well for them.

 

In our area homeschool groups/activities​ shift to 7-12 and there was no way my kids would fit academically or social as the expectations were so much higher.

 

Going to school in 7th grade gave them a peer group of other students with similar academic and social levels and lots of opportunities for mainstreaming and other programs.

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We moved when my children were entering 2nd & 4th grade. We had a large homeschool group in our previous town & where we live now is much more rural. The homeschool group here had lovely families, but it was small & it dwindled down even more for whatever reason. We didn't really have a lot of get togethers & the day they met for the park was my husband's day off and our family day.

 

After a couple of years of homeschooling here we decided to put my daughter in public middle school (6th grade). She did great & is entering 10th grade now. She's in honors classes & has a great set of friends. She will dual enroll at the community college in 11th grade. So with her, it's been a great fit.

 

My son entered public school the year after my daughter in 5th grade. He will be in 8th next year & is returning to homeschooling at his request. Academically he did fine, but we both just prefer homeschooling.

 

The homeschool group in the next town has a large community now & started a wonderful co-op that meets once a week from 8:30-2:30. It's exactly what we were missing previously. So, for my son, I'm confident this is going to be the best path for him. He will also dual enroll at the community college in 11th grade.

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Are you asking specifically public school? Or are you asking about not homeschooling?? We put our oldest in parochial school in 7th grade and he will enter Christian High School in the fall. It's not public school, but we decided to quit homeschooling him because he was just too difficult to work with and he did much much better in a classroom situation. The public schools in our area are not great and we are sacrificing to send him to private school. He would drown if we sent him to the local public high school. There are 450 kids in the freshman class and there are gangs and drug problems there, My second son we will homeschool all the way through because that's what he wants and we think that would be better for him. My girls... they will probably go to Christian High School. Most people in our small town that we homeschool with send their high schoolers to Christian High School. It's an old school and part of the roots and culture of many of us who live here.

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PS is the best fit for my DS#2 right now.  He'll be going to 3rd grade at a public magnet school in the fall.  I HSed him before this year, but it was not fun for either of us.  It got to the point where our parent-child relationship was suffering.  I love my kid, and we get along so much better when we get regular breaks from each other, lol.  He has ADHD and *needs* more structure than I have been able to provide because of my other kids' needs.  He refused to do *anything* I assigned/suggested/requested and we hit a total stand-still in about March of last year.  He asked to go to PS.  

 

He had a rough transition into PS this year, mainly due to behavior issues, but by the last day of school was doing much better.  One of his teachers was so happy with him that she actually came out to talk to me at pick-ups and tell me what a wonderful student he's become.  DS#2 is sad that it's now summer break and can't wait for school to start up again in the fall.

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My children are in private schools; the younger three will likely go to public high school. We homeschooled until the youngest were ready for fourth and fifth grades. I intended to homeschool all the way through until graduation, but we had a challenging mix of learning disabilities (two kids with different needs), and noncompliant behavior (three out of four kids). It was really rough on me, and I found I couldn't meet all of their needs and also function in a happy and healthy way as their mom.

 

The youngest three are receiving good help for their needs at their respective schools. Two have IEPs, and the third has a 504 plan. Having a team of people helping to educate them, instead of dealing with it all by myself, has been very helpful, though enrolling in school was an extremely hard decision to make.

 

The oldest continued to homeschool after the three younger ones were enrolled in school. I thought she would continue to homeschool through high school, but she wanted to go to to school, and the school we chose has turned out to be excellent for her.

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My older two started at cc the same year, one was 17 and one was 15. They had finished high school level materials. We didn't want to teach Calculus, so they could go to cc and get credit for it taking it there. We didn't want to teach lab sciences when they could take it at cc and get credit for it. Oldest needed college level writing in an environment with peer feedback that she could get credit for.  I didn't want to start a co-op for high school level because youngest was special needs, and husband was having mental health issues. 

Youngest started at a homeschool enrichment (all extra curriculars) 2 days a week this January because she an extrovert who needs group activities.  At our homeschool group of 136 families who are official members she has 6 girls in her age range who actually show up at some of the monthly park days.  Two live as far as a half hour drive away. Two are not a good fit personality wise.  One doesn't seem to want to hang out much.  The other moved out of state last month. While we get together with the two who live half an hour away, it's not enough for her.  I'm not hosting open invitation co-ops anymore because people too unreliable. We need something that starts on time, ends on time, and those doing the teaching don't flake out.

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I home schooled until middle school. I only sent them to ps because everyone in our area still home schooling at that age were very conservative Christians. It's worked out very well for us.

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The NEW 7th grader has only private schooled , with near home school like after-schooling.  We are shooting for ivy, and this strategy seems best for us. 

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Eldest son is very bright. By the time he reached age 13 he knew my head inside and outside and needed other adult stimulation, as well as to bounce ideas off other children.  There were no co-op or dual enrolment options.

 

His brother would have been miserable at home without him.

 

It worked fine.

Edited by Laura Corin

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Thank you for all of the responses! My dd REALLY wants to go back to public school for high school.  I think my biggest hurdle is that since I'm in the public school every week, I see all of the issues: so much wasted time, lack of outdoor time, negative peer influence, and "teaching to the test" mentality among many other things, and it makes it very difficult for me to let go of those things. She would be devastated if I brought her home next year, but I'm not sure if she'd just get over it after a few weeks?

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Mine HSed from the start, and just completed tgeir first year of ps.

 

Honestly, ps was thrust upon on us because of divorce. If it were solely up to me, I would HS again.

 

Positives:

 

It was some stability with safe adults while I was dealing with legal crap and practical emergencies.

 

They did cover some decent skills and content, and it was a departure from their norm and so held some interest.

 

It was a venue for making friends after moving to a different town.

 

 

Negatives:

 

Some skills stagnated, and others backslid. Writing!!!! Across the board, I am disappointed with writing.

 

Some of their friends have been a drain on them. (!!!) It isn't that i feel the need to shelter them from the world. It's that some of their friends treat them as peer counselors and they are burdened with problems that they are too young to carry and have no power to fix anyway.

 

There was stress involved with LDs and the IEP.

 

PS offers less by way of living content. I was pleasantly surprised there was some, but it is slim.

 

Logistics. That sucks!!! The details of getting them there with all of the crap they need is draining.

 

 

I have not made a final decision about next year, but ps is most probable. Academically and emotionally, it is not my first choice.

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For us, it was partially because California imposes so many hoops for homeschoolers to jump through (extra testing, etc) and partially because we found a small, hybrid charter school that seemed ideal for us and our kids.  We would likely have continued homeschooling if we hadn't found this particular school.  We definitely would not have considered any of the typical, 5 days per week, high school options in our area. 

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She's going into high school. It seems to me that young people that age deserve to have their autonomy respected. More than that, they need to have it respected.

 

It is very hard to teach a child who is unhappy and resents the choice you made.

 

You've listed your negatives. Given that you are in the school frequently, I'm sure this is not just a misconception on your part :) (Some people get lucky and are pleasantly surprised that their local schools are better than they expected!)

 

What are her reasons for wanting to go? She may have some good points, in which case she definitely won't "get over it" after a few weeks, not if she feels she hasn't been heard.

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Because CA is horrible with micromanaging the high school coursework for not just PS students but also for private school students, including private homeschoolers. If the family cannot afford to send the child to a private or out-of-state college, then they're stuck with having to jump through the UC a-g requirement hoops. There is an "admissions through SAT scores" option but that is a LOT of eggs to put into one basket.

 

Nearly every HS family I know either stops after 8th grade for PS or does dual enrollment at the community college like we have chosen to do.

 

This. California really forces you to make a decision and stick to it.

 

Eldest dd, we were both just done by 7th grade. She enrolled starting in 8th grade.

 

Ds, sports is a huge, HUGE deal. I know for some people around here that's lame, but the reality is that it's a very important aspect of his life. He enrolled in 8th grade as a soft opening. He gained admission into a selective high school STEM program and enters that in the fall. It's been a very successful year for him. 

 

Youngest dd, she has watched her older siblings and wants the same experience. We have a transfer request in for next year (it's complicated) and if she gets it, she'll enroll for her 8th grade year. If she doesn't, we'll homeschool one more year and then enroll for high school. She's actually a kid that I could imagine hsing for high school, but she wants to at least give it a shot.

Edited by Sassenach
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My oldest wanted to go to a tech school for high school, so he did. He graduates Tuesday.

 

Each if my kids is their own person, if going to the local PS is what works for what they want then we will work with it. If they want to go to the tech school, I'm very ok with that, its a great school... but a really long day counting the hour plus bus ride each way.

 

If they want to stay home, that makes me the happiest though ;)

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Three reasons, I guess.  They all come down to a balance of pros and cons.

 

The simplest reason my eldest started ps this year - grade six - is that the middle school (grade 7) offers an immersion program.  There is no way I can give her that level of a second language at home, and that is a significant educational goal for us.  We started her one year early, mainly because I had a baby and didn't know how on the ball I'd be teaching her.  I think it would have been a good idea anyway, for the year before she begins immersion.

 

Another reason is more to do with my philosophy of education.  I don't think the public education and curriculum here are what they could be - it could be better.  But in later years, it's more those kinds of choices that I think could be better.  I don't disagree with the idea of kids being in classrooms and being taught by subject matter experts as they get older - certainly by high school (grade 10, 11, 12) when I think kids should be doing vocational training or a LA type program.  I really differ with the school system here over elementary education, right from where they start kids at four. ( In fact they are going further in that direction, adding hours for K and adding pre-K.  )  I feel like they are really left to fend for themselves with the basics and yet they waste a lot of time that could be used for something useful, or to play.

 

And the third thing is that my dd12 seemed to be capable of really taking advantage of the opportunities ps would offer while keeping a level head about the disadvantages.  She also very much wanted to go and has taken on a lot of leadership roles in her classroom and school - she was very ready to be more involved in a wider community of people apart from her family.  My dd9 is quite a different personality, and I would not be surprised if she prefers not to go as early.  Ds7 is still a bit of a mystery - he is a real late-bloomer, and would have had serious problems in ps.  I expect he'll be caught up in a few years, but I don't know if ps will be the best choice for him.

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My son goes to the public high school mainly for social interaction.  It is where he wants to be, and I refuse to homeschool an unwilling teen.

 

That said, if I have my way, we will be homeschooling part time next year.

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Dd17 was homeschooled from the beginning, but wanted to go to ps in 6th grade. She wanted more teacher interaction and more varied feedback, as well as to broaden her social circle. Bricks and mortar didn't work out for her - after the first year she started attending a combo bricks and mortar/DE school and it has been brilliant for her in all the ways she hoped.

 

I'd send ds there as well, except he doesn't meet the criteria (non-academic) to be accepted there. 

 

 

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Well, we're at private school, but there were a couple of reasons.  The number one reason is my kids were getting angry and frustrated and refusing to work for me.  I really think homeschooling was best for them academically, but it was rapidly becoming toxic for our relationships.  They both have fairly low frustration tolerances, and my younger has a host of learning disabilities, but for both of them, as soon as they ran up against something they didn't understand immediately or had to struggle with, they got very angry and blamed me.  It's more acceptable to them to struggle with things at school, where they are surrounded by other kids who are also struggling with the same things.  The other reason is that it was very difficult to meet their social needs.  My oldest is an off the charts extrovert in a family of introverts, and by fourth grade she really had a NEED for a consistent peer group that she saw every day.  We had maxed out the seeing and playing with random kids throughout the week; she needed a best friend that she could spend a lot of time with.  My youngest is autistic (ish) and doesn't really like or desire to spend time with other kids, but she needs to do it for her social skills and frankly, she's happier when she gets some amount of time with peers but she fights it like a banshee.  Sending her to school removed the option.  I miss homeschooling, and the education they are getting in school isn't as good as the one they were getting at home, but it's acceptable and they really are happier.  It's also had the benefit of teaching some soft organizational, executive functioning, and classroom skills that are harder to teach at home:  organization, study skills, note taking, etc.  They would have gotten them eventually, but sending them to school forced them to learn them earlier and probably more naturally. 

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Well, we're at private school, but there were a couple of reasons. The number one reason is my kids were getting angry and frustrated and refusing to work for me. I really think homeschooling was best for them academically, but it was rapidly becoming toxic for our relationships. They both have fairly low frustration tolerances, and my younger has a host of learning disabilities, but for both of them, as soon as they ran up against something they didn't understand immediately or had to struggle with, they got very angry and blamed me. It's more acceptable to them to struggle with things at school, where they are surrounded by other kids who are also struggling with the same things. The other reason is that it was very difficult to meet their social needs. My oldest is an off the charts extrovert in a family of introverts, and by fourth grade she really had a NEED for a consistent peer group that she saw every day. We had maxed out the seeing and playing with random kids throughout the week; she needed a best friend that she could spend a lot of time with. .

Thank you for being able to express the very same reason my dd is going to school next year for 4th. I also had a child that would fight me about school work and I was able to work it out with him. Dd is a very different level of anger about stuff she doesn't understand and I have more stressors on my plate now so the homeschooling thing is affecting our relationship. She has only one mom and can have multiple teachers. I have decided with her that she just needs me to be her mom. She was going to a one day a week program and her teachers there loved her. She did so well working through hard stuff in a different setting. We shall see how this goes.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Basically, it comes down to meeting the needs of each kid and including teens on the decision.

 

Ds went to 9th-grade ps per a custody compromise. After that we let him decide. He has a good head on his shoulders, isn't the type to follow the crowd. At this age they need some control over these decisions. Attempting any school situation with a 15yo that they do not wish to participate in is generally futile in my experience. 

 

The academics weren't steller (even a full Honors/AP load was a breeze until his Jr. year) but the school offered things I couldn't. 

Friends - this is huge. We tried and tried for years but he was terribly lonely in middle school because it was so difficult to find homeschooling friends that would actually show up, even in our area with a lot of homeschoolers.

 

Languages - He wanted German and I had no desire to teach that

 

Other mentors - some of his teachers were enormously impactful in his life and were just wonderful people that gave him such confidence and a perspective I couldn't.

 

Extras - Graphic design, game design, playwriting (his one-act was staged the next year) and he practically lived at the theater his Jr. and Sr. years. The joy and pride he had in those productions more than make up for the cringe-worthy English classes. 

 

He graduated with honors and In the Fall he will start his Jr. year at his first choice college.

 

dd1 went to ps in 3rd grade. She works hard for anyone else but not me. Again, the academics never met her needs but it gives us a shot at a relationship and that is more important.

 

dd2 went to ps K-3 because I was on homeschool sabbatical. now my joyful introvert is thrilled to be home and swears she is never going back..... okay, maybe just for theater ..... and French......

 

We will see when we get there!

 

 

 

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Because CA is horrible with micromanaging the high school coursework for not just PS students but also for private school students, including private homeschoolers. If the family cannot afford to send the child to a private or out-of-state college, then they're stuck with having to jump through the UC a-g requirement hoops. There is an "admissions through SAT scores" option but that is a LOT of eggs to put into one basket.

 

Nearly every HS family I know either stops after 8th grade for PS or does dual enrollment at the community college like we have chosen to do.

It is extraordinarily and I mean that with all literalness (not a word I know) to homeschool all the way through high school straight to a 4 year uni here in CA.

 

We have in my two homeschool groups (primarily one county and maybe a piece of two others) over 700 homeschool *families* under 9th grade.

 

As far as I can tell the number of high school families (and I run one of the yahoo groups for them so I do have some solid numbers) drops to, wait for it....15.

 

And of those 15 about 10 will use the CC-transfer route, often starting early

 

There is a reason when people who homeschool their entire lives suddenly disappear in high school.

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On 6/2/2017 at 2:34 PM, extrafor6 said:

I have three children whom I have homeschooled from the beginning. This past school year, my 8th grader went to public school and I homeschooled the others...

 

On 6/4/2017 at 10:15 AM, extrafor6 said:

Thank you for all of the responses! My dd REALLY wants to go back to public school for high school...

...She would be devastated if I brought her home next year, but I'm not sure if she'd just get over it after a few weeks?


What was it about 8th grade public school that was really meeting her needs so that she would be "devastated" to homeschool again? That's a pretty strong word to use, and I don't doubt that you are reading your DD clearly. That means she was getting something very significant, fulfilling or meaningful by being at a school. THAT is what you are really going to have to provide for DD in some other way if you decide to bring her home. Otherwise, no, I think it is unlikely she would just "get over it" -- a spark that was kindled for her this year is likely to be quenched if the two of you don't work together to find an alternate way to keep that burning in high school. JMO!

Middle schoolers, but *especially* high schoolers have a high need not just for the social aspect that a traditional school setting can provide, but they also benefit from being challenged by teachers other than mom and the ability to explore all kinds of activities and interests. Also, teens are developing independence, and exploring who they are as individuals, and it is good to have some regular time with peers who are also all at different stages of this process -- and again, a traditional school is one way of providing that.

Not at all trying to talk you in to sending your student to high school rather than homeschooling, but I just mean that if you are going to bring a student home from middle school to homeschool high school, it's very important to find ways to meet the extra needs that student has. Ideas:

- outsource a few classes (at a school, a co-op, or online)
- list of Pennsylvania Homeschooling Co-ops and Academic Enrichment Classes
- "academic" extracurriculars in the community (Youth in Gov't; Speech & Debate; Model UN; Mock Trial...)
- join:
* summer class/program run by a local university (usually week-long class in wide range of STEM and other subject areas) 
* homeschool group teen activities or co-op (PA -- list of homeschool groups and supports)
list of Pennsylvania homeschool groups and activities/events
- participate in public school extracurricular or after school club (sports, DEKA, Future Farmers of America, band/orchestra, robotics....)
- community youth extracurriculars (book club, filmmaking, theater, chorus, 4-H, community gardens,)
- group classes for teen (martial arts, dance, fencing, pottery, jewelry-making, stained glass, Parks & Rec offerings...)
- faith-based youth group
- after school bowling league

Also, there are "hybrid" options:
- academic homeschool co-op
- university model school
- Classical Conversations or similar type of group

I guess my main thought here is if you choose to homeschool high school (and we DID homeschool all the way through high school), make sure you're finding ways of meeting your student's additional needs. We were very lucky to have tons of resources here in all areas so DSs had lots of support and outlets beyond our homeschooling. If we had not, it would have been an extremely difficult choice to keep homeschooling through high school.

BEST of luck, whatever you decide. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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What was it about 8th grade public school that was really meeting her needs so that she would be "devastated" to homeschool again? That's a pretty strong word to use, and I don't doubt that you are reading your DD clearly. That means she was getting something very significant, fulfilling or meaningful by being at a school. THAT is what you are really going to have to provide for DD in some other way if you decide to bring her home. Otherwise, no, I think it is unlikely she would just "get over it" -- a spark that was kindled for her this year is likely to be quenched if the two of you don't work together to find an alternate way to keep that burning in high school. JMO!

 

Middle schoolers, but *especially* high schoolers have a high need not just for the social aspect that a traditional school setting can provide, but they also benefit from being challenged by teachers other than mom and the ability to explore all kinds of activities and interests. Also, teens are developing independence, and exploring who they are as individuals, and it is good to have some regular time with peers who are also all at different stages of this process -- and again, a traditional school is one way of providing that.

 

Not at all trying to talk you in to sending your student to high school rather than homeschooling, but I just mean that if you are going to bring a student home from middle school to homeschool high school, it's very important to find ways to meet the extra needs that student has. Ideas:

 

- outsource a few classes (at a school, a co-op, or online)

- list of Pennsylvania Homeschooling Co-ops and Academic Enrichment Classes

- "academic" extracurriculars in the community (Youth in Gov't; Speech & Debate; Model UN; Mock Trial...)

- join

- summer class/program run by a local university (usually week-long class in wide range of STEM and other subject areas)

- homeschool group teen activities or co-op (PA -- list of homeschool groups and supports)

- list of Pennsylvania homeschool groups and activities/events

- participate in public school extracurricular or after school club (sports, DEKA, Future Farmers of America, band/orchestra, robotics....)

- community youth extracurriculars (book club, filmmaking, theater, chorus, 4-H, community gardens,)

- group classes for teen (martial arts, dance, fencing, pottery, jewelry-making, stained glass, Parks & Rec offerings...)

- faith-based youth group

- after school bowling league

 

Also, there are "hybrid" options:

- academic homeschool co-op

- university model school

- Classical Conversations or similar type of group

 

 

I guess my main thought here is if you choose to homeschool high school (and we DID homeschool all the way through high school), make sure you're finding ways of meeting your student's additional needs. We were very lucky to have tons of resources here in all areas so DSs had lots of support and outlets beyond our homeschooling. If we had not, it would have been an extremely difficult choice to keep homeschooling through high school. BEST of luck, whatever you decide. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Agreeing!!! In elementary homeschooling can be a full time job in teaching and taking care of little ones all day plus getting outdoor time and some social stuff.

 

In high school? It is absolutely a full time, often emotionally draining job just to get them where they need to go to stretch their wings and to find opportunities that will do it! You really have to plan ahead plan ahead plan ahead. They need time chatting with you, (car is good for this), between 4-8 regular scheduled events out of the house per week depending on their social level, plus at least every other week to "just hang" with those people they've chosen as friends.

 

In the olden days people had hard work all day and all night, large families with 7-12 kids with many personalities and neighbors next door or sundays with neighbors if it was a farm community. Isolation is not the norm and never has been in human history. It really does take a village

 

And a minivan with good gas Mileage!!!!!!

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We haven't yet, but it is an option we're likely going to take which I wasn't expecting when I first started home educating my eldest. In that time, GCSEs and other school qualifications have changed a lot, the expense for exams has risen for private candidates, and more and more places that used to take private candidates are not doing so any longer. My local area has fluctuated a lot in resources for home educated teens in the last six years so I'm nervous to rely on it. 

 

For a while I was worried, but a couple of years ago at a science event my eldest met some of the teachers of the new University Technical College which has Year 10 and Year 12 entry. He has had his heart set on it ever since and at first I just agreed in principle in a 'that sounds nice but we'll see when you're older" sort of way. With all the changes to GCSEs and really just generally coming around to the idea that a couple years in a technical school at 15-16 would give him, and his siblings if they choose to do so, a world of experiences I can't - they have robotics and engineering suites and design classes and connections to a lot of the major local businesses with systems in place already for work experience and apprenticeships as well as connections to the local sixth form-college should any of them choose less technical routes for A-levels or whatever they want to do after GCSEs, it seems... a decent, realistic compromise that will give them the best chance at getting those qualifications that right now there are physical and financial barriers to me being able to help them do. The academics I think we could do, but the connections and getting a place for testing that wouldn't involve a lot of disruptive travel - the last thing they need before an exam - just makes it less likely we'll home educate through GCSEs. We do have the local sixth-form college as a GCSE back-up plan as they do a programme for 16-17 year olds, but it has far fewer options particularly for science that I'd rather not unless there was a plan for after that fits those limits. 

 

So, in short, we're planning to use state schools to meet examination needs and to give wider connections and opportunities. It's also a very handy motivator right now as some GCSEs are only available to those students who go in at a certain level in English, maths, & science, those not at that level are given extra time in the school day to work on those at the same time as classes like the beloved computing GCSE. Doing more English now so he can do less later and more computing sounds fine to him. 

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I was always going to homeschool, and may homeschool in the future, but right now one child is in school and the other in preschool. The number one reason is for social interaction. They're interacting with other children not only within school (and in Australia, 2hrs of schooltime is free playtime), but we also have afterschool playdates twice a week, as well as extracurricular martial arts and music; so many opportunities to socialise. The homeschooled children I see (and I host a group weekly) tend to meet other children between one and two times a week, often for a structured activity. (I'm sure it's different in more populated areas of the world.) 

 

My daughter's school teacher actively monitors the social interaction of the kids in her class; yesterday she scheduled an extra free play session as she'd noticed a few girls struggling to interact appropriately. She used this time to observe and support more positive interactions within the group. Teamwork is also actively encouraged, across all the subjects. I feel strongly that peer learning both broadens and deepens children's understanding; and often my daughter will come home and tell me something she's learned from the experiences of the other children in her class. 

 

Having said that, there's lots of things I don't like about her public school. But I feel there's pros and cons to everything. I am currently planning homeschooling for high school (that is 7-12 here) though; the kind of bullying and online sxual stuff that my nieces have ended up suffering through has been awful, and I am honestly shocked at how little actual knowledge they seem to have - from the times tables to the whereabouts of Brazil. 

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I always thought I would homeschool through the end of high school.  I had reasons...But, I realized quickly that I cannot be an expert in every subject.  I could barely keep up with one!  I was already spread too thin and I could tell that ds was not getting his questions answered (because I had to read up on everything and try to figure it out enough to help him).  So, I used online classes.  Ds was in full time online classes this past year.  Next year, he is doing dual enrollment full time. He will no longer be considered a homeschooler. I thought I would never do that!  But, I've noticed he zones out in online classes (even when they're live) and forgets to hand in work because he's not in class consistently.  I applaud homeschoolers who can successfully navigate high school without outside help.  We were not able to do so.

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Just for encouragement for those who might be reading this thread and thinking that they aren't experts and their kids are doomed if they homeschool through high school, I am absolutely not an expert in any high school subject.  I am just a mom who has dedicated herself to becoming the best teacher, supporter, resource locator that I can possibly be.  My kids don't have the social life that kids have inside of a school building.  They don't have fabulous teachers for every subject.  But they do have me.   :)  I have managed to provide my kids an excellent high school education and most of it has been accomplished inside of the walls of our home.  They have great friends.  They are accepted to college.  They even manage to earn competitive full-ride scholarships.  

 

It is possible to do this at home and actually exceed anything offered at the local public school.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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Thank you for all of the responses! My dd REALLY wants to go back to public school for high school.  I think my biggest hurdle is that since I'm in the public school every week, I see all of the issues: so much wasted time, lack of outdoor time, negative peer influence, and "teaching to the test" mentality among many other things, and it makes it very difficult for me to let go of those things. She would be devastated if I brought her home next year, but I'm not sure if she'd just get over it after a few weeks?

 

 

My ds homeschooled 2nd-7th, then went to school last year for 8th for manly social, athletics, and to keep better relationship between us, reasons. He had wanted to go to ps in 7th, and in retrospect, I should have agreed.

 

All the things you note above are also issues with regard to public school here, but my ds will be continuing to go for 9th grade because the negatives of trying to homeschool a teen who did not want to be homeschooling would be worse. I base this on my experience of homeschooling 7th grade when ds really wanted to be at ps. 

 

Also to note, from my ds's pov, "wasted time" tends to be positive social interaction time. He particularly loved classes when regular teacher was gone and the class got to goof off with a substitute who couldn't keep them on track, for example. and he loved PE where he got to play with a group of kids in ways he had not been able to even with homeschool co-op, such as dodge ball and tag and capture the flag type games.  He loved the social time on the bus to and from athletic meets.

 

And there is positive peer influence as well as negative.

 

It is a problem in terms of chores and study time, but ds is getting plenty of outdoor time after school--we live in rural forested area and he goes off with his dog for miles and miles and hours and hours, pretty much every day. Also school sports team practices are outside. And he could get more outdoor time by taking a botany or horticulture class as an elective or a PE class that would include or mainly be outdoor activity, though I don't think he chose those.

 

Ironically, in a "grass is greener" type way, several of my son's classmates felt jealous of his having been able to homeschool, asked him questions about it, and apparently convinced their parents that they wanted to homeschool and left to do that.  

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adding: I tried to do what Lori suggested of finding what he wanted in ps and providing them as part of homeschool, but it did not really work. Was exhausting for me to try to provide that, and homeschool co-op etc. really was not as much for him socially as regular school is. He did not get over it in a few weeks.

 

I think it might be better to express your concerns to your dd, see if she can come up with some ways to meet them while in ps (eg how she can get outdoor time), and to let her go.

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To be fair we didn't really give homeschooling an 'all in' chance, but we did get so far as to order curriculum and started teaching our son the read when he was 5. I had planned to homeschool him and my other children, but I could already see that our relationship was getting more tense. My husband and I decided to enroll him in the public school because in our area they aren't too bad. He had a great year and by the end of 1st was reading above grade level (without much extra help from me outside of school).... Then my second daughter started struggling in 1st grade and we decided to pull her 1/2 way through to give her more 1:1 with the basics. It's been the worst months I've had in a long time. We even started taking her to therapy for behavior (she likely has ADHD) and my daughter is making progress (but she is not where she should be grade level wise), but it's like pulling teeth and she is so distracted. I feel like the social isolation is starting to get to her too.. We got somewhat involved in a homeschool group but I just wasn't able to see how 1x a week at a big park was going to be enough and we can't really afford a bunch of paid activities right now, not to mention the time needed to do the school work and then the social activites I feel it really ends up being more than they spend in school.... so next year she is going back to school, and my 2 other kids who are school age are going as well. We are going to have a rough year ahead because she will be playing catch up and has difficultly concentrating and focusing but I still feel like it's the best thing we can do for now. I really have a lot of concerns about having my kids in public school for the long haul and I have a habit of reading too many blogs about how wonderful homeschooling can be and all the positives involved but for our family it just doesn't seem possible for many reasons, so of them being financial contrainsts, attitudes and motivation and just me not being able to commit myself to doing as many outside activities (I'm an introvert and homebody). It's hard admitting that you can't do something but I am still really invested in their education and I think I will be a much better mom and supporter when I take the pressure of homeschooling (even just thinking and researching it) off my plate. 

Edited by Sunshine89
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Regarding the homeschooling blogs - after following so many over the last few years, it is amazing the number that have ended with - "we've sent them to school because of social isolation". It's a common issue. 

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Just for encouragement for those who might be reading this thread and thinking that they aren't experts and their kids are doomed if they homeschool through high school, I am absolutely not an expert in any high school subject. I am just a mom who has dedicated herself to becoming the best teacher, supporter, resource locator that I can possibly be. My kids don't have the social life that kids have inside of a school building. They don't have fabulous teachers for every subject. But they do have me. :) I have managed to provide my kids an excellent high school education and most of it has been accomplished inside of the walls of our home. They have great friends. They are accepted to college. They even manage to earn competitive full-ride scholarships.

 

It is possible to do this at home and actually exceed anything offered at the local public school.

Thanks, 8! You are a tremendous encouragement!

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I was really miserable at public school from 2nd-8th grade and I wish I could have homeschooled instead.

 

But my kids (2 of my kids mainly) don't take after me. They are having positive experiences in school.

 

My motivation/interest in homeschooling is based on not wanting my kids to have a bad experience like I did. I am not really interested in educating them.

 

Also my husband is only supportive of homeschooling when something is not working out with public school. He isn't picky, and we have agreement about what this means.

 

Then there are more our-real-life complications, but that is the philosophy.

 

I am really pleasantly surprised that my kids are having a good experience. I expected them to follow in my foot steps but they haven't. Partly my kids have a more stable home environment and I am involved and provide support. Partly the schools are doing some things right where I fell through cracks.

 

My mom will say now that there were times she knew something was not right but she didn't know what she could do about it.

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