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Let’s say you have “lost that homeschool feeling�


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I have been homeschooling for 13 years. I have really only wanted to for 11. I have felt very done for two years and burnt out for four. I have an opportunity to be finished and have my final two go to a new classical charter school starting up. It sound good in theory, but it’s new - brand spanking new. A Hillsdale college inspired charter school (we’re fine with the foundation of that). Would you do it? The classes will remain at around 50 kids. It would be for 5th and 8th grades. My 8th grader has social issues (possible mild asd)and seems to do fine in outside homeschool classes. He’s my wild card but DH feels like he needs to get out of the padded friendly nest at home. I tend to agree but wasn’t sure how to do it.

 

 

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Are the kids wanting to do this?  If they are fighting you on this I would be afraid it would fail and undermine all of you.  If they are o.k. with it or even interested I would try it for a year. 

 

Make a commitment, though, to yourself and to the kids.   Talk it through and make it clear that there might be days where they are frustrated or got into an argument with a friend or got really confused in class or you are really aggravated by the limits of the school schedule or unhappy with one particular teacher's organizational skills or whatever else might be causing stress and frustration in the moment (or maybe you are all just really tired and cranky that morning and the idea of driving to school just seems insurmountable) but that does not mean it would actually be a good idea to just pull them out again because of one bad day or bad week or bad whatever.  No academic setting is perfect.  There just isn't one.  And since the school will be brand new it will almost certainly have some growing pains.  The positive of that is that your kids, on the other side of those growing pains, will hopefully have some funny bonding moments to remember and share with classmates and teachers.  In the meantime, though, if all of you are committed to really giving this a fair shot then maybe the stuff that seems big really won't seem so big and you can all focus on the positives that are also probably there.

 

  Now if there is bullying or something else equally potentially harmful long term, that would be different and need to be assessed based on the specific facts.  There are times when it is absolutely the right thing to do to get out.  I just know that several parents/kids who went this route got caught up in little stressers, building them up into REALLY BIG DEALS, pulled their kids out again and then the kids missed school and wanted to go back.  Turns out those REALLY BIG DEALS weren't so big after all, and the good had honestly outweighed the bad in hindsight.   

 

At the very least, if you try it and they hate it then at least you KNOW this won't work and you need to try something else.  And it doesn't have to be forever.  Maybe they go to school for a year, they learn some things, you get a break and the following year one or both ask to come home only this time they are more committed and you are refreshed from having some time away. 

 

FWIW, the mental and physical well being of Mom is important.   And frankly I absolutely do not believe that homeschooling is the only right way to educate and that school is automatically bad.  Some kids do really well in a school and there is NOTHING wrong with that.  You worked hard, now it may be time for your family to try something else, at least for a while.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, that's o.k. too.  Find another path.  And give yourself some grace.

 

:grouphug:

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I would try it. Is the school open yet or will it open in the summer? I’d ask for help with the school counselor if you think your older DS needs assistance, accommodations, etc.

 

If it doesn’t work out, the time by yourself while they’re away will at least give you a homeschool break and time to re-evaluate if needed.

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For me, the most important factor would be how the kids feel about it.

 

This is exactly how I feel.

 

I've had some VERY hard burnt out years.  I have pulled out of my funk thankfully, but it was always about what my kids wanted or what was best for them in my mind.

 

That said, our feelings about it matter too so nobody should feel forced to continue on if it's just too much.

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I'm pretty leery of charters these days - the discipline policies and "values" culture can be really bizarre and even harmful, with no outside oversight...I mean, don't go from one weird charter to another. But if you can get some reassurance that there are firm policies, and you can agree with those policies, maybe it's worth a try?

 

Two other thoughts are to make sure your kids are up for whatever this school's definition of rigor might be - check curriculum and homework policies - and remember that charter schools can be closed at any time, even mid-year.

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I'm going to be in a similar position but deferring to DD and letting her know that it's ok to homeschool after a year. I think if the school has the rigor that DD now has with her online classes she would do well and have a natural setting of friends, unlike now where I'm really working it to give her a social life, though she claims having a handful of good friends is better than large circle of casual friends. She is an extrovert and may not understand that a school setting could be more satisfying for her social needs. Self-care is essential for a mother since in my family I'm really the foundation and I've had to go through some health issues, but DD has online classes which makes it easier on me.

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If you are burnt out no one is getting a solid education. Ask your kids what they want to do. And work the plan from there.

 

And, I am just going to say it, every time I read your thread title I hear The Righteous Brothers singing.

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I’ve talked with the new principle about the crazy things at my dd’s charter school currently and other topics and from what he says, this school is not at all the same. They are actually building a new school as we speak and the principle and others involved are very solid people/educators. I’m pretty sure Ds would not want to go. But he’s also needing very much to be around people more. Everything we’ve tried to get him interested in has been a huge flop.

 

Part of my problem is managing my disabled 18 year old. There are a lot of his needs that need to be addressed. At this point, Ds would be taking all of his classes at a co-op next year. Dd would most likely go to he school anyway because our relationship thrives when we’re not around each other all day most days.

 

And yes- righteous brothers all the way...

 

 

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Well, for one most kids go to school and for most it is fine.

 

Of course crazy things can happen.

 

I think she is trying to reassure her that putting her kids in school isn't feeding them to wolves.

Yes, this. :)

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Well I wouldn't.  The Hillsdale charter set up wouldn't work for us.   That said, our city has a bunch of successful charter schools with waiting lists.  I am generally leery of start ups for a few years.  But the fact that it's a charter isn't necessarily an issue for me.

 

That said, I always say the number one ingredient to successful homeschooling is an enthusiastic and engaged parent willing to do it.  If you're done, you're done.  And if this school seems like you're best current option, give it a try.  It's not prison - you can change our mind later if it doesn't work out.  And you have some time to prepare your kids and get them used to the idea. 

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  My 8th grader has social issues (possible mild asd)and seems to do fine in outside homeschool classes.  

 

 

You might try to put him in some more mixed situations as a warm-up for the charter school. Lessons, clubs, maybe a camp or two early in the summer. And ask the teacher or leader to be brutally honest with you about behaviors and such. 

 

ime, outside homeschool classes are much more forgiving than schools, the kids aren't so hard on each other. He could probably use some practice in a non-homeschool environment.  If he has some behaviors that are noticeable and potentially an issue, try to discover that and address it before he starts school. 

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You might try to put him in some more mixed situations as a warm-up for the charter school. Lessons, clubs, maybe a camp or two early in the summer. And ask the teacher or leader to be brutally honest with you about behaviors and such. 

 

ime, outside homeschool classes are much more forgiving than schools, the kids aren't so hard on each other. He could probably use some practice in a non-homeschool environment.  If he has some behaviors that are noticeable and potentially an issue, try to discover that and address it before he starts school. 

 

My ds is just pretty introverted.  He doesn't do things that are noticeable to an outsider.  His homeschool one day a week teacher didn't notice him to be different - shy and introverted, but not anything that she noticed.  He really wants friends but I just don't think his interaction with kids his own age is often enough despite our efforts to get him out or invite friends over.  He mostly has email friends.  

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On 3/8/2018 at 10:48 AM, Tibbie Dunbar said:

I'm pretty leery of charters these days - the discipline policies and "values" culture can be really bizarre and even harmful, with no outside oversight...I mean, don't go from one weird charter to another. But if you can get some reassurance that there are firm policies, and you can agree with those policies, maybe it's worth a try?

 

 

 

 

In total agreement with the statement above.

 

We are a committed academic family who found the local classical school, which was a dream come true for us, wrought with concerning extremisms.  

In our community, I think "classical school" is synonymous with hyper-isms.  Hyper religious.  Hyper morality.  Hyper control.  Sadly, as great as the educational model was, it was the hyper-isms that put it all in a context that I couldn't support. 

But it did give me a year off.  And that was a very good thing.  

 

Doodle 

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I'd try it. As you know, the charters out here vary from great to what-the-heck?!? You can always pull your kids out if it stinks. For your dd, I can't imagine it any worse than this year's school.

 

Also, can you put your 8th grader on the wait list for the high school program in the building next to the CC? Just in case this charter turns out to be whackadoodle?

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I'd try it. As you know, the charters out here vary from great to what-the-heck?!? You can always pull your kids out if it stinks. For your dd, I can't imagine it any worse than this year's school.

 

Also, can you put your 8th grader on the wait list for the high school program in the building next to the CC? Just in case this charter turns out to be whackadoodle?

I could have put him in that school. They have a bigger emphasis on computers than I like (Ds was showing clear signs of addiction) and we just didn’t feel like it was the right place for him. Also, trying to work with two different school schedules that are on opposite sides for me would be too much driving and hauling my special needs son around.

 

 

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I could have put him in that school. They have a bigger emphasis on computers than I like (Ds was showing clear signs of addiction) and we just didn’t feel like it was the right place for him. Also, trying to work with two different school schedules that are on opposite sides for me would be too much driving and hauling my special needs son around.

 

 

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That makes sense. Mine have been on the wait list and I've turned down spots since the older 2 were in 1st/K. I finally realized it'd never be a fit and stopped putting them on 😂.

 

I do hope this new school is a great fit and gives you the space to really rest.

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My ds is just pretty introverted.  He doesn't do things that are noticeable to an outsider.  His homeschool one day a week teacher didn't notice him to be different - shy and introverted, but not anything that she noticed.  He really wants friends but I just don't think his interaction with kids his own age is often enough despite our efforts to get him out or invite friends over.  He mostly has email friends.  

 

 

Did you ask her if she noticed, or did she just not bring anything up? Does she have experience teaching his age range in a public school setting? Because that's my point, homeschoolers are much less likely to notice - and when I did notice, in the classes I taught, I didn't bring it up to the parents. And homeschooled kids tend to be more accepting, and more accustomed to a wider range of behaviors. (That is not a blanket statement meant to condemn schooled kids, I know and love many of them, but the overall group setting is not as open-minded in my experience) 

 

I'm not trying to add to your worries. The daily interaction at school makes some kids more comfortable with eventually talking to other kids more, or he might just enjoy being around them even if he doesn't get together outside of school. But I would personally really want a trial run of some kind before school begins, because a rough start is hard to get past. I know you say he just comes across as shy and introverted in homeschool class, but there's a reason you think he might have mild ASD. I'd put him in a camp dominated by schooled kids in early summer, and flat-out tell the teacher or leader to please observe him and be brutally honest about any behaviors that stand out, because he's headed off to school in fall. If there aren't any, great! He just had fun at camp, that's cool. 

 

Good luck with everything! 

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