Jump to content

Menu

DS wants to be homeschooled... but I don't want to (Added more info)


Recommended Posts

DS11 will be in 5th grade and has been homeschooled every year except 3rd grade when I put all the kids in school while we did a massive home remodel. He did great that year at school. It's a good school, he made good friends, etc. I went back to homeschooling the next year (last year). I (unexpectedly) got pregnant and have an adorable 2 month old now. I decided several months ago I needed to lighten my own load next year so I planned to have my 3 oldest kids in school (including DS11) and "only" have 4 kids at home. I will be homeschooling a 1st and 3rd grader with a preschooler and infant underfoot. Besides the difficulty of homeschooling with an infant, I worry a lot about my 3rd grader and really want more time to work with him.  That's a story for another thread, but I am quite concerned about him emotionally, and a little bit academically.

DS11 is very upset about going back to PS. He says his main reasons are the homework and standardized testing. Academically I know he would do just fine. He has good friends at the school. He is usually pretty easy to homeschool and is fairly independent. It's just one more thing when I am already feeling overwhelmed with life. I know I could homeschool him and it would be fine. But I just... don't want to. And he is so upset about the thought of PS that I am second guessing this decision. I don't want him to feel slighted. I don't want this to negatively affect our relationship. But I was also feeling really good about sending him to school and "only" having 4 kids at home during the day.

Thoughts? Advice?

 

Edited by DesertBlossom
Link to post
Share on other sites

If he’s easy to homeschool and fairly independent might it not help to have him home during the day? Maybe he could help entertain the young ones while you get the quality time you want with your 3rd grader. Since he wouldn’t have any HW from public school, he would still have lots of free time after getting his own work done and helping you.

  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to have him home because I am losing my older helper as well. 

He did well at school and seemed happy in that he didn't complain.... though he is my boy that tends to keep things bottled inside.

I told him we could opt out of standardized testing, but he would still rather be homeschooled. 

I am so conflicted. I would be happy to homeschool him for all the reasons I am homeschooling in the first place. And if I do send him to school I would most likely not ever return to homeschooling. I really like the charter school my oldest 2 are at and he would attend there in 7th grade.

Edited by DesertBlossom
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how you homeschool the other kids and not him and have him not feel rejected about it.

5th grade was a pretty fun and easy year for me, but I know you have a lot of kids and that's different.  Still, I'd try to figure out how to homeschool him.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

What about online public school like K12?  I would think that would require less work from you, and although it would still have "homework" it might feel less like HOMEWORK to him.  

I haven't seen that as the case in people I know who've used it.  Maybe if your kid is unusually independent and mature but from what I could see parents were needing to hoop jump too for younger kids.  I have seen it work ok for high schoolers. 

I was ready to come in here blazing for you and saying the number one ingredient in homeschooling is a willing and enthusiastic parent.  But you are homeschooling.  So if I had an 11 year old that really wanted to homeschool and I was going to be homeschooling anyway I'd probably attempt make it work for him.  That said, I'd set him up with modular plug and play stuff for the most part and tell him you'll try it through the holidays and middle school work is going to require more independence and organization from him.  Maybe schedule a meeting with him once a week about expectations for that week and what didn't go well last week.  Age 10/11 is also the age my kids transitioned to having me more as a facilitator than directly teaching everything.   I don't think middle school is rocket science.   I might target things like read aloud history and science kits for him and just let the youngers tag along on those extra subjects.

If it doesn't work and you transition back to school explaining to him why it's not a fit now, I think that's fine. I would be more concerned about setting up resentment between him and younger siblings about just straight up saying no.  I'd also be proactive about getting the child with concerns evaluated appropriately by a professional sooner rather than later for whatever those issues might be. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh and as a homeschooler who lives in a state where standardized testing is required annually, I think if it's memorable enough that an 11 year old would find it traumatic and want to drop out of school over it, that school is doing it wrong.  We do one morning a year no prep standardized testing to fulfill state requirements followed by ice cream and it's always been a non-event in my kid's world.  And one of my kids is the anxious type.  I would definitely opt out if he went to school.  But it sounds like he is probably just making excuses if that didn't change his mind at all?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Oh and as a homeschooler who lives in a state where standardized testing is required annually, I think if it's memorable enough that an 11 year old would find it traumatic and want to drop out of school over it, that school is doing it wrong.  We do one morning a year no prep standardized testing to fulfill state requirements followed by ice cream and it's always been a non-event in my kid's world.  And one of my kids is the anxious type.  I would definitely opt out if he went to school.  But it sounds like he is probably just making excuses if that didn't change his mind at all?

 

Standardized testing is a huge problem in public schools because it is high-stakes testing, which means that students' performance reflects on school and teacher quality.  The schools and teachers are under tremendous pressure to have every student test well and that results in a lot of stress on the students and a full school year of teaching to the test.  The first time dd ever showed signs of anxiety was when she was in ps in 4th grade and started complaining of stomach aches - it turned out it was because of the stress of the testing that teachers were passing down to students.  She had a friend over and they were pretending to be teachers and they would bulge their eyes and yell, "the test!  the test!"  I started opting her out that year.  When dd was in middle school, her favorite teacher told dd that she was hurting her evaluation by not taking the tests because she would receive a zero for the test dd wasn't taking.  The testing and focus on testing was a big reason why we decided to homeschool. 

Edited by Kassia
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Putting aside what the 5th grader wants, if I was trying to lighten some of my load and homeschool some kids while having babies and toddlers at home, I think I'd put the 1st grader in school and keep the 5th grader at home. To me, the time spent hs'ing a 1st grader is relatively short (per day), but requires most/all of my attention during their work. A 5th grader does not have the same at-elbow needs and can help more with younger kids. Given that he wants to HS, I'd lay out the terms that you're going to be very busy managing the youngers and will need his help doing lunches/chores/whatever if he is home during the day.

Unless there's a reason you don't want the 1st grader in school?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EmseB said:

Putting aside what the 5th grader wants, if I was trying to lighten some of my load and homeschool some kids while having babies and toddlers at home, I think I'd put the 1st grader in school and keep the 5th grader at home. To me, the time spent hs'ing a 1st grader is relatively short (per day), but requires most/all of my attention during their work. A 5th grader does not have the same at-elbow needs and can help more with younger kids. Given that he wants to HS, I'd lay out the terms that you're going to be very busy managing the youngers and will need his help doing lunches/chores/whatever if he is home during the day.

Unless there's a reason you don't want the 1st grader in school?

 

I agree.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would do my best to homeschool an easy-to-homeschool kid who wanted to be homeschooled, particularly if I were already homeschooling other kids.  I will be the outlier and say that my kids were not, at 11, doing mostly independent work. Some, sure, but I was definitely an active and involved teacher and they definitely needed quite a bit of attention in various ways. I can verify that not all 5th graders are past the at-their-elbow stage . . . and some don't get past it for a looong time after that, lol. I know you say that this kid actually is pretty independent, but I'm throwing it out there for the poor lurkers who are wondering what they're doing wrong 😂

Having said that, I will also say that 5th was still a sweet spot for us and seatwork didn't take all that long. 3rd and 5th could combine on some content areas like history and science for sure if you go that route. You can also have set amounts of time where they are expected to engage in worthy pursuits on their own, like reading, drawing, certain games, outdoor play, and so on. Whatever you like that makes life easier for you, lol. 

 

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

You have me almost convinced to suck it up and homeschool him. 

But to add a little more info.... My oldest (13) has been in b&m school for several years now. But I told Dd12 and DS11 that with a new baby I would put them in school. I figure the stakes are a little bit higher in the older grades. And if I'm juggling balls and drop some, the consequences are bigger in the older grades. While the bigger kids are more independent, their work takes more time, there are more subjects and and requires more brain power from me. Doing seatwork with my 1st and 3rd graders for a short time each day is a lot less intimidating than making sure I get all the subjects covered for my 5th and 7th graders. DD12 was initially resistant but has warmed up to the idea of going to school. She has a lot of friends there so that helps. DS11 is the only one not wanting to go.

I mentioned above that I am worried about DS9. This is weighing heavily on my mind and is more of a factor in my decision than I may have initially explained. He is a sweet, loving kid who in recent months has become very negative. There is a lot of negative self-talk that I worry borders on depression. I don't know where it's come from. As a mother to lots of littles I always feel like I am not doing enough somewhere but I really feel like he needs me right now. I was hoping to make this year his year. He would be the oldest at home and I hope to work on building him up and increasing his confidence. I had my first 4 kids in 4.5 years and he is the youngest of those 4. So he is kind of one of the "big kids" but he is smaller for his age and tends to get left out of things. He and Ds11 get along mostly, but sometimes DS11 teases him and DS9 takes it very hard. I have wondered if some space during the day would be helpful. I wouldn't put DS11 in school just for this reason, but it's a contributing factor.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would let him stay home.  If he caused you trouble at home I would give a different answer but since he hasn’t caused you trouble I think he should be rewarded for his good behavior by getting to stay home. The plus side is you could make part of his day being your teacher assistant.  And you don’t have to have a rigorous course day it’s not like he’s going to get a whole lot at public school. 

Edited by Janeway
Link to post
Share on other sites

If all of your school age children were going to public school, I'd say it would be OK to send him. Sending him to PS when he wants to be homeschooled, especially when you are willing to homeschool other children, might be setting him up to resent the other children and especially the baby. I can see it causing more problems than it will solve.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

I really feel like he needs me right now. I was hoping to make this year his year. He would be the oldest at home and I hope to work on building him up and increasing his confidence

I don't have a scad of kids, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt. I think it could be a good thing for a 9 yo boy who is dealing with big feelings to have his big 11 yo old brother around. I'd keep them both home and see if there can be some mentoring there. My dc are 10 years apart and they ADORE each other. They also bug each other, haha, but it's a very special relationship. So maybe nurturing it will be stabilizing for your 9 yo. There's only so much of you to go around so lighting that candling and multiplying the love could be good.

Oh, just read your 11 yo teases him. Well whack him. I mean, there's just no reason for that. The 11 yo can shape up and be a human if he wants to be home. Being home is a privilege.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe ds9 would do better at school.  Maybe some time there would help his depression if that’s what it and give an extra team of adults .

Maybe send all the school age kids to school except for Ds11 who particularly wants to be home.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Pen said:

Maybe ds9 would do better at school.  Maybe some time there would help his depression if that’s what it and give an extra team of adults .

Maybe send all the school age kids to school except for Ds11 who particularly wants to be home.  

DS11 is going to do great academically wherever he is at. He'll do great in school. Things come easy to him. DS9 doesn't have any learning challenges but he definitely needs more than DS11. Nothing huge. Nothing that requires intervention. But I don't think being in PS would do anything to boost his confidence. DS11 would shine in his class. DS9 would get lost in the mix.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's about the age my dd's convergence problems showed up. She was having subtle symptoms (headaches, poor handwriting, complaints about fonts, difficulty catching balls).

She's so ADHD, we just kinda thought it was her. That's why I was thinking maybe look for some quiet other factor in the behaviors. 

Edited by PeterPan
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have many kids and also feel my 8 year old is in a needy place, so I really get where you are coming from.  I've got a toddler who takes up a lot of time that I need to spend with my 8 year old.  That said, I don't see how you tell the 11 year old no if you are homeschooling the younger 2.   If you are feeling stressed,  and want to put them in school, I'd put all of them in or give them each a choice.  Talk it up.  Maybe the 1st or 3rd grader would like to try it.  Maybe you just need a year with toddler and baby.  That's okay!  The running of the home depends on mom being at her best!  Its healthy to put limits on what you are willing to do.  

 

If the big kids all go next year, you may be able to focus more on the 3rd grader outside of school time doing something more creative.   Maybe he becomes your kitchen helper, or you have a set time for reading books or foing puzzles?

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I kind of feel

13 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

It's about the age my dd's convergence problems showed up. She was having subtle symptoms (headaches, poor handwriting, complaints about fonts, difficulty catching balls).

She's so ADHD, we just kinda thought it was her. That's why I was thinking maybe look for some quiet other factor in the behaviors. 

I don't know. And that's why worries me. I just don't know. Sending DS11 to school might not be the thing that helps me help DS9. Having him home to help with the littles may do more for me than sending him to school. Which is why this decision has been so difficult. I change my mind every other day. (Though I haven't yet called the school to unenroll him yet) If DS11 wants to be homeschooled I should run with that and homeschool him. But I also spent the last year pregnant, exhausted and feeling like I was failing at life. I am hoping to clear my plate a but but also don't want to cause more problems than  I am solving with DS11.

Edited by DesertBlossom
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, FuzzyCatz said:

Oh and as a homeschooler who lives in a state where standardized testing is required annually, I think if it's memorable enough that an 11 year old would find it traumatic and want to drop out of school over it, that school is doing it wrong.  We do one morning a year no prep standardized testing to fulfill state requirements followed by ice cream and it's always been a non-event in my kid's world.  And one of my kids is the anxious type.  I would definitely opt out if he went to school.  But it sounds like he is probably just making excuses if that didn't change his mind at all?

Our schools effectively spend 3 weeks testing per year. Not sure how much they spend preparing for testing. And they stop teaching after the last week of tests, sometime in early May, so they end up losing 6+ weeks per year for the testing. It kills me. Sigh. 

  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

When DS went to K, we had to spend about 45 minutes per night on homework with him in the evening. We had to get up early to take him to the school bus. So there is a time cost and stress to school. 

But I'm sending DS14 to school next year, and he's really opposed, so I understand. But I'm thinking it'll grow on him. I've told him he can come home after Q1 if he doesn't want to continue.

Emily

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


Maybe because I'm a parent with some in school, and some not in school, or maybe I'm just controlling, but I wouldn't have any concerns about telling my kids that you aren't comfortable homeschooling the upper grades, and still keeping the little ones at home.  I'm not saying that you should keep him or send him, or shouldn't weigh his opinions when considering the matter, but if you decide that school is best for him, I think you've given solid reasons as to how homeschooling the upper grades is more time consuming, and there are resources and accountability in schools at that level, that you can offer as an explanation that avoids telling him that it's because of his brother, or making him think he is less loved.  I think this would be harder if you didn't have the clear pattern of older kids going to school and younger kids staying home, but even then I think it could work, but then I homeschool my middle child and send his brothers to school.  

This is how I feel. He knows that I want to send him to school because of me. It is surprising to me that he hasn't resigned himself to going to school, especially since he did 3rd grade at the school, enjoyed it and did well. I told him I was considering his opinion. He was promising me he would get all his homeschooling work done every day without complaining, etc.. Then today I told him that I felt good about sending him to school and he burst into tears. Gah. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

This is how I feel. He knows that I want to send him to school because of me. It is surprising to me that he hasn't resigned himself to going to school, especially since he did 3rd grade at the school, enjoyed it and did well. I told him I was considering his opinion. He was promising me he would get all his homeschooling work done every day without complaining, etc.. Then today I told him that I felt good about sending him to school and he burst into tears. Gah. 

Oh dear.  I don’t think I could send a crying kid to school—not a 5th grader that I know I could teach.  But my opinion is colored by the fact that school was such torture to me.  

What if it all hinged on not teasing his 9 yo brother?  If he did not tease his brother, then would you be ok with him being at home?  And if you told him flat out that ds9 needs a year where he feels safe and not bullied and as long as ds11 can be a protective big brother, then he can stay?  And then see how the next month goes (giving ds11 a chance to fail a time or two until he gets it right and stops the teasing—I wouldn’t send him to school if he messes up just a couple of times in the next month.) 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Garga said:

Oh dear.  I don’t think I could send a crying kid to school—not a 5th grader that I know I could teach.  But my opinion is colored by the fact that school was such torture to me.  

What if it all hinged on not teasing his 9 yo brother?  If he did not tease his brother, then would you be ok with him being at home?  And if you told him flat out that ds9 needs a year where he feels safe and not bullied and as long as ds11 can be a protective big brother, then he can stay?  And then see how the next month goes (giving ds11 a chance to fail a time or two until he gets it right and stops the teasing—I wouldn’t send him to school if he messes up just a couple of times in the next month.) 

So I have a 2 month old who refuses to get put down, a 3.5 year old who just barely quit pooping on the floor after being dethroned as the baby of the family, and a 6 year old who demands each day I sit down with her and do her homeschooling. Last year when I was pregnant and tired I felt like I had to make sure my older 2 did their work (because the stakes are higher) and my youngers demanded the attention that they needed so they got it. Meanwhile DS9 flew under the radar. 😊  DS9 is a sweet kid who is an expert as disappearing from the homeschool table as soon as the chaos of life diverts my attention from him. I have to have my thumb on him a bit.

I know I can homeschool DS11 and it would be fine. But I was feeling a sense of relief that I could outsource the responsibility of his education and not have that worry that I wasn't doing enough. 

Sigh. 

Whatever I decide it may not end up being a life altering decision. I hope not anyway. Just trying to make the best decision for everyone while still recovering physically and emotionally from the.hardest.pregnancy.ever.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


I would worry about telling a kid that you think his brother feels unsafe and bullied around him as a reason for him to leave, unless the teasing is really out of control.  Like, I think a kid would take that much harder than being told that by 5th grade there's so much to learn that you really need a full day of school.  Or that you've been impressed with what his sibling learned in school at that age, and want him to have a chance. 

I imagine that at some point I will need to explain to my youngest why I don't homeschool him, because it's the kind of question he tends to ask.  Part of the reason has to do with how I think his presence would impact his brother, but I don't see how it would be productive to tell him that.  It seems like it would just feed jealousy.  Focusing on why I think school is good for him seems less damaging.  
 

I haven't told him that is part of my reason for sending him to school. I have only told him that with a baby I am trying to clear my plate a bit, that homeschooling a 5th grader is harder for me than homeschooling a 1st or 3rd grader, etc. I am sending DD12 to school for the exact same reason, so it's not just him and he knows that.  The fact that I am sending my best helpers to school shows how worried I am about not homeschooling well. Last year was hard. 

Edited by DesertBlossom
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

So I have a 2 month old who refuses to get put down, a 3.5 year old who just barely quit pooping on the floor after being dethroned as the baby of the family, and a 6 year old who demands each day I sit down with her and do her homeschooling. Last year when I was pregnant and tired I felt like I had to make sure my older 2 did their work (because the stakes are higher) and my youngers demanded the attention that they needed so they got it. Meanwhile DS9 flew under the radar. 😊  DS9 is a sweet kid who is an expert as disappearing from the homeschool table as soon as the chaos of life diverts my attention from him. I have to have my thumb on him a bit.

I know I can homeschool DS11 and it would be fine. But I was feeling a sense of relief that I could outsource the responsibility of his education and not have that worry that I wasn't doing enough. 

Sigh. 

Whatever I decide it may not end up being a life altering decision. I hope not anyway. Just trying to make the best decision for everyone while still recovering physically and emotionally from the.hardest.pregnancy.ever.

Oh dear!  That is a lot.  

I didn’t mean to make it worse.  I truly had horrible experiences in school.  Like, when we were all practicing for the junior ring ceremony in high school and we were all in the auditorium (all 300 of us juniors), when it was my turn to walk across the stage, the kids started loudly calling me names.  I mean...that’s like something that happens in movies: I was standing on a stage in front of 300 of my peers being called names.  

School was torture for me.  When you wrote that he cried about going to school, all those memories came rushing back and all I could think was, “Don’t make him go!!”  I had to go for counseling in my 30’s to overcome the damage of my school years, from 4th -12th grade.

But I do understand that you said he loved school except for testing, so his story isn’t mine.  It sounds like he wasn’t tormented in school and he has friends there.  You can opt out of the testing of course, and perhaps the problem is solved.  

I feel for both of you.  

Edited by Garga
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


I would worry about telling a kid that you think his brother feels unsafe and bullied around him as a reason for him to leave, unless the teasing is really out of control.  Like, I think a kid would take that much harder than being told that by 5th grade there's so much to learn that you really need a full day of school.  Or that you've been impressed with what his sibling learned in school at that age, and want him to have a chance. 

I imagine that at some point I will need to explain to my youngest why I don't homeschool him, because it's the kind of question he tends to ask.  Part of the reason has to do with how I think his presence would impact his brother, but I don't see how it would be productive to tell him that.  It seems like it would just feed jealousy.  Focusing on why I think school is good for him seems less damaging.  
 

I didn’t mean to say that the OP should accuse her oldest of bullying the youngest.  I would have worded it that ds9 is in an important part of his development where he needs to be mentored and protected and as long as ds11 would help the parents in that effort, he could stay home.  I would not ever indicate that ds11 was creating the problem or even part of it.  It would be more of a “this is what 9 year olds need and if you can come alongside me, then that will be a big help.”  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Garga said:

Oh dear!  That is a lot.  

I didn’t mean to make it worse.  I truly had horrible experiences in school.  Like, when we were all practicing for the junior ring ceremony in high school and we were all in the auditorium (all 300 of us juniors), when it was my turn to walk across the stage, the kids started loudly calling me names.  I mean...that’s like something that happens in movies: I was standing on a stage in front of 300 of my peers being called names.  

School was torture for me.  When you wrote that he cried about going to school, all those memories came rushing back and all I could think was, “Don’t make him go!!”  

But I do understand that you said he loved school except for testing, so his story isn’t mine.  It sounds like he wasn’t tormented in school and he has friends there.  You can opt out of the testing of course, and perhaps the problem is solved.  

I feel for both of you.  

My upper elementary years were pretty brutal too and I feel like it took my self esteem several decades to recover, even though by high school I had some great friends and good experiences.. So I am trying to hear him out and meet his needs even if it feels hard for me.

I asked him to make me a list of reasons for wanting to be homeschooled. Besides testing and homework he did mention mean kids. I asked him to elaborate and it doesn't sound like he was ever singled out and picked on. There were just punk kids who were mean and bossy to everyone. Which isn't nothing. 

I have some homeschool supplies for him in my online shopping cart, I just can make myself checkout yet. And school starts in a week.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


Can he start the year and try it out?  If there are actual mean kids being mean to him, I'd probably pull him,  If he gets a teacher with an unreasonable amount of homework, maybe pull him.  But this could be beginning of the year jitters. 

I suggested that and he countered with trying out homeschooling first and going back to school if he wasn't getting all his work done and being an easy kid to homeschool. 😊

The school curriculum is set so all teachers give the same homework each day. I can't guarantee he gets a nice teacher or doesn't have punk kids in his class though. 

Edited by DesertBlossom
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent my younger three to public school last year (first year there for my 7th and K’er) and my 7th grader was pointedly not happy about the situation. In fact, he repeatedly asked me to homeschool him again.

I desperately needed the break. I made the decision for me.

It is totally ok to say that YOU need the change. It is ok to make YOURSELF the priority. You can be the decision maker, rather than your child.

My oldest had been my pinch hitter for a lot of years and he also needed long stretches of uninterrupted study time this year.

Ds ended up having a fantastic year in public school. He learned and grew in a lot of ways. He *still* asked to be homeschooled again this next year but has resigned himself to at least one more year in public school. (Oldest graduates in May.)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Frankly, I don't consider 11 yrs old to be in the upper grades yet.  Maybe I'm doing things wrong but I'm finding that it is OK if not much ground is made during Jr High years, other than keeping up with Math and English.  If he was able to do those two things, then you could add in science/history/etc unit studies as you felt you were able, and I would call that perfectly fine.  Even though he would shine in PS, I still wouldn't send him if he didn't want go.  Also, I don't know whether your oldest is a son or daughter, but I'm finding that my son at this age (pre-puberty) needs me a whole lot more than I thought - not for schoolwork, but just company and chatting and making lunches together...just togetherness.

Can you reframe your coming school year with the thought of restoring balance and peace in your life and let the homeschool chips fall where they may?  If your two oldest are in school happily, the 11 year old and youngers won't be hurt if you just keep up with minimal math and English.

This is giving me a lot to think about. I know that doing just the basics is enough. Every year I think I am going to excel at homeschooling and every year we end up doing just enough. Because life. But it is enough. And maybe I am worrying too much about it. I do want to "restore balance." I have big plans to reestablish good routines since I spent most of last year pregnant and trying to take all the naps.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know if my experience will help you at all but when my oldest son was 11, we also has a 9yo, 8yo, a 3yo and our surprise infant. I had just spent the previous year (oldest's 4th grade year) taking care of all five kids and a house on my own while their dad was working as an overseas contractor (he was my husband then, he's just not now) Then he got a new job and we had to move, on our own so we had to pack, store and unpack everything on our own, halfway across the country to a state where we knew exactly no one and the nearest family was a 12 hour drive away. We got the bare minimum done homeschooling wise by necessity. Once we settled in and got ourselves established, it wasn't hard to start adding a little more to our homeschool days a little at a time. No one suffered any ill academically from that time in our lives. The oldest three are 21. 19 and 18 now so 10 years have gone by. They are all doing just fine and the 18yo, the only one with an interest in going to college, will be attending the college of her choice in the fall. The 19yo has a steady job and my 21yo joined the military which had been his dream job since he was very little.

If your 11yo isn't the type to turn on the waterworks just to get his way, I don't think I could send him to ps unless it was out of my control. If he is that adamant about it, I would find a way to make it work and let him know that in order for me to fulfill his wish to be homeschooled, I'm going to need his full cooperation (in other words, I don't want to have to be on his case all the time about his school work or behavior) and I'm going to need him to help me out around the house and with the little kids to make it all happen. Like someone said above, homeschooling is a privilege not a right and if he makes my job harder I will have no qualms sending him to public school. If he can agree to all that, I would give it a shot with him. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

But I also spent the last year pregnant, exhausted and feeling like I was failing at life. I am hoping to clear my plate a but but also don't want to cause more problems than  I am solving with DS11.

How is your energy now? I don't remember how long the hormonal stuff of post-partum lasts. And even when that clears, you may still be tired from nursing.

I think your ds' complaints about the ps are legit. I could hear my ds saying something like that, just this really rational "but you don't realize" kind of explanation. If you feel up to it, you could. If you don't feel up to it, you can't, kwim? There's nothing he's describing that's not survivable, but he's recognizing that the stuff gets in the way of what school could be. But if he has to put up with it, he has to. If your energy is rebounding, that's different.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

I have big plans to reestablish good routines

Maybe start there, see what it looks like? If you make the routines and get at least part going (morning chores, etc.) and it looks realistic, that's a good sign. I would *think* the entropy would be less with some olders along. Not that you need to "buddy" but you'd at least have peer models, momentum.

It sounds like you're pretty hard on yourself about the gap between your ideal homeschooling and what you really do. I think the boards can aggravate that in some ways, because people post what they do with 1 or 2 (like me) and make it sound like that's ideal. Make sure you're looking at people working with the same number of kids you are to see what's realistic. 

It sounds like your kids can read and they communicate well. They even self-advocate. As long as their standardized test scores for math and the rest are in-range, my guess is they have the character foundation that makes for success. You're probably going fine. It's normal to have a gap between what you aspire to and what you actually get done. Maybe make both plans and kind of talk reality to yourself? I'll bet you could hit in the middle--not your dream plan but not your lowest expectations. You'll probably have a good year. :smile:

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would find another way to lighten my load, and keep the boy home who wants to be home. Make it clear he has to do his work and help with the littles .  Note, he is growing up, and soon may not want to be home all the time with mom...I think in future you may regret NOT keeping him home this year than otherwise.   

Or... Make him a deal. He has to complete the first semester at school, then if he still want to, he can come home.  That gives you some breathing room...and he may well decide to stay in school by then.  

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

This is giving me a lot to think about. I know that doing just the basics is enough. Every year I think I am going to excel at homeschooling and every year we end up doing just enough. Because life. But it is enough. And maybe I am worrying too much about it. I do want to "restore balance." I have big plans to reestablish good routines since I spent most of last year pregnant and trying to take all the naps.

We have had a lot of barely scraping by in academics years.

I take comfort from my own and my siblings' exceedingly eclectic educations; we moved so often and changed academic settings so many times; there was no coherent educational sequence and frankly entire years were pretty much an academic wash except for maybe some language immersion learning. 4th and 5th and 6th grades were all like that for me--between ages 9 and 11 I lived in three different countries and attended four different schools with three different primary languages of instruction. Mostly I just survived each day.

And somehow it all panned out. We grew up reading and thinking and made our way through college and into the world.

You have a lot of valid concerns, I can't guess what the best decision is. I have one child I sent to school for two and a half years partly to give him time away from a critical sibling (sibling was struggling with developmental and mental health issues). I've done my share of juggling kids in school and homeschool and babies. It is hard any way you slice things.

My personal approach has been to prioritize mental health wherever possible--yours as well as the children's. If you set aside concerns about academics do you anticipate your 11 year old and the rest of the family thriving better if he goes to school or stays home? It sounds like this is a bright and academically capable kid, I don't think fifth grade academics are going to have a big impact on his future one way or another.

 

 

Edited by maize
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t want to pile on or make you feel bad..... but no way I would send him.  So many of us have such a privilege of getting to decide if we keep our kids home or send them to school. My brother, who is 50 this year hated school so so much.  He cried every day and teachers and kids bullied him.  My mom had zero choice but to send him.  I believe his life might be a lot different if he could have been home with my mom.  That wasn’t an option then.

A kid who WANTS to be home is much more likely to be cooperative and over all helpful.  But either way, even if 5th grade is an academic bust, I would consider it a win to have  my little boy with me and his siblings.  

Scarlett 

(whose opinion is based upon her only child being 19 and about to leave home)

  • Like 8
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you send the 6 year old? Usually there's less (no?) testing in the younger grades right? And 1st grade is generally a pretty fun grade to be at school for. That way, you can lessen your load at home, but keep the one that wants to be at home, home.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I will give you my thoughts based on how *I* would feel and how *I* would handle it. But 1) I don't have that many kids and 2) none of my kids ever went to any kind of "school" setting.

I don't view homeschooling as a right vs a privilege. I view it as a gift my children and I can give each other. So, I wouldn't want to take that away ESPECIALLY for a child who so so wants it.  I am a cynic by nature, but I don't think children try to play us, so if my  kid was begging me to homeschool him, I would trust there he had a reason. However, I also know myself and I know that I need certain things too - like rest (I am NOT a very energetic person) and good attitude during school time, don't bicker with your brothers  bc that stresses me out and makes me more tired,  etc etc

So.....here is what *I* would say to my 11 yr old- I love having you at home, I love seeing your face around here as much as I can, but since it's not just you and I in this family, we need to make sure that everyone's needs are met.  If you can do A, B, C then I would love to homeschool you. 

And I just wanted to mention for reference, not that it matters.  I had a perfectly good school experience myself and homeschooling was originally my husband's idea, I thought it was the craziest idea ever!

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

A kid who bursts into tears when told he has to go to school and tries to negotiate ways to stay homeschooled either 1) didn't enjoy school as much as you think he did, or 2) is feeling displaced by younger children who do get to homeschool and by the baby who is being used as the reason he needs to go to school, or 3)both of the above. I understand you're overwhelmed, but I would find a way to keep him home.

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

Would something like Oak Meadow which is a whole curriculum in a box and written increasingly directly to the student as they grow older work for your 11 yo to be able to school at home but without so much concern about educating him at his level? And maybe also send 1st grader to school?  1st grade education may be easier than middle school, but first graders tend to be more draining and less able to lend a useful hand. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if you responded to the suggestion of k 12. You can get it free through most states but if you can afford it you can buy it and avoid all the hoops. It is a great curriculum and an 11 year old should be able to do all of it independently . I love how visual it is fir the parent to check progress 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

Not sure if you responded to the suggestion of k 12. You can get it free through most states but if you can afford it you can buy it and avoid all the hoops. It is a great curriculum and an 11 year old should be able to do all of it independently . I love how visual it is fir the parent to check progress 

 

👍

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

How is your energy now? I don't remember how long the hormonal stuff of post-partum lasts. And even when that clears, you may still be tired from nursing.

Oh my goodness, I feel like a whole new woman.  Physically I am feeling great. My baby is rather grumpy/high needs so I am still not able to accomplish what I want to because I spend so much time nursing and rocking a baby. My big kids are helpful but they don't last very long holding a crying baby. But I am hopeful this stage won't last long.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, DesertBlossom said:

Oh my goodness, I feel like a whole new woman.  Physically I am feeling great. My baby is rather grumpy/high needs so I am still not able to accomplish what I want to because I spend so much time nursing and rocking a baby. My big kids are helpful but they don't last very long holding a crying baby. But I am hopeful this stage won't last long.

Does babywearing work for you? Once they are old enough for a backpack that can be easier than the front carriers (at least for me).

My babies get huge really fast though and too heavy for me to carry much 🙂

I'm glad to hear your energy is back!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, maize said:

Does babywearing work for you? Once they are old enough for a backpack that can be easier than the front carriers (at least for me).

My babies get huge really fast though and too heavy for me to carry much 🙂

I'm glad to hear your energy is back!

I do. I have several types of carriers. It's also a billion degrees here and even though we have a/c inside I feel like we end up sweaty and sticky. So I wear him when I am desperate. I eliminated dairy from my diet a few weeks ago and I think it's helping his mood.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

You ladies have me feeling good about homeschooling him. I haven't ever really looked into k12, but I will check that out. I've got a few good git 'er done curriculums that have worked well for us in previous years like MM and R&S spelling. Last year we tried Lightning Lit and I liked it and (most importantly) we stuck with it and it got done. We also have the option of a one day a week enrichment program through the district, which gives me a much needed break.

Thank you for all the replies, for helping me walk through this mentally. I am feeling a lot better about this now.

  • Like 13
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...