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mom2scouts

Only one homeschool mom friend left

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All but one of the homeschool moms I know personally have put their children in school this year. It seems really odd because most of these women were diehard homeschoolers. One homeschooled her oldest two to graduation, told me last year it felt strange to send a child to public school because homeschooling was "her thing" and then this year she sent all her remaining children to school. Another homeschooled through 7th grade and then put her children in public school. One mother put one child into school because the girl was an athlete competing on a public school team and wanted to join her friends at school. This year she sent all the rest of the kids to a private school. Another homeschooled her oldest two from K to graduation when her house was full of toddlers and foster children and now, when her life seems much less intense, she sent all her younger kids to private school and does lots of fun stuff for herself. These were all the women who encouraged me to homeschool and I intend to homeschool until my youngest has graduated. I know there's so many reasons parents stop homeschooling (burnout, finances, special needs, child wanting to go to school), and I'm not even sure why I'm posting this here other than I feel like I've been left alone and all my homeschool cheerleaders have left me.

Edited by mom2scouts
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Homeschooling is so rare here that I have actually never known another homeschool mom in real life. 

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

Homeschooling is so rare here that I have actually never known another homeschool mom in real life. 

Wow!  We will be your posse since you have a paucity in real life.  I’m fortunate that I know many homeschoolers and have been surrounded by them my entire journey, but admittedly the numbers thin dramatically in middle school and high school.

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Most of the homeschool families we've been friends with over the last 6 years have put their kids in school.  The kids DS11 had a lot in common with are gone and the kids that are left he doesn't have much in common with anymore. 😕 

It seems like everyone jumped to school suddenly, too.  Homeschooling happily for years, then one day "We've enrolled the kids in school.  We start in 2 weeks!".  After years of being practically anti-school they are suddenly very "Rah rah rah! School is the best!" 😕  

Edited by MissLemon
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We made it to graduation with our two daughters. I only know two other moms doing high school. I have to say it is hard work, especially at the end when you are teaching, getting them setup for AP exams, and doing college applications all by yourself. If I had a third child, I'm not sure I could do it all again without a little break at least. I do love homeschooling though.

Edited by CAJinBE
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34 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

After years of being practically anti-school they are suddenly very "Rah rah rah! School is the best!" 😕  

This is the part that I've found most disconcerting about some people leaving homeschooling.  I finally realized, though, that it's really a personality thing - whatever they do, they think is the best choice, and they are very vocal about it.  I'm just waiting to hear how junior's college is the best of all colleges anywhere, LOL!  

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I'm sorry for your pain at this, it's not easy.  I was the first (lonely) homeschool mom in my area, and now I'm the last - all of dd14's friends are heading to high school this year.  My oldest is 30 and I've remained good friends with the mom of his best friend who also homeschooled through high school.  Likewise, my older daughter had only one friend who went all the way through and her mom and I are also good friends.  I do find myself reading these boards more and more, imagining myself friends with interesting lovely moms.

All the homeschooled friends of my younger two went or are going this year to public high school and I have no mom friends among their parents.  It feels so sad. I felt most at home with the moms of the older ones, and not just in age.  The younger moms (mostly of kids now heading to high school) have been weirdly competitive about more things during the homeschool years - schooling, sports, activities - than we old ladies were back in the day.  Is this because college is harder to get into?  Is the culture more competitive as a result of the internet and the need for instagram likes?  

I agree with MissLemon and klmama about how new school moms seem very rah rah, whether justifying their decision or just more of that same competitiveness.  Selkie, I'm so sorry - I will never complain again about having only a couple of homeschool mom friends!

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So sorry.  We did have a great group when my oldest HSed through high school.   But many did opt to send their kids to high school.  And many opted to send their kids to CC for dual enrollment.

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Sorry to hear that. I found myself in a similar situation last year. Sometimes I would find myself angry at them for changing course. Obviously that is ridiculous, their journey is their business, but I had to walk myself through a short discussion more than once to find peace with that. Then I hang out here and search some obscure topic related to high school and I find the answer and realize this is the place I need to be.

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I was with a group of homeschool moms this weekend and we were very real with each other about the struggles. One of the older moms lamented that so often in homeschool circles, people try to put on the best show all the time, even when it’s killing them for whatever reason. All that to say, it may seem sudden, but we may not be privy to what’s really going on. I know I was surprised by a couple of the moms who seemed to have it all together but it just wasn’t so.

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6 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Homeschooling happily for years, then one day "We've enrolled the kids in school.  We start in 2 weeks!".  After years of being practically anti-school they are suddenly very "Rah rah rah! School is the best!" 😕  

Yes, we know several people like this. 

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Recently, I've been wondering which of the home school families we know will actually home school through high school.  Currently, that is the plan for all of them but I know the odds of that happening are slim. I am positive that at least a few will home school through high school, in particular my brother's family and my sister's family.  But many of the other families we know have already dabbled in sending the kids to school and even though most have come back to home schooling I think, "if elementary was too chaotic for you then there is no way you'll make it through high school.  but I guess they could surprise me.

I hope that just because they no longer home school you are still able to maintain friendships with them.  I know many people who center their lives around befriending other home school families and then when people stop home schooling those friendships don't seem important to them anymore. It is one reason I make it a point to keep my non home schooling friends close.

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I can definitely relate to the moms you are talking about.  I've been homeschooling for 18 years.  My oldest 2 are in college (electrical engineering majors and very successful), and I homeschooled them all the way through.  My good friend and I created a small junior high and high school co-op of about 5 families when we lived in VA, and that co-op was definitely the reason for my older kids' successes. It's pretty impossible, at least for me, to do all things well in high school, and I think you are going to have to outsource some things or band together with people who are gifted in areas where you are not.  My kids never liked online classes, so we only did a handful of them.

Then we moved to Ohio one year ago, and in some ways, it was a relief to me to get away from the co-op, just because it was so stressful to be teaching a junior high and a high school science course each year, plus memory work for the younger kids and sometimes Latin (my parts of the co-op).  It was taking 2 days a week, with labs, to do the teaching. I felt like my younger kids were missing out on time with me, and I was so exhausted and burnt out.

My moving led to many changes.  My good friend ended up putting her 2 remaining high school kids in public school, which really was the best thing for them.  The older one is very gifted musically (guitar), and he was able to have many, many more opportunities through the school than he was able to homeschooling. The younger one has a difficult personality, and having other teachers and classmates has been good, plus he can play football (homeschoolers can't play on public school teams in VA).  She is still homeschooling her youngest, a daughter.

I am still homeschooling, but my oldest 2 at home are dual-enrolling at the CC.  I'm outsourcing more classes for my junior high girls. And I still have 4 elementary aged kids I am trying to teach.  I'm still just feeling so tired and burnt out.  It's like I just have no margin for anything anymore. I even outsourced science classes for my junior high girls, and a few years ago, I could never have imagined that.  I'm sure my classes are way more rigorous!  I don't even *like* Apologia books!  But I just can't right now.  I need a breather.

My oldest daughter (8th grade) is really gifted athletically, and she is running with the local public school team here. She is also feeling the pull of being with the friends she is making on the team.  I'm not inclined to put her in the public school, but she may run with the local Christian school and take a few classes there in high school. 

As I think ahead to when my younger kids are approaching high school, I can not say with 100% certainty that I'll still be homeschooling them.  There's a few excellent Christian schools around here, and maybe we'll try them.  I don't know.  Or maybe I'll be rejuvenated and re-inspired!  Whatever I decide, I am sure I will not be enthusiastically cheering my choice.  I would hate being tied to a formal school schedule, and I think there is soooo much busywork in school.  I despise all the extra things that I see my friends post pictures of (Leprechaun traps, 100 day things, crazy whatever day)--I don't have time nor interest for that.  

But on the other hand, I need to be able to exercise. And my brain is just fried.  Fourteen more years seems like an eternity.  I'm just worn down and tired. I don't even have particularly difficult kids or any with special needs!  It's just a long haul. Give grace to your friends, especially the ones with large families!  I found it MUCH easier back when I just had a bunch of little kids.  I was in control of the schedule, and I decided what was important.  Now everything matters more, for the older kids, and there's just a lot to keep track of., leading to the mental exhaustion I'm feeling.

 

Edited by AFwife Claire
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I know for some of my irl friends their reasoning for sending some kids to high school was because the boys just needed more than mom could offer. Some boys just really need people and work outside of the home. I think it is one reason apprenticeship was so common for centuries. As boys become teenagers some just NEED to be out of the house and not around mom most of the day. 

But I am sure some girls are like that too. I just think it is more common in boys. 

I also think some people grow and change as their children grow. What they are so vocal about when they have a 5 year old can change as they see life unfold more. I have seen that in a lot of areas of life not just educating children. 

And I think the competition for higher education also plays a big role too. 

Of my friends irl very few who are so vocal about homeschooling do I think will last the whole time. One in particular is so black and white when it comes to schooling and parenting, but they really just haven't experienced much in life yet. I doubt they will always see it so black and white. 

I homeschool and know one other family in my city that does. But many that are back "home" do. It is difficult to do something no one understands, but I try to keep pressing on. 

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I’m going to be that friend next year. I’m already planning for it. I’ve been homeschooling since 2001. I’ve already graduated 2 kids after this year, 3. I’m tired, lol and I don’t want to homeschool another through high school. So my last kiddo is going to a traditional school next year. I won’t crow that it’s the best, though it will be the best for me, haha.

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2 hours ago, SusanC said:

Obviously that is ridiculous, their journey is their business, but I had to walk myself through a short discussion more than once to find peace with that. 

 

Finance - only very close friends knew when my husband was going to be retrenched in 2013. That’s because his department was told in June 2013 to relocate in April 2014 or be retrenched. So with such advance warning, the staff wasn’t supposed to say anything to friends until closer to April. Now, a lot of his former colleagues are being retrenched in the near future and they are looking for jobs. If my husband didn’t manage to get another job before retrenched date, I would have returned to full time work because at that time ladies had a higher rate of employment then men even if pay might be lower. 

Health - while my health crash obviously a few times and we resort to brick and mortar outsourced classes to “babysit”, I know many with burn out that isn’t obvious. For example, I lost most of my hair through chemotherapy and many strangers are extra nice because my health issue is so obvious. These strangers are polite but not as “nice” to other people without obvious health issues. 

Spouse support - we pulled our kids out in 2011 because my husband gave up on our school district. My husband is the one who is pro homeschooling but he is also the one who wants it to be free if possible and for kids to go early to college (to save costs and time, but mainly cost since his siblings and cousins are late launchers too). I have to sign my kids up for classes without asking him or we would have a massive argument. We do have the money to pay so affordability isn’t the issue, it’s just penny pinching. So even with spouse support, it can be emotionally a roller coaster. I know SAHM neighbors whose spouses are against homeschooling so their kids stay in public school. I also know fathers who are okay with public school for K-8 but private for high school. So I won’t be surprised if fathers are okay with homeschooling K-8 but not high school.

I met someone while my DS14 was taking the SAT subject test and she said her son insisted on going to a brick and mortar high school because he is sad that he has no friends from his online private school. Private high school wasn’t a viable option so he is in public high school. Her son has plenty of friends from their neighborhood that goes to the same high school so he is a happy sophomore now.

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We always planned to only homeschool through 8th grade, and I would say that is the most common approach here. It is hard to homeschool high school well--I can teach anything through an 8th grade level, math through 12th, and I would do better than a mediocre teacher at most subjects, but there is no way I can match a good specialist for AP science classes, English, and Spanish. Our CC options are not at the level of excellence of a good high school honors/AP class, and the peer set is not a good match either. I do believe my kids' best opportunity was at our public high school. While there were some years when we had homeschool acquaintances and a co-op, they were mostly pretty lonely years. The last couple were hard, but I was determined to go through 8th grade. I see better now that that wasn't the only option. I am now enjoying my next stage of life; I can understand homeschool moms that are just tired and want to be at that next stage too, before they're in their 60's.

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Yeah, have a drawer full of those t-shirts! I lost my very-beginning mentor, when she decided she was no longer a mom, a wife, or a Christian! Last seen heading to s. CA in a red sports car. It shook my world, but made me re-examine why WE were hsing. And then I lost the only other really academic mom--she sent her profoundly gifted kid off to East Coast boarding school. I could never talk again about what WE were doing, because it came across as bragging. I just saw her "first day of school" photos this morning--all of her kids are in the system now. I miss her wisdom. It was HARD to have no one to float questions like, "Do we try to get through diffy q in high school". Most of the hsers in this town are refugees from a failing system, not because their kids are asynchronous and gifted. So, I came here, to these boards. I'm now on the other side, with the advice, but I miss the days of "Do we travel 6 hours for cello lessons?" sorts of questions. 

I've lost friends over hsing, and I've lost friends over their decision to quit hsing. I remember the day at a Scouter's house--we needed to wrap up a mb because I needed to get home to make meatloaf for dd (tradition of high protein breakfast before the SAT). "H is taking the SAT? She can't possibly do well on that! She's only a 10th grader!" I didn't tell them that, actually, we considered her a year behind as she hadn't taken in in 9th. So, we've lost friends who didn't hs, because, somehow, they saw our decision to be denigrating their decision. We've had lots of years where we never fit in any camp. 

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Thanks @Arcadia. I know exactly why my friends stopped homeschooling and I have no quibbles with their reasoning. It is just that sometimes i feel left out, or left behind, or lonely, or whatever and part of my brain would like someone to be angry at, or for it to be someone's fault. I know it makes no sense, but I still have to walk myself through the feelings.

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11 minutes ago, SusanC said:

Thanks @Arcadia. I know exactly why my friends stopped homeschooling and I have no quibbles with their reasoning. It is just that sometimes i feel left out, or left behind, or lonely, or whatever and part of my brain would like someone to be angry at, or for it to be someone's fault. I know it makes no sense, but I still have to walk myself through the feelings.

Yeah, the feeling of being left out--it's quite real. It's nice to have folks doing the same things you are doing, and when they quit, you miss them. 

I managed to keep some feet in many paths, as we did ps sports. In fact, I still travel with the girls' swim team as the photographer. And I'm still the costume mistress at the high school, but will be doing far less this year--just too busy with Scouts. 

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2 hours ago, SusanC said:

 It is just that sometimes i feel left out, or left behind, or lonely, or whatever and part of my brain would like someone to be angry at, or for it to be someone's fault. I know it makes no sense, but I still have to walk myself through the feelings.

 

I understand what you mean.

I was annoyed with housing prices, my school district, and how the assigned school is based on residential addresses. The sad part is that if my kids were more “stereotypical” like my friend’s kids, they would have thrive reasonably in my district’s public schools and get accepted into quite a few UCs (California). Obviously it doesn’t make sense to be annoyed at my own kids for being born that way. It’s not healthy to stay annoyed at the school district and housing prices, so I have to let that emotional baggage go.

My DS14 is looking at houses and besides safety, he is also looking at areas with better school districts. If my kids were able to stay in brick and mortar public school for K-5, I would have avoided at least one physical burn out (my mom stayed with us to help with babysitting when kids were under 5 so I could get enough rest). We kind of expected my health to crash (exhaustion aggravates my insomnia, asthma and weight loss) and it did. DS14 is monitoring house prices and they are trending down. (ETA: he intends to put his “future kids” with us for the school district)

Edited by Arcadia
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I still remember one of the first years that I homeschooled that Mom A, who had a kid several years older than mine plus one my eldest's age plus one more, told me about Mom B who was pulling her kids (one a couple years older than my oldest, one almost a year older than my oldest, and one a few years younger) to homeschool. Mom A was already homeschooling & super die-hard about it. (Also very traditional, stay at home wife, and Christian.) Mom A predicted Mom B wouldn't last long as a homeschooler.

Fast forward a few years to when Mom A puts all the kids in neighboring school district since she's always bad mouthed the local one. After a couple of years of that, she switches them to the local school which her eldest graduates from. Then she has a midlife crisis, divorces her husband, quits her church, and picks up with another guy in town -- not in that order. Younger two are still in the local school.

Meanwhile, Mom B has graduated two kids from home & is still homeschooling the youngest. Mom B lasted longer in the homeschool trenches than Mom A did.

I've seen 'em come & go from public school, private school, homeschool, co-ops, and maybe, eventually, hybrid two-day-per-week cottage schools (some friends are just starting year 2 of that experiment). Homeschooling isn't for everyone & it isn't easy. SWB, our beloved host, has said one of hers would have been better off in some sort of non-homeschooling situation & I know she sent her last child to private school in the end.

We do what is best for our families & our kids. Or, we do what we need to do. Sometimes life is lonely. Hopefully this is just for a season. Hugs.

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I homeschooled oldest dd in 9th and 10th (from 3rd-10th total).  We did a few online classes and 1 local class, but it was all on me.  Halfway through 10th we applied to the hybrid school for her last 2 years.  My brain was falling out! LOL  I sent oldest dd and ds1 to the hybrid school for high school.  I did lose some of my homeschool connections and friends, but a lot of families decide to do some kind of schooling for high school.   Close friends will stay with you.  While they might be excited about school right now, I'd say the reality is that whether you homeschool or go to a traditional school there will be work and frustrations involved.  

Edited by Mbelle

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15 hours ago, Selkie said:

Homeschooling is so rare here that I have actually never known another homeschool mom in real life. 

Wow.  I definitely benefited by having a local group of women who were in it together.  

Kind of a ramble:  My at-that-time church had about 4000 members and I knew not one homeschooling family there, and the pastor spoke out against homeschooling.  And the neighborhood I lived in at the time was definitely upper class, and I was the only homeschooler in the town.  I got the vibe from the women in the town that they suspected we were homeschooling because we had made bad investments and could no longer afford private school.  (LOL). Interestingly, the DADs were very interested in it and flat out told me that they wished their kids were homeschooled.  FWIW, I was one of the ones who ended up sending my son to school at grade 8.5.   It was a good decision, and I probably was half a year late.  Our last 4 years of school were pretty rough...

Kind of a point in the ramble:  re-read the first sentence.  And add in that this board made all the difference for me.

 

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And I'm going to add another point...in a separate post. 

My kid went to school K-1.  But it was obvious he needed to come home.  So I was sort of an "accidental homeschooler."  When we came home, I pretty much lost (for all practical purposes) my friends whose kids were in school.  Our schedules were opposite, for the most part.  Then, when my son went to school, I lost most of my homeschooling friends.  Same reason.  

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2 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

And I'm going to add another point...in a separate post. 

My kid went to school K-1.  But it was obvious he needed to come home.  So I was sort of an "accidental homeschooler."  When we came home, I pretty much lost (for all practical purposes) my friends whose kids were in school.  Our schedules were opposite, for the most part.  Then, when my son went to school, I lost most of my homeschooling friends.  Same reason.  

My high school age son went to school K-1 too. He needed to come home and has never wanted to go back. My older kids all went to public school K-12, so I know what it's like on both sides. I worry my youngest will be lonely when she's the only one left at home. She'd do fine in school academically, but I'd rather not put her there. She's sweet and kind and a bit young for her age and she'll get eaten alive in public school. There's also the issue of our city only having one high school, so almost all the teen social life revolves around the school. It's hard going against the grain and I'm probably feeling a little left out of all the back to school hoopla.

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2 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

And I'm going to add another point...in a separate post. 

My kid went to school K-1.  But it was obvious he needed to come home.  So I was sort of an "accidental homeschooler."  When we came home, I pretty much lost (for all practical purposes) my friends whose kids were in school.  Our schedules were opposite, for the most part.  Then, when my son went to school, I lost most of my homeschooling friends.  Same reason.  

 

Yeah, I can imagine that being really hard. One of my best friends has both of her kids in school.  We used to get together for play dates when the kids were younger and her's were still home.  Then we started seeing each other less and less because we were on two different schedules.  Eventually, we decided to be very active about staying friends, something neither of us had ever had to do before. So, we get together for coffee once a month, when her kids are in school and dh or my mom can be home to work with the kids.  Then when her kids are on break or have a day off, I plan a day off so we can hang out all together.  I have a schedule of her school districts calendar so I know when her kids have off.  Then come the summer we see each other a lot more.  It is hard work but it is worth it.

But then there are the people who just seem to forget about everyone they were friends with before some big change happened in their lives, whether it is switching schooling location or getting a new job, or whatever.  Too many people have a hard time maintaining relationships if they aren't regularly forced to by their situation.

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As @Arcadia said, spousal support can be a big issue. That was the case for me. Dh was only grudgingly agreeing to hs in the first place but high school was his absolute hill-to-die-on. The best I could do is choose a private school I was happy with. After my first kid went off to school, though, my primary emotion was relief

I think an important point to (which is probably not consistent in all states, but is the case here) is that going into public school from homeschool at any mid-point in high school is fraught. They do not have to give your child credit for their “mommy” classes. They may require testing, which is fine if your kid is a strong academic, but is a major bummer if they are not. So for me, I did feel like whatever we chose for 9th grade had to be what we planned to stay with unless some truly extraordinary thing demanded a change of circumstance. (I also just prefer this for emotional stability.) 

 

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I know quite a few people homeschooling high school.  There is some drop-off but there are also a lot of people who continue.  I think partially because it's so easy here that it's not as intimidating.  Most people seem to be planning for community college, or trades rather than 4 year university right off the bat.  

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I think sometimes I'm just tired of being an outlier.  Losing homeschool friends to public/private school reminds me of all the ways we don't fit in.  

 

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1 hour ago, Quill said:

I think an important point to (which is probably not consistent in all states, but is the case here) is that going into public school from homeschool at any mid-point in high school is fraught. They do not have to give your child credit for their “mommy” classes. They may require testing, which is fine if your kid is a strong academic, but is a major bummer if they are not. So for me, I did feel like whatever we chose for 9th grade had to be what we planned to stay with unless some truly extraordinary thing demanded a change of circumstance. (I also just prefer this for emotional stability.) 

In my state it goes the other way, too: you can't legally register as a homeschool if the student has already turned 16.

FWIW, I have no IRL homeschooling friends, and very few SAHM friends. While it can be comforting to be with people on the same path, it can also be freeing to do something different: You can't compare yourself to others, or persist when it no longer serves just to prove you're still part of the tribe. You simply do your thing.

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Well, I’m one of those moms who put my kids in school this year.  When we were homeschooling, I did believe it was the best.  Especially for preschool, elementary, and middle school.  I was completely enthusiastic and rah rah.  But now they’re in high school, and I am completely enthusiastic about that, and fully believe it is the right choice now.  So I guess my rah rah has switched, but yet it hasn’t.  😃. A lot of thought and research went into both sides, and both choices were/are right.  

For me, I feel relieved. I didn’t realize what a weight their education was becoming until high school was decided.  I enjoy the quieter days and time to get things done.  And they are enjoying having classmates and a competitive environment with many different teachers, many of whom really click and energize the kids instead of them having a tired mom. My kids, especially my boys, are super competitive academically  and it was often hard to find peers for them.  I’m glad for the extra curricular activities that I don’t have to constantly search out.  I’m glad for not listening to whining about doing schoolwork.  I love seeing them come home so enthusiastic about their day and telling me all the stories.  I love the new things they are trying- one took up saxophone 😳

most of my friends are still homeschool moms, but even those numbers started dwindling on their own before high school.  Kids get involved in different activities as they get older and go different directions with schoolwork. It’s not like when they were little and the moms directed everything. We saw some of our homeschool friends less and less over the past year or two. We all had too much to do at the older ages, and we all did things differently.

I’m sorry for your loss though.  It still stinks.  

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I am sorry, that is tough.

I've never known more than a couple of HS families IRL and like others, my main HS support has been from this board.  My oldest is in 9th grade this year, though, and I find myself unpleasantly unsettled over our decision to keep homeschooling into/through high school.   I always felt really good about homeschooling (although fortunately I was never at all rah rah to anyone other than DH) but now  I just can't seem to get into a good head space about it all.

I can definitely imagine making different choices for subsequent kids.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JennyD said:

 I always felt really good about homeschooling (although fortunately I was never at all rah rah to anyone other than DH) but now  I just can't seem to get into a good head space about it all.

 

While DS14’s 9th grade has been stressful for us because he is the guinea pig as we (my husband and I) aren’t from the American education system, his “tantrums” were within tolerable range. DS13 however has always been whiny since he was born and add in teen tantrums to his whining means that he has been told public school is definitely a viable option for him. 

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I've been on both sides.  I put oldest in school K-2 then brought him home due to school struggles.  I home schooled kids from then until oldest was ready for high school.  At that point I told my husband I could either teach him or the other four kids, that is how much of my time he required.  He wanted to go to the high school with all their music and theater options so off he went.  Other kids stayed home until they were in 11, 10, 9 and 6th grade.  So slowly one by one they went off to school depending on when I felt they were ready.  I wasn't actually ready to send youngest in 6th but he and his dad decided it was time.  He didn't like being the only one home.  I didn't realize how exhausted and burnt out I was until he was in school that first year. I so needed the break.  He loves his school and is now a thriving 8th grader.  I was never the mom who thought they'd home school the whole way through high school as I don't have the temperament and self discipline.  This year I have a senior and an 8th grader attending charter school, a college junior and two older sons working. Letting go of homeschooling did lead to a bit of a identity crisis and who am I now type thing.  Also friends are either homeschooling still or they have started working so I'm working on building new friendships, interests, etc.  It can be a bit lonely but I'm enjoying this phase of life too.

 

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15 hours ago, whitehawk said:

In my state it goes the other way, too: you can't legally register as a homeschool if the student has already turned 16.

FWIW, I have no IRL homeschooling friends, and very few SAHM friends. While it can be comforting to be with people on the same path, it can also be freeing to do something different: You can't compare yourself to others, or persist when it no longer serves just to prove you're still part of the tribe. You simply do your thing.

My closest friends have never homeschooled.  They aren't anti homeschool though.  We just share about our kids with each other but without direct comparison.  And we talk more deeply about what's going on in our minds and hearts. 

Even when I did know other homeschoolers I didn't find my biggest support coming from them.  It was more superficial in a way, because while we all homeschooled, that didn't mean that our general philosophies and personalities necessarily meshed.  And like Whitehawk said, it can become a comparison game.  (My curriculum vs.  yours, my grading style vs. yours, my rigorousness vs yours. . . )  I found that as we started to move in different circles, the relationships faded simply because they were solely based on "being homeschoolers" and not on anything more substantial.  I don't have bad memories of any of those people and would be pleased to run into them and to chat, but those relationships didn't have the depth of some of my other friends.  If I did have a friendship that had more depth to it, then I would work to keep the friendship like someone else mentioned.  My closest friends and I make time to get together every few months or so and we talk and talk and talk. 

If I had specific curriculum or procedure questions I've always come to this board.  It's a lot easier to gather factual information from a large but knowledgeable group like this and then pick what works best for me. 

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I put my two remaining homeschoolers in school last year for various reasons.  My daughter was getting very hard to parent and teach and my son was cocooning at home with minimal effort with school.  I tried online classes (which frankly caused more work for me because he was not self motivated), a once a week homeschool option (which did the best for him), and a homeschool co-op (which had "mommy" teachers not totally invested in making sure kids were doing well or communicating with parents).  The best option for him was outside school where he would learn how to interact with people better and learn to speak up for himself.  At the point I put them in school, I had been homeschooling for 11 years.  A week after they went to school, I broke my foot and learned quickly that the state of my emotional and physical health was pretty tanked.  It's taken a year to learn how to take better care of myself and learn that I matter too. I see a LOT of mom burn out with homeschooling and most won't acknowledge that.  Yes, homeschooling would be a better education path for my kids, but not at all healthy for me.  I found a really great charter school not too far from our home and I'm really happy with their education overall.  I have since realized that if this Charter school existed when my 18 year old was starting school, I would have never started homeschooling.  I only homeschooled because it really was the only alternative that made any sense at the time.

Edited by bethben
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I started homeschooling for very specific reasons that I was clear with friends/family about: 1) to give my kids a solid academic foundation free from expectations about what they should/shouldn’t be good at and 2) to shield them from the strain of several professional moves DH needed to make over an equally short number of years.

I was never an ideological homeschooler. My older/wiser relatives (in education) all told me this was a year by year decision and I treated it as such. This has been good for my oldest. I have some concerns that I put DS back too soon and DH and I are currently discussing our feelings about him now. If o do not get the classes I want for him, he too may come back home until the tail end of grade 8.

Each child is unique. I felt very comfy with the content through middle school, even with upper level English and history but never felt good about science at home.

I had a homeschooling mom friend of three littles (infant, preschool, and 2nd grade) ask me why I didn’t recommend it to a HS student with suicidal ideation who told everyone AT SCHOOL his feelings (GF, principal, teacher) but not mom, dad or family. She’s convinced she will HS through high school. I wished her luck but said the older they get, the more you may need to adjust your preferences/expectations to meet your/their needs.  

It was clear she thought her littles would be the same forever and ever amen. I wished her luck just like I do people who make every other kind of choice that they think is best for their kids. *shrug* 

 

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