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For those who have sent their kids to public or private school, what made you decide to do so?  We are thinking about sending our current 9th grade son to private school next year so he can be accountable to someone else.  He just isn't motivated at home and me being a constant task master is really beginning to wear me out.

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We sent our current 9th grader back to school this year at his request (to a small Christian school). There was a learning curve but now he is really thriving.  Still homeschooling the 11th grade daughter and graduated one from homeschool last year.  Each child is different.  I would have a conversation with your son to see what he thinks.  Maybe having a say will help with motivation.

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Our oldest went back to school in 8th grade at his request. He wanted/needed more social time and more independence. Academics at our zoned middle school were not the best so he is now in 9th grade at a small private Christian school. 

Our 2 younger kids will likely go to the same private school when they’re in 9th grade. They are both looking forward to it - for sports, activities, etc. 

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We sent DD at the end of 8th/beginning of 9th b/c she's a super social kid who was chaffing at the bit at home. At that point, she'd be part of the regular course selection process and not not left with crappy HS classes. She's seriously thriving. She is actively reaching out to teachers when she sees a problem with her grades, studying (unprompted), taking advantage of the many opportunities her school offers, and earning great grades. She has friends, gets invited to (chaperoned) parties, etc. This is my bright but scattered child with reading difficulties. It was the right call for her. She was 100% ready and I knew it.

We sent DS back at the same time (end of 5th/beginning of 6th) b/c DH wanted it and I still have mixed feelings. DS is also excelling, almost straight As (1 B+) but he's not as secure as I'd like him to be. He's still struggling to have people see him/appreciate him for who he is...teaching staff and kids. He's been told a girl has a 'crush' on him. He's got a champion in his math and science teachers. He's made all-city band. He's trying out for track. He's just so... unconvinced...that this is genuine in a way that DD is not/was not. DS would, I think, happily come home. He was not 100% ready and I regret second guessing myself.

For both of them, the accountability has helped. They have become competitive (in a friendly way). DS is the more academic of the two and they are studying similar things. He quizzes her and vice versa. They are also accountable and responsible to others which is wonderful and sad at the same time. I'm relegated to 'counselor' only. They are also more independent. They tell me their schedules and I add them to my 'family' calendar.

Is it bad that I am hoping the coronavirus will keep DS home? Our district has online classes for everything DD needs.

Edited by Sneezyone
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We did not enroll our dc, but several friends have for reasons like yours.  The results have been mixed and seem to depend almost entirely on the student's motivation to learn and to earn good grades.  Some have found that their dc worked harder for other instructors, but that's not always the case.  Friends who enrolled their ds this year are almost as involved as they were before enrolling him, because the boy won't do the work unless the parents are constantly on him.   

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On 2/26/2020 at 2:44 PM, Amateur Actress said:

We sent our current 9th grader back to school this year at his request (to a small Christian school). There was a learning curve but now he is really thriving.  Still homeschooling the 11th grade daughter and graduated one from homeschool last year.  Each child is different.  I would have a conversation with your son to see what he thinks.  Maybe having a say will help with motivation.

I talked to him about it and he doesn't want to go to school (also a small Christian school where he knows a few students), but we are still going to visit in a couple weeks, anyway.  I told him the reasons we are considering sending him, but he isn't on board.  He is very social and I actually think he would truly benefit from being in school in order to have more structure and accountability.   

Edited by RubyPenn
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On 2/26/2020 at 3:14 PM, Sneezyone said:

We sent DD at the end of 8th/beginning of 9th b/c she's a super social kid who was chaffing at the bit at home. At that point, she'd be part of the regular course selection process and not not left with crappy HS classes. She's seriously thriving. She is actively reaching out to teachers when she sees a problem with her grades, studying (unprompted), taking advantage of the many opportunities her school offers, and earning great grades. She has friends, gets invited to (chaperoned) parties, etc. This is my bright but scattered child with reading difficulties. It was the right call for her. She was 100% ready and I knew it.

 

For both of them, the accountability has helped. They have become competitive (in a friendly way). DS is the more academic of the two and they are studying similar things. He quizzes her and vice versa. They are also accountable and responsible to others which is wonderful and sad at the same time. I'm relegated to 'counselor' only. They are also more independent. They tell me their schedules and I add them to my 'family' calendar.

 

My child is also "bright, but scattered", and I don't know what is left but for us to send him outside the home so he will learn to be responsible and accountable without my constant reminders.  He has a bulletin board and planner and refuses to use either to help himself.  I also write reminders on the board and he still doesn't pay attention.  However, for the past three years he has taken one online class, and he is able to remember when those assignments are due and constantly checks his grades!

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On 2/26/2020 at 5:08 PM, klmama said:

We did not enroll our dc, but several friends have for reasons like yours.  The results have been mixed and seem to depend almost entirely on the student's motivation to learn and to earn good grades.  Some have found that their dc worked harder for other instructors, but that's not always the case.  Friends who enrolled their ds this year are almost as involved as they were before enrolling him, because the boy won't do the work unless the parents are constantly on him.   

Right, this is a bit of a concern, but he does like to do well for others.  He takes an online writing course and makes sure he submits papers on time, and he is always checking for new grades.  I think he's just too comfortable at home. 

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I would like to do that, but he really doesn't like online classes, so a full schedule of them isn't a good option.  Plus, the temptation to switch screens and get off task is too strong, even though I've blocked all the websites he likes to visit.   I catch him emailing friends when he should be working.  The battles are never ending.

Edited by RubyPenn
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13 hours ago, RubyPenn said:

My child is also "bright, but scattered", and I don't know what is left but for us to send him outside the home so he will learn to be responsible and accountable without my constant reminders.  He has a bulletin board and planner and refuses to use either to help himself.  I also write reminders on the board and he still doesn't pay attention.  However, for the past three years he has taken one online class, and he is able to remember when those assignments are due and constantly checks his grades!


If it's a matter of laziness or not wanting to look bad before someone else, then yes, outsourcing can absolutely do that, and a student is willing/able to take ownership of their work and make sure the work gets done.

But if it's a matter of undeveloped executive functioning and brain that has not yet developed organizational skills, then sending him to a school isn't going to mean you stop having to remind, remember, etc. -- it just means you do that daily after school and on weekends, to make sure all of the homework gets done. So if he has weak executive functioning, then whether homeschooling or sending him to a school, he's still going to need to be scaffolded at home (unless the school has special scaffolding) until the organization portions of his brain mature and he is *able* to use organizers and other tools to keep track of things himself.

You might check out the book Smart But Scattered for specific techniques for slowly "handing over the organizational/study skills baton" -- and getting the student to TAKE (and use, lol) that baton. Even if you send him to school next year, you might find some helpful tips that the 2 of you can start implementing for the rest of this year to help him have more organizational success for going to a school.

One last thought -- he is right in the midst of that several year period where hormones eat boys' brains -- it is like a hormonal fog engulfs them, and some days they are on top of things and learning and engaged, and other days, they have become zombies. If that is what's going on with your DS, then going to a school is not going to be as helpful as you would like. In fact, it may make things harder, as teen body rhythms are changing, and students need to sleep later into the morning to make up for bodies/brains starting to stay awake longer at night. Homeschooling can give students that extra sleep -- instead of having to get up extra early to get to school. Just a thought!

BEST of luck, whatever you decide.

 

ETA -- PS

13 hours ago, RubyPenn said:

... He is very social and I actually think he would truly benefit from being in school in order to have more structure and accountability.   

... he does like to do well for others.  He takes an online writing course and makes sure he submits papers on time, and he is always checking for new grades.  I think he's just too comfortable at home. 


And, if these are the stronger factors, then disregard my thoughts above. These comments of yours would certainly indicate that he would be fine at a school. 😉

 

Edited by Lori D.
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Lori, thanks so much for your helpful response.  I definitely think my son has lost his brain somewhere.  He'll turn 15 this spring and I wonder if his mind will return then?   I see benefits from both school and home, so really don't know what to do!  It kind of saddens me that if we send him to school, we won't be able to pick courses for him to suit his needs and interests, but at the same time, he doesn't appreciate it and complains that everything is so boring and he hates school.  He's my firstborn, so maybe this is normal?

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Lori, BTW, I have heard of the Smart But Scattered book, and realize the planner I bought for my son that we went through and he refuses to use, is by the same author.  I might go ahead and buy the book now.

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The benefit that DD got from school was institutional support for planner use. I didn’t have to remind about planners because at the ES/MS level, our district distributes, requires and checks planners every.single.day. The habit of sitting down and immediately copying the assignments and turning in whatever was due became ingrained quickly for DS, a bit slower for DD. I doubt all places do this tho, and even here students are not required use one at the high school level. Still, the expectation is there and the teachers support it. There was certainly an element of competition and external drive that was introduced too. Neither of mine have significant EF issues tho. If anything, one of mine is unhealthily attached to routines. Whether you do end up enrolling or not, you may want to contact the school to find out when course selection occurs b/c our district does it in February for September. Students who enroll after this time have a harder time getting into some of the electives.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I'll ask if the school uses planners when we visit.  My kid is very competitive and we are hoping that if he is in a school environment,  the competitiveness will kick in there as well.  I read in the book, Boys Adrift,  how many boys thrive in a competitive environment, especially the alpha males like my son.  The most ideal environment for him would be an all boys school, but that isn't a possibility for us.

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Did not go well. I do not recommend. If things are already going poorly, what positive do you think a public school would do? Where you don't really know what he is doing, who he is around, what influences going on? 

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We haven't sent our kids to school, but did consider it at one point with one child, then decided against it (their choice).

One thing to consider is if switching will affect local scholarships down the road.   I live in Florida, where high school students are eligible for the Bright Futures scholarship from the state.  Students in a public or private school must be enrolled in that school (or can switch from public-to-public) for all of 11th AND 12th grades.   Sending a child to school in 11th grade, then pulling them to homeschool in 12th grade, disqualifies them from this scholarship.   Homeschooled students are eligible, but must be enrolled with their county for 11th and 12th grades as well.   Before making a decision, I would research what similar situations may apply to your location.

I would also make sure that credits earned in 9th grade will transfer to the school you are considering, and how they handle that transfer.

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On 2/26/2020 at 2:14 PM, Sneezyone said:

We sent DD at the end of 8th/beginning of 9th b/c she's a super social kid who was chaffing at the bit at home. At that point, she'd be part of the regular course selection process and not not left with crappy HS classes. She's seriously thriving. She is actively reaching out to teachers when she sees a problem with her grades, studying (unprompted), taking advantage of the many opportunities her school offers, and earning great grades. She has friends, gets invited to (chaperoned) parties, etc. This is my bright but scattered child with reading difficulties. It was the right call for her. She was 100% ready and I knew it.

This is our experience, too, except she's not completely scattered, maybe a bit brain-dead sometimes...lol

On 2/28/2020 at 7:28 PM, RubyPenn said:

Right, this is a bit of a concern, but he does like to do well for others.  He takes an online writing course and makes sure he submits papers on time, and he is always checking for new grades.  I think he's just too comfortable at home. 

This was our experience, too.

On 2/28/2020 at 9:45 PM, RubyPenn said:

I would like to do that, but he really doesn't like online classes, so a full schedule of them isn't a good option.  Plus, the temptation to switch screens and get off task is too strong, even though I've blocked all the websites he likes to visit.   I catch him emailing friends when he should be working.  The battles are never ending.

Switching screens and getting off task was a constant struggle, but it doesn't go away when they go to school.

On 2/29/2020 at 9:53 AM, RubyPenn said:

...My kid is very competitive and we are hoping that if he is in a school environment,  the competitiveness will kick in there as well.  I read in the book, Boys Adrift,  how many boys thrive in a competitive environment, especially the alpha males like my son.  The most ideal environment for him would be an all boys school, but that isn't a possibility for us.

Competition has been very valuable for DD as a motivator.  She's found how she "places" in the intelligence pecking-order.  It's been eye-opening to her.

We sent DD15 to a college-prep, private, Catholic school this year for her Sophomore year and feel like it was the best decision for us/her.  She is an independent, bright, driven, excelling student that thrives at anything outside of the house--appearances matter to her. 

For her, outside classes always took precedence over anything I would do with her at home, in our case these were her core classes, math, english/lit, history, and we constantly fought about the work.  For the preservation of our relationship, she went to school.
 
She desires to make school her responsibility and not mine, and we want to encourage her natural tendency to accept maturity/responsibility, not holding her back.  If she wanted to stay home, we would've made that work, too.
 
It's been good for her social life, too.  There aren't many homeschoolers we know in the area that are her age so going to a b&m school opened up more opportunities for friendships.  It's not a panacea, but it's better.
 
The fall semester was a steep learning curve for her, but she's found her groove this semester and is doing well.  She had to drop down mid-fall semester from one advanced class to a regular (with upper classmen-so somewhere btwn her grade level and the advanced class...weird, but it works) section in math since we didn't know where to place her, but otherwise, she's been placed well.  It's a bigger school so it can accommodate several types of classes and activities.
 
I really had to die-to-self when she went to school because I felt my pride was on the line and I had to get over myself...lol  Most of the educational decisions were taken out of my hands that I've controlled for her whole educational life and all my failings as a homeschool educator would be obvious--move along, there's nothing to see here...lol  I mean, I've been all-in since before kindergarten!  Considering my homeschooling outlook of life and education, conforming to institutional living was a big change for me.  I've had to accept (-ish, still trying, btw) of the strict schedules, expectations, mindless following, restrictive imagination, busy work in order to gain her educational success and maintain a good relationship with her.  It's a trade-off.
 
During DD's Freshman year, she had 4 classes w/me, 1 online through the state, 1 at this Catholic HS, 4 through an educational co-op.  One reason we never chose the all outside or online classes route is that it felt like there was no cohesion of schedule or curriculum integration.  I did the best I could trying to tie it together but felt she was being pulled in too many directions, and I didn't want to do it all at home.
 
We plan on sending our four other children their Sophomore year to this school since it's been an overall positive experience for us.  We are choosing Sophomore instead of Freshman year because I feel kids mature quite a bit between their Freshman and Sophomore and hope to avoid that additional emotional angst and pressure.  They can also do more classes at home their Freshman year and transfer in more than a typical Freshman can, setting them up to have room to take more alternative classes than the basic trajectory.  Our kids are social, neuro-typical, and have no LDs as far as I know so it makes the transition easier.
 
One last thing, we had DD shadow a friend in advanced classes last year to see what a school day might look for her.  I wanted them to seem as hard as possible so she didn't think school would be a walk-in-the-park.  Even with all my planning, it was the easiest school day her friend had had in a long time...some things you just can't control...lol  If nothing else, shadowing gave her confidence to know how a typical school day is actually organized and run since all she'd ever seen of school was neighborhood kids getting on the bus and what's on TV.
 
And I agree w/AA & klmama, every kid's different and no one way to go about this.  For me, sometimes the hardest thing about homeschooling isn't the work but the attitudes.  Here we are trying to educate critical thinkers who want to "argue" about everything, and it can be draining for me.
 
GL in your decision! 
Edited by ChrisB
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2 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Competition has been very valuable for DD as a motivator.  She's found how she "places" in the intelligence pecking-order.  It's been eye-opening to her.

This would be great for my son since he thinks he is super smart. 😳

 
It's been good for her social life, too.  There aren't many homeschoolers we know in the area that are her age so going to a b&m school opened up more opportunities for friendships.  It's not a panacea, but it's better.
 
The good thing about where we live is there is a large homeschooling community, so the available activities and social opportunities between school and our church's active youth group are plenty.
 
I appreciate your detailed response.  It's helpful to hear other people's perspectives and experiences.
 
 

 

 

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Competition has been very valuable for DD as a motivator.  She's found how she "places" in the intelligence pecking-order.  It's been eye-opening to her.

This would be great for my son since he thinks he is super smart. 😳

 
It's been good for her social life, too.  There aren't many homeschoolers we know in the area that are her age so going to a b&m school opened up more opportunities for friendships.  It's not a panacea, but it's better.
 
The good thing about where we live is there is a large homeschooling community, so the available activities and social opportunities between school and our church's active youth group are plenty.
 
I appreciate your detailed response.  It's helpful to hear other people's perspectives and experiences.
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We go to a local school during the holidays for activities so they can meet other kids their own age and practice making friends too. We are also active members of our local church so opportunities are plenty around here for socialization. 

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Your son sounds like my 16yo son who is in 10th grade this year.  I am 80% sure he will be going to public school next year.  He's my firstborn and is incredibly strong-willed.  To be honest, homeschooling has always been a battle with him (we started when he was in 5th grade).  As much as I love him, am prepared to fight FOR him, and would like to him to be able to fully utilize his time for DE classes and/or classes that actually interest him for 11th and 12th grades, I am ready to push him out the door.  He may not get the best education at the local PS (we have no private schools locally), but there are some DE opportunities in English and Math.  

Our youngest already attends public school (adopted with special needs) and one of our twin daughters (6th grade) started last week and it's gone incredibly well.  Her twin wants to go next year at the beginning of 7th grade meaning I could, quite possibly, have an empty house next year during the day.  Strangely, I'm kinda looking forward to it (at least for one year).  My oldest has worn me out.

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3 hours ago, stacyh270 said:

Your son sounds like my 16yo son who is in 10th grade this year.  I am 80% sure he will be going to public school next year.  He's my firstborn and is incredibly strong-willed.  To be honest, homeschooling has always been a battle with him (we started when he was in 5th grade).  As much as I love him, am prepared to fight FOR him, and would like to him to be able to fully utilize his time for DE classes and/or classes that actually interest him for 11th and 12th grades, I am ready to push him out the door.  He may not get the best education at the local PS (we have no private schools locally), but there are some DE opportunities in English and Math.  

The bolded above was also our experience.

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9 hours ago, RubyPenn said:

This has been our experience with our son since he entered the world.

 

Mine, too! It is soooo incredibly exhausting!  I've started listening to the Calm Parenting Podcast and it is starting to help me with my perspective.

It doesn't help that I'm an incredibly strong-willed firstborn as well so when DS and I are at it with each other, neither of us is backing down which sure doesn't make for a peaceful homeschool day.

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9 hours ago, stacyh270 said:

 

Mine, too! It is soooo incredibly exhausting!  I've started listening to the Calm Parenting Podcast and it is starting to help me with my perspective.

It doesn't help that I'm an incredibly strong-willed firstborn as well so when DS and I are at it with each other, neither of us is backing down which sure doesn't make for a peaceful homeschool day.

Same here.  Two strong-willed people in the house is two too many!  I remember telling him when he was challenging me at five, "You are not going to win.  I am always going to win."  He's really wearing me down, though.  Besides the strong will, we are dealing with ADD.  I took a look at that podcast and thought,  "Yep.  That sums him up to a T."    Not many people I talk to can relate to what I'm dealing with.

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9 hours ago, stacyh270 said:

 

Mine, too! It is soooo incredibly exhausting!  I've started listening to the Calm Parenting Podcast and it is starting to help me with my perspective.

It doesn't help that I'm an incredibly strong-willed firstborn as well so when DS and I are at it with each other, neither of us is backing down which sure doesn't make for a peaceful homeschool day.

 

Same here.  Two strong-willed people in the house is two too many!  I remember telling him when he was challenging me at five, "You are not going to win.  I am always going to win."  He's really wearing me out now, though.  Besides the strong will, we are dealing with ADD.  We've never had him tested, but it runs in my family and 99% sure he has it, too.  I've always thought so.

I took a look at that podcast you mentioned and thought,  "Yep.  That sums him up to a T."   Not many people I talk to can relate to what I'm dealing with.

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My ds is only in 6th and not a first born, but he is strong willed with a fierce desire for independence. He is also hugely extroverted. 

We put him in a very small, private middle school in January.  While he and we are still on a steep learning curve, overall it has been a success. He loves being out and with people all day and I love a more peaceful home.

I am sad to not be homeschooling him. There are some real losses in terms of community, friends, flexible time, creative learning opportunities and tailored coursework. BUT, there are also huge gains and this is the best path for him right now. We are tremendously thankful for his little school. I am constantly reminding myself of the most fundamental of all homeschooling principles: one size does not fit all! 

 

Edited by ScoutTN
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