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Anyone else regret homeschooling?


Melissa Louise

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5 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Oh definitely, I've been tutoring for 8+ years and it's very convenient, and I charge a decent rate.

Idk though, I imagine my funeral and someone gets up to give the eulogy and says 'Melissa was a very effective tutor!' and that honestly feels a bit sad. 

Have you ever heard the saying "depression lives in the past, anxiety lives in the future; life is in the present"?

It sounds to me like you may be experiencing some depression and anxiety--ruminating over regrets in the past and projecting into the future.

What are you living now? 

I'm not suggesting that you don't have legitimate cause to regret.

But we can't change the past, and hopefully none of us will be attending our own funeral any time soon.

So I genuinely want to know--what are you doing now? 

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5 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Oh definitely, I've been tutoring for 8+ years and it's very convenient, and I charge a decent rate.

Idk though, I imagine my funeral and someone gets up to give the eulogy and says 'Melissa was a very effective tutor!' and that honestly feels a bit sad. 

Hahahaha, see, I really like teaching! So I suppose I homeschooled in the first place because I really liked teaching, and I'm not going have regrets because it has oriented me towards that. 

My oldest is only 9, so we'll see if I wind up with regrets. I really don't know if I will yet. 

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56 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I hope no-one thinks I'm saying homeschool is something to regret, in general. I'm still pretty pro homeschooling as a valid educational choice. 

I'm only asking about people's individual regrets, not making a larger comment. 

But so far it's just me, and Mrs Tiggy's mom 😂

I think it's partially that people who regret it won't be spending all their time on a homeschooling board after they are done, lol!!! 

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45 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I can see there would be far fewer post-homeschool regrets if it was 'your turn' to be supported in your homeschooling retirement. 

 

I definitely think my mom would have fewer regrets if she’d gone from homeschooling to freedom instead of caregiving for very dependent parents.  I also think she’s seeing the financial security her dual income daughters have and wondering if they would have been better off if she’d worked—however even night shifts weren’t an option with my dad.

It’s important to note that she never once regretted homeschooling while in the thick of it.

Edited by Mrs Tiggywinkle
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13 minutes ago, maize said:

Have you ever heard the saying "depression lives in the past, anxiety lives in the future; life is in the present"?

It sounds to me like you may be experiencing some depression and anxiety--ruminating over regrets in the past and projecting into the future.

What are you living now? 

I'm not suggesting that you don't have legitimate cause to regret.

But we can't change the past, and hopefully none of us will be attending our own funeral any time soon.

So I genuinely want to know--what are you doing now? 

Now? A boring, low-status job I don't like. 

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4 minutes ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

I definitely think my mom would have fewer regrets if she’d gone from homeschooling to freedom instead of caregiving for very dependent parents.  I also think she’s seeing the financial security her dual income daughters have and wondering if they would have been better off if she’d worked—however even night shifts weren’t an option with my dad.

It’s important to note that she never once regretted homeschooling while in the thick of it.

I did work sporadically but it was only ever a few hours a week, which isn't really enough. Like your mom, I didn't regret it while doing it either. 

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5 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Now? A boring, low-status job I don't like. 

That's probably a big part of the regret I imagine ((()))

Is there something you can be doing that will broaden the boundaries of your world?

You don't have one foot in the grave yet. 

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I always wanted a big family, and homeschooling or not it is near impossible to be mother to a bunch of kids and simultaneously have a thriving career. I chose the path I care more about. 

I'm going to write my books someday though.

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1 minute ago, maize said:

That's probably a big part of the regret I imagine ((()))

Is there something you can be doing that will broaden the boundaries of your world?

You don't have one foot in the grave yet. 

I'd like to do my Masters but work/money don't allow me to do it in my preferred area. I could do it in teaching, because the course is subsidized; in fact, I'm enrolled in an Early Childhood qualification, but again, it's kinda lame. 

I have nice hobbies, lol

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I wonder where all the regretters hang out then! 

On boards for people who are into the new things they are into 😉 . People don't really want to hang out in a place that reminds them of stuff they wish they haven't done on average, you know? 

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1 hour ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

And now she regrets it.  She bought hook, line and sinker into the “homeschooling will keep your family close and religious” and “homeschooling produces better adults” lines that were fed religiously in the 1980s up through probably 2010 era.

I'd guess one's motivations also matter here. My personal motivation is to give my kids a better education than they'd get at the public school and to make sure they don't get trained out of liking to learn. So far, that seems successful. 

But as for keeping one's family close... frankly, I think homeschooling strains relationships more than getting a break from the kids does, lol. If the kids go to school, it can be "your family against the world." If you're the bad guy making your kid do their work, the set-up is ripe for power struggles. 

This is why I don't know whether I'll regret it or not. They've certainly learned more than they would have otherwise. Will they resent me for it eventually? I really hope not. 

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12 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I wonder where all the regretters hang out then! 

I know ppl who have homeschooled for short periods and then decided it wasn't for them, and they are generally engaged in school/work. Not sure I know any long term homeschoolers who regret, hence the thread. 

It depends on the day that you ask me…but sometimes I think the cost outweighs the benefits. There has definitely been a huge cost to me. There has definitely been a benefit for one particular child of the four. There came a day when that the cost became too much. 🤷‍♀️ 
 

We do the best we can with the choices before us. 
 

I am still homeschooling my youngest this year because she isn’t vaccinated and has some serious lung issues.

Even sending kids back to school hasn’t freed up my ability to easily move back to working. We probably would need a nanny in order for me to prioritize working over all of the errands and appointments and kid sick days.

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1 minute ago, Melissa Louise said:

Well! That's me told. 

Hah, I don't mean it like that! I just mean that most people who regret it probably regret it MORE than you do, you know? Like, not just in a "my life may have been better otherwise." They really didn't enjoy it or they felt like it was bad for the kids or something like that. 

It sounds like you enjoyed it but didn't like the outcome. That's kind of different. 

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I'm 50-50 on it. Relationally, homeschooling has been good for us. Academically, I don't think I've done my kids any favors. We're too laid back and "let's-go-to-the-lake-instead-of-math."  Again...great for our relationship, lol...not so great now that college is looming. 

They are happy to have been homeschooled. 

Edited by alisoncooks
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I don't regret it really, because I don't know how things might have gone if I hadn't done it. Having kids in school can also be a lot of work, as far as I can tell from people who do it. Overall I enjoyed most of it, though the high school years were rough for me with one of my kids, who basically wouldn't do anything they didn't want to, but happily did it for an "outside" teacher. I think I can honestly say that dual enrollment saved our relationship. 

I did love being a stay-home mom. When my first kid was born, my husband had a great career and I was happy to be the home support. I was good at it and it was a good trade-off for me. Unfortunately, due to some decisions we made as a couple, I ended up needing to go back to work after 20+ years, and that has not gone well for me. I feel like I should be enjoying my retirement (I worked for 20 years before I had kids) but it is not happening. It is very easy for me now to say 'oh, if only I hadn't homeschooled but had kept up my career, look how much better things would be now' but I can't know that that's true. 

In general I try not to look back and say "if only I had done [whatever] differently." Because there is no way to know if it would have been better. 

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For my family, I do not regret it. My 2 oldest daughters talked about how middle school was a cesspool of drama and hurt feelings and mean girls in the few circumstances that they had to endure like at church and all, and they are glad to not had to have faced that all day every day.

My 2 younger kids are just glad that they can be at home and not getting up and out of the house all day every day. My youngest, I think., probably would have been the kind of kid who was picked on constantly. That's just his nerdy, slightly weird personality and I think its great and adults think its great but it would definitely would get him persecuted, Or he would learn to hide those parts of who he is and I'd hate that. 

Academically, all my kids are doing better than they would have in PS around here. My 2 college aged dds talk about the poor kids coming into college and they literally are lost, but had no clue they were on such shaky ground. Older dd in particular pitied the kids who were honor roll students but could not find their footing in math/science classes. Those kids had always made As and thought they were good math students till college.

 

For me personally, I do have some regrets. I am looking down the barrel of an empty nest, since my youngest is almost 14. I have no idea how I will manage that stage. I never found the time to finish college. My dh believes that my going back to school at the age of 40 something is a waste of time and money since I won't be working that long before retirement. (His retirement) And reshuffling the household responsibilities to cover what I've been doing for years isn't going to happen. 

I wish I'd made the time to work on my schooling before now. There's something I'd like to do very much but would take 6 years of college to accomplish. 

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Fwiw, I can say academically K-8, my teaching far outshines public schools. Grades 9-12, I am as good as an average teacher is most subjects, but probably below AP standards in a very good school in all but history and government and English.  There, I am every bit as good. Academically, my kids have done very, very well at home. I have good relationships with my kids.

Most of my homeschooling years were really, really bad for my mental health. I really took on too much given the other needs our family had, especially in the years dh traveled full time and I had kids in PT/OT/etc.
 

 

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No regrets here for homeschooling. At least not yet.

But I fully expect to go from homeschooling to "retirement." At least I hope to. If I was trying to get back into full time gainful employment? Wooo-eeer, that'd be tough.

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I have regrets, or at the very least I am conflicted.  At this point, if I had it to do all over again, I don't know that I would've homeschooled or that I would have homeschooled all the way through. 

I don't know if it was the best thing for my children. They are both in college now and are doing well academically, so I feel confident in that part. I do feel that they missed out socially by homeschooling. We don't have a lot of homeschoolers in our area and the ones that are here have a different focus than we do. My girls were involved with homeschooling groups when they were in elementary,  but had none past that. My older daughter seems happy and well adjusted (she's a junior in college now) and doesn't seem to have any regrets about not going to high school, so I think she is okay.  However, my younger daughter (freshman in college) probably really should have gone to school. I think that she really regrets missing out on typical high school activities and that she is less confident because of it. Of course I completely recognize that she might have hated high school, but I am sad that she might harbor life-long regrets about homeschooling during high school.

As for me, I LOVED having my girls home with me during their childhoods. Once I see that I haven't ruined them for life (lol), I know that I will cherish those memories. I don't really know that homeschooling was the best thing for me though. It's so hard to say. I didn't really like working. I never found a career that meant more to me than being at home with my family. I sometimes think that I would have liked to have been a "career woman" but I never found anything that I enjoyed doing that much. I am struggling now to figure out what to do with my days though. I am very, very fortunate that we don't need the money, so I don't have to get a job, but I honestly don't know what to do to keep busy now that my kids are grown. If there was something that I wanted to pursue, I would go back to school, but there isn't. I already have 3 degrees, so I don't see the point in going back to school without a specific goal. I am an introvert, and I do think that homeschooling was good and bad for that. Sometimes I think that if it wasn't for homeschooling, I would be forced to put myself out there more and that would be a good thing. But since I was fortunate to be able to homeschool, I have been able to stay in my little family bubble more than I probably should.

On the whole, I am not feeling too positive about my choice to homeschool at the moment. I think if everything turns out well for my girls in their lives, I will feel that it was worth it overall. But if I could do it all over again right now, I think I would enroll them in school.

 

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This is really quite complex. 
The benefit to my kids was immeasurable. 
 

So we’re really discussing the “cost” on a personal level. I’ll admit, when I was diagnosed, I really went through a period of, “But what about MY time?” There was always the, “after homeschooling” period in which I was going to do the things I always daydreamed of doing. Now that is very unlikely to happen, barring miraculous intervention. I’ve had periods of resentment. 
 

For me? I went back to school, regardless of the fact that it was an absolutely stupid decision on paper. I realized time and homeschooling had prepared me well for thinking deeply and writing. I also had to get past my rosy ideas of what could have been to reality. In reality? Assuming I’d gone back to school earlier, I’d have then worked for the past 15-20 years. I truly might have invested in my career, but that is very different than investing in my personhood. 
 

My husband has done well. We invested in his undergrad, then his career (military time and his current workplace) and he earned a few Masters, including his most recent in Supply Chain and Logistics. Financially, that has been valuable. That said? He has not read widely, thought deeply, discussed with kids and adults thoughts and ideas, explored hobbies, etc. He poured his time into his work and into us - constantly serving. I’m very, very grateful, but I feel like he should have the time I had. I suppose it is what he will do in retirement, assuming such a thing exists in 15 years and he’s alive... but I feel like I had the time and energy when I was young BECAUSE of homeschooling. I invested in them which, unwittingly, was an investment in me. That said, we have not schooled terribly traditionally (school at home/all textbooks) so perhaps that is a significant difference?

 

I learned to appreciate beauty. That is not my nature. It has come at a high cost - I am not eligible for disability nor the healthcare that would have helped. Being so disabled is very expensive so we missed out on my income and are being penalized now. That said, with the special insight that a terminal diagnosis offers? Thank God I homeschooled. It has been a life of value. 

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7 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Oh definitely, I've been tutoring for 8+ years and it's very convenient, and I charge a decent rate.

Idk though, I imagine my funeral and someone gets up to give the eulogy and says 'Melissa was a very effective tutor!' and that honestly feels a bit sad. 

So, this is an exercise I do often, imagining both my obituary and the biographical blurb that would appear as an "about the author" thing on the book I'll never get around to writing. I have done both for many years, but I think I read in some business/self-help book about writing out both and then comparing them.  I kind of feel like the bio describes my background and characteristics, while the obituary represents what I hope I will actually do.

I don't regret homeschooling . . . exactly. In fact, I have come to realize now that it's been over for a while that it was probably my vocation. It's funny, because I just kind of fell into it, and I have no illusions that it was a perfect experience or that I was a perfect teacher (or mother), but raising and educating my kids was absolutely the most challenging, interesting (frustrating), fulfilling and important thing I will ever do in my life. My big post-homeschooling crisis is that I can't figure out how to create any kind of meaning now that I'm not doing that anymore.

Also, for the record, I tutored for a few years just before and after my son graduated, and I don't like it. I'm good at it, but I was very, very happy to leave it behind when other opportunities became available. 

With that said, I am a bit (sometimes more than a bit) bitter about the financial and career-related hit I took to be home. My younger kiddo graduated and made me obsolete seven years ago, and I started clawing my way back into paid work in the year or so before he was done. Nonetheless, it was only two years ago that my salary caught up to what I was making (real dollars, not adjusted for the 20-year gap) before I had the kids. My retirement accounts are laughably tiny compared to my husband's. And, most importantly, although I find my work unfulfilling, I don't think it makes sense to invest the time and energy and money that would be required to make a major shift, given that I likely have only a decade or so of full-time work left.

If I had it to do over again -- knowing what I do -- I think I would still homeschool, but I would make more of an effort to stay connected to my work self. I would try to continue working, even if it was very part-time, and I would have moved more mountains to make it possible for me to get that master's degree I wanted along the way so that I had a more convenient on-ramp available when I was ready to transition back to the world.

At this point, I feel like I have that "about the author" bio to an okay place, but I'm still pretty disappointed in the obituary part.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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I don't have regrets about homeschooling, I do have some regrets about life in those homeschooling years. Ex-dh was controlling about finances and I really needed to be working. I do believe there was trauma happening, anytime I contributed economically to the household, the money would disappear into the black void of ex-dh's bad money management. We even sold my favorite car to help pay off some other expenses - instead the money got sucked into the next financial crisis and didn't get paid on the original expense. Ugh--- Anyway, I let homeschooling be my solace. It was the one area of life where I had some control. - except for perhaps the one time he told ds, who was struggling to learn to read, that he didn't need to read anything in the summer because it was summer. We had a chat after that, but he gave lip service to my being a good homeschooling mom but never cared to figure out why. I also think homeschooling made me feel like we had a normal life. We rarely had enough money to buy the books I wanted, but I used my time to figure out how to do it with what I had available. 

Homeschooling high school ended up being patchy because of my divorce and my dad's illness. I do have some regrets about that, but ds would not have done well in a rural high school. Once I started college, we survived on my student loans for a while. I remind myself when I look at the amount of loans I have, that they were survival for a while. In certain times of my life, I've quit when things get uncomfortable or hard, finishing homeschooling high school was just as much a choice as it was to prove to myself that I could finish something - ds enjoyed homeschooling. 

Homeschooling happens as life is happening too. My life was decent when we started way back in the early 2000s. While homeschooling stayed consistent, everything else in my life went on a downward spiral. If ex-dh hadn't been so controlling, I could have worked while homeschooling and felt more settled now. He once asked me why I didn't pursue college while we were married. I laughed at him - thinking of the laundry list of reasons why. 

I'm still in school - living on lousy TA stipends for reasons I'm still not sure. It's indulgent & selfish in some ways. It's reinventing myself in others,  still pushing myself to not quit when things get hard. Homeschooling was part of my identity for over 11 years, I'm still not sure what the next identity is except for student.  

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I’m at an age and place in life when I’m starting to reflect on various life decisions and how they have affected me as an individual. Even as a teenager I promised myself I would always live with intention, and therefore without true regret. To do the best I can in the moment and all that. In that light I think I’ve succeeded. It’s impossible to know what might have been had I chosen different paths, known how to understand and honor myself fully, or had access to language that might have allowed myself more freedom. But since I didn’t have those at the time, can I truly have regret not taking paths I didn’t know were available? It’s weighing on me heavily at the moment.

As for homeschooling, I had never even heard of it before I starting exploring educational possibilities for my precocious young child. Homeschooling is not an ideology to me, and not an undertaking I have actually ever recommended to anyone; it was simply an option that seemed better than the dismal situation we found ourselves in when DS started school. We took it year by year, and maybe stayed at it too long. I enjoyed it, mostly, but it was hard work, mostly unappreciated and overlooked. I don’t think DS has any particular feelings about having been homeschooled, even though it was always his decision; he certainly loved his years at our public high school. Had I known when we moved here that he could have gotten a truly excellent, tailored education in our public system I likely would have enrolled him right away. Either way he turned out fine.

I totally relate to the small world, though. It goes beyond homeschooling for me; it was a reality of getting married young and moving around the country for years, prioritising a single relationship over lasting friendships and other possibilities. Perhaps I could have not hidden a part of myself away for so long had I had a wider circle of influence. But that’s a regret for another conversation, not specific to homeschooling.

 

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I have been here for a very long time. Almost 20 years I think on these boards? Over the years we have had some regular very passionate homeschoolers come back and say they were wrong about the benefits of homeschooling, saying they would never do it if they had it to do over, and discouraging others. I can think of a couple specifically that ended up pretty down on homeschooling. They didn’t stick around long term, which makes sense. But there definitely have been regrets expressed here over the years. 🙁

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3 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I have been here for a very long time. Almost 20 years I think on these boards? Over the years we have had some regular very passionate homeschoolers come back and say they were wrong about the benefits of homeschooling, saying they would never do it if they had it to do over, and discouraging others. I can think of a couple specifically that ended up pretty down on homeschooling. They didn’t stick around long term, which makes sense. But there definitely have been regrets expressed here over the years. 🙁

I’ve been on here around 10 years now, I think, and I remember those posters.  Personally, I think it’s easy to lose yourself whether you’re homeschooling or not.  I don’t homeschool right now, but I have been the one to sacrifice for DH’s career and business.  Watching him get promoted while I’m working part time because there’s zero childcare does rankle a bit. 

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I've never been career-oriented and have no desire to work outside the home, so honestly my life wouldn't be substantially different if I didn't homeschool.

But Melissa, didn't you help your kids through some very difficult times and spend considerable amounts of time on research and on just being there for them? It seems to me that all of that would have been much harder and perhaps not as successful if they had been spending the majority of every day at school and you at work. 

p.s. Early Childhood Ed isn't lame. 

Edited by MercyA
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I am sorry you are feeling like this. Hugs.

I have never regretted homeschooling, but the career ending decision for me wasn't homeschooling - it was becoming a mother. And I have never regretted that. I have seen up close how hard it is for my colleagues with both parents doing the tenure track; their lives are immensely stressful, and they needed lots of help from live-in grandma/nannies etc. Even with  sending their kids to ps. So I am quite content to have opted out of the career track I was on, for the benefit of my family and a less crazy life.
The huge difference between you and me is that my husband appreciates this, and that I don't feel resentful that he has gotten to do something I wanted and was not allowed to have. It must be very difficult for you.

I do, however, have similar thoughts re feeling life is small and I am not living up to my potential. You know that; I have written about it here at length.
So I don't have any advice, but wanted to comment so you know: you are being heard.

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17 minutes ago, MEmama said:

I don’t think DS has any particular feelings about having been homeschooled, even though it was always his decision; he certainly loved his years at our public high school. Had I known when we moved here that he could have gotten a truly excellent, tailored education in our public system I likely would have enrolled him right away. Either way he turned out fine.

Is that in retrospect or did he feel that way at the time as well? What made the eventual tailored education possible when it wasn't before? 

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I haven't read any of the other responses...

Longer-term benefits to me?  Yes.

Longer-term benefits to my children, who did not ask to be brought into this world? No.

IMO, choosing to have children means that I am no longer the most important focus of my own attention. Morally, having children is about choosing a lifelong practice of selflessness and unconditional love.  I feel that I can live without regret knowing that I have done the right thing.

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6 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Is that in retrospect or did he feel that way at the time as well? What made the eventual tailored education possible when it wasn't before? 

When we started homeschooling, we had recently moved from an urban city to very small, isolated community in Eastern Canada. To say the school was not prepared for DS is a massive understatement; they were hellbent on making sure he was not given resources to meet his needs. Poor kid spent his entire kindergarten year “learning letters” despite reading chapter books at home. He literally came home every day and begged to get to learn something, begged to get to do math. Yeah, it wasn’t a good fit. Bringing him home then was absolutely the right choice, if tough on him socially.
 

We moved to our current community when he was 8. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t give the elementary school here a close look, didn’t think to ask around. He was involved in sports, knew lots of the kids he would later be good friends and academic peers with in high school. Still, we were ostracised a bit as homeschoolers, never really accepted by his friends' and teammates' parents. Probably they thought we did it for religious reasons, which isn't popular here (and not why we homeschooled, obviously). I don’t think any of us really talked about our reasons, but if I had I might have realized there was space for him to thrive in the public school here. The opportunities were here, I just didn’t know it at the time. (We did, however, specifically choose this community for the high school, where we always planned to send him)

As for how he felt about homeschooling, it was always his choice so I guess he liked it, but he also never talked about it with anyone unless pressed. As he got a bit older and could do things like volunteer during the day, I know he appreciated the opportunity, but he didn’t fully take advantage of the flexibility we had. It’s hard to say how it influenced him—for sure he *continued to love to learn* which was probably my primary desire, but given the person he is I doubt even middle school could have sucked that out of him. 🙂 

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3 minutes ago, MEmama said:

When we started homeschooling, we had recently moved from an urban city to very small, isolated community in Eastern Canada. To say the school was not prepared for DS is a massive understatement; they were hellbent on making sure he was not given resources to meet his needs. Poor kid spent his entire kindergarten year “learning letters” despite reading chapter books at home. He literally came home every day and begged to get to learn something, begged to get to do math. Yeah, it wasn’t a good fit. Bringing him home then was absolutely the right choice, if tough on him socially.

Hmmmm, yeah. Our kindergarten year was also a bad fit in similar ways. 

 

3 minutes ago, MEmama said:

We moved to our current community when he was 8. I honestly don’t know why I didn’t give the elementary school here a close look, didn’t think to ask around. He was involved in sports, knew lots of the kids he would later be good friends and academic peers with in high school. Still, we were ostracised a bit as homeschoolers, never really accepted by his friends' and teammates' parents. Probably they thought we did it for religious reasons, which isn't popular here (and not why we homeschooled, obviously). I don’t think any of us really talked about our reasons, but if I had I might have realized there was space for him to thrive in the public school here. The opportunities were here, I just didn’t know it at the time. (We did, however, specifically choose this community for the high school, where we always planned to send him)

Interesting. Do you think he'd have had a good academic experience in public elementary? I know lots of kids in the schools here, and I'm still kind of unimpressed, including the really "good" schools. Like, they do sound good -- they sound better than our kindergarten experience! But I don't know anyone with a precocious kid whose experience seems quite adequate. Or am I deluded by my pro-homeschooling bias here? 

 

3 minutes ago, MEmama said:

As for how he felt about homeschooling, it was always his choice so I guess he liked it, but he also never talked about it with anyone unless pressed. As he got a bit older and could do things like volunteer during the day, I know he appreciated the opportunity, but he didn’t fully take advantage of the flexibility we had. It’s hard to say how it influenced him—for sure he *continued to love to learn* which was probably my primary desire, but given the person he is I doubt even middle school could have sucked that out of him. 🙂 

Maybe it helps that my kid knows lots of other homeschoolers? She always seems pretty proud to be homeschooled. 

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3 hours ago, Mrs Tiggywinkle said:

It was everywhere in the 1980s and 1990s. The homeschooling world I grew up in was so different from today lol.

All of my siblings except one who is disabled have moved 5-20 hours away and most of us are not particularly close. My mom has four grandchildren she’s never met, two because of estrangement and two because of distance.  It’s definitely not how she thought homeschooling would turn out.  All of us that chose to go to college have been academically successful and have advanced degrees, so it was something that was good for us.  But I don’t think it was worth my mom’s sacrifice; we probably would have been okay in public school too.

I guess what I wonder if it is worth it for the school teachers who spend their life teaching? I was a teacher pre-kids and I would have been teaching in the schools instead of my house. I can see wondering after any career whether I should have chosen a different path. 

Melissa Louise, IMO your issue is a bit different in that it encompasses both the life satisfaction and the economic. I think that we don’t really know how any one path will turn out and it’s difficult to see all the hidden benefits of different choices both before and after the choices are made. There may be non-material ways you have benefited that you can’t see. 

Materially, though, the way your path has gone, yes, you are clearly worse off. With a different partner things might be different, too, right?

I guess I just want to encourage you not to dwell in regret. You don’t know how things would have turned out if you had chosen differently.  Everyone has regrets. I have lots of regrets  about choices I made with my older two but I have hindsight now. Sometimes I let that regret cause anxiety with regard to my younger two. That is not productive. 

But mainly (((Hugs)). You made the choices you did and there were good things that happened. I am sorry for the things you lost. I am hopeful that good things will happen for you. 

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I think one of the hardest elements of this for women is the loss of financial security. We become dependent on our husband's income for everything, insurance, retirement funds, etc., and we are penalized if we are out of the workforce long enough to not have earned enough social security credits to qualify for disability, and worse if something happens to our husbands, and we have to reenter the workforce at such low earning potential scouring for jobs that have benefits.

There are a lot of trade offs and hindsight is 20-20. But at the time we face these decisions, we don't have a crystal ball that let's us see what pitfalls we need to avoid or how it will all turn out.

I am sad for everyone for whom this just stinks to high heaven, like Tiggy. Our culture and political system has been anti- family, anti-mom, anti-woman for so long that part of the reason this is do damn hard is we have zero supports. If education were better, we wouldn't be in this boat. If work was more flexible, we wouldn't be in this boat. If family leave was a thing for more workers, if retirement eligibility and benefits, disability benefits, insurance/healthcare were not tied to employment, if....there are so many basic things that would either make the need to homeschool rare or make it much easier to do so and without so many long term negative effects for the parent who leaves the workforce to do it. 

And not feeling valued for the unpaid, hard work is just mentally and emotionally draining.

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Just now, Faith-manor said:

I think one of the hardest elements of this for women is the loss of financial security. We become dependent on our husband's income for everything, insurance, retirement funds, etc., and we are penalized if we are out of the workforce long enough to not have earned enough social security credits to qualify for disability, and worse if something happens to our husbands, and we have to reenter the workforce at such low earning potential scouring for jobs that have benefits.

There are a lot of trade offs and hindsight is 20-20. But at the time we face these decisions, we don't have a crystal ball that let's us see what pitfalls we need to avoid or how it will all turn out.

I am sad for everyone for whom this just stinks to high heaven, like Tiggy. Our culture and political system has been anti- family, anti-mom, anti-woman for so long that part of the reason this is do damn hard is we have zero supports. If education were better, we wouldn't be in this boat. If work was more flexible, we wouldn't be in this boat. If family leave was a thing for more workers, if retirement eligibility and benefits, disability benefits, insurance/healthcare were not tied to employment, if....there are so many basic things that would either make the need to homeschool rare or make it much easier to do so and without so many long term negative effects for the parent who leaves the workforce to do it. 

And not feeling valued for the unpaid, hard work is just mentally and emotionally draining.

This, this, this!!!! 

 

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8 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hmmmm, yeah. Our kindergarten year was also a bad fit in similar ways. 

 

Interesting. Do you think he'd have had a good academic experience in public elementary? I know lots of kids in the schools here, and I'm still kind of unimpressed, including the really "good" schools. Like, they do sound good -- they sound better than our kindergarten experience! But I don't know anyone with a precocious kid whose experience seems quite adequate. Or am I deluded by my pro-homeschooling bias here? 

 

Maybe it helps that my kid knows lots of other homeschoolers? She always seems pretty proud to be homeschooled. 

1. Yeah, I can imagine. 😞 

2. Honestly, I can’t know. I mean, his friends who went to the local public elementary that he graduated with went on to Ivies and similarly top tiered universities. In high school several of them took math courses together at the local LAC. In middle school same kids were allowed to take higher maths at the high school when they were in junior high. So it does seem the opportunities were there, and that the elementary and junior high were able and willing to work with advanced kids to give them what they needed. 
 

3. She’s lucky, I’m sure you know that. There’s not much of a homeschooling community here and the few things we found didn’t translate into friendships or connections. Finding a homeschooling tribe would have been incredible. 

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I only homeschooled for 2 years and I didn't need to give anything up to do it so I'm not in the same boat as most of the people here. 

I quit my job when DD was 3. I was ready to walk away from my career but I was given the opportunity to work part time for a year. It was such a gift. It was luck, really.  The company was going to restructure and they didn't want to bring in a new person right away so I stayed on part time for a year. Then I decided to go back to work full time and because I had worked part time for a year, it wasn't hard to get back into things. 

I also have only one child which makes everything different for us. 

I've been working from home for 18 months now and the company has decided that my department will never return to the office. It is great. I never realized how much I was losing by spending most of my day in the office with a commute. Working from home provides me so much flexibility. I can pick my kid up after school. I used to send her to afterschool and then pick her up about 5:30. We would get home about 6 and then we'd have to start homework and dinner and all of that. 

Now I pick her after school. I give her a break of about 30 minutes and then she starts her homework while I'm finishing up my day. I start working when she gets up in the morning, around 6:45. Because I don't go to the office, I don't need to get ready. I just start working. I work for a national company and most of my colleagues are 2 to 3 hours ahead of me so starting early fits in well with my work. I think I actually work more in total but in hours that work better for me. It's win for both my employer and me. 

I used to feel guilty that I was too scared to walk away from my career entirely. Now I see that I made the right choice and I have no regrets. Maybe the only regret I have is that I never pursued a work from home job. That's what I should have done when DD was born. I had one hour commute each way when I went back to work after maternity leave. It was so hard. I should have looked for a job that allowed me to work from home. 

 

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3 minutes ago, MEmama said:

So it does seem the opportunities were there, and that the elementary and junior high were able and willing to work with advanced kids to give them what they needed. 

Or maybe kids had tutors or parents who worked with them. I tutor lots of advanced kids and very few are advanced due to school. 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Or maybe kids had tutors or parents who worked with them. I tutor lots of advanced kids and very few are advanced due to school. 

Yeah that’s possible. Many of the parents are professors; the kids definitely have access to a wider education than just during school hours. 

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3 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

I hope no-one thinks I'm saying homeschool is something to regret, in general. I'm still pretty pro homeschooling as a valid educational choice. 

I'm only asking about people's individual regrets, not making a larger comment. 

But so far it's just me, and Mrs Tiggy's mom 😂

You ask this question every few months or so.  Perhaps this is just my perspective as someone who (like Traveling Chris) has had a lot of avenues closed to me by chronic illness and disability, but I don't see the point in "going there".  You might be different, but in me, it would only lead to bitterness.  Sure, I could have thrived in the "road not taken".  But I also thrived in the road taken.  I chose to thrive in it.  Now I'm at a crossroads (have been for a couple of years now) and I'm going to choose to thrive in the next road taken.  And yes, I still have things limiting my next choice - probably even more than 24 years ago - due to age, opportunities, and still that pesky chronic pain and illness.  At least for me, the idea that the world has been my oyster that I chose to ignore is a myth.  Or at least my oyster was a baby one.  But I can still work on a pearl.  (To take the analogy to it's end. )

I also have the perspective that I know many don't have, that I was doing what God wanted me to do during that time.  No, I don't think that God wants all moms to homeschool.  I just felt like He wanted me to.  Putting my kids first was my way of dying to self.  This is part of my faith.  But it's not all masochistic or anything.  I found the joy in what I was doing.  I was learning along side my kids.  I was seeing the world - not a huge world due to finances and chronic illness but a rich beautiful one nonetheless.  I was meeting people.  Many of those people enriched my life.  Some were thorns in my side.  😉 

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Not necessarily the homeschooling part, as that was just part of the whole stay-at-home-mom package, and I only did the schooling part for a few years. But, yes there is a part of me that regrets being a full-on SAHM, without taking more time, energy, and money to do more for myself by way of education or part-time work of some sort. It did not do me any favours in the long term, personally, professionally, socially, or financially.

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This thread is reminding me of all the many different ways I can regret homeschooling. I don't think I do or will, but who knows? I can think of downsides to homeschooling, certainly, for both myself and my kids...but then when I imagine the alternate universe where we didn't homeschool, I can see lots of downsides there, too. Social stuff for the kids is probably my biggest area of concern. But my oldest who I worried about this the most with seems to be making plenty of friends and having a good time in college (and is doing very well academically, too), so that eases my worries some. And I know plenty of people who've pulled their kids out of school because of social stuff, so. For me...I can't really think of what else I'd be doing that I'd like more. There are things I might like just as much. Being home gives me flexibility to try out stuff I like doing without the pressure to make money on them (blogging, freelance writing, etc), and then I happen to make some (not much) money from them now, which is nice. We also timed our 4th pretty nicely so that DH will be on the verge of retirement when he graduates, so I'm hoping to move right from homeschooling to lots of travel and visiting extended family. We'll see. I don't tend to do regret very well. Which can be good or bad--like you need to be able to recognize mistakes to do better in the future, so I do try to be cognizant of that and watch out for blind spots. But in general my attitude is that I've made the best decisions I could at the time, that there are pros and cons and gray areas everywhere, and that I stay open to changing course if something's not working. 

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No I don't regret it.  I know I am lucky though.  I have a large social circle.  When my kids were young all my best friends homeschooled to.  I have regular time away from my kids to do things I enjoy.   I was never really driven to have a career.  The whole sum of my ambition is to become a tasting room attendant. 

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23 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Yeah that’s possible. Many of the parents are professors; the kids definitely have access to a wider education than just during school hours. 

We have close friends who are professors who send their kids to school. They definitely work with their kids after school. A lot. 

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4 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

I see a common theme here of more financial security, which is interesting. I definitely do not have that benefit. 

 

3 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

I can see there would be far fewer post-homeschool regrets if it was 'your turn' to be supported in your homeschooling retirement. 

If for whatever reason a divorce happens, my parents would have to bail me and my kids out financially. I used to work in the tech sector and I started taking online computer science courses to brush up my skills two years ago. 

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44 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

I also have the perspective that I know many don't have, that I was doing what God wanted me to do during that time.  No, I don't think that God wants all moms to homeschool.  I just felt like He wanted me to.  Putting my kids first was my way of dying to self.  This is part of my faith.  But it's not all masochistic or anything.  I found the joy in what I was doing.  I was learning along side my kids.  I was seeing the world - not a huge world due to finances and chronic illness but a rich beautiful one nonetheless.  I was meeting people.  Many of those people enriched my life.  Some were thorns in my side.  😉 

This is where I am, without the chronic illness. It is very clear to me that God brought my husband and me together, and everything fell into place with homeschooling pretty clearly. Even the decision we made which messed up our financial life was clearly the right thing to do at the time, though in retrospect it appears monumentally stupid, and appeared stupid to most people at the time. (Husband left great career as an engineer to go to seminary, was a part-time pastor for a while, 12 years later realized he is an engineer after all, and has returned to tech, though not in the way he had been before all this.)  So I can be bitter about the lost income and tough years, or I can be thankful for all the good things that have come out of it, not least of which is not having my kids grow up taking affluence for granted. 

Several years before I even met my husband, I finished my bachelor's as a working adult going to school at night. One of my professors encouraged me to apply for a Masters/Ph.D program at another university in our area. At the time, I had a decent job, a car payment, and a regular adult life, and did not have the imagination to see what could be if I followed the grad school path. Every now and then I think about that, and how that would have completely changed the trajectory of my life. But maybe I was meant to stay in my mundane job/life, saving money which was much later used to help fund the seminary adventure. 

(Re: affluence - I know many wealthy people manage to bring their kids up not taking their wealth for granted, often not even knowing that they were wealthy. So please don't anyone think I am throwing shade on affluent families in any way. This is a benefit I see for my family, that's all, based on other families we knew during our fat years; this has nothing to do with anyone else and how they live.)

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