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Anyone else regret homeschooling?


Melissa Louise

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3 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

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

My first job out of college was a boring, low rank job. It was just for resume building and also because it was easier to get job interviews if you are employed. Hope things get better for you and your children.

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1 hour ago, Amy in NH said:

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.

I agree with this perspective 100%, which is one of the reasons I don't regret the actual homeschooling. I just wish I could figure out what to do now. 

I keep thinking of a short story I read years ago (which I can't remember or find the title or author of at the moment) in which a man wanders into a bookstore where every customer finds a book that shows them the best moment of their lives. Despite the caveat that he might not like what he finds, the protagonist goes in and pulls a book off the shelf. It's a children's picture book, and by reading it he discovers that the best moment of his life happened when he was 10 years old and caught the ball that won his team's baseball game. Essentially, he learns that he will never have a moment that good again for the rest of his life.

That's pretty much how I feel about homeschooling. With all of its challenges and frustrations (and neither forgetting nor denying the days when I retreated to my bathroom to cry for a bit), it was definitely the best part of my life.

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51 minutes ago, marbel said:

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. 

I do actually think about this sometimes. We currently have everything we want, and I don't know if it's good for my kids. I think it's probably not. 

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1 hour ago, Amy in NH said:

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.

I agree that having children means that we're not the most important thing anymore but I don't think that means that we have to give up everything. (Not saying that is what you are saying.) 

I think modern culture has some strange ideas about motherhood. There's a phrase, "intensive mothering," that's a good one, IMHO. I'm not sure that our ideas about mothering are healthy either for us or our children. 

It's okay for us to take ourselves into consideration. We have value too and standing up for ourselves teaches our children valuable lessons. Being in a family means balancing the needs of everyone and sometimes mom's needs should win out. 

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10 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

Having less impact/influence, not stretching my skills and talents wide. 

I think there is a lot of this even for people who never took a week off work.  🙂

I think the idealism and creativity kind of fade after a certain age.  Or maybe our kids soak it all up while they are young - whether we work or not.

Recently I have started hoping that I can maybe do something with music someday ... so it's not totally gone ... but I'm definitely not the person I was pre-kids.

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25 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I do actually think about this sometimes. We currently have everything we want, and I don't know if it's good for my kids. I think it's probably not. 

There are a couple of ways to look at this.

Many people have everything they want because they are content with what they have, even if it is not much (or not as good) compared to others. That is not a bad thing.

I believe the trouble comes in when every desire is satisfied immediately and without questioning. Like, upgrading to the newest model phone, car, tv, whatever, regardless of the need for the new thing. 

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I don't regret homeschooling. I did miss my career for a bit, and when the kids were young, I missed ample opportunities for adult conversation, but that changed as they grew and we became more involved with the community vs. just weekly park days. 

I'm thankful for the closeness we had/have. I don't think I would have known my children as well as I do if we had been separated for 8+ hours/day. 

I'm thankful we were able to support their interests and needs - much more so, I think, than any institutionalized educational program would have.  Much of this is because I worked for 8 years after college so we would have a financial pad as we lived on just 1 income. Yes, we would have had much more money if I had continued to work, but I think it was a good bargain. 

If I had to do it over, I would change a few things. I would have tried harder to find a good lab science with real lab equipment for my sciencey child.  She did fine in her college sciences (Biology major) and was not behind nor ill prepared, but she would have enjoyed working with quality and advanced lab equipment earlier. I don't think most public high schools would have the equipment she would be looking for, so that would have meant dual credit (which is fine, she did DC for other courses, I just never thought about science labs).

And I would have worked harder to find or make a debate option - a good solid debate program would have been useful. That's hard to find in this area - and from the sound of the PS debate programs, they are lame and not debate as I think of debate. 

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No regrets at all, however I was a teacher going into the 'new gig' of homeschooling and I really enjoy teaching. Having the opportunity to follow my 4 dc throughout 16 consecutive years of their education is an amazing blessing. It's the best teaching gig ever; a 'class' of children I really love and get to follow year after year, the freedom to choose curriculum that fits the learner (and me!), very little administrative duties, and much more.

My dc have all graduated homeschooling, and I've started a full-time career in research. My experience in home education is actually seen as a benefit by others, as well as myself. I'm enjoying my new job, but if I get the opportunity to support one of my dc in homeschooling grandchildren, that would be amazing! At the very least, I'm saving up a lot of books to read to them. 😉

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26 minutes ago, marbel said:

There are a couple of ways to look at this.

Many people have everything they want because they are content with what they have, even if it is not much (or not as good) compared to others. That is not a bad thing.

I believe the trouble comes in when every desire is satisfied immediately and without questioning. Like, upgrading to the newest model phone, car, tv, whatever, regardless of the need for the new thing. 

Well, we just moved to a big apartment, lol, which is why I'm thinking about this. We've always had places that were too small and Ikea furniture. I'm sick of not having a bedroom and having Ikea furniture, so we're splurging. But is the splurging bad for the kids?? I dunno. I wanted them to be able to have their own rooms, like they asked, but we're in Manhattan and it's not that usual to have a big space here. So... it feels like the kids will be spoiled. But we've moved SO much and have had so little space on average that I really felt like we needed this... 

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1 hour ago, Not_a_Number said:

I do actually think about this sometimes. We currently have everything we want, and I don't know if it's good for my kids. I think it's probably not. 

I think about this a lot too.  I especially have concerns because I don't think that there is any chance that they will have anywhere near the standard of living as an adult that they had/have as children/young adults. I worry that it will be a tough pill to swallow, and I hope that I've prepared them well enough for that. Sigh, another thing I wish that I had addressed differently.

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1 minute ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, we just moved to a big apartment, lol, which is why I'm thinking about this. We've always had places that were too small and Ikea furniture. I'm sick of not having a bedroom and having Ikea furniture, so we're splurging. But is the splurging bad for the kids?? I dunno. I wanted them to be able to have their own rooms, like they asked, but we're in Manhattan and it's not that usual to have a big space here. So... it feels like the kids will be spoiled. But we've moved SO much and have had so little space on average that I really felt like we needed this... 

I probably think about this differently than other people but I'm not that concerned about "spoiling" kids. What does that actually mean? 

I think that we all figure out real life pretty quickly when we have to. You get that first paycheck and all of the sudden it makes sense. 

So we're not going to spoil our kids? But really? You hear about "consequences" but how many of us are going to let our children (minor children) face real life consequences? 

The life our kids will live in the future is going to be tough so what's the harm in doing some nice things now? And I don't think that they won't be able to survive in a climate change challenged world because we bought them some nice things. 

You live in a big diverse city. Your kids have probably already noticed homeless people. Kids are very perceptive. They figure out earlier than we think that other people don't have what they have. 

Now I don't think that throwing material possessions at our kids is good either. That's not what I'm saying. Their own room is not like that at all. 

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4 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

You live in a big diverse city. Your kids have probably already noticed homeless people. Kids are very perceptive. They figure out earlier than we think that other people don't have what they have. 

Oh, we definitely talk about all the ways in which we're privileged. I mean, they are also more privileged than I was. When I was a bit bigger than DD9, I was sharing a one-bedroom apartment in a cruddy part of town with my mom and I didn't have the bedroom. And my mom was already two divorces into her string of failed relationships. They know about all that stuff. 

But I don't know if it's good for kids to feel totally secure, lol. It's good to feel like there are costs to failing sometimes. At least, that's what I think.

But we'll have to navigate all this with a big apartment and nice furniture, because we've lived in something like 10 places over the course of our marriage, and I really want a lovely place and some stability. Sorry, not sorry. As you say, sometimes my needs come first. 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, we just moved to a big apartment, lol, which is why I'm thinking about this. We've always had places that were too small and Ikea furniture. I'm sick of not having a bedroom and having Ikea furniture, so we're splurging. But is the splurging bad for the kids?? I dunno. I wanted them to be able to have their own rooms, like they asked, but we're in Manhattan and it's not that usual to have a big space here. So... it feels like the kids will be spoiled. But we've moved SO much and have had so little space on average that I really felt like we needed this... 

Ya know, there is nothing wrong with wanting your kids to have their own rooms, a little more space, etc. Nothing wrong with upgrading furniture a bit. There's a line somewhere, I guess, when wealth becomes an expected thing, and delight in being able to move to a bigger space turns into the expectation that one deserves a bigger space, and then soon comes the need for more space... and then all new/better furniture... 

When I worked in Silicon Valley, people were all about their BMWs. Nothing wrong with owning a BMW (though at the time I drove a Pinto - what did they all think of that I wondered). But so often conversations turned to their next BMW, or the custom seats they were looking at for the current BMW, and the sound systems, and... gah, were they ever boring. But it was just their expectation that the natural progression of their lives would lead to bigger and better and more expensive/desirable things... and their kids were growing up with that. That's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.

 

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3 minutes ago, marbel said:

But it was just their expectation that the natural progression of their lives would lead to bigger and better and more expensive/desirable things... and their kids were growing up with that. That's the kind of thing I'm thinking of.

Yeah, that's what my sister was saying, too. She went to a private school so she knew some REALLY rich kids, and she said they weren't all spoiled and entitled... it really depended on how people lived their lives. 

Sorry to derail the thread!! My bad. Just musing here, but I know it's way off topic. My apologize. 

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12 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

But I don't know if it's good for kids to feel totally secure, lol. It's good to feel like there are costs to failing sometimes. At least, that's what I think.

I think it is wonderful for kids to grow up feeling totally secure. To know that they have their family as a safety net, so they can spread their wings and try things and always have a safe place to return home to, no matter what befalls them. 
Children who feel secure develop healthy attachment and self-confidence and optimism. There is nothing noble or character building about poverty and deprivation or relationship dysfunction. 

It is a myth that children who grow up in secure circumstances won't know how to work hard - I have not seen this borne out in the families I know.

Edited by regentrude
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10 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Oh, we definitely talk about all the ways in which we're privileged. I mean, they are also more privileged than I was. When I was a bit bigger than DD9, I was sharing a one-bedroom apartment in a cruddy part of town with my mom and I didn't have the bedroom. And my mom was already two divorces into her string of failed relationships. They know about all that stuff. 

But I don't know if it's good for kids to feel totally secure, lol. It's good to feel like there are costs to failing sometimes. At least, that's what I think.

But we'll have to navigate all this with a big apartment and nice furniture, because we've lived in something like 10 places over the course of our marriage, and I really want a lovely place and some stability. Sorry, not sorry. As you say, sometimes my needs come first. 

Your own background is probably playing a part in how you feel. 

I don't think any kid feels totally secure. What I want is for my kid to feel secure with me and in our home but I can't control the rest. Our kids have just been through a pandemic. They don't feel secure. They pick up that we don't feel secure. 

You know how your kids unload on you when you pick them up somewhere? Why do they do that to us? It's because they feel secure to be themselves and a little bit negative. That's a good thing. 

There are ways that you can let your child fail and still let them have their own bedrooms. In a way I think it's almost worse when we withhold things that we can afford from our kids to teach them something. That's dishonest. So what lesson are you really teaching to your kids? That's it okay to lie? 

Our DD is an only child and many people assume that will make her spoiled. I have a co-worker who was an only child. She told me that she thinks that only children are less spoiled. My daughter is very generous. I think there's something to the lack of needing to compete with another child that counteracts selfishness. 

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2 minutes ago, regentrude said:

I think it is wonderful for kids to grow up feeling totally secure. To know that they have their family as a safety net, so they can spread their wings and try things and always have a safe place to return home to, no matter what befalls them. 
Children who feel secure develop healthy attachment and self-confidence and optimism. There is nothing noble or character building about poverty and deprivation or relationship dysfunction. 

It is a myth that children who grow up in secure circumstances won't know how to work hard - I have not seen this borne out in the families I know.

I don't think it's that kids who are brought up in secure circumstances won't work hard. But it's also sometimes the case that there's a bit less fire underneath them. 

I'd like to have it both ways, you know? I'd like my kids to have everything and still feel really driven. Obviously, I'm not going to deprive my kids on purpose. But I still worry about it. 

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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

It is a myth that children who grow up in secure circumstances won't know how to work hard - I have not seen this borne out in the families I know.

This.  I can't even fathom a cause-effect connection between a secure upbringing and failure to work hard.  Knowing how to work hard comes from learning how to work hard, which can happen in any kind of family.   

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5 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

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. 

You have me curious. What would you do? I’m not sorry I finished my undergrad even though it made absolutely no sense. How do you picture retirement? How does he?

 I’ve never wanted to travel. DH has traveled quite a bit internationally for work. He used to daydream of traveling then he did for a couple years pre-Covid. If I were miraculously cured, I’d write the book, get my MFA in creative non fiction, and teach post homeschooling retirement. 😉

Melissa, I’m sad you don’t have the support to follow the dream. That would be so hard for me. I’m not sure how I’d cope with that. 

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3 minutes ago, klmama said:

This.  I can't even fathom a cause-effect connection between a secure upbringing and failure to work hard.  Knowing how to work hard comes from learning how to work hard, which can happen in any kind of family.   

It's not about emotional security. It's about the sense that it matters (financially as well as in other ways) whether you screw up. 

I don't know... i don't tend to assume there's one right way to bring up children and that none of the other ways have ANY benefits. I think there are benefits to adversity sometimes, provided a person's personality is well-suited to dealing with it. Some people really do learn best from harder circumstances. Not all, of course. 

Now, does this mean I want to bring up my children to be deprived? No. We're very affluent, realistically. That's why I worry about it. 

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8 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

I don't think it's that kids who are brought up in secure circumstances won't work hard. But it's also sometimes the case that there's a bit less fire underneath them. 

I'd like to have it both ways, you know? I'd like my kids to have everything and still feel really driven. Obviously, I'm not going to deprive my kids on purpose. But I still worry about it. 

Haven't observed the bolded. I am surrounded by extremely driven people, (and am married to one and have given birth to two) who didn't have any deprivations during their childhood and are absolute overachievers working their butts off. 
Conversely, I know people who had to deal with hardship and deprivation and for whom that did not at all translate into drive and ambition.

 

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1 minute ago, regentrude said:

Haven't observed the bolded. I am surrounded by extremely driven people, (and am married to one and have given birth to two) who didn't have any deprivations during their childhood and are absolute overachievers working their butts off. 
Conversely, I know people who had to deal with hardship and deprivation and for whom that did not at all translate into drive and ambition.

Well, that's good to hear! 🙂 I hope that happens here, too. 

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I don’t regret homeschooling.

I gave up a lot to do it but I also gained a lot.  So did my family.

I could make a case for regretting continuing to homeschool once I had to go back to work because DH was laid off and didn’t get another job for 17 months.  (I remember that figure because it was just one month before we were going to run out of COBRA when he finally accepted his next position.).   Although continuing to homeschool was good for DD’s education, it was terrible for me and it hurt our relationship in ways that I don’t think we will ever get past.  Working 55 hours per week starting up a new business while doing quality homeschooling means that all the fun and attachmentish parts of homeschooling fall by the wayside, and doing it while being extremely stressed and very unhappy are not a recipe for being great in relationships.  DD finished through middle school superbly educated, but the cost was perhaps too high.

Having said that, one of the things that *I* personally benefitted from from homeschooling is learning so much myself, which is always helpful.  I did Sunday School openings for quite a few years, and helped start 2-3 nonprofits (depending on how you count), and learned a tremendous amount of history and broad, practical science.  I got some serious frugal living off the ground, something I never could have managed when I was working in engineering, and a lot of which I was able to continue even after I went back to work.  

Something I have noticed that people tend to underestimate is how much time it takes to have kids in school.  They get sick and have to stay home, you have to get them to and from on time, there are parent/teacher meetings that are semi-required, and volunteering is fairly normal/expected to at least some extent.  There are the many sales, and booster activities, and other obligations that, although theoretically optional, are pretty necessary for your child to have a good experience there.  Class trips, social events, the list goes on and on.  It’s not all that easy to pursue a Big Tough Career and have kids in school, either.  I was clear on this point when deciding to continue to homeschool after going back to work.  I knew I would not be available during the critical ‘help with homework’ hours of the day, and that DH would not step up, so even though it was hard, it seemed better to homeschool during my more flexible morning hours when DD was fresh and could learn fast, than having to help after school or helplessly watch her flounder without that help.  (Side note:  I was pretty shocked, even so, at how much time it took to be a high school parent even!  And homework helping was ongoing even then, much to my surprise!) This all plays into what I feel looking back.  

I was a real driver at work in engineering, which was one of the reasons that I was pretty successful; but you can’t be that kind of a driver at home and have a happy family life.  Having to change personae completely on the way to and from work every single day would probably have driven me into an early grave.  We would be much more well to do if I had stayed in engineering, but I doubt that we would have had any family closeness at all.  Maybe DH and I would not have made it.  I don’t regret giving that career up, not at all, even though I enjoyed it while I was child free.  
 

For the most part, my years at home homeschooling were our halcyon days.  I wouldn’t give up those memories for any wealth.  No way.

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PS. I DO have a few regrets in life.  They are big to me, and have nothing to do with homeschooling.

1.  I regret that I did not know about the John Muir Trail and hike it while I was young and vigorous.  Now I’m sure I never will, and that kind of bites.

2.  I regret that I did not become a history professor.  I wanted to from age 17 on, and I should have.  

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

It's not about emotional security. It's about the sense that it matters (financially as well as in other ways) whether you screw up. 

You can instill that sense just fine.
In my experience, the best motivator for many is not finances, but being appreciated for what they do.

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3 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That hasn't been my experience in life so far. But hopefully I'm wrong. 

Can you elaborate? You really have not found people being motivated by their environment appreciating what they do? (Of course, that's mostly true for extroverts; many introverts find their internal satisfaction with their achievements to be the main motivator.)
For many things, recognition and appreciation will be the only external reward ever. I'd rather not want my kid to look to finances before they decide to do a good job.

Edited by regentrude
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6 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

I wonder where all the regretters hang out then! 

 

There's probably a subreddit, haha.

There are pros and cons to anything, but generally, no, no regrets about the homeschooling. I never really made it an Identity though (not saying you did, but it does seem to me that the people who are more creative and idealistic homeschoolers tend to burn out more quickly and feel deeper disappointment in outcomes.) My youngest spent 6 years in public school, and was very happy (is now homeschooling for the last two years of high school because of changes with pandemic), but it only reinforced for me how mediocre public education is in our area. The quality very much depends on the teacher, and that is luck of the draw for the most part. The pro for public schooling is more of a connection with the community, though that can turn negative quickly, so....

My bigger regret is staying in the work force (nursing) as long as I did. I do think my older two suffered some negative effects from childcare.

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4 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

That hasn't been my experience in life so far. But hopefully I'm wrong. 

Not for my introvert husband either. Being appreciated but not having it translated to better job opportunities or better remuneration can hurt. It feels a little like lip service. One of my ex-boss tried to negotiate hard with HR for performance bonuses because you can’t save for a rainy day with verbal or written appreciation. 
At one time, my husband was frustrated enough to go for interviews with the “competitors” and when he had an offer, that was when his immediate boss and his dept VP were worried and counter offer. 
I am borderline extrovert and I want achievements. I am happy with appreciation when it comes to volunteer work but show me the money when it comes to jobs. 
 

I am definitely more complacent about jobs because I have my parents financial backing. I could afford to stay unemployed after college graduation while looking for a more suitable job. My kids are similar in that they know they would not need to accept any job in a hurry. 

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4 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

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.  😉 

I don't think I do ask this question every few months! But regardless, sorry it's annoyed you.

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I do have to say that I think one of my kids is hard-working despite being very privileged.  She works hard because some things are hard.  She's not the type to give up.  But then again, she has some mental health issues that make giving up feel impossible to her.  Not a totally great thing.

My kids are about 100x more privileged than I was, materially.  I am not sure whether or not that is a concern.  I do want them to feel that no matter what happens, as long as I'm able, I'll have a roof, bed, and food for them should they need it.  I want them to feel confident to spread their wings.  The one condition is that they are people who can be tolerated as roommates.

I guess time will tell if this is the wrong way to raise kids.  I think the way I was raised (essentially in poverty) was successful, but it would be very hard for me to replicate it.  And TBH I am probably too lazy to try.  Apologies in advance if I'm raising monsters.  😛

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18 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I don't think I do ask this question every few months! But regardless, sorry it's annoyed you.

I don’t read it as you annoy her with it. I think she’s concerned that you mention  it from time to time because it makes you sad and she, like I, hope you can maybe reframe the narrative. ❤️

I also don’t think you are the only one. 

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13 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

Thanks for everyone's input. It was interesting. Clearly just a me problem. 

 

 

Have you ever read “The Feminine Mystique”?  It talks a lot about the discontent of SAHMs, calling it ‘the problem that has no name’.  I think you might find it interesting if you have not.  It’s dated, of course—I’m in my early sixties, and it was written basically about my mother’s generation—but a lot of the arguments are good.  The solutions, not so much…

In any case, you will find you are not the only one, if there was any question about that.  Hugs.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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5 minutes ago, freesia said:

I don’t read it as you annoy her with it. I think she’s concerned that you mention  it from time to time because it makes you sad and she, like I, hope you can maybe reframe the narrative. ❤️

I also don’t think you are the only one. 

I really was just curious if there were other long term pro-homeschool homeschoolers who nevertheless found the benefits lacking. I regret asking, though. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Melissa Louise said:

I very much appreciate this is true for your family ❤️

It's not really for mine. 

I don't want you to feel like I'm arguing with you or that I think I know your life better than you do, but I'm really curious about how you feel about this. Do you really think that your kids don't have a rock solid foundation and that they won't have an impact on the people in their small circle? Or do you think they do/will but that you being home with them didn't have anything to do with that?

I don't know you irl (obviously 😉) and I don't know you well even just here on the boards, but what I do know of you I can't reconcile with thinking that you've had no positive and lasting impact on their futures.

 

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I'm torn on it. Academically it was the best choice for L. But seeing how much happier and more relaxed having easy, accessible friendships is makes me kind of wish that we'd looked harder to try to find a school fit, or maybe settle for a "not the best, but good enough", especially during teen years. And I am very aware, now, that my social life and friends were based around my kid and homeschooling, and now I have nothing. 

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2 minutes ago, Momto6inIN said:

I don't want you to feel like I'm arguing with you or that I think I know your life better than you do, but I'm really curious about how you feel about this. Do you really think that your kids don't have a rock solid foundation and that they won't have an impact on the people in their small circle? Or do you think they do/will but that you being home with them didn't have anything to do with that?

I don't know you irl (obviously 😉) and I don't know you well even just here on the boards, but what I do know of you I can't reconcile with thinking that you've had no positive and lasting impact on their futures.

 

I think my kids are their own people, that their foundation was solid in some ways and not in others, and that their adult choices and impacts are only marginally affected by all the read alouds 😂

(I swear, I'd feel a LOT better about it if any of them evidenced memories of stuff we did and/or had kept reading!)

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7 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

I'm torn on it. Academically it was the best choice for L. But seeing how much happier and more relaxed having easy, accessible friendships is makes me kind of wish that we'd looked harder to try to find a school fit, or maybe settle for a "not the best, but good enough", especially during teen years. And I am very aware, now, that my social life and friends were based around my kid and homeschooling, and now I have nothing. 

Are there music opportunities where you live (post Covid) with opportunities for a social life? 

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25 minutes ago, freesia said:

I don’t read it as you annoy her with it. I think she’s concerned that you mention  it from time to time because it makes you sad and she, like I, hope you can maybe reframe the narrative. ❤️

If I didn’t remember wrongly, OP and her spouse are separated. Generally females get the raw end of the deal with separation and divorce.

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3 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

Well, we just moved to a big apartment, lol, which is why I'm thinking about this. We've always had places that were too small and Ikea furniture. I'm sick of not having a bedroom and having Ikea furniture, so we're splurging. But is the splurging bad for the kids?? I dunno. I wanted them to be able to have their own rooms, like they asked, but we're in Manhattan and it's not that usual to have a big space here. So... it feels like the kids will be spoiled. But we've moved SO much and have had so little space on average that I really felt like we needed this... 

My family lives in a 2200 square foot house on 70 acres. My kids are more spoiled than yours....

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Coming back to this to add that the social part of homeschooling has been a mess. But I suspect it would have been a mess if I'd sent kiddo to school, too.  It simply would have been a different sort of mess. 

He's always been kind of an odd duck compared to the other kids.  I remember being at the park with him when he was 3 and being utterly blown away by how "worldly" the other little kids were. They were jabbering away about all sorts of things, and my kid was still interested in parallel play and barely talked. He *could* talk; he just didn't do it which baffled and stressed me out. Sometimes he'd play with other kids, but a lot of the time, he did not. Once he figured out how to read, he became a chatter box and talked my ear off. 

It's always been that way.  He's always been an outlier. We tried pre-school and kindy and he simply wasn't into it. I signed him up for all sorts of drop-off activities with kids when he was 7 and 8, and he'd stress out, cry, and ask me "Why do you want to get rid of me?" Ack! I'm not trying to get rid of you, kid. I'm just trying to help you socialize! 

It's better now that he's older (13). He's fine with drop off stuff, but he really didn't ease into it until he was 10-ish. Of course, now there's Covid and in-person activities are off the table!  *bangs head*  He does some online gaming with kid groups I found on fb, and he prefers I butt out of those events.  When we still did park days, he was happy to go and said he loved it. I used to drop him off for art classes, and he had a great time. He would horse around and wrestle with the other boys after class.  But he's never really sought this stuff out on his own.  He's not really into "teen" stuff yet; he's still happy to watch animated movies and Lego Masters on tv. He couldn't care less about fashion, music, or tik tok. Once again, all the other kids are more "worldly" and he's just not into any of it. 

I don't think that putting him in school would "fix" that particular problem.  I don't know that it really is a problem?  It's not really something I can correct.  He's just...not in sync with the other kids. He is who he is.  My gut feeling is that he's probably not going to really hit his stride socially until college. All I can do is keep offering opportunities for him to connect with other kids.  

ETA: I was already stressing out about the social stuff today, so most of this comment is me talking myself down off the ledge. 

Edited by MissLemon
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38 minutes ago, Melissa Louise said:

I think my kids are their own people, that their foundation was solid in some ways and not in others, and that their adult choices and impacts are only marginally affected by all the read alouds 😂

(I swear, I'd feel a LOT better about it if any of them evidenced memories of stuff we did and/or had kept reading!)

Can't remember the ages of your kids, but there are many things about my mother that I did not remember until I became a mother. In fact, there are memories of things that happened that I don't remember until one of my brothers say "Do you remember..."  

So I definitely didn't appreciate a LOT of what my mom did until I had children of my own. 

 

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14 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

It's always been that way.  He's always been an outlier. We tried pre-school and kindy and he simply wasn't into it. I signed him up for all sorts of drop-off activities with kids when he was 7 and 8, and he'd stress out, cry, and ask me "Why do you want to get rid of me?" .

It's better now that he's older (13). He's fine with drop off stuff, but he really didn't ease into it until he was 10-ish. ...But he's never really sought this stuff out on his own.  He's not really into "teen" stuff ye

ETA: I was already stressing out about the social stuff today, so most of this comment is me talking myself down off the ledge. 

Can I help talk you down the ledge? My DS never liked groups, clubs, events. He barely tolerate park day ("Mom, do I have to go again? I already saw kids last week") . Until he was 13, he had absolutely no interest in doing anything with people except the very occasional one-on-one playdate. He then started playing video games online with friends, and I was very happy that he developed relationships that way - it was what he was comfortable with. 
He did not find his tribe until he started martial arts at 14, and his social connections and leadership skills took off. He simply had to do this on his timeline. At 15, he started a part time job and ended up working as  customer service person for a small local business, handling online questions and complaints. 
Now he has a wide circle of friends of varying ages, from college and from judo, is well-liked, can interact with people from different walks of life. But he still is an introvert, and in school, he would have been absolutely miserable with the forced interactions and completely exhausted from being surrounded by crowds all day.

When he was a kid, I was very concerned about "socialization" because to extrovert me, his behavior was puzzling. My (also very introverted) DH talked me down and reassured me that the boy is fine. He was right.

Edited by regentrude
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22 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Can I help talk you down the ledge? My DS never liked groups, clubs, events. He barely tolerate park day ("Mom, do I have to go again? I already saw kids last week") . Until he was 13, he had absolutely no interest in doing anything with people except the very occasional one-on-one playdate. He then started playing video games online with friends, and I was very happy that he developed relationships that way - it was what he was comfortable with. 
He did not find his tribe until he started martial arts at 14, and his social connections and leadership skills took off. He simply had to do this on his timeline. At 15, he started a part time job and ended up working as  customer service person for a small local business, handling online questions and complaints. 
Now he has a wide circle of friends of varying ages, from college and from judo, is well-liked, can interact with people from different walks of life. But he still is an introvert, and in school, he would have been absolutely miserable with the forced interactions and completely exhausted from being surrounded by crowds all day.

When he was a kid, I was very concerned about "socialization" because to extrovert me, his behavior was puzzling. My (also very introverted) DH talked me down and reassured me that the boy is fine. He was right.

Thank you. ❤️ This does help.  What you said about doing things on his timeline resonates deeply.

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1 hour ago, Melissa Louise said:

Thanks for everyone's input. It was interesting. Clearly just a me problem. 

 

 

Nah. I don’t think you’re the only one. I don’t regret homeschooling, but I relate to a number of things you’ve said, and am having some kind of midlife thing where I wish I could experience what life had been like if I hadn’t given up a career to be home full time. It’s not that I think I shouldn’t have done it this way, I’m just feeling a little sorry for myself lately that I sacrificed so much and don’t get any of the more tangible recognition in life like my dh gets (promotions, paychecks, titles, etc). I didn’t expect to feel this way, and it came on a bit suddenly a year or so ago, so I think it’s a life stage thing maybe. A realization I can’t go back and do it the other way and this is what my life is (having a couple very hard years with a couple young adult kids hasn’t helped).

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This made me have to sit and reflect a little because I have been feeling a little down about how things have turned out. There are things I wish were different and aren't. Covid has not helped this. I wanted more experiences for them. Traveling and outings and friends. We don't get out enough. On reflection, this is not really the fault of homeschooling, although it is easy to blame homeschooling for it. It is directly a result of mental health issues that have cropped up in my family. More than one member has "stuff". The way things are is directly a result of the people I am working with. It is not easy to go out. It is not easy to travel. And it also brings a lot of insecurity as well as loneliness. 

I feel like I had to let that part of me die and I miss it. I was trying to assess if this feeling is because of my career that never really got off the ground before motherhood took over or not. I think it really isn't the career. I think it is the loss of the dream that we would have family outings and make lots of memories. It is the also the loss of adult time and the loss of freedom to go and explore if I want to. I still have 9 more years of homeschooling to go. I have started working hard on one of my hobbies to turn it into a part time thing when I am done teaching. My career was supposed to be in teaching, but I have realized I cannot go back to that after homeschooling. It would drive me crazy to not be able to really teach to each student. So instead I am going to focus on my hobby interest and turn it into something more. I hope that I will also get to travel, but I am not counting on it. I cannot plan for things that involve another, especially when they are not always stable. 

 

I am sorry things don't look how you imagined they could be. I understand that things suck when they turn out differently that you wished. I hope you can find something that brings you some contentment and joy.

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1 hour ago, Melissa Louise said:

(I swear, I'd feel a LOT better about it if any of them evidenced memories of stuff we did and/or had kept reading!)

If I had known that my son would not remember even half of what we did, I would have not stressed so much about our activities and done a whole lot less. 😂

Children's theater shows? Nope, he doesn't remember

Tumbling class? No recollection

Nature classes at the park? No

Our first art teacher? *blank stare*

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I don't regret homeschooling.  If I had it to do over, I would do it again, but maybe not as long.  I don't want to give back any of the TIME I had with them, but for my own personal finances I wish I would have gone back to work when they hit middle school.  Financially I'd be much better off now if the kids went to school in 7th grade.

Here's the kicker, I'm trying to do a career jump now and I don't WANT to teach anymore.  If I would just take a classroom position I would have a job, but I'm TIRED of teaching.  I want to do MY work and not be in charge of making other people do their work.  

I got my feet wet with a part time job to see how it played out and I need a lot more.  I'm used to being busy and productive and both of my kids graduating at the beginning of the pandemic brought that to a screeching halt.  I DID need a break, but NOT a two year break.  The job I have now just isn't enough work.  I do most of what I need to do the first hour and then watch the clock for the next 7.  

So now I'm filling out all kinds of resumes for jobs I could do, but would also learn a lot in the process.  I need a career that replaces what I would make teaching and I'm ready for a new chapter.  I'd be much further ahead in this endeavor if I'd started sooner.

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