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Topsy
08-26-2010, 10:12 AM
It is always fun to get responses to this week's poll question. The answers come up all over our forums in different ways, but let's make it "official" this week. Obviously, I can't list every reason a family might choose to homeschool their child, but I'll get as many as I can in there. And feel free to choose more than one if it applies!!

StartingOver
08-26-2010, 10:46 AM
Geez that was a lot of options to check off LOL.

Medical reason: asthma, allergies. Gifted kids, schools here suck, my kids have never fit a mold, and I love the way they get along.

hockeymom
08-26-2010, 11:03 AM
I checked learning issue (gifted), local school not acceptable, and child very unhappy. Now I'd add philosophical reasons and wanting to stay connected as a family, as well as religious reasons after having found out (after bringing him home) that they were forced to pray before lunch (so, anti-religious reasons maybe?).

schwartzkari
08-26-2010, 11:55 AM
We decided to homeschool just because we wanted to. I started preschool lessons with my daughter and we had so much fun that I asked my husband what he thought about homeschooling. He said that as long as he continued to see progress, he supported us :) So here we are 3 years later. Both of my children are very happy and content. My daughter is a free spirit and very artistic. I want to keep it that way and I feared that public school might hinder her creativity.

In a nutshell, we homeschool because we can, because it works for us...and because it is fun :)

MamaB2C
08-26-2010, 01:03 PM
For me, homeschooling represents freedom to create an individual learning environment for my one and only kid. That's just so huge for me.

Busygoddess
08-26-2010, 01:05 PM
Ok, I chose:

Learning issue - both kids are Gifted, both have ADHD, one has Bipolar
School options not acceptable - our local schools are awful, even the Gifted program is a joke, there's no way they could accommodate kids like mine
Child not happy - Dea was in the local district for Kinder. She was teased & phyiscally injured by her classmates for being different (apparently 5 year olds don't like it if a classmate has brains & a personality of their own). She was bored with the work & the teacher wasn't allowed to let her do more difficult work. She hated school.
Other - By the end of her Kinder year, she had associated learning with School. Since she hated school, she decided she didn't want to learn anything. She had learned that being smart is a bad thing & was trying to hide her intelligence. It took years to undo this damage. The school did nothing about the bullying. They had a list in the office of people who were allowed to pick her up & a paper from the court saying that a certain person was not allowed on school property & they should call the cops if he showed up (and he was NOT allowed to even talk to Dea, much less pick her up), but they never bothered to check anyone's ID when someone showed up to pick her up. So, I didn't feel that my daughter was safe in their school.
Plus, I felt that I could provide a better, more well-rounded education with higher standards & expectations.

Those are the reasons we officially started homeschooling. However, after we started homeschooling, I realized that I had been homeschooling all along (except for my hospital stay during Dea's Kinder year), even when she was in PreK & (part of) Kinder.

SherryZoned
08-26-2010, 01:30 PM
I chose bad schools, 1 kid..the prek child hated school and other.. Bully issues! And also wanting to keep us all connected. I have found we are all so much closer since homeschooling. The boys argue less. THere is less whining all around. There is just a difference, hard to explain.

mommykicksbutt
08-26-2010, 02:19 PM
Learning, unhappy, and other. Sonny is profoundly gifted (150+ IQ) (the learning), public school just could not accommodate him, at a private school was a little better at keeping him challenged but their was the bullying issues (the unhappy), the "other" would contain lots of things like the 'social drama' of high school that he no longer has to endure as well as the fact that homeschooling allows us to travel (we are military over seas) as part of his education. Also in the "other" I can do a much better job of educating my son then "they" can!!!!!

MamaB2C
08-26-2010, 02:39 PM
I can't believe I forgot this, but back when DS was only 2 I started researching homeschooling, specifically because the draconian attendance policies bothered me on an almost primal level.

Our district will take parents to truancy court and fine them for too many absences, and make no exceptions. My brother took his chances that my niece wouldn't get sick later in the year when he took her out for a week, unexcused, to attend her great grandfather's 90th birthday (how many more chances would she have had?). They used the flimsy excuse of "missing that time would harm her education" , but this was a straight A student who was working ahead anyway. Then they tried the "If we make an exception for you we have to make them for everybody" or whatever. It has nothing to do with educational harm and everything to do with money, obviously to me.

I am legally and morally responsible for my kid. I should get to set the priorities. I really, really felt frustrated and angry by the mere possibility that I might have to fight for my own parental rights to do that someday.

yeah, that probably makes me weird, but it was a big reason that homeschooling got put on the table in the first place

hockeymom
08-26-2010, 03:21 PM
MamaB2C: wow. That totally doesn't make you "weird", it makes you sane and rational! You know, when DS was in ps I had no regard at all for attendance. We took him on trips, either back home or camping or to Boston just because we felt like going or whatever. His teachers would make snide remarks but I didn't think much of it. I didn't even realize that they are actually serious about thinking that kids learn more in school than on family trips! LOL! Yours is a truly scary story; I would have pulled my son for that reason too if I had realized they were serious. :)

MamaB2C
08-26-2010, 03:29 PM
I thought maybe I was weird because it didn't even happen to me... I was angry just anticipating that it might happen to me someday! DS was only 2 at the time and here I was enraged that they wanted to dictate my schedule some years down the road.

Busygoddess
08-26-2010, 03:48 PM
While I do understand what you guys are saying about taking them out for family trips & things, I have to say that I don't disagree with the attendence policies the schools have. If a child is enrolled in their school, they are responsible for providing that child with an education. They can't do their job if the child is constantly missing from school. Also, not all absences are legitimate. It's not unheard of for a child to fake a phone call or forge a letter excusing their absence. Kids skip school all the time. Plus, some parents keep their kids out of school for reasons that are not legitimate. Here, we have a problem with impoverished families having school-aged kids stay home to babysit younger siblings. Their education is being sacrificed so they can play mommy & daddy to their brothers & sisters. Some of these kids being kept home for reasons like this are as young as 9 or 10. They're missing out on learning basics that they'll need in later years. The schools have to have these policies & they should stick to them strictly. The policies really are there to protect not only the schools, but also the students.

inmom
08-26-2010, 03:52 PM
I picked learning issues (kids were bored), schools unsatisfactory (see prior comment), and kids were unhappy (again....boredome). These days, though, if someone wants a one word answer to why we homeschool, I simply answer "flexiblility."

ColourfulThreads
08-26-2010, 04:20 PM
We decided to homeschool just because we wanted to. I started preschool lessons with my daughter and we had so much fun that I asked my husband what he thought about homeschooling. He said that as long as he continued to see progress, he supported us :) So here we are 3 years later. Both of my children are very happy and content. My daughter is a free spirit and very artistic. I want to keep it that way and I feared that public school might hinder her creativity.

In a nutshell, we homeschool because we can, because it works for us...and because it is fun :)

I loved this reply Kari!

When my children were little I met someone who was homeschooling and it looked like so much fun, more fun than what I experienced in the classroom while earning by B.Ed. It also seemed neat that I could teach my own kids, rather than spending time teaching others.

Now that my oldest is starting high school and still wishes to continue homeschooling, I see philosophical and familial benefits that I honestly didn't consider in the beginning. SO while it's still fun, and it definitely works, I'm finding myself becoming more of a zealot about the benefits that it can offer to those who are willing to give it a try.

Jennifer

MamaB2C
08-26-2010, 04:37 PM
The schools have to have these policies & they should stick to them strictly. The policies really are there to protect not only the schools, but also the students.

I understand, and even agree to some extent when talking sort of generally. However, when we're talking about MY kid, and MY priorities, I don't want someone else judging whether my reasons are legitimate, or overriding my decisions regarding my family, so I tend to try to give the benefit of the doubt to other parents.

I can't imagine any parent would have their 9-10 old babysitting unless there were no other alternative and they have to work or go to school themselves. That's a failing of our society that our poor have little support-strict attendance policies and fining people can't fix that.

Also, at least here, funding is tied to attendance, and our schools are in bad shape financially, so flexibility and individual evaluation of circumstances aren't even a consideration.

farrarwilliams
08-26-2010, 05:20 PM
The schools have to have these policies & they should stick to them strictly. The policies really are there to protect not only the schools, but also the students.

Yes... BUT... the way these policies are enforced reminds me of first graders who are expelled from school under zero tolerance for sexual harassment policies because they hugged a classmate. It's not the policy that bothers me per se, it's the fact that schools enforce their policies in such a black and white manner without any regard for individual cases or even common sense. To me, it's a good example of how bureaucratic thinking and a general institutional attitude prevails in schools 99% of the time over what's really right, whenever there's any sort of moral issue.

So, to me, that's a big part of why I homeschool. I don't think it's that my own local schools aren't good enough (though they're not and won't be, no matter what Michelle Rhee does to them and how many national articles she manages to get written about herself) - it's that I don't think even the best public schools in the country (like, say, the ones up the road across the line in Maryland if we moved a couple miles away) would be good enough either. Education in this country is focused entirely on product. It's completely driven by poorly gathered statistics and fickle politicians. I believe education is process, not product. That's why I homeschool.

By the way, it's fascinating to see that so far, there's very little clear breakdown in the poll. People on this board homeschool for all kinds of reasons. Except religion :)

hockeymom
08-26-2010, 05:20 PM
While I do understand what you guys are saying about taking them out for family trips & things, I have to say that I don't disagree with the attendence policies the schools have. If a child is enrolled in their school, they are responsible for providing that child with an education. They can't do their job if the child is constantly missing from school. Also, not all absences are legitimate. It's not unheard of for a child to fake a phone call or forge a letter excusing their absence. Kids skip school all the time. Plus, some parents keep their kids out of school for reasons that are not legitimate. Here, we have a problem with impoverished families having school-aged kids stay home to babysit younger siblings. Their education is being sacrificed so they can play mommy & daddy to their brothers & sisters. Some of these kids being kept home for reasons like this are as young as 9 or 10. They're missing out on learning basics that they'll need in later years. The schools have to have these policies & they should stick to them strictly. The policies really are there to protect not only the schools, but also the students.

Yeah, I understand that too. In all honesty though, my son was so bored by school and I knew he wasn't actually learning anything there so I just wasn't concerned with taking him out when we felt like it. He learns so much just by every day life (outside the prison walls of his ps) that it just never occurred to me that his teachers could ever think otherwise. The amount of information he can soak up in a long weekend in Boston learning about American History or earning his Junior Ranger badge while camping is staggering. But of course I see now that teachers don't see things that way, so there was naturally a huge disconnect. Now that he's home, it amazes me that we kept him in ps for a year and a half--what a total waste of time and energy. Of course, not all situations are like that and you're right, the rights of children must be protected and in some cases schools might be able to provide that.

farrarwilliams
08-26-2010, 05:29 PM
I can't imagine any parent would have their 9-10 old babysitting unless there were no other alternative and they have to work or go to school themselves. That's a failing of our society that our poor have little support-strict attendance policies and fining people can't fix that.

I should have added, in all fairness, that *I* was one of those kids missing school to babysit their young sibs - maybe not at age 10, but definitely by age 12. If my little brother got sick, I was the one who had to stay home to take care of him. So I was an A-B student who often nearly failed and relied on the kindness of teachers to fudge their attendance results so I wouldn't have to incur court costs to get out of it. So... things like that still prejudice me against policies like that! The worst were the teachers who wanted me to beg. They were going to fudge the records for me, but they wanted me to beg them to do it first and see me grovel. Probably nowadays it's all on computers so teachers don't even get that discretion. If they have a kid who missed too many days, even if it's their best student, they'll have to go to court.

Jennifer Gray
08-26-2010, 05:42 PM
We live in a bad area to send your children to public school. Not only is EVERY school in our district under performing between the gangs on the grade school campus and the drug problems they are just not safe. Our part of central California is heavily populated by migrant workers and thus our schools are dumping everything else to get their kids to be able to test in English. The biggest complaint I've heard over and over from parents in this district is that English speaking children are being taught in Spanish most of the day in order to get the other 80% of the non-English speakers up to par for the tests. Homeschooling was never really a doubt in my mind when I realized just how bad these schools are.

AshleysMum
08-26-2010, 05:46 PM
I could have answered more than one answer to this. My child wasn't being taught anything academically in PS, and she was horribly unhappy. Being smaller than other kids her age, she was picked on alot, yet wasn't aloud to "fight back" and the teachers just told her to quit tattling when she told them what was going on. Our PS here was also extremely commercial - constantly wanting money for this or that and supplies for the classroom that my daughter rarely got to use. They had a book fair and tried to tell her she HAD to buy a bunch of books. I made no bones about telling the school what they could do with their books. Our beliefs don't go along with what the "normal" teachings are. I asked the teacher if she allowed children to celebrate what their beliefs were, such as Yule instead of Christmas. You'd think I slapped her with that question. She didn't like my answers to her "traditional" Christian holidays in Public School.

We were unsure of homeschooling a year ago when we started to think about it, but are so glad we made that decision. Our daughter is learning and loving to learn, and we are able to make sure she has an education to get her where she wants to be. We're also having a great deal of fun. We love the freedom to go and do as we please and chose appropriate activities for her to be involved in. And, once we saw that we COULD teach our daughter (in spite of local teacher's unions trying to convince us otherwise), and all that was available, the decision was easily made.

dottieanna29
08-26-2010, 05:53 PM
I put learning issues. I want to be able to work with my son's little quirks so that he can learn in the ways that work best for him.

kcanders
08-26-2010, 05:55 PM
I can't believe I forgot this, but back when DS was only 2 I started researching homeschooling, specifically because the draconian attendance policies bothered me on an almost primal level.

That is a huge issue for me as well. My kids went to a private school and I could take the kids out whenever I wanted. I would tell them that we weren't coming because we were going on vacation, or family was coming in to town, or we had a doctor appt., etc. and they were fine with it. If it was a trip, the teachers were very supportive and excited that the kids were getting the opportunity to travel and would often talk to the kid about where they were going and what they should look for. That is actually one of the biggest complaints my friends had that switched to public school.

My sister was visited by a truancy officer, when her 5 year old kindergartener had missed too many days. She had pneumonia and was hospitalized for a few days and then later had to take a few days off when our grandmother died. I thought that was about the stupidest thing I had heard, since the compulsory attendance age in IL is 7. The same school has also given my other niece's best friend a lot of problems. She has inoperable brain cancer and has to miss school for treatments or because she is sick. My sister will send her girls to school even if they are sick, because the school gives her so many problems if they miss school. She also has to go to amazing lengths to schedule doctor and dentist appointments so they won't have issues.

I understand that they have attendance policies for a reason, but I think they too strict in enforcing them. I can understand unexcused absences, but if the parent has a valid reason they should be able to take the child out of school.

Riceball_Mommy
08-26-2010, 06:45 PM
The thing that started me on the track to homeschooling was my anxiety and my daughter's. She still doesn't do well around adults if they are new or she hasn't seen them in awhile. I was worried about everything, and I had been in school up until she was 3 so I was facing one small year home with her then loosing her again. I wanted to spend more time with her. Now I have so many reason to keep going. I worry about the quality of the school, possible bullying, picking up unfavorable habits. Also I've noticed she has a bit of a problem organizing information in her head (that's the best I can explain it), but I've learned to try to be patient. I worry that in public school that would have to be labeled, and I also worry that her just being frigidity and not wanting to focus every moment of the day (because she's 4, almost 5) would be reason enough to label her with ADD. Those two make me fear they'd want her on medication, and more of a try every alternative first, then medicate kind of person, at least for the long term things.

Busygoddess
08-26-2010, 07:49 PM
Yes... BUT... the way these policies are enforced reminds me of first graders who are expelled from school under zero tolerance for sexual harassment policies because they hugged a classmate. It's not the policy that bothers me per se, it's the fact that schools enforce their policies in such a black and white manner without any regard for individual cases or even common sense. To me, it's a good example of how bureaucratic thinking and a general institutional attitude prevails in schools 99% of the time over what's really right, whenever there's any sort of moral issue.




Well, public schools are institutions. So, of course they'll have institutional attitudes. They can't go on a case by case basis. Individual cases can't get exemptions. That would throw the whole system into a state of total chaos. If the principal allows an exemption for one child, and parents of other children find out, there would be tons of parents showing up at the school & calling to complain about it. When you're talking about schools that have students that number in the thousands or tens of thousands, it's a bit naive (in my opinion) to think that it would even be possible for them to attempt to have a case by case basis for rules. There's simply no way for them to get to know each of the families & their situations well enough to be able to apply rules on a case by case basis. Nor would it be fair to apply rules that way. They can't just give everyone the benefit of the doubt. As nice as it would be to live in a world where everyone is honest, nobody cheats, lies, or steals, and all parents place their children's education as a top priority, that simply isn't the world in which we live. The only fair way for the schools to apply the rules is in a black & white, all or nothing way. Anyone who breaks the rules should have to deal with the consequences. Once they start making exceptions & allowing certain people to get away with things that others can't get away with, there will be trouble & the system won't function properly. There are simply too many students, in a public school, for them to be able to personalize either the discipline or the academics.

That lack of personalization is part of the reason we homeschool. They can't provide what my kids need, because they are set up to provide for the average majority. So, I'm not saying that deciding to homeschool due to the system's lack of ability to personalize (either with academics or discipline) is wrong. I'm simply trying to point out, that there really is no other way that the system could funtion due to the amount of people it in place for & the level of diversity that goes with numbers that high.

farrarwilliams
08-26-2010, 09:22 PM
Well, public schools are institutions. So, of course they'll have institutional attitudes. They can't go on a case by case basis. Individual cases can't get exemptions. That would throw the whole system into a state of total chaos. If the principal allows an exemption for one child, and parents of other children find out, there would be tons of parents showing up at the school & calling to complain about it. When you're talking about schools that have students that number in the thousands or tens of thousands, it's a bit naive (in my opinion) to think that it would even be possible for them to attempt to have a case by case basis for rules.

Well, that's one reason to have smaller schools, smaller districts, more local control, etc. And I think an institutional attitude is probably unavoidable and I would probably never be happy with it. But I think that schools have carried it beyond the beyond these days by having "zero tolerance" policies in the first place. When laws are completely rigid and absolute, there is no such thing as justice. Even for criminals, we have due process and judges and courts who laws give guidelines to, but also flexibility and the ability to exercise common sense. Public schools have a dearth of that kind of flexibility and a lack of due process in many cases for students and families. And I don't think that has to be that way. I think systems and institutions can have those kinds of checks and balances. It's just that our current system has chosen not to.

Fairielover
08-26-2010, 09:39 PM
We knew from before we adopted our son that we would homeschool. I hated school. My husband hated school. All of my older children hatted school. After our adoption, I had to continue working to help pay off the adoption bills. So our son was in day care. The first day care broke his arm. I never did get a valid explanation of how it happened. I took him out of that day care and put him in a private home care. There the lady who swore that they had no tv was sitting the children in front of a tv all day long. Then during the election campaign she was taking the kids with her door to door campaigning. She was taking our children into people's homes who we did not know. Every day she took all of the children with her to pick up her granddaughter at the bus stop. One day it was very cold, my son ran back in the house and refused to go with her. So she left him alone in the house. And then told me about it. The following week we put him in a church run day care around the corner from our home. Soon he came home with lots and lots of racial issues. "I can't play with you because you're not white." Then he started using the N word. The day that I was notified by the police department, (not the daycare,) of a meeting to discuss the child molestation that had taken place at the day care, well, I quit my job and have been home with him ever since. My son has a very short attention span. If he were in school they would want to put him on drugs to control his behavior. I would rather let him run around the house than to be drugged up at 8 years old. So we homeschool. We love it. I'm looking forward to homeschooling him for as long as I am able.

InstinctiveMom
08-26-2010, 10:01 PM
I picked:

Because of a learning issue with one or more children. (Gifted/LD)
LittleBoyBlue 'has' ADHD and SPD (hyperacusis and tactile defensiveness). He just can NOT focus in a classroom full of noisy kids. Every year, his class got bigger (this year, he'd ahve been in with nearly 30 other kids) and though he was never a discipline problem, he definitely had trouble sitting still and getting his work done. We're opposed to medicating for what we see as a variation on normal for little boys. I'm kinda opposed to the whole 'adhd' thing and label, too, but that's a whole long post.


Because our local school options are not acceptable to us.
The school that my kids were in was a charter school that was brand new here the year LBB started K. We were never going to 'do' school; we'd always planned to homeschool until this charter opened up, promising big things. They sorta delivered... kinda, but we were just done after 2 and a half years. The local ISD was NEVER on the table for us. Crime, drugs, gangs ... no thank you.


Because we wanted to stay connected as a family.
I didn't realize until after we pulled them out of school how distant we'd become - how disconnected. It's easy to keep to your own interests or in your own 'thing' after school when you're so used to the separation during the day. I think we're much closer now that we're together most of the time. I wouldn't say this is a primary reason, but definitely a benefit.


Because one or more children were very unhappy in school.
Again, LBB was not doing well. Though he sat with the aide for desk work, he also sat with 'her' students - the ones with REAL LDs. The other kids were starting to associate him with the issues that the other kids had and it was starting to affect his friendable-ness. Kids are getting aware of the 'cool factor' earlier and earlier. Sitting at "that table' was affecting him negatively, but he needed to be there, so... Home was just all round a better option.


Other
I was just DONE with school, lol. The system is broken beyond repair. I spent almost as much time at the school working with the PTO as my kids did in class and still could see so many cracks in the foundation of institutionalized schooling that it was stressful beyond my tolerance level.

~h

Busygoddess
08-26-2010, 10:55 PM
Well, that's one reason to have smaller schools, smaller districts, more local control, etc. And I think an institutional attitude is probably unavoidable and I would probably never be happy with it. But I think that schools have carried it beyond the beyond these days by having "zero tolerance" policies in the first place. When laws are completely rigid and absolute, there is no such thing as justice. Even for criminals, we have due process and judges and courts who laws give guidelines to, but also flexibility and the ability to exercise common sense. Public schools have a dearth of that kind of flexibility and a lack of due process in many cases for students and families. And I don't think that has to be that way. I think systems and institutions can have those kinds of checks and balances. It's just that our current system has chosen not to.


This will be the last post on this topic fromme, as it could go round & round, getting us nowhere, and people could get offended. I'll just say that I respectfully disagree. I don't think smaller schools & smaller districts would work, if for no other reason due to the lack of space & funding for them. I think zero tolerance policies for violence, drugs, and sexual harrassment are a good thing. Children attend school to get an education & those things would be (at best) distracting from the education they should be getting. While they may need to rethink what constitutes sexual harrassment, they should not get rid of zero tolerance policies. JMO.

SunshineKris
08-27-2010, 07:37 AM
I chose "My child was unhappy" and "Other." My DS begged to be homeschooled. He explained to me,as an 8 year old, that school was "very inefficient for me." WHAT?? Well, I was thrilled he was able to explain "inefficient" to me but saddened that he wasn't getting what he needed. He was used to a small classroom from our previous base's school, where he was one of 9, at most one of 14 for a few weeks. His quirks were tolerated, even encouraged by his teacher (same teacher for 2 years, mixed grade classroom). When he needed more help, he got it. When he needed or wanted to go further or move on, he was able to. His teacher was amazing and I strive to be as great and as patient as he is every day. But at his last school he was one of about 20 kids and his teachers (2 of them, each for half a day) just weren't going to allow S to have his quirks. They wanted/needed to be "on task" at all times. The things that make my son a unique individual were not appreciated. They wanted him, and all the kids, to be alike and easy to deal with. Not that my son is difficult. He's incredibly observant and inquisitive and they just didn't like dealing with it. Example: In his classroom in Spain he would see Mr F's markers on the board ledge. All but one pointed in the same direction. S would raise his hand during a discussion on time or nouns or whatever, not to contribute to said discussion but to point out the one marker pointing the "wrong" direction. His mind is a steel trap; if I cannot remember all of what happened somewhere, I ask him! (DD was also not happy with school, but as unhappy as she was, we were even unhappier with her teacher and situation. THAT is a loooooong story for another time.)

"Other" comes from the need for flexibility. Especially while stationed overseas, we like to get out and about. Summer, the traditional time off, is not the only time we like to or want to go somewhere. And family emergencies cannot be planned for ahead of time to fall during school breaks. We need to be on our schedule. Also, we don't get to choose where we get stationed. Who knows if we will be "up to standards" or if they might fall behind from school district to district. Besides, I think our standards are likely more rigorous and certainly more consistent.

hockeymom
08-27-2010, 09:52 AM
He's incredibly observant and inquisitive and they just didn't like dealing with it. Example: In his classroom in Spain he would see Mr F's markers on the board ledge. All but one pointed in the same direction. S would raise his hand during a discussion on time or nouns or whatever, not to contribute to said discussion but to point out the one marker pointing the "wrong" direction. His mind is a steel trap; if I cannot remember all of what happened somewhere, I ask him!


LOL! He sounds like my son. There is no going forward until that type of important matter is taken care of in his brain. And yeah, my son remembers exact conversations and details from years ago; even if I don't remember (which is incomprehensible to him) I have no doubt he's correct, because he always is. :)

Firefly_Mom
08-27-2010, 01:57 PM
I choose "other" because our issue was extremely hostile school administrators and my unwillingness to EVER have to deal with a school district again! I've been amazed at how many other homeschooling parents I've talked to over the years who've also experienced hostility and bullying by school administrators. We didn't know ANY homeschoolers when we started out, but after 9 years, our family can't imagine living any other way. :)

camaro
08-27-2010, 05:10 PM
The main reason we chose to homeschool was that our little rural school came so very close to closing due to low enrollment. I've read other posts lately where schools are cramming 30-40 into a room, but at our school there wasn't even 20 in a classroom made up of K-3. Even the total population K-12 was barely over 40. If Mitchell went back to PS this year he would have been the only student in Grade 3. In the end it didn't close, but rather than take the chance of having our children deal with changing schools and long bus rides, we decided to keep them home. Since then we've discovered other good reasons to homeschool, but that was the main one.

fbfamily111
08-27-2010, 09:07 PM
I chose unhappy kid. In my mind all the other options end up meaning just that, unhappy children. If I'm very honest, I don't like the idea of someone else (teachers) raising my children for me. My son would come home upset because the teacher said he took too long on everything(1st grader never got to go to recess). He was constantly made to feel inferior. Who gave her the right to make my child feel so worthless. Oh, right I did when I sent him to PS. So no more PS. I've only "rethought" the discision once. I was assured by both teacher (very nice left brained lady) and principal that my son's specific needs would be taken into consideration, everyday. With a class size over 35, it's no wonder they failed early on, and I pulled him out.

kohlby
08-28-2010, 08:31 PM
I'm a former public school teacher so the first thought of homeschooling came to mind due to the dreaded NCLB. (No Child Left Behind). This has made it so hard for teachers to teach what they should. And put testing demands very, very high. I thought back to what I had learned in school and there was a lot I had memorized for tests that I never really learned. I don't want my kids to "learn" just to take a test since that's often not retained! Add in the homework. They give homework even to the 3 year olds these days! The kindy kids have it 4 days a week. If you've ever read "The Homework Myth," you'll understand more why this really irks me.

It also went against how I believe kids learn. As I mentioned, I am a former teacher. I have taken the child psychology classes and am very confused as to why the decision-makers have early education the way it's set up. Young kids learn best through play. Pushing them harder doesn't make them smarter. As a whole, they actually end up further behind as a result. A lot of kids aren't developmentally ready to learn to read in kindy. The boys have fine motor skills at least a year behind the girls, yet they're expected to do a lot of writing in first grade. It's not set up in a way that my active boy would have succeeded.

Then there was the wiggly, impulsive free-spirited first child of mine. School would have broken him down. He would have always been in trouble even though he wants to follow the rules. The public kindy just put way too many demands on active boys.

I checked gifted as well, though it wasn't quite so clear to me when I started. My second child has always been obviously gifted, but my first child is why I stumbled into homeschooling. I knew my first child was smart, but he learned out of order. He taught himself how to add three digit decimals with carrying when he was 4. Yet he couldn't count outloud to 20 at that age. His application and analysis was amazing, but memorization wasn't so amazing. Now that he's in second grade, and almost finished with the 4th grade math book, I realize gifted is a reason for him as well. But he's the type of gifted that may have not been noticed in public school due to the out-of-order learning and the wiggles.

garett
08-29-2010, 12:55 PM
I checked "philosophical" reasons.

I skimmed through the responses and a lot of themes kept popping up "institutional attitude", "draconian attendance policies", "zero tolerance" etc. All of which we were able to observe over the 5 years that our daughters were in public school. It took until 2 or 3 years ago that I began to realize that they're all symptoms of the default that the institution is forced to make regarding philosophy.

Because the school boards are in the impossible situation of being prohibited, by law, to give favour or bias to any particular philosophical belief system they default to a philosophy known as "collective subjectivism", which holds at it's root the idea that there either is no such thing as an objective reality or if there is humans cannot possibly know it.

The consequence is to open up the curriculum to all sorts of special interests and "social reformers" who battle it out on the political arena for control of our children's minds. In the schools this does NOT manifest itself as a healthy debate in a philosophy or sociology class. It manifests itself in every single subject from math to grammar to history. A huge hodge-podge of conflicting ideas makes it's way into the day to day decisions that direct the development of the entire curriculum.

So we withdrew our daughters from public school for the same reasons we don't want them attending a religious school.

A tremendous amount of resources gets directed at presenting "socially popular" ideas such as environmentalism (this one is HUGE in Canadian elementary schools), nationalism (many people in the USA complain about the pledge of allegiance or American-centric history ... here in Canada kindergarten children sing songs about how great Canada is while they wave little Canadian flags), collectivism (group punishments, class position, age segregation etc.).

In the studies we saw math text books which were anything but consistent. Our 9 year-old daughter was given a long division "algorithm" that taught her to guess at the answer! Well, it makes sense. You cannot teach mathematics if the guiding principle representing the foundation of your curriculum is "there are no absolutes."

In social studies our daughters learned about colonial pioneers one year and medieval feudal society in Western Europe another. No attempts at making connections or deriving meaning. Just the un-relating of everything.

In many parts of North America there is raging political debate regarding the teaching of "Intelligent Design" or "Creationism" next to Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The public schools have no intellectual ammunition what-so-ever so they open it up to political debate, or default to the law mandating a separation of church and state. Such action is a confession that those in charge of designing the public curriculum have no foundation upon which to build a curriculum. Anything can be anything and nothing can be everything under their philosophy.

And, mind you, when the creationists argue that the theory of evolution is just as much grounded in philosophical belief as the belief in God they are correct (though they are of course grounded in very different philosophical ideas). That argument would fall flat if the public system were built on a foundation of reason and logic but because they aren't they hold town hall meetings and get the courts involved and make compromise after compromise.

QueenBee
08-29-2010, 06:56 PM
I had to choose "Because our local school options are not acceptable to us" because that is why I started homeschooling. We were living in a different city when my oldest was pre-k age and the local public school was out, the private schools were just too much money. However, it's not why I continue to homeschool. I continue to homeschool because it fits my philosophical approach to life, it fits my lifestyle choice, it works as a parenting choice, & it works for my children as they don't fit any mould I know of... Bottom line for me is that homeschooling is what works for my family. I believe that even if the local school were stellar and offered a myriad of programs and opportunities (and believe me, our local school DOES NOT do any of that) I still would opt to homeschool (at least for the foreseeable future).

amphibology29
08-29-2010, 08:16 PM
Because of a learning issue with one or more children. (Gifted/LD)
Nikko is very, very advanced in reading but more behind on dexterous skills like writing and using scissors. I was concerned that he wouldn't get the kind of attention both of those deserved. My fears were at least partially confirmed when a friend's son was sent home with pages and pages of writing practice for homework in Kindergarten because he wasn't staying within the lined spaces of his writing papers. That kind of "fix" wouldn't work for Nikko!

Because our local school options are not acceptable to us.
The school district we live in is so bad that when we were looking at buying our house the realtor actually told us we'd need to look at getting our kids into other districts or private schools if we ended up buying here.

Because we wanted to stay connected as a family.
My husband is military and we live 17 hours away from "home." There are very few opportunities to go home or visit family, or even just take a vacation, that work for us because of my husband's schedule and I don't want to miss any of them because of a rigid public school attendance policy! When we do get to go home it's for at least two weeks, usually three; that kind of absence would never work with anything other than homeschool. We can take school with us. :)

Tammera
08-30-2010, 11:25 AM
Why did I decide to homeschool? Hmmm....the public schools here aren't able to meet her needs (special needs & gifted), she was hating school, resulting in health and mental concerns. Burn Out??? Does that count? lol Although I didn't check religious reasons, in hindsight, it is absolutely awesome to be able to work in the Wheel of the Year and our Sabbats and esbats into the curriculum. Halloween?? Try Samhain! :) Now THAT's something that would never be broached in a public school....at least not the ones in our neck of the woods.

Sam I Am
08-30-2010, 10:03 PM
I chose learning issue, local schools being unacceptable, and one of the children being unhappy. Older son has ADHD-inattentive type...he just spaces out sometimes. His IQ is pretty high, but the local schools here have convinced him that he's stupid. After 4 years of dealing with the very poor public school system here in Texas, we chose to remove ourselves from it.

Our younger son was OK in school; popular with lots of friends, gifted program (which is a joke), etc. However, he wasn't being challenged at all. He decided that he wanted to be home schooled after we informed him that we were pulling his brother out of school. He may decide to return, and we'll support him if he changes his mind.

Wilma
08-30-2010, 11:09 PM
. Education in this country is focused entirely on product. It's completely driven by poorly gathered statistics and fickle politicians. I believe education is process, not product. That's why I homeschool.


Couldn't have said it better.

Shoe
08-30-2010, 11:16 PM
I checked "philosophical" reasons.

I skimmed through the responses and a lot of themes kept popping up "institutional attitude", "draconian attendance policies", "zero tolerance" etc. All of which we were able to observe over the 5 years that our daughters were in public school. It took until 2 or 3 years ago that I began to realize that they're all symptoms of the default that the institution is forced to make regarding philosophy.

Because the school boards are in the impossible situation of being prohibited, by law, to give favour or bias to any particular philosophical belief system they default to a philosophy known as "collective subjectivism", which holds at it's root the idea that there either is no such thing as an objective reality or if there is humans cannot possibly know it.

The consequence is to open up the curriculum to all sorts of special interests and "social reformers" who battle it out on the political arena for control of our children's minds. In the schools this does NOT manifest itself as a healthy debate in a philosophy or sociology class. It manifests itself in every single subject from math to grammar to history. A huge hodge-podge of conflicting ideas makes it's way into the day to day decisions that direct the development of the entire curriculum.

So we withdrew our daughters from public school for the same reasons we don't want them attending a religious school.

A tremendous amount of resources gets directed at presenting "socially popular" ideas such as environmentalism (this one is HUGE in Canadian elementary schools), nationalism (many people in the USA complain about the pledge of allegiance or American-centric history ... here in Canada kindergarten children sing songs about how great Canada is while they wave little Canadian flags), collectivism (group punishments, class position, age segregation etc.).

In the studies we saw math text books which were anything but consistent. Our 9 year-old daughter was given a long division "algorithm" that taught her to guess at the answer! Well, it makes sense. You cannot teach mathematics if the guiding principle representing the foundation of your curriculum is "there are no absolutes."

In social studies our daughters learned about colonial pioneers one year and medieval feudal society in Western Europe another. No attempts at making connections or deriving meaning. Just the un-relating of everything.

In many parts of North America there is raging political debate regarding the teaching of "Intelligent Design" or "Creationism" next to Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The public schools have no intellectual ammunition what-so-ever so they open it up to political debate, or default to the law mandating a separation of church and state. Such action is a confession that those in charge of designing the public curriculum have no foundation upon which to build a curriculum. Anything can be anything and nothing can be everything under their philosophy.

And, mind you, when the creationists argue that the theory of evolution is just as much grounded in philosophical belief as the belief in God they are correct (though they are of course grounded in very different philosophical ideas). That argument would fall flat if the public system were built on a foundation of reason and logic but because they aren't they hold town hall meetings and get the courts involved and make compromise after compromise.
Oh, my. I think I like you already :D . Very good points, to which I feel completely inadequate to make a response.

silvercufaoil
08-31-2010, 01:18 PM
Well, I had considered homeschooling my daughter since she was born because to be honest the no child left behind act is terrifying for gifted children. I watched as the district where I attended school had to drop more and more of their gifted programs to make compliance with NCLB. I did not want my daughter to suffer with boredom and burnout in school. However, I also wanted her to have what we considered to be a "Normal" childhood. So, we waffled on the idea. However when the PS wouldn't let my daughter attend because their cutoff date was two weeks before her birthday, REFUSED to test her, and call after call I was treated with disrespect and/or my calls were never returned, it became evident that the district was not interested in helping us to educate our children. Therefore, if I did not want to prevent my daughter from learning anymore until she was considered OLD enough (not ready) for kindergarten, I would have to teach her this year, and if I teach her this year, she will be even MORE ahead of kindergarten aged students. So, I will need to teach her next year as well.

SunshineKris
09-01-2010, 12:41 AM
Because we wanted to stay connected as a family.[/I]
My husband is military and we live 17 hours away from "home." There are very few opportunities to go home or visit family, or even just take a vacation, that work for us because of my husband's schedule and I don't want to miss any of them because of a rigid public school attendance policy! When we do get to go home it's for at least two weeks, usually three; that kind of absence would never work with anything other than homeschool. We can take school with us. :)

I hear you on that! I love that we are able to travel when it's good for us and not when it's good for hte school. I don't want to do Disney World when it's crowded, I don't want to travel to Italy in the heat of summer. We have a trip we do every year that happens to take the kids out of school for an extra week (at least) after Winter Break. This year they would have missed at least 10 days before break as well. How could they perform well on the Terra Nova (standardized test) if they aren't in class enough??? And DoDDS schools overseas have a very liberal attendance policy! But we still got the looks and questions. Our life and family is more important than the school schedule. Though we will have to conform at some point as we do intend for them to go to regular school for High School.

MamaB2C
09-01-2010, 01:37 AM
Therefore, if I did not want to prevent my daughter from learning anymore until she was considered OLD enough (not ready) for kindergarten, I would have to teach her this year, and if I teach her this year, she will be even MORE ahead of kindergarten aged students. So, I will need to teach her next year as well.

Yep. I called the State BofE and the lady told me, flat out, to either put my son in a private or homeschool him, because the state doesn't have the funds to address kids who are advanced. I don't even know that my son is gifted, but he is bright and quick and I am not going to halt his learning just so he isn't bored in K next year.

leanderthal
11-16-2011, 06:04 PM
My daughters were very unhappy. As parents, we were also very underwhelmed by the public schools. We live in a small town and there's not a lot of progressive thinking or diversity, especially religious. We aren't from here-because of that and our not being members of the big local church I think it was hard for them to be accepted in the group. My daughters both had one too many unpleasant encounters with troubled kids. We felt like they were continuously used to offset kids with behavioral issues, and they were both tired of constantly being distracted and disrupted. There were way too many kids in the classes-35 in my oldest's, 25 in my youngest's. Teaching for the test is ballooning more and more each year-the schools spend too much time on fundraisers for expensive software packages designed to increase test scores. I was getting nightly calls from the PTA for this thing and that thing-oy! I finally asked them to put me on their do not call list-like I would a telemarketer. I'm sure that made me even more popular. ;) I personally could not deal with the herd mentality-for example, in fifth grade the kids went on a sleepover (2 nights) field trip to Catalina island, to the tune of a couple hundred dollars. Would be a fun family thing to do, but imo not appropriate for that age group. But we were HOUNDED to have dd go. It was like they couldn't handle someone not wanting to do what the group did. The school also has a reputation for being cliqueish, both the parents and the kids-I would have to agree. Also, my daughters simply weren't getting the quality of education we want them to have. Every time I drive by their old schools I wonder how we ever did that???

theWeedyRoad
11-16-2011, 09:04 PM
Initially, the decision was made because dd wasn't learning math and wasn't learning to read. It's a long story, but essentially dh and I tried to work with the school system first. We were told to back off, blamed for dd's difficulties, and my suggestions were only half-implimented so they could say, "see? that doesn't work!" I came to the conclusion that putting my dd in remedial classes for more cash was more important than actually teaching her anything, and something drastic needs to be done. (Note: I am sure the teachers cared whether or not my child could read. The instruction was faulty, and the kids were blamed for it. Our ps still uses whole words, but calls it 'balanced literacy', and uses a math program that MOST other schools have discarded/turned their noses up at. When 1/3 of a class is in remedial reading (my dd would have tipped it past that point) and who knows how many were struggling with math, something is WRONG).

Ds came out months later, after our daily battles over school had reached boiling point. Dh and I couldn't figure out exactly WHY he was fighting so hard not to go. Shortly before we pulled him, he got off the bus with this... dead look in his eyes. I think that was one of the straws that made up my mind for me.

All the other issues have surfaced after we pulled them, and I realized how damaging the system was for both of them. That, my own research into ps and what it's for, and my own feelings on education, mean that my reasons have changed since we started this journey. My children deserve better than ps, and I don't miss the manufactured stress our ps created for us.

skrink
11-16-2011, 09:27 PM
I chose other. Our decision was made even before I got pregnant. :) I had a terrible school experience which has colored my views of institutional learning in such a way that I just couldn't imagine sending my kid to school. I had also known a few hs families, and they seemed close and connected, and not at all strange. :) So, I talked my dh into it. It wasn't as hard a sell as I thought it would be. After we had EC and she got older it became obvious that she had some issues beyond the typical kid stuff. She's a 2E girl, wicked smart, but emotionally years behind. No classroom could give her what she needs. She gets tons of support from us, along with challenging academics. She knows she's loved and cared for, and even though she has problems, she's a unique and special person. We have days/weeks/months that are hair raising; I definitely feel like I've aged a TON in the past few years. Still, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I feel like the hs'ing is helping balance out some of the difficulties she has to work through. It's my gift to her.

4quivers
02-14-2012, 06:18 PM
There was no choice for all! But the real kicker was when the bus driver, knowing I had 2 children already and was very easily showing the one in the belly said, " You know life would be alot easier if you didn't have so many kids!"
I'm not kidding.