View Full Version : Weekly Poll: What made you decide to homeschool?

10-13-2010, 09:26 AM
These stories are weaved throughout our forum, and I have so enjoyed reading all the different backgrounds and reasoning behind what made each of you homeschool, but I also am a somewhat left-brained gal who likes to see the stats! For that reason, I'm asking you to "quantify" your personal stories and boil them down into some main categories for the fun of it!

You may definitely check more than one choice on this week's poll.

10-13-2010, 10:00 AM
We didn't really fit into any of the choices.
I had fully intended on the younger three going to public school like my 21 year old son.
After 1 semester in kindergarten, Joseph was MISERABLE. He was depressed all the time, having accidents at school, going through multiple rounds of testing for the GT program, bored, etc.
I was one semester away from student teaching in a master's program for Teaching and I finally thought, "why should I teach other people's children, in a system that I have come to not trust after all of these graduate classes, when I have three students right here that could REALLY benefit from time with me?"
We pulled him out, originally as a temporary measure and we haven't looked back.

10-13-2010, 10:22 AM
I checked inadequate local or private education choices, although it's quickly become so much more than that. Like Teri, we pulled DS out of school as a temporary measure. We had long known that public school wasn't likely to be a good fit, but decided to give it a try for kindergarten. He was miserable and bored since the entire year was entirely review, "learning his letters" when he's already known them for more than 3 years and was reading independently, and wasting time doing crafts that he hated. Both his teacher and principal were unwilling to allow him to advance, although it was clear he was more than able to do so. In grade 1 he'd come home from school every day begging to learn something; again, the teacher was unwilling to give him extra and challenging work that he requested. Finally my husband was convinced that he'd be better off at home, and I can't imagine we'd go back.

10-13-2010, 10:43 AM
I chose: to give our kids educational advantages, health issue or learning difference, inadequate local options, and fear for child's well-being.

I believe that everyone is entitled to an excellent education. However, I also understand that what constitutes an excellent education varies by person. There is no one-size-fits-all. I want my kids to have the education that they deserve.

Our local public schools cannot possibly provide my kids with an excellent education. They could provide, at best, a mediocre education. Our local private schools are religious, which means they are not an option for my kids. I could have supplemented their education after school & on breaks and weekends, but that seemed pointless when I could provide them with a far superior education without school involvement.

My daughter attended public school for Kindergarten. That one year proved the schools could not provide her with the education she needs & deserves. She was beyond bored. The teacher admitted to me that the school would not allow her to give Dea work that would actually challenge her because she was so far above grade level. The other students were horrible to her & bullied her relentlessly because she was smart. Not only did the school do nothing about the bullying, but they also proved unable to protect her in other ways. When she was enrolled, we had to fill out a list of people who were allowed to pick her up. They were supposed to check IDs of anyone trying to pick her up & make sure they were on the list. However, they never checked anyone's ID when someone went to pick her up. I complained about it to the office, reminding them that her file also contained a court order saying that a specific person was not allowed near her & if that person set foot on school grounds they were required to call the police and have him arrested. They still wouldn't check IDs.

When we started homeschooling, Jay was an infant. He was born 3 months premature & we had no idea what affects that would have later in life. We knew Dea had ADHD. Since then, we've found out she also has Bipolar. Jay also has ADHD. Plus, both kids are Gifted. We've been told, by several professionals (pediatrician, therapists, psychiatrist), that, due to their ADHD & high IQ and Dea's Bipolar, neither one of them would be able to function in a public school, even in the Gifted Program. We already knew that, but it's nice to have it comfirmed.

Public schools don't know how to effectively work with kids with ADHD. Most of the "accomodations" they use make it easier on the teacher but do nothing to truly assist a child with ADHD. They don't need to have life made easier for them, they need to learn how to deal with their ADHD & control it as much as possible. The accomodations teachers use (and most that parents use) don't help them learn how to do that, they instead allow the ADHD to be used as an excuse to not reach their full potential. I will NOT allow someone to teach my kids that it's ok to use their ADHD as an excuse.

Basically, I can provide my kids with a far superior education that is personalized to their strengths, weaknesses, interests, dislikes, needs, abilities, learning styles, in an environment that is safer and much more conducive to learning.

10-13-2010, 11:16 AM
The early bugs in my ear were when DS was a toddler. I was helping "fight the system" for my niece several times a year, and it was so normal to do so. I just did the research, made the calls, etc. because I knew that fighting was just a part of having kids educated. Then my super crunchy friend mentioned homeschooling and I was like "What? Huh?" and I looked up the law just to see how that works...and my state is wide open. You enroll in a cover school and that's it, hands off.

-The ability to 100% choose education style and materials, and not have to spend 12 years fighting a broken system? Appealing...still weird, but appealing.

Then as I was planning a DisneyWorld trip, I came across online groups of Disney loving homeschoolers, and witnessed some of the crap they got for it from others, as well as read about a variety of attendance policies wrt taking kids out of school for family vacations. So I looked that up as well, and found my state has very strict policies involving court and fines for exceeding a certain number of absenses, regardless of school performance. That bothered me, as a parent, that I could not make decisions for my family involving a vacation without getting into legal trouble. It felt really, really wrong and police statish to me. My inner child-of-hippies started emerging after a long nap.

-Traveling whenever we can and want, during school? Appealing.

Eventually I got to know my son better as it pertained to his learning. Colors, shapes, vocabulary, letters, numbers, some cool science facts all learned by the time he was 3.5 without any formal "sit down and learn" time. I decided I would take a crack at teaching him to read, since he was home anyway. That went so well I decided to have hubby try to teach him some math. Again, moving right along. Hey, we can do this! Also, Hey, what happens when he is able to go to school and he already knows all this stuff? Also, Hey his motor skills aren't even close to his verbal and cognitive skills...he is pretty uneven. Can a public school even address kids as individuals...nope. I called the state BoE and found they have no accelration choices for young kids, at all. They stick them all together and hope they "even out" by 3rd grade as the myth goes.

-Tailoring an education to my son? Check

10-13-2010, 11:46 AM
I checked "Inadequate local..." though it's not quite accurate. Our little rural school almost closed and we didn't want our children enduring the long bus rides to farther schools. Our oldest was the only one old enough to have attended public school and seemed bored by it as well. In the end it didn't close but once we had a taste of homeschooling we weren't going back. Like hockeymom said, we discovered so many other good things about it.

10-13-2010, 11:52 AM
Our eldest has always been advanced for her age in most subjects; we sent her to Montessori schools wherever possible, and while this helped to develop her in means of peaceful resolution to problems, she wasn't learning at a pace which matched her abilities.

She had several food and pollen allergies which we discovered at age 5 (from the bizarre tantrums she would have with certain foods), but when she was seven she was diagnosed with mild hearing loss in one ear and severe hearing loss in the other-- and it was rapidly getting worse. We rushed about to figure out what was going on and did our own research when the doctors were mystified. After a trip to California to talk with the one of the top clinical researchers for these conditions worldwide, she was diagnosed with an immuno-related hearing loss-- her body's immune system was attacking the tiny hair cells in her ears. No further details needed, but knowing what you're dealing with is a big help in getting it under control. The loss was permanent, but we got her a hearing aid and coped.

Of course, at this point the state was called in to do a full evaluation to see if she warranted additional classroom assistance. She was found to be exceptional or very exceptional in all categories, but in focus she was 4th percentile-- which is pretty bad. This came as no shock to us, as "Smart But Scattered" has always been an adequate description of her. While the Montessori charter school did their best to accommodate the hearing loss, she always returned overwhelmingly to her reading-- I suspect because her hearing loss was more of a benefit than a handicap for that activity. Montessori is really a great system, but it's not for everyone. Though we had some success with neuro-feedback for the focus issues, we decided some more structure was probably better for her, and enrolled her in the gifted program at the local public school.

I could go on forever, but two things were of concern over the next two and a half years: the social environment and the educational environment. The social environment-- with the attendant bullying, kids acting way older than their age, and cliques-- proved more damaging than we'd thought; the Montessori environment had been nurturing, and this was certainly not! In addition, the gifted program in our system is essentially "one grade advanced" (unless you have an excellent overachieving teacher), and this is not enough for her. She's gotten bored over the last year reviewing things she's already done in past years, and I've not been impressed with the curriculum. The final straw was parent/teacher conferences, where the teacher demonstrated she had no idea of the bullying that was going on (seating her at the same table as a girl who had to be physically separated from her on the playground, another girl throwing a bag full of wheat crumbs on her desk, knowing full well of the allergy) and gave us a list of the remainder of the year's curriculum which was woefully inadequate to challenge my daughter.

At this point my wife decided enough was enough and said she would homeschool my daughter, and while I can't quit my job I offered as much help as possible on Latin and the sciences. If she were getting either good socialization or a good education, we would have convinced ourselves to keep her in the public schools. With neither... what's the point?

They tried-- they really did. But they're not staffed to offer the caliber of education I expect, and while some of the teachers were awesome, others were mediocre or just plain bad. And the only lessons my daughter was learning socially were that if you don't fit in, you get squashed-- and no one in authority can or will help you.

While I feel bad restricting my other two daughters to just a line or two here, they're not (yet?) having the same issues and so far we've found appropriate choices for them. Homeschooling's not for every parent, or even every kid. But for our eldest, we cannot fathom any other choice.

10-13-2010, 12:52 PM
I picked "other" because none of the choices felt like they encapsulated how I feel about homeschooling.

I decided to homeschool when I was a senior in public high school (after reading Grace Llewellyn's The Teenage Liberation Handbook). I can respect schools (I'm a former teacher too), but I think at the heart of my reasons is that I don't think the best learning takes place in an institution. I think it takes place in the world. I also think the whole focus of 99.9% of the schools in this country (public, private and charter) is off because it's so product driven (tests, grades, scores) and I think learning should be process driven.

10-13-2010, 02:16 PM
It's hard for me to pick one choice from above:
Health reasons: our oldest is deathly allergic to peanuts, not something I trust public school teachers to police.
Philosophical reasons: I believe in limited public anything... especially education. if the goverment is providing it, two things are certain: it's inferior, it costs at least 10 times more than it's superior private competition.

I want my children to have a superior education: see above.
I cannot afford private school and don't know if I'd send them to one if I could.

10-13-2010, 02:26 PM
Being a product of the public school system I vowed my kids would never be subjected to the inadequacies of such a system, which is where my vote for educational advantages comes in at. I was so sickened by the thought of some stranger taking my parental rights away from me by forcing my children to learn things that I believe is a parents responsibility to teach. That and the whole not teaching kids self responsibility was a huge factor for me, so I also voted for instilling personal, and moral, values. Thirdly, I love and adore my girls and I can not imagine anyone who has their best interest at heart more so than their father and I, so spending time together as a family got a vote. And finally, I voted other due to the fact that I believe children learn so much more when challenged and presented with opportunities that simply do not exist in the PS system. I enjoy the freedoms HSing comes with - the ability to throw curriculum out the door for the day and head to a local farmers market, where I introduce my toddlers to things in the real world. Having my girls know something is different from them understanding something, and what better way to understand something than to experience it first hand as it applies in every day life.

10-13-2010, 11:03 PM
I chose the desire to give my children educational advantages and fear for well-being.
I'm currently finishing my teaching degree in early childhood education and just based on what I have learned over the last several months, my children will definitely NOT set foot into a public school setting. The socialization is horrid in public schools and the politics and money take 1st place instead of the education of children.
As for the fear of well-being, my daughter is very much a free spirit (my son is only 1, too young to figure out his personality just yet) and I just know that putting her into public school would brand her as "one of those weird kids," and would completely crush and change the little girl I know and love so much. She reads two levels above her age and is extremely active and artsy. I don't feel that public school would be the right choice for her.

In a nutshell though: We homeschool because we can, because it works and because we love it :)

10-13-2010, 11:33 PM
I said:
Because of a health issue or learning difference
Inadequate local or private education choices

LBB is ADHD/SPD and was not thriving. PeaGreen was doing fine, but the environment was not what I wanted for him. Homeschooling has always, always been near and dear to my heart and it was just the right time for us.

I suppose wanting to spend more time together as a family is a factor, but it wasn't one of the primary motivating factors to homeschool - more asecondary benefit, I'd say.

10-14-2010, 01:12 AM
I picked "other" because my now 20 year-old son, after two days in kindergarten at a small, rural community school, refused to enter the classroom. At five he had a halo of fluffy, white blond hair that someone decided to tease him about. I didn't force him to go into the classroom. So we began our home school journey.

10-14-2010, 05:58 PM
I couldnt really choose one either - i wrote more about it in the 'accidental' poll. The older was getting detentions and suspensions despite his iep for mental health issues, and in specail ed classes despite a gifted designation. the younger was crying every morning that he didnt want to go to kindergarten. I"m homeschooling because its what my kids needed. I checked health/difference and other.

10-14-2010, 07:36 PM
When the decision was made, it was an equal combination of educational advantages and time together.

In hindsight, the opportunity to spend time learning together outshines every other reason.

10-19-2010, 11:21 PM
I picked "Because of a health issue or learning difference" although in truth it was my son's autism and the schools reaction to his behavior that resulted in a lot of pain and misery.
I wish I could have put them on a behavior plan...Of course I could have opted for the prison like school....NOT!

10-26-2010, 03:38 PM
With structural changes in our family and with me going to 2nd shift, it just became unbearable for me to only see the kids about 30 to 40 minutes a day. I was not a happy camper and my youngest cried all the time. We had been through an emotional time and I didn't want my children to have permanent scars. I knew homeschooling would set about the healing needed with us spending time together. I never would have imagined how very close we have all become. My children play with each other even with large age gaps. There is a mutual respect they have that once was absent and a close bond between each other. This would actually have nothing or everything to do with homeschooling. Depends on how you look at it I guess. I had always considered homeschooling but this was what was the deciding factor for us. The kids now love to be homeschooled although it took my 15 year old a little more time to adapt. It is a handful at times, but I wouldn't trade away even the worst day.