View Full Version : When did you decide to homeschool?

03-29-2014, 11:25 PM
I'm always curious about what compelled other families to homeschool. I always knew that I wanted to homeschool, and it's something we've never wavered from.

I'm aware that there are so many reasons why parents decide to homeschool, and I'm looking forward to reading the responses this may get.

03-30-2014, 04:20 AM
My lads were the ones falling through the cracks. I just figured I couldn't possibly do any worse than our crappy education system, plus no bullying, our own schedule and when Dad is home for his week off he gets to spend time with his Lads, not waving them goodbye every morning.

03-30-2014, 05:15 AM
We moved here 12yr ago and I knew I wasn't going to be able to find work in my field, so I spent a year doing AmeriCorps (our local group specialized in youth at risk) because I wanted to work with kids. I was considering going back to school to get a teaching degree. After my year of AmeriCorps, I landed a job teaching in the local school district. Within a few short months, I knew that I really enjoyed working with kids, but there was no way I wanted to teach in this area. It was bad. I would come home each night and tell DH (we were just living together at that point) the daily insanity. At the time, I never considered how I'd feel if it was my child in those schools (I was split between 2 different schools each week). I just knew they were awful. After teaching, I found a low-paying job that was a poor cousin to my prior career, but I took it because I knew I couldn't handle another year in the school system. Not long after taking the new job, I got pregnant...I didn't find out until several months afterward though. Long story.

Anyway, a few days after learning about the pregnancy, DH and I were driving through town when he did the really sharp intake of breath (like a tractor trailer is about to slam into you) and said, "Ah, where is this kid going to go to school?!" If he hadn't just scared the crap out of me, I would have laughed. Instead, I told him the truth, "We've got 5-6yr to figure that out...right now, I'm more worried about where we're going to deliver this child." And the whole school thing got shelved until she was almost 2yo. Just before her 2nd b'day, I realized she was reading. Freaked me out. It occurred to me that we probably weren't going to have 3 more years to figure things out. I began researching our options. Being 100% opposed to using the public school system, we researched private schools and found that there were only 2 that weren't religious in nature. One of those schools was a mere $28K/yr for tuition. Well outside our reach. The other school was a more modest $8K/yr, but it just didn't feel 'right' when we visited.

Eventually, we looked at homeschooling. We had xtian friends in another state who HSed their son, but I didn't want to base our decision on their experiences. After some quick research, I went online to see what groups existed in our area. While joining any group that didn't sound religious-based, I (virtually) met Wendy (aka JinxieFox). She was heading up a pagan homeschooler group in DE. Doing some email exchanges with her, in addition to further online research, I talked to DH about the idea of HSing and, surprisingly, he was all for it. As DD has grown and we've come to learn more of her quirks, it's probably a really good thing that she never did a single day of B&M school. She's a walking bully target sometimes, especially in this region (very religious, small town, close-knit community). And the school system would have killed her imagination, creativity, and love of learning. I have no doubts about it.

03-30-2014, 07:00 AM
Around the time DS was in preschool, I started to realize that the standard public school route wasn't going to benefit him, and at the same time, I started meeting people who homeschooled. So I did my research and knew it would it would be the best option. Convincing DH was a different matter though, so we compromised and lotteried into a French immersion K-8 school, which we figured would buy DS a least a couple of years of challenge.

Right before starting the immersion school, we moved and were left with only a ps option. DH really wanted us to try it, so we gave it a year and a half before pulling DS out. It was a ridiculous waste of time, but as a result DS knows the limitations of ps, and DH has a better understand of its failings. I give DH a lot of credit for trusting me on this one. :)

03-30-2014, 07:59 AM
Our plan was that once the younger was in 1st grade, I'd go back to teaching full time. However, after realizing they were extremely bored in school, we figured we could do at least just as well at home. So our kids only made it through 2nd and 1st grade, respectively. We took it year by year, and now the older will graduate homeschool next year!

03-30-2014, 08:37 AM
We pulled our son out of public school after a disastrous kindergarten year. By April or May, I knew there was no way this boy was going to function in a classroom. He was overstimulated, bored academically, and beginning to be shunned socially. Not to mention that he was going to the nurse or principal's office in hysterics more and more often because the teachers couldn't figure out how to deal with him without causing a full-blown meltdown. He still hasn't lost some of the anger and inappropriate behavior that started that year.

My daughter is home for several reasons. First and foremost, she was raring to start academic work when she turned five, but missed the birthday cutoff for kindergarten by seven days. She took off like a shot the first year we homeschooled and was doing second grade work at the time she would be eligible to start kindergarten. Second, I think being in school would totally squash her spirit and personality. And third, I'm glad the kids get to spend the entire day together and are truly best friends.

03-30-2014, 08:37 AM
We started thinking about it when he was 1 or 2 (so I chose "other," not "always"). For a number of reasons, it seemed like the best choice for DS. We decided to use the preschool of the neighborhood church (which we don't attend) a couple of mornings a week for three years and then start homeschooling for kindergarten. However, partway through his second year there, I began to feel strongly that he was not getting out of preschool what I sent him there for (mostly social skills), and he didn't really enjoy it, either. So we did the last year of pre-K at home as well.
Now the plan is to homeschool him through 8th grade. When he gets to middle school, we'll look at all possible options for HS--public, private, or staying home--but right now it's too soon to make a fully informed decision. My goal is to get him ready for anything.

03-30-2014, 09:02 AM
When DD was about 2, I started researching schools and researching homeschooling. I'm not sure how the idea of HS got into my mind (no experience in either family, etc.), but it was there, and researching schools felt more like justifying the idea of HS than actually picking a suitable school. As it has happened, the school I like the best (if we were to put her in school) has a big wait list, so I decided to get her on it "just in case." The three of us did a tour there the other day. DH and I loved it, but DD said no way, she wanted to HS forever.

Brain-washing complete, methinks. ;)

03-30-2014, 09:13 AM
Me and my son migrated here from Japan when I remarried to an American. I wanted ds13 to go to public school because, for me, that will be the fastest way for him to learn English (he only knows Japanese. I never had the chance to teach him English when we were in Japan except the ABCs and how to write his name). However, dh was against it because he had heard some bad things about our ps here. Even his friends were saying the same thing. I did some research too and yes, it looked like the school here were having 'not so good' reputation. So I listened to my dh, started homeschooling him (bilingual), and enrolled him to a japanese school so he can make friends with other japanese kids. So far, we're doing good and having no regrets :)

03-30-2014, 09:24 AM
We had always wanted to homeschool, it was something we had talked about before we even had a kid. When the boy was born I started collecting homeschool materials and we started forming a financial plan. By three we realized he had some problems we did not understand; no talking, meltdowns, and odd quirks. The pediatrician suggested speech therapy, but our insurance made it so we could not afford that route. My mom heard about a program through the public school to help us. After meetings and evals they deemed him in need for services; IEP and enrollment in the special needs preschool. He thrived in that environment for two years. My mom convinced me to continue him in kindergarten, I was not sure about the decision. At this point my husband was okay with it so I went against my gut instinct and left him in kindergarten.
Here is where things went wrong. They took away his IEP and his teacher started in on us first thing about his handwritting and drawing skills. She would say things in front of the other kids and eventually he started to change. The teacher began to tell us he was not doing his work and we were punishing him. We tried to support her and emphasize how important education was. I began to see changes in him I did not like. He began to walk around with his head on his chest, he did not want to "learn" anything here at home, and he began to say and do things that we felt were inappropriate. I kept telling my husband that something was wrong and I felt the woman was mistreating our son. I had already brought up the bullying earlier in the year. My sister told me it was my fault he was not doing his work because I said negative things about the teacher in front of the boy, and he was acting out because my husband and I were fighting almost daily over this subject. We have been married 13 years and had never had a real fight until this stuff started happening.
The husband said he was just being lazy and I needed to punish him harder. I kept telling him it was not that, our son was smart and loved school. He had always loved school until this year, it was this woman's fault. Finally I was able to get through to my husband, my mom and sister still thought it was my fault. We decided to give it two weeks while I got all my ducks in a row, then pull him out. My husband got off early and we went to go pick up the boy. We had not told him or the teacher we were taking him out, and were still pushing him to do his work. The teacher told us he did not do his work again. We were talking to him in the car and he was crying, I was crying, and my husband was upset. We got home and he asked to go to grandmas. when I went to go pick him up, my mom said he did his work. I said what, that is not what the teacher said. It turned out he has been doing his work all along, but the teacher would throw it away because it did not met her standards. Then tell us he refused to do it. My husband said get your paperwork done he is coming out this Friday. So I had to rush to get the stuff together and he came out. We have never looked back and plan on taking it one year at a time. I want him to never go pack to PS but it is hard to say what the future will hold.

03-30-2014, 09:34 AM
I had never planned to, I remember thinking when my daughter was born about her going to school, at the time I lived across the street from an elementary school and I thought she would go there. Then when we moved I was thinking about her going to the other school. It was like I suddenly found myself in the year before she would start pre-K and I had been going to college for the first 2 years of her life and I felt like I had a year with her before she went to school. Then I started thinking about how I really enjoyed the year and I was noticing some quirks that I was worried would be a problem in school. Somehow I ended up with the idea of homeschooling started researching and took pre-K as a year to try it out. Pre-K is optional though expected here. I liked how everything went and we just kept going.
Now that we've been doing it this long, I think we could just keep going through graduation. So far my daughter agrees, she doesn't want to go to public school, and based on how she's handled one of her co-op classes (all the others are great), I don't think it would be a good fit for her anyway.

03-30-2014, 10:19 AM
I had several friends who were homeschooling and I thought it was great—just not the right fit for us. I was working and in school myself, so my daughter spent four (truly horrid) years in ps. There were many, many reasons we decided to pull her out, including (but not limited to) ongoing, unaddressed bullying issues; serious safety issues (her classroom was evacuated three times in third grade because of extremely violent behavior by classmates); frustration with the emphasis on state testing; an ADHD diagnosis that we simply did not agree with (symptoms vanished within a few months of pulling her out, never to be seen again); horrible anxiety on her part (and mine!); and frustration with having to schedule our lives around the school schedule.

We're all MUCH happier now. And my son will never know what it's like to spend a day in that awful place as long as it's in my control to keep him out.

03-30-2014, 11:17 AM
I never intended to homeschool.

My eldest, who was bright, curious, and happy as a toddler, struggled right from JK. We pulled him from public school, and sent him to a small, Montessori private school, and while some of it was better, much of it wasn’t. We couldn’t easily pinpoint what problem was, but I had a gifted kid on my hands who was performing way below his peers. After many largely unhelpful visits to specialists, psycho-educational testing, an inaccurate diagnosis, and much reading and attending of LD support groups and conferences on my part, I concluded he had inattentive-type ADHD and Developmental Coordination Disorder (both long after also confirmed by specialists – not that that matters so much now).

I knew no one who homeschooled and I knew nothing about homeschooling. It was some way-out-there thing that radicals did. I didn’t then realize that most people did it for religious reasons. I was absolutely terrified of the responsibility of teaching him – what did I know about elementary education? -- but by then he was so far behind in school, I figured I could do no worse than they. And he was so sad. I couldn’t leave them there anymore.

So, with great fear, I started researching homeschooling. Learned about the religious thing real fast. (I discovered a math curriculum that explained that God made the number 5 so that we could do such-and-such a calculation. Major culture shock.) After a few months of research, a few months of waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night – “Oh my goodness! I’m actually going to have to DO this!” – and a summer holiday, I started homeschooling him.

I didn’t homeschool DD (who is two years younger) right away because a) I was afraid I didn’t know what I was doing, b) she enjoyed and performed well in school, and c) while I couldn’t mess up DS’s education, I certainly could ruin hers. Well, a few months into it, it was clear she was struggling with being sent to school while DS ‘got’ to stay home with me, so home she came as well.

Now I’ve got them both at home. And no, I’m no longer fearful about whether or not I can provide a decent education. In fact, I think we’re doing rather well.


03-30-2014, 11:57 AM
I didn't really think about homeschooling until dd went to kinder. For ds, public school was a good fit for him. A rigid schedule. He was always a good student and made great grades. He will be graduating this year. YAY! He had me concerned last year. He wants to see the world and meet new people. He is ready for a change. We worked it out and he is on his way!
DD is another story. I stayed home with her for 2 yrs. Then I went back to school to finish college. The first daycare, I could here her screaming from the sidewalk. Oh my. She decided to close shop. So we went to another certified home daycare. Much better. She had a whole curriculum she used and the children learned at their own pace. When she was 4 her teacher did an assessment for pre-k. Pre-k would not be at her house, it would be at a school. Her assessment showed that she was at a first grade level. She started reading 2 weeks before her 4th bday, she knew her colors, numbers, shapes, and letters before she was 2. Her vocabulary was awesome before 2 as well. DS was the same way. For pre-k we sent her to a Montessori school. OMG!!! Awesome!!! She of course worked and learned at her own pace. So I suspect she was some where between 1st and 2nd grade by the time she got to kinder. So she gets to kinder. This is where I want to cry. Two weeks after she starts, she gets sick, while she is at home getting better, a school official shows up at my door and says that there aren't enough kinder students and they are splitting up her class. um...ok??? So she goes back to school to her new class...all down hill from there. She starts going to the bathroom every 15 min to avoid the new teacher. Yep, she knew the basics of a clock at 5. The teacher calls me. I take dd to the doc thinking its an infection. No infection, maybe overactive bladder. They give her some pills, they had to adjust it for her age due to the fact that its meant for elderly, and they didn't work. Soon she is flat out refusing to go to school. She's crying and going into hysterics. Then we take her to a psychologist thinking something more mental than physical. By this time I had already suspected the teacher. The psychologist says "its the teacher!" I told hubby we need to homeschool. He flat out refused. Not long after this, dd is crying and I have to put her over my shoulder to literally get her to class. Her teacher goes on maternity leave. DD attitude towards school gets better. Talking to another parent, her daughter was so nervous that she was puking nearly everyday before class. At dds bday party, no one liked her except for one parent. We all hoped after she had the baby she would be more calm. Nope. She came back and it was the same thing. DD was back to avoiding the teacher. I begged hubby to pull her. Nope. Ugh! DD had been asking me by this time to homeschool. I told her 6 more weeks of school and your done. She was so sad. At the beginning of the year I could tell she was bored. I asked the school to test her. They said that they tested her reading and stopped the testing at a 3rd grade level. I asked why they didn't continue, they said they had to move on to other students. Ok. Valid reason, but it would have been nice to know exactly where she was at. I asked if they could test her to move her up a bit, g&t??? They said no not until 1st grade. UGH!
1st grade. I knew this was going to have to be a joint effort with hubby. I really needed his support. If I didn't have it, it wasn't going to work. Dd was NOT excited about 1st grade. I tried everything, but hubby was still against it. So, off to 1st grade. First grade was great! No complaints. She had an older teacher. She was patient. She was assertive. She was helpful. She was awesome. She tested dd for G&T and advanced reading. She got in! YAY! AWESOME TEACHER! Dd was being challenged.
Second grade...here we go again. Two weeks after school starts we are walking home and dd is very quiet. She is flush. I thought it might be the heat , it was about 98* that day. I decide to let her cool down for about 10 minutes. I taker her temp...its 102*! I asked dd if she had asked the teacher to go the nurse and she said yes she asked but the teacher said no. GRrrrrrr! I called the school, let them know what happened. They directed me to the teacher. I told her dd was sick and asked why she didn't let her go to the nurse....she had the nerve to tell me she was offended by my asking!!!!!!!!!! She was later sent home for supposedly violating dress code. She was in code. I got into a heated argument with the office lady and she changed which peace of clothing was not in code. I told her My child is NOT a robot! they all look alike talk alike walk alike they are NOT robots!!! I told her it was sickening. To come and find out she was holding dd during recess for something as simple as tying her shoes. Then I get a letter saying that there are going to be changes to the G&T program. I went to the meeting and they are cutting it in half and slowly implementing it into the classroom. HUH???? The G&T kids will be in the back of the room doing work on there own while the teacher works with the other children. HUH?????? I asked "basically the GT kids will be left to work on their own, the teacher is going to spend her time with the other kids? There is going to be 3 different levels of each subject that the teacher now has to teach? which means that the gt kids are going to fall behind and be at a lower level by the end of the year??" She said yes to the first part, no to the second part...whatever lady! Then I get a letter asking me about being native American. I didn't answer it. Then dds bday was coming up and teacher says yes you can bring cupcakes and juice and stay in the room for a short time. The morning that I was supposed to be there, she calls me and tells me no. We aren't allowed to have parties. HUH???? Grrrrrr. So I drop it off. After I drop it off the office lady asks me to fill out the Native American survey. Ugh! So I do. I get another letter asking me to attend a meeting. I go to this meeting, and I am thinking there has to be a mistake. I don't claim my heritage. I am not 100% Apache. Id rather leave that for the people on the reservations. To come and find out at the meeting, the district was going to be given about $24000 for the Native American children. I asked are they going to have native American month/week celebrations or showing of art like they do for the Hispanic and African American children?...he says no. Any counseling or mentors like they do for the Hispanic and African American kids?...he says no. I ask where is this money going to go? He says to the district. HUH???? im fuming by this point and refuse to participate in the so called " group of oversight". I remember talking after the meeting to some other people who are from the area I'm from and I am in disbelief that they are going to head this committee. The Native Americans are being used....again. And they are using me AND my daughter. I had enough. I told hubby I'm pulling rank. By this time they had already nixed the advanced reading, G&T was being dismantled slowly, we were being used for school funding ( no telling how much they got from dd coming from Hispanic and Native American decent), individuality was a no no, they didn't go to the library, they had a small cardboard box of age and grade appropriate books to choose from, she was bored, her tantrums were horrible! And probably some other things happened that I forgot and really don't want to remember. Oh, a couple weeks after the bday fiasco, dd comes home with a cupcake trinket and says teacher had her baby shower in class today. HUH???? Grrrrr.So...about 4 weeks before 3rd grade was to start, I bought a curriculum, printed some stuff up, to show hubby we can do it. Also to see if dd would take it seriously. She did and I proved my point. So the Friday before school started, I pulled dd from school. Surprisingly, the staff was willing to give me names and places of play groups and co-ops. Her first kinder teacher was in there (she had a total of 6 teachers in 3 years) and she said " your dd will love homeschooling. It will fit her". Surprise surprise surprise! It fir her 100%.
So here we are, our second year of homeschooling. DD is about a half year ahead. She is being challenged. She is learning at her own pace. She is taking an art class ( school did away with art). she is taking gymnastics (school has them doing yoga instead of running), she is part of an all homeschooled Girl Scout Troop that is way awesome. I always told dd she can go back when she is ready, but I actually don't want her to. I talked to the district the other day and they said they don't test to put her back in, we could try out 6th, if it doesn't work we can send her to 5th. I think that works. But dd says not just yet. YAY!
I honestly was afraid I wouldn't be able to homeschool her. I didn't finish high school We moved around a lot. But, I finished college...twice. I am not dumb. But I still really doubted myself. But we did it anyway and we love it!

03-30-2014, 12:02 PM
omg I look at my post and realize that its way long and we had more probs than I realized. I am so sorry everyone for it being so long.

03-30-2014, 12:38 PM
I decided I would be homeschooling my future children after reading The Teenage Liberation Handbook at age 17. When dh and I got together I had all these things that I just laid on him, like, by the way, we'll be homebirthing our future children, cosleeping with them, and homeschooling them. If that's not for you, then rethink this whole relationship. He was like, okay, I have no opinion on any of those things, so sounds fine to me.

03-30-2014, 01:09 PM
I read about homeschooling when my eldest was very young and I was living on a commune. I considered it seriously, but had no support from my family and was not confident in my ability, and was the primary income earner when my daughter was old enough for school. I didnt actually homeschool until 12 years later, due to both boys just being so miserable that my husband finally capitulated, saying I couldnt possibly do worse. I intend to send Raven back to school fairly soon, primarily for financial reasons. but i have very mixed feelings.

03-30-2014, 01:24 PM
So we didn't plan to home school but my oldest was so profoundly ADHD that we didn't even try him in public school. I HS'd starting in K and never looked back.

03-30-2014, 01:31 PM
When my children were toddlers I thought I would HS when they became school aged. But I doubted my abilities so they switched from one school to another for a few years and then we found Montessori - and loved it. I felt like it was the best of both worlds…something in between HS and PS. However, after a classmate was repeatedly physically aggressive with my son (even breaking all his front permanent teeth) and the school’s failure to do anything about the aggression, we started homeschooling.

03-30-2014, 02:47 PM
I'm mom of 5: 1 graduated B&M regular high school, 3 graduated alternative self-paced full high school (2 graduated a full year early) and my youngest was in public school until mid-6th grade and has been homeschooled for 3 years now.
She has High Functioning Asbergers, moderate ADHD, and a few others including chronic migraines. CJ is smart and very artistic but couldn't handle the stimulus, spoken and unspoken social expectations and frustrations of the classroom environment. I fought for an IEP and all they would give her was a bare-bone 504 plan and then blatantly stated in a renewal meeting that my daughter was "behavioral, manipulative, and deliberately CHOOSING to flunk 4th grade".
I was dealing with personal medical issues, trying to rehab by going back to school and didn't have the capacity to have her school at home. Finally, things worked out and I pulled her out Jan 2011. We attended a K12 based public virtual school for the rest of that year and the fall 2011. When tested, she was OVER 2 years behind in basic academics! We jumped to homeschooling and will never go back. In the last 3 years, with backtracking her academics and holding her back a year (going by age), she is now within 1/2 year of her new peers except in math (learning disability).
We are both on disability (SSD, SSI) and can't afford extras so I enrolled her in a local Homelink or parent partnership program PT (we still retain Homeschool status)....its basically a public school co-op with classes offered once/week, teacher monitoring for ONLY the classes enrolled and a small curriculum allowance. She gets her fine arts (art, drama, choir and dance), writing and science labs on T/Th each week along with American Sign Language (as foreign language). Classes are 12:1 ratio, very informal and fun.
If not for homeschooling with the transition through the virtual school, my daughter would be a drop-out, hate learning and have a bleak future......instead she is an avid learner, loves expressing her creativity and has realistic goals for her success!

03-30-2014, 03:22 PM
We just started homeschooling our boys just this year for several reason. We pulled them out of middle school in February and have been doing a lot of trial and error to find out what works for each of them. In the two months that have passed, I have come to the realization that we wish I had done this long ago. I am finding that my boys have a very hard time of thinking for themselves. They want work where they fill in the blanks and do very little critical thinking. :( Due to some testing we had done when we pulled them (Woodcock Johnson Assessment) , we found out that our 6th grader has some pretty significant issues which are potentially dysgraphia related. We will learn the results of an LD assessment next weekend. Maybe it is the way that public school does things, but he should not have passed his classes as well as he did, typically A's and B's in his classes. They would have done him a great dis-service if they just kept passing him along like that and we, the parents, would have really been none the wiser.

I am a little excited and a little trepidatious about the journey that we have in front of us. I know it is the best thing for the boys so, in the end, it will all be a fabulous experience.

03-30-2014, 04:07 PM
I had never planned or expected to homeschool at all. I saw it as too alternative. I didn't think I could provide my kids a good enough social experience because I am an introvert and shy. I was a former public school teacher and saw how it was very good for some students (though saw it didn't work for some too). And I loved my public schooling experience. School had always made me very happy and I loved almost every teacher I had. I looked forward to it every day.

Our son was in public preK and struggling. They moved him to the special ed preK class. I was against this because I felt like he need to have typically developing peer role models. He was going to be the highest functioning child in his special ed class. But the school strong armed me into it, and I agreed to have him moved to the special ed class. Towards the end of the year, it was clear he wasn't going to do well in Kinder because he socially wasn't ready. The school refused to let me have him re-do preK, so I said fine, I will keep him home for a year and put him in kinder next year. They said if I try they will put him straight into first grade. They didn't care that his bday was two weeks from cut off and he was born three months prematurely. If he had been born on time, he wouldn't have even been eligible for kinder. I was really upset with the school and didn't know what to do. Then a month before the end of the year my son did something very disturbing in his class and this was the icing on the cake. Without even thinking about it, I withdrew him from school and told them I would be homeschooling him the next year.

So our oldest was still in public kinder and we planned to enroll her in public first grade and send our twins to public preK with her and just keep our son home. But we noticed how our oldest was flourishing once she came home over the summer. Her math and reading levels grew by leaps and bounds and she liked learning again. It became clear that home was better for her too. She wasn't getting anything out of school socially. For two years, she never made a friend and often played alone. She didn't seem to mind this but going to school for purely social reasons didn't make sense for her. And then we questioned why she was sitting inside all day and not playing at all, and yet she wasn't making much academic progress in her kinder year. We don't really believe kinders should be sitting inside all day but if they are inside all day she should be at least learning more.

And then the twins have such severe adhd that I just feel that school would be a very hard place for them to function well.

So here we are in our first year of homeschooling never having intended this at all. It's a year by year thing for us, and it was very hard at first. But we are in a good groove now and I hope it just keeps getting better and better.

03-30-2014, 04:53 PM
And third, I'm glad the kids get to spend the entire day together and are truly best friends.

Mine are best friends too. :) I love that they get this time together.

03-30-2014, 05:10 PM
I never thought I'd homeschool.

I always admired people who homeschool but thought it wasn't the right fit for our family.

Then...our daughter started going to school. We tried different schools. In one, they totally stifled her creativity. Another one had a lovely atmosphere of freedom and discovery, but an abysmal academic level.

She learned to read at home, so I started to realize, 'wow, if I can teach her to read, maybe I can help her learn other skills, too.'

Meanwhile, I had left my full-time job when our 2nd child was born. (Now I do free-lance work on an intermittent basis.) So I started to think, 'I'm home most of the time already, why not homeschool?'

Some people who are close to me, including a friend who homeschools and an aunt who's a 2nd grade teacher, encouraged me to take the plunge. I did...and am loving it! Of course it's involved challenges and adaptations along the way, but I have totally enjoyed it, way more than I was expecting!

I did it initially because I felt I had no other choice...
Now I am amazed to think about all that I would have missed out on if we hadn't made this life-changing and discovery-affirming choice.

Zen & Yang's Mom
03-30-2014, 06:14 PM
We decided to homeschool when I was pregnant. But my husband and I have different reasons. He had a bad school experience and the IC's he lived on homeschooled the children. He loved the way they were taught and interacted with. He decided that's what he wanted for his kids when he had them. For me - Education was very important in my family, my parents made sure we had a love for learning and that we grew up to be well rounded intellectuals. My siblings and I skated through school but were extremely bored. I didn't have confidence in "school" because I learned more elsewhere. My mom worked for a university and brought up that foreign exchange students were increasing and getting more of the scholarships and grants. I also knew that the US education system did not rank very high in the world. Homeschooling was the logical solution to that. When I found out I was pregnant that was it. We were homeschooling. My kids don't know any different. And we love it but then again this week was a good week. Ask again when we've been having a bad week. Lol!

03-31-2014, 01:30 AM
I always liked the idea of homeschool, but my older daughter (5.5 going on 15) and I have a very... conflict-rich relationship. As well, I do believe there are advantages to both parent and child in the traditional educational model. Not a fan of public school, but Montessori should be great, right?

Nope. It turns out that when your kid is highly gifted (she taught herself to read at 3.5, and is now reading Harry Potter; does math at a second-grade level when she isn't in "I hate math" mode), plus has some sensory issues, asynchronous social development (she's like a half year behind her peers on self-control issues, but leagues ahead of them on interacting-with-adults) and is a generally fidgety kid, not even Montessori is a good fit. She was bored out of her mind, which made her fidgets worse, and even after two and a half years of prodding her teachers still couldn't see that they needed to maybe work on an accelerated timetable. So when she wasn't offered a place in first grade because of the boredom-based behavioral issues that the school had caused (#ironyisnotdead) we pulled her out rather than bothering to finish her kindergarten year.

It's unlikely now that I'm going to be homeschooling beyond the rest of this year and into the summer... we've found a great school that's practically a reasonable commute, that tailors itself to be a good fit for this particular manifestation of wicked smart. But this whole experience has trained me to be more tuned in to her school experience, AND confident that I can make homeschool work any time she wants to come back.

03-31-2014, 01:36 AM
I don't really remember how I came to the idea. I remember thinking of it when he was about 4 1/2 (it was tied with our plan to move to the mountains, which didn't happen, but the homeschooling stuck). Actually, I'm pleased with the plan because I think he'd struggle in school socially (not that he's not social, but he doesn't toe the line).

03-31-2014, 01:44 AM
I had my oldest in public school from k- grade 2. I was sympathetic to homeschooling from the beginning because DD1 never did well academically due to a hearing issue. I had many unschooling friends who lent me their john holt books and the like. My main motivation for keeping DD1 in public school was because it was a french language school, and I wanted her to be fluent in both french and english but I didn't feel comfortable teaching in french.

I finally took the plunge into homeschooling when I moved to the middle east. The schools here are all private and would have cost 10-20k per year per child, and I don't think any grade 1 private/public school education is worth that money. I'd also heard not so great things about the schools here, such as high teacher turn over, mandatory islamic studies classes, oodles of homework. Additionally, my main motivator for keeping her in PS was removed as there were no french language schools that catered to an american/canadian curriculum. We started off with K12 and then moved onto K12 independent, and finally this year we've been doing our own thing. I love it and the girls are thriving so I've no motivation to switch back.

03-31-2014, 10:27 AM
Ok I choose the "I put my child in school then took my child out..." Which is technically true. We only got as far as two months into "traditional" pre-school, and I was like "Is this what I really want for my 3 yr. old?" Now we are home and loving it! It has been a year and a half we do things at our own pace, and since she wouldn't be starting Kinder until fall anyhow I'm not too worried about moving things along. Last week we took the week off for no real reason. Every time I thought ok, let’s do a little math, she was caught up in some imaginary land with her sister and we just let life go like that. Maybe last week was an "unschool" week, there was a lot of learning happening but not so much study.

03-31-2014, 10:50 AM
I wanted to HS DS (14) from when he was six years old. I brought this thought up while chatting to other mums at the school DS then attended - he was in Grade 2 and already frustrated - and they were horrified, one even saying I would be a Bad Mother if I went down such a path. *rolls eyes at the memory*

DS was bullied in schools, private and public, and finally when he was nine and clearly regressing, I told my (now ex-) husband I wanted to try home-schooling. He was against it - still is - but it seemed to REALLY work for DS.

Even when he went back to school when I returned to work (due to DS's father's pressure...he liked it better if I was earning, not that I got to keep the money!) but even so I knew HSing was still the best fit for our son.

Now we're in America, and I have the full support of my new hubby and his family in this new homeschooling venture. DS has only just left the local public high school after a disastrous term, and after Spring Break we are getting back into homeschooling. Can't wait!!

03-31-2014, 11:16 PM
My child attended one year of regular preschool (age 3/4), developed a whole litany of medical/health issues and we were suddenly dealing with a special needs kid, so for the year he was 4/5 he attended a private special needs preschool. I had planned to send him to private school, but that was no longer an option.

I never considered homeschooling, because in my area, the only people who did it were super religious. In fact, 2 nationally infamous murder cases were in our area and both were perpetrated by very religiously raised/homeschooled people and that did not help my (or many people's) opinion about homeschooling. I didn't know "normal" people homeschooled, and I certainly had never met any. In fact, I had spent my child's preschool years in school myself and putting time, effort, and money into establishing my own business so I had something flexible to do when he started his school years and so I could pay for private school. Ah...the best laid plans.....

I literally decided to keep my kid out of B&M public school 2 days before he was to start K. He was already enrolled, and we had a novel-long IEP in place. My ds is a 2E kid, and I knew that the IEP was just not going to cut it. I didn't want to admit that, and I did not have a clue what else to do. I knew it from when the PS evaluated him and flat out told me that they had no idea what to do with him and did not have the resources. They knew I would go to the mat to get him what he needed, but at that point it was too late and I was too exhausted advocating and fighting for all that my kid needed for the past 2 years. The expense, time, and hassle of hiring an attorney and educational advocate to force them to pay for an appropriate private school was pointless, as I couldn't even FIND an appropriate private school.

In great distress, much wailing to my dh and mom, many sleepless nights, tears, and much doubt, and simply out of desperation (the state and all school districts were put under a hiring freeze until our state's budget stalemate would eventually pass sp they could not legally hire the aides that my child needed to attend school), we quickly enrolled him in K12 through a cyber charter PS. It was free, it got me started, we were legal, they sent therapists to our home for speech and OT, and they said I wouldn't have to know what to do to "teach" K. Now I look back and think how sad that is!

Within 3 months we knew we would NEVER send our kid to PS and would switch to homeschooling and we moved out of the house we were in just for the good district and into a bigger home with a bigger yard and a neighborhood full of families with kids near parks and switched to homeschooling for 1st grade. I put my business dreams on indefinite hold to be embrace the homemaking/schooling mom lifestyle. We've never looked back and now he's just turned 11. My ds never wants to go to PS, and I love watching him blossom. What I thought was the "least worst choice" for a year until I could figure out what to do, turned into such a gift and shaped how we live our entire lives.

Crabby Lioness
04-01-2014, 01:04 AM
I graduated with honors from one of the best public high schools in the state. My husband graduated at the head of his class from one of the best private schools in the state.

We both hated every single second we were there.

We knew we needed a third choice for our children. Thirty seconds after seeing the word "homeschool", we were on board.

04-01-2014, 06:27 AM
When it was time for preschool I didn't want to part with dd quite yet. She is also 2E, and although not diagnosed at that point, I knew she would have a rough go of it. Our crash and burn experiences at library story times and Kindermusik classes told me that. I started looking at options and figured we'd done okay so far - very early reader, early math skills, etc. - without trying or pushing anything, so why did she need preschool? Or kindergarten? Or any of the rest? :) So, here we are.

04-01-2014, 10:12 AM
We pulled our son out of public school after a disastrous kindergarten year. By April or May, I knew there was no way this boy was going to function in a classroom. He was overstimulated, bored academically, and beginning to be shunned socially. Not to mention that he was going to the nurse or principal's office in hysterics more and more often because the teachers couldn't figure out how to deal with him without causing a full-blown meltdown. He still hasn't lost some of the anger and inappropriate behavior that started that year.

This. I could have written this, word for word, but I also have to throw in med trials at the same time. Kindergarten was a nightmare for DS.

My DD is home mostly because I hated running two schedules but also she wanted to be more academically challenged. At the same time, the school was combining two very small classes (it was a private school), so there were 1st graders and K students in the same room and the teachers expected DD - since she was academically advanced - to help with the younger kids. There was one younger girl in particular that felt very attached to DD, and DD was having anxious meltdowns about it. At 6 and 7 years old, you should not be expected to mentor someone. So we pulled her.

04-01-2014, 12:00 PM
I'm not even sure i had heard about homeschooling before my oldest was 3. All the other moms in the moms' club were looking into preschools for their kids and I couldn't figure out why they were so eager to toss their kid in school when they didn't have jobs they had to get back to. When they sat there reading their brochures about what their kid would learn 'abcs, colors, etc', I remember thinking, ds already knows all that - not to mention all the preschools that were only half days were in churches. Somehow I came across a homeschool group and we went to some of their activities and had a blast. I knew right away this was the way to go. Both dh and I were sooo bored in ps. And we never looked back. One thing I find amusing is that the homeschool group we were part of in Florida (Orlando area) was much more secular, even pagan, than the group we've got here in California and we're not that far from Berkeley! lol. But we have found our own subset of secular homeschoolers and do a lot of activities/classes/4H together.

It didn't take me very long to realize that even though I went to PS (a very bad rural school) that I was in fact homeschooled. Everything I learned was learned at home from books or my parents. We had one whole wall in the living room covered with books, always had National Geographic - which I devoured when it arrived each month - even if I was just looking at the pictures. When I was 12 my dad started his own business in the basement and I helped with that. They frequently kept me home to help with work if need be and we traveled across country each spring to work a conference. Those are the things I remember.... school? not so much.

04-01-2014, 01:01 PM
[QUOTE=MrsLOLcat;156899]This. I could have written this, word for word, but I also have to throw in med trials at the same time. Kindergarten was a nightmare for DS.

LOL. Feels so good for some reason to see others with the same story!

Two fails at Kinder. MrsLOLcat and AddlepatedMonkey describe them pretty well. Meltdowns. Lousy meds. Etc. DS hid at home (very well!) on the Mon. morning of what we'd planned to be his last week. So I'm pretty sure that DS made the final decision. :)

Not that I thought so much of school - public or private. I quit high school...and thrived in college. My (much) older sister HS'd her two boys - they're now grown - so I knew it was possible. Just....HS wasn't in our life plan...

We are 6 months in now. And we are no longer looking back. I can now see that DS would not learn much at all in school. I also see what a piss poor job of it his first Kinder teacher did. The only kids who learned much could have taught themselves.

I am enjoying so much about HS. Our days, the time together, getting to see DS learn and have fun. Especially that we are no longer focusing on trying to "fix" DS enough that he can "handle" school. Even if I were to have more kids, and they weren't so special, I'd HS them too. I really think that DS will benefit from all the good things about HS-ing. In the end, this might not just be the "least worst choice" (nice phrase ejsmom!). I think it might be the "absolutely best" choice.

HS'ing has meant re-visioning my own life/career plans (I'll put away the woe is me violin, but as many of y'all probably know it wasn't easy to wrap my mind around figuring out a new plan). Funny, though, I'm finding I'm enjoying life more too!

04-03-2014, 10:42 AM
I knew about homeschooling for a long time, but never thought it was right for my family. I did not have any particular beef with public schools. My husband is from a country where homeschooling is illegal. She started with public preschool at 3yo, then full-day public K, and now she is in 2nd grade. I've rolled my eyes a few times by a few things that have come up in the 5 years she's been in public schools, but I've been mostly satisfied.

What happened is that I recently started reading more about how deep corporate influence runs in our public education system personified by the botched implementation of CC and the push for charter schools. The level of corruption involved is hard to wrap your mind around. I only can see these problems getting much, much worse instead of better, particularly given yesterday's SCOTUS decision. My husband and I really do not believe these corporations/monied interests have the best interest of the children in mind at all and have no business so strongly influencing and shaping public school policy. Makes us sick to think about.

04-08-2014, 04:50 PM
I was interested in the idea of homeschooling before my dd was born. I didn't know anyone who was doing it but wished that I had been homeschooled. It seemed like a great way to learn. Dh and I had both attended public school and I saw how a home learning environment could have been great for either one of us.
When dd got to preschool age it didn't seem right to put her in school. I didn't call what we did homeschooling.
When dd was 5 or 6 I really didn't feel that school was going to be a good place for her. We still didn't put her is school.
I'd say we didn't call what we did homeschooling until first grade age rolled around. We said we'd take it year by year.
Dd is 14 now. Still homeschooling.

04-12-2014, 10:50 AM
Wow, I really love reading everyone's reasons and fascinating histories of how they came to it! Looking back, I am not sure if I even knew there was such a thing as homeschooling, all my life before. I was a high-test-score kid with chronically failing grades who hated school, had little to nothing in common with the "normal" kids I was surrounded with, and basically did my best not to let schooling interfere with my education, to quote Mark Twain.

Strangely, when my firstborn was a toddler, I had never even given the future in terms of school, a thought. But a few veteran teachers chatted me up while watching a grandchild at the local indoor playplace, and had a lot to tell about how schools had changed, systemically, in ways that made it hard-to-impossible to do the job they had once cherished, as teaching, and one was seeking early retirement and the other was just retired.

I knew about the fact that there are good schools and bad schools, good teachers and bad teachers. But the things they told me about new developmentally inappropriate policies for behavior and academics, zero-tolerance policies, the unavoidable outfalls of having seemingly ever-increasing percentages of the class being made up of kids from the worst family backgrounds whose behaviors and attitudes were inevitably shaped for the worse by coming from a background of poverty, poor nutrition, large exposure to callousness and violence in person or else on TV from an early age, etc. was making schoolteaching something more akin, in their opinions, to corrections work, and a lot less like the dream of opening little hearts and minds, that they started out with.

At least one of them, after complimenting me on how loved and cared-for my daughter obviously was, recommended looking into homeschooling, and after that, it seemed like I found a lot of people talking about it.

She went to a nice preschool program just a few hours a week, and I investigated Kindergarten by observing a couple of classes before the end of the school year, mostly because DH was a lot less trusting that homeschooling would be right for us, than I was, but because she was so happy with her 6 hours/week of play-based preschool, I was also torn. Seeing the Kindergarten, with about 30 desks crowded in rows, rather barren heavily gloss-painted cinderblock walls without much adornment, and the utilitarian, "resource room" atmosphere where seatwork took the place of the storytime area with cushions I recalled from my own Kindergarten days, convinced me that this was no place for my daughter if I could prevent it.

We'll revisit the decision when it comes time to make the decision of high school or no. Right now, DD says she is not interested in going to high school, and would much rather go straight to college or a career, but I told her we'd keep our options open because we'll know more about it when we are closer to it.

04-15-2014, 01:46 PM
We put our oldest in public school for PreK. When she came home having a writing problem on a particular letter, we asked the teacher what we could do to help her master it. We were told, "Don't worry about it, I'm just happy she knows how to hold her pencil." Excuse me? Are you really telling us not to bother helping her? This was really the straw that broke the camel's back in what we felt were sub par standards. We decided we could not possibly screw her up more than public school was and so started homeschooling. Now, nearly 5 years later, all three of our kids are homeschooled, two who have never been public schooled, and all three are very advanced. We could not go back even if wanted to...and we definitely do not.

04-15-2014, 04:09 PM
We were HS skeptics. But a series of events had us explore and finally commit to HS. DD began Suzuki violin as soon as she could reliably hold up the instrument. Practice, lessons, performances, institutes, etc. have begun to take up much of our time - to the point that attending out-of-home school became hard to fit into our schedule. Since in the early years of Suzuki, the child's main teacher is the parent (the teacher teaches the parent who teaches the child...) we came to realize that not only are we competent teachers, but that being the parent of the student is an extraordinary vantage point for an educator.

05-08-2014, 05:36 PM
We are just boarding the home school train. The PS teachers after 1st grade have been truly mediocre (teaching only to the test, or enough to get them by) - leaving my daughter bored and frustrated at having to deal with a class of kids who were disruptive and unfocused. We had also been dealing with a g/t teacher who would not look past the scores to see that a segment really didn't apply to kids who did not have large family interactions. Thankfully a new g/t teacher came onto the scene when she was in 3rd grade and pulled her into g/t immediately. The g/t class, science club and art were the only parts of the school week that she enjoyed. It was enough to keep her going until 5th grade where the school had lost 24 teachers over the summer. The new teachers were horrible and many others had complaints as well. This started us on our journey for something better. We pulled her after 12 weeks to charter school and went on to have a good remainder for 5th grade with a teacher who gave her more challenging work in the areas she needed. However, going into 6th grade, with the same school system, was a nightmare. After many meetings and lack of resolution we found another charter school. I didn't think things could possibly get worse, but they did. We are biding our time after weeks of working with the grade rep at this current school. The kids are in school from 8-3:30; only to come home and spend an avg of 2-4 more hours on homework nightly, along with some weekends of the same.

At this point we are looking forward to starting homeschooling next year. We feel is if we'll regain our family time and bring the fun back into learning.

05-09-2014, 09:17 AM
I'm actually a huge supporter of public schools. (They still get our Box Tops. :D )

It was just not a good fit for our special needs kid. We tried. They tried. Just didn't work.

05-09-2014, 10:32 AM
I'd always planned a full public education for my kids--preK through college. My son went to public school from PreK through fourth grade. I summer-schooled and after-schooled with him, so he was already pretty used to me as his teacher. The first few years in public school were actually pretty great. He was in special education, treated well, and learned to read, add, and subtract.
I was disheartened by his school when his teacher said they didn't do any science experiments in the 4th grade because science wasn't on the state test for the year. Then they said he couldn't do any of the research-based, high-impact learning strategies to help him write better because those wouldn't be allowed when he took "the test." My assistant director suggested I bring my son to work and homeschool him here and I was given the green light by my dean and HR, so here I am.