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View Full Version : Should I pull my happy kid out of a great school ?



learninglife
03-17-2016, 07:31 PM
Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum and considering homeschooling my children for next year. My daughter is a rising sixth grader and I'm 90% sure she will homeschool. My son on the other hand (rising 7th grader) is a little trickier.

After a nightmare of a time for grades 3 through 5 in public school, we got my son into a private school for kids with learning differences. It is not specifically for kids with autism but it works for him. It (mostly) works for us too. He's happy, supported, we're happy and much less stressed.

Pulling him from this school means risking his spot and if it doesn't work out, we might not be able to get him right back in. The school is full currently with a waiting list. I imagine it will be similar in the coming years.

One of the main reasons I want to home school him is to work on life skills. Life skills we don't have time to do in the mere hours we have after school and don't do on the weekends because the kids just want a break from school. I want to bring him places to volunteer, hopefully building lasting relationships with these places of potential future employment.

Also private school is costly. Honestly, we can afford it but I can't help but think about what I could give my kids for home education with the money we spend to send him to private school.

We spend two and half hours a day in the car bringing him to school and back. We can do all his academics in that time at home!!

Among the many, many other reasons I want to home school him.

Deciding to home school is scary enough...add to that pulling a finally happy kid out of a school he loves-- yikes.

He wants to home school. We're doing trial days on the weekends and he likes it. I signed him up for Time4Learning and he LOVES it...he's so motivated to do the lessons that he even printed the worksheets out on his own.

My heart wants to home school. I want to learn with my kids. I want have a say in what they are exposed to. I want to have the freedom to focus on their individual interests. I want to be free of the time restraints that school brings. I want them to learn through living in the real world. I want to be free from the stress of communicating with teachers about disruptive behaviors or inattention. I want my kids in a learning environment that doesn't require them to be medicated (or as heavily) in order to succeed (or free from the implication from teachers that that's what they need).

Has anyone else been here? I appreciate any thoughts.

alexsmom
03-17-2016, 10:49 PM
My heart wants to home school. I want to learn with my kids. I want have a say in what they are exposed to. I want to have the freedom to focus on their individual interests. I want to be free of the time restraints that school brings. I want them to learn through living in the real world. I want to be free from the stress of communicating with teachers about disruptive behaviors or inattention. I want my kids in a learning environment that doesn't require them to be medicated (or as heavily) in order to succeed (or free from the implication from teachers that that's what they need).

Has anyone else been here? I appreciate any thoughts.

Welcome! What you describe there are the same reasons I wanted to homeschool. I did, from the beginnning, so cant relate specifically to the pulling a kid from something that is on the surface, working.
Some thoughts:
1) You dont have to treat homeschooling as a path of last resort. You can homeschool just because its what you want to do. If youre at an ice cream parlour of educational choices, just because butter pecan is acceptable to you, doesnt mean you have to take it when you really would rather have black cherry. You dont need justification to choose black cherry, even if butter pecan is the craft flavor of the month and sells out each day before the shop closes.
2) Is the private school really working for you guys? Better than the Public School hell, undoubtedly. But 2.5 hours in a car commuting is an expensive cost of your time. Plus what you are being charged by the school, and for other incidental expenses. If he wants to homeschool on top of that, it might not really be the end-all be-all that the school is hyped out to be.
3) Homeschooling one while still being tied down to commuting and school schedule with the other may really put a crimp in your *following their dreams* idea of homeschooling. Yes, Daughter can do a lot of her bookwork in the car (if she isnt carsick), but stargazing at the meteorshowers at 2-3am isnt going to be all that fun when you have to leave the house at 7am for the commute.
4) Time 4 Learning is what... $10 or $20 a month? Way cheaper than private school I imagine. Its probably adequate to cover the core basics, and you can have time to homeschool the fun things the way you want. Including your experimentation in finding out what works for your kids.

Im always of the mind that you might as well try it. :p

Ask questions, you will get mostly sincere answers here. :)

Luv2HS
03-18-2016, 05:06 AM
outskirtsofbs, did you take the picture that is your avatar? what a beautiful shot.

fastweedpuller
03-18-2016, 10:55 AM
Is your son autistic then? You said his school isn't necessarily for autistic kids but it's working for him. And they don't work on life skills? I find that somewhat surprising.

Of course if you come onto a homeschooling forum, all of us are going to be "rah rah homeschooling of course come join us." Lots of us, like outskirtsofbs mentioned, are accidental homeschoolers...we never planned this path for our families, and circumstances just pointed us to homeschooling. (osofbs, that looks like Iowa to me...!) But if he *is* autistic, and/or has an IEP, that is a bit of extra work ahead.

I am concerned, though, that you've not mentioned your daughter's thoughts on this. In fact, your post was 95% about your son. Granted, his learning differences might be more substantial than your daughter's, but if his school *is* working for him and he is happy and your family is much less stressed...there's a lot there. Tuition costs and commute times are what they are...it's simply part of the picture.

Homeschooling indeed might be awesome for your daughter. And it might give her the attention she needs. Maybe you can try it for a year with her and then bring your son home for 8th grade and high school?

dbsam
03-18-2016, 11:31 AM
I think you have rec'd a lot of good advice in the previous posts.

I wanted to add our experience of pulling the kids out of a school they liked:
We pulled our children out of a private school they loved because of bullying. Even though the kids were on board, it was difficult the first year; partly because they really missed their school. Now, three years later, they are glad they are homeschooling but the first year there were a lot of tears over missing their old school.

Deli76
03-18-2016, 02:23 PM
Would it be possible to do a homeschool trial over the summer? I only ask because you say he loves the school and you are afraid he would lose his spot if you withdrew him. You also says he enjoys the homescooling on the weekends. A lite trial over the summer, checking out some homeschool groups, taking a couple of homeschool field trips doing some homeschool lessons. We are accidental homeschoolers ourselves. I pulled dd out because we jut have a bad school district. We did the trial over the summer and it gave us a great idea of what was available and what to expect. I wish you all the best. Let us know how it goes.

Avalon
03-18-2016, 07:10 PM
I like making lists of pros and cons. Not everything on the lists has equal weight, but when I line them up side by side, it really helps me decide. This is what I see from your post:

Pros to pulling son out:
more time for life skills
more time for community-based activitiies (volunteering, etc...)
less time driving back and forth
more cash available for other things

Cons to pulling son out:
possible sadness at missing great school
probable loss of spot at great school

The list doesn't include pros and cons for your daughter. I kind of like the idea of leaving your son in school for a while until you see how things are going for your daughter.

MNDad
03-21-2016, 08:05 AM
DD7 was in a great Montessori school for pre-K through K. She had a fabulous foundation and was happy. And we transitioned her into HS anyway.

I don't think there's anything wrong with regarding HS as the default. For us - like everyone - it was a complex decision but mostly it had to do with capitalizing on the flexibility to lay out our day in alignment with her interests and energy level. We're deeply appreciative of how much she progressed in her Montessori school - she finished her K year an excellent reader and with a solid foundation in math skills. But without HS for the last two years she wouldn't have experienced nearly so much growth in other areas that are important to us.