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View Full Version : Dealing with "Return-to-School" Guilt??



Topsy
04-12-2010, 03:46 PM
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-in-time-homeschooling/201004/homeschool-guilt-when-child-returns-public-school

If anyone is putting one or more children back in school next year, and dealing with any type of "guilt" over your decision, this article by Laura Brodie, PhD will be an encouragement!!!

Shoe
04-12-2010, 03:53 PM
Interesting article Topsy. I have no intention of returning my kids to the public school system (as I've mentioned before, I'm pulling my second child out of public school this coming year), but I've always seen it as the resort if I fail-the idea being, if I can't get them to learn as well as the public school, then I have no business home schooling them. I'm hoping it won't come to that anyway, as I really like having them at home...but I am certain I'd feel a lot of guilt if I do send them back.

Museling
04-12-2010, 04:11 PM
I haven't even begun homeschooling yet and I feel a pang of guilt everytime I take Logan to school in the morning. In some ways, I mad at myself for not realizing this was the better option to try first and that public school would be a last resort. With him still in school right now, I realize how over the past year I've looked at his time and his needs that are based around the school system as a burden and in turn, he became a burden. While he's grown in some ways, I've watched my extremely emotionally developed 6 year old go into tantrums and digressions that he never really had and over all, I realize now that I sent my little weed off to the Round Up.

That said, I'm also not going to allow myself to become down if he should ever go back to public school. I've learned my lessons now on how to handle the pressures to perform in the public format and will leave a good chunk of the decision to return to public school to him. I am committed to going through this 'as long as we can' and I will try to take the attitude that I gave my abilities to educate him the best I could and that is all I can do.

AlishaYouch
04-12-2010, 04:51 PM
Denise, I share your angst over continuing to send Daniel off to school for the rest of this year. I was particularly guilt-ridden this morning, when I had to deliver him to school for a full week of standardized testing, the results of which determine whether the third-graders are promoted to fourth grade! When he came home today, he seemed genuinely relieved that today's test (the pass/fail determining one) was over, and he felt he'd done well. However, his teacher expressed concern that he completed the test very quickly and did not use the remaining time to thoroughly check his work. (This is an ongoing issue - the problems are so easy that he flies through them, not reading them carefully enough and making "careless" mistakes.) Now I am the one who is stressed out, feeling angry with myself that I allowed him to continue all year in this horrible setting, when I could have worked with him on working more slowly and carefully . . . I will be so glad when this year is OVER!

dbmamaz
04-12-2010, 05:44 PM
I love the point about most people refusing to talk aout the negatives of home schooling. A freind posted on face book asking for the negatives about home schooling, and i was honest . . .lots of people jumped down my throat for it. I hate that we're only allowed to talk about the positives sometimes.

I dont intend to return my elder son to public school - with the credit system in virginia, it would have to be this fall - its almost impossible to return to high school after 9th grade and graduate on time. I just took him out a few months ago after years of trauma and it was only getting worse ... I think hubby is resigned to the fact that Orion will not return to public school. However, everyone is always pressuring me to return the 6 yo to school . . . i really dont want to. I think he's a great candidate for a more self-directed education. I actually hope he will apply for some of the specailty programs in our public school when he is at that age, but we'll see.

Museling
04-12-2010, 06:06 PM
I love the point about most people refusing to talk aout the negatives of home schooling. A freind posted on face book asking for the negatives about home schooling, and i was honest . . .lots of people jumped down my throat for it. I hate that we're only allowed to talk about the positives sometimes.

What possible negatives could there be? I'm sure that everyone who homeschools wants to spend every waking second with their child and looks forward to it every single day! Excuse me while I lob off my own head, lol!

That's going to be my biggest challenge, making sure I get enough me time to satisfy my loner needs.

Snoopy
04-12-2010, 07:39 PM
I really identify with her article this week because I too pulled my then 4th grader out of school right after Spring Break (in my mind, no time like the present!) and homeschooled him through 5th grade, knowing full well that he was returning to public school in 6th grade. Why? because his dad doesn't believe in homeschooling and had given me his consent to homeschool through 5th grade only, and because since it was my 1st year formally homeschooling anyone (so far Noah had been learning but it was preK, so in my mind not "homeschool" yet), I was apprehensive about it, much less about being able to teach middle school. (sorry for the bad grammatical structure!)

I pulled my son for the exact same reasons as she describes... he was floundering because, I felt, he was given neither the individual attention that he needed nor tools to learn properly and to keep himself organized. I thought that I could "straighten him out" in one year, and that he would go back into middle school refreshed, reorganized, ready to learn... a new child! Didn't really happen that way though. He was miserable at home. He's very VERY extroverted and I'm not. I tried very hard to find groups with kids his age to make friends with but all our local groups only had small children. I put together my own curriculum because I wanted to make sure that he would be able to fit right back in to 6th grade. So it was school at home and he hated it because he didn't have his friends with him. We fought a lot and by mid-year I couldn't wait for him to go back to public school, honestly.

So it was both our fault. He didn't want to work with me and fought me every step of the way. There's just so much you can do when someone doesn't want to listen. I think it's like going to rehab in a way... they tell you on TV that the addict has to WANT to get better or it won't take. Well, homeschooling didn't take for him! Then it was also my fault because honestly, I didn't know what I was doing and felt pulled between him and Noah. After a while, I handed him workbooks and I worked more closely with Noah. I had a party the day he rejoined public school, and I'm sure he was relieved too. He went right back to his old behaviors. I feel like a failure looking back on it because he got exactly what he wanted. Maybe if I had had a different approach, it would have been a much more successful experience. But now I just think "I did what I thought was right for my child at the time. He didn't fall behind, he reintegrated p.s. without any problems. Homeschooling just didn't work out for him." I wish I was homeschooling ALL my kids because I'm not too impressed with what they're learning in public school. But since I only have my older three children 50% of the time and their dad won't let me homeschool them, there's nothing I can do about it.

The son I homeschooled in 5th grade is about to enter high school now and at least I can use the threat of homeschooling him to keep him somewhat on a straighter path, lol.

hjdong
04-12-2010, 10:03 PM
Interesting article. I can't imagine putting James into ps unless I felt it was in his best interest (or there was no other choice), so I don't imagine guilt as an emotion (unless the no other choice situation). And her article really talked about how this was her daughter's best interest; I don't get the guilt. I would have been interested to hear her daughter's perspective, although I also respect that the child doesn't get to be the ultimate decision maker either way. I do think their input should be valued.

ginnyjf
04-13-2010, 05:21 PM
It's too bad that the tone of the article is so sheepish and apologetic. The education of your child, just like your decision to attachment-parent or breastfeed or any other myriad things that go along with being a parent, is personal and no one else should have a say. Easy to type, hard to put into practice, I know. But we're giving homeschooling a shot. It isn't like a religious conversion, where I feel homeschooling is the only viable option and everyone should be doing it regardless of circumstance. I'm hoping it will be a good fit for our family. I'm hoping we can continue homeschooling, but I'm not going to take it as a "failure" if Zack returns to school one day. I can't predict what's going to happen next week, let alone five years from now. Zack is sweet and affectionate and loves being with us; he's obedient and polite and wants to do his best and listens to our advice. He's also 7 years old. I would be naive in the extreme to expect him to never change. And maybe one day, public or private school may be the most workable option for us. We can only take the years as they come and make the best decisions we can based on current circumstances.

reversemigration
04-13-2010, 10:58 PM
At this point, Max is being pretty emphatic about wanting to attend the local college-prep public school come seventh grade. It's an excellent school, it has interesting electives, and the "feel" of it seems to suit him (the marching band is more popular than the football team.) It also has an entrance exam, which I will mercilessly use to remind him to keep up with his studies while we're at home. -evil grin- However, if between now and then he changes his mind, that'll be fine too. We'll work it out. The point is to find what works for him and what'll help him to grow into an independent and well-prepared adult. (...that invents cold fusion and supports his dear old dad for the remainder of his days.)

What I really fear? That the other two are going to want to do homeschool once they see their idolized older brother doing it...I don't know if I can handle three at a time and keep my sanity!

Snoopy
04-13-2010, 11:50 PM
the marching band is more popular than the football team As the mom of 2 band members in the Deep South where high school football is idolized, I would like to know where this mythical school is where the marching band is more popular than the football team. Do they accept boarders? I will gladly send them my 2 teen musicians who are driving me up the wall. lol.

Museling
04-14-2010, 03:27 AM
What I really fear? That the other two are going to want to do homeschool once they see their idolized older brother doing it...I don't know if I can handle three at a time and keep my sanity!

As the mother of an only, I could not imagine parenting more than one, let alone schooling more than one. But from what I've heard -you always find a way to adapt so maybe having peers around could present you with opportunities you never would have encountered ;)

AlishaYouch
04-14-2010, 08:16 AM
LOL - I am with you there, Denise! I really value my quiet, private time, and I am going to have to work hard to carve it out once Daniel is at home all day, every day . . .unfortunately, I usually end up finding that time at night, start staying up too late, get overtired, get cranky and behaving like a cranky toddler!

reversemigration
04-14-2010, 12:26 PM
LOL - I am with you there, Denise! I really value my quiet, private time, and I am going to have to work hard to carve it out once Daniel is at home all day, every day . . .unfortunately, I usually end up finding that time at night, start staying up too late, get overtired, get cranky and behaving like a cranky toddler!

Why does this describe me to a T? I suspect it must be a common parent theme - the only free time is post-bedtime, and there's a great temptation to stretch it out as long as possible. All I can say is that I hope there's a coffee farmer who's growing rich off of me.

reversemigration
04-14-2010, 12:31 PM
As the mom of 2 band members in the Deep South where high school football is idolized, I would like to know where this mythical school is where the marching band is more popular than the football team. Do they accept boarders? I will gladly send them my 2 teen musicians who are driving me up the wall. lol.

I think you have to start with a school system large enough so that there are both schools where football is idolized and ones where there's a...different focus. Those that enjoy football go to the schools that focus on that, everyone else goes elsewhere. There's also a nice school for the creative and performing arts downtown...as I understand it, it's where they filmed Nick Lachey's (sp?) TV show about high school kids trying to make it to the big time, music and arts-wise.

So it ends up that this particular school that Max is interested in has a terrible football team (they went at least a couple of years without winning a game), but a large and fun marching band. Go figure!

Museling
04-14-2010, 07:23 PM
Why does this describe me to a T? I suspect it must be a common parent theme - the only free time is post-bedtime, and there's a great temptation to stretch it out as long as possible. All I can say is that I hope there's a coffee farmer who's growing rich off of me.

I'm sure I've put the farmer's kids who makes Central Market's Mocha Java blend through college twice over off me alone. I do not live without my coffee and have trained everyone in this household to speak in soft tones and pleasing remarks until after I've had my coffee. The hubs will testify to the freakout-ability. Once we were in El Paso with his parents visiting grandparents and they didn't let me get the crappy coffee in the lobby but 'promised' me they would stop at a starbucks. That never happened. I refused to go out that night because of the headache and have never traveled dependant to them since or regained my trust. I am an addict and I fully admit it. I only drink about 2-3 cups (6oz cups) a day and I don't drink sodas or caffienated tea so I'm not entirely sure it's a caffiene addiction.... considering that Logan has ate a single coffee bean every morning since he was two (not chocolate covered either), I'm sure that there's something with that intoxicating bean that I (and obviously my son) have to have.

AlishaYouch
04-14-2010, 07:46 PM
I used to refuse to travel without bringing my own coffee (and my french press) - until I found Starbucks Via (instant coffee in little single-serve Crystal-Light-like packets.) Now, I always have some in my purse, in my glove box, hidden in the sole of my shoe . . . I had to laugh when I realized that tomorrow - the day we are driving straight through from Jacksonville, FL to Harrisburg, PA is FREE COFFEE DAY at Starbucks. Hahahahahahahahaha! I will be a supercaffeinated mama by noon!