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Pilgrim
04-06-2011, 01:31 PM
Homeschooling, of course, isn't the best option for all families all the time. So, what stories have you heard of other parents trying out HS, then realizing it wasn't good for them and/or their kids?

I was looking for some stories like this and found this older thread. (http://www.americasdebate.com/forums/simple/index.php/t5799.html) It's a good mix of folks for and against HSing in general, and includes posts from HSed kids. There are some "I knew this family who..." stories about socially awkward HSers, but also posts from those who rail against the belief that learning to work within a schedule set by someone else will somehow lead to "success" and, thus, happiness.

Anyway, the only story I know of personally is of a large family who HSed for a few years but decided it was too much as the brood grew (they're up to 11 kids and counting). While it wasn't a terrible HSing experience, the parents say they and their kids are happier now that they are in PS, though they admit that PS's are not perfect.

Aandwsmom
04-06-2011, 01:35 PM
I havent heard any bad stories-yet. Though most of my daycare parents do not know HOW I do it, as if they had to homeschool their kids they would go insane.

dbmamaz
04-06-2011, 03:49 PM
I recently met a young man who told me his mom homeschooled him and his siblings for one year, and he loved it, but after that year, his mom was DONE. He said he learned more in that year than he did in the next 2.

I have a 'freind' who radically unschooled all of her kids. they are 11, 18 and 21. the oldest managed to work at 2 different jobs while living w a roomate, and then moved back home. the 18 yo has never had a job. the 11 yo can barely read. They claim the bulk of their homeschooling has come from role playing games and television. Oh, and the husband lost his job so they are buying a farm and planning on raising alpacas and chickens for a living. Even tho they take such poor care of their dogs they have to clean poop off the floor almost every morning. They seem to think homeschooling worked for them . . . i dont agree, but whatever.

I have also heard of situations where a kid just really, really wanted to go to public school and refused to cooperate with the homeschooling parent at ALL. Once the parent finally let the child go to school, the house was much more peaceful.

Most of the other 'not work' stories were kids who were supposedly home schooled but actually neglected. I met a family years ago who were radical anarchists. their 8 yo could read but barely count, and thier 5 yo didnt know his letters. I also heard a 3rd hand story of a child who had been 'homeschooled' and didnt understand the concept that an adult could read a story from a book and not have to have already memorized the story.

and of course, if you have mentally ill or disabled kids . . . well, homeschooling isnt going to cure that. But of course, its still usually going to be better for the kids than going to public school. Thats my story and i'm sticking to it.

farrarwilliams
04-06-2011, 04:09 PM
I've heard a few "it didn't work" stories over the years from people but none of them were horror stories. I knew one adult who was homeschooled as a kid and she just rolled her eyes to think of it because her mother apparently should not have been overseeing anyone's homeschooling. But she grew up, she learned, she went to school and college later and everything is well. In fact, all the stories I can think of that I've personally heard involve homeschooled kids who are adults now and seemed to be successful people, so I think it's pretty rare for it to actually harm anyone, if you know what I mean.

Pilgrim
04-06-2011, 05:07 PM
I had a handful of students in college who had been HSed. Most all of them were very bright and well-mannered and, though they were shy, they were not at all the awkward misfits of stereotype lore.

One young man, however, had some obvious social anxieties and esteem problems. When we would meet outside of class, his mother was always present. She chose his courses and wouldn't let him speak even when I directed questions toward him. When she wasn't around, he hung his head and said very little. That was sad.

Stella M
04-06-2011, 05:15 PM
2 of my friends homeschooled for 6 months each. One sent her kids to school because her husband travelled 5 months of the year and she felt she needed the 'break' of school. The other homeschooled until she nearly died from pre-eclampsia (sp ?), she had a premmie, another daughter was in hospital and her husband had cancer. There were extenuating circumstances in her decision to quit homeschooling...

Another friend always had doubts about being able to 'teach' high school, so when her eldest was 13 she sent all 4 girls to (Christian) school.

Another friend sent her youngest daughter back to school because the youngest was begging for the social interaction. She then sent her eldest daughter as well.

Illness is involved in most cases of longer-term h/s'ers sending younger children back to school that I have come across. For that reason I have a 'plan' for two of my children if I was ever unable to h/s them because I was too sick. Neither involves school :)

ercswf
04-06-2011, 05:28 PM
My husband and I have seen many cases for and against homeschooling in our area and some we know personally. One of my husbands friends was homeschooled. Honestly the only place my husband can see that his parents did not do well in his education is some areas of science and his ability to talk to girls. Outside of those two things we think they did a wonderful job on their son who holds down 2 yes 2 jobs AND full time college. Some of the other cases we have are again knowing some people who have homeschooled and they should never have had children in the first place let along homeschool them.

belacqua
04-06-2011, 05:51 PM
The one time I've seen homeschooling go poorly was when nobody in the family really wanted to do it. This kid had been booted out of two or three private schools (mostly for behavioral issues), and the mom was unwilling to send him to public school. The mom is extremely social and extroverted, the kind of person who loves to call curriculum companies and chat for hours about what they have to offer. So she enjoyed the planning and got tremendously excited about homeschooling. When it came to the actual education, though, she just wasn't willing to put in the effort. She found it boring. The kid didn't want to be at home and acted out, and the mom's solution was to give up and call it "unschooling" (I can feel through my computer the blue-hot seething of legitimate unschoolers...).

So when her family moved to another state, she put him back in private school. Within six months, he'd been expelled, so she's trying homeschooling again. She hates it, he hates it. He's quite far behind grade level in most subjects, and I just don't see them making much progress. She knows we're homeschoolers, so she wanted me to homeschool her kid ("just include him in the lessons you're already doing...you'd hardly notice he's there."). Not enough NOOOOOOOOOO in the universe. Fortunately, I was able to blame our state's home education law and didn't have to say, "Are you completely unhinged?"

wife&mommy
04-06-2011, 05:56 PM
I have a couple of friends who were homeschooled and one of them said initially she didn't want to homeschool her kids but now she is. The other was homeschooled because she was a "problem kid" in school and she didn't enjoy her homeschool experience at all and her child is in PS. I don't know if you'd consider that not working out or not but that's all I've heard.

MarkInMD
04-06-2011, 07:07 PM
She knows we're homeschoolers, so she wanted me to homeschool her kid ("just include him in the lessons you're already doing...you'd hardly notice he's there."). Not enough NOOOOOOOOOO in the universe. Fortunately, I was able to blame our state's home education law and didn't have to say, "Are you completely unhinged?"

Well, that showed some chutzpah on her part. Are there states where someone besides a parent or guardian can homeschool for the majority of instruction time?

I think you'll find a lot of the failures are from so-called unschoolers who aren't really unschooling. They're just lazy. Unschooling does not equal laziness if done mindfully.

Cheryl
04-06-2011, 07:11 PM
raising hand.

HS'ing was planned before we had kids. it was just going to be. I started homeschooling for Pre-K and Kindy. with 2 newer babies. Husband lost his job and worked out of state for 3 years, only home 36 hours twice a month. HS'ing with 5 kids (I was pregnant again with #6) all alone just wasnt working. We put them in a fine private Catholic school. HOWEVER after the second year I really felt like I was loosing my babies. They had so much homework! went to school from 8-3 and then 1-3 hours of homework every night. They never had anytime to just be. So even though I had 6 kids and a husband who didn't live with us we decided to bring them back home. THANKFULLY, 6 months into HS'ing my husband got a job back home! so we are all together again. and happy! (although my house STILL isn't clean from that 3 yaear stint, lol)

The kids really don't miss school. Our best friends from the same school started HS'ing with us, so we have the best of both worlds.


I do have a friend who was HS her whole life and HATED it! Says it totally ruined her life! I personally think she is the most educated person I have ever met and if I have a English question usually ask her! She was what I think a religious cult'y kind of thing though. They were very isolated. She is now a VERY tattoed atheist who sets up internet porn websites, so there ya go.

Laina
04-06-2011, 07:51 PM
I was speaking with a friend today about our decision, and she asked me to keep her updated on our experience because she is considering this for her kids when the time comes (they are 4 and 2 now). Her husband is against homeschooling because he was homeschooled for one year around fifth grade and had a miserable year. He was left alone to teach himself and his mother was a very severe alcoholic. So no wonder.

I think the common theme here is that homeschooling can fail in families that are dealing with other extreme issues.

MarkInMD
04-06-2011, 11:25 PM
Someone I know home schooled one of her sons for a while when he was about 13. He had been kicked out of his ps and she didn't want to find another alternative. She preferred to use him as a free daycare provider for her 2yo son. She's nice enough to me, but for that reason I pretty much can't ever really like her. I just think it's too horrible to do that. It's like giving up on your kid - "Hey, you piss me off and I'm not going to bother with you. Here's some work for you. Do it or not, but make sure to babysit your brother in the meantime." Ugh.

That's not a case of homeschooling not working out. That's a case of a parent not working out. Wow. I'd feel exactly the same way you do in that situation.

MoonSprite
04-07-2011, 03:32 AM
I know personally of one family where the Mom really wanted to homeschool, but her work schedule made it difficult, and so it would be her husband - who had recently been laid off - who would need to do a lot of it and he said he was all for it, but he really wasn't. He just sat on his computer all day. She was trying to work her fulltime+ shift, get home around 2, homeschool 4 kids (9, 7, and twin 5yo - three of which weren't reading so couldn't work independently) plus do all the house stuff too. I helped her as much as I could, but after trying for two years she put her kids back into school. And for them, it was probably the best choice. She was still so sad about it. :(

Greenmother
04-07-2011, 05:04 AM
I have a very close friend who was a teacher in the South. She taught art from K-7th grade. Anyhow, she had some children enrolled in the middle of the semester last year who were "homeschooled" who were way behind. She said it was a DHS case of neglect. The children were court ordered into public school. I didn't have any more details than that. Prior to that she had been very supportive of me-homeschooling my kids. After that encounter, she showed some concerns about homeschooling in general. Those poor kids must have been way behind because she taught at a title I school, many of her students had to struggle with difficult home lives as a result of their family's economic status. And those struggles affected their academic performance.

So far, I have observed of all of the families I know that homeschool, regardless of style or ideology, the parents seem to be very diligent in educating their children. Their children seem bright and very friendly. Boxed curriculums like sonlight are very popular, as well as people enrolled in K12. I know that sometimes the parents are tired and perhaps burned out, and some have sent their kids back to school for a year only to return to homeschooling. I have not directly witnessed at train wrecks, for which I am grateful.

Pefa
04-07-2011, 08:04 AM
I know lots of folks who are homeschoolers when their kids are 4 and 5yo but enroll their kids once they realize how much work it is. I don't know as I'd call that not working out since I'm not sure that they ever really homeschooled.
're grown than have them
ES's ex-girlfriend's younger brother (that a tangled enough chain for you?) put himself in school when he was 13yo. HS definitely didn't work for him and hadn't been for a couple of years so I was glad he had enough gumption to get on the bus. Mom will never forgive him for betraying her (her words not mine) but he's a freshman in college, doing great and it will be her loss that he's going to move out of the area when he graduates and she'll get obligatory birthday cards and that's it. Personally, I'd rather have a good relationship with my kids when they are grown and if that means somebody else teaches them - even substandardly - so be it.

We are also acquainted with a family with 2 sons who are 26-ish and 20yo (we often get lumped with this family because we share geography, unschoooling, localvore and off grid tendencies and it drives me crazy because I hope I'm more competent than they are). The 26yo couldn't pass the GED, is only just functionally literate, lives at home, sorta kinda self employed as a farrier - except he practices some abstract form of horseshoeing that the horsefolk I know roll their eyes at - and has no social skills whatsoever. The 20 wants to be a policeman (which scares the bejesus out of me, this kid is so hungry for structure that he's going to be totally insane as a policeman), the police academy has turned him down at least twice so now he's taking classes at the local community college and planning on marrying the local fundamentalist preacher's daughter. Not what his parents had in mind. So that didn't work out too well in my book.

hockeymom
04-07-2011, 10:47 AM
It seems to me that all of these stories have dysfunction as the root of their woes; homeschooling in of itself doesn't seem to be the catalyst for failure, but outside situations. Like public schooling or anything else, homeschooling is doomed to "fail" if it isn't done intentionally, and as Mark mentioned, most of these stories seem to be more a failure to parent than anything else.

Pefa
04-07-2011, 10:57 PM
It seems to me that all of these stories have dysfunction as the root of their woes.

ITA. In some ways, you have to think about how you're defining "not working out". If you dd gets pregnant at 18 but stays w/the dad and they build a life pretty much like the life she grew up with - homesteading, husband a carpenter great kids - is that not working out? Or if she grows up to be a receptionist at the local dentist's office, or a dietician, or a handy man (as some of the homeschooled grown ups I know do) is that "not working out"? It's unremarkable work perhaps but most of us do unremarkable work and most likely what they'd be doing regardless of where they got their education.

When I see extreme examples, I run the quick check list "Am I that mean to my children?" "Do I believe my children will learn to read when they're ready even when they're thirteen and ready seems to have come and gone?" in the hopes that I can reassure myself that even I'm not doing that bad a job. Whether they're useful in any other way, I really don't know.

Stella M
04-07-2011, 11:16 PM
For us, h/s isn't what dd11 wants to do anymore. I don't see that as a failure of h/s though; seems to me h/s has supported her in being able to know what she wants and to communicate that and to be prepared to experience a (scary) change.

What Pefa said - the relationship is more important than the method of instruction. Her going to school is so not a betrayal of me or of her education thus far. Hearing about the mom Pefa mentioned makes me feel :(

ESNQueen
04-09-2011, 04:51 PM
I have also heard of situations where a kid just really, really wanted to go to public school and refused to cooperate with the homeschooling parent at ALL. Once the parent finally let the child go to school, the house was much more peaceful.

This is the problem we're having. J wants to go to school so badly that she just will not cooperate with most of what I have her do. Even when we take away privileges, yell, argue, whatever, she can't get past the fact that she does NOT want to be homeschooled. She went to public school for K and part of 1st and she just won't let go. We still haven't figured out what to do for next year.

The constant arguing IS a drain on our relationship and I end up neglecting my son's needs and wants while I'm busy fighting with my daughter.

dbmamaz
04-09-2011, 05:19 PM
Just curious, Brandi, why you've decided to home school her? It doesnt sound like the situation would be fostering a love of learning, unfortuneatly. But thats the other thing - if you change your mind for valid reasons, or decide its time to switch to public school, i dont REALLY see that as failure - the real failure would be the child not getting a reasonable education. As parents, we constnatly have to re-evaluate if what we are doing is really the best we can do for our kids.

ESNQueen
04-10-2011, 01:34 AM
We had planned to HS ever since the kids were born, but we moved right before she would've started K and we all needed some stability - the routine of school was why she went in the first place.

I don't consider our experience a failure, but rather a challenge. J is a very stubborn kid (just like me). We just have to figure out what will work and it's a long process. Homeschooling is not all sunshine and roses, but neither is anything else... except for actual sunshine and roses. ;)

Teri
04-10-2011, 08:54 AM
Well, that showed some chutzpah on her part. Are there states where someone besides a parent or guardian can homeschool for the majority of instruction time?

.

Yes. In Texas, because we are "private schools" we can take on students. I have known a few families who do this for income.

Teri
04-10-2011, 09:02 AM
Most of the stories I know are not fantastic failures, they just fade back to school.
Often, a divorce/custody situation interferes. One parent doesn't think that homeschooling is adequate. I had a friend send her kids back to school for one year because of this, then the ex realized how good the kids had it and they are back home again.
Sometimes it is people who have been in public school, decide it is not working, pull the kid out, but aren't willing to ride the wave while things even out. As soon as the kid is lonely, they put him back in school. I really don't think one year is adequate for adjusting if the child has been in school for a long time.
Finances are another reason.

Greenmother
04-10-2011, 09:07 AM
I agree with Pefa. Defining success is important. And true-many of us grow up to do unremarkable things by reality tv celebrity standards. I have encountered more than a few people who look at my status as a SAHM as a sign of failure. That if I were bright and intelligent and skilled--I would have a "real job." If you were to compare that to my very imperfect childhood and public school days, no doubt it would make for an interesting analysis. And yet the work gets done, the bills are paid, the children are loved and taught, the garden is grown--it isn't the life I imagined and no doubt to some it wouldn't be a life they would like, but it's mine.

dbmamaz
04-10-2011, 12:14 PM
I have encountered more than a few people who look at my status as a SAHM as a sign of failure. That if I were bright and intelligent and skilled--I would have a "real job."
Yeah, like my mother!! LOL. She seriously cried when I told her I was quitting my job to stay home w my third child. She says I'm doing a good thing now, but I know its still hard for her. She spent so many years looking forward to bragging about what her genius daughter would achieve . . . .

Greenmother
04-10-2011, 02:35 PM
One of my closest friends actually broke off our friendship as a result. I was also accused of being a Helicopter parent. That also hurt my feelings as well. A lot of folks were skeptical of my ability to do this. I wasn't so sure myself because at the time, when I tried to interact with local homeschoolers that didn't end well due to an ideological/personality clash I suppose. The most common criticism is the one about Socialization. I don't see what is so great about the socialization in public schools. Your kids are forced into classes with 25 to 35 kids {some places may even have more} they learn a sort of herd mentality. Their entire day is devoted mostly to busy work and crowd control, they learn to be trained to everything by the bell {trained! yuck!} Meanwhile in order to fit into this Lord of the Flies pecking order that exists at every school I have seen, they have to reject their parent's love and wisdom and that of many adults. The exceptions being when they are older, that "cool" older guy with the sports car who deals drugs. Meanwhile all the really big important life decisions are based on the *experience and *wisdom of children. They hide their feelings on sex, drugs, friendship, bullying, alcohol, or anything else they experiment with or are confronted with--from YOU. Because somewhere between Kindergarten and the 3rd grade they learn that they must be self sufficient and be inborn with all of the answers to everyone , or else they are a mommy's or a daddys [girl or boy] and will be constantly ridiculed publicly.

Add to that the abstinence only courses, and ham handed attempts by law enforcement to keep them out of drugs and gangs and you have the perfect storm for failure and Near Death Experiences for a large percentage of these kids.

dbmamaz
04-10-2011, 03:14 PM
I guess I"m lucky I didnt have many freinds BEFORE I started home schooling, either lol!

Teri
04-10-2011, 03:16 PM
Cara....I think I know the family with the Alpacas....how weird is that?! We are half a country away from each other and we know the same people.

Cheryl
04-10-2011, 04:25 PM
schools teach abstinence? really? I missed that common sense class, we got condoms attached to the local abortion clinic flyer. We also had a daycare for students at my high school in the early 80's, my very favorite elective class was daycare(child care 101).

dbmamaz
04-10-2011, 04:29 PM
Cara....I think I know the family with the Alpacas....how weird is that?! We are half a country away from each other and we know the same people.
Yeah, i'm always worrying i'll be too open with something and get myself in some trouble . . . sigh . . . but yes, thats funny! Oh, wait, they used to live in tx . .. hmmm . . .

rumbledolly
04-10-2011, 08:00 PM
I only know one family that gave up on HS'ing but it was because the kids begged (actually BEGGED is more like it) to please let them attend PS. The oldest son, late teens now and out of school, was never allowed to make friends, watch tv, those sorts of things. The poor guy finally got his parents to let him get a pt job and I think he got a real lesson on what goes on in the outside world both good and bad. The middle child, teenage girl, same issues - parents would not let her do anything without them around and everything was centered around the church. She loves PS. The third, much younger child (age 10 I believe) is so painfully shy that PS has been a struggle but it's getting better. They are much happier now though all of them were years behind academically at least according to the school district standards. Luckily they all loved to read and scored at or above grade average so they don't really stand out.

I found out after the fact there was some real deep issues in the home. The dad was very very religious but of the mind-bending manner. The older kids had glimpses of the what the real world was like and wanted to experience some of it but when your dad says you can't go to the library because all non-christian books are the work of the devil, you know there are problems. His wife has been ill on and off for years. Come to find out he's very abusive and she's had various restraining orders against him. But he keeps worming his way back in saying things about it being God's will or some such thing.

I do know of one family who HS'ed because mom couldn't get out of bed in the morning to get them to the bus stop. Luckily the oldest daughter, who was 12 at the time was extremely bright and she taught her younger siblings while mom drank tea, slept, or watched tv in bed.

Teri
04-10-2011, 09:11 PM
No, I am certain it is the same family. The youngest was in my cub scout den. ;)

Greenmother
04-10-2011, 09:29 PM
To all that--WOW!

laundrycrisis
04-10-2011, 11:31 PM
I don't see what is so great about the socialization in public schools. Your kids are forced into classes with 25 to 35 kids {some places may even have more} they learn a sort of herd mentality. Their entire day is devoted mostly to busy work and crowd control, they learn to be trained to everything by the bell {trained! yuck!} Meanwhile in order to fit into this Lord of the Flies pecking order that exists at every school I have seen, they have to reject their parent's love and wisdom and that of many adults. The exceptions being when they are older, that "cool" older guy with the sports car who deals drugs. Meanwhile all the really big important life decisions are based on the *experience and *wisdom of children. They hide their feelings on sex, drugs, friendship, bullying, alcohol, or anything else they experiment with or are confronted with--from YOU. Because somewhere between Kindergarten and the 3rd grade they learn that they must be self sufficient and be inborn with all of the answers to everyone , or else they are a mommy's or a daddys [girl or boy] and will be constantly ridiculed publicly.

Add to that the abstinence only courses, and ham handed attempts by law enforcement to keep them out of drugs and gangs and you have the perfect storm for failure and Near Death Experiences for a large percentage of these kids.

!!!! Where is the hat off, bowing scraping the ground, YEAH THAT smiley ? Dang this is GOOD. Can I put it on my fridge ? :cool:

archibael
04-11-2011, 01:41 AM
Exactly. Greenmother has elucidated my opinions of public school socialization BRILLIANTLY.

Ariadne
04-11-2011, 11:31 PM
I don't see what is so great about the socialization in public schools. Your kids are forced into classes with 25 to 35 kids {some places may even have more} they learn a sort of herd mentality. Their entire day is devoted mostly to busy work and crowd control, they learn to be trained to everything by the bell {trained! yuck!} Meanwhile in order to fit into this Lord of the Flies pecking order that exists at every school I have seen, they have to reject their parent's love and wisdom and that of many adults. The exceptions being when they are older, that "cool" older guy with the sports car who deals drugs. Meanwhile all the really big important life decisions are based on the *experience and *wisdom of children. They hide their feelings on sex, drugs, friendship, bullying, alcohol, or anything else they experiment with or are confronted with--from YOU. Because somewhere between Kindergarten and the 3rd grade they learn that they must be self sufficient and be inborn with all of the answers to everyone , or else they are a mommy's or a daddys [girl or boy] and will be constantly ridiculed publicly.

Add to that the abstinence only courses, and ham handed attempts by law enforcement to keep them out of drugs and gangs and you have the perfect storm for failure and Near Death Experiences for a large percentage of these kids.Dang, woman. Bravo.