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Laina
06-06-2011, 09:43 PM
Today, kind of out of the blue, Lou started crying and said "Why do you want me to homeschool?" We've been talking about homeschooling for a while, and she does like the idea usually, but she doesn't want to close the door on the idea of going to first grade with her friends either.

This conversation really shook me up. She's having so much fun at half-day K right now--hatching chicks, growing tadpoles, practicing songs for the end-of-year concert. I hate thinking I may be taking her out of something good.

Now I'm questioning all my motives again.....

I think the gnawing questions I have inside are...will she like homeschooling? will she resent not having a typical school experience? I know nothing but time can answer these questions, but I can't shake them.

KristinK
06-06-2011, 09:51 PM
it's hard. But remember that ALOT of that stuff is super easy to do at home. We just collected tadpoles today :D Stuff like singing can still be done if it interests her - we have drama clubs, singing clubs, etc around us - both homeschool groups during the week (although the choir is decidedly Christian) and regular classes at dance studios, etc. You CAN find those things, and she will get so many other experiences with you that she'd miss out on in school.

And honestly, as in all things parenting, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't. LOL. They'll miss some things, and gain other things, if they're in school. they'll miss some things, and gain other things, if they're at home. Personally, for me, developing the family relationship is more important than developing the school-friend relationships...

hugs though. it's hard. my eldest tells people I won't "let" her go to school, and makes it sound like a punishment.

Laina
06-06-2011, 10:07 PM
Thanks--I needed to hear this right now!

lilypoo
06-06-2011, 11:54 PM
FWIW, full-day first grade is typically a very different world from half-day K. Especially since it sounds like she got pretty lucky with her K teacher. ;) If you did send her on to first at school, for all you know she could end up unhappy anyway because it won't be like K. First was a huge shock for my oldest. K was tolerable and she did have some fun and made lots of friends (although she often was worn out and grumpy when I picked her up). First was a nightmare and second wasn't better and we pulled her the end of that year. I agree with Kristin though...especially with so many things unknown, there's always going to a balance of pros and cons to weigh.

farrarwilliams
06-07-2011, 12:02 AM
By the end of first grade, most places don't have time to grow tadpoles or sing songs. They're too busy sitting, lining up, getting ready for standardized tests that are way down the road. Even having the option of half day kindy is very unusual these days. Even in the best of school systems, within another year or two at most, things will be very different in terms of the sort of learning the kids are doing.

My advice is to get some homeschool friends or a group as quickly as you can if there are any to be had. Or to make some clear out of school ties with a couple of good friends so you can keep seeing them in the future.

I think if you start wondering if a kid will eventually resent your decisions, then you can make yourself crazy with questioning everything. She might resent you one day for not choosing homeschooling. You can't know. All you can do is make the decisions you think are best.

Pilgrim
06-07-2011, 12:38 AM
I can relate Laina. Though both kids say they're excited to HS, DS's preK program has been very good for him. I am trying to remind myself there will be bumps along the road but no more than there are in PS. Hopefully fewer. :)

MarkInMD
06-07-2011, 05:22 AM
We had something sort of similar happen. We almost pulled Hurricane before the start of first grade, but a month or so before the school year started, we went over the pros and cons with him, and when we mentioned that he wouldn't see his school friends as much, he decided he wanted to stay in PS. So we did so, and he went through his entire first grade year. As stated above, he saw that first grade was fairly different from kindergarten, although for the most part he still liked it, and he fit in well with his class. So we figured okay, guess we're sticking with PS. Second grade started, and now the kids are starting to subtly recognize that Hurricane's different. He talks about stuff they have no interest in, the fact that he sits at his own desk pulled up next to the lunch table because of food allergies is becoming a barrier to interaction, etc. Now he starts realizing that the downsides of PS are outweighing the upsides. So at the end of the first quarter of that year, we pulled him out. He hasn't wanted to go back since then, and we ask frequently.

Long story short: A child that small probably can't recognize the wisdom of your motives as regards the future. We suspected things like what happened to him would come, and they did, but we prevented the blows to his self-esteem from coming before they got too harsh. I'm not sure what reasons you have for wanting to homeschool, but I imagine that many are similar to ours (the reason I mention here isn't the only one). Trust me (and everyone else here) when we say that you know what's best for her, because you know her better than anyone else. If HS feels right to you, then you should do it. No decision is ever 100% perfect in every way. We as parents just sometimes have to jump into the pool and swim.

OrganicFrmGrl
06-07-2011, 08:29 AM
Long story short: A child that small probably can't recognize the wisdom of your motives as regards the future. We suspected things like what happened to him would come, and they did, but we prevented the blows to his self-esteem from coming before they got too harsh. I'm not sure what reasons you have for wanting to homeschool, but I imagine that many are similar to ours (the reason I mention here isn't the only one). Trust me (and everyone else here) when we say that you know what's best for her, because you know her better than anyone else. If HS feels right to you, then you should do it. No decision is ever 100% perfect in every way. We as parents just sometimes have to jump into the pool and swim.

Well put MarkInMD!

Laina-Right now it sounds like your child is having a great experience, which we all know will be short lived in PS! When I pulled my son out of PS, we sat down and came up with a list of things that he would like to do while being HS'd. It gave him a little control which he likes! Yes, your child may come up with some crazy things but, most will be something that you can work into your curriculum. With the friends, we made a deal that we would always make sure he could see his school friends, whether its meeting at the park or spending the night at each others houses, and we have kept that deal!

Unfortunately, I really don't have a choice about sending my son back to PS because it is horrible here. My son is 8 and he is starting to understand that when he realizes what his friends are doing in school and compares it to what he is doing. We have made a deal with him that if he is still into sports when he reaches 9th grade, then he can go to High School so he can play.

I hope everything works out for you and your family...it is a hard decision!

Pilgrim
06-07-2011, 08:43 AM
As EE did, we are talking a lot with the kids about things they want to do and learn. Sign language, horseback riding (again), drum lessons, worms...we're giving them a lot of control. We've also assured them plenty of play dates with friends from PS.

Good luck Laina (are you still going with MBTP?)

Laina
06-07-2011, 09:27 AM
Thanks, everyone. My resolve is strong--I think comments like the one yesterday just hit all my insecurities. It is hard to be a parent and be responsible for making all kinds of choices that will shape someone else's life. I do need to remember not to listen to a six-year-old whose opinions change constantly ("I hate dance! I never want to go again!" then one hour later "I love dance! I want to stay here forever!"). I will definitely make sure we follow her interests and inclinations and try to keep up with her ps friends. It will help that she is going to be in the same girl scout troop next year so she has some consistency there.

Pilgrim, I'm going to do FIAR next year along with a couple other things. But I really like the sound of MBTP and may move to that for dd's second grade year.

I am so excited to homeschool! I hope and think my kids will love it too. Sometimes I worry that I am kind of building a little hs bubble though, by reading all the hs forums and books, the way a political or religious convert just reads the media that confirms their one fringe belief system :)

bibiche
06-07-2011, 10:48 AM
Does she have any friends who homeschool? DS goes to a half day K this year (because I thought it would be everything I would do at home with better resources and children to play with -- it was far from that, but that's another story...) but many of his friends are homeschoolers that we've met through local groups and in classes, so I think the transition to HS won't be a big deal. Maybe if she doesn't currently know many homeschoolers you can make sure she meets some other HS children so that she will see how happy they are and that she is not the only one.

DS is very much on board with HS, but I still make sure to point out -- particularly since his K teachers are making a big deal of discussing which school each child will go to next year to "ease the transition" -- that next year he will get to play with his other HS friends whenever, that if he wants to work longer on a project that interests him he can, if he wants to spend all day at a museum one day or stay up late one night and sleep late the next day, he can. I've made very sure to let him know that he will have a lot of control over what we do next year. Does your DD have any strong interests that you can encourage and that she might not be able to pursue if she were in school? In our case, DS "works" at a farm and is passionate about it, so next year he will be able to work during the school day and not just in the late afternoon. That prospect in itself would have been enough to have him very happily HS even if he weren't otherwise excited about it. I am sure your DD will be very happy to HS. Good luck!

Laina
06-07-2011, 12:16 PM
Does she have any friends who homeschool? DS goes to a half day K this year (because I thought it would be everything I would do at home with better resources and children to play with -- it was far from that, but that's another story...) but many of his friends are homeschoolers that we've met through local groups and in classes, so I think the transition to HS won't be a big deal. Maybe if she doesn't currently know many homeschoolers you can make sure she meets some other HS children so that she will see how happy they are and that she is not the only one.

DS is very much on board with HS, but I still make sure to point out -- particularly since his K teachers are making a big deal of discussing which school each child will go to next year to "ease the transition" -- that next year he will get to play with his other HS friends whenever, that if he wants to work longer on a project that interests him he can, if he wants to spend all day at a museum one day or stay up late one night and sleep late the next day, he can. I've made very sure to let him know that he will have a lot of control over what we do next year. Does your DD have any strong interests that you can encourage and that she might not be able to pursue if she were in school? In our case, DS "works" at a farm and is passionate about it, so next year he will be able to work during the school day and not just in the late afternoon. That prospect in itself would have been enough to have him very happily HS even if he weren't otherwise excited about it. I am sure your DD will be very happy to HS. Good luck!

This is good advice--thank you! Funny, I got a call today from a hs mom with a 6yo daughter. We met at a homeschool gathering a few weeks ago. She invited us and another 6yo my daughter knows and likes (who is also hs) over to play tomorrow. I needed that today :)

She does have interests--mainly bugs/nature. I think we can do a lot with that. That's so cool that your ds works at a farm and is passionate about it. What a great experience.

jessica14
06-09-2011, 02:22 PM
Laina, this is exactly how I have been feeling! We are starting in the late August or September with my two kids. My original motive for pulling them was that I really like to teach and can't teach because I can't get a job. The final blow came when I did not get a leave replacement position that I was very qualified for and someone with no classroom experince did. I also missed being a stay at home Mom. So with HSing, I got the best of everything. But was I selfish?

I realized was that HSing would be a benefit to both my kids-faster pace with DD and slower with DS. My son really feels stressed at school, but also tells me he wants to go to 2nd grade with DD's teacher, who we all love. My daughter, who I thought would want to stay in (we gave her the option), just feels she can learn more and be more challenged at home. But yes, I have been feeling guilty. Am I looking for things not to like? I love the teachers in our school. There isn't really a weak link among them. It's just that they are bound by curriculum that does not allow creativity or anything but reading, writing, math and phonics through 3rd grade. Social Studies had been pretty much abandoned and my DD does not need phonics if she is reading 3 grade levels above. They both did some great things this year. DD is on a Poetry Picnic today at a county park. My DS had fish tanks and plants and mealworms. But I can do all that at home (not the mealworms!). And I also came to the conclusion that I am a creative person/teacher and would never be able to do that with all the "required" books and formats that you have to follow. Not fair to the students or the teachers who may have a unique and better way of doing things. HSing is the answer and I'm sure we will both really enjoy it!

bamagurl
06-13-2011, 05:32 PM
Oh I have those feelings too! Can I do it as a long term thing? Will they learn? How big of a pain is the family (in-laws) going to be? Will my kids end up living under a freeway bridge? Do they really WANT to hs?
And then I think Big Boy will actually learn where the states are. Fourth grade and NO CLUE whatsoever where states other than ours are located? And not even sure that Missouri is a state? Really? And he wants to learn chemistry, so guess what we're doing a whole year of chemistry. Of course he just wants to mix stuff up, but hopefully he'll learn SOMETHING!
And Little Bit wants to learn about animals, so a whole year of life science for him.
And we're never mentioning the word Saxon in our house again. Big Boy has just about been left behind by Saxon math. He needs time to wrap his head around fractions, etc. before a completely different problem set pops up.
So then I think Heck Yeah I can teach them! And the cover school we're using is VERY active, and hopefully they can make some real friends that are good kids. Big Boy has had a hard time making friends, he gets along with almost everybody, he just hasn't bonded with anybody.
So we're jumping in this fall. We're going to do a unit study on weather in late summer and just make sure things go halfway all right. I bought the Intellgo Weather Unit and have ordered some weather posters for decorations.

Laina
06-13-2011, 08:01 PM
Jessica and Bamugurl,

It's good to know other people feel this way. I have days or even moments when the idea seems kind of nuts, and then it passes and I see everything with more clarity and feel so lucky and excited that we have this opportunity.

This week I am feeling much more confident. All of the "fun extras" at ps would just be an average day at homeschool. Today I joined the K class on a trip to the museum and they got to spend only 1.5 hours there (staying with their small group, of course) before being bussed back to school. Lou is back to saying that she wants to be homeschooled (thank goodness), and I bought her a butterfly kit for a K graduation present--take that, tadpoles!

Jessica, we can do poetry picnics every day if we want to!

jessica14
06-15-2011, 04:10 PM
Laina, I'm glad you are feeling better! DD said the poetry picnic was "awesome" so maybe we will do it at home! I have to say, I finished my last official volunteer effort at the school's community festival on Saturday and felt nothing for the school at all. I know everything changed when a new principal came on board and promised all kind of changes that she just didn't deliver on. Some of these effected my son. His teacher had to stand on her head with the principal to get her to grant us remedial reading. It shouldn't have been that way. She's also big into social promotion and honestly, as good a teacher as my son would have had next year, we are doing a lot of 1st over again. So, my guilt has really abslved. At least for this week!

Bamagurl, I if I have difficulty, can my kids come and live under the bridge with your kids? So funny! I get the family thing as well. My parents are afraid that my daughter will not have outside praise because she can't win anymore school contests and prizes. So I looked up homeschool contests and assured her that there are lots of things for her to do if she wishes!

bamagurl
06-15-2011, 10:47 PM
Sure we'll start a bad mother poor kids have to live under freeway bridge because we hsed group! :)