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View Full Version : At another crossroads.



crazymama
06-04-2010, 11:21 AM
I guess I need to start this with some background info. My oldest son went to PS for K and 1st grades. We brought him home for 2nd and he was home until Feb of this year (his 5th grade year). I sent him back, simply because he and I do not get along. Our personalities clash quite frequently. Sending him back was a hard decision, one I cried over quite a few times before I did it, and one I cried very hard over after it was done.

Well, the public school year is coming to a close. Next Friday is his last. I really would love to bring him back home, there are soooo many things I hate about public school.. including the new attitude he has picked up along with the cursing that now frequently flies out of his mouth. I hate having to follow their schedule, I miss the days of being able to take vacation in April and counting it as school.. and he's only been there a few months..lol.

In the time he has been back in PS, things seem to have calmed down between us some. I'm trying to work on learning how to communicate with him, and trying to control my own temper (which is short most of the time, esp with him). We had a discussion the other night about him coming back home. He sounds like he wants to, my husband doesn't think it's a good idea because he said he hated coming home before because Garrett and I would have spent the day at each other's throats and he came home to everyone in a miserable mood. He won't outright tell me not to do it, and he is a strong supporter of homeschooling, but I can see his points in it all. He was trying to talk up public school to Garrett, but really there wasn't much talking up that he could do.. well because our school district sucks..lol. He did try to talk up the fact that he wouldn't be so lost when at scouts the kids were talking about what happened at school, but then there is one other boy in his scouts troop that goes to a different school, and usually the things they discuss are things that they didn't do in school (more like shows they watch like Family Guy and South Park, which we prefer he doesn't watch anyway).

One of Garrett's Reason's for wanting to go to public school next year is friends, he has only made 2, most kids are quite mean to him actually, and I fear what that may bring on in his future. The second reason is that they have computer programming in the middle school where he will go next year.. no big deal, he can learn that here too. The last reason he wants to stay in PS is that I guess they have awards for not getting in trouble?? He is claiming some big things.. like getting a laptop if you go all year without getting in trouble, I said maybe it was more of a perfect attendance thing, but he insists he is right.

I have thought that we could offer a big prize if he truely works hard next year if he stays home.. and he would have to put effort into getting along with me as well.. but I'm sure we could squeeze a laptop for him.. even if it's just a netbook type thing. I'm thinking of a trial run starting in July and going till mid Aug before I decide. I would have to file our affidavit before the 1st day of public school if we were to keep him home next year.

What would you do :)

Snoopy
06-04-2010, 04:48 PM
Wow, Sommer, it's a tough one. First off, I wouldn't bribe him to homeschool. It won't work in the end, one of you will end up resentful and you'll be back to square one. Maybe he could earn it, though, by completing certain courses and assignments/projects that you would designate that would be centered around computer science? If he is serious about that interest, then it would be a great tool for him and for his future development. But if he only wants it because he wants to get on Facebook and YouTube and Hulu (like my older kids!), then I would question the need for a laptop at that young of an age. Just my 2 cents.

If his only reason for wanting to go to school is to get the laptop then I would counter by talking to him about opportunities for him to do things that he would be interested in doing at home, by sharing your plans for him to be around other kids if he were to be homeschooled (computer club at the library or a local Science museum maybe? or could he take the computer class at the middle school as a homeschooler?), field trips you could take, what improvements you would make to your own behavior so you don't blow up like you did the first time. It's hard to re-establish this confidence when a past experience was bad.

I really feel for you because I had a similar situation where I pulled my middle son out of 4th grade and homeschooled him through 5th grade and it was the absolute worst time for the both of us. He went back to p.s. and I don't like the attitude that he has picked up either but I think a big part of it is his personality anyway (he likes being the class clown and the center of attention, which is why homeschooling just didn't appeal to him at all). I do not let my kids watch South Park and shows like these but their dad lets them (my 3 oldest live with him half the time) and it's hard to hear the stuff that comes out of their mouths that I constantly have to correct (all the comments about something being retarded or gay or whatever expression they use nowadays). Sometimes I think that it would be easier if I would homeschool all my kids but I know it'd actually be much harder, especially seeing that they have been "out there" so they would all need to be deprogrammed. I also have no patience so we clashed a lot and life wasn't happy. I'm actually happy to let mine stay in p.s. He's getting good grades although I have to deal with complaints from the teachers much more than I would like, playing in band, having an active social life. There are few secular homeschoolers around here and even less of his age range so Mr. Popular (in his own head) would be miserable at home.

Sorry I can't help you more. Good luck with everything!

jessicalb
06-05-2010, 09:35 AM
I guess I'd look at it more from a need standpoint than a want standpoint. Where will his emotional, physical, and educational needs be best met? If the answer is at home, he comes home whether he wants to or not. I don't think a big shiny prize is a good idea, but I do think that kids having their own computers is a huge help. I might just get him a computer of some kind right away, with fun use contingent on a good attitude and work ethic during school, whether he is at home or in building-school.

The kiddo's computer saves me on days when I just don't have the time to do school. I can assign him an hour here, and hour there on various websites and he is happy as anything to not have to do anything handwritten. :)

Snoopy
06-05-2010, 11:05 AM
(computer club at the library or a local Science museum maybe? or could he take the computer class at the middle school as a homeschooler Sommer, HomeschoolBuyers' Co-op just sent an email about a Group Buy they're having for a Computer Programming course for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers. Details are here (https://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org/index.php?option=com_hsbc_epp_order&Itemid=1006).

Topsy
06-05-2010, 11:34 AM
Sommer,

Even though I haven't been in your shoes at all, I can sense your uncertainty and concern about your son's best interest. Personally, I tend to like to give my kids as much input as possible on their education. I was actually in the opposite boat when my younger son was in 2nd/3rd grade and I felt like (because he was such a loner) that he needed more social interaction. I REALLY wanted him to go to school for those two years, and he REALLY begged not to. I eventually just listened hard to his reasoning, and followed his instincts, and I think now it was probably for the best. I also wouldn't hesitate taking things HALF a year at a time. You could put him in school and then re-evaluate things at mid-year, to see where you both are, and what you are feeling at that point. Wishing you all the best as you make these difficult decisions...

Topsy

hjdong
06-05-2010, 01:02 PM
I think you've gotten some good advice. I would just add in that this year, DS and I have been at each other's throats more than usual.It reminded me very much of him being 3 again. Now, things seem to be calming down (thankfully). Kids do go through different stages, different needs and as Topsy said, it's fine to re-evaluate.

Firefly_Mom
06-06-2010, 07:32 PM
I know of some other families that have had similiar (thought not identical) experiences to yours. Some sent their kids back to ps, and some tried to get "creative" (for lack of a better term) with how they handled their homeschooling. The families that kept homeschooling did things where their kids became accountable to somebody else for their work. Think co-ops, umbrella schools, homeschool classes, etc. Some found that their kids were more than willing to do the work under somebody elses direction. Kind of like when you hear that your housework-hating kid offered to do the dishes at a friend's house ;) This meant a time/driving commitment from the parents, but they argue that the reduction of stress and fighting was well worth the extra time out of their schedule.

crazymama
06-06-2010, 08:01 PM
Thanks for all the input.

I still have no definate answer and don't expect to any time soon. Maybe by mid August I will have a definate decision (or I will have to anyway..lol).

I have done lots of thinking, and I do know that some of the issues we had rested on my own actions. The kid and I are simply at each other's throat all the time.. and like firefly said I kind of need to take myself out of the equation a bit. Where we live they don't have things like co-ops, or even homeschooling groups. Homeschooling here is pretty rare, so we lack some of the ammenities available where homeschooling is a popular thing. That said, last year we started out with a workbox system... and it was working for us really well.... but here is where my issues come to play... I got very lazy about it and that is when things took a crap.

I know if we are going to make this work (which right now is my plan, but if by the end of summer I'm ready to downright kill him he will have to go back to PS without a doubt), I have to put in my full effort. I will have to plan at least a day ahead (I'm a big fan of planning... I love to do it, but then I never follow through so I just give up on planning all together), I will have to have his schoolwork stuff and household chores ready and waiting for him first thing in the morning. I will have to make sure I check it as soon as it is done to make sure he has completed it to my satisfaction (not really grading things, but making sure the pages are done and the chores are done and not just made to look done) and then he will have the rest of the day to do his own thing.

jessicalb
06-06-2010, 08:53 PM
One thing that has really helped us is lists. Alex has a list to do each morning, with his basic hygiene, morning tasks, instrument practice, all that. That list is the same every day. Then he has a daily school list that changes each day. I make a week's worth of lists every Sunday night.

I really try to make him responsible for the tasks on the list and remove myself from the equation. I don't have to ask 13 times if he's cleared his breakfast dishes, brushed his teeth, etc. I just ask if his list is done. It removes a lot of that potential for conflict.

I really, really love to plan, so I look forward to my Sundays when I get to take an hour or two, look over where he is, look ahead to what we will study, find activities, all that. It's a treat. :)

crazymama
06-07-2010, 09:51 AM
Jessica, I need to follow your lead and plan the week out on Sunday evening.

I guess my hubby keeps pushing Garrett to stay in PS when I'm not around, I think he knows that if Garrett says he want's to stay in PS that I will drop it. But I am sure Garrett wants to come home... I just need to know his real reasons... I have a feeling it's because he wants to be lazy again (I think he gets that trait from me :( )

dbmamaz
06-11-2010, 04:56 PM
I have to say its hard for me to understand home schooling a child who doesnt want it. I am only homeschoooling becuase my kids were BEGGING for it. I dont like it much, i'd much rather be working! But my kids really couldnt function in public school at all. So if it was me, I'd be all for letting him go to school as long as its what he wants. He knows he has options, so school isnt a prison for him, its just a choice.

jessicalb
06-11-2010, 08:37 PM
For some families, homeschooling is the best possible environment for their kids. If my kid didn't want to be homeschooled that would be too bad. I know it's the best thing for him and as the mom, I make those kinds of decisions.