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Laina
04-05-2012, 12:42 PM
It's spring, and I feel that I need to make a decision about next year. This was our first year homeschooling, sort of a trial year, and I knew it was a year-by-year decision from the start. I am leaning toward continuing homeschool but still not 100% sure. I have a visit to the public school scheduled next week to get an idea of what it would be like for dd to go to second grade there.

For the most part, we've had a successful year. Though I had moments when the whining and negative attitudes got to me, overall I have good kids who usually manage to muster up some enthusiasm eventually. Both kids got to participate in new activities, and we established a small circle of good homeschooling friends that I would hate to say goodbye to now. DD says she wants to continue homeschooling (forever!)--she is not one to love structured time and being told what to do, so it does suit her personality. I have become somewhat addicted to planning curriculum. My younger son loves having his sister around and would likely be bored without her (he doesn't even start K until fall of 2013, and even then it would be half-day). Also we're hoping to move away from our current city in a year or two, so I would hate to get DD established and then pull her out again to start anew elsewhere.

BUT, on the other hand, school is tempting. I have no time to myself to go to the gym, get a haircut, etc. We can't afford childcare and have no family nearby. I have to work pt from home, which means all my spare time is spent working, and I am sometimes stressing about getting work done during the school day. DD would do well in school--I'm sure she would make friends and do fine learning there. I could put DS in a longer preschool program to get my work done, and feel more rested and "present" when with my family. Also the process of trying to sell the house, fix it up, etc. will certainly be hard to do on top of everything else. I don't want to shortchange DD on her education because of these other pressures on me. And I can't shake the feeling maybe there is something she is "missing out" on--(I know, I know).

Anyone else going through this decision? Or has anyone tried ps after homeschooling and have any advice for me? Thanks so much. It's helped to write it out.

Avalon
04-05-2012, 01:02 PM
If the joys of homeschooling weren't compelling enough reasons, I would still keep her home, at least until you had two kids in school. If she goes to school, you will still have a 4yo to entertain. With the oldest around, they must play together sometimes, giving you a break? That's how it always was with my two. When one of them isn't around, it's worse for me because now the other one needs all my attention.

Also, don't forget that when kids are in school, they still take up a lot of time with homework, packing lunches, getting them there, volunteering, etc... You may not really end up with very much time for yourself.

How supportive is your husband? If he really believes in homeschooling, maybe he can arrange things so that you do get a break once in a while. I am lucky that my dh thinks homeschooling is the best thing since sliced bread and wouldn't have it any other way, so he is very helpful about whatever I need.

farrarwilliams
04-05-2012, 01:39 PM
From things I hear, school isn't always relax making for parents - remember that if you do send them, you'll have to be on an inflexible schedule and deal with school bureaucracy and fundraising stuff. Plus, your kids are only going to get more independent. A 7 and 5 yo is going to be easier than 6 and 4 for virtually every family.

For me though, it wouldn't be any contest. The reasons we homeschool trump other stuff. But I also manage to get me time to be less harried. Can you look for ways to build that into your routine?

baker
04-05-2012, 01:50 PM
I feel the same way at times...I miss my alone time! But, as the kids are a bit older I can take them with me to the dentist, hair salon, etc and give them something to keep them occupied. I had my kids in private school and the fundraising, meetings, commute really adds up (time and money). Our public schools are not an option. I also think the kids having a few friends that you know is better than lots of friends that you don't know. I know my dd is very susceptible to peer influence - I cannot imagine what a nightmare it would be if she were in ps.

Accidental Homeschooler
04-05-2012, 02:56 PM
Maybe the visit to the school will provide some clarity. Even if you decide that you have too much going on the next school year to make hsing the best choice for your family, it doesn't mean ps has to be a permanent. You could decide to go back to hsing when you move if you aren't happy with how school works. I am not trying to tell you to pick school, just that I think flexibility and choices are good and that it is ok to change paths if you need to. I have a friend here who has a dd with Aspergers and at different points they have done ps, private school and homeschooling. I thought it sounded very chaotic and inconsistent at first, but it has worked for their situation and their dd is doing really well. We started with ps and when that did not work we got a lot of feedback to stay the course, don't "give up" on school, like it was some sort of failure on our part or our kids' that we did not make ps "work". It turned out that hsing was the better path for us at the time. Good luck with your decision!

Laina
04-05-2012, 02:59 PM
If the joys of homeschooling weren't compelling enough reasons, I would still keep her home, at least until you had two kids in school. If she goes to school, you will still have a 4yo to entertain. With the oldest around, they must play together sometimes, giving you a break? That's how it always was with my two. When one of them isn't around, it's worse for me because now the other one needs all my attention.

I'm kinda thinking the same thing. If and when they go to school, it should be in a place we will plan to remain and the two could start together--like when DS starts K and DD starts 3rd. They do keep each other entertained a lot of the time. DH is supportive of whatever I decide. I wouldn't say he is gung-ho about homeschooling, but he sees the benefits. I think he'd like to have more of me, and he wants to give me time I need, but the problem is the time always goes to me catching up on my work. Thanks so much.

Laina
04-05-2012, 03:00 PM
From things I hear, school isn't always relax making for parents - remember that if you do send them, you'll have to be on an inflexible schedule and deal with school bureaucracy and fundraising stuff. Plus, your kids are only going to get more independent. A 7 and 5 yo is going to be easier than 6 and 4 for virtually every family.

For me though, it wouldn't be any contest. The reasons we homeschool trump other stuff. But I also manage to get me time to be less harried. Can you look for ways to build that into your routine?

True that they will keep getting older. I think you're right I need to find a way to get more time to myself routinely.

crkirby
04-05-2012, 03:37 PM
I have an 8yo and a 5yo, but what I do, in order to get some "me" time, is the girls have a mandatory "quiet time" from roughly 1-2pm every day. This is just where they go to their room, and they MUST stay on their beds. They don't have to go to sleep (they can read, or draw)....this also gives them their own "me" time.

Then, we also have movie time, where the girls get to watch one of their movies (this is the only time they get tv time), so that it time I typically spend doing housechores or preparing for dinner, whatever.

Laina
04-05-2012, 03:40 PM
I also think the kids having a few friends that you know is better than lots of friends that you don't know. I know my dd is very susceptible to peer influence - I cannot imagine what a nightmare it would be if she were in ps.

Great point! And I'm happy DD has found a few homeschooled friends. I just wish I didn't have to be social every time she was social. Sometimes I like hanging out and talking to other moms, but it just seems like I have to do it all the time just so DD can get her social time in! It tires me out!

MarkInMD
04-05-2012, 05:10 PM
There's always an opportunity cost when you make a decision. One path taken means forgoing things on the other path. Personally, I'd ditto what others are saying, especially about the inflexible schedule (been there done that with one in and one out -- sucks). Give it some thought about how you can carve out time for yourself and see what comes up. It may take awhile, but I'd be surprised if there wasn't some sort of opportunity. Maybe if you get on a trusting relationship with other parents in your HSing circle, you can trade babysitting days every once in a while. We've done that.

Make the choice that's right for you, though. You're there in it, so you'll know best.

WindSong
04-05-2012, 06:44 PM
We started homeschooling after my dd's first grade year in ps. Up to that point she had 2 years of pre-K and K under her belt, and had loved school and done well. But we noticed a huge change in her during her first grade year at ps. She was no longer her happy, funny, social, and spontaneous self. It's like she shut down that year. She was a completely different person. In retrospect, we know the reasons behind her change, but the point I wanted to make was that ps changed her. We are still trying to get the essence of her back. Even if your dd would do well academically, what about her spirit? She will be conforming to social norms as well as school rules, which can cause some children to lose their identity. Maybe she would do just fine- just something to consider. You know your dd best.

We also don't have any family near us that we can rely on for support. I understand how difficult that is. We do have some good friends that we rely on for sleepover exchanges. That has been wonderful for quality time with dh. Do you have any friends that you know well enough to take turns hosting sleepovers? As far as working from home, maybe you could hire a college student to come in once a week to take care of the kids while you got some work done? Or maybe once a week you could take turns hosting playdates with your hs friends so that you could focus on work? It's a tough decision, I know. I have had the same thoughts recently about sending ds to ps. It sounds like the main conflict lies in your having predictable and guatanteed time carved out for you to work. If that issue went away, would you still be conflicted about hs'ing?

Good luck, Laina, in whatever you decide. :)

Laina
04-05-2012, 08:28 PM
Mark, Windsong, everyone--thank you for such thoughtful responses. I love this board. I guess working is the biggest issue. I'll let you know how the school visit goes. If nothing else it will satisfy my curiosity.

Laina
04-10-2012, 05:02 PM
Just wanted to update you. We toured the school today. We will continue homeschooling.

I'm so glad we visited so I could see for myself that this is not the best choice for my daughter.

Stella M
04-10-2012, 06:46 PM
One of my daughters is in ps after homeschooling K-6. It's true, school is not relaxing. But it's also true that I enjoy the way my work is spread out now - the school day for elder dd and ds, afternoon for helping younger dd with school type stuff. I feel like I work just as hard but the day is more orderly.

I'm wondering whether you might feel this way with your p/t work.

We've never really been a sleep late family...so being on a school routine doesn't bother me all that much.

So i guess what I am saying is I find it OK for my daughter to be at school, and while there are 'issues', there were issues at home to, and I prefer things this way for now.

Don't forget my dd is 12 though :)

If you do decide to send them back, it's very helpful to establish a strong relationship with the principal and realise that part of what school will involve is a degree of advocacy that may be out of step with what other parents see as their role. At least, that's been my experience and it's helped us get some good outcomes for dd.

good luck with making your mind up!

Stella M
04-10-2012, 06:48 PM
Oops, should have read all the way down!

Well, on the other hand, I am very happy having my 8 year old at home and not at school, where I wouldn't send him in a pink fit...so, awesome decision!

Laina
04-10-2012, 07:43 PM
Oops, should have read all the way down!

Well, on the other hand, I am very happy having my 8 year old at home and not at school, where I wouldn't send him in a pink fit...so, awesome decision!

Thanks, Stella! What's a pink fit?

Stella M
04-10-2012, 11:22 PM
Oh, it's just a way of phrasing the sentiment - I wouldn't do it under any circumstances :)

SunnyDays
04-15-2012, 06:29 PM
Glad that you were able to make a decision that brings you peace. I also struggle with "me" time and having personal space, but I know that school is not the right choice for our family right now. There are too many benefits of homeschooling, and too many downsides, for us, to return to public school right now. I remind myself that this is one of life's many seasons, and that I should enjoy it while it lasts, but also remember the next one will arrive before we know it!!