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  1. #1

    Unhappy Ugh. Trying to make difficult decisions for the fall.

    So for several months, we've been working toward DS heading back to public school in the fall (7th grade). It was going to be a hard push this summer to get his writing skills up to grade level, but he and I were willing to do it. He's been looking forward to running on the cross country team and joining the chorus, etc. Also, between our rural location and my introversion, he's lonely. There aren't many HS groups in the area, although there is a very nice secular group about 25 miles away (but those miles are in the opposite direction from most other things we do).

    Well here we are, ready to fill out the forms to send him back this fall, and he's having second thoughts. He's worried that the kids won't like him (he isn't the easiest kid to get along with, so his concerns aren't unfounded), and that the workload will be too much for him. Also, he saw our older DD have to do some really dumb busywork-type projects in PS near the end of the school year, and I dread him trying to convince himself to bother with that sort of crap after having done virtually no projects for 3 years.

    Anyway, all this to say, I'm struggling with whether to try to convince him to give public school a real try (I'm tired, and disorganized and not very good at making him learn anything and my house is a mess, and did I mention that I'm tired?), or just wash our hands of it all right away and start shopping for a curriculum that requires less of me? Or wishing for my own ability to get my ADHD self put together enough to be a good mentor for him?

    If you read this far, thanks. I wish this sort of thing were easier for me to figure out. I was mostly just typing in a need to process things out loud. My husband is great, but he works outside the house, and doesn't exactly understand what our days are like here.
    Robin,
    working-at-home mother of two.
    homeschooling the 11yo boy.
    the girl is 14 (8th grade) and loves her public school.
    they are very very different kids.

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  3. #2

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    First of all, hugs. I've not been in your situation (even though we re-evaulated every year, the kids never wanted to return to ps), but I have several friends who have. Is it possible to have him agree to try it for a year, or a semester? It's not an all or nothing decision. He could always return to homeschooling. Maybe the extracurricular activities will make up for the busy work??

    ETA: He's old enough to discuss the fact that there are positives and negatives in every situation. Right now, the positives of hsing is individualized instruction, but one of the negatives is loneliness. A positive of ps is more potential friends, cross country, and choir (and for YOU accountability to other adults). Negatives are busy-work, kids who are jerks, and potential struggling on subjects he may be behind on. He and you need to hash these out.
    Last edited by inmom; 05-26-2016 at 02:51 PM.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

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    I think inmom has a good suggestion regarding trying school with the option of leaving if is isn't working out.

    We are dealing with some of the same issues and I am wondering if it would be better for my kids to go to PS. But at this point, they've decided to wait until high school (and my son thinks he may want to home school through HS). Last year, a few weeks prior to the start of school my daughter wanted to go to PS and I talked her out of going to the middle school. I sort of regret it...she had valid reasons for wanting to go. So, now I feel like I'd better step it up for 7th and 8th grade. We may need to change our unschooling ways.

    My children want to go to school partly to meet more children. They had a nice little group of HS friends (7 children - mine are two of them, and two are going to school next year.) They have a few friends in school but those children have little time to get together because of school, activities, and homework. My children also think they would work harder if they have to account to someone other than me and if there is some pressure to keep up with the other students. I completely withdraw from competition so I don't know how that will actually work out for them.

    Anyway, where are you located in IL? Any chance it is the Chicago area? We are in IN, but would be willing to drive to meet. My son would love to meet another 11yo home schooled boy. (We live in an area where most HS'er are religious and not open to non-religious families.)
    Last edited by dbsam; 05-26-2016 at 03:23 PM. Reason: fix wonky grammar
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
    Anyway, where are you located in IL? Any chance it is the Chicago area? We are in IN, but would be willing to drive to meet. My son would love to meet another 11yo home schooled boy. (We live in an area where most HS'er are religious and not open to non-religious families.)
    We're downstate, between Peoria and Bloomington.
    Robin,
    working-at-home mother of two.
    homeschooling the 11yo boy.
    the girl is 14 (8th grade) and loves her public school.
    they are very very different kids.

  6. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by inmom View Post
    First of all, hugs. I've not been in your situation (even though we re-evaulated every year, the kids never wanted to return to ps), but I have several friends who have. Is it possible to have him agree to try it for a year, or a semester? It's not an all or nothing decision. He could always return to homeschooling. Maybe the extracurricular activities will make up for the busy work??

    ETA: He's old enough to discuss the fact that there are positives and negatives in every situation. Right now, the positives of hsing is individualized instruction, but one of the negatives is loneliness. A positive of ps is more potential friends, cross country, and choir (and for YOU accountability to other adults). Negatives are busy-work, kids who are jerks, and potential struggling on subjects he may be behind on. He and you need to hash these out.
    We have talked about the pros & cons, and ours looks very close to yours. And I have explained that if he starts school again, it's not necessarily forever. But he's prone to anxiety (and a smidge of depression, we think), and its difficult for him to think about things logically, and not let the fear do all the talking.

    On the other hand, if his anxiety isn't under control before we start school, then I *know* it will go poorly. That's why we brought him home in the first place.
    Robin,
    working-at-home mother of two.
    homeschooling the 11yo boy.
    the girl is 14 (8th grade) and loves her public school.
    they are very very different kids.

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Norm Deplume View Post
    We're downstate, between Peoria and Bloomington.
    oh...too far to drive for a get together!
    homeschooled 4th through 8th grade - currently in public high school 10th grade
    Dumplett (girl - age 15) and Wombat (boy - age 15)

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
    oh...too far to drive for a get together!
    boo!
    Robin,
    working-at-home mother of two.
    homeschooling the 11yo boy.
    the girl is 14 (8th grade) and loves her public school.
    they are very very different kids.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Evolved
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    Read thru that far Norm and got no advice, sorry. Tough one. Hmmm...Maybe - can you imagine a workable plan/changes that might really result in less loneliness/less burden on you? If you can figure out some actions that might help those issues, you could try it...until whatever date y'all decide on, if it's not working, go to school - second semester/next year, whatever.

    Or you could do the same with going to school. Set a date...evaluate once he's tried it?

    Tough decisions, though. Especially trying to figure out whether it'd be best to trust your son's instincts or whether you should not let his anxiety tendencies rule this decision...

  10. #9

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    He's 7th grade right? Or will be? That is not an easy age to be moving to public school, but it isn't the worst. However, it sounds like one of the biggest issues is the work on you. At 7th grade, he can probably be making a whole lot more of his own curriculum decisions and deadlines.

    Why not do a try-it-out? Say, until Christmas? If he absolutely hates it, can't handle it, then at Christmas, bring him home. That will give you a bit of a break, let him try it out, but perhaps with less pressure?

  11. #10
    Senior Member Arrived Avalon's Avatar
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    Sometimes it's just too big a decision for kids to actually make themselves. I try to let my kids make a lot of their own choices, but if it looks like it's too hard for them, I tell them that I will decide. I'll take their opinions under consideration, but as the parent, the final decision is mine. Once the decision is made, there's no more waffling. (honestly, I do tonnes of waffling, but I don't tell that to the kids. They don't need to know.) We can re-visit a decision after a reasonable trial period is over, but no more waffling.

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Ugh. Trying to make difficult decisions for the fall.