View Full Version : To homeschool, not to homeschool


Gryphonfyre
02-25-16, 02:55 PM
My six-year-old son has been asking for quite some time to be homeschooled. While I realize he is too young to make that decision on his own, I also feel I should at least be contemplating his reasons why and entertaining the thought of homeschooling him.

Pros to homeschooling:

1) My husband, who is deployed right now and has never really spent more than a couple of hours at a time with our son -- not necessarily due to any fault of his own, thinks I should.

2) He's started picking up negative habits -- cursing and saying other foul-mouthed things, for one. I know all kiddos are very impressionable, but I feel that if I homeschool him, I have a better chance of limiting his exposure.

3) He really likes the safety of home, and I think that is the main reason he wants to stay home.

4) Although it could be that he thinks by being homeschooled, when I asked him what he feels his day would be like, he explained that he thinks it would be two hours of school work, 30 minutes of play time, another three to four hours of school work and another 30 minutes of play time. I don't think there would be that much school work involved, but at least he's not coming at this thinking he would be playing all day long with a few minutes of school time.


Cons to homeschooling:

1) I work at home and I go to school full time, so my day is packed full of stuff already, and when he's in school, that gives me some buffer time. Yes, I realize that sounds awful for a parent to say, but he's very challenging for me. He commands my every second, as he has since he was born.

2) Socialization: He has always had a little bit of a difficult time making friends. Being in school and with kiddos already due to proximity and immersion, this has given him at least the opportunity to be face to face with another child, thus making the likelihood of friendship easier -- or at least starting a rapport.

3) I am the one responsible for his education. I don't want to cheat him because I have not gone through college to teach children -- at least not yet -- and I don't want to leave something out. Are there programs for this? That being said, am I to stick him in front of a computer for class time? That just seems very wrong to me that instead of having a teacher in front of him and being surrounded by peers, that I'm putting him in front of a computer, thus, going back to number two above, isolating him and exacerbating social awkwardness even more.

Opinions please? I'm moving out of the school district in less than a week, and although he could still attend the same school because he started there, if I am to start homeschooling, now would be as good a time as any to begin.

TIA

Fuzzy12
02-25-16, 03:05 PM
My honest, extremely biased and extremely ignorant view (I know really nothing about home schooling) is that it might not be the best idea unless you've got very strong reasons to home school him.

I would say the cons that you have mentioned outweigh the pros. I don't think your con point 1 sounds awful at all but very sensible. Also, home schooling him would put quite a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and therefore possibly stress and pressure.

Among, the pros, I don't think point 2 is a big problem and point 1 might only be valid if your husband does part of the home schooling but then he won't be able to do that when he is deployed.

Point 3 is a good point to further investigate. Have you spoken to his teachers?

Point 4 is not really a pro. It just means that home schooling is a feasible option.

I'd speak to his teachers anyway before you make a decision. They might have some interesting inputs.

Again, I know nothing about this but I think, taking a kid out of school is a huge decision and I'd rather err on the side of caution unless you know that going to school for him has real and serious drawbacks that cannot be solved, i.e. drawbacks that are damaging to your son in some way.

Gryphonfyre
02-25-16, 03:29 PM
Thanks, Fuzzy, for your response.

No, I have not spoken to his teachers. He's been that way since he could share his opinion about his interests -- wanting to stay home and not go places more often than not.

I get reports from his teacher on a weekly basis that he talks about how he wants to be homeschooled. Typically, this is after he gets in trouble for something.

I'm just really on the fence about it, in part because I think it would be good for his defiance to have someone else in his life laying down rules for him to follow, as opposed to just mom. Yet, at what point do we listen to our kiddos when they emphatically express through tears that they want to go to school at home?

Fuzzy12
02-25-16, 03:36 PM
I think, I'd definitely talk to his teachers first. Maybe there is something in his school environment that can be changed to make the experience more enjoyable for him.

Also, maybe you could try home schooling over the summer vacation or so to see how it goes? I know you sound NOW is a good time but I wouldn't be too hasty about it (unless he is somehow being damaged by going to school. Is he being bullied maybe??).

Gryphonfyre
02-25-16, 04:19 PM
I don't think so.

It wasn't on a daily basis, but when he was in preschool, he would talk about how someone had hit him on more than one occasion -- long story and MANY heated discussions with teachers who seemingly saw nothing, but I've really put a lot of emphasis on advocating for himself: telling the child to stop, telling the teacher, distancing himself and, if none of those work, defending himself. He's gotten much better about it.

Also, although we don't really talk about it all at once because he needs time to come down from being at school, throughout the afternoon and evening, I ask him every single day how his day was, what he did, what he liked, who he played with, if he had any disagreements with anyone and/or if anyone hurt anyone else. And if he says anything about someone hitting him, I ask him what he did about it. His typical answer is that he told them to stop or he told the teacher.

ginniebean
02-25-16, 07:05 PM
Here's a bit more information. Up to you and what you feel you can manage.

http://a2zhomeschooling.com/all_time_favorites/home_school_programs_dlps/

sarahsweets
02-25-16, 08:30 PM
I also have a biased opinion having contemplated this myself. You cant learn how to be around other people your own age if you arent exposed to them. You cant learn the skills of compromise, team work, leadership etc if you dont have the chance to try those things.
The fact that he feels safest in the house is a concern and I would recommend counseling. Phobias and anxiety disorders can actually start very young.

Gryphonfyre
02-25-16, 09:42 PM
I also have a biased opinion having contemplated this myself. You cant learn how to be around other people your own age if you arent exposed to them. You cant learn the skills of compromise, team work, leadership etc if you dont have the chance to try those things.

Exactly.

TygerSan
02-26-16, 12:36 PM
I'm curious where he picked up on the idea of homeschooling? Had it been discussed before? It seems as though he may have a romanticized view of what homeschooling would be like (not necessarily the structure of the day, but the not getting in trouble, etc).

TBH it sounds as though he's an anxious, sensitive kiddo. I don't know whether it would be better for him to avoid some of the social pitfalls of being in school, or whether it would be better for him to confront them with support. There are always ways of providing social activities even if you do decide to homeschool. It just takes a little creativity.

My personal bias is towards going school. Not that school was a piece of cake for me (I struggled mightily with the social aspect of it in middle school), but I know that I wouldn't have been able to hack it as a homeschooler with my parents. It just wouldn't have worked for a variety of reasons (personality conflicts being one of them).

Gryphonfyre
02-26-16, 01:54 PM
I'm curious where he picked up on the idea of homeschooling? Had it been discussed before? It seems as though he may have a romanticized view of what homeschooling would be like (not necessarily the structure of the day, but the not getting in trouble, etc).

TBH it sounds as though he's an anxious, sensitive kiddo. I don't know whether it would be better for him to avoid some of the social pitfalls of being in school, or whether it would be better for him to confront them with support. There are always ways of providing social activities even if you do decide to homeschool. It just takes a little creativity.

My personal bias is towards going school. Not that school was a piece of cake for me (I struggled mightily with the social aspect of it in middle school), but I know that I wouldn't have been able to hack it as a homeschooler with my parents. It just wouldn't have worked for a variety of reasons (personality conflicts being one of them).

We've known people over the years who have homeschooled their kiddos. There is a family in the RV park where we live right now. All three of their children are homeschooled, and my son sees them outside playing all the time.

As for anxiety, he walks right up to other kiddos and introduces himself, asks what their names are. He is very sensitive, though. Such a sweet, kind soul, although he does have some issues with anger sometimes.

dvdnvwls
02-26-16, 03:21 PM
It seems to me that people who homeschool essentially have to have consistently vibrant social lives to compensate for what's missed from school. Going places all the time, having different people over all the time, and so on - not being able to just stay home by yourselves very much, because quietly staying home again and again is depriving your kids, not just providing a calm space for you. Are you really up for that? I ask because I know it would be pretty tough for me.

TygerSan
02-26-16, 05:18 PM
As for anxiety, he walks right up to other kiddos and introduces himself, asks what their names are. He is very sensitive, though. Such a sweet, kind soul, although he does have some issues with anger sometimes.

It might not be the kids, though. It could well be the teacher/staff that bug him. Looking back, I don't think anyone truly realized how anxious I really was. And how much of my anger was actually anxiety rearing its ugly head.

lovecharmstar
02-26-16, 08:33 PM
I want to applaud you for taking your sonís feelings into consideration. His reasoning for wanting to be homeschooled is very important. You mentioned that he would get to spend more time with his father, he will not have negative influences at home, his would be safe and that his schedule will be a little more relaxed. These are all good reasons for homeschooling him. However, you have concerns about homeschooling. Have you considered trying it for a while to see if homeschooling will be a good fit for your family? This way if it is not a good fit for your family you can always put him back in regular school. I hope this helps you.

finallyfound10
02-26-16, 09:07 PM
I was a public school teacher and a big supporter of home schooling. I have known families who home schooled and it was great for them. It worked for everyone but it won't work for all families.

All of the families I know are Evangelical Christians or Messianic Jews and did it from the start so these questions weren't even part of the equation for them:

-If you are working and going to school, when would you teach him and be involved in home school groups that go on field trips and lots of other activities?

-I would find out more about why he wants to be home schooled. Does he feel closer to his when Dad at home? Does he think the kids in the neighborhood have it easier (no tests or homework) since they are home schooled? Is he being bullied or bullying? Is he struggling with anxiety and/or depression as well as ADHD? What is really going on?

Andi
02-27-16, 01:20 AM
If I could do it over again I would have done a combo of home school and tutoring for some things. Both kids had such a difficult time in a large classroom environment and we struggled for years to keep them on track. Much of their instruction came from our working at home. As it has been pointed out, for most home schooled kids it's best to have an active social life. Sports, clubs, etc. Doesn't mean that you will be able to protect him from some of the issues you pointed out because kids are kids and part of growing is learning things from others, and it always seems to be the things you wish they didn't. It's a huge commitment and if you don't have the time, it might be an option to find a school environment that he's more comfortable.

Gryphonfyre
02-27-16, 05:43 AM
Quite honestly, I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the responsibility that homeschooling can be. I realize that I would have to be social with him, and I, one, don't want to push onto him my anxieties about it. Around people, I never know what to do or say. I feel hot and flushed, sometimes even breaking out in hives because of the anxiety I feel when in a one-on-one or somewhat intimate (not sexual) setting with someone or a small group. And, two, the fact is that all of this is me, me, me, but his education, just as importantly, in my opinion, is socialization and should under no circumstances be about me. I just don't know that I could do him justice as a blossoming child if I were to be the one responsible for his education -- both scholastic and social.

On the same token, not that I think anything inappropriate is going on at school similar to what happened to me when I was a child, but I remember asking my mom to take me with her to work many, many times instead of leaving me home with my dad, and she continuously ignored my plees in order to keep the peace. The specifics of the reason don't matter; the fact of the matter is that she chose not to hear me and/or really pay attention because of her own selfish reasons, and I don't want to repeat that if my son asking to be homeschooled is really coming from his heart and not some romanticized idea of all play and little work.

Gryphonfyre
02-27-16, 06:41 AM
I know my previous post sounds like I avoid going out altogether, but that's really not the case. If it weren't for my son, I do think I would be perfectly content to only go out every now and then, but that's not fair to him, so because I want to be the best that I can be for him, I've worked on mindfulness -- taking long deep breaths before and during outings, I imagine my happy place (a sunny beach in CA, feeling the warm breeze over my skin, sand in my toes, sun on my face, and I smell the salt in the air -- it really does help me to relax), I play up our outings with optimistic discussions about what we're going to do, and I keep a smile on my face as much as I can. Just don't want y'all thinking that I'm throwing my hands up in the air and allowing us to hole up without at least putting forth my best effort.

Fuzzy12
02-27-16, 07:33 AM
Don't worry. You don't sound like someone who wouldn't put forth their best effort or someone
Who is just trying to shirk responsibility. At all. It's clear that you just want what's best for your son. :grouphug:

Unmanagable
02-27-16, 09:44 AM
Just curious if you typed "homeschool" into the search engine for addf yet. There's quite a few threads that discuss others' experiences in trying it, hesitations, fears, etc.

I'm in a community where homeschooling is very popular, accepted, and the kids are thriving nicely.

There are several groups who meet in a designated area throughout the week, go on field trips, take turn hosting in their homes, incorporate community spaces, and it appears to be quite a smooth operation from the outside looking in.

I view homeschooling as more hands on lessons while immersed in actual environments that the lessons require, or can at least offer a more inviting learning space vs. being limited to class room learning via verbal instruction only.

I wish something like that had been an option beck in my school days since that's how I learn best.

Gryphonfyre
02-27-16, 02:48 PM
Just curious if you typed "homeschool" into the search engine for addf yet. There's quite a few threads that discuss others' experiences in trying it, hesitations, fears, etc.

I wish something like that had been an option beck in my school days since that's how I learn best.

I have not done that. I will, though.

Thank you. ;)

dvdnvwls
02-27-16, 04:46 PM
There are different reasons why home schooling is chosen. If the reasons are good, then the outcome is more likely to be good. IMO the main bad reason is a desire to separate from society.

sarahsweets
02-28-16, 10:57 AM
It may be a better plan to find out why he wants to stay home. Beyond the classroom stuff its sounds like he has severe anxiety and needs to see a doctor about it.

houseofadhd
04-04-16, 12:29 PM
My 7 year old sounds somewhat similar in temperament. Very social and outgoing but also really sensitive and likely dealing with some level of anxiety (no diagnoses yet-- beginning the process now, but ADHD and anxiety are top contenders). He is utterly exhausted by the daily routine of school and has started asking to be homeschooled. The thing is, I'm not sure he fully understands that even if we homeschooled him, he would still have to do things he doesn't want to do. And I imagine he would miss the social interaction that school provides. For us it's a moot point because we can't afford to have one of us stay home with him. We're hoping that a diagnosis will give us the information we need to make life and school more manageable for him. Since we haven't gone very far down this line of thinking I don't have any great resources to offer-- just commiseration and solidarity from someone else trying to sort all of this out.

Fergie
05-20-16, 06:44 PM
I personally am a huge believer in Public Schools. Unless you live in an area where schools are truly - and objectively- horrible - like apparently some areas in the South are - I think children absolutely should go to school. Unless... I mean, if you live in a farm somewhere, and he will be living in that farm and not have to deal with people much, all those socialization skills are not that important....

You can't keep him from learning swear words. More importantly, I bet he already knows most if not all of them. You can't keep him from learning about facts of life. He most likely already knows some. It's OK. It's what you make out of it that counts.