Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Collingwood
    Posts
    15,422
    Rep Power
    0

    Default Attn Homeschoolers! Questions here!

    I'm just playing with different ideas right now, and homeschooling is one of them. My DS is having a rough time adjusting to school (he just started in grade 1 FI). We're having issues with the school bus, but also the whole full day school thing. Homeschooling is obviously an alternative.

    Here are my concerns:

    I work from home. We need my income so quitting work is not really an option. And it's not just financial, I also need to be working and earning for my mental/psychological health. I work everyday. I think I could likely manage the few hours of schooling a day (ie, we would likely have to have worksheets to do, and for the most part they would have to work next to me) but things like trips and get-togethers would need to be limited. Is that do-able?

    I would be on my own. My DH does pretty much nothing to help me right now and I don't expect that to change. Kids being at school is the only "break" I get at the moment!

    I would have no support. DH doesn't think it's a good idea the couple of times I've mentioned it off-hand. Only my parents live close by and I doubt they would be supportive either.

    I have four kids. 'Nuff said?! How do you manage when they are all at different levels. One is in SK right now and she totally loves school. Is it unfair to either of them to home school one and continue to send the other to school?

    The DS I'm concerned about has been to preschool for 2 years, kindergarten for 2 years and is now in grade 1. In all that time I don't thnk he as made a single friend. We've had playdates with my freiends with kids the same age, but he will always play by himself somewhere. I don't want him to be more socially isolated than he already is. He just started beavers so I am hoping that he will make some friends there.

    It was really important to me that my kids be bilingual. Would that still be an option? It's not the be-all and end-all, just wondering.

    I haven't really looked into it yet, just wondering if it is even worth looking into, kwim?

    Any thoughts? I appreciate all comments. I'm not looking into doing anything right away, I'm hoping he will settle into school. But right now he is counting days until the weekend and I don't want him to live like that at the ripe old age of 6.

  2. #2
    Ana
    Ana is offline
    Expert Forum User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    7,158
    Rep Power
    311

    Default

    Aw! First off, I want to say that I think its wonderful you are looking at your child's situation and considering that he may need alternative solutions to his problems than what is generally accepted as something you *have* to do. You sound like a really caring mother who wants to help her child. I am saying this because sometimes parents are made to feel that they should make their kids suck it up and toe the line because school is the *right* thing for all children of a certain age.

    Now, for your questions:

    Even homeschoolers who use a very dense curriculum find that it only takes a couple hours a day to complete. There is so much time wasted in school in busywork that has no real educational value, waiting for slower kids to catch up, getting everyone to get their materials ready, time spent on non-curriculum nonsense! Many homeschoolers work from home while homeschooling their children and often find they actually have more time because they are not scrambling to get lunches bought and made, get kids on the bus or pick them up after.

    If you other children are happy in school, dont take them out right away. Many homeschoolers find that once they homeschool one and see how much easier it is to learn, they want their other kids to benefit. Others find their children prefer to remain in school for the social aspect and so it isnt as issue. I think its pretty safe to wait and see. You dont have to decide anything for anyone else right now. Many homeschoolers also find that different levels matters less at home. Often the younger kids are working ahead or the older kids are interested in revisiting a subject they have already done. Thats okay! You may even find they like to teach eachother and learn from eachother as well. Homeschooling changes the family dynamics in wonderful ways.

    Socialization. On the one hand, he isnt having a great social experience as it is. So school isnt helping him that way and may actually be hurting him. He may need some time to himself (he sounds introverted anyway) where he learns who he is and what he likes and wants to do before he can branch out and be social. Socialization is sort of a buzzword people use when speaking about homeschooling, but in fact every single study done has found homeschooled children as well or better socialized than their school attending peers! My own experience is that my kids are a mix of introverts and extroverts and have socialized at different levels according to this. All of them are comfortable conversing with adults and children equally and with children of various ages. They will even play happily with children of the other gender who are different ages.

    If you want your kids to be bilingual, its far more likely to happen by homeschooling them than in the system. Our french system is very poorly set up! How many people do you know who learned to speak french from french class? I know exactly zero. We use a program called Rosetta Stone that is used by diplomats and other gorvernment officials who need to learn a new language quickly and speak it like a native. The program teaches in the same way a baby learns its first language - through visuals accompanied by written, together with audio. The program also corrects pronounciation. Far more effective than conjugating endless verbs!

    A few books that might interest you:

    Family Matters: Why Homeschooling makes sense by David Guterson. He is a high school teacher, but his wife homeschools their children. His perspective is very interesting and his arguments well researched

    Teach Your Own by John Holt. I recommend this one, even though it is very radical, just because its shakes the very foundations of modern educational thought. His belief is that children have an inherant desire to learn and given opportunities without coersion will learn far more than the present system. I myself used his method with my own children and they are all self taught learners today. I never tested them, never made them do a lesson, in fact rarely initiated a lesson they didnt first express an interest in.
    Last edited by Ana; 09-19-2008 at 08:25 AM.

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Collingwood
    Posts
    15,422
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Well that all makes me feel a bit more optimistic! You're right, he is very introverted and I think he is just a little bit odd, makes it difficult for him to make friends.
    I've checked the library and one of the books is in so we are off to see if we can get it this afternoon! Thank you so much for your reply. Already I feel better about the idea!
    When I tell DH that I want to do this, if it comes to that, I want to make sure there are no doubts in my mind whatsoever. I want to have an answer ready for whatever doubt he expresses.

  4. #4
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    12,503
    Rep Power
    524

    Default

    Honestly mo4 I think homeschooling is a great idea for your little guy. I, personally, don't have the determination and drive to homeschool my children, but it's a wonderful alternative and I would gladly do it for my kids if I could.

  5. #5
    Expert Forum User
    mountain mama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,916
    Rep Power
    204

    Default

    I think that you are on the right track with the direction you have been thinking and I think that it is wonderful that you are exploring alternative methods of education for your son. After all, who ever said that the public school was the "right" way for children to learn? Children learn things in so many different ways and you can't pigeonhole them. Every child is unique and your son sounds like a very sensitive, sweet boy who just needs something that works for him and a place for him to feel comfortable and happy. Good for you for being proactive and I hope that you can garner more support from your dh.
    Formerly known as London skye





    Check out my Kijiji link! Lots of great stuff priced to sell!

    http://london.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-se...AdIdZ425988249

  6. #6
    Expert Forum User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    2,515
    Rep Power
    130

    Default

    Are you dead set on French Immersion? Quite often students who struggle (be it emotionally, socially, or academically) find the added pressure of French Immersion overwhelming - perhaps an English setting would decrease some of his anxiety, especially if the English school is close enough to walk to.

  7. #7
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
    Ginny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    10,715
    Rep Power
    642

    Default

    Yes I was going to suggest that as well.

    MoF, I'd caution you against assuming you'll get work done at home while they're next to you. That's not to say you can't homeschool, but perhaps there are some programs that you can enroll them in where you have an hour or two free here and there. I've done it, I've tried to work while I had my girl do a workbook next to me, and between her asking a million questions, me getting up to get a cloth to wipe her nose, etc etc etc, nothing got done. It's nothing but stressful and frustrating when you've set a goal that you'll get X article read or X page written.

    I'm hesitant to tell you to go for it (as much as I support the idea of homeschooling) because you carry so much on your plate already. Unless you have help in some other way - housework or meals or other childcare programs or extracurriculars or whatnot - plus your duties for the nursery school and the million other things in your life - not even to bring in your job. Your hubs needs to be on board for this to work and for it to not create further burdens on you. You have enough of those already.
    The poster formerly known as Geomamma

  8. #8
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
    Ingalls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    london
    Posts
    22,762
    Rep Power
    1247

    Default

    I don't think you have to homeschool all or none, I think you could match it more to each one's needs and wants. If one thrives in school and loves it, great! If another struggles and you think you're up to the challenge of homeschooling, great, too

    I homeschooled my son for jk and figured we'd continue but he's so social, and everytime we went anywhere (parks, library, even the oeyc) he'd be the only kid over age two lol so he wanted to go to kindergarten to play with kids...so, we let him. However we still figure it is up to us to ensure he gets a proper education. I don't think the 'teacher' is the only 'teacher' kwim. That's a lot to expect.

    Anywho I'm rambling here.
    I would say you don't have to do a ton of field trips and playtimes but, you should have him around other kids some -- so even if it's after supper you take all the kids to the park, or you commit to something like swim lessons with other kids or something, along with Beavers, he should be fine. If a kid is not pining for social interactions, you can't force the issue -- but you can provide different opportunities. Beavers is a good start, for sure.

    Another option is trading back and forth with another homeschooling mom. Perhaps if you are bilingual, and she is musical for example, you could take both kids for two hours on Tuesdays for example, and do french. Give her some sheets etc to keep it fresh in his mind etc. Then for two hours on Thursdays, she takes them for music. Or something to that effect.
    Give him a friend, you a small break, and expands his education beyond what you might excel in.

    I do agree that often if a kid is really hating and strugging in school, and is in F.I. The next logical step is to remove the extra stressor of a second language, and put him in english school. However that doesn't mean it's wrong to try homeschooling by ANY means.
    Maybe ask him. What would he rather do? Is he findingfrench hard?
    Also please be aware, just because they don't do f.i. doesn't mean they won't be bilingual. If you take an interest in it, a kid can learn a lot in the regular systems. If they resent/resist, they won't. You can alwyas change your mind in high school (I didn't like it in public school, but did in high school) and learn it then, too. It's a more conscious effort but entirely doable.
    I learned German in high school as well.

    You do need to commit time to this, it's not just a few worksheets and that's a day. (Not saying that's all you think it is, just warning you.)Even doing j/k at home, I had to consciously plan things -- like first, I had to teach him the sounds of letters. Then, the long and shorts of vowels (oh wait, first, which ARE vowels). Then phonics rule,s like "when two vowels go walking the first one does the talking". Then the exceptions to those rules. Then meanwhile, we're working on numbers, what plus and minus mean, how metamorphosis works in frogs and butterflies, the water cycle of precipitation, etc as he is interested in those things. (Just trying to illustrate it's complicated, and will take time). Meanwhile we have normal life stuff in there like groceries and playdough marathons and puddles that need to be jumped in.

    I personally, if you're as busy with work as it sounds, would try the english school first, if he's onboard with that, and then homeschooling. Only because if you take him into homeschooling and find you can't devote enough time to him with work etc, then it might be more stressful to go back into a school environment after being home, and also might make you feel like you let him down kwim.

    Good luck with your decisions.
    DD1 age 7 DS age 11
    "I will remember you." July/10
    Baby Elaina born October 28th, 2011. Making every single day that much more special.
    INTERESTED IN BUYING DVDS OF OLD KIDS' SHOWS. Mr.Rogers', Mr.Dressup, Polka Dot Door, etc

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Collingwood
    Posts
    15,422
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Awesome comments ladies! I have thought about going back to the English school too. This causes me a bit of a logistical problem though, in that I would have to pull my youngest daughter out of nursery school because I wouldn't be able to drop off/pick up both of them, and she has a speech delay and nursery school is recommended to help with that. I'm not sure it would help anyway - we had similar problems to this when he was in JK at the English school, then he seemed a bit better in SK. But it was the same teacher in SK as in JK and it was a split class so he was one of the older ones in there. Also his sister was in the same class. He is very dependent on his sister. She is only in SK right now so only half days but on the days that she goes to school I know he is trying to hang around her in the playground, and earlier this week she told him to buzz off. (Yay for her, sad for him). On the days when she is not there he is wandering around the playground by himself.

    If I ask him what the problem with school is he says either (a) school bus or (b) full days. I am willing to drive him everyday and move closer to the school once our house sells so that we can walk, but it seems to be the full days that are causing him the most stress. He did have some stress about the French to begin with, but his teacher told him not to worry so much about getting the work done and that seemed to ease the pressure a bit. I think he gets very worried about things, and feels a lot of pressure to do things perfectly, even if everyone around him is telling him not to worry about it. And in fact gets so stressed over getting things done that he becomes incapable of doing anything. After his teacher told him not to worry anymore, he was able to do the work. But of course I can't rely on every teacher being as fantastic as the one he has right now. And even with this great teacher, he is still really upset to go to school.

    I've been working from home since before they were born so they are used to me being behind the computer most of the time, and I am used to the "background" noise and can usually work through it. Thank God! Of course there are times when I just have to throw my hands in the air, but I also get up at 4:30 am to do work before the day really starts, and I usually work in the evenings too.

    Like I said, I'm not ready to do anything yet, other than wait and see. I just want to have a plan in place if I need to do something, kwim? I'm off to the library to get that book right now!

  10. #10
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
    doulamom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13,496
    Rep Power
    577

    Default

    I have been super busy but wanting to come back to your questions when I had the time to answer. You already got some good input and I think it is important to look at your particular situation and see what works. There is no one right answer.

    As far as dh being on board. You may be surprised that he could come around. Culturally we are very indoctrinated that school is a necessary thing for all kids, but one you start to 'unpack' what education actually looks like and what schools provide you will be able to share with him some of the misassumptions many of us have about school and homeschooling.

    As far as getting work done at home. I actually get quite a bit done with my kids around but I also don't have to put in a 'full day's work'. If working gets stressful, I leave it and focus on the kids. In fact I come in and out of interacting with them and working alternatively all day. My kids play really well together and if I can get them going on a activity I can easily find 15-30 minute chunks of time and at least a few times a week they get so immersed in what they are doing that they may play for 1-2 hrs straight. That is when I do more concentrated work. I personally know 2 homeschooling mamas who are single and either work full-time or go to school full-time. One of them works in the evenings after her kids are in bed and the other has good support from the children's father and I believe they trade off. I know there are other women out there who work full time and homeschool.

    Like Hecate, I do child-led learning so we don't spend our days doing 'seat' work. We spend many of our days on the go at the library, play dates with other hsers and exploring the city based on what interests my kids. This takes a ton of pressure off me to 'make' them learn stuff and our time together is usually spent joyfully instead of in a power struggle. During this past year, my dd has somehow taught herself to read without me instructing her whatsoever. Sure I read her books, sure I helped her read a word if she was interested but I didn't 'teach' her the sounds of the words. I am quite confident that my dd knows more now than she would have if she had stayed in JK. Not because I taught her more, but because her world was open and unlimited.

    I would also like my children to be bilingual (if they are interested). Right now my oldest is interested in learning spanish. I almost bought her a spanish program to help her learn. I then remembered that as hsers we have the freedom to learn the old fashioned way and we are also fortunate to have family and friends who live in Spanish speaking countries. We plan on taking an extended trip them in the next year or so. She has also lately been intrigued by French. So, as a beginning we are going to go on a family trip to Quebec and introduce her to some french culture. My point is that there are a lot of ways to learn things and school is just one way.

    Lastly the socialization issue. First of all I think schools are a funny place to be social. Children spend most of their time in their seats, being told not to talk and when they do get to interact it is primarily with children of the same age. I know my oldest found the social aspect of school hard - who were all these kids everyone kept referring to as her friends? I have watched my introverted child blossom this year at home. She makes friends on her own terms and in situations where she feels comfortable. She has a safe adult there with her to help her explore her own boundaries and when she feels ready she connects with another kid. She is never forced into it or expected to play in large groups of children where she does not feel comfortable. She has developed several friendships this past year and they were completely on her terms (and the other child's). She now looks raidant when she is out there playing, instead of frightened and overwhelmed like she looked at school.

    I obviously cannot tell you what is right for you as I have no idea. Reading books about hsing will be helpful and I suggest coming out and meeting some of us hsers. You will likely see that many of us have had the same questions as you or similiar and have come out the other side. Hsiing may not the right path for you but your exploration will bring you closer to what is the right path for you.

    Good luck!!
    Mom of 2 girls, unschooler, feminist, runner and just general lover of life.

    Need a doula or prenatal classes? www.babeezeinarms.com

    "Me thinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    "
    Children are not our own art products to be turned out well, but their own life work in continual process. -Jan Fortune Wood"

  11. #11
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Beautiful Collingwood
    Posts
    15,422
    Rep Power
    0

    Default

    Thanks doulamom! Do the homeschoolers still meet up once a week? I thought it used to be Mondays at a park but I guess the location has changed now. Your description of your LO being stressed by the social part of school perfectly fits how DS is right now.

    Mine are awesome at playing together, too, so I can get my work done, I'm not too concerned about that part. I've started reading the books I got from the library but after a bit I just feel panicked at the enormity of it, so I have to put it aside for a while. I went to school for 22 years before I was done, it's such a huge part of my life (and yesterday was my 20th high school reunion ) I just can't imagine someone growing up and not having that. At the same time I would hate DS to go even 1 year feeling the way he does now. Like the books are saying, we just accept school as part of life. I've never known anyone that was homeschooled, it's hard to get your head round the idea.

  12. #12
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    10,772
    Rep Power
    609

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mum_of_four View Post
    Thanks doulamom! Do the homeschoolers still meet up once a week? I thought it used to be Mondays at a park but I guess the location has changed now. Your description of your LO being stressed by the social part of school perfectly fits how DS is right now.

    Mine are awesome at playing together, too, so I can get my work done, I'm not too concerned about that part. I've started reading the books I got from the library but after a bit I just feel panicked at the enormity of it, so I have to put it aside for a while. I went to school for 22 years before I was done, it's such a huge part of my life (and yesterday was my 20th high school reunion ) I just can't imagine someone growing up and not having that. At the same time I would hate DS to go even 1 year feeling the way he does now. Like the books are saying, we just accept school as part of life. I've never known anyone that was homeschooled, it's hard to get your head round the idea.
    I know I don't know you IRL, but I was home schooled from grade 2-8. My mom home schooled all 11 of us, at some point. We all went to high school with the exception of my sister in grade 10 right now, she wanted to be schooled through high school and is excelling, she is in at least grade 9 or 10 pianio, excellent at ballet, soccer and doing well with all her studies(she is either where she should be, or ahead). All of us with kids so far have decided to home school our own kids.

    You should join the yahoo group a different drum, it has tons of members and I am sure you can get answers to allot of your questions there. They do tons of events, you could go non stop as far as the social aspect of it goes with what I have seen posted on that board.

    If I was you, and you decide to give it a try, don't commit yourself to it forever, I would just take it year by year and feel out what you think is the best choice for your children.

    Anyway if you have any questions for me, feel free to ask. I am homeschooling my two LO's.

  13. #13
    Ana
    Ana is offline
    Expert Forum User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    7,158
    Rep Power
    311

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mum_of_four View Post
    I've never known anyone that was homeschooled, it's hard to get your head round the idea.
    You should join A Different Drum and come out and meet some homeschoolers, then.
    Last edited by Ana; 09-21-2008 at 07:52 PM.

  14. #14
    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom!
    doulamom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    13,496
    Rep Power
    577

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mum_of_four View Post
    Thanks doulamom! Do the homeschoolers still meet up once a week? I thought it used to be Mondays at a park but I guess the location has changed now. Your description of your LO being stressed by the social part of school perfectly fits how DS is right now.

    Mine are awesome at playing together, too, so I can get my work done, I'm not too concerned about that part. I've started reading the books I got from the library but after a bit I just feel panicked at the enormity of it, so I have to put it aside for a while. I went to school for 22 years before I was done, it's such a huge part of my life (and yesterday was my 20th high school reunion ) I just can't imagine someone growing up and not having that. At the same time I would hate DS to go even 1 year feeling the way he does now. Like the books are saying, we just accept school as part of life. I've never known anyone that was homeschooled, it's hard to get your head round the idea.
    Hi,
    I totally get the overwhelmed part. When my dd was struggling in school last year and I started considering hsing I felt the same way. I also was in school for almost 22 years and actually enjoyed a really large part of it. It was hard for me to imagine my kids not having that but fortunately as part of those 22 years I had taken a course on hsing while doing my M.Ed. I already knew a lot of the research behind hsing and also I had a wise hsing friend remind me that no matter what choices we make in our lives our kids will miss *something*. Getting to know the hsing community was key for me because I saw what a great group of people my kids and our family would get to interact with and what they would gain from hsing.

    As my2babies said, you can just take it one step at a time - it isn't a lifelong committment. If hsing isn't working than you put them back in school. Many hs kids go in and out of the system. Once we start to see that we don't have to follow the mainstream path it becomes much easier to look at the big pic and make the most of all the options we do have (hsing, school, part-time school, online school etc).
    Mom of 2 girls, unschooler, feminist, runner and just general lover of life.

    Need a doula or prenatal classes? www.babeezeinarms.com

    "Me thinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow."
    - Henry David Thoreau

    "
    Children are not our own art products to be turned out well, but their own life work in continual process. -Jan Fortune Wood"

Similar Threads

  1. Attn Hame!
    By MaryRPN in forum Chit Chat
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-30-2008, 03:04 PM
  2. Homeschoolers - Let's go to the splash pad!
    By feministmama in forum Get-Togethers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-18-2007, 05:51 PM
  3. roots and shoots groups for homeschoolers
    By mazane in forum Education
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-07-2007, 08:46 AM
  4. cross posting _ for homeschoolers..roots and shoots chapter
    By mazane in forum Natural Family Living
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-09-2007, 09:49 AM
  5. Attention Homeschoolers! Question here!
    By bleuhorizons in forum Education
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-30-2007, 11:26 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •