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May 29th, 2007, 08:37 PM
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This is an old post that I have recalled. See why in post #13. Oh, and feel free, if you didn't the first time around, to add your personal journey!

This is definitely something I am interested in knowing. How did you decide to homeschool? Did you start when your kids were in pre-k or did they go to school for awhile and then start homeschooling? If so, what grade?? Do your kids that were in ps enjoy now being homeschooled??

Do you notice a big difference between your child that was in ps for a short time and your child that is homeschooled??

Anyone out there like me with one kid in ps (because of some crappy reason) and one or more at home?? How do you handle that? Do you feel guilt like I do??
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May 29th, 2007, 10:59 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I first heard about homeschooling about 16 years ago when a friend who was also a teacher said she was planning on homeschooling her daughter. Then a few years latter someone else I knew withdraw both od there children from ps to homeschool. Thier son was having a lot of reading difficulties and the mum told me how his reading level had gone up 2 grades since they had started and how improved his attitude was. I was very impressed. I hated school myself and thought what a great idea homeschooling seemed and that that is what I would like to do if/when I had kids.
I didn't start to really research though till my daughter was 18 months. It only strengthened my decision. I have known the kind of homeschooling direction I wanted to take since she was about 3.

"Cats are keen, cats are great, cats are clean they lick your plate."
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May 30th, 2007, 01:11 AM
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Well, as I have said before I was homeschooled from 3rd grade on. The reasons my parents decided to homeschool were that they had a family business that kept them so busy they didn't have time to help us with homework, see what we were doing in school or anything. When it finally slowed down and life wasn't such chaos they started to notice that my sister had had great teachers, but she was set on being competitive and wasn't retaining anything long term. She also was a bully to us, her siblings, and we just weren't friends. I had awful teachers. I am the opposite of my sister. When they would give us an incentive like, "Hey if you finish your work you can play with this new gadget first", I just didn't care. It wasn't motivating. I thought to myself, the smarter kids will get it, I don't care about the work to want to finish a stupid worksheet before everyone else and I would rather do what I am interested in. No one tried to make school fun, it was boring and I was bored. It made it look like I was a slow or below average kid when I really wasn't being tested, pushed or excited. And as for friends- the whole social thing- there was constant fighting and bickering. Not to mention teachers sending us home with their own agendas. Things like "Tell your parents not to buy tuna because they are killing the dolphins" or "Don't tell your parents about your homework because it is a new method that they won't understand." My brother had bad teachers and just didn't have a great experience. Those are some big main reasons I was homeschooled.

This did influence my desire to homeschool my kids, but I have had my doubts. My Dh has had his doubts and still does. Before we got married I made sure he knew that homeschooling may be a possibility and I wanted him to keep an open mind about it. He has and has been willing to research with me. My doubts have also come from occasional health problems I have had that have made me wonder if I could do it. Also the worry we had that my DD would unwontedly be an only child and that it would be harder if she were never around other children. Then my parents divorced and 5 of the 10 kids are no longer homeschooled out of necessity for my mom. I have had a lot of emotions and anger about this and homeschool for awhile seemed wrapped up around it. Part of me wanted to send my DD to ps to spite my mom and the other part to homeschool her out of spite as well. Finally I was able to take my family emotions out of it, research my reasons again and decide that I love homeschool. I want to give my kids the best experience- even better than my own because mine won't be in a partially dysfunctional home. I realize that homeschool is not my family issue and is SO valuable aside from their issues. I am excited and ecstatic about it! I learned so many things being homeschooled that I could not have learned in ps and I was so glad I "missed out" on the things I didn't need or want. I am not the only one who has had these feelings and my older sister has decided not to homeschool- though I secretly feel she will some day, because she has the same problems with ps that I do. Anyway, I guess I gave you my life story, but this is how and why.
Married 7 years to my wonderful Dh

Mommy to 6 year old Emily and 3 year old Lindsey!

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May 30th, 2007, 05:49 AM
Shery's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We started homeschooling our children last year after the first six weeks of school when they were in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades. First, let me say that our decision to homeschool was not based on the fact that we were not satisfied with their school. We were very blessed to be able to send them there because it does a very good job academically. Also, the teachers were always wonderful and had the same beliefs that we did. We were just lucky in that.
Our greatest concern was that our children spent all day in school only to come home to do another 3 to 4 hours...sometimes more...of homework. They had a lot of homework before Christmas, but after Christmas, when they started preparing them for IOWA and LEAP, at least another hour of homework was added to what they already had. There was so much pressure put on those standardized tests that Madison came home from the first week of 3rd grade saying that she wasn't going to be able to pass the LEAP in 4th grade!!! I told her that she wasn't in the 4th grade yet and shouldn't be worried about it, but it was all she had heard for the past week...she was already scared.
On top of the every day homework stuff, there were the AR books that had to be read EVERY night. They were books that were chosen by the school that the kids had to read and then test on weekly. There would be only 5 questions per test, so if they missed a couple, they failed it. This grade averaged in with their classroom grade, so it was very important. Because Madison just COULD NOT read fast enough to read 3 or 4 chapters a night, which had to be done, I would read to them. So, after the 3 or 4 hours of homework was finally done, we would have to spend another 45 minutes or so reading. Now, I love reading to them, but like I said, we couldn't even chose the books we loved.
I remember one day when my children had come home from school and already spent an hour or so doing homework. My middle child, Patrick, got so upset and said, "I just want to have some time to play." It broke my heart because he was a first grader...a baby still....he SHOULD have had time to play.
So, a large part of the reason that we decided to homeschool was because we had NO family time. Our entire existence was trying to get our children through the school week...living for the weekends and the precious three months of summer vacation. I will never forget one evening when I was in my room alone after another very hard evening. I was horrified when the thought went through my head that I would be so happy the night that my last child graduated. I HAD JUST WISHED MY CHILDREN AWAY. It wasn't because I didn't like my kids at home. I was always the mom who didn't want to send them back to school after summer break. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being with them, and that's why it horrified me to have that thought. It was simply because our lives were too hard...no family time....staying mad at one another over homework, projects, AR, and grades that sometimes didn't even reflect what they really knew anyway.
We were frustrated with life as we were being forced to live it. We wanted more from our precious little time with our children than just trying to exist. When Jeff approached me about homeschooling, I barely even hesitated. The only thing that I had to do first was check into the local homeschool association to see what I could do for my children as far as socialization and peer groups. Wow! I had no idea that we had such a large homeschool association in our area. It is like a school peer group. The children all grow up together and participate in almost anything they could in a school setting. Last year, they even started a co-op, which gives parents the opportunity to put their children in small classroom settings taught by other homeschool parents for subjects of concern to them...or for the fun of it. They have organized sports, fieldtrips, field days, holiday parties at the skating rink, speech, scouts, year books, graduation, etc. I was amazed and so thrilled. We talked to the children and told them what they would be giving up verses what they would have. They all three wanted it as much as we did.
This was our second year of homeschooling. It has changed our lives. We are no longer grasping for what precious little family time we can, but living as a family every day. Sometimes our life centers around our schooling....sometimes schooling centers around life. I have watched my children's confidence and self esteem grow as well as their knowledge. We have made so many wonderful friends in CHA and have become a part of something so wonderful in the homeschool community. My kids continue to interact with the friends they had in school through church and other functions, like the ball park. In church, they have friends who are in the school system and friends who homeschool like they do.
I have told my children from the beginning that, if at any time, they want to go back into the school system that it is their choice. So far, they are still thanking me for homeschooling them.
I am not one who tries to convince everyone that homeschooling is the right choice for them, but it was the right choice for our family. All three of my children are thriving in it and I LOVE teaching them...learning with them. I thank God that our family had this option and just pray for his guidance in continuing it for the right amount of time. This might mean one day sending them back to school or teaching them until the day when we hand them their diplomas at the homeschool graduation. I just want to continue to do what we feel that He wants us to do and what our children are comfortable and happy with.
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May 30th, 2007, 06:06 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, let's see. My sister has been homeschooling her girls since before I had kids. I saw the issues they had with public school and knew that things were different from when I was in school (not for the better!). So homeschool was always in the back of my mind. However, by the time I had a kid ready for school, dh was not pro-homeschool at all and I was afraid of ds "missing out" on the whole elementary school experience. He first went to preschool at a local church 2 days a week. That was actually a pretty good experience and we had no problems. After that he started Kindergarten at the public school. It wasn't what we expected. His teacher was very territorial in that she didn't really like parents to be in her classroom. She made it very clear that it was HER domain and we weren't "needed". Well, in the first place that ticked me off because no one is going to tell me I can't be involved with my own kid! I don't care WHOSE domain it is! Then it was a huge hassle to get him to & from school with the little ones (as I mentioned in one of the other threads). There were several field trips where the parents were explicitly excluded because they "had enough teachers and aides, so parents weren't needed". Ticked me off again! On the few field trips where the parents were invited to attend, they specifically said no younger siblings; so, I would have to find someone to keep the other 2 boys. Big pain in the rear! I was glad when Kindergarten was over, but still not convinced to homeschool. The following school year, we enrolled our middle ds in the same church preschool that Jack had attended, and Jack moved on to first grade. It was horrible from the start, for both of them! Jared was very timid and wasn't too sure about being away from home, plus he was dealing with a little bully at preschool. He ended up begging to come home after a month or 2. I decided there was no real reason for him to stay, so we pulled him out. Jack was having trouble in 1st grade academically. He just couldn't keep up. He wasn't understanding the work the way the teacher was doing it (especially math) and was failing. It was so sad. He felt stupid and it was really tearing down his self-confidence. Not to mention they were killing his artistic side. He loves to draw and anytime he was caught drawing anything, it was taken away and thrown in the trash. Then in November of that year, he was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes. We had a hard time with the school staff and the school nurse following our specifications for his needs. By spring break we decided we just couldn't put his life in their hands anymore and pulled him out to begin homeschooling. We had actually started discussing it before he was diagnosed when he was having such a difficult time academically. We felt he would do better if he had the one-on-one. We were right. He's doing very well in everything, his self-confidence had shot through the roof, and he's constantly drawing pictures and writing his own little books. I'm so glad we made this choice and I can't imagine putting any of my kids back in the ps system....ever!
Happy Homeschooling Mom to:
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Justin 10/18/02

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May 30th, 2007, 06:26 AM
JustAKrazymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have a variety of reasons. I started noticing in 3rd grade the whole school experience was going down hill.. then we moved and it really went downhill ( so much for the best school in the [email protected]@). I only knew of HSIng from the AOL cloth diaper board I was on and I always thought HSer's where nuts..I mean really..who wants their kids home ALL the time when there is a "free" alternative?? Then came the end of 5th grade which was a disaster and it started changing my Noah. 6th grade was middle school..he tested into all the advanced classes BUT Noah does NOT do well with pressure..not at all..so he slowly as the year went on started doing worse and it was affecting HIM.. I did not like the kid he was becoming. He was a punk, he had very few friends..those he did we not the right crowd and I had little control over that because..well he left my house at 6am and wasn't home until 3pm! I think it was the end of April and I had been IM'ing a good online friend who has homeschooled from day 1 and I finally decided that was it.. Noah was finishing 6th grade and we were done. At this point Noah was so bad off in school he was threatening to kill himself, he ran away , I was worried he was going to be the next school shooter in a few years. He lef the school in June.. we started HSing in August..very slowly as to get him adjusted.

Eric and I decided we would send the other 3 to school until at least 3rd grade...afterall I KNEW school, classroom moms, library duty, class parties etc.. I wanted all that for the kids..and honestly for me. When I had Noah I was only 18 so when he was in school I was always much younger than the other moms and no one ever gave me the time of day as a peer.. so I was ready to finally have the parents of the kids be the same age as me..lol.. We had Declan all enrolled in Preschool.. we had done 2 years of a home program so he could go to a preschool for free 4 days a week. Well as we learned more and more about HSing and saw Noah already changing for the better just since we had gotten approved to HS.. we started wavering on the decision to send Declan. We started really thinking about all the negative things that had happened to Noah since school.. and the group dynamics maybe we didn't want for the other 3. Then add to it Declan was 4.5 and already beginning to read, doing math in his head,knew the names of most of the states and where they were on a map,he was/is the king of talking you out of things logicallty etc..no teacher would stand a chance against him or worse.. he would soon fall in line and become a good school soldier.. the spark of life and love of learning would be gone. I made so many parenting mistakes with Noah, so many and school was only one.. I really looked at all that and knew it was NOT something I wanted for the little kids.. I have been working so hard to be a different kind of mom to them then I was to Noah as a small child.. so for me my "know better do better" mantra came in to play . I was still wrestling with it all when Eric said to me one day "Please don't put my kids in school"..and that was it... he had made the final decision and I didn't have to and it was perfect. We have completed our first year with Noah.. and well kinda with Declan..lol.. I love this decision even though there are days I'd like to throw a few on any school bus I see drive by...lol

We have been having so much fun on adventure's turning the day..things Noah never got to do at their age ( he as JUST 5 when he started K and just 4 when he started preschool).. and things we didn't get to do when he was in school because of time issues. I love having Noah home, the pace of the day ( it can be as hectic or as relaxed as we'd like) and how close my kids have become. ( oh remind me of all this when he frustrates me ok??)
Homeschooling "soccer mom" by day.. crazy bartender by night
Noah 17,Declan 10, Jadziah 8, Taejan 6
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May 30th, 2007, 06:30 AM
*Sharon*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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My dh and I were both homeschooled and enjoyed it. It was always a possibility we considered. But it wasn't until we noticed how advanced Belle was and talked to the school about what her school year would look like that we decided that hs'ing was the route for us.

Sharon, wife to Noah; mom to Belle (13.75), Ryllan (11.5), Finn (7.5), and Zane (4).

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May 30th, 2007, 07:14 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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I was homeschooled and I always wanted to homeschool my kids. There was no question at all about it for me. Jamie goes along with all my oddities and in the end always ends up being a huge advocate of whatever it is I do. Homeschooling has been no exception. I was homeschooled because I wanted to be and my parents knew they could give me a better education than what the public school was providing me and had povided/was providing my older siblings. I'm the only one of the three of us who was homeschooled.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
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Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
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May 30th, 2007, 07:16 AM
grunig's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well I was informed when I was newly pg with my first son that he would be homeschooled. LOL Yes, it was my DH's wish, not my own. I thought he was INSANE at first, but the more research I did the more I agreed. I was still never super excited about the decision, until this year. I was terrified, if anything. Now I think it is the best decision we could have made.

Oh and just to add I never planned to put them in PS. I always wanted to put them in private, now I wouldn't even want them there. I have a myriad of reasons for not wanting my kids in those settings. Most of all it is the negative exposure they would get.

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May 30th, 2007, 07:25 AM
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My kids ( the two older ones) started out in PS. We just pulled them out part way through the past year. HS was something I have always thought about. I was HS'd for a couple years and loved it. Kristen has always asked to HS since she started K. DH didn't want to do it but this year we really started to see a decline in the schools and I didn't like seeing my kids, who had always been "honor" students, begin to HATE school and not care about learning. We pulled Kristen in November and HS was great from the get go. Aaron didn't want to leave school at that point. Some issues came up with him at school and he started begging to stay home. We pulled him out in January. Morgan will be HS right from the start. We love it and it has been a GREAT decision. DH is now fully on board with HSing and tells everyone how good it has been for our family and what a difference it has made in all of us.
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May 30th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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I knew before Doug and I started having kids that we were going to homeschool. We thought about private schools around us, but they are just SO expensive it is ridiculous! PS is totally not an option! I have seen what it has done to my little brothers (they are still in high school now), and how crappy the school system has gotten just within the last few years after I graduated. Although, I'm sure it wasn't so peachy when I was in school either. We really don't want to subject our children to the garbage that the public school system is full of. The teachers here just don't have any control anymore and aren't able to really teach these children. I also like that my 4 year old can be a 4 year old and not forced to grow up so quickly. I really think that ps grows them up so fast that they are grown in a blink! Eathan is a piece of work too, so I just don't want to see him molded to what the school system thinks he should be and see him lose that little twinkle in his eye.

BTW, thanks for asking this! I have really enjoyed reading everyone's responses!! It's nice to know how their HS journey started.

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May 30th, 2007, 10:18 AM
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Thank you all for your stories!!! I love reading them!!

Alison...what you said really hit home with me.. I made so many parenting mistakes with Noah, so many and school was only one.. I really looked at all that and knew it was NOT something I wanted for the little kids.. I have been working so hard to be a different kind of mom to them then I was to Noah as a small child.. so for me my "know better do better" mantra came in to play

I could so easily write that with Bryce - word for word! I have so much guilt and the fact that I can't pull him out and hs him because of his dad has me even more riddled. I had him when I was 19 and MISTAKES are just not even the word for what I have done. If I could go and do it over again, I know he would be a different person. My heart breaks for what I did in his short life that was not in his best interest. I feel like I have failed him so much. And I feel guilty that Scotty has had so much better so far.
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June 1st, 2008, 08:25 PM
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I wanted to recall this thread - mostly because I want to hear everyone's stories of how you chose to homeschool...but also beause I have come full circle from when I wrote this a year ago. Check out the date...the date I posted about not being able to take Bryce out of School to homeschool him was 1 year to the DAY of when my ex accepted my plan and we enrolled Bryce in the cover school!

Alison, particularly what you said about Noah has rang in my ears all year long. What all of you have said about your families and how it was a struggle in one way or another and then homeschool has brought your families together in a way that is unimaginable.

I already have a bond with Scotty. I already knew he was going to be homeschooled - dh and I decided that a year ago. We sent him to pre-k but it was with a church and not the public system. But with Bryce, things have always been different. Bryce and I never had that same bond. I was 19 when I had him and I was totally absorbed in ME. My career, my schooling, my life. There were days, at 3 years old, he went to daycare from 7am until 7pm. He told me once that "Daddy lives at his work, mommy lives at her work, and I live at daycare." Heartbreaking. My prayer in this journey is to change my relationship with bryce - to connect, to bond with him, and to enjoy this time with him. He will be grown and gone in a blink, and I just praise God for opening my eyes before my timing was too late. I pray He will do for us what He has done for so many of you - make you whole as a family.

Thank you all for your touching and heart-felt responses over a year ago!
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