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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

I feel that this needs said and I do not mean any hard feelings as I write this.

Homeschooling is a way of life and it can make it where even close family and friends can no longer relate to you. I have a small fraction of the population where I can come to ask questions or discuss a topic related to homeschooling.

I get enough grief for my decision to homeschool outside this circle. When I come here and want to be a part of a discussion, or ask a question, I should feel free to do so without the judgments and criticism. 

I get that a lot of homeschoolers think that it shouldn't "look like school". However, how much more or less a person models it after public school, is up to each parent. What materials they choose, how long they want to do school, the activities they choose to do to count as school... it is all up to each parent to choose. I do not answer to the school, my family, or even to other homeschoolers concerning these decisions. 

I have never come here asking how long I should homeschool for, what kind of homeschool method I should use, how much I should model my homeschool day after the public school system.

Not everyone is against the public school system. Not everyone is paranoid of the government. I live in a state with strict laws and it doesn't even personally bother me any. It is all stuff I do anyways, and yes it is time consuming and inconvenient to put all that information together and pay to have someone to check over it all.

Then again, I live right in between big cities (Baltimore, Philly, DC..) and there are medium and small cities scattered about. A large population of people live close together. I see how parents fail their children, and how communities fail their children - on almost a daily basis. So I am a bit more patient and understanding with certain laws.

We each have our own circumstances and backgrounds that color in our pictures as homeschoolers - despite what we have in common.

If a unschooler can come in here and expect to ask for specific advice or join in a discussion, and reasonably ask not to have their "method" criticized. Then, also, a homeschooler that wants to do it to the polar opposite, should also be able to come in here and ask of the same exact thing.

It distracts from the conversation if people get too focused on "advising" on the area that they think is the problem, the method. Unless it is that they specifically want advice on. Unless what I am doing is emotional, mental, or physically crossing some line of abuse in your mind, then there is no reason to criticise how I choose to homeschool my kids.

Some think that because what is their experience is what will apply to others. They say well, I have been doing this awhile and this is what I experienced and learned... 

I have homeschooled before. I used a relaxed eclectic method. I was a married SAHM at the time. We had both the money and time to comfortablly homeschool any way we saw fit. I had grand ideals and plenty of confidence. 

I homeschooled my oldest child through part of 5th grade, and up to 9th grade. She has since attended public school for the past two years of high school.

She struggles in certain areas. To the point that she can not effectively learn at public school. She takes all of her work home and learns it all there.

A teacher told my daughter that she is not prepared for college at all. Some of it being because she can not learn in a school environment. We recently sat in on some college classes. A family member that lives a few hours away and who we do not see often, is a college professor, and we talked to him a bit. He agreed that my daughter would struggle with college if some habits were not developed soon. My daughter in the past two years has acquired enough credits to graduate a year early (next year). She scores fine on all of her tests, she makes straight A's, is an intelligent and hard working girl. Yet she is NOT ready for college.

My daughter and I have had talks and I know where I went wrong with homeschooling. Some of the issues she has is because of public school and some because she was homeschooled. I would let her make decisions and she admits now that she had no idea of what she was doing. She also now says that she just followed me - she was easily wanting to make me happy, agree with me, etc. It hasn't hurt our relationship. She doesn't feel like I steered her too far off course, and she says that she still feels better off from the homeschooling than had she attended public school all those years. She has a love for learning and she learned a good bit. However, there were lessons learned from the experience. Most teachers never have to be accountable on this level. They do not have to bear the weight of accountability solely on themselves for a single child (because that child passes through so many handlers). They do not have to live with and so closely experience the consquences... for good and for bad. 

I make my choices to homeschool the way that I do, based on MY set of circumstances. Based on MY lessons learned - which is basically based on just MY perceived thoughts of various experiences. You might read this and walk away with a completely different outlook.

I do not write this to advise you to steer clear of certain ways of homeschooling, or from educating your child at home. I do not respond to unschoolers posts saying they are doing it wrong, that their children will hate them, or that they should listen to me because I have XYZ experience (all things I have heard in the past few days). I don't do it because I respect that they have a right to do it their way, learn their own lessons, and recognize/respect that what works for one doesnt work for everyone. I appreciate and respect those differences - and the freedom to have them. 

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson *FIRE DRILL*

by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Replies (21-28):
celticdragon77
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM
1 mom liked this

My posts have never been about what method I use. They were concerning lesson plans.

I haven't really gone into much detail about what methods we use. But I guess it would be ecclectic because I don't follow any one method to the book. Also, I believe in teaching with ALL the learning styles. But again, none of this relates to any of my posts. Things are scheduled in my house, but that is because I am a single mom that works a ft 3rd shift job. I try to juggle work, chores, cooking, sleep and school every day. Plus, I am ADHD and a lil ocd about thing needing to be organized so that I can remember where things are.

I do appreciate your post and enjoyed reading it. Thank you.  

Quoting romacox:

There seems to be some misunderstanding resulting in unnecessary sensitivity...not just on this post, but on a few others as well.  Perhaps this will clear some things up.  Public School Method Or Home School Methods.   


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson *FIRE DRILL*

celticdragon77
by on Jun. 24, 2013 at 1:30 PM

My daughter was in K12 first. She started off great. She was in the 6th grade at that point. So after a few weeks, I spent less time overseeing her studies and focused more on the the younger two kids. She was in the same room much of the time, and I would check in with her. She was at her computer, with her books... nothing seemed amiss. Then I got a phone call from her teacher saying that her progress was really far behind. I checked, and sure enough, she was VERY behind. I talked to my daughter and she said it was because she didn't like the work. I asked a lot of homeschoolers for advice and they all recommended that I find how she liked to learn - and do things that way. I tried to find creative ways to get her to complete the work. I sat with her and allowed her to use other resources. We ended up dumping K12 and using a boxed curriculum.

The box curriculum started off great. I gave her some space and before I knew it, she was behind again. At this point I believed it was laziness. But I came into the homeschooling groups and they said no... kids want to learn if you do it right - if use their natural learning styles. So I dumped our curriculum and started homeschooling with bits and pieces that she herself chose (she had chosen the boxed curriculum too). She didn't want a lot of reading, worksheets, the etc. She wanted to do videos, games, discussions, etc. So I went to ALL kinds of trouble to accomadate this.

We had been homeschooling for a few years and not much had been accomplished. So I put the younger kids in public school and spent a year focused 100% on my oldest daughter. We did have incredible discussions on history and science. We watched some great videos and found some neat games, activities, the etc. At the end of 8th grade, I decided that she needed to go back to public school. It was exhausting to keep up with homeschooling that way and I didn't have enough confidence in that method - especially for high school. She was doing even math all hands on, with videos.. and I didn't know algebra or how to make it interesting enough for her. 

My daughter has attended public school for the past two years. Her first year there, she almost flunked. She refused to do the work unless it interested her. Her teachers and I had meetings and they felt like that unless they engaged with her, she didn't care enough to do the work or pay attention. They said that she needed to be mature enough to realize that education isn't just fun and games. That sometimes it is just about hard work and perseverence. I felt so relieved to hear that. I had been feeling that way, but in homeschooling circles it is often times a dirty word to say you do anything similar to school. To say we have a schedule is to get comments of "it looks too much like public school". If a parent says a kid is exhibiting signs of laziness - almost all the comments will be that the parent needs to look at how they are teaching the child (almost in effect blaming the parent for a childs laziness). During the past two years, I started to realize that to homeschool doesn't mean to consider the school as an absolute evil. Some things they do, I dont agree with. Some things, I think they do it better than I ever could.

By tenth grade, my daughter was doing better. A lot better. But her counselor talked to me at the end of this school year and said that he still feels like my daughter tries to manipulate school into doing things HER way. I ended up seeing it first hand. She tried to convince the school that she didn't need to spend the last two weeks there and that she could just do all the work at home - and email all her work in. Because the counselor wanted to show to my daughter the flaw in her thinking, he allowed this. But she had to come in on the last day of school and take a test on everything that had been covered in those two weeks. She ended up barely passing the test - even though she scored A's on the assignments. They tried to explain why this happened, and why it was important.

She wants to go back to homeschooling and hates attending public school. She says that she learns better at home. That she can't pay attention when they talk. A few friends and family members of ours, are teachers. Some teach at public schools, some at private, and some at colleges. Many friends and family members attended college. So she has a lot people with experience warning her that if she can't become more disciplined, she won't get through college. She has to be able to sit and listen to lectures, learn how to be an effective note taker, be able to do boring reading and long writing assignments.

Our neighbor who is a college professor was one evening talking about some of the students he gets into his class... and how they can be like two year olds who need constant attention and stimulation. It struck a chord with me. 

My daughter luckily has people who have enough experience and are willing to take extra time aside to try and prepare her for college. 

But it is summer time... and she is more preoccupied with doing everything except working on some of the things that were suggested to her or taking up the offers of help. She keeps saying, I might not be prepared, but I will figure it out in college. Maybe that is true, but she has people trying to prepare her ahead of time. 

My daughter will turn 18 in January. There isn't much that I can do anymore. She has a firey strength. Hopefully with experience she gains some wisdom before time and consequences start setting in.

However, my younger two, I plan on using some of what I have learned... My goal is no longer JUST that my kids LOVE to learn. It is that I prepare them for their futures and to build solid character. Make them strong enough to persevere. I am just trying to have an equal balance. 

 

Quoting ablessedlife:

I'm sorry this happened. I'm sure the entire thing is based on misunderstandings. This is a very supportive group.
I entirely missed your original posts. I'd like to know more about the concerns regarding you daughter's "college unpreparedness." It concerns me because my sons are doing excellent academically and might graduate a year early, but we want to be sure the are well-prepared, not just academically. I'd like to know what specifically the teachers and college professors say you daughter is lacking. If you did indeed make a mistake, I would like to learn from your mistake. If not, hopefully we can encourage you and assure you.


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson *FIRE DRILL*

ablessedlife
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM
Thank you for sharing about your daughter.
It sounds like you have learned a lot from this experience and I do want to learn from it too. I have never be the type to follow my child's leading when it comes to curriculum choices, even though it is the trend to do so. Sometimes I feel guilty for "making" the boys do certain things, even when they absolutely hate it. I give them pep talks instead of letting quit. My husband and I also try all kinds of things to motivate them. For example, all of our boys have to learn to play the violin, whether they like it or not. It is simply a part of their education, like math or writing. While I do try to adapt some things in order to get maximum understanding and retention (like my 7yo needs concrete examples to understand math), I don't just let them do stuff they enjoy, like computer games. The way I see it, they will one day have to still thru lectures, and the professor is not going to do cartwheels or make funny videos to teach them. That does of mean that they have to still thru lectures now ( they are 5-10 yo) although the older ones have been asked to take notes during sermons a few times. But basically we are trying to teach them that school means they will have to do some things they don't Iike. Yes, it can be a battle and we have to be creative in our motivation tactics sometimes, but we always tell them, you can do more than you think you can.
It sounds like your daughter is strong and has the supports she needs to achieve in college. She is right, she will figure it out if she is willing to try and not give up. And you are on the right track with your other kids. They are fortunate to have such a caring and dedicated mom as you.
oredeb
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM

 hi celtic, if i said anything thats caused this i apologize.

Knightquester
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM

I don't know what I missed, and I'm sorry if whatever it was became hurtful for you.  Please remember that we, online people, are meaningless in your life as a whole and we shouldn't be what makes and breaks your day or you as a person.

Please try not to get hurt over what others on here say, it's easier said than done but it's been my opinion that advice, especially online advice, is something that shouldn't be taken to heart so much as it's just something you filter and take what you want to out of what is given.  Anything that you consider negative, I would ignore as they aren't worthwhile comments to continue conversing over.

I say if you have questions, or are seeking any advice then post away!  Ignore all those that spout out their ignorance, or are unhelpful as they aren't the reason for you posting your questions and they aren't important in your life as a whole.  :-)  *hugs* Hope things get better for you!

celticdragon77
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 6:48 PM

I so very much agree with you. I did have to remind myself of that while it was going on.

Much of the frustration was that I do work full time and it is time consuming to sort through comments. I can accept that. However, when the post gets off topic and REMAINS off topic, then it is not fair to the person that came and asked a question. Then I would have people who would come and respond based off the comments it seemed, not realizing that not of it was on topic or even accurate. A lot of broad assumptions were being made and by some of them, I started to wonder if this was a good group for me to be in. 

I want to be able to have places where I can come and have discussions on various homeschool topics - I am somewhat new to the group and I wanted to put my concerns out there. I want to make sure I am in a group that will be suitable for me. I unfortunately do not have any real life friends to talk about homeschool (or education in general) topics with. Many friends of my friends are fine with "I don't remember any of that stuff ... the school is handling it..." 

Quoting Knightquester:

I don't know what I missed, and I'm sorry if whatever it was became hurtful for you.  Please remember that we, online people, are meaningless in your life as a whole and we shouldn't be what makes and breaks your day or you as a person.

Please try not to get hurt over what others on here say, it's easier said than done but it's been my opinion that advice, especially online advice, is something that shouldn't be taken to heart so much as it's just something you filter and take what you want to out of what is given.  Anything that you consider negative, I would ignore as they aren't worthwhile comments to continue conversing over.

I say if you have questions, or are seeking any advice then post away!  Ignore all those that spout out their ignorance, or are unhelpful as they aren't the reason for you posting your questions and they aren't important in your life as a whole.  :-)  *hugs* Hope things get better for you!


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson 

celticdragon77
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Honestly, there were 6 pages of comments, and I do not remember who commented. I don't think anyone meant any harm by it. It was just something the felt important to me, to mention.  

Quoting oredeb:

 hi celtic, if i said anything thats caused this i apologize.


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air... Emerson 

Knightquester
by on Jun. 26, 2013 at 7:09 PM
1 mom liked this

Although I've been homeschooling going on seven years now, I have only had people within the past year to talk to about homeschooling.  We were lucky enough to find a well ran co-op that's full of helpful and wonderful moms, but really I do find such co-ops are sometimes diamonds in the ruff.

This group as with the Happy Homeschooling group, and any other group on Cafemom (or any social online site really) is not without it's drama and it's judgmental occupants.  I remind myself of that often and filter a lot.  If it gets too much I cut back on how often I visit and try to fill that time with more pleasant hobbies and activities in my life that are more enjoyable.  I still remain in these groups because they can and are helpful to me, but I do my best to filter and accept that people will sometimes get off topic, or say something that really didn't need to be said.

Don't leave based on other people, leave if you feel you have had 0 positive come out of this group, and it's become unnecessary for you.  If you've even had an ounce of positive feedback, help and interaction then stay.  Stay and just tune out the negative dramatic and judgmental.  You sound busy enough in life and you don't need anymore than what real life already dishes out to you.  My mom homeschooled my brothers and I and worked full time, so I know it can be a lot, but you're by far not alone.  I know many other working moms that make it work for them and their children, but you're right about one thing, we homeschoolers all march to our own beat and do things the way that works for us, it's what makes our type of schooling unique.

Quoting celticdragon77:

I so very much agree with you. I did have to remind myself of that while it was going on.

Much of the frustration was that I do work full time and it is time consuming to sort through comments. I can accept that. However, when the post gets off topic and REMAINS off topic, then it is not fair to the person that came and asked a question. Then I would have people who would come and respond based off the comments it seemed, not realizing that not of it was on topic or even accurate. A lot of broad assumptions were being made and by some of them, I started to wonder if this was a good group for me to be in. 

I want to be able to have places where I can come and have discussions on various homeschool topics - I am somewhat new to the group and I wanted to put my concerns out there. I want to make sure I am in a group that will be suitable for me. I unfortunately do not have any real life friends to talk about homeschool (or education in general) topics with. Many friends of my friends are fine with "I don't remember any of that stuff ... the school is handling it..." 

Quoting Knightquester:

I don't know what I missed, and I'm sorry if whatever it was became hurtful for you.  Please remember that we, online people, are meaningless in your life as a whole and we shouldn't be what makes and breaks your day or you as a person.

Please try not to get hurt over what others on here say, it's easier said than done but it's been my opinion that advice, especially online advice, is something that shouldn't be taken to heart so much as it's just something you filter and take what you want to out of what is given.  Anything that you consider negative, I would ignore as they aren't worthwhile comments to continue conversing over.

I say if you have questions, or are seeking any advice then post away!  Ignore all those that spout out their ignorance, or are unhelpful as they aren't the reason for you posting your questions and they aren't important in your life as a whole.  :-)  *hugs* Hope things get better for you!




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