Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Please Help, Trying to Figure Out if Homeschool is Right for Us.

First, we live in Nebraska, and I can't make heads or tails out of how to start the process.

But my son is in Kindergarten.  Prior to this, he went to two years of preschool and loved every minute.  He was super excited to start Kindergarten.

His teacher, however, is a nightmare.  She is VERY strict on the little boys in his class.  They use a color chart system for discipline, but she is very lazy about doing it correctly.  She'll have boys (specifically, I've heard this from several students in his class) clip down to yellow or red, and then there is NO standard for clipping back up to the "good" colors.  It's just whenever she's decided they've behaved well enough for long enough.

And as you can probably guess, in a class of 30 that means she sometimes forgets!  My son has clipped down in the morning, been an angel the rest of the day by her own admission, but I look and he's still on red.  My son has told me she forgets to let them clip up.  That they can't apologize and make things right.

My 5 year old has said this exact phrase:  Once you clip down, that's it.  You're done for the day.  She's mean to you the rest of the day and you get no warnings, just trouble.

He's also said:

You know it's not possible for me to be a good boy.  You know I'll get clipped down no matter how hard I try.  (In response to me telling him "I love you, have a good day!")

Mom, could I just go to school at home?  I don't understand why I'm good there and bad at school.

My 5 year old is DEPRESSED!

I've talked to his teacher numerous times.  The day after I talk to her, my son goes up to Blue, which is really good but not the top.  Then right back to nothing but bad colors.

We're talking to the principal tomorrow, but I don't have high hopes for this right now.  The whole school uses the color charts.  My son is defeated and upset and he no longer embraces life like he once did.  He firmly believes he is "bad" and that he shouldn't enjoy things because he'll be punished no matter what.

I'm going to ask to try a different teacher, but my sister homeschools in Montana and I'm thinking I'd like to be prepared to go that route, at least for his early years, so he doesn't get so defeated by the system.  If the new teacher uses the same system and guidelines, it's likely things won't work out there.  of course, she might not be as strict and allow children to be children, but it's killing me to see my son this way.

Update Nov 7:

DH is not on board with homsechooling yet.  Per my state laws, I would have to get his signature as well on the forms.  I'm not sure what his hangups are and I'm still talking to him.

So far, DH has said he really wants to try another teacher.  I am compromising by telling DH I'll give it another Quarter, tops.  If something goes drastically wrong, of course, I'm not waiting.  DH has agreed to those terms.

I've let my son know I have his back.  I've told him he has to respect his teacher, be polite, and do his best.  But I've told him also I'm not even going to look at his charts for a while.  The pressure from DH and I is off.  I cannot see how 99% of the people who interact with my son praise his good behavior, but his school sees him as a "troubled problem child" in the classroom.  There is too large a gap between his behavior outside of school and what they claim is happening in school.

Another major problem I've had is that I spoke with this teacher earlier in the year about this problem.  She said she had a more personal chart broken up into time blocks the kids could use.  I thought this might work better, since my son does respond better to more immediate consequences and rewards.  But last night, my son informed me she fills out all the charts at the end of the day!  How is that helping kids?  What if she forgot something or mixed up what kid did what?!

I'm allowing that my son might not be accurate in all his assessments of the situation.  However, his situational awareness, logic, and his ability to understand consequences are all exceptional.  Even his school noticed this in his report cards.  He also has a large vocabulary and by the school's own admission, he's Above Average in his ability to explain a situation properly and in proper sequence.  His own smarts is proving to be the teacher's undoing.

by on Nov. 6, 2013 at 6:41 PM
Replies (21-23):
by Sonja on Nov. 7, 2013 at 4:18 PM
I look forward to finding out what happens. Sometimes you get surprised and sometimes not. Hope it is what you would like it to be.

Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

Thank you.

We meet with the principal tomorrow, so I'll update then again.

Quoting kirbymom:Aww ~ You seeing a precarious position. I believe that you are doing the right thing by compromising now instead of down the road. I of course lean towards homeschooling myself but you must work with your hubby as best as you can. At least he said he would give homeschooling a try if your son kept getting worse.
Just keep having his back. He'll pull through with your help and being by his side.
Hugs. Not easy being in your position.

by on Nov. 7, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Talk with your homeschooling office, too.  We had to take my son out in an emergency situation last year.  There's a 14 day notification rule, but when my husband talked to them in the week leading up to us suddenly pulling our son, the lady at the office told him that was more for forcing the schools to allow the child to remain while parents got their act together.  I picked him up from school on a Friday and never returned him, even though I didn't turn in the papers until that Friday afternoon or possibly the Monday following.  They dated the acceptance letter as the Monday prior to me pulling him.  :)

My son wanted to go to school, too.  He thrived in K because of his teacher.  His 1st grade teacher was good, too.  I loved his 2nd grade teacher, but her suggesting that my son was bipolar was a bit much for me.  So she might not have been the best teacher for him, even though academically she was.  3rd grade, he had 1 teacher for the morning and a 2nd teacher for the afternoon.  His troubles were always with the second teacher.  My way or the highway kind of lady.  4th grade I can't even explain how much I hated 4th grade for him.  Teachers play a huge role.

Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

We meet with the principal early tomorrow.  I've already gotten in touch with local homeschool groups, though.  I'm ready.  It takes 30 days roughly to get my exemption, but if things go sour I've already got my forms filled out and will get the ball rolling ASAP.

What sucks is how badly HE wanted to go to school.  And now he's just defeated.  I find myself crying a lot after I pick him up.

Quoting hwblyf:

Yeah, schools are not set up for little boys.  I'm so sorry you're having a yucky experience.  But my oldest, who by all accounts has had a crappy time with teachers, had some really awesome teachers that were good to him.  The system still sucked, because they have a zero tolerance policy for some things which equal automatic administrative interference and a belief that kids will just somehow magically learn to behave without more intense guidance.  Good luck!

Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

Yes, 30 in his class.  There is the teacher and 2 aides to help out.  But the aides are just a volunteering Mom and a young girl who wants to become a teacher.  They look up to his teacher for everything and totally follow her lead.

Yes, it's all day out here.  I thought that would be great, because he hated coming home from half-day preschool.  He kept saying he couldn't wait to go all day!

And then this.  A teacher who by all appearances just does not like little boys!  She has no tolerance to let anything happen that little boys might do.

DH will not budge on trying a different teacher before homeschooling, but I've gotten him to agree to 1 Quarter and if things don't improve we're done for a year or two.  I know there are nicer teachers in the school, I just don't know if it is the teacher or the system.  So I'll just keep my fingers crossed and pray that things go better, and that if they don't I'm good enough to homeschool.  LOL

Quoting hwblyf:

There are a lot of awesome teachers out there who get kids.  But I listened to an awful lot of people tell me that gifted kids get into a lot more trouble.  They know this.  They recognize this.  But schools aren't set up to handle anything outside of sit down, shut up, do your work.  Kids who are submissive thrive, kids who aren't, don't.  And I don't mean to give the negative connotation for the kids who are behaving, but I think we've gone ridiculously overboard with what's expected of our kids at school.  In kindergarten there are 30 kids in his class?  Crikeys!  Does he go all day?  We have the choice of all day or half day (all day is a lot of money each month).  While I truly can't stomach paying extra money, I kept my kids at half day because that's all they need and all they can do at that age.

In the resources area, you might add to your list:

Smart Boys
If This is a Gift, Can I Send it Back

I'm currently reading Quirky Kids.  But honestly, after a while, you feel like you've read it all before because you've read a ton.  Good luck with your son, and don't let the system drag him down.  And just because that one teacher is for the birds and doesn't use the system right, doesn't mean they're all that way.  Systems are put in place by the administration and teachers have to follow it, whether it's natural for them or working for them or not.  Other teachers might be a much better fit for him. 

by on Nov. 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Quoting Mrs.Kubalabuku:

My 5 year old is DEPRESSED!

DH is not on board with homsechooling yet.  Per my state laws, I would have to get his signature as well on the forms.  I'm not sure what his hangups are and I'm still talking to him."

You KNOW it's bad when your 5 year-old is depressed due to the teacher!  When my DS started BEGGING to homeschool, that was the time we knew we had to change something.  It was obvious school wasn't working well ANYWAY, and I found myself thinking, "What second grader knows about homeschooling and begs to do so??"  We pulled our guys out of public school and it was the best decision we ever made.

Might I suggest.. Could you ask your DH to read the book "Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling" and only after doing so let you know if he's still against the idea??  The book shares the realities of homeschooling, which a LOT of people are unaware of --they have a lot of preconceived notions about what homeschooling will "do" to a kid, but it is virtually always based upon ignorance about what homeschooling is really like. 

I KNOW I was ignorant before we began and I had fears that kept me from diving in.  Truthfully, I didn't WANT to homeschool, but felt like we HAD to homeschool.  What a blessing it turned out to be!! :-D   AWESOME it was!!  It's important to know what your DH's objections to homeschooling are, and to determine the FACTS rather than basing the decision upon what he "thinks" about homeschooling.  The realities of homeschooling truly are a lot different than a lot of people think they are. ;-)

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)