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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Does anyone here homeschool because their child has school phobia or anxiety? My daughter has Separation Anxiety Disorder and I have been homeschooling her on and off for the past 5 years.

cat

by on Mar. 25, 2014 at 3:03 AM
Replies (21-23):
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 8:28 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting IslandGirl1013: Some of you said you or your children had horrible experiences in school. Care to elaborate? Also, while I think homeschooling is great, many have said they keep their child home due to anxiety. Has that been diagnosed by a doctor? What will your children do when it's time to enter the workforce? They may not be able to work from home. Do you think parents play a part in feeding their kids anxieties and how can we tackle school anxiety? I'm undecided between homeschooling and sending DD to public school so I like to hear different perspectives.

Sorry this is going to be long.  My oldest son asked to learn to read when he was 3, so by the time he went to kindergarten he was already reading on his own.  He was already counting to 100, skip counting by 5s and 10s, and adding.

So here were the issues once he went to school....

1.  Since he already knew so much, he would get chatty with the other kids when he was bored.

2.  The library at the school did not test for reading level until 3rd grade and until they had tested, they were not allowed to check out a book above their grade's reading level.  So when he was in kinder he was allowed to take home books that were picture books or ones that had a reading level of 1 (really easy ones!).  The punishment for bringing a book above level to the librarian was that they reduced the number of books you were allowed to take home.  It's really hard to explain to a 5yo that Magic Treehouse is above your reading level when you read the Magic Treehouse books at home, so there were issues.

3.  The punishment for chatting (or really for anything) was loss of recess privileges.  When more than 4 kids from a class lost recess privileges, the entire class would lose them.  Which basically meant that they only had recess a few times a month.

4.  Testing anxiety was also an issue.  Many schools today push the testing agendas right from the beginning.  My boy was never actually in a standardized testing position yet they had test preps (in kinder and 1st grade!), testing pep rallies, testing practice runs.  The teachers pushed that testing was very important and if they didn't pass the test then..... name a billion and one horrible things that would happen to them.  He would have passed the tests with absolutely no troubles, but their preparation drove him to vomitting before spelling tests.  They never explained the difference betweeen the Standardized tests and the little quizzes that they took each week.  He would get himself all worked up about these little tests!  It took nearly 6 months of us using the mantras....this is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy....and .... tests are no big deal.  Finally he could be assessed without turning into a freakin puddle over it.

5.  My oldest had dietary issues.  Red dyes and processed foods give him constipation to the point of ripping his colon (anal fissures).  This was diagnosed by his pedi.  He had a pass from the dr telling them that he would need to take his time in the bathroom.  Yet he would have to change his card (in other words lose recess privileges) if he took more than 5 minutes in the bathroom.  This caused the kids in the class to pick on him because he was one of the ones that made them all lose their privileges.

6.  It also caused problems at lunch.  Non-processed meats means that he was basically a vegetarian during school hours (can't have lunchmeat or many of the other meats parents would send in lunches, couldn't eat the crappy processed white foods the school served in the hot lunch).  So we packed his lunch.  Three times the school nutritionist made him buy a hot lunch and threw away his bagged lunch because he had no meat (and therefore no protein) in his lunch.  He was also picked on by his fellow students because his peppers and yogurt smelled bad.  It got to the point where they wouldn't let him open his lunch.  So in I went.  And the teacher's reaction.... "Send him Normal Food and he won't have those problems."  

7.  At the beginning of 1st grade, he took the DIBELs test.  He earned the end of the year benchmark.  When I asked what goals they were setting for him or what they were doing to challenge him, the answer was that kids usually improve and goals are only for the kids who haven't earned the benchmark.  (What example was that setting?)

8.  They were not allowed to bring in cookies and candies and other highly processed foods for their parties, but that was in writing only.  They were constantly having these big parties.  They thought I was being over-protective because I wouldn't let him eat pink, orange or red foods, but he ended up in the hospital with a ripped descending colon and a horrible bacterial infection after the Halloween party where the teacher's aide coerced him into eating 2 orange cookies beacuse he didn't "want to be weak and different" all his life.  So I removed him from school before the Christmas party rolled around with all the red cookies.

As for your other questions:

What will they do when they enter the workforce?  There is a big difference between an 18 year old (or older) needing to deal with anxiety and a 5 year old needing to deal with it.  We in America have this absloutely crazy notion that kids should be expected to be treated like adults in their emotional states and their academic states and their responsibilies, but should be treated like children in their rights and privileges.  Surprise that children have immature emotions and do not know how to deal with them.  They should not be expected to learn how to deal with their emotions at the same time as they are learning how to navigate in an environment different from their home while they are also expected to keep up with the academic milestones that are also happening in the elementary years.

Slowly all of that will come together for them as they mature.  They can learn to deal with their emotions in a very safe and supervised environment until they have the expectations down.  Then one can remove the supervision until they are working on their own.  Just cutting them loose with such a large population of children who are also learning to navigate this new environment is unhealthy, IMO.

Some parents do feed their children's anxieties, but the public schools do not make allowances for children learning to navigate at their own pace.  There are children who are anxious all on their own.  I have one child who is very anxious, another who is so laid back it's crazy, and one that is a total social butterfly.  So it can't all be me, now can it?  

As for testing, we do not do the testing offered by the PS, instead we pay for an outside entity to test him.  He does wonderfully always scoring far above his grade level.  We reassured him this year that even if he bombed the test, we would fight to keep homeschooling him.  So he went into the test feeling secure and he did very well.  I'm sure the anxiety would have gotten the better of him had he stayed in their over-inflated testing environment.

Sorry that this reply was sooooo long, but I have some very definate ideas about how the public schools are going about some of the childhood issues they need to deal with.  I used to teach in the PS, so that has a lot to do with my feelings on the subject.

IslandGirl1013
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Thank you for your response. I had terrible anxiety as a kid and I dreaded school. It wasn't that I was being bullied or didn't excel, it's just that I'm from a big city so it felt overwhelming. The school was huge, the commute meant taking the public bus with strangers and walking and waiting at the bus stop on my own. Kids were so rowdy and made me a nervous wreck at times. I worry for my DD. I feel that kids today are only getting worse and losing respect. Now with the internet and other influences their innocence is being ripped away. I went to school in the 80s and kids were kids. Now kids grow up entirely too fast and are exposed to adult matters so soon. I want to raise her the way I see fit but I don't want to stifle her. I just want to find a balance. The schools in my area are excellent but they still push the competition agenda. Kids are taking prep courses to get into gifted and talented programs at 3 and 4 years old. I don't want my DD feeling that immense pressure that young. It just seems like they teach you to step over your peers to get to the top. And parents are worse! They compete with each other over who's kid is the best. I want my DD to love learning, not feel like it's a punishment.

Quoting bluerooffarm:

Quoting IslandGirl1013: Some of you said you or your children had horrible experiences in school. Care to elaborate? Also, while I think homeschooling is great, many have said they keep their child home due to anxiety. Has that been diagnosed by a doctor? What will your children do when it's time to enter the workforce? They may not be able to work from home. Do you think parents play a part in feeding their kids anxieties and how can we tackle school anxiety? I'm undecided between homeschooling and sending DD to public school so I like to hear different perspectives.

Sorry this is going to be long.  My oldest son asked to learn to read when he was 3, so by the time he went to kindergarten he was already reading on his own.  He was already counting to 100, skip counting by 5s and 10s, and adding.

So here were the issues once he went to school....

1.  Since he already knew so much, he would get chatty with the other kids when he was bored.

2.  The library at the school did not test for reading level until 3rd grade and until they had tested, they were not allowed to check out a book above their grade's reading level.  So when he was in kinder he was allowed to take home books that were picture books or ones that had a reading level of 1 (really easy ones!).  The punishment for bringing a book above level to the librarian was that they reduced the number of books you were allowed to take home.  It's really hard to explain to a 5yo that Magic Treehouse is above your reading level when you read the Magic Treehouse books at home, so there were issues.

3.  The punishment for chatting (or really for anything) was loss of recess privileges.  When more than 4 kids from a class lost recess privileges, the entire class would lose them.  Which basically meant that they only had recess a few times a month.

4.  Testing anxiety was also an issue.  Many schools today push the testing agendas right from the beginning.  My boy was never actually in a standardized testing position yet they had test preps (in kinder and 1st grade!), testing pep rallies, testing practice runs.  The teachers pushed that testing was very important and if they didn't pass the test then..... name a billion and one horrible things that would happen to them.  He would have passed the tests with absolutely no troubles, but their preparation drove him to vomitting before spelling tests.  They never explained the difference betweeen the Standardized tests and the little quizzes that they took each week.  He would get himself all worked up about these little tests!  It took nearly 6 months of us using the mantras....this is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy....and .... tests are no big deal.  Finally he could be assessed without turning into a freakin puddle over it.

5.  My oldest had dietary issues.  Red dyes and processed foods give him constipation to the point of ripping his colon (anal fissures).  This was diagnosed by his pedi.  He had a pass from the dr telling them that he would need to take his time in the bathroom.  Yet he would have to change his card (in other words lose recess privileges) if he took more than 5 minutes in the bathroom.  This caused the kids in the class to pick on him because he was one of the ones that made them all lose their privileges.

6.  It also caused problems at lunch.  Non-processed meats means that he was basically a vegetarian during school hours (can't have lunchmeat or many of the other meats parents would send in lunches, couldn't eat the crappy processed white foods the school served in the hot lunch).  So we packed his lunch.  Three times the school nutritionist made him buy a hot lunch and threw away his bagged lunch because he had no meat (and therefore no protein) in his lunch.  He was also picked on by his fellow students because his peppers and yogurt smelled bad.  It got to the point where they wouldn't let him open his lunch.  So in I went.  And the teacher's reaction.... "Send him Normal Food and he won't have those problems."  

7.  At the beginning of 1st grade, he took the DIBELs test.  He earned the end of the year benchmark.  When I asked what goals they were setting for him or what they were doing to challenge him, the answer was that kids usually improve and goals are only for the kids who haven't earned the benchmark.  (What example was that setting?)

8.  They were not allowed to bring in cookies and candies and other highly processed foods for their parties, but that was in writing only.  They were constantly having these big parties.  They thought I was being over-protective because I wouldn't let him eat pink, orange or red foods, but he ended up in the hospital with a ripped descending colon and a horrible bacterial infection after the Halloween party where the teacher's aide coerced him into eating 2 orange cookies beacuse he didn't "want to be weak and different" all his life.  So I removed him from school before the Christmas party rolled around with all the red cookies.

As for your other questions:

What will they do when they enter the workforce?  There is a big difference between an 18 year old (or older) needing to deal with anxiety and a 5 year old needing to deal with it.  We in America have this absloutely crazy notion that kids should be expected to be treated like adults in their emotional states and their academic states and their responsibilies, but should be treated like children in their rights and privileges.  Surprise that children have immature emotions and do not know how to deal with them.  They should not be expected to learn how to deal with their emotions at the same time as they are learning how to navigate in an environment different from their home while they are also expected to keep up with the academic milestones that are also happening in the elementary years.

Slowly all of that will come together for them as they mature.  They can learn to deal with their emotions in a very safe and supervised environment until they have the expectations down.  Then one can remove the supervision until they are working on their own.  Just cutting them loose with such a large population of children who are also learning to navigate this new environment is unhealthy, IMO.

Some parents do feed their children's anxieties, but the public schools do not make allowances for children learning to navigate at their own pace.  There are children who are anxious all on their own.  I have one child who is very anxious, another who is so laid back it's crazy, and one that is a total social butterfly.  So it can't all be me, now can it?  

As for testing, we do not do the testing offered by the PS, instead we pay for an outside entity to test him.  He does wonderfully always scoring far above his grade level.  We reassured him this year that even if he bombed the test, we would fight to keep homeschooling him.  So he went into the test feeling secure and he did very well.  I'm sure the anxiety would have gotten the better of him had he stayed in their over-inflated testing environment.

Sorry that this reply was sooooo long, but I have some very definate ideas about how the public schools are going about some of the childhood issues they need to deal with.  I used to teach in the PS, so that has a lot to do with my feelings on the subject.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM

That all sounds very healthy!  I feel that homeschooling is how we struck that healthy balance.  My boys are getting age-appropriate freedom to play with their peers in a safe environment and are able to learn the proper responses to their emotions and anxieties.  Competition can certainly be a good thing, but IMO the schools promote competition with others when really we should only be competing with ourselves.  Either competition will be considered healthy in the work force, so I see no reason to introduce the unhealthy "stepping on one another" style competition at this young age.  You can certainly homeschool and not stifle your child (contrary to some popular beliefs. :-) ) And if you are aware of it before you even commit to homeschooling... well all the better.

Quoting IslandGirl1013: Thank you for your response. I had terrible anxiety as a kid and I dreaded school. It wasn't that I was being bullied or didn't excel, it's just that I'm from a big city so it felt overwhelming. The school was huge, the commute meant taking the public bus with strangers and walking and waiting at the bus stop on my own. Kids were so rowdy and made me a nervous wreck at times. I worry for my DD. I feel that kids today are only getting worse and losing respect. Now with the internet and other influences their innocence is being ripped away. I went to school in the 80s and kids were kids. Now kids grow up entirely too fast and are exposed to adult matters so soon. I want to raise her the way I see fit but I don't want to stifle her. I just want to find a balance. The schools in my area are excellent but they still push the competition agenda. Kids are taking prep courses to get into gifted and talented programs at 3 and 4 years old. I don't want my DD feeling that immense pressure that young. It just seems like they teach you to step over your peers to get to the top. And parents are worse! They compete with each other over who's kid is the best. I want my DD to love learning, not feel like it's a punishment.
Quoting bluerooffarm:

Quoting IslandGirl1013: Some of you said you or your children had horrible experiences in school. Care to elaborate? Also, while I think homeschooling is great, many have said they keep their child home due to anxiety. Has that been diagnosed by a doctor? What will your children do when it's time to enter the workforce? They may not be able to work from home. Do you think parents play a part in feeding their kids anxieties and how can we tackle school anxiety? I'm undecided between homeschooling and sending DD to public school so I like to hear different perspectives.

Sorry this is going to be long.  My oldest son asked to learn to read when he was 3, so by the time he went to kindergarten he was already reading on his own.  He was already counting to 100, skip counting by 5s and 10s, and adding.

So here were the issues once he went to school....

1.  Since he already knew so much, he would get chatty with the other kids when he was bored.

2.  The library at the school did not test for reading level until 3rd grade and until they had tested, they were not allowed to check out a book above their grade's reading level.  So when he was in kinder he was allowed to take home books that were picture books or ones that had a reading level of 1 (really easy ones!).  The punishment for bringing a book above level to the librarian was that they reduced the number of books you were allowed to take home.  It's really hard to explain to a 5yo that Magic Treehouse is above your reading level when you read the Magic Treehouse books at home, so there were issues.

3.  The punishment for chatting (or really for anything) was loss of recess privileges.  When more than 4 kids from a class lost recess privileges, the entire class would lose them.  Which basically meant that they only had recess a few times a month.

4.  Testing anxiety was also an issue.  Many schools today push the testing agendas right from the beginning.  My boy was never actually in a standardized testing position yet they had test preps (in kinder and 1st grade!), testing pep rallies, testing practice runs.  The teachers pushed that testing was very important and if they didn't pass the test then..... name a billion and one horrible things that would happen to them.  He would have passed the tests with absolutely no troubles, but their preparation drove him to vomitting before spelling tests.  They never explained the difference betweeen the Standardized tests and the little quizzes that they took each week.  He would get himself all worked up about these little tests!  It took nearly 6 months of us using the mantras....this is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy....and .... tests are no big deal.  Finally he could be assessed without turning into a freakin puddle over it.

5.  My oldest had dietary issues.  Red dyes and processed foods give him constipation to the point of ripping his colon (anal fissures).  This was diagnosed by his pedi.  He had a pass from the dr telling them that he would need to take his time in the bathroom.  Yet he would have to change his card (in other words lose recess privileges) if he took more than 5 minutes in the bathroom.  This caused the kids in the class to pick on him because he was one of the ones that made them all lose their privileges.

6.  It also caused problems at lunch.  Non-processed meats means that he was basically a vegetarian during school hours (can't have lunchmeat or many of the other meats parents would send in lunches, couldn't eat the crappy processed white foods the school served in the hot lunch).  So we packed his lunch.  Three times the school nutritionist made him buy a hot lunch and threw away his bagged lunch because he had no meat (and therefore no protein) in his lunch.  He was also picked on by his fellow students because his peppers and yogurt smelled bad.  It got to the point where they wouldn't let him open his lunch.  So in I went.  And the teacher's reaction.... "Send him Normal Food and he won't have those problems."  

7.  At the beginning of 1st grade, he took the DIBELs test.  He earned the end of the year benchmark.  When I asked what goals they were setting for him or what they were doing to challenge him, the answer was that kids usually improve and goals are only for the kids who haven't earned the benchmark.  (What example was that setting?)

8.  They were not allowed to bring in cookies and candies and other highly processed foods for their parties, but that was in writing only.  They were constantly having these big parties.  They thought I was being over-protective because I wouldn't let him eat pink, orange or red foods, but he ended up in the hospital with a ripped descending colon and a horrible bacterial infection after the Halloween party where the teacher's aide coerced him into eating 2 orange cookies beacuse he didn't "want to be weak and different" all his life.  So I removed him from school before the Christmas party rolled around with all the red cookies.

As for your other questions:

What will they do when they enter the workforce?  There is a big difference between an 18 year old (or older) needing to deal with anxiety and a 5 year old needing to deal with it.  We in America have this absloutely crazy notion that kids should be expected to be treated like adults in their emotional states and their academic states and their responsibilies, but should be treated like children in their rights and privileges.  Surprise that children have immature emotions and do not know how to deal with them.  They should not be expected to learn how to deal with their emotions at the same time as they are learning how to navigate in an environment different from their home while they are also expected to keep up with the academic milestones that are also happening in the elementary years.

Slowly all of that will come together for them as they mature.  They can learn to deal with their emotions in a very safe and supervised environment until they have the expectations down.  Then one can remove the supervision until they are working on their own.  Just cutting them loose with such a large population of children who are also learning to navigate this new environment is unhealthy, IMO.

Some parents do feed their children's anxieties, but the public schools do not make allowances for children learning to navigate at their own pace.  There are children who are anxious all on their own.  I have one child who is very anxious, another who is so laid back it's crazy, and one that is a total social butterfly.  So it can't all be me, now can it?  

As for testing, we do not do the testing offered by the PS, instead we pay for an outside entity to test him.  He does wonderfully always scoring far above his grade level.  We reassured him this year that even if he bombed the test, we would fight to keep homeschooling him.  So he went into the test feeling secure and he did very well.  I'm sure the anxiety would have gotten the better of him had he stayed in their over-inflated testing environment.

Sorry that this reply was sooooo long, but I have some very definate ideas about how the public schools are going about some of the childhood issues they need to deal with.  I used to teach in the PS, so that has a lot to do with my feelings on the subject.


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