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Did you have any doubts? How did you get over them?

Posted by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 6:52 PM
  • 10 Replies

Can you share your experiences?

I've been debating homeschooling my youngest son for a little while now.  I've gotten some books explaining the world of homeschooling and I've researched curriculums.  I'm still unsure about what the right curriculum will be for us because there are so many to choose from.  I'm just so worried that I won't be able to teach him, that he won't catch on.  He's 10, and in the 5th grade.  I was considering starting him off at the 4thgrade level just to get aquainted refresh (He could do with a little backtracking).  I'm concerned that they're will be "hidden fees" in all of what I need to buy to even get started with homeschooling.   Both my mother and my MIL were teachers, so they're not exactly on board.  They're supportive of my decisions, but I do have to hear their side from time to time.   Just yesterday I mentioned my thoughts to my older brother and he sort of snickered and said, "You can't homeschool him".   I'm not worried about what other people think, but it's certainly contributing to my doubts.

The reason why I'm considering homeschooling him is that he's always had to work to get good grades.  Though he actually wants to do the work, I've never had to put up a fight to get him to study or do homework.  But, he's always appeared a little more immature (in size and personality) than his peers.  This year he's getting teased because of it, and he loses all focus in the classroom.  I worry about his self esteem.  Will the childhood teasing contribute to him growing a backbone as an adult, or will he be forever shy and nervous around people?  I just worry.

I have an older son who does fine in school.  However, I think my other son may do best with a one on one situation, and a schedule that can be minipulated a little bit.

by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 6:52 PM
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Replies (1-10):
redheadtmk
by on Oct. 8, 2015 at 6:59 PM
I think pulling him out because he is shy is not a good reason. Myself, along with many people I know outgrew being shy. He needs some problem solving skills and encouragement, not protected from the world.Once he hits junior high having a mix of friends in different grades is easier. I would not pull him out especially if he is doing on in school. Some kids have to work for thier grades. It is not supposed to be easy.
Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Oct. 8, 2015 at 9:29 PM
2 moms liked this

i read Alfie Kohn's book: Feel-Bad Eudcation and it was such an Ah-ha! moment for me that it solidified that I was going to homeschool. I think I even cried reading some of it because it rang so true for my son's experience in school. I took him out after 3rd grade, He's 6th now. he's a little young/immature and might have benefited from starting K a year late. But homeschooling is going very well. My mom was also a teacher. While she theoretically knew that homeschooling works well, she discouraged me initially because she thought my son would just get on my nerves and we'd hate each other being together all day. It worked out fine and we really like it and the older brother started homeschoolling too. There is sometimes doubt that I"m doing the right thing... I think the anxieties I had about how school was failing him were just replaced with internal pressure for me to do the right thing. I manage to stay in the "I'm doing the right thing" mindset for the most part, so don't really have any doubt on a regular basis. The other thing that keeps me pretty firmly int the "it's all going to work out fine" camp is that my daughter still goes to public school -- so whenever I have a day where I think we're accomplishing nothing, all I need to do is ask her what she did in school today or check out her homework to know they are doing a whole lot of time-wasting cr@p!

as for cost - you can find a lot of stuff for free on line or use library books. Some things are probably worht buying since there is no point in trying to reinvent the wheel with something when you can buy a workbook for $20... or sometimes you can spend more on toner and paper printing out free stuff compared to just buying a textbook. Personally, I put the bulk of my money towards field trips, museusm visits, art classes, sports and other activities. (a lot of that I'd be paying for anyway even if they went to school). Then I probably spend the second most on math since it's worth it to me to buy a program that is ready to go with out much planning on my part... Science, social studies, reading, grammar, spelling, vocab, etc can all be done pretty cheaply with library books an finding resources on line.

Leissaintexas
by Silver Member on Oct. 9, 2015 at 3:13 PM
If you can raise a child, you can teach a child. In the whole history of mankind, its only been in the last 100-150 years that parents have been told they couldn't teach their own children. Who do you think taught Thomas Edison, George Washington, or Sally Ride?

Spend some time really getting to know your son again. Figure out his learning style, his interests and passions, and build his curriculum around that. You are his best teacher.
Leissaintexas
by Silver Member on Oct. 9, 2015 at 3:22 PM
With all due respect, I could not disagree more. Shy people are shy people. Sometimes they outgrow it, but not because you force them into situations they aren't comfortable with. My dd was shy for years. Homeschooling actually gave her the confidence to come out if her shell. You seem to be under the misguided assumption that homeschoolers are locked in basements and have no interaction with peers, no opportunity to learn to handle conflict. Please don't bring your stereotypes here to a homeschooling forum. Unless of course, you're willing to actually learn the facts.
Quoting redheadtmk: I think pulling him out because he is shy is not a good reason. Myself, along with many people I know outgrew being shy. He needs some problem solving skills and encouragement, not protected from the world.Once he hits junior high having a mix of friends in different grades is easier. I would not pull him out especially if he is doing on in school. Some kids have to work for thier grades. It is not supposed to be easy.
redheadtmk
by on Oct. 9, 2015 at 4:39 PM

Obviously not every child is the same and there is not one action that will work for every child. I know that homeschooled children are not locked in the basement and never socialized. Jumping to such an emotional and exaggerated response is ridiculous. Unless you are part of a homeschool co-op where he will be interacting with other children for 6-7 hours a day, he will not be getting as much or the same type of interactions as he would in school.

The tone of the original post as I read it, was she was reacting more to worry and fear and trying to protect him than  acting out of his best interest scholastically. She stated she was worried and unsure, not that she was confident it would solve his problems. Obviously she has his best interest at heart, and is doing the best by him. Asking for opinions and help is a  sign of a great  mother who loves her child and wants all information so she can make a good decision.  But she clearly expressed uncertainty at her choices and that she did not know if he would be a child who grew up to be strong or weak if endured teasing and a rough time at school. She said he is doing well in school but he has to work hard. To me if he is doing well at school, the problem sounds more like protecting him from other kids. 

I know many people who out grew shyness, and your daughter outgrew it as well. Some did it at public school, your dd did by homeschool. If there was a clear answer the OP wouldnt be hear aksing questions.I stand by what I said. If she chooses to pull him because she thinks he will thrive in the homeschool world, by all means pull him out of school. But if she is reacting out of fear and worry then I dont think pulling him is the right answer.

Only the OP knows her child and the full details of what is going on. But I am a firm believer in making choices for something, not making choices against something.

Quoting Leissaintexas: With all due respect, I could not disagree more. Shy people are shy people. Sometimes they outgrow it, but not because you force them into situations they aren't comfortable with. My dd was shy for years. Homeschooling actually gave her the confidence to come out if her shell. You seem to be under the misguided assumption that homeschoolers are locked in basements and have no interaction with peers, no opportunity to learn to handle conflict. Please don't bring your stereotypes here to a homeschooling forum. Unless of course, you're willing to actually learn the facts.
Quoting redheadtmk: I think pulling him out because he is shy is not a good reason. Myself, along with many people I know outgrew being shy. He needs some problem solving skills and encouragement, not protected from the world.Once he hits junior high having a mix of friends in different grades is easier. I would not pull him out especially if he is doing on in school. Some kids have to work for thier grades. It is not supposed to be easy.


Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Oct. 10, 2015 at 10:07 PM

My son was at a different age and I pulled him out for a different reason, but I can relate to the doubts. I wasn't sure if I would have the motivation to stay on track.  I still have moments where I panic and wonder if I can really do this...even a year in (especially when I feel like we're falling behind), but it seems like every time that happens, I back off, regroup, try something new and focus on something else for a while and things get back into the swing. 

It helped me to have a summer of trying to "catch him up" to help me realize that I could do this. 

Don't fret too much about curriculum.  Someone told me having something is the important thing...what it is doesn't matter as much (that's not to say you shouldn't reasearch and that some things don't work better for some people...but having something is the starting place, and you can always change later.

As for hidden costs, I've found curriculum costs to be pretty up front. I suggest starting with curriculum for one or two  subjects, work on that until you get a feel for what you like or don't like, and then buy the rest.   He won't be falling behind in the other subjects because you can just spend more time on the ones you're focusing on, and then focus more on the others when you add them. 

Plus, with things like science or literature or history you can use cheaper unit studies (focusing on one era or topic or book or skill for a few weeks, in stead of a curriculum that covers a whole year) until you figure out his learning style and your teaching style and what you like in a curriculum. 

Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Oct. 10, 2015 at 10:15 PM

Good point Leissaintexas.  And while introverts can do really well in school, I just wanted to mention that having problems in school because you are being teased isn't about whether someone is shy, and if you feel like the teasing is making it hard to learn, that's not a bad reason to pull him out, at least for a while to see if things go better at home. 

I don't think being teased actually "makes a person stronger."  Yes, finding ways to deal with it can, but not necessarily.  I was teased pretty badly in school...and what got me through was my faith, but it was my faith that made me stronger, not the circumstances (before I found faith the teasing had quite the opposite affect...shut me down).  Your child will have pleanty of hard circumstances in life...and going through being teased isn't some necessary step in development.  There are other places you can find for your child to socialize.

Quoting Leissaintexas: With all due respect, I could not disagree more. Shy people are shy people. Sometimes they outgrow it, but not because you force them into situations they aren't comfortable with. My dd was shy for years. Homeschooling actually gave her the confidence to come out if her shell. You seem to be under the misguided assumption that homeschoolers are locked in basements and have no interaction with peers, no opportunity to learn to handle conflict. Please don't bring your stereotypes here to a homeschooling forum. Unless of course, you're willing to actually learn the facts.
Quoting redheadtmk: I think pulling him out because he is shy is not a good reason. Myself, along with many people I know outgrew being shy. He needs some problem solving skills and encouragement, not protected from the world.Once he hits junior high having a mix of friends in different grades is easier. I would not pull him out especially if he is doing on in school. Some kids have to work for thier grades. It is not supposed to be easy.


NOLAdy
by on Oct. 13, 2015 at 4:35 PM
1 mom liked this
Thanks, ladies. I'm still in research mode, gathering all of the information that I can. I wouldn't be pulling him out because he's shy, he's actually pretty outgoing. But, he's in a school with some tough kids who treat each other poorly and it's effecting him. I worry about the foundation that he's getting. Though, that's a small concern compared to academics. He's always been a good kid, turned in all of his homework, worked well in class, but didn't always pass tests. I'm noticing that he most likely hasn't been retaining the information, and so far this year it's holding him back. My plan is to take it one year at a time. Reinforcing the basics, making sure that he knows it, and than move on from there. I found some coursework that I'm excited about. Now, I've moved on to figuring out what I need for this, as the teacher, as well as studying the laws for our state.
stormie1985
by Member on Oct. 14, 2015 at 12:57 AM
I pulled my girls out last year when I had a newborn and I'll be giving birth to #4 next week.. I have doubts all the time. Is this best for my child? Idk... I really don't yet. It has been hard on me personally bc I am still developing patience and coping skills. But they get to experience an entirely different aspect to learning. We travel a lot... we do way more activities that we would not have done before like piano, gymnastics, jiujitsu. And we can slow everything down to make sure it is learned... not just regurgitated... and that's how I know I'm doing something right... the moment they've taken their time to really understand something and it clicks.

I will say that my left handed child has issues remembering things... God help me but this month it has been regrouping. I really recommend the horizon workbooks since it's a TON of repetitive work. We are secular based and this has faith connotations but it is a lifesaver.

Quoting NOLAdy: Thanks, ladies. I'm still in research mode, gathering all of the information that I can. I wouldn't be pulling him out because he's shy, he's actually pretty outgoing. But, he's in a school with some tough kids who treat each other poorly and it's effecting him. I worry about the foundation that he's getting. Though, that's a small concern compared to academics. He's always been a good kid, turned in all of his homework, worked well in class, but didn't always pass tests. I'm noticing that he most likely hasn't been retaining the information, and so far this year it's holding him back. My plan is to take it one year at a time. Reinforcing the basics, making sure that he knows it, and than move on from there. I found some coursework that I'm excited about. Now, I've moved on to figuring out what I need for this, as the teacher, as well as studying the laws for our state.
Mandalynn252
by Member on Oct. 14, 2015 at 9:03 AM

We're in our first month of homeschooling and it has been a lot of fun which wasn't something I was exactly anticipating.There were doubts, but then I felt like I was knowledgeable enough to learn what was needed to teach her. 

I bought a math curriculum and a few workbooks and we're really geting into it. I'm using Saxon Math and it is tedious but my daughter likes it so I'm going to stick with it. She really likes worksheets. I will say that I have learned more about my daughter in these past three weeks than I realized there was. I recently learned that she does reading and reading comprehension better in the afternoon. I never realized that. Homeschooling helps you learn more about your kids learning styles. 

I will say that if he's shy and being teased now in 5th grade, it's concerning b/c 6th grade is generally worse. And it does all depend on the school. Is it large enough to give him some outlet that he likes such as music, art, or sports? I was fine as a 5th grader but when I got into 6th grade it was horrible. Then again my middle school was TERRIBLE. 

I keep my daughter in girl scouts and bowling and we're going to a weekly library homeschool group. She also goes to a weekly recreation center playtime for 2 hours. Looking for a local Co-Op would be awesome way to still give him other kids to connect with. I will say that socializing does take some extra work. 

Check with your school and see if your son can still particpate in extracurriculars. My school will allow my kids to participate in band and sports. That might help keeping him connected to his friends. 

Good luck. It can seem overwhelming, but take a deep breath and know you can learn just about anything. A suggestion I read that has helped me is to write a Homeschooling Mssion Statement. Write a paragraph about why you want to homeschool and keep it somewhere you can find it again. That way if you feel frustrated or overhwelmed you can simply look back and see why you're doing this. 

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