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

(minimum 6 characters)

Feeling insecure in our decision to send our kids to public school

Posted by   + Show Post

My husband has always wanted to home school, I have always been a fence sitter.  I am the stay at home parent, though, and I in no way feel qualified to teach my children everything they need to know.  Educators go to school for years learning how to help children retain knowledge and I have none of that expeience.  And my daughter is starting school in just a few months...

I just feel so strange and torn about it.  She is VERY excited at the prospect of being around other kids all day and getting to play on the playground and be with a teacher.  She really wants to do it.  I'm just so nervous.  It will be so strange not to have her here for several hours a day and to ahve her come home and know things I didn't teach her or witness her learning.  The school she will be attending does really well on standardized testing, I don't doubt that she will be getting a good education, but I worry about her being pounded into a mold I don't quite agree with.  I worry about her getting hurt (Newtown JUST happened in my mind).  I worry that she won't be getting enough opportunities to express herself and grow in the arts, if that's what interests her.

I worry that I am basing my decision to send her to public school on what is easiest, not what is best.  I'd send her to private school, which I feel is a decent compromise, if I could afford it, but I can't.  I'd teach her at home, but I really honestly don't think I'm up to the task, not to mention that I want to go back to work eventually.

Public school really seems like what will work best for our family, but I know that the education system needs serious overhaul and I know that I don't want her to be taught what to think intead of how to think. 

It's very overwhelming.

I don't know what anyone could say that would make it better, but I thought if anyone would be able to help, it would be you guys.  Sorry for the ramble :/

by on May. 6, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Replies (21-30):
MacMamaof5
by on May. 7, 2013 at 4:10 AM
1 mom liked this

Sounds like you already made up your mind about what you want to do.  I have my 8 year old in PS for this year--well we enrolled him in January and his last day is late this May, but he does NOT want to go back.  The only reason we enrolled him was because we were in the middle of moving and my husband thought it would be less stress on me.  It's MORE stress to be honest.  Don't let that NEED to interact with other kids and adults fool you.  HOmeSchoolers ARE very well socialized.  Matter of fact, they are probably your best bet when it comes to a diverse audience.  They get MORE out of learning from their everyday surroundings via field trips, errand runs, library trips and even your average flea market than they do from peers of their own age who only can offer the exact information they are getting.  Plus there are homeschool groups that support you on your journey so you are not alone.  Whatever you do, please don't fall for the lies....you not being "qualified" cause I volunteered at my son's school and heard the horror of incorrect grammar being taught to students and cringed at the idea that the teacher's goal was to show the student the information and let them figure it out on their own.  Basically, homeschooling them at school. And all the "silent lunches" because they were out of order that my son tells me about?  What socialization are we talking about?  You have to first make up your mind about what you want to do and then do it.  No wallflower is going to "make the grade".  If you don't attempt it, you will never know.  And perhaps your kids will do fabulous at school.  I know mine has won his awards, made his 100's, gained favoritism among his teachers--but he never forgot what his mom can do for him at home.  Have a personal relationship with him and I can assure him that I really do care about his well being and NOT the teachers who have a lot of students to deal with--as his teacher put it so vaguely.

JadeTigr7
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 4:42 AM
School is NOT for socialization. My kids are more socialized than most public schools students I know, including me.

There are plenty of ways for kids to get socialization skills without sending them away for 6-7 hours a day. My kids have friends in our homeschool group and around the neighborhood and they know how to act around adults.

The biggest myth I see concerning public school is "socialization". To be honest I certainly wouldn't want my kids to act like a lot of the public school kids I see. And going to public school didn't help me socially. Church did, however.


Quoting tabi_cat1023:

Plan to be very involved in her schooling, volunteer in her classroom, help with homework, go on field trips.  WHen your daughters home find out what interests her and unschool, if shes into arts find her art lessons, if its history go to the history museum, etc etc.  Cook with her to help her learn math concepts.

I'm a public school teacher and I really believe homeschooling can be an awesome thing but at the same time some kids NEED the interaction with other kids and other adults.  My kiddos do for sure.  2 of my 3 in school refuse to read to us just do just fine in school...its strange lol.  They learn things from us that they want to learn and at school learn whats necessary if that makes sense.


BaileysMom9
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 9:47 AM

With lots of support from you and your husband at home, your dd will thrive in school and grow up to be a well-rounded adult :)  I completely understand what you're going through and all the guilt and "what-if's".  My dd will be starting school this fall too, and I was going to homeschool (although admittedly, I was terrified of the prospect... wondering if I could really give her what she needed), but then realized that my state is one of the toughest to homeschool in because of all the laws and hoops you have to jump through.  So I decided to let her go to public school.  I'm still terrified, and I think about it almost daily.  Not having her home while my boys will be here is weird.  Leaving her with someone else for several hours a day when none of my kids have ever been to daycare or preschool is hard.  Knowing just how messed up our public school systems are (overall) does not make me excited either, BUT I know that with lots of help at home she will do fine.  She's very excited to have a teacher and be around other kids her age.  Remember that we can teach them the arts at home.  We can let the school be their place to learn academics, but we can still supplement with music, art and creativity (those are the fun parts anyway!).  My biggest fear is bullying.  I cannot imagine my little girl dealing with this.  It just breaks my heart even thinking about the possibility of her being her emotionally or physically by another child.  But I try not to dwell on that. 

Ugh.  This school thing is HARD.  Kids growing up is HARD.  I'm not ready for this yet :'(  Hang in there mama.  I really, truly understand your concerns. 

BaileysMom9
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Oh, and I grew up in a homeschooling family.  I was home-schooled through 6th grade, then went to a private school for a year, then to public starting in 8th grade.  The public school was better IMO than the private.  Not educationally maybe, but in every other aspect.  I was the "poorer" kid in my class because most other families were very well-off.  I was bullied and treated terribly by the other "richer, cooler" girls in my class.  It was hell.  And for that very reason, I would never send my child to a private school.  There's too much hierarchy.

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Thanks for your reply.  To clarify, it's not that I think I don't know or can't learn the material, it's honestly that I am a busy mother.  I have all I can handle just keeping my kids safe, healthy and out of trouble and the house clean (...ish lol).  I know it will be far too easy to put off lessons until a more convenient time and wind up letting her fall behind.  I'm trying to be realistic and not over-commit. *Realistically* am I really going to be able to keep her caught up?  I sound like such a lazy, uninvolved parent when I say that, but I'm trying to recognize my own limitations and not make them apply to my daughter.

I see what you're saying about making public school be a great learning opportunity through involvement.  We are already planning on supplemental lessons and greater-than-average involvement in the school.  We are definitely not the parents who think it's the school's job to teach her EVERYTHING she needs to know, to us it is a collaboration with the school, our daughter and us. 

Quoting larissalarie:

Not all areas/states have charter schools. I'd never heard of such a thing where I grew up in Kansas or where I lived in Missouri, Colorado was the first place we lived that offered that option.

OP, admitting your limitations is GOOD. Homeschool can be great or homeschool can be a complete disaster. I grew up around a lot of homeschooling and I've seen first hand what happens to kids who's parents aren't up for the task. They wind up far worse off than a mediocre public school education.

I think you are being too all or nothing about the whole thing personally. Just because your child goes off to school doesn't mean you don't still participate in their education.
Homeschool is as good an opportunity as you make it, Public school is as good as what you the parent make it. A HUGE reason our public schools are failing so miserably is parents who think it's all up to the school and do nothing to educate or help educate their own children.


Quoting jellyphish:

There are no charter schools?

 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 10:34 AM

 There is one.  Only one, though, and we missed the open enrollment period by months because I had no idea it existed.  When we moved here in August I started researching and never came across it until yesterday.  I did set up a meeting with the director to get some more information for next year, though.

Quoting jellyphish:

There are no charter schools?

 

awesomemommy2
by on May. 7, 2013 at 10:35 AM

I am a teacher and could not homeschool my children.  If they were all school aged it would be one thing but its not fair to my bright 7 year old to be home all day with a 3 and 4 year old.   He would learn less (LOL).   I dreaded sending my intelligent, sensitive son to public.  That said we looked into private but expensive and not totally thrilled with some of their policies.   Kids sit in neat rows, hands folded, kind of learning but I am very happy with our public here.   He has an excellent teacher.   Gets pulled out to do Excel math.   They learn in centers which I like.   He is thriving.   I say give it a chance and if its not working out reevaluate.   

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Your reply is very helpful!  I would love some links.  I'm less worried about "socialization" and more worried that I, in my perpetual distraction, will be prone to letting her fall behind.  I have a toddler to care for as well, and he takes up a lot of my time lol.  I also worry how it will effect my plans for my own education and career.  I love being home with my little ones, but I have other passions I want to persue that I have not been able to with little ones at home.  Some will say I'm selfish for wanting that, and maybe I am, but I can't help how I feel about it.

I agree that standardized tests are kind of a crock, but not for the same reasons.  For one, I think any more funding for schools is a good thing.  I am wrestling with the decision to send my kid to school or not, but most parents just send their kids out and don't worry about it.  I think education is desperately under funded, personally.  My bone with standardized testing is that it's not really testing what the kids know.  It's testing what they have been crammed full of by rote and will forget 10 seconds after the test is over.   

Anyway, yes, please, to the links and thank you for your insight!

Quoting somuchlove4U:

I'm a home schooler. I've been homeschooling my daughter for 4 yrs now. My highest level of education is a highschool degree. When I hit bumps I look to my husband and/or find tutorials online. There are a lot of options out there. They have curriculums online as well as teacher support. One of the freedoms of homeschooling is your kids aren't taught to pass standardized test. I don't agree with that kind of testing as it's just to help the schools earn more money. If you want I can send you different links that can help you decide. Also when it comes to her spending time with kids you have Homeschool support groups. They get together and go on field trips as well as do different activities together. If you have any questions feel free to send me a message.

 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 10:51 AM

 Lol, good point.  She is already at about an end-of-K level.  She can count to 100, do simple addition, knows all the letters and most of their sounds (the ones with more than one sound are a little confusing still), and can even sound out some simple words with minimal guidance. 

Quoting MrsKish:


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

Managing a classroom isn't the only thing they go to school for, though I see what you're saying.  I am unprepared in so many ways, though.  And in my research on homeschool I learned that not every college or university accepts kids who complete high school through a home schooling program.  Which is another concern of mine. 

Quoting JadeTigr7:

I wish I could help but we homeschool.  I was never comfortable with the idea of sending my kids to someone else to teach for so many hours a day.

Teachers get all that training on how to teach in a public school, and manage classrooms.  I don't need that degree because I teach my own kids and I don't have school policies to work around. 

 there are  online OPs  like adcmouse.com  your can't really mess up prek and K ;) just saying 


 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 10:56 AM

This is very reassuring.  Sometimes I really feel like it's all or nothing.  My own parents were not involved at all in my schooling.  I got good grades and they felt like that was proof enough that the school was doing a good job lol.  So maybe I feel like it's all or nothing because for my family growing up it was.  Unschooling at home AND doing public school might be a really great compromise. 

Quoting tabi_cat1023:

Plan to be very involved in her schooling, volunteer in her classroom, help with homework, go on field trips.  WHen your daughters home find out what interests her and unschool, if shes into arts find her art lessons, if its history go to the history museum, etc etc.  Cook with her to help her learn math concepts.

I'm a public school teacher and I really believe homeschooling can be an awesome thing but at the same time some kids NEED the interaction with other kids and other adults.  My kiddos do for sure.  2 of my 3 in school refuse to read to us just do just fine in school...its strange lol.  They learn things from us that they want to learn and at school learn whats necessary if that makes sense.

 

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)