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

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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 (31-40):
AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:08 AM

 I have very little concern for "socialization".  I don't doubt that my daughter, with or without public school, will be very capable of interacting and relating with other people.  Although I will say that in my area most home schoolers are pretty homogenous lol.  Almost all are fundamentalist Christians who don't public school because they want their children's education to revolve around Bible lessons and have a religious slant.  I'm not judging or saying that's wrong, mind you, but that's not us, and there is very little diversity here.  I went to the library a couple of months ago to get some books on homeschooling and ALL of the ones available were Christian.  Every last one of them.  At the public library.  That should tell you what the demand is here lol.

Also, to clarify, my "not qualified" comment was mostly about just not being able to keep it going at the expected pace.  I have another child to care for and inevitably lessons will be put on the back burner. 

Quoting MacMamaof5:

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.

 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

 I'm so glad I'm not alone.  The GUILT, yes, you're right.  Oh the guilt lol.  That's been the worst part. I feel like such a lazy, crappy mom for wanting to send my kids to school instead of do it myself.  It's not that no part of me doesn't want to do it, because I am 100% there with you, it will feel so weird to be away from her for hours a day when we have never done that before.  It's that I really feel like it might be best for her and for me.  I don't know about my little one, he might need to be home schooled, but for THIS kid, at THIS time, it feels like public might be better.  But then I guilt trip myself into believing I'm being selfish :(

I hadn't decided on public school when she decided she was going to ride a school bus and have a teacher and classmates two years ago lol.  She would be crushed if I insisted she stay home, but at the same time, if that's what's best I will do it.  If the school sucks I will pull her right out and wait until we can try another school. 

Bullying is scary for me too.  I was mercilessly bullied from 5th grade through 8th grade and it was terrible.  I told my parents and teachers and no one did anything about it.  I WILL NOT allow that to happen to my child.  Dealing with kids she doesn't get along with is one thing, everyone needs to develop those skills.  But being bullied is different and I will not tolerate it.  My kid is very outgoing and social, but she is also very soft-hearted.  I worry that she will be teased.  I won't put up with it.

Quoting BaileysMom9:

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. 

 

AtiFreeFalls
by Bronze Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:28 AM

 There will be much re-evaluating.  If she is not happy, is not learning enough, is bullied or if I don't like how she is being taught, I will yank her right out.

Quoting awesomemommy2:

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.   

 

Precious333
by Gold Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:29 AM
I homeschool and am.confident its bes for.our kids, dh isnt convinced like i am. I am surrounded.by homeschoolers, all with differebt experiences. Some are not teacher type, have only been.sahms, other.have had.careers or still do, some moms have teaching experience. I see that sometimes a mom who has has had the teachinf experience.has to set all that aside and it can be a.real struggle.

Check.out www.consideringhomeschooling.com checkout the homeschooling groups on cafemom. There are so many approaches to homeschoolinf and if you love spending.tike with your kids and arent neglectful to them, than they will thrive :)
Also, my kids are very social, we have many (sometimes too many) options for them.bein around other kids.
Precious333
by Gold Member on May. 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM
1 mom liked this
I have three kids, a fourth on the way. We homeschool and are not home all day. Its is a common misconception that homeschooling means staying home all day doing school work. We do many things during the week with friends, most of it is educationally motivated. My kids thrive and are challenged.


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 There will be much re-evaluating.  If she is not happy, is not learning enough, is bullied or if I don't like how she is being taught, I will yank her right out.


Quoting awesomemommy2:


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.   


 


MacMamaof5
by on May. 7, 2013 at 2:23 PM

When I brought up the "socialization", it was not because you had mentioned it as a problem.  I saw one of the replies and thought "oh, Lord, please don't let that be one of the reasons you don't try".  But like I said--it seemed like you already pretty much made up your mind about what you want to do and whatever you do, I am sure your little girl will thrive.  And "keeping it going at an expected pace"--another issue I had to take on myself with others because  I don't believe in moving ahead until a concept is totally understood--but that's another story.  Good luck to you.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 I have very little concern for "socialization".  I don't doubt that my daughter, with or without public school, will be very capable of interacting and relating with other people.  Although I will say that in my area most home schoolers are pretty homogenous lol.  Almost all are fundamentalist Christians who don't public school because they want their children's education to revolve around Bible lessons and have a religious slant.  I'm not judging or saying that's wrong, mind you, but that's not us, and there is very little diversity here.  I went to the library a couple of months ago to get some books on homeschooling and ALL of the ones available were Christian.  Every last one of them.  At the public library.  That should tell you what the demand is here lol.

Also, to clarify, my "not qualified" comment was mostly about just not being able to keep it going at the expected pace.  I have another child to care for and inevitably lessons will be put on the back burner. 

Quoting MacMamaof5:

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.

 


catholicmamamia
by on May. 7, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Quoting ceckyl: This. I had the same fear you do and then I spent some time with a homeschooling family and try really put it into perspective for me. If you can read, you learn and teach at the same time. Everything you need to teach them is right in front of you.
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. 

 


                
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CB3arr
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 6:33 PM
1 mom liked this

1.  Standardized testing doesn't mean anything about the school.

2.  Just because your kid goes to public school during the day doesn't mean you can't teach her at home still.  She will only be "pounded into a mold" if you allow it to happen.

3.  I've been teaching in the public school system for 5 years now.  You're right, the education system is seriously messed up, but that didn't stop me and all of my colleagues from doing our jobs.  There are still good schools and good teachers around.  You just need to do some research.

Mrs.Salz
by Platinum Member on May. 7, 2013 at 7:51 PM

I was homeschooled and had no problem at all being accepted into multiple colleges, and neiter did my siblings or any of our friends. I graduated from the honors program at a private college and at least half of those students were also homeschooled. Many colleges are actually specifically recruiting homeschooled students.


If for some reason a college didn't accept a homeschool diploma, the student could get a GED but I've never known anyone who needed one. Another option is doing college classes during high school (which is becoming very popular for both home and public educated students) and entering college with an associates degree. In my experience, though, ACT and/or SAT scores were what really mattered for college entrance.

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. 

 


Mrs.Salz
by Platinum Member on May. 7, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Homeschool curriculums are designed for parents who don't have education degrees. I had friends whose parents had teaching degrees that they said were not helpful at all in teaching their kids. Correspondence and online schools is another option where you are essentially facilitating, rather than directly teaching.


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