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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 (41-50):
tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on May. 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM

As long as you find another source of socialization thats great..my sons in scouts..with 4 kids 5 on the way I dont have the funds or time to make sure my child gets other socialization and YES he does socialize at school.  Learning from peers, from helping others their own age is wonderful for kids and school does that for mine.  I wasnt saying homeschool kids lack socialization at all..I just know MINE would.


Quoting JadeTigr7:

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.




JadeTigr7
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 8:30 PM
We go to scouts, and are a part of the homeschool group in post who do low cost to no cost field trips and get togethers. I have dive kids too, and that in itself teaches my kids how to socialize.

Homeschooling is not for every family but so many people perpetuate myths.


Quoting tabi_cat1023:

As long as you find another source of socialization thats great..my sons in scouts..with 4 kids 5 on the way I dont have the funds or time to make sure my child gets other socialization and YES he does socialize at school.  Learning from peers, from helping others their own age is wonderful for kids and school does that for mine.  I wasnt saying homeschool kids lack socialization at all..I just know MINE would.



Quoting JadeTigr7:

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.







tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on May. 7, 2013 at 8:32 PM

I am struggling right now because my oldests year this year has been HORRIBLE, I think alot of the issue is the teacher, but its also the fact that he has ADD pretty bad.  If homeschooled he would not be failing because of not turning in assignments..what he turns in and tests on he gets straight As but because of uncompleted work he has Fs almost straight across the board.  I have tried and tried to fix this and I think its pointless this year.  He had learned the materials...he knows the information.  Just blows my mind his grades.  This is the kid with an IQ of 135 and reads on college level in 5th grade who goes to gifted classes and is reviewing books for the Newberry awards given to books each year!


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

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.

 



tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on May. 7, 2013 at 8:34 PM

My best friend is a mom of 5 that homeschools and I think its wonderful.  I dont want to perpetuate myths at all.  I hate that people think someone is saying negative things about homeschooling when they say ANYTHING but homeschooling is perfect public school sucks.


Quoting JadeTigr7:

We go to scouts, and are a part of the homeschool group in post who do low cost to no cost field trips and get togethers. I have dive kids too, and that in itself teaches my kids how to socialize.

Homeschooling is not for every family but so many people perpetuate myths.


Quoting tabi_cat1023:

As long as you find another source of socialization thats great..my sons in scouts..with 4 kids 5 on the way I dont have the funds or time to make sure my child gets other socialization and YES he does socialize at school.  Learning from peers, from helping others their own age is wonderful for kids and school does that for mine.  I wasnt saying homeschool kids lack socialization at all..I just know MINE would.



Quoting JadeTigr7:

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.









JadeTigr7
by Member on May. 7, 2013 at 8:44 PM


I never said that.  I'm saying you were talking about how important socialization is.  I don't believe that school teaches proper socialization, and I know I was always told that school was NOT for socialization, it was for learning.

There are some great public schools out there.  My elementary school was one of those.  We chose to homeschool because my husband is in the army and we move a lot, not because I look down on public school.

It just seems that many parents who send their kids to public school feel the need to defend themselves, and in that perpetuate myths about homeschooling.  I think that if you send your kids to school you need to give them the same opportunities to appropriately socialize the same as homeschooled students do.  With sports, extra-curricular actities, etc.

PS.  I'm also newly PP and could be feeling a little emotional and crazy. :) 

Quoting tabi_cat1023:

My best friend is a mom of 5 that homeschools and I think its wonderful.  I dont want to perpetuate myths at all.  I hate that people think someone is saying negative things about homeschooling when they say ANYTHING but homeschooling is perfect public school sucks.


Quoting JadeTigr7:

We go to scouts, and are a part of the homeschool group in post who do low cost to no cost field trips and get togethers. I have dive kids too, and that in itself teaches my kids how to socialize.

Homeschooling is not for every family but so many people perpetuate myths.


Quoting tabi_cat1023:

As long as you find another source of socialization thats great..my sons in scouts..with 4 kids 5 on the way I dont have the funds or time to make sure my child gets other socialization and YES he does socialize at school.  Learning from peers, from helping others their own age is wonderful for kids and school does that for mine.  I wasnt saying homeschool kids lack socialization at all..I just know MINE would.



Quoting JadeTigr7:

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.












~Crystal~

Homeschooling Mama to James, Jade, Steven, Willow and Katara
Wifey to Michael since 3-30-05

 

Homeschoolmom10
by on May. 7, 2013 at 9:24 PM
1 mom liked this

Prior to being a mom education was my life. I went to college for both human development, and education. I worked as a teacher, then owned a school for 7 years. When my first daughter was born I decided to be a SAHM and later decided I would homeschool. I have to say, that I love it. I think each family needs to see what fits best for them, but for us homeschooling works great.  Here is my blog... I discuss homeschooling, etc on there. Look at the earlier posts that give good detailed info. http://homeschoolmom1030.blogspot.com/

Phooey this helps!:)

larissalarie
by on May. 7, 2013 at 9:39 PM
1 mom liked this
I definitely didn't think you couldn't learn/teach the material if that's what you decided to do :)
The families I know that failed miserably at homeschooling didn't lack intelligence at all, they lacked commitment and organization. Spent way to many days skipping school and half-asses it on the days they did attempt to do something. Eventually put their kids into public school and had them starting multiple grade levels behind where they should have been.

Having watched my friends live through that humiliation (no matter what, a 12 year old in 3rd grade is perceived as an idiot even when it's not their fault), I will never try to sell someone on homeschooling who doesn't really want to do it. There's absolutely no reason to feel guilty about not really wanting to homeschool. I've done both with my oldest and there's positive & negative to either choice. The "right" choice is different for each individual family.


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

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?

 

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da808gypsy
by on May. 8, 2013 at 11:15 PM
Would you new able to get a geographic exception to send to a school in another district? Idk about your state but we can do that in hawaii. But out means you have to have a darn good reason and if your child end up doing something bad our giving your school a bad rating they can send you than back to the school In their district
bloomsr
by Bronze Member on May. 9, 2013 at 12:19 AM
I am in the same boat as you. We are planning on sending our son to a public school next year for kindergarten. After the year (or less if it goes poorly) we will assess and decide wheather or not we want to continue with public education...
jconney80
by Group Mod on May. 9, 2013 at 2:45 AM
I just want to put into perspective though that at this age there isn't much to so beyond the things you're already doing. When people think of homeschooling they think of school but at home. You can teach lessons by sitting in the bathtub or jumping on the trampoline. Every state has different rules and restrictions about what requirements you have to meet. Where I live you have to do a national standardized test or have a teacher access a portfolio of your child's work to produce a report for the school district. There is a mom here who teaches but doesn't do any formal curriculum until 7 years old. Does that mean she doesn't teach anything? No way! She provides them with every opportunity to learn naturally and that even includes teaching them how to read and do math. So there is no black and white with homeschool. You don't have to spend hours every day sitting down doing book work. Especially at her age! And you can teach lessons while playing and interacting. There are so many ways to do it.

It's a very difficult choice for me too. I've always been around people who thought people who homeschooled were antisocial freaks. Now I see that these kids get more of a chance to socialize because they're not in a classroom all day! It is still hard for me though. My son has an autism spectrum disorder and I worry that he needs structure etc but seriously I'm teaching him structure every day and he's making progress. We raise our children every day since they're born and teach them about life. It's only natural to want to continue that way. I can tell you hands down that no one can teach my son like I can. I know him inside and out. I know how he works and what makes him tick. I can work on strengths and weaknesses he has while teaching him math or art. Teaching can be so fluent you don't even know you're doing it.


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.


 

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