Edging toward Homeschool- Somebody please Stop me!

Homeschooling is the current buzz word. But it’s a scary word……It conjures up Laura Ingalls dress wearing, husband sharing, religious freak images….Doesn’t it? It’s for people on the fringe of society, those who think mainstream isn’t for them. And for the most part they are teased, the brunt of jokes and ostracised by society…….I’m guilty of it. No doubt.

But then ……………..

The school starts to suck just that little bit more each year. The funding is decreased, just that little bit more. The curriculum is steered towards the tests, just that little bit more, societal pressures and bullying creep in, just a little bit more and now, since Newtown, safety is a huge debate. Politics becomes the battle and the kids are left to suffer.

Do we send our children to school with armed guards? Will a crazed, semi automatic gun wielding fiend enter our school this time…… or next time? Will the children go through metal detectors and learn behind razor wire?

Will they be traumatised by the constant lockdown drills and talk of possible threat.

That was my cut off…. my “If that happens to our children, we leave” point…. My image of American life before living it….My fear for my children before joining the school system.

So far, we’ve been fine, although there’s been bumps along the way, mostly for Grand Master D who is the front runner. We’re making the mistakes together, he and I. We don’t know this system. I didn’t experience this system, state tests, summer school, middle school, regents, high school, LSAT’s, SAT’s, Varsity, tracking…….. You might as well be speaking Greek.

Things are getting harder, the pressure is being increased. But for what? The things we did in 9th grade are now being taught in 6th but kids are still not college ready. It’s ever changing, evolving because it was broken, so very broken but it’s changing faster than the system can change. This year, in NewYork, they’re introducing common core standards, those skills which students must master as the core of their learning. The tests will reflect this but the kids haven’t learned it. And it’s not being implemented from the ground up over time… it’s a ‘throw them in the deep end and let ’em swim like hell’ type implementation.

It’s setting kids up to fail. And teachers too! You can’t all of a sudden teach grammar to 7th graders if grammar has never been taught and expect them to understand it all. Grammar needs to go hand in hand with writing and word study from kindergarten.

It’s not getting easier, it’s not getting better and it frightens me. This year is the critical year for my son to get the best grades to get the best school for him….. in 2 years! This year the curriculum is changing on the fly but he has to be across it all to impact his future. But the things they miss along the way, the real life skills required to function as an adult get missed.

Learn to balance a check book, calculate interest and money…… when will he ever need integers? Will they help him fill out his taxes? or pay his mortgage and car loan?

Every time something new gets thrown at us, I step a little closer to thinking about home schooling, I’ve met some pretty cool people who home school, they don’t even have 2 heads or anything!

It all scares me, the school situation, the pressure, but also that if they were at home ALL day, every day and I was in charge of their education, what would that look like? How would they cope? How would I cope? Would I be better or worse than what they have now? Where would I start?

There are so many questions and so many hurdles but I have to admit it has been in my thinking more than I would like. I want what’s best for my kids, they are very intelligent and do really well but they learn a little differently, they’re creatives and Grand Master D cannot understand why he’s learning some things, doesn’t see the point, so he chooses not to.

It’s so very frustrating. If I had a squillion dollars I’d hire the best damn tutor in the land and they’d be schooling from home ….but at this point I’m still waiting for that squillion, so for now school is the best place, even when it’s not and I get to freak out that little bit more each week.

Do you home school? Are you glad you do? Are you happy with the result? Is it worth it?
If you had your time again would make the same decisions? I am really interested in your stories…..

Comments 17

  1. Love it! I had my other head surgically removed 😉 You could totally do it IF you felt it was the best for you and your kids! There are some great online/computer options now- check into your NY laws and see what you think! Some States are tougher than others, but with so many options schooling wise, it’s possible!

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  2. Even pre-Newton, I edged that way too, for all of the same reasons. The logistics of homeschooling freaked me out though, so I looked for other avenues. Then I discovered Montessori. My kiddo is in a Montessori school, which means a lot of scraping and getting by, as it is expensive, but it is worth the sacrifice. One car and one phone makes us do some interesting planning, leftovers are always what’s for lunch and we eat a lot of peanut butter. But it’s okay, because he’s PreK and he can read, do some basic addition and subtraction in his head and has a knack for problem solving…and that last one is the core…Montessori develops a child’s natural curiosity, make them learners, not students or test takers. The entire philosophy of education is different.

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  3. I homeschooled my children for fifteen years. It is a big responsibility, but it can be fun, too. I never felt ostracized, but it can be isolating, depending on what the local homeschooling community is like where you live.

    Given your son’s age, I would not consider it unless he likes the idea. You and he would both be miserable otherwise. However, if he is interested, you would probably all enjoy it. You live in such a great city, with so many opportunities to learn outside a classroom! I would have loved to homeschool in NYC.

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      That’s so awesome you were able to do that for your children.We had the conversation.. He doesn’t want me to be his teacher 🙁 I was too hard on him during 3rd and 4th grade homework sessions… OH well. I will support him the best way I can.

  4. I’m going through the same thought process right now! That option crosses my mind every day. I know some cool (and NORMAL) people who home school and it works for them. I never thought of myself as the homeschooling type, but I kind of like the idea of having a little more control over what my kids are learning – not only the curriculum but also from their peers! I know we can’t shield our kids from real life forever, but can anyone blame us for wanting to protect their innocence as long as we can? My biggest concern of going this route is the social impact it could have. But I’ve heard arguments both ways there as well.

    I can’t wait to read additional comments!

  5. Oh boy do I hear you. I’ve been playing around with this idea for about 2 years. My reasons are different for each boy. I even met up with a local home schooling group and chatted with the parents. But I get nervous that I won’t do my kids justice. But then I see the busy work they are given and the gaping holes in what’s being taught at school and I think about home schooling again. Round and round it goes.
    Then there’s the whole being home with them all day every day…

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  6. I often think about whether I will home school when I have kids. I am also a certified educator, so I think I’ve got a little more knowledge base for educating kids than some. My concern is that there are so many parents who home school who have NO IDEA how to teach…My girlfriend was just telling me about a girl she went to HS with who never graduated and the baby daddy was fresh out of prison and they want to home school. That scares me. It scares me because there are few to no rules, and kids can grow up with an education from the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo.

  7. I am also not going to do public school. I actually decided this before I even conceived my child. I agree that the schools do not work, and there is not a great way to change it. I am likely to put child in a Montessori school. That model would suit my child very well, I think. And be much better than public school. In my area, there are no great private high schools, so I may have to home school for high school. But that is a long way off.

  8. My kids aren’t ready for school yet but I am completely sold on homeschooling. But my husband is still convinced that homeschoolers have two heads. No t really. I think he’s just afraid of messing up something as important as their education. I think it’s kind of silly to leave something that important in another person. But that’s a whole other (longer) thing!

    We compromised and agreed to do Montessori. I love Montessori. There’s no pressure or real tests or any need to fulfill some arbitrarily set standard. The kids are able to learn at their own pace and follow their own curiosities.

  9. It is written… We will homeschool as long as we can. I used to say if we live int he states we will home school. if we live in Australia we will do private. Now, I just want to start off with home schooling, and see how well we do. Surely Kindergarten will be easy enough. I have read other blooging moms who Homeschool who say its awesome, and they enroll their kids in clubs and sports to get social interaction. So in a way, they are not hmome with you 24/7. I cannot handle the idea of sending my kid to school everyday, and in the back of my head wondering if they will come home.

  10. oh gosh!! I’ve thought about this quite a bit!! So far, the school we have is outstanding but I don’t know what will happen in middle and high school! Do keep us posted on what your decision will be!!

  11. Well, I just wrote a post about my new understandings about homeschooling on my new blog about teaching/parenting — I’m a former teacher, a current doctoral candidate, and new mom. Like you, I had a lot of preconceptions about home schooling, also based on my experiences as a teacher. But I’ve had the most interesting “conversations” with home schooling parents based on my post during the last week. Here it is (and, for you, the comments from parents responding to my post are probably more useful).

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      Thank you so much for your comment. It is a very difficult thing for me to navigate through. The fear factor of ruining their education inhibits me most. NY State also seems to be a difficult state to homeschool in. So many rules.

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