Homeschooling...how do you know if its right?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tinamarie1, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I have had it up to my ears with the petty b.s. that goes on at school. Just this week, difficult child had to go to the principal because a little boy told him "your momma looks like michael jackson" to which difficult child replied, "no she doesn't my mom is not black"....he got written up for a racial slur, ugh! I know he is not a perfect angel, but sometimes I feel like he has a target on his back. Whenever something comes up missing, all the kids blame difficult child, when someone gets hurt, they all blame difficult child.
    He has all but given up on school. Refuses to do his work almost all the time, and he is super smart! Thats what gets me.
    We are about to move to Virginia over the summer and I am seriously contemplating homeschooling him. I am scared, its a huge leap. And I know it sounds selfish, but I am afraid we will be joined at the hip....and that will result in me losing my sanity. Not only that, but my math skills leave alot to be desired...what if I don't get the concepts to teach him?
    Has anyone done this? Any words of advice? did it work for you, help things with- difficult child?

    thanks
    tina
     
  2. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    I have always wanted to homeschool my kids. Because the courts will listen to a teacher saying difficult child 1 is being abused and not me saying it so difficult child 1 needed to go to public school. When the time came to sign up for kindergarten he was pooping his pants. I've taught a kid that did that at school and know the kind of social stigma that can come with it. Also, learning disorders run rampunt in my family. I decided to homeschool him. I have a teaching certificate, worked in sp. ed., and knew what I wanted to teach him. We spent most of the day on behavior issues. He would spend all day in time out refusing to put his name on the paper, pick up a pencil, ect.. Anything to get into a power struggle. During that school year he did learn to read and got a very good foundation in math. (How I don't know because it felt like he was in time out the whole time.) He also got his pooping problem undercontrol. For 1st grade he is in public school, where the courts will believe the teacher if difficult child 1 ever says anything, and his behavior is great.

    Sorry this is so long, it just depends on the kid. My mom took me out of school and homeschooled for 1/2 a year because I'm a perfectionist and staying up until 1-2 am with homework (I was 9). She tried to do the same thing with a brother of mine because of his bad behavior at school and it blew up in her face. He acted worse for her then he did at school. What she ended up doing is working at the school to keep an eye on him.
     
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    David's mom is right - it depends on the kid. But it does sound like yours could be a prime candidate.

    It also depends on you and how well you can follow some sort of routine.

    We have a rule - "school work during school hours". What constitutes school work will vary and is more flexible than school, but we still found that both boys did much better at home than in mainstream.

    I'm in a rush right now, I'd love to share more. Also, I can't help a lot with the rules you will need to follow - very different for us. All I could help you with would be generalities.

    And I don't understand why he was written up for racism - what about what the other kid said to him? Almost ANY mention of Michael Jackson in that way could be seen as trying to cause hurt.

    Marg
     
  4. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well....I guess I could be somewhat of an expert.....since I have been homeschooling my difficult child off and on since he was in the 5th grade.......however - I am still not sure it was/is the right choice /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/sick.gif

    I guess if I had it to do over again, I would have allowed the school district to place my difficult child in an alternative school (which we had been ordered to do) instead of pulling him out to be homeschool. At the time, I was worried that in an evironment like that he would get worse, so I did not pursue it. He actually was in alternative behavioral private school for a year after that, where he did get worse - so my intuition was well founded - however, public alternative school may have offered him and myself more resources than private.

    The cons to homeschooling are that it completely changes the dynamics of your mom/difficult child relationship. Suddenly you become the "teacher" and "mom". Not only is it confusing to the kid, it is more than taxing on you. You are playing dual roles all day long - without a break. You can expect more fights and opposition than the normal parental "take a bath" stuff.

    The pros are that my son no longer felt "dumb", "labeled", or targeted as the bad kid. He could work at his own pace, we no longer had the homework wars, and we were free to learn about what really interested him in science, or history, instead of the pre-programmed stuff most schools insist on in order to meet standardized testing.

    If you do actually pursue this here are my suggestions:
    -go to a neutral place like a library to do the work
    -look at computerized homeschooling, which grades and assigns things automtically
    -join as many social homeschool groups as possible - these can offer a social outlet, as well as field trips and curriculum tips from other parents
    -possibly get a tutor for things like math that you may not feel suited to teach
    -enroll him in at least one "class" like art of PE through your local Rec Center

    Good luck!
     
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I would have gone ballistic on the school I'm afraid. (and I have) Just how is that being taken as a racial slur? Good grief.

    I had really no choice but to homeschool N this last 1 1/2. Since she was pregnant last year they wouldn't have let her finish the year anyway. So I figured why not try it. We enrolled her in ECOT the online public school. But N knew from the start that if she didn't make an all out effort and make the grade I'd haul her fanny back to the school here.

    For N it was the answer. Basically one on one instruction and she can contact her teachers whenever she needs them. There are no other kids to cause distractions. (except the baby) And teachers don't already have her pegged as the violent trouble maker with the major attitude. She's done wonderfully.

    I know I couldn't have done it with my difficult children when they were young. No way. When they were in school that was my MUCH needed down time to relax and get ready for when they came home again. I knew I didn't have the patience to be with them 24/7, 365 days a year.... AND try to teach them their school work on top of it.
     
  6. helpmehelphim

    helpmehelphim New Member

    Hi,
    I just wanted to say that I started homeschooling my difficult child in January. It has been going very well. It's not for everyone but it has worked well for us. Please feel free to pm if I can answer any questions or anything.

    It's a hard decision. I think though that it can be tried and if you all don't find it to be an answer that works for you, then school is always there again as an option. That's what we are doing. We are re-evaluating this summer to see where we are.
     
  7. Pam R

    Pam R New Member

    Just chiming in here. DS has been homeschooled from day 1.

    But when he refused to learn, in 4th grade and again in 7th grade we put him in school, briefly. Both times were a major disaster.

    His therapist has told us that if he'd been in school the whole time, he'd be much less able to function than he is. And he would have learned a WHOLE lot less.

    So for DS, homeschooling has made him what he is today. He learns in a manner that facilitates retention. He learns in ways that he CAN learn from.

    Plus he does not learn the social crap from school. I think he's a much better person for being homeschooled. But then I wouldn't be biased now, would I? :rofl:

    Pam R.
     
  8. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I have been considering homeschooling my difficult child for awhile but had fears similar to yours. Today he is being unregistered at school and we will homeschool for the rest of the year. In my case, it was a teacher that just wouldn't change her teaching methods for my son and was causing him to shut down and refuse to work. The school district knows to expect him back in Sept. and will choose his teacher more carefully but I like the chance to try it and if it doesn't overwhelm us maybe we will continue, either way, it is nice to have a trial period without a long term comittment.
     
  9. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think homeschooling can be a great option. There are some on the board that have done it very well. I have had students come into my algebra classes that have been homewschooled and they have been some of the top students in the class. I unfortunately have also had some that couldn't add a positive and a negative number together.

    It all depends on the quality of the homeschooling. I liked sequoia's homeschool suggestions. I am tutoring a student right now who is enrolled in a fulltime online high school. She was having trouble learning algebra online so I work with her once a week to help her with the material. I am very impressed with the online program.

    Good luck! I hope that your difficult child is more comfortable in a homeschool setting and that it is an enjoyable experience for both of you.

    ~Kathy
     
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We've signed up for a maths program online called "Mathletics". It would be available to the US but it began in Australia, from what I gather. It's cheap, compared to a lot of other similar programs - it costs us A$99 a year for difficult child 3. There are built-in reward systems, etc. It works best for us since we went onto Broadband.

    For a parent who is interested in homeschooling but concerned about teaching mathematics, this could be a safe way through that particular minefield.

    One BIG thing I discovered about school - as soon as we mentioned that we were considering pulling difficult child 1 out of mainstream for homeschooling, they suddenly became very helpful, even conciliatory. They went from, "I hope he's learned his lesson, we'll be keeping a close eye on him and he'd better not step over the line," to "Please don't pull him out of school, he's a great kid and we really would like him to stay."
    Literally from one minute to the next, because I was in the Acting Principal's office while she was in mid-diatribe about difficult child 1, when the phone call came in on my mobile phone, from the correspondence school, saying that difficult child 1 had been accepted and his first packet of schoolwork would be hand-delivered that afternoon.
    It was almost the same for difficult child 3 - the first reaction from the Principal and the class teacher was, "Oh dear, and he's been doing so well."
    I then reminded the class teacher about his most recent outburst when he had kept the school at bay because he was in full rage in the school hall, throwing chairs. The problem had been triggered by another teacher who didn't know how to handle him, who had given difficult child 3 conflicting instructions and then got "stern" over it all instead of listening. When I explained that this was going to keep happening, and each event was not only bad for difficult child 3 it was also bad for the school, the class teacher agreed with the decision. He then talked the Principal round.

    But in general, the school can be really rough with your kid, until they are scared they'll lose him. Be aware of this and be sure of your decision when you talk to them. I got talked out of this choice many times over a number of years, before I finally stuck to my guns (thanks to people on this site - THANK YOU!) and now I know, for us, that this was absolutely the best decision.

    Marg
     
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