Trying to decide when to start homeschooling

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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Trying to decide when to start homeschooling

Postby Kellie » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:49 am

I have a daughter in public school kindergarten and a son in public school second grade. My daughter has an absolutely phenomenal teacher this year and loves school so I do not plan to homeschool her until next year. My son has had some turnover in his teacher and his part-time teacher's assistant this year. He excels in school but is bored because the higher group of students is not pushed along; instead they are generally ignored while the teacher helps the struggling students. He is also frustrated about the "privileges" the whole class loses because the majority of them don't misbehave. I am torn as to whether to let him finish out the year or to take him out now. There is no issue with bullying or any physical danger, and by the school's standards he is excelling. I guess my fear is that he is going to get a negative connotation of learning and school if he is bored for the rest of the year in the classroom. Any thoughts?

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Postby Jill » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:09 am

Of course my opinion is a little biased since I'm on a homeschool message board...
We were in your situation 5 years ago. 2 kids, one in K, one in 2nd grade. We had the same problems you are describing. My K child was very "bright" by school standards, but was completely bored out of her mind in public school. (She LOVED preschool.) Her teacher concentrated on the low achieving kids and those who didn't speak any/much English. My second grader complained about the "lost privileges" you described. No bullying or danger to either child, I just felt they were missing out on alot of potential learning.

We brought them both home mid year on a relatively quick decision. The K class was the main reason; but I figured if I had one home, I might as well have both. It was very scary, but it was worth it. We spent alot of time playing educational games, doing cheap math workbooks, and reading until I could get my act together ~ and that was fine. I had to work hard to keep up with having enough resources for them. I was so AMAZED at what they learned that first (partial) year, I couldn't bear to send them back. Here we are 5 years later! :)

I'm in NC too.

Keep us posted as to what you decide.
Best wishes!

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Postby gizzy » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:52 pm

Just wanted to point something CAN begin homeschooling part-time on the side while you consider when to pull them out.

I am serious.

If you have to sit with your kids and just give them to the answers to any homework they have right after dinner, then do it. That way you free up the time to work a little -- even if just an hour -- together everyday on something educational and you can begin to see where there individual strengths and weaknesses are. I know they are both "bright" but depending on your school district/funding/curriculum, that may or may not mean much when it comes to practical/fundamental schooling. But, I have faith that there is a competent, sometimes masterful, student in every living breathing sentient being, if only educators could find a way to reach it and nurture it they could teach it.

You can also start doing things that INTEREST your kids. If your son is bored with the rote drills get a library card for him and together pick out some science projects/arts and crafts books and begin going through them. Talk to your kids and ask them what they think about coming to homeschool. Find out what sort of Extra curricular activities are in your community and which ones you could realistically afford and see if your kids would be interested.

Find a play, library story time, church, nature explorer, whatever kind of group for your kids to interact with. Contact the parents of their school friends and see if they'd be willing to schedule playgroups so that the kids can still see each other -- IF your kids are attached to their old school mates.

Some things your son might like are learning to basic computer skills, keyboarding/typing, make web pages, make pottery, build a birdhouse, or set up a bird feeder outside kitchen/bedrooms windows and observing the animals that come to feed.

You could start a tradition of doing one major science/history project every month that is in the form of an arts and crafts project so that you could work with both kids and they could learn some of the same things at the same time. Your son could help you do research and plan out a poster board. You could use cut outs, paste, research, tpying/printing out information, drawings and all sorts of stuff to talk do your project.

Who says reports must be typed? Get creative and have fun. Best of luck, hope you all start down a more progressive and happier path soon.

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Lorelei Sieja
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Location: Kalamazoo, MI USA

When to Start

Postby Lorelei Sieja » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:10 pm

There is no right answer - only a lot of options.

But since no one else has mentioned it yet, you can start to homeschool only your 2nd grader, who is bored, and let your Kindergartner finish the year.

Personally, I'd pull them both out, but taking just one out now has some advantages.

If you are a bit nervous about homeschooling anyway, then you can "ease" into it, by only having to teach one grade, preparing one set of lesson plans, keeping records on one child, setting up a schoolroom for one child. Then in the fall, you'll be more confident to handle two kids, two grades.

Also - your kids are close enough that you can teach them together for most subjects (history, social studies, phy ed, religion, etc) and only teach separately for reading and math. You just expect more from the older child. FOr example, when you read a biography, you might expect the younger child to draw a picture of something she learned, but the older child needs to write a paragraph about it.

Find out about homeschool support groups in your area. Get involved. Find out what extra curriculars you want to get your children involved in - and be careful! A little bit goes a long way! If you chose Suzuki music lessons and boy scouts - that's enough!

Good luck!

Lorelei Sieja
Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies

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Postby roma » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:09 am

I am a Public and home school tutor, and teachers are now the biggest influx into the home school system. The reasons teachers give may help you make your decision:

Lorelei is correct. You know your children better than your instincts. I also recommend the following to help you make a decision.

In your area there are likely groups of homeschoolers you can connect with for information, support, co-ops (taking turns teaching, field trips, graduation ceremonies), curriculum, training (workshops for parents), information on State laws concerning home schooling, and much more. Google search homeschool conventions in your State to find them. For Florida (U.S.A.) that would be "Florida Parent Educators Association" at this website:

Note: it may take you time to find just the right group for you and your children. However that support is well worth the time.

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Postby TandLMommy28 » Tue Jan 19, 2010 12:22 am

Good luck with your decision.

I was battling a similar issue this year with my daughter. She is in preschool at our church and for the most part I love it (I am on the school board!). But something just wasn't sitting right about it. For one, I miss her so much! She goes all day (5.5 hours, four days a week). But she is already reading really well so I didn't know if I was wasting my money putting her in school to learn basic phonics sounds when she is ready much more advanced stuff...

in the end, I decided to let her finish out the year. She is in a fabulous environment where the teachers love her to bits and she is learning in other ways than just academics. They have taken some really awesome field trips and participated in some cool projects and she has built some friendships that will carryover into our homeschool experiences when they begin in the fall. But it was a heart-wrenching decision and I understand completely how you are feeling!

In the end, you have to do what's best for your son in the long run... and figuring out what that is has to be the hardest thing about parenting!
The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow will not wait while you do the work.

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Location: Eastern NC

Postby ncmom » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:26 pm

I am in NC too and had mine in PS here for less than one year after we moved here. I noticed the same kind of issues and wished I could have pulled them out in the middle of the year. We pulled ours out that summer after school had ended. Best decision we ever made! It isn't going to hurt them them to stay in their schools the rest of the year, but my opinion is that if you are going to do it anyway go ahead and do it now. I know lots of people who pulled their kids out over Christmas break this year for similar reasons that you are stating.

I would also recommend finding a local homeschool group in your area. I am in Eastern NC and there are lots around me, most free to join. The people there will be able to answer questions you may have about state laws and things like that. Generally they will also have info on field trips, parties, and fun free things to do for homeschoolers in your area.

You can go to and click on your county or just search the internet for groups in your area. Most, not all, will have a yahoo groups account.

Good luck!

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