Trying To Make Decisions

Want to contribute your views on the homeschool vs public school debate, or just looking for information? Post here!

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Trying To Make Decisions

Postby MommaOf3 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:24 pm

I'm trying to decide whether or not to continue sending my children to public school, switch to private or to home school. I appreciate your time in answering my questions and helping me with this decision.

1. Since my children have already been in the public school system for a few years now is it too late to start homeschooling? Are they more likely to struggle now? What is the best way to make the transition if this is the path I choose to take?

2. Is it possible to work part-time and still successfully homeschool your children?

3. How did you go about finding the best curriculum for your children? What about teaching different grade levels at the same time?

4. One of my concerns is if I have enough patience to homeschool my children. How do you handle that?

5. What about the subjects I feel I'm weak in? How do I find support groups, tutors, etc. for those situations?

My biggest fears are around my confidence in being able to teach my children and give them the best education possible. Has anyone else felt this way?

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Postby Miss_Kristy » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:38 pm


These are questions we all asked ourselves in the beginning. I'll answer your questions in the order you asked them. These are of course my opinions but I think you will find most people agree on these points.

1. No, it's not too late to start homeschooling. It's never too late. De-schooling is a very popular method of transitioning from PS to HS. You can look it up on this site, I"m sure there are several posts about it somewhere. ** On a personal note. My kids were in PS for 3 years before I was able to begin HSing. They are thriving now. ** And no, I don't feel that they would be more likely to struggle. Actually with the one on one attention they would be getting they are more likely to do better.

2. Yes, you can work part time or even full time and still homeschool. You can probably find people on this site who do just that. The great thing about HS is that it doesn't have to be 8am to 3pm Mon. - Fri. You make your own schedule.

3. ** Personally, I make my own curriculum. I teach grade 3 and 4 and they do most things together.** Since I don't buy boxed curriculum I'm probably not the best person to ask, but I'm sure someone will be along shorty to offer advice on that. I do know, however that there are some really good sets out there. It may take a little time to find the perfect fit for you kids, but that can be done during de-schooling. Or anytime really. It's important not to stress out about this.

4. All families are different. I can only answer this from my own experience. My children are ages 3 8 and 9. We keep to a good schedule that works for everyone. We keep things fun. I don't try to do everything myself, they all have chores. And I routinely take days off for myself. It's easy to become overwhelmed if you don't take time for yourself. I found that this is true in parenting in general.

5. Support groups are not hard to find. Now days they are everywhere. Your state probably has a website listing of groups in your area. There is a great website called TeacherTube. It's like YouTube but for teachers to share tips and teaching ideas. ** I'm not an expert in every subject I teach either. I don't know anyone who is. You don't have to be. You only have to be dedicated to your children's education. There are educational and instructional videos at the library as well as for sale over the Internet. There are classes that they could take outside of the home. Finding outside resources is really no problem at all.

This site is wonderful. There are some very helpful people here who will be able to answer any question you have. It is also helpful to go back and read some of the older posts.

Good Luck.

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Postby ncmom » Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:46 pm

I agree with what Miss Kristy said. I'll answer them in the order you asked them too.

1. I pulled my kids out when after my oldest two had completed grades 4 and K. So we started in grades 5 and 1. Our first year was a little rocky but now they are both doing wonderful and neither want to go back to the public schools. As far as transitioning...we just jumped right in. I bought the books and away we went. Since they were used to a school day already we just set up a schedule. Once we got into the swing of things the schedule slowly disappeared and now we just work around what ever is going on that day.

2. I don't work for a company but I do offer music lessons three times a week. So yes, it is possible. For me I set my own schedule so I only work in the afternoons. This leaves mornings free for lessons. We don't do lessons on Friday. I know lots of people who work and Homeschool. We used to have class on Sat and Sun because my husband was off on Mon and Tues so those are the days we took off. This is the beauty of having them at home, you get to choose your days to fit your needs.

3. I use Abeka Curriculum across the board. I picked it because it was most like the format they were used to in the PS. I have one in 8th and one in 4th. I either do their lessons at the same time alternating between them or I just do lessons with one then the other. It really depends on how my 1 yr old is acting that day. It usually takes us somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to complete our work for the day.

4. You might have days when your patience runs short. When I have those days we stop and either take a break or stop for the day altogether. That is one of the nice parts of having them at home...if you are having a bad day you quit and pick up where you left off the next day.

5. Up until this year I haven't felt like I was weak in any area. Next year, however, when my son starts 9th grade I thinking about putting him on Abeka DVD's. I am great at science, English, spelling, History, but I am no good at geometry and want to make sure he understands it. This is not a cheap option though and we have been saving for quite a while so we could afford it. I struggled with this decision because I wanted to continue doing it myself, but I think this would be best for him in the long run. It is the same curriculum he will just be taught each lesson by a teacher on a DVD and then do the work. Everything else is the same and I will still have my younger two.

For support groups I would look on Yahoo groups and I know lots of tutors in my area, some just do homeschool kids. So you would just need to ask around. There are so many more opprotunities for homeschooled kids you just have to ask around and find out what is going on and who is offering it.

I wouldn't worry about your ability to teach your children. You taught them to sit, walk, eat, potty, talk...same difference just now you are teaching them out of a book. People educate their kids up till around age 6 and then all of a sudden they feel like they need someone else to do it because they can't. A teacher in the PS is no smarter than you...they just have a piece of paper that says they can teach your kids. They still have a book with the answers and a guide on how to teach would have those things too. So don't doubt yourself, be confident and know you can do it.

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Postby Jill » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:57 am

Two excellent replies...
All I can add is keep researching. The more you know about homeschooling, the better equipped you will be to make your decision.

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Postby MommaOf3 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:24 am

Thank you all for your honest, informative replies! I really appreciate it! I will continue to read posts on this forum and continue to do my research so we can make a decision soon.

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Postby janaleigh » Mon May 18, 2009 9:16 am

You have received a bunch of great advice here...I would just add. Try and find a home school support group in your area and join in their activities over the summer. There are many groups geared towards different interests so keep looking until you find one you like.

By getting your kids involved this summer, the transition will be easier if you decide to home school and the moms will be able to show you which curriculum that they like best.

Yes, we all had our doubt but I bet most of us would say that it was all worth that uncomfortableness in the early months/years of home schooling. I have no regrets.
Jana marriend to Mike 20 Years
2 Sons, ages 15 and 17
Homeschooling 7+ years

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Postby marf1273 » Sat May 23, 2009 1:31 am

Doing some research and preparing yourself for that transition is the best you can do. Also, try to stretch your patience as much as possible for the benefit of your kids. As for work, you can always opt for that. If traveling to a certain location is not an option, how about working at home or starting your own home based business.

Chuckie Stew
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Postby Chuckie Stew » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:45 am

You are asking very relevant questions. I can tell you have put much thought in this idea. However, i feel there are both pros and cons to homeschooling vs. public school.

If curriculum is most important to you, public schools may have an advantage because of the experience they have in using a variety of methods. By now, they have ideas and techniques that have proven to work and they know what doesn't work. Experience rules. As a homeschooler you may not have the experience to deliver the quality of curriculum a child needs.

If instilling your ideas into your child is most important you might be best homeschooling because beyond peer pressure and what is seen on tv, you control what goes into your child. You control how they learn, what they learn, and more importantly with whom they learn. You control all distractions and you can focus harder on them to ensure success.

There are lots to think about, hopefully I could be of a tiny bit of assistance.
Parents can choose what our kids learn

Mommy 2Two
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Postby Mommy 2Two » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:25 am

Mommaof3, What did you finally end up deciding for your children? I read your post with extreme interest because I feel that your questions so aptly captured how I am feeling right now. My two children are both in PS now, in grades 2 and K, but my husband and I are not happy with the education that they are receiving and so we are contemplating homeschooling for next year. I guess my biggest concern would be with the social aspect of it all - my son is very social and is quite the extrovert, and my daughter is well-situated already with all of her little girlfriends. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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Postby mandiana » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:25 am

Look for homeschooling groups in your area.

Schedule playdates with their current friends.

Take your kids to the local park on the weekends.

Have your kids join a team sport.

There are lots of ways homeschooled children socialize and meet people.

Right now our kids are in a newspaper club, science club, Future Business Leaders of America and a Spanish club. There are so many available homeschoooling group field trips that, if we went on all of them, we would never have any time for schoolwork.

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