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Pull out of school now or wait?

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:01 pm
by debndwright
I am 100% sure I will be HSing my dd next year as she enters 2nd grade. My dh is probably 75% sure right now (he'll come around soon enough). :D I have wanted to HS her since before Kindergarten but have gone along with my DH's side of the family for the past two years (DH's parents are retired PS teachers). Long story that I can get into some other time on another board.

DD was at the top of her class when she entered K and tested into the gifted and talented program. I was unhappy, however, with her progress in K (not to mention the bullying, wasted time, etc). I was a co-room mom just so I could be sure I knew exactly what was going on in the classroom, and boy am I glad I did. While K was a sad state of educational affairs, it was nothing compared to First Grade.

We entered a lottery program and got DD into a magnet school for First that was supposed to be as close to private school as any public school can get while still being cheap (aside from the fundraisers we're expected to pay for almost EVERY month). :roll: This year, I have seen my DD's handwriting, spelling, math and love for reading decline rapidly. Distractions by bullying also set her back. We had two parent/teacher conferences with one going all the way to the Reading Specialist and the other to the principal (regarding the bullying). To what appears to be no avail.

So, I just can't imagine sending her back next year to fall farther behind, learn negative worldly habits, waste time . . . well . . . you all know the major negatives to public education. However, we initially felt it was best to let her finish out this year (2.5 mos), and slowly begin this summer.

Does that seem like a reasonable plan or am I making a mistake in not pulling her now and finishing First Grade at home? Money is an issue, of course, as I she is still above average in her class, so I wouldn't need an entire First Grade curriculum, but since they don't sell packages of, "the last two months of first grade," I would have to buy an entire year to use only a small portion of it.

I don't mind supplementing (and already have with spelling tests), but I also don't want her to have to spend all day in school only to come home to "homeschool" with mommy all over again. She's getting weary of this, and I don't blame her.

I welcome your thoughts. TY

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:44 pm
by hscoach
I would recommend that you pull her out of school now. Many times, when a child exits public school, they need to go through a time period of what is called 'deschooling' and the next 2.5 months would be perfect for that. (If you want to read more about it, you can google deschooling.)

I really would not worry about whether you have a package curriculum for the 'last two months of first grade'. You won't need that at all. Think about this..........she has already learned about 3/4 of everything she needs to know for the year.

You can look at a scope and sequence to see what she needs to learn in first grade. You can use it as a guide and in those last two months, fill in any gaps of things you think she hasn't mastered yet. Here are two links for a scope and sequence. ... ndex.shtml

You could take advantage of all that your local public library has to offer for free. For example, in first grade, it shows that she should learn about magnets for science. You could just go and check out several books about magnets and take them home to read to her.

Also, I would check out the book What Your First Grader Needs to Know at the library and just read the entire book to her. (you could skip parts that she already knows or go over it again as review)

You can buy a 1st grade workbook at WalMart and just let her complete it.

In addition, there are so many free educational resources available online.

I really don't think you would have to spend over $10 for everything you would need to finish out her year.

If you pull her out now, think of all the money you will save by not having to deal with fundraisers. :D

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool. I think you will both enjoy it very much!

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:16 pm
by debndwright
Thank you, Laura. Your answer was thorough, thought-out and appreciated. I will look up "deschooling" and present my findings to my DH who may not be ready to pull the plug just yet. I think he feels he has five or so months to prepare for HS, but I find myself shaking my head in disappointment and sadness for her every time we drive away from school, and I hear about what happened in school that day. Nevermind what emotions I go through when I'm reviewing her school work from that day.

As an aside, I go in and volunteer on Fridays (helps me keep a pulse on what's happening which has proven valuable). Last Friday, the regular teacher was out, so there was a substitute. When I "subtly" mentioned that we weren't real happy with the Metro schools in general, he opened WAAAY up. He works for metro four days a week and as a sub on Fridays and would never send his kids there. His youngest goes to a private school. He proceeded to tell me how awful the PS system is from his own vantage point as a sub from the "dumbing down" of the curriculum to the disrespect and violence from the students.

I always get more information to fill my HSing "Pros" column when I spend the day at her school. Never fails. :?

Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:48 pm
by elliemaejune
I took my dd out of school during Easter break of first grade, so I'll be the first one to tell you to go for it. :D

I wouldn't even worry about "finishing" first grade. By your report, she was already ahead; every day you spend "finishing" is a day behind for her.

My vote would be to take her out and not worry about what you'll be doing next, because frankly, much of what you'll be doing is allowing her to heal from the experience.

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:04 am
by hscoach
You're welcome. When my son was in school, I volunteered and it was that 'inside info' that pushed me towards homeschooling also.

Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:32 pm
by debndwright
Thank you, Ellie. I can see what you mean about "healing" from the experience. She probably doesn't notice, but she turned into a different little girl when she started K.

Laura, what an eye-opener it is being in the room regularly. I would still be frustrasted with the results of her education as it is presented to me with her school work, but I would have no idea what REALLY goes on in the classroom. Sad, really.