My husband and I are thinking about and researching alternative schooling for Colin...We have not been to pleased with the education he has been getting in our public school and I have been complaining about what he is learning or lack of not learning since Kindergarten. ( He is going into second grade) I get frustrated that my son who is a very out of the box thinker and very creative is not allowed to foster and use his different way of looking at things in school. All summer long I have been drilling in him you need to do this, this and this or guitar lessons will be suspended. I have been drilling him with math facts and timing him because I know the Mad minutes will be starting ( where you have to complete so many facts in a minute) and I finally stopped and thought to myself why? Why does all this matter if he is learning what does it matter if he can do some math facts in a minute? Why does he have to conform to a standard that does not fit him...He has a tendency when he gets excited or nervous of waving his hands or tapping his fingers together. I have been teaching him all summer to do it in his lap. We tell him because it will distract others really we know he is at an age that kids will pick on him for him. Once again because my son has a little quirk we have to worry and try to change him? There are some other concerns I have like his school being so overcrowded and I just decided instead of complaining about it more this year why not look into other options. We could do private school but if we want a non religious one it would be very expensive. and we would have to decide private school or travel. I think it's important to travel and don't want to give that up. That is how I came to peace with the fact that C would be our only living child. I told my husband than we will travel as much as we can since we don't have the expenses of another child. So anyway this former teacher who has never really been an advocate for homeschool is researching and gathering information for possibility doing just that. I am discovering that many people homeschool now. That there are many meet up groups in our area, there are multiple homeschool activities offered at places like our nature center. Even our Parks and Recs offers a once a week P.E. class for homeschoolers. So considering it.. as my husband put it best that it is the Plan b in our back pocket. We will see how this school year goes or at least the fall before we make our decision. We have much reading to do and many people to talk to about it. Because if we decided to go this route we have to be all in and be prepared to do this through at least middle school. A lot to think about, look at, think about for our future. My husband and I were talking last night and we were saying that we never thought we would be a place in our lives that this would be the road we take. Our Journey of ours definitely has many twists and turns. But I saw a preview for a movie the other day about a teen from Uganda who becomes a champion chess player and something her coach says in the movie really stuck with me. He said, If you lose or things don't change you just reset the pieces and start over. So I guess that is what we are considering doing resetting the pieces again.
So if anyone homeschools and has any information. I am willing to hear the pros and the cons.
Nicki, I hope that the super email made its way to your inbox this morning:) Yes, it's a huge decision. We've been there too. So, there's homeschooling where you'd register your child with the State and then provide him with an education. There are homeschooling programs and curriculum that you can purchase, groups that meet up, and families have found a lot of success with it. There is also virtual or online schooling. I don't consider this "homeschooling" by definition as you'd most likely be enrolling your child in the free online public school option. I sometimes have people say, "Oh, so you homeschool." No, I tell them. They are not homeschooling in the traditional sense. They are not a part of their school district on at-home placements either. They are not registered with the State as such. They are enrolled in public/private accredited virtual schools with highly qualified and certified teachers. I am their "Learning Coach" who just happens to also be a certified teacher:)
There are so many reasons why a family might opt for virtual schooling. It's becoming very popular and there are so many more enrolled than there were a decade ago. In fact, many school districts are really starting to offer more online classes to students as well as a virtual option for the elementary school aged kiddos. They know that they are losing enrollment (and funding) to online schoolers and they want to try and retain those numbers. Our local district is rolling out something similar to keep those elementary students close by, but I'm staying with the program that's working for our family (for now).
I like options. I don't like the one-size fits all either, never have. I think it all depends on how you define success too. Initially, the plan was just to have T do the online schooling. Then, things happened (and we had some unpleasantness in prior grades with D) and said, that's it! I didn't want my kids spending their day being exposed to this or that. It did take some time to get to know the program and get in a groove. Once we did though, smooth sailing. I realize that parents can view a teacher's curriculum map online, but I actually know what my child is being taught and how. I can add to it and I can see exactly what my kid is struggling with. We can spend more time focusing on that area of need and practice.
Believe me, I've made the lists many times in my head and on paper. Pros are numerous. The biggest concern for us was the social part. However, both kids were not engaged at all in their classrooms and found it hard to relate to their peers. Shoot, I found it hard to relate to some of the parents as well as the students. "Oh, so you don't drive. Is that because you have DUIs?" "Oh, the CPS lady is picking you up today?" Right . . . I just decided to turn in my volunteering badge and get outta there! Now, there's the financial part too. I quit my job to do this. We are and have been living on one income and it's been hard. My spouse is working several part-time gigs in addition to his full-time job and isn't home all the time in the evenings. The kids are older now and they're aware. I realize that I'll be working well into my late 50s and early 60s. Longer if I'm still breathing. But, it's worth it and I'll never ever get this time back. I think that's what most kids want anyway, time. I'm actually in favor of that new push of no homework afterschool. Kids need time to be kids. I guess my kids are also learning that one can work from home:)
I like having a program that's already in place. I like that the kids are participating in real time Live Lessons and able to see/chat with their virtual classroom peers. I like the amount of online help that's there if we ever need it such as tutoring hours, office hours, and technical support. There are online educational supports like speech, virtual clubs, guest speaker webinars, etc. It's all there and it's all online. Busy morning? View the recording! Some people might argue that I'm not preparing them for the "real world." In fact, that's just the opposite. So many jobs involve computers and coding and that will increase by the time they are job hunting. The flexible schedule allows me to have more therapies for my younger kiddo. I'm doing all of this so that he won't have to rely on SSI.
Big decisions call for big drinks:) I think I'd better go get myself some lunch and get off, so that my kid can login for Social Studies:) I know you didn't necessarily ask for a choppy 5-paragraph essay, but it just happened.
I would love to here how it all goes!
I think that homeschool/ online school is a great opportunity if you can manage it with time/scheduling etc. I think that it helps overall learning and customizes it to the child, which is so helpful. My daughter is in a small private school, which is catholic but has a 20% non catholic population. I think she gets the individual attention she needs, and thankfully we haven't been forced to do any timed math..that sounds awful! I would have failed that in a minute in school, I get nervous too easily! Whatever decision you come to I hope its the best for Colin and your family.
Love and Hugs
Hi Nicole, sorry to hear that school is not meeting your educational standards. That timed math sound terrible! Kaelin would fail it every time, as she needs time to think.
I'm sure that you will choose the best option for your family. I know nothing about homeschooling personally, but from folks I know who are doing it or who have gone through it, it can be a far more enriching experience. I wish you the best.
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