Homeschooling On My Mind

It’s one of those decisions every parent faces when their kids hit age 5 or 6. Which school will they attend? Do we send them to public school, pay for private school, or homeschool? And many people start thinking of these types of things much earlier, like when they are 3 and 4 years old. Especially if they know they want them to attend a private school because they need to get on “the list.” You know, that exclusive list that is ultimately going to cost a fortune for you each month.

It’s a tough decision. And one that we are facing here soon, like this Fall.

It’s funny because 10 years ago if you would have asked me if I would be a homeschooling mama I would have laughed in your face. Loudly.

But now, the idea is more and more appealing. Frightening, but appealing.

HomeschoolingI am thinking of homeschooling and I use essential oils now. What is this world coming to?

If I said that I didn’t worry about school shootings, kidnappers, and child molesters, I would be lying. I do worry about those things. A lot. But that’s not the main reason I am leaning more and more towards homeschooling.

What am I so worried about by homeschooling? I’m worried because I don’t feel smart enough. I am terrible at math and have a horrible memory. How am I going to teach history if I can’t even remember it myself? When they get into jr. high and high school when the work really gets difficult, how will I “teach” that? Those are the things I worry about. But then again, I know there are resources that will help me. Like good ole Google.

I also worry about if this doesn’t work out, will it be a tough transition to send her to a school after the fact where kids will already have their cliques and friends. Kids are just mean. There, I said it. I worry about mean kids. Emma isn’t a mean kid.

I know some people think that homeschooled kids are weird or don’t have a social life. Really though, does a 5 year old need a social life? Sure a few activities here and there are good, but I think the social aspect of homeschooling is made into a bigger deal than it really is. What good does it do to send a kid to kindergarten to be around bad kids and pick up bad behavior habits?

She has been in a children’s day out and pre-k program for 2 years now. We pay for it and it has been really great for her. She loves it! But is it necessary? I don’t know. Things are just a lot different now than when I was a kid, and these pre-k programs and all of these extra-curricular activities were few and far between then. And I turned out ok without them. Maybe? And I also went to public school. But again, public school was also very different back then.

And can we talk about kindergarten hours?? Wow. What happened to going to kindergarten half a day like we did when I was a kid? And I heard they have lots of homework. That just seems silly.

I love the idea of homeschooling and it’s flexibility with schedules, and being in control of our children instead of a school system that really just wants to score high test results. If we want to take a family trip somewhere, we won’t be limited to just do it in the summers since we can do school from wherever we are. And let’s be real honest here….if we want to sleep late and stay in our pajamas all day and not start school until the afternoon, it would be perfectly acceptable.

I am pretty sure I would be a very flexible homeschool mom. Maybe too flexible. Will I be disciplined enough to do one of those co-ops? Are the co-ops necessary?

And living in Texas is a huge benefit to homeschooling.

Is it obvious I am up in the air? But leaning more towards homeschooling?  I’ve been thinking about all of this so much that I haven’t decorated my mantel for Valentine’s day yet. What is wrong with me.

But I would love to hear from you all and any homeschool advice you may have. Did any of you have these crazy thoughts too or am I just a nut?


Confused Mama

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  1. I struggle each year about whether or not to homeschool (and I’ve been homeschooling four years now)! I have an only child, and my chief concern was that my son have some interaction in the learning process–especially as boys tend to be motivated by competitive learning. At any rate, he started in a small Christian school for K-1 (we still had half day kindergarten), and after full-day first grade, I decided to lump it and bring him home. Every year and every transition, it’s reassessment time. You are not alone!

  2. My husband is an elementary school teacher. Our daughter is only 18 months, but we have already started discussing this! I never thought I would consider home school (I was a public school kid) but it seems more and more tempting with this crazy world we are in! I think we will start with school and see how it goes. I do have more peace of mind knowing she will be at school with daddy and he will be there to check in on her a lot. If it starts to change her for the worst, we can always reevaluate. I always have to remind myself that making a decision doesn’t lock us in for life. It’s so hard to make the right decisions for our kids, and I know my parents felt the same way! Somehow we all turn out okay! :)

  3. So funny you’re talking about this today. My husband and I were discussing this last night. We lived in Mckinney last year when we pulled our then second grader out of public school and I home schooled him instead. He made SO much more progress than he did in K – 1st grade combined. When we moved to the Woodlands this summer, we found ourselves in a better school district and we put him back in public school. While the school and the teachers have been awesome, I’m still not convinced he’s reaching the same potential I saw last year and I’m considering homeschooling again next year. I’m reluctant because I know if I do it, I need to commit to it long term, something I hadn’t done before.
    If you’re seriously considering it, I say do it. And trust me, the social aspect will NOT be an issue! Email me and I’ll be able to tell you more, if you want more perspective. :)

  4. We pulled our first grader out the day of the Newton shootings. Homeschooling had been on my mind for years so that wasn’t the main reason, but safety was certainly one of them. My son dealt with mean kids, awful teachers, and so many other things. When it came down to it, there were a couple of things in our positive column, and two pages in our negative column when it came to public school. We also have a five year old who has severe autism, and we’ve always said he would never go to school. So now I’m a homeschooling mama of two, and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Our whole family is so much closer now. I have so much less worry on my shoulders. I can’t say enough good about it!

  5. That’s awesome you are considering homeschooling. Best of luck in your decision. However, not every child that goes to public school is a bully. Also, in some instances some parents are unable to stay home with their children or in some areas of the country private school isn’t an option. Your girls are super sweet, and so are other children in this world, and there is also the mean ones, but remember you cannot protect your children forever. There is lots of lessons to learn in the real world.

    • Homeschooling is the REAL world. It is school that is artificial in all aspects. I’ve homeschooled for 10 years, our children our thriving and we are so thankful we thought outside the box from which we were taught.

  6. Haha, the school decision. I remember saying many times that I would NEVER homeschool my children. Yeah, I had to eat crow on that one. When it was time to register Cade for kindergarten we applied to the magnet school. He was accepted, but as the date for making it all final got closer, I knew in my gut that it wasn’t what we were supposed to do. I knew that the Lord was leading us to homeschool. I was kind of mad. I didn’t want to homeschool my kids. I didn’t feel like it was something that I could do and do well. I did have a heart change. My advise would be to pray and ask God to show you what is right for you and your family. I know that it isn’t right for every family, but it has been a blessing for our family. Sure, there are days that I would love to send my boys to school so that I could have some peace and quiet, but I don’t feel like that most days. I know that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do. Homeschooling looks so much different than it did when I was a kid. (I was homeschooled 1-3 grade) There are tons of resources, tons of options for curriculum, lots of people that homeschool, and many different ways to be social.

    I chose to use a curriculum that is used by several of the private schools in our city. I felt like if our situation changed, they could go to private school and the transition would be easier since the curriculum would be familiar. I don’t think that is necessary, though. We don’t currently do co-ops, but it may be something that we consider as my boys get old. Right now we go to story time, park play dates, craft play dates, and an occasional art class to mix things up a little. (I have a second grader and 3 year old.) The main thing to remember is that you aren’t locked in forever once you choose something. You can change things as you go to make it work for your family as you go.

  7. I worked in the school system for several years.I went along with my children to public schools.I know many well educated wonderful people that have gone to public schools. I have to tell you when a homeschooled child would start at our school you could tell. Had a hard time realizing they where not 1st at everything. Wanted complete undivided attention. Although some where well educated and grades good,the social skills lacked. There seems to be such a :better than thou: attitude with homeschooling. I don’t get it. Teachers are college educated. Your child will be taught real life skills dealing with all kinds of other personalities. Sports ,music the arts with others is so important.Just my opinion.I am not saying homeschooling is a bad thing,plenty of well adjusted,smart children go on to make a wonderful life from that .I’m just saying give school a try.

    • As a public school teacher for over 40 years (biology major having taught grades 6-12), I have almost never seen what you have described. The vast majority of homeschooled kids who enter public schools are light years ahead of the class. Maybe they needed attention because they were bored to tears? In my experience, the needy “entitled” ones are the special ed kids (you know the IEP kids) who are coddled and coaxed and handled with kid gloves until they won’t even pick up a pencil without one on one directions. And don’t forget the emotionally challenged kids… you know the ones who scream, curse and throw chairs and desks in Kinder. You should see them when they get to middle school. It is a great idea to have a 5 year old learn to deal with those personalities. Music? How about private lessons? Sports? Well, I lived in Texas for 10 years and I’m pretty sure there are several options here. Art? Wow, don’t know how any homeschooler could ever experience art. Maybe a home school network? Museum?

  8. Emily, LOVE Your blog and have been following for a few years now! We are homeschoolers and I cant imagine it any other way. It can be an overwhelming decision. But I say your the mom of your sweet girls and knows truly what is best. We have only 1 daughter and I too felt she was too sweet to attend the roughness of what public school can be. One mom told me that public school is a joke….. because in the real world will you work with people all the same age as you? NO! My daughter is an only child so she is used to talking with adults, but she can handle being around a 1 year old as well as being around someone her age. Some kids dont know how to treat kids that are not in their age group. There are SOO MANY resources out there to help you by. We havent picked a set curriculum yet. And I hear from year to year, month to month, your schooling can change just based on what’s working for you and her. I LOVE LOVE how flexible you can be. PJ’s ROCK! haha.
    A lot of people thought my daughter would be a “weird” homeschooler. But she is one of the most social people ever. We go to church every sunday and she talks with all of her friends and teachers, we have playdates and holiday parties, like a upcoming Valentine party, that we hang out with friends. It’s honestly up to you how social to make it. I have realized some of the families we know that homeschool that are socially awkward because the parents are awkward and keep to themselves. We as parents are very social and have people over a lot so I think it sets a good example.
    I am sure you know you will get alot of crap about your choice if you homeschool, but be strong and realize you have to do what’s best for your family and daughter. Not what the “norm” is.
    We love how close we have become as a family and love what we control as far as learning. My daughter always says she loves being at home.
    Be confident in whatever you decide. And you’ll be awesome at! I am an Emily too and we are just awesome people!! hahaha!

  9. thank you for considering all of you options. as parents we will always be second guessing ourselves! my husband and i homeschooled our four children through highschool. we didn’t want to rush the academics and did want them to enjoy being kids!! they are now well adjusted adults making good choices for their lives and they want to homeschool their kids. that is the best advertisement i know of!
    p.s. once they can read they can learn anything (even if you don’t know it or care about it!).
    p.s.s if anything they have way better socialization skills than their peers.

  10. I don’t have kids yet so my opinion is probably moot. However, my sister home schooled her 3 kids and it was a disaster, worst case scenario disaster, I’m not even exaggerating. Does that make me anti-home school? Nope. I have met more home school successes than disasters. Public school is NOT the same thing it was when I was in school. Home schooling is NOT the same thing it was 20 yrs ago. If anything, I think it’s gaining as a viable option for education. Do I think it’s for everyone, no, my sister proved that. But it just depends on the family, the child, the parent/teacher, etc. I also believe that while socialization is important, it is what it is. I was so painfully shy that it was excruciating and didn’t really even begin to come out of my shell until late in high school. There is so much violence and so much bullying and what scares me more? The reaction to these situations results in the other extreme when things do happen. The Zero tolerance with no wiggle room. Yes, I am aware that the stories in the media are never the WHOLE story, but what if my kid is the one that literally draws a gun on a piece of paper or points his finger at someone and goes “bang bang” and gets expelled or kisses a classmate on the arm out of,oh, I don’t know having a silly crush at 6 yrs old… Public schools scare me because of the ability to go in the extremes in 0-6 seconds. But it’s sadly necessary because the situations are escalating with each heinous situation that blows your mind that a school aged child is capable of something. I hope that makes sense. Who knows what I will do when we have kids. But I guess it just comes down to what’s best for your child and only YOU can know that.

  11. I did not homeschool (our son is 31 and back then it was not really a ‘thing’) BUT one of my neighbors does and she was worried about feeling stupid about certain things like history and math. They use an online school program so the kids basically have an online teacher (I think they actually Skype or something). So mom does not have to do EVERYTHING….just the areas she feels comfortable teaching! The online teacher does the rest.

    I do have one comment about the “kids are mean” thing. YES this is true. BUT … all through life one meets up with ‘mean people’ so wouldn’t it be best to learn how to deal with all type of people from a young age?

    • Your comments are great, but it gets to me when people point out that we have to learn to deal with mean people. Obviously we’ll learn, but I think the later in our development, the better. I think I remember all the hurtful comments from my youth, when I was so unsure of myself…Even unintentional ones from my parents so, see, home-schoolers will get that experience! As an adult, you have more perspective when dealing with difficult people – you don’t need to learn that in your early years.

      • To continue my post…My second son is in K this year and he loves it, but there are 28 kids crammed in his classroom and he leaves at 7:40AM and returns at 3:30PM. But, he has so much fun…If I decide to homeschool it will be in a year or two when the fun stops and the mean kids start, which is what I’m already seeing start with my 3rd grader, which seems young. I don’t expect they’ll attend public middle school…homeschool or private.

  12. We are in the process of the same decision. i love the school my children are in now, but i love the idea of teaching them myself more. :-) I recently read “So, You’re Thinking about Homeschooling?” by Lisa Whelchel, and it shows that there are many ways, styles and curriculum to suit every need. Also, on “Confessions of a Homeschooler” blog i read her reasons why she homeschools and practically shouted, “amen!” as i was reading it. :-)
    I say GO FOR IT! especially with this government implemented “common core” curriculum now…. I am not anti-school (obviously) but i think that every parent should look into what they are teaching nowadays in the schools. I know homeschooling isnt an option for everyone but if everyone stands up for what is right for our children, we can make a difference. :-)
    Good luck in your journey!! xoxo

  13. We are in our second year of homeschooling and we all love it – including my children. I can’t imagine sending them back to school! The flexibility and advantages of homeschooling are amazing. And remember, while you are your child’s primary teacher, there are SO MANY resources out there to equip you and to help you out when you feel in over your head. Co-ops are wonderful and being able to enroll your child in a class you aren’t as comfortable teaching in a co-op is great. If you aren’t good at math, you probably won’t have trouble finding a math class for her with a certified teacher. :)

    Is she just going into Kindergarten? If so, this a great yeat to give it a try. You can’t mess anything up with doing Kindergarten at home. :) And, with the way you are already involving her with so many awesome activities, if you stick with that and do the basics of Kindergarten, you will probably find she’s doing more beneficial things than her “schooled” peers. You can teach her at her pace and allow her to spend time on the things she loves. You’ll be blown away with all she learns!

    I say go for it! :) From this homeschooling Momma, I say, “You can do it!” Blessings in whatever you decide! :)

  14. I’m in the middle of year 12 of homeschooling. The only way I could even begin year one was to make it a year by year decision. Now, I don’t even consider it each year because it’s “normal” to us. I taught for ten years in our local public school, the same one my oldest attended, and selected each and every teacher he had for his first three years of school. He had phenomenal teachers, but I discovered that the same problem I faced as a classroom teacher affected my own child – the majority of attention is focused on those kids that are struggling or discipline problems. I was at home with a new baby when my oldest was a second grader and as a new outsider looking in I could see that my well behaved kid was being overlooked, and falling behind little by little. I decided to fill in the gaps his third grade year and the next thing I knew – we made it all the way through high school.

    I know from experience that if you’re fighting the urge to home school, then you’re probably meant for it. And if you’re using essential oils, then you’re really meant for it. :) My younger two, 12 and 8, know nothing different than homeschooling and have never expressed an interest in attending school. I think any veteran homeschooler will tell you that if socialization is your biggest concern, it shouldn’t be. You’ll find yourself having to really limit your activities because there are so many avenues for home schoolers these days. Absolutely anything you don’t feel comfortable teaching, you’ll find more than enough resources to cover it and you’ll feel overwhelmed trying to make that decision because of all the choices!

    I made the decision years ago that if I have to choose between my kids complaining that I spent too little or too much time with them, I’m going with the too much option. Homeschooling has strengthened our family in ways that I could not have imagined that year I agonized about whether or not to begin the journey. I also started with the attitude that I wasn’t home schooling because of what the public schools weren’t doing for my son, but what I knew that I could do for him.

  15. My brothers and I were home-schooled until I was in 6th, Travis 8th and Trevor 10th, we only went to public school, because my mom got sick and could no longer teach us.
    I believe obviously there are pros and cons to both. (I will just speak of private and public as one for ease) I 100% believe you receive a better education at home, it is 1 on 1 instead of 1-30. Every student learns differently, it is IMPOSSIBLE for a teacher in a classroom to tailor her teaching style to 25-30 different students (not saying there are not some amazing teachers) whereas at home you learn how your child learns and teach them in that manner. Also, in a traditional classroom setting it is extremely difficult for the teacher to teach to the different paces the children learn at, if you are an extremely quick learner often the student becomes, bored, distracted and tunes out, often leading to poor grades simply because they are bored; if you are a slower learner often you just get left behind, become frustrated, quit trying, and start to believe you are dumb because you cant keep up when in all reality you just need the teacher to slow down and explain it to you. The teacher is forced to teach to the “average” excluding the faster or slower learners all being equally capable just needing different speeds.
    With homeschooling when you get an answer wrong the paper is returned to you, your mom/teacher is able to explain to you where you went wrong and show you how to do it correctly and then you are given the chance to redo the work until you get it correct. In traditional school you get your paper back marked wrong and that is it, you are never told why it is wrong, where your mistake is or how to do it correctly, so essentially you did not learn from that assignment. With homeschooling your child can advance at their own pace, if they are an extremely gifted child you can breeze through multiple grade levels in one year there is nothing holding you back, if you finish K by dec you can advance to 1st grade or skip straight to 2nd grade. My oldest brother was reading HS assigned books when he was in 3rd grade, he was on a college reading level before reaching jr. high. On the other side of the coin if you are a slower learner and have not mastered what the state has decided you should know by dec or even may your child is not “failing” k leading to self confidence issues. I wont even get started on the “teaching to the test” issues. When my brothers and I entered public schools we were all at least 2 grade levels ahead.
    On the social aspect you are a 100% right,what 5 year old needs a “social life” If you feel the need for coops for your there are plenty now days. My personal feeling is if your child goes to church/sunday school, is involved in dance or sports whatever they enjoy at the appropriate age the will have PLENTY of socialization. It is not like homeschooling means you are locking away your child in your home never to see the light of day; therefore, being some sort of weirdo that has no idea how to interact with other human beings. Im sure your children go to the store with you, go out to eat, go with you to friends and family members homes and are around when you have guest over to your house, all perfectly exceptable tools for socialization. And, YES kids are mean, traditional school settings can be very difficult for some children. All the safety concerns you have are perfectly valid aswell.
    For me personally when I HAD to place my daughters in public school I just stayed VERY active with their education, always working with them at home and ensuring they were where I believed they should be, not just where the school district said they should be. Visit their school often, eat lunch with them, volunteer in the classroom and on the playground all while keeping your ears open as to what the other children are saying and how they are acting so that you can monitor your children’s friends and learn if there are any issues you might need or want to address with your child, so that YOU and your husband are the ones instilling your values in your children.
    Hope this short story helps out some. As always Pray a lot and let God direct ya’ll.

  16. Homeschooling wasn’t as widespread when my kids were little, so they’ve always been in public school and had no issues. That said, I have a cousin in the Cypress area that has been homeschooling several years and loves it. If you decide to do it, I would be happy to share her information with you.

  17. I’m a retired homeschool mom that homeschooled my son from birth through high school. I’m also a new mother-in-law, my very normal son was married last fall, is working full time, paying bills, voting, still playing sports in a men’s league & pretty much contributing to society as a responsible adult – that was MY biggest fear, that I might ruin his chance of a good future.

    I think this is a very personal choice that only you & your husband can make. It’s by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done – truly, I wanted to quit almost daily some years & pretty much monthly every year. It was very hard for me, the adult peer pressure(adults saying things to me & even my son who had no choice in the matter through most of it) was almost unbearable at times for me.

    My biggest helps were my husband, our tutor ( who pretty much got us through high school) & my local homeschool group. Looking back the best perk to homeschooling is the closeness of our family. My husband’s job is very flexible, he sets his own schedule. So with the freedom to make our own school schedule we did so many things we never could have done otherwise – some of the highlights we enjoyed as a family: lots of great field trips, & family days, a month traveling the Lewis & Clark trail, NASCAR races, lots of NYC shows seen at the local theatre, particpating in traveling sports teams & drama at the local University through middle/high school….& so much more. Of course the friendships we’ve made will last our lifetime – we met my daughter-in-law through the traveling sports team he played on.

    One of the best decisions we made was early on we set a goal that our son would be making his own decisions under our guidance by high school. When he finished middle school we gave him the choice of where he wanted to go to high school (public, private or home) He chose to homeschool – I think mainly because of our flexible schedule. He loved having the freedom to plan for things he really wanted to do by working ahead his classes & taking off when he wanted to.

    I hope that your journey is as full of great things as mine has been if this is the path you choose. If not, rest assured, as long as you are an involved parent, always there for your children, it wills till be a great journey.

  18. I am right there with you! I never even thought I could consider homeschooling…I would have laughed in someones face as well if they mentioned it. I recently viewed a private school and fell in love. Of course it was soooo expensive…but the public school option in my area just isn’t cutting it for me. I do not feel smart enough as well. I really did not like school and am afriad that will show if I chose to homeschool my son. I get excited at the thought of buying school supplies and setting up a “classroon”…but beyond that I am afraid I wouldn’t be able to get past 5th grade…because my name is Summer and I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader:(. Best wishes..I never thought it would be such a hard decision. Glad I am not alone:).

  19. Hi,
    I was homeschooled from 3rd grade up and it was a great experience!! My Mom was already an elementary school teacher who was shocked my private school second grade class didn’t make it halfway through our math book that year. After high school both my sister and I graduated from the University of Georgia and went on to receive our Masters degrees. Now she is almost finished with her PhD in Biology at Georgia Tech. There are so many materials to help you through the process. If you are willing to be consistent and follow the curriculum you will do a great job! There are also many resources out there (websites, conventions, support groups, Co-ops, ect.) to help out, and you can always find a tudor to teach the more challenging subjects. Some private schools allow homeschoolers to take Biology classes or play sports.

    I’m sure you can do a great job if this is what you choose.

    Best wishes.

  20. Well I homeschooled 2 of my children, but only for 3 years each. I would advise that if you are leaning toward it to just try it. Don’t put the whole 13 years of schooling on your shoulders at once. Commit to just 1 year and then re-evaluate each year. And if you find it works…great. If you find it doesn’t work….that’s great too because then at least you will know and you won’t always be wondering if you should have done it.

  21. SoCalLynn says:

    We started homeschooling our youngest when she was in 2nd grade. I wish we’d done it sooner! She is now in 9th grade, so we are in that place of figuring out high school and heading towards college. Guess what? You can do it! The things you don’t remember, you’ll re-learn. The things you don’t like, you’ll find a resource that can step in. The things you don’t want to do and don’t have to, don’t do them. We had a family tragedy when my dad was killed in a hit and run accident, and scaled back schooling while we grieved and helped my mom through it. The flexibility was such a blessing! It is so much fun to study art at the museum, science at the aquarium, etc. Join a support group to help you navigate, especially early on. One thing I highly recommend, though, is don’t homeschool out of fear of what’s in the public school. Do it for all the positive reasons your family can think of that will make it a great adventure.

  22. I enjoyed reading all the comments regarding home schooling or not. However, not a single comment about college. For those that completed grade 12, did any of the children attend college? State school or private? How did they do at that level? What you decide will have a life long effect.

    • There Have Been A Number Of Studies Done And you Can CheckThe Statistics Online But The Rates Of Homeschoolers Going To College Are Higher ThAn Public Schoolers. And Their Overall Scores Are Higher Too.

    • Robin,

      My son was home educated from 3rd through 12th and is currently attending a public college with a full scholarship. His current GPA is 3.9, he has friends both at school and back at home, and just told me the other day that other students are always asking to study with him because he knows how to study and prepare for both projects and tests. He will tell you that it’s all due to the fact that “he had to teach himself…” all those years. While part of that is true, I also remind him that the only reason he was able to to teach himself was due to the years and years of training he received from one on one instruction during all the early years. He sometimes forgets that part. :)

    • I chose not to go to college, but my brother (also homeschooled) went to college for a total of 6 years. He has a degree in music and also in business/accounting and got extremely high grades and special awards at graduation.

  23. LOVE Reading All These Comments!Homeschooling Is So Not What It Used To Be. And You’re Right, The SocialIzing Is Overrated! The Type Of Socializing They Get In Ps Is Not Exactly What You Want. Mine Were In For Several Years Before We Pulled Them Out. And Yes, 25 Kids In One Class Is WAY To Many For A Teacher To Give Proper Attention To Each Need. Have You Checked Out Homeschool Curriculum? I lOVE All The Choices. Itcan Be A Little overwhelming But I Love That You Can Customize It To Your Childs Learning Ability. It Has Changed Our Lives And We Love It!

  24. Kathryn E. says:

    I was homeschooled every day of my school years. Never set foot in a public school room for school purposes… That was the greatest thing my parents could have done for Me and I am so thankful they decided to homeschool! Both my parents graduated from public school, and neither went on to be professional teachers. But I passed my Senior test with flying colors, so well in fact that I could have applied for College tests, my scores were so high. I am a very social person, considering I am 1 of 9 kids ; ) I never struggled with bullying, low self esteem, which so often is fallout from peer pressure and wanting to fit in. The school shootings and terrify me and seem to just be getting worse. If you haven’t gathered already I will be homeschooling my children. A lot of places that sell school books will actually have your major subjects in a package price for every grade. Seton homeschool is wonderful for making it easier to put together school recourses and I plan on using them once I enroll my kids. It is a hard decision, and that won’t be easy. Most school books have teachers manuals so even if you don’t know/remember how to implement something that is a great thing to have on hand to help. One of the greatest things about homeschooling is you having the ability to pick and choose their extracurricular activities that aren’t part of major education depending on the child. Furthering education in science. Nutrition. Advanced math. Astronomy. Old english ( my fave) music. Dead languages. The list goes on.

    My parents were not big into sports. But one of my homeschooled friends parents would put their homeschooled sons in T-ball and I believe their Father coached for awhile as well. My sibling and I took piano lessons, which I immensely enjoyed. So don’t buy into the lie that you are hurting your children by homeschooling and “sheltering” them…… Good luck!!

  25. I am blessed with three wonderful daughters, all three of whom I had the joy of homeschooling from kindergarten through high school. For me, the two prerequisites for homeschooling are that you, as the mother, will be diligent to have them do the work and that you actually enjoy having your children with you. ( I cringe every year when I hear the public school moms talking about how they can’t wait for school to start! ) Can you do it successfully? My older two were National Merit scholars, the youngest National Merit Commended. They all three graduated from the largest university in Texas and were leaders in many different student organizations. The oldest is finishing her second MBA at Columbia right now and her employer is paying for it. I strongly believe in the Power of Modeling and the need to adapt school to learning styles. Mine were all different. My children were tested each year through eighth grade at the local Christian school so I had a benchmark, not only for their progress but also the effectiveness of the curriculum I had used. The years I taught them were such fun and we have many great family memories. Still, where we live, the local superintendent used to tell families he was having trouble with that they should homeschool and then give them my number as a reference. They would often call me after they had done nothing
    academically for a year or more. If the Lord leads you to do this, please take it seriously and do it as “unto the Lord.” He will be faithful, I promise!

  26. Anonymous says:

    We have a high school student in public school and homeschool our 1st grader and have for two years. The system has changed a ton since we were younger in many ways along with all the other horrible things that are happening also. We chose a online public program for easy transition in case our daughter wants to take that path in her future. We did public preschool through our local elementary school and she got to the point she didn’t want to go anymore and had great reasons. We were involved also enough to see that sadly in our school homeschool was the best chose. It has been great and the school program we use comes with a teacher and a daily schedule so we always have help and our friend is in the same program in high school which he has tons of help from his teachers so don’t worry at all if you choose this. I think it really is about so many different things to factor but in our case it is by far the best. We are involved at the local high school daily and our son believes he should 100% be doing his school at home for the educational side but he is involved in so many other programs so it is easiest for him he feels to just be there versus going back and forth so many times.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have a high school student in public school and homeschool our 1st grader and have for two years. The system has changed a ton since we were younger in many ways along with all the other horrible things that are happening also. We chose a online public program for easy transition in case our daughter wants to take that path in her future. We did public preschool through our local elementary school and she got to the point she didn’t want to go anymore and had great reasons. We were involved also enough to see that sadly in our school homeschool was the best choice. It has been great and the school program we use comes with a teacher and a daily schedule so we always have help and our friend is in the same program in high school which he has tons of help from his teachers so don’t worry at all if you choose this. I think it really is about so many different things to factor but in our case it is by far the best. We are involved at the local high school daily and our son believes he should 100% be doing his school at home for the educational side but he is involved in so many other programs so it is easiest for him he feels to just be there versus going back and forth so many times.

  27. My biggest concerns on home schooling are socialization and learning by working in cooperation with other students.

    • There are many ways kids can socialized without being in a public school. And cooperative groups? Guess what? Kids can learn to work together in other areas, as well. In my opinion ( being a public school teacher for 40+ years) kids are too socialized and with constant group work, never learn to think for themselves.

  28. I am so excited for you! I wish I had been able to homeschool, I would have had so much more control of how well my kids were doing in school and not just take their report cards as the basis of what they learned. I remember my daughter was in high school, I read one of her papers and there were so many misspelled words I came unglued. I called the teacher and said “did you read her paper? Did you see all the mistakes she made?” The teacher said…”.we are not working on spelling this term,” I was floored. My granddaughter just pulled her 4 yr old from pre something, all they did was play. My granddaughter is the one that is teaching him to read, know his numbers etc, as I believe most parents do anyway. I just don’t get it. I know I had a very difficult time in high school with math ..I am a word person, a reader,not numbers; I fell further and further behind because even then teachers didn’t have enough time to teach slower ones. Now they have after school tutors? MORE school time? I am always amazed at my friends who homeschool, they teach the kids in 3-4 hours what a child is in school ALL DAY to learn. And better!I was also a teachers assistant recently in one of the first grades, sooo much wasted time, even I got bored just waiting for something to be passed around, and do you have your…blah blah. Wait in lines , wait in more lines. I also worked in the cafeteria, and most of them did NOT eat the “government healthy approved lunches”, most was free to them and most was left in the can. So they weren’t really nourished, Breakfasts were all carbs, bad bad. I could go on, but I am so excited for you to have this chance, and yes, take it little by little. However, I know you have experienced the light that goes in their eyes when they learn something or something clicks….I teach the bible one on one, and I love that special time! Who would want to miss it? Recently my 12 yr old bible study had never heard of the holocaust, the world wars, or how it impacts our lives today. A lot of back pedaling was done to bring her up to speed. So what is she learning in school? Try it, you might like it, I am sure you will. I wish I could!

  29. Tanya Luce says:

    Arlington, tx has a great homeschool convention every Mother’s Day weekend. There are tons of venders and lots of good sessions. A great book to read is, “so you’re thinking about homeschooling” by Lisa welchel. Lastly, My Father’s World and Heart of Dakota are some of my favorite curriculums because they have easy to follow and well planned out teacher’s guides. I wish I would have used one of those for our first year.

  30. Patti/aTimeAsThis says:

    WOW! There are so many good comments and wise advice. Traveling back in time, I never thought I would homeschool. What was so wrong with public school? It was good enough for me. Then I had a baby. Homeschooling was totally on the table. Once my son reached pre-K age, I decided to use that year as my experiment, my test – could I do it? In a word…uh, yes. And here we are – three kids and almost 16 years later. Okay, give me a minute. SixTeEN yEaRs?!?! I’m not gonna lie. Echoing other comments, it has been hard, but I’d still make the same decision all over again.

    You and I live sort of in the same area, and as you probably know, there are lots of ways to homeschool here. We’ve enjoyed a mix over the years from doing everything at home, some outside classes, study groups, hand picked co-ops, to Classical Conversations. There are so many resources and options and more opportunities for socialization than you will ever have time for. There are lots of ways to clear the hurdle of not being comfortable teaching particular subjects. Writing and science are mine. Plus, we have ultimate freedom here in Texas! You’re doing the right thing – asking questions.

  31. You don’t have to worry about what homeschooling will look like for high school…that’s borrowing worries from tomorrow….just prepare for the current grade at hand. And you will have resources that will guide you..some even give you scripts.

    My caution is to not make a the decision solely from fear of public schools. I’ve taught public and private. They both have their pros and cons. I will say that public school gets a bad wrap for being evil. There are so many good-hearted, dedicated teachers, parents and administration in public education…

    Just remember that being around other people is important even as children. It’s important for learning how to get along with others, to share, to wait, to learn patience, acceptance of other’s differences whether that be socio economic, learning styles, race/religion/ethnicity. It’s one thing to teach our children those things in theory and another to let them live it.

    Being a former Kindergarten teacher, I think parents sending their child to school for the first time feel like they’re giving their children over to this big wide world of the unknown. It’s really a smaller, kinder place than what our imaginations would have us believe.

    I do think kids need socialization….to learn to interact and communicate with others. To learn how to handle conflict and to learn to accept other’s differences.

    I’m local and would be so very happy to meet you and visit about this in person. Not to sway you one way or the other, but to listen from the perspective of an older parent and former teacher.

    • Kindergarten can be half day or whole day, depending on where you go. I prefer whole day for one of my kids and half for the other. It suits their needs better. As for homework, there isn’t really a lot but I’m glad there is.

  32. Home School.

  33. Emily, Your feelings are normal and I have moments when I feel like homeschooling would just be easier for all the same reason you do. I also have the same feelings about not being smart enough! And yes, kids are mean. The means ones are mean no matter where you go; parks, sports fields, family friendly restaurants, etc., and I have learned adults can be just as bad so I sometimes look at it as life’s lessons. But honestly, I feel like if I did not get a break from kids, homework, cleaning, etc. that I would not know who I was anymore. I do like my me time when the kids are at school. We live in a very good school district and if that were ever to change homeschooling would be an easy decision for me. Just do what your heart tells you; you will feel much better about your decision. I have heard that there is a great support team out there for homeschool moms!

    Good luck; I know you will make the right decision for your family.

  34. Wow, you are now the third blog that I follow where homeschooling is either being done or being contemplated. We are a home schooling family and I love it. Sure, there are days where I have my concerns as a mom on how great of a job I am doing but, then I over hear my kids doing math or reading while they are playing and I realize that kids can and will learn and we need to stop stressing. I like the freedom it gives our family (both myself and hubby are entrepreneurs). I like that my kids can learn at their own pace and I can tailor curriculum to their needs and interests. I like how we can focus on family and we are the ones teaching them about morals, right and wrong, etc- not their peers or strangers for that matter within the educational system. In the end, you have to do what is right for you and your family. As a homeschooling mom, you do need to find a balance so you do not lose yourself. For me that is my work, my bookclub and my moms group. Plus all the little craft projects that I do at home, being creative is my escape and it is what I do to re-energize my spirit. All the best.

  35. I have this on my mind too as of late. We’re homeschooling our 4 year old right now for preschool. And it’s been really hard, we’re still debating about if we’re going to send her to school next year.

  36. I think you being very smart to consider homeschooling. Financially, it isn’t an option for us, but we lucked out and have our son in an awesome Elementary school (we’ll see what will happen in another year when he goes to middle school). The majority of my friends homeschool their kids and they are some of the very best kids. The parents also have their kids enrolled in co-ops so the kids interact with other kids. They actually have dances, graduations, etc. I think if homeschooling is a possibility for your family, you should really look into it. From what I understand, as the kids get older, they have the option to do all of their schoolwork on computers like online classes. I could be wrong about this, On a side note… once I save up enough money, I am going to contact you about getting some essential oils. I think this will really help me and my family out.

  37. In my opinion, homeschooling is a far better option but it requires great efforts and struggle.

  38. Such a great topic. My husband and I were both homeschooled through high school back before it was popular and I think we turned out just fine (-:. My mom had been a school teacher and she definitely took the academic side of homeschooling seriously, but we also had so many other wonderful and unique experience. I am now a public school teacher, and I see some serious down sides to the emphasis on testing and not the development of the whole child. It saddens me to see this. I also see how unique and different each child is and homeschooling really provides the individualized instruction each child could benefit from. There are so many great resources out there for homeschooling now that make it easier to do than it used to be. It’s definitely a commitment, but worth it!

  39. Just a quick reply. I have done all three. We have four children and each needed something different. Right now I have one child in private school, two on their way to university and 1 in public school.

    I loved home schooling. If your child is sensitive this is a great option, especially when they are young. There are many homeschool networks for socializing. If you take advantage of these your child will interact with others who are happy to have this social time. I have found that children who are at home with their parents, and well socialized, are much more confident,academically advanced and empathetic . For the most part you do not see”the problem children” in this environment.

    My public school experience has taught me that the parents of “problem children” need a break and don’t home school. My private school experience has shown that these children are not admitted or don’ last long.

    I have done all three because of high anxiety, bullying, a child has fallen behind or a child is advanced and bored at school. The high anxiety or bullied child can loose their spirit. The child who has fallen behind can loose their self esteem. The bored child becomes a lazy learner and can’t cope with a challenge, calculus in my house.

    I would never send my child to full day kindergarten. This is from personal experience and I understand parents who make this decision. As someone who has has spent many hours in the classroom I have found that so much time is wasted on behavioural issues and crafts. You can accomplish so much more at home. It is vital to have a strong grasp of the basics leaving kindergarten.

    If you want to save money, perhaps you could homeschool until it no longer works for you. I’m positive your child would love to learn history WITH you. Believe me I didn’t know a thing about science and it is my daughters favourite subject. We both learned with many experiments. She is now in private school and thriving.

    Our homeschool community had parents meet, with children, and each parent taught what they knew to the group. For example a retired chemist taught high school kids chemistry and math. These children have all excelled in university.

    In my experience grade 9 is a good transition period for public school. It is easier to make friends at this point. Your child has a good foundation. They likely have their morals and goals in place. This greatly influences their choice of friends and social activities in the public school setting. These are just my opinions based on our family experiences.

    Have a nice day, K

  40. Sorry that was not a quick reply

  41. My kids are grown but if I had little ones now private or homeschooling is the way I’d go! The new CORE cirriculum is just a way to indoctrinate our kids, very scary!! They rewrite history, I just read where one school had Pres Lincoln as a liberal !!?? School shootings don’t get me started the NUTS will always go to a gun FREE zone, our president & celebs have ARMED body guards but the rest of us are supposed to be like sitting ducks, what did one politician say ‘hide under your desk, grab a pair of scissors’ crazy remark huh?? Typical do as I say not as I do….

    Your heart will guide the way you’ll figure out what’s best for your family..

    Love reading your blog..

    All the best,
    Kathy :)

  42. I was homeschooled, from kindergarten to 12th grade. Loved it. I now homeschool our 7 year old, so far, and will homeschool our younger children when they are school age.
    It is not all easy, especially when you have a baby, but it is worth the trouble, in my opinion.

    As far as subjects you aren’t as good at, you can get help with those, maybe even from other homeschool parents. There are lots of homeschool support groups around, and that takes care of the social aspect, too. They go on field trips and fun activities together, etc.

    I understand completely about the safety and mean kids aspect of public schools. I wouldn’t want that for my kids, either, Plus, I just like being with them. Homeschooling makes for close families. I am best friends with my mom to this day. ;-)

  43. I couldn’t have said it better myself. You are not crazy! My son is 3 and I am having these exact same thoughts and I am a former public school teacher! The demands put on kids and teachers these days are crazy. It makes the average and lower kids struggle and the teachers stressed beyond measure. I say try it out at least for a year. You may surprise yourself! Everyone I know that teaches homeschool loves it and wouldn’t change it.

  44. I homeschool through the public school system…they pay for the curriculum and the curriculum is “books” with about 10% computer stuff. I absolutely love it. I get a REALLY good curriculum through it (Calvert). My son also gets 500 dollars towards any extra activities we want to put him in…currently he gets private swim lessons paid for. He has a class he goes to once a week with only 8 other kids, where they do science experiments and other fun educational stuff. I then meet with his “teacher adviser” once a month to assess how he’s doing, she has given me TONS of resources, extra curriculum stuff to challenge him in areas where he needs more challenge. He is moving through his curriculum quickly so they have the next grade level on hand, so he can just keep going at his pace…and not have to fit in the Kindergarten model. Not all of these programs are created equal…you really have to do your research. I have been absolutely delighted with it!!!

  45. I hate the question, “What about their social life?” First, what about MY social life?! :) Secondly, learning social skills happens anytime a person is around people. We home school; we don’t lock our kids in a closet. They have friends of various ages- toddles, peers, teens, adults. That seems more real to life to me. You can accomplish “socialization” in so many ways- it’s really a non-issue for most home school kids, I think. And consider all the time you save not having to debrief bad habits/language/etc. learned elsewhere.

    Educational decisions are made year to year. Certainly, we can look forward and say we’d like to do such and such an option for this many years, but in reality, we can’t know the future. So if you feel convicted to home school, then do it; you haven’t sealed your fate forever but have simply made the best decision for this year and then you can re-evaluate for the next.

    You know your kids better than anyone else. Who else is going to advocate for them like you will? If you don’t like a curriculum or it isn’t working, change it to fit your learner. You aren’t locked in by “gates” your kids must meet at certain times: my son couldn’t say the alphabet in order until the first grade but he was reading chapter books- it just didn’t matter to him and at home, that was fine. When my daughter had trouble with some math, we stopped what we were doing and took the rest of the semester to simply review and solidify skills before moving on. Conversely, if they “get it,” then move on and let them explore! As for being “smart enough,” you are. And for those areas that are weaker for you as they move up in grades, there are plenty of resources to help you out…husbands, for one. :)

    My biggest struggle is my own selfishness. Our culture sends a strong message that we women need “me time.” While there is truth in that, and the whole family benefits from a mom’s only getaway {that lasts an hour or several days!}, there is also the flip side that as moms we’re to care and nurture our children; it seems inherent in the word, “mom.” As a home schooling mom, I do get tired and sometimes I wish I could go run errands by myself or meet up with a friend without having three children along! Again, there are solutions- hiring a housekeeper, co-ops (I don’t do one right now- I don’t have time for one), cooking in a way so that you have leftovers several times a week, training your kids to help with the housework, being organized and disciplined, etc.

    Whatever you choose, remember you’re the best mom your kids will ever have, and it doesn’t matter what social media says or the lady next door or relatives or whomever! Blessings!!!

  46. Just because you start homeschooling doesn’t mean you’re committed forever. With trial and error, our family has found that homeschooling K through 2nd grade works for us. I think they’re just too little to have to be away from home all those hours, and to be committing so much of their day to schoolwork when they really should be playing!
    Really, there’s no harm in trying it out :)

  47. My daughter is only 2, but we are considering homeschooling. I think a lot of great things have been said, though I am still saddened that many people think of homeschooling as it was 20 years ago. I work with college students and the homeschool students I see come into college are among the more mature and socially adjusted students. Honestly, we are seriously considering homeschooling not out of fear for safety or bad cultural influences, but because we disagree with the philosophies of the public school system as it is right now. I have many friends who are public school teachers and I constantly hear their frustrations over the politics squelching their efforts to be the amazing educators they are. Not every family has the opportunity to homeschool, so we should never look down on others who choose the public school route, but I believe for my family personally, if I have the means and opportunity to homeschool, coupled with my education philosophies, homeschooling is most likely for us.

    • Don’t even get me started on the philosophies and the governmental control over the public school system. I didn’t want to go there in my post! Haha.

      And I would never look down on someone that does go to public school. For many that IS the only option. If you homeschool, it doesn’t make one “holier than thou” by any means.

  48. So I’m thinking about homeschool also for next year only I will have a 2nd grader and 6th grader. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would have taken my maternal instincts a little more seriously. The thought of homeschooling crossed my mind when I visited kindergarten and I saw how “industrial” it seemed (very familiar from my childhood but I couldn’t believe how little had changed).
    Fast forward 6 years…my older son doesn’t not like going to school (to put it mildly). He has had a couple excellent teachers but the years he gets a not so great one makes it a very mediocre year. His homework, while not overwhelming, is usually busy work. His passion for learning is not met at school but rather in his curiosity outside of school. He is going to try a project based charter middle school next year and I think he may really like it. As for social skills, my son is on the introverted side anyway but I don’t expect that to change and most of the socialization learned at school was negative. Tired of kids with behavior problems creating problems in the classroom over and over again.
    Which leads me to the conclusion that I would really like to find a way to homeschool my 2nd grader. We are trying some experimental things at home right now. We started a reading math curriculum (life of Fred) and he tells me he LOVES it. I work two days a week so I’m not sure how I will make it work but thinking it through. Just saw in the news today that our district needs to find a way to cut 24 positions also.
    As for not being a being able to teach the subjects, looking back now I don’t see that as being an issue and wish that wouldn’t have scared me away. It’s not like you start out with algebra or history, you will be learning how to teach it and thus have a better understanding of it.
    Anyway, I felt compelled to comment (I never do) because I remember thinking some of the same thoughts and hesitations that you have. I think you should really think it over,investigate your schools and make the decision that is right for you but don’t feel intimidated…they are your children and you know how to help them learn best!! Good luck!

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