Should I start homeschooling?

by a Reader

I am a teacher although I am currently a Stay at home mom.

My oldest child is in Kindergarten and I have been so unhappy with the school. The amount of worksheets and passive learning she is doing is something I do not approve of. I have thought of pulling her out but she enjoys it so I feel badly taking her away from her friends and the many activities the school provides that I can't, such as Art and Music.

When she comes home each day, I see an exhausted and moody child and I know in my heart this is not good for her.

I am just struggling with the decision to homeschool because I am worried I won't have the patience or organization needed to do it and that if I decide to send her back to school, she may be behind.

I would appreciate any advice you could give me.



Lots of questions!
It is hard to make decisions like this for our children when there seems to be so many conflicting issues and things at stake.

I agree with you about the amount of worksheets and passive learning that children at school are subjected to. But I would disagree with you about you not being able to provide ANY activity that school provides. For a start, I would suspect that any access to Art and Music your daughter has at school is actually quite limited. Art is everywhere, and you can easily take her to art galleries (even online ones), read books about art, get her drawing and painting, and surround her with beautiful art and prints in your home. There are some fantastic art books for children available - with lots of craft and lesson ideas in them. Music is more difficult if you think solely in terms of playing an instrument. But you could go to concerts, listen to different types of music - and yes, even practice playing an instrument together. Again, there are lots of books and video courses for playing instruments even if you can't afford to take private lessons.

Patience and organization! Now there is something we would all like to have more of! I think some homeschoolers are patient and organized but others, me especially, just muddle through!

Try not to think of things in terms of being a teacher. You won't need to organize a full curriculum for a year or manage a whole class. You just need to spend time with your daughter doing interesting things.

I use the ideas I outlined in my homeschool planner ebook to keep me somewhat organized - but still give us flexibility in how we do things. And there are lots of different ways of organizing your homeschooling schedule. You just need to allow yourself time to figure out your personal homeschooling style

I found that just taking a deep breath helps me to be more patient - and that often the problem is me and not the children. If I stop trying to put my expectations on them (or stop trying to 'teach' them things), then I usually don't need to draw on my reserves of patience much!

You say that you don't want her to be behind but I think that would be very unlikely. Plus, if you decide to send her to school at some point, you can take some time to work with her on anything you are worried about.

And finally you raised socialization when you said she would miss her friends. If you decide to homeschool then make plans to still keep in touch with them. And read my rant about homeschooling and socialization.

So - they are all the reasons why you CAN homeschool. But the question still remains - SHOULD you?

You need to balance what you want with what your daughter wants. If she loves school then she may not want to come out. If it were me (!) I would probably start homeschooling during the summer vacations - Introduce the type of fun things we would do all year. This will give you a chance to check out your patience and organization levels! And let her relax and enjoy it. Then you can either 'forget' to send her back to school and just keep going - or have a chat with her about what she would like to do.

Remember, no decision is irreversible - especially at this age. It is extremely unlikely you will ruin her whole education if you try taking her out of school for a year! And if you feel she really wants to stay there, then the same applies. You always have the choice of taking her out later.

Good luck - and let us know what you decide! I would love to hear!
best wishes, Julie.

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Should I start
by: LoriD

I'll keep it short and simple - your short message SCREAMS you should HOMESCHOOL!!

1) you are unhappy with the school
2) worksheets and passive learning (definately yells HS)
3) you can find hs groups that you can do art and music with as well as friends and if she really has close friends in school you can still arrange play dates with them (it will be hard because your schedule will be much more flexible than theirs)
4)you SEE what it's doing to her and your instinct is right!!
5) you won't have patience every day (but as a parent you already know that) and you will be disorganized some days (as a parent you already know that) - by the way getting a kid ready for school each day takes WAY more organizing than HS - despite both of these "shortcomings" your child will thrive!!

I can only encourage you to DO IT! You won't look back - find a hs support group in your area - find someone you can share your hs fears with and find new friends for both her and you and you guys will be fine - in fact in the not so distant future YOU will be helping someone who has the same fears as you did. BEST WISHES please let us know how it goes!!!

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