Lord Help Me, I’m Seriously Thinking About Homeschooling » Teeny Manolo

Lord Help Me, I’m Seriously Thinking About Homeschooling

By Glinda

little red schoolhouse


I’m not sure what exactly the impetus was for the husband and I to begin viewing homeschooling as a valid option for next year.   I know that we regarded kindergarten as a big frakking waste of everyone’s time, and we were more than willing to give first grade a chance to redeem public education in our admittedly jaded eyes.  Private school would technically be an option, if it weren’t for the fact that the ones that seem to have a curriculum/philosophy that we can get behind costs the equivalent of a year of college.  And that, my friends, just isn’t going to happen.  Because even if we had loads of money and could afford it, it seems obscene to pay that much for elementary school.

All I know is that the Munchkin doesn’t like school, doesn’t like homework (really, who does?) and I don’t like the fact that there is no art instruction, music instruction is now something after school that is paid for, critical thinking skills are sacrificed on the altar of standardized tests and worksheets, and the schools in my state are having their budgets slashed to the point where certain districts are cutting the school year short.  And the budget problems are only going to get worse.  In fact, in my most humble opinion, it is the worst time in the history of my state to be a public school student, what with NCLB seemingly up for passage even though it is a horrifically misguided piece of legislation, and the morale of teachers being sucked down the toilet as they are asked to do more and more with less and less.  And just so you know, the Munchkin’s current school is in the top ten pecent in the state as far as test scores go. But test scores don’t always tell the whole story.

And so it seems to me, that this where I can step in.  This is where I can be proactive with my child’s education, rather than reactive.  Where I can take charge of the direction of his studies instead of sitting there wondering why the school does x a certain (crappy) way and fighting a rather entrenched bureaucracy with barely a fifty-fifty chance of succeeding.  I’m already at home, so no need to quit a full-time job, we learned years ago how to get by on just one income.  I have a degree in English, but I do suck at math.  Somehow though, I think I can handle it.

So the huz and I are in heated talks about perhaps not enrolling the Munchkin in second grade next year.  And let me assure you that my husband is actually anti-homeschooling and has been one of the major reasons I haven’t already tried it.  I realize that however much work I think it’s going to be, I should automatically double it.  However, I think that as my son’s steward, it is almost my duty to ensure that he can learn at his own pace and not have to fill out worksheet after worksheet after worksheet after worksheet.  I swear, if we want to focus on saving some damn trees, schools should be looked to as some of the main offenders.  I digress…

I will be the first to admit that I don’t know everything.  Shocking! I know!  But the one thing I do know is that the Manolosphere has some of the best and brightest minds in all of the intertubes, so why not ask for your opinions before I embark on a life-changing course?  Is there a flaw in my reasoning?  Am I being unrealistic?  Am I being too harsh on the public education system? Would you homeschool if you could? Will  my good intentions put me on a nonstop flight to hell?

So I turn to you, dear readers. I truly want to know what you think.

14 Responses to “Lord Help Me, I’m Seriously Thinking About Homeschooling”

  1. Mr. Henry Says:

    Home schooling is a huge mistake, but not for the reasons you might think.

    Until middle school children don’t really learn subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic so much as learn social skills that are infinitely harder for you to to convey and for them to master at home.

    Let the kid be a regular kid and make sure he/she doesn’t watch too much TV. That’s the whole of parenting. And, of course, keep it light. Laughter is the best way to say something serious.

  2. Glinda Says:

    I hear what you are saying, Mr. Henry. Thank you for your input! And trust me when I say I am not being dismissive when I say that!

    Sometimes I think the biggest social lessons he is learning aren’t necessarily positive ones. So I struggle with that.

  3. Sarah Says:

    I have thought about homeschooling as well. Then I remember that I’m just not really equipped to teach. I do have a few friends that home school and think it’s wonderful but I also agree with Mr. Henry in the social skills these children lack in.

  4. Awesome Mom Says:

    I think you should give it a try, after all it is not like once you decide to home school you are stuck with it forever. You might as well give it a go now while there is not as big of a chance that he will get way behind his classmates if it ends up not working out.

    I really thought long and hard about home schooling Evan. I sent him to public school because of his special needs (he would have aces to a lot of things I could not provide) and because he has a personality such that I think I would possible kill him (so totally kidding) if I was trying to educate him myself. Now I would love to homeschool Harry but he has to be just like his brother and do everything that Evan does so he will also be sent off to school.

    We lucked out and ended up with a great school that still had art and they have pe every day so I have been very happy with how Evan’s education is coming along. I am nervous about our return to California since I know the schools there are in deep budget issues.

  5. The gold digger Says:

    This blogger has been home-schooling her two younger kids for years. They spend plenty of time with other kids (they are teens now) and based on my interactions with the daughter on facebook, they are perfectly lovely.


  6. pjs Says:

    I homeschooled my older son for one year and it was a wonderful turning point for him scholastically. He needed the quiet year of one-on-one and it was far from a mistake.

    However, my younger one read before kindergarten, wasn’t challenged at school, and also did not seem to have the love of learning that I thought he should have. My husband was not convinced that a little boy should have a love of school, and was less concerned. We decided to keep him in school and that also was a good decision for him. He is very creative and has found his own ways to enjoy school by 5th grade. He is confident and enjoys talking with the teachers as much as the other kids. He has run two different kid businesses from the playground. For him, school got better. He also does outside enrichment stuff, but of his choosing, not ours.
    I would just ask yourself for each of the problems that you see as your reasons for homeschooling him, would homeschooling solve those particular problems?

  7. Glinda Says:

    @Sarah and Mr. Henry- When you say socialization, do you mean with peers or adults, or both? Not asking aggressively, just looking for a bit of clarification.

    @Aweseome Mom- You’ve got a point that it isn’t necessarily a lifelong path if I choose to go that route. And yes, CA schools are sucking.

    @the gold digger- Thank you for the link, I will be sure to check it out.

    @pjs- I would be homeschooling with the goal of going further and faster with his curriculum than he does now, especially in the areas of math, reading, and science. He is especially strong in those, and we feel he could be learning more. Thank you so much for your insight.

  8. Jennie Says:

    My youngest sister home schools her three children. She belongs to a home schooling co-op. They share outings, sports, and various parents teach to their strengths. If one is outstanding in mathematics, then that parent has weekly classes….etc… Might be worth looking into in your area. I believe in socialization of the children and was kind of opposed to this but she has found a group of caring, intelligent and proactive parents that truly believe that it takes a village.

  9. marvel Says:

    Glinda, I truly think you and husband care enough and are invested enough in your kids that you are not going to “screw them up” by either home-schooling or leaving him in a public school. Either decision is going to have unexpected plusses and unexpected minuses, and you will just have to adjust to fill in the minuses as they come up.

    If your son has had a miserable public school experience, pull him out and try home-schooling. If you’re worried about social interactions, find other homeschooling mothers in your area and form a group. You can do reading/math in the morning and then get together with other homeschooling moms and kids in the afternoons for art, music, science, trips to museums, etc. If you think all the other homeschooling moms are weird just do it with you and your son and daughter. Home schooling can give you a lot of flexibility to cover the basics at your sons’ own pace and then leave a lot of extra time for additional learning. It’s true he might miss out on some socialization, but it’s not like he’s never been in a classroom setting. Depending on what’s happening at your kids’ school, he might be better off NOT being socialized in that environment.

    So I say, go for it! Try home-schooling.

  10. Kimmer Says:

    We’ve been homeschooling for about 5 years. I love it, even though I don’t ALWAYS love it, you know? Homeschoolers have lots of options for social interaction. My kids have been in co-ops and on sports teams. They get lots of interaction with neighborhood kids (most of whom are not homeschooled) as well as homeschooled friends. There are huge homeschooling networks available these days for every kind of need.

    Homeschooling is a lot of work, but it’s also a LOT of fun. Email me if you want to chat about it.

  11. Glinda Says:

    @Jennie- I have researched co-ops in my area, and there are quite a few. I’m hoping I can find at least one or two that we fit into. Thank you for confirming for me that they CAN work.

    @marvel- I agree with you that our concern as parents will not give him much room for failure no matter what he does. But what I’m looking for is to encourage his critical thinking skills and his ability to “think outside the box” which comes naturally to him, and we are finding that there isn’t a whole lot of that going on in public schools. Agreed also that the socialization he’s been getting isnt’ necessarily positive, although that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth experiencing, in its own way.

    Kimmer- Wow, five years! You mean, you don’t wake up every morning singing cheerfully and ready to do everything with gusto? 🙂 I just might take you up on your offer!

  12. KESW Says:

    I’m the product of 12 years of homeschooling, and I have to say I LOVE LOVE LOVED it. How my mom made it work for socialization was judicious use of co-ops (we were enrolled in one as k-3rd/4th graders, but she wouldn’t put us in the high school one because of disciplinary issues and other parents abuse of the system), and making sure we were regularly involved in other activities. For us, the big ones were church and a homeschool band that met once a week… those are still my fondest memories of childhood, and the group of kids from my church who were all high school aged together are still very close.

    From an academic perspective, she dabbled in different curriculums each year, but the main things we needed to learn directly from her was to read and to think critically and logically. My mother-in-law homeschooled her four children as well and found those to be the most important things. I’d recommend a series of books called “What your [fill-in-the-blank]-grader needs to know”… both my mom and MIL used them as guides to what our base level of learning should be in those early years and I think they found them quite useful.

    I hope you come to a satisfying decision for all three of you. Good luck!

  13. Glinda Says:

    @KESW- I do remember you mentioning that you were homeschooled, it sounds like your mom worked very hard to give you such a positive experience. Thank you for your insight as someone who was homeschooled herself, and thus can speak from firsthand experience.

  14. Alell Says:

    I couldn’t bear to send my eldest daughter away on the bus when it came time for kindergarten, so I began homeschooling. I have seven (yes, seven) kids, and I’ve never sent them to public school. I’ve been homeschooling for eleven years, and I currently have five students spread out over all the grades. My 4YO is not yet school age, my eldest is attending a private high school.

    I couldn’t believe more strongly that every parent is qualified to teach their own child, and that every child will thrive in homeschool. Is every homeschool perfect? No. My strengths are organization and hard academics; I suck at arts and I just don’t want to be involved with other groups anymore. (I’m just not going to spend my time in co ops with people who think letting their kids check out any old book at the library is homeschool. We’re rigorous, and we’re not wasting our time on your laziness.) We’ve done singing and drama and other non-academic groups, which are pretty great. We socialize at church and other venues.

    I get burned out, after so many years, at the end of a school year. I love summer vacation. Rarely, I’m just too lazy to do a great, full school, and I let them read and do a math lesson and call it good. But despite my occasional disillusionments with all that is required of me, I’d never, never send a kid to public school for jr. high. No child should be subjected to that.

    Email me if you want to talk; I am full of opinions, and have ideas about where you should start even in your “Should I or shouldn’t I?” ponderings.

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