Are We Wrong? Or are we just different?

Crystal - posted on 02/05/2010 ( 41 moms have responded )

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Hey all!

I have a 21 month old son. When I was still pregnant we decided that I would stay home with him and work on my books and poetry. Things were tight, we got a lot of flack about it (still do) but it was okay. Now, I have a freelance writing job, things aren't quite so tight, and we still get a lot of flack. But we have a happy little boy who has never been sick, and according to his doctor, is ahead of the game in everything. I work with him all the time - he knows 1-3, knows all the vowels and a few letters, knows his name, animals, some colors. Personally, we think we're doing well with him.

Here's my problem - and I figure if anyone would understand it'd be you guys. My mother is totally for us not putting him in daycare/headstart/public school. She hated it, and his father and I hated it. My husband dropped out as soon as he could and got a GED - no matter what, the public school system decided he was just like his brother and from day one he was marked a troublemaker. Didn't matter he didn't cause problems or that he was a straight A student. I hated it because I was bored. I wasn't allowed to take AP classes because I was considered too poor a fit for college, even though I kept a 4.0 all through school (and into college.) My mother in law and the rest of my husband's family think we are HORRIBLE parents.

What can I tell them to get them to back off? It's now getting to be friends as well.

Since I don't work, I'm called lazy, pathetic, etc. Even though I work from home and care for our son.

Since he's not in daycare, we're being told he's behind. And he's not being socialized. That he'll develop hangups and be anti-social and have mental problems. (Even when we're visiting the SIL and he's playing with her 4 and 6 year old.)

We don't want to do pre-k/headstart. We can't afford it, for one thing. But we'd make sure we did if we honestly thought it would benefit him. I didn't go to pre-k, and his dad didn't. We're fine. Supposedly he won't learn any of the social skills he'll need later in life. But we can teach him all his ABCs, etc, and were planning on enrolling him in the pre-k gymnastics class at the Y, and we take him for story time and to the park often.

As for school...oh boy. I hear nightmare stories all the time from parents at the playground complaining that they can't stand the treatment of other kids to their kid, about teachers, about curriculum. Now, I know teachers have a hard time - but how can anyone effectively teach 30 or more? But when we mention we're going to homeschool - to anyone other than my mother and grandparents (who trust my judgment) we're sick, we're horrible. We've been called pedophiles for wanting to keep him at home. We've been told we are robbing him of the school experience, keeping him from making friends, and planning to ruin his life. That he'll (again) have mental problems and hangups and be a very unhappy child and teen. And when he's a teen, out of control.

One of the biggest things seems to be socialization. Here's our plan - Let him participate in things such as gymnastics and martial arts. Play little league. Things like that. Go to the playground. Play with the neighbors' kids. We're planning to take him to the nature center and museums. I've heard there are things for home school students (though in Northeast Georgia, I've not heard of much!) but we honestly feel we can do better than tossing him in a public school.

So what do I tell these people who are actually loud enough they are making us doubt ourselves, and our ability to teach him? They are not people who are going to turn to books, and they credit our son being about to count to 3, etc, not to me, but to TV...which we do not even have. We watch disney movies with him, we rent Bob the Builder and such sometimes, but most of the time is spent looking at the bird nest outside, playing, etc. No one is listening to our arguments, and we're starting to feel like we're in the wrong and isolated.

He's our first child - and thanks to complications, probably our last. I'm hoping he won't want to go to public school, but I'm not sure how the future will turn out.

Am I right in thinking that we can do better for him?

Will we be stifling his social growth and denying him "the school experience" whatever that is? My friend told me I was selfish for planning to deny him the chance to hang out with friends. What?

Are activities like gymnastics and martial arts classes good enough? Things like Boy Scouts and volunteering with his parents once in a while on things like gathering toys for tots (when he's older of course).

I have a visual disability. I cannot drive. There's a good chance that when I'm 40 I'll be totally blind instead of almost totally on my right side. There is a transit thing here - not for tiny ones like he is now but it will work for older ones - that will take us anywhere we want to go in the county, as long as we are heading back home around 3. But honestly, I think we'd be fine with that, and if his class runs over, there are taxis and other parents around. Surely someone wouldn't mind taking us home in exchange for five or ten dollars for their trouble. Yet I'm told that because I have that disability I can't teach him, even though I can see fine with glasses - I just can't use one eye, I don't have enough depth perception to drive, and get vertigo when driving. Does that really make me incapable of being his teacher?

My husband works 36 hours one week, 48 the next. Every other weekend off, etc. These people complain about that. Saying that our son won't have the proper structure with my husband's alternating schedule, etc.

I saw today that there is an online charter school in GA. A public school free for him to attend, that sends supplies, and there'd be a guiding teacher and I would be his learning coach. Is that a good idea? I'm not sure how it works, but could I say we'd be attending something like that and convince them it's a real school?

Or is it better to buy books and curriculum somewhere and do it on my own? But then how do I know that people who are questioning us won't be proven right that I can't do it because I won't know possibly what to teach?

We're at a loss. We don't want to do public schools, pre k, or daycare in anyway. If our son is anything like both of us, he'd be fine with some time (such as karate class) with kids, and then time away from them. As it is now, we're still sticking to our plan for him, but I just wanted some ideas as to what we could say or do to get people to back off, and if we're doing the right thing.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Emily - posted on 02/22/2011

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I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it again here...

Children aren't "socialized" by hanging out in groups with other children, any more than dogs are "socialized" by hanging out with other dogs in packs. It encourages negative behavior. ADULT interaction teaches social skills. Other children are for fun, so by all means encourage that interaction with other children. But don't call it socialization.

People fear the unknown, and they tend to reject people who make life decisions that differ from their own. Consider it a personality defect of theirs, and ignore it. You are making the right choice. Don't let others make you doubt that.

I speak from experience. My own husband doesn't support my home-schooling, but he sees the progress, and so he tolerates it.

Lisa - posted on 06/13/2011

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The people who make the most noise about how you are going to scar your children for life are actually saying that because they interpret your decision as an attack on them for the fact that they are sending their own children to public school! Of course they have to argue with you! Otherwise, they have to admit that they are not doing what is best for THEIR OWN children

I find that the best way to deal with this is to play it close to the vest for now, don't discuss it with people who aren't close to you. When the day to enroll for K comes and goes, just say that you've decided to homeschool for now for developmental reasons. (Of course, that would be the fact that you've already taught him what he's going to learn in K by the time he's 5!)

Then, practice some PHRT (pat their little heads and rub their little tummies) and tell them that of course what works best for one family won't work for another and vice versa. Isn't it wonderful to live in a state where parents have the opportunity to find what works best for their individual child! etc. etc.

The same thing should work on your inlaws, but if they escalate the ugliness (which is, after all, a thinly disguised attack on you), have your husband speak to them privately and politely declare the subject of the children's education off limits.

Karin - posted on 07/29/2011

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Hi
Funny how things are done differently in each country. Here (Switzerland) most mom's stay home and look after their children. A mom might work a low percentage but hardly ever more than 50%. If you work you're frowned at. You're a bad parent that doesn't want to spend time with your children. So here you would fit in perfectly. My take on it is: Why do you have children if you want other people to bring them up. We have friends in the US where both parents went back to work when the baby was only 6weeks old. That's nuts. Their reasoning was also socialisation. I know a fair bit about child psycology and good socialisation needs a good and firm base. A child needs to feel secure and needs to know his or her roots. Which means it needs to have a strong bond with the parents. How is a child getting a strong bond with a parent when it is separated for most of his/her waking hours? A lot of our american friends also argue that they spend quality time rather than quantity time with their child. Sounds very impressive but is rubbish. A child not only needs quality, it also needs quantity. It will turn to the person that was there when he/she felt sad or very happy, the person that is there for everything not just some trips etc... Also in my experience parents that have the children non stop in care are also those whose children watch the most TV when home, so in the little time they do have with their children, they watch TV because they don't know what to do with their children... Or maybe it is a quality TV show..? Also look at the state of many US schools and children, if they are any indicator of how well the early daycare works for sozialisation of children, then the system very clearly has failed...
Hope I gave you some arguments.
About home schooling, not sure what to think about that. Our children will just go to the village school and kindergarden. but than again we do have a good school system in Switzerland... Maybe you should just move over here and be done with the bad comments..:-)

Believe in your way, your son will thank you for it later. As he'll have many happy memories with his parents and his first word was most likely Mom or Dad and not the name of the daycare worker...

Lisa - posted on 06/13/2011

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Of course if anyone backs you into a corner and tries to bully you, you could ask politely whether or not they attended public schools themselves, because their own social skills are sorely lacking! ;-)

Krissy - posted on 03/08/2011

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ok, my kids are working on math, I read half of this, and they need me...

really quick, a few things...

You will experience flak... Most of society thinks negatively or not at all about home schooling. You will get every opinion under the sun.

Honestly, to strangers, you don't have to tell them and just go on about your day, but for family, friends, and people you see more often... they will fill your ear as long as they can.

I honestly just come to a point where I tell the people that we've heard their concerns, but we still feel we are making the right decision. Then if it continues, be very abrupt and DO NOT tolerate disrespect out of the desire to be kind. You can snip it in the bud without being mean back... just be firm and say, "I don't appreciate that comment. It was very rude!" If they continue, then cut the visit short and go home happy that you kept your cool while drawing lines.

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Barb - posted on 08/23/2011

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I work from home, and to be honest I envy those who can homeschool their kids. I did look in to it once, and maybe one day I'll do it, but I'm afraid I can't commit the time necessary. Where I live, near Philadelphia, there seems to be a good amount of support for homeschooling. There are networks of parents who homeschool and there are area attractions like museums that have programs just for homeschooled kids. You sound confident in your abilites, so don't let others stop you.

Ixchel - posted on 08/22/2011

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@ Karin Patton luv your comment & can we come live with you? No just kidding I love your countries views on mommy staying home right on!!! I am frowned upon because we choose to live very modestly so that I can stay home full time and teach my sons and my husband works from home 70% of the time. The problem I'm an engineer who use to make 4 figures but although we shrank everything we love it. I'm looked down upon though by my family for not using such a "powerful" degree. I say I can go back to work when tHe boys are in college maybe help support them when they have kids anyway I'm rambling Ty for your comment

Ixchel - posted on 08/22/2011

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@ Lisa I love what you said you put down what my poor migraine brain could not finish if I could I would hug you it gave me encouragement Thank You honey

Ixchel - posted on 08/22/2011

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First of all welcome & please excuse and errors I'm answering on my phone. You are going through exactly what we went through when we decided to pull our oldest out of school in 2nd grade. But, let me just tell you YOU R RIGHT!!! Don't let anyone tell you anything differently. No body cares more about your Childs education than you and your husband period!! And the horror stories you hear about the schools are all true. Part of the reason we pulled our son and never sent the second. The charter school is perfect it's the exact education he would get in school minus the bullies. We wish they offered that here they do in the next state, but in ours teacher unions have a strong hold but anyway. I think your plan of action is a great one and he will get plenty of social with ball and the Boy Scouts is wonderful I strongly recommend that activity got several Eagle Scouts in my clan. As for family and friends you need to stand firm tell them it is you and your husbands choice and you will be homeschooling using the charter program along with activities like Boy Scouts and ball. If people persits on calling you names then I personnelly would not be friends with them. Friends are suppose to support you not tear you down. As with family you can ask them what social will he be missing the class bully beating him up? And don't forget you can as tell them to mind their own business. But, I can tell you that I sent a very eager to learn little 5 year old of to school and after 3 years in the public school system what I got back was not the same child. Being exposed to all those what we have dubbed non-parented kids changed how my son dealt with life and he realized that most kids are mean not taught common courtesy and respect of others and their feelings. We have been schooling at home for 3 years now and all the shuns have quite once you get started and people see you are serious they will move on to another subject. But just so you know from one very protective mama bear I think you have a great very well thought out plan for his social and educational experience. Good Luck and feel free to contact me. Keep up the good work momma!!
Disclaimer: so no one is offended my answers are only my thoughts based on my experience with my own children please do not flatter yourself and think this comment or anything in it is written to specifically pinpoint anyone person, place or thing. It is what it is a answer to the propsed question that is all thank you

Heather - posted on 08/14/2011

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Continue to raise your son well. When your family see as happy, polite and well adjusted child who can socialise happily with everyone the questions and opposition slows down. When he has been homeschooled / distance ed for a few years, enter him in national schooling comps like ICAS. When he does as well or better than his public schooled peers, the questions and opposition usually stops dead as you have the absolute proof that when you as a family are doing beneficial for your child. There are some excellent distance ed/ homeschool support options out there to help you as you start and are gaining confidence.

Alisha - posted on 08/05/2011

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Oh my goodness! I home school my daughter and she is 5, children do not NEED daycare, they NEED their parents love and attention! I'm sure you can find children of all different ages he can play with at the park, at the YMCA, his cousins, you and his dad! Children don't need kids their own age, if they play with kids of all different ages they learn to better socialize with those who are different than they are as well. Don't believe the lies that you will rob him of school if you home school because it is a great choice! If you are serious about it, when he is school age I would join a home school support group right away in your area, you can go to homeschool-life.com to find one and they will let you know about play groups, classes with other home school kids they can take and field trips as well. Don't react too strongly when negative comments come, I get them all the time, I just say I got it under control and I'm doing what is best for my daughter thanks for understanding. Eventually, when they see how well behaved he is and that he's developing normally, they will stop their comments! The great thing about home school is your child can be in 1st grade math and 2nd grade reading at the same time, and no one will make fun of him and he won't 'fail' a grade. Everything will be catered to his learning and his pace, each subject separately.

Jenni - posted on 08/03/2011

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Having a plan is the first big step-stick with your plan....it sounds like you are happy to be parents and want the best for your child.....YOUR child is lucky to have parents that aren't throwing him into the first public this or that...it's a gift to be able to hang out and teach your own child....one that many people just don't 'get'. You are your child's one and only mother.....nobody has better intuition than a mom! Trust in your ability to do this.

Misty - posted on 07/26/2011

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OMG! It looks like a lot of you are putting up with this kind of criticism. Time to set some boundaries! It doesn't matter if it is family, friends or aquaintences - Simply tell people that you appreciate their suggestion, that you will think about what they have said and that the topic is now off the table, unless you need to come to them for further help.
If anybody persists, how you deal with it depends on who they are. If they are an acquaintance or friend, they don't need to be somebody that you regularly socialize with - it really does take a village, and YOU get to pick who is in YOUR village. If they are family, (and this will seem harsh), you and your spouse need to sit down and seriously discuss the possibility that you may have to give them the choice to discontinue ALL of the hyper-criticism or lose the opportunity to spend time with you and your children.
Before freaking out about this alternative, consider how this sort of verbal battering is eventually going to effect those children as they get older and understand more and more fully, what is being said - it WILL have consequences: At best, they will grow to resent those people that talk about you that way. Worse, the child will worry about there own abilities and yours.
Beyond that, very basic, understanding - If a person in your life just, genuinely, has questions: www.weofhue.com is a great site that helps you learn the facts to argue all of the imagined problems of homeschooling. There are other great home school sites around that cater to all different families - just Google. Good luck!

Mary - posted on 07/19/2011

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I've just joined this group and your post is the first I've read. How old are you? I don't understand why people appear to believe they have any right to tell you what to do or to counsel you about the effects of work schedules, etc. The people around you sound unreal. :(

Crystal - posted on 06/13/2011

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I didn't know this thread was even still alive! But in case some of you helpful ladies get notices to a response, here's an update. :)

I took your advice. I went by Ethan's interests and my instincts. He's talking well (when he wants to), very friendly, doesn't bat an eye playing with a child a friend looks after who has cerebral palsy and his older cousin. He sees no difference - except he seems to feel he needs to play protector.

He loves going bug hunting with his "bigger" (his name for his magnifying glass). Loves his easel. Knows enough that he'd be bored to tears in pre-k and K (I tested him with one of the online things they have listed.) He loves to make art, loves music, will chase you with a book he wants to read (The Hobbit, Peter Pan, as well as some younger books). Loves to help cook, counts out the veggies or whatever. He likes workbooks that let him pick the different thing and circle it or trace or draw lines. I have a box full of file folder games, workbooks, crayons, coloring books, paper pads, and so on for him to choose whatever he wants.

Even got him a calendar set of furry monsters that has a weather spinner. He happily informed his dad the other day that it was sunny out - he knows weather now, something they don't teach in the daycares around here to the best of my knowledge.

Thanks for the advice!

And as for the naysayers - pretty much all contact with MIL is stopped. SIL keeps her mouth shut. BIL is fine with it, especially after my toddler informed him he was rude for not sitting at the table during dinner and spoke very clearly! And we're nipping any problems in the bud - either don't discuss it or educate yourself before jumping us.

Our finances have improved even more. And with a new test they did they are saying they think I won't go blind now. :) So it's all going well.

Heather - posted on 01/24/2011

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Crystal, I agree pretty much with all the other comments that you have recieved. I thought I might add this. It's time for you to consider hanging/meeting/making friends with some more positive people that will support you and your decisions and affirm you guys as great and caring parents. Find some new people to hang with where ever possible.

Katie - posted on 11/09/2010

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In my opinion any child would be better off at home with their parents to teach them. With public schools as bad as they are I would honestly be scared to put my child in one .At home , you don't have to be afraid of anything happening , schools being put on lock down and such. I'm not sure if I know exactly what to tell you to get people to lay off but don't get discouraged . Two of my sisters constantly tell me that I can't do it but I believe I have proven them wrong. I don't drive either but its mainly because I had a friend of mine died in a car accident when I was in eighth grade and so was kinda scared to get my DL . Since then I believe I've gotten over it but because of my staying at home with my four children we can't really afford our car insurance if I were to get it. Anyway my nephews now go to a private Christian school where my son also attended Kindergarten and they are doing fine but there second grader isn't doing his multiplication tables and my first grader is . I'm not trying to brag , its just that your children can work and learn at their own pace with homeschooling and are not restricted to what every other kid is learning. I don't have to worry about my kid getting behind because his classmates don't get it . As far as socialization goes , my children only really see their family , cousins and aunts and uncles, and the kids at church. But if they were going to the private school he was going to , they would still only be seeing their cousins. ( Its a school run by our church, which is pastored by my father.) Tell them to think about it , would you really want your kid socializing with some of those kids who would only get them into trouble anyway? Do you want to put your child's safety in the hands of children with guns ? I don't . Do you really want your values corrupted by what is being taught in public schools? I hoped I helped in some way. And if not , I'm sorry I took up so much space typing all this ,lol! Btw, we are talking about things like sports at our local recreation center or Y . We also go on field trips with the church school when they go, but we ride on the church van so I don't have to drive. I just get dropped off at the school before my hubby goes to work.

Maggie - posted on 10/01/2010

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spending all his time with kids his own age isn't going to "socialize" him. My kids are plenty social and neither one has every been in day care or school. They talk to EVERYONE - any age, any race, any where. There are also home school groups that you could join that might get together once a week/ once a month to do group classes (like cooking) or just have time for the kids to free play.
The great thing about homeschooling is that you can go through material as fast or as slow as you need to. My four year old and I spent a week learning about bees. What they do, how they make honey, how they help polinate, the life cycle, anything he wanted to know. We also visited a local bee farm so he could see the bees in action. THAT is why I want to home school. There are tons of resources and curriculums that you can take advantage of. You can figure out what method of learning works for him and stick with that throughout his school career.
Some links for you:
http://home.earthlink.net/~tgore006/life...
http://www.homeedmag.com/INF/STRT/strt_a...

[deleted account]

I just signed my boys up with headsprout online.... they are loving it... I homeschool my boys through a charter so they have funding that pays for their classes and books ectera. I know your boy isn't old enough for that but if you can afford to give him a curriculum to learn off of it can be helpful. Or maybe you need to tell them to back off! you sound like your doing an awesome job already. Homeschooling your kids can be an awesome experiance. My kids have been in public school and now are homeschooled. they love it and are learning much more then their friend that are in public school. My oldest sons friends are actually jealous. This year we were notified from the school that my oldest was in the top 20% of the whole charter school for the star testing!. Homeschool kids are schooled... better!

[deleted account]

First off I am shocked about the AP thing. Second... both my husband and myself had the same problems you are talking about. I ended up doing well finally in High school but that was after lying to the school district and going to the school I wanted to.

In my county a homeschooled child must take some type of PE, that can be swimming lessons, dancing, sports teams, etc.

I'll admit for the two years I was homeschooled I got lonely. But my mom had a home day care and I spent my afternoons helping my mom. I took classes at the local Boys and Girls Club and my sister took classes at a another homeschooling home through a co-op. I played with the neighbor's daughter on weekends. I'm an introvert so really this set up suited me.

[deleted account]

First and foremost you need to be able to stand up to the nay say-ers and tell them that if they can't be supportive they will have to stay out of your lives. That their negative attitude and nasty behavior is NOT welcome and needs to be corrected. Opinions are one thing but outright hostility is another.
Then I think you need to research what you want to do and have a game plan. Especially if you will be totally blind at some point. I still think you can do it, though I know you will need your husbands help as you go more blind.
I say good luck and god bless. If you were closer I would give you a big hug.

Steph - posted on 08/08/2010

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First- You do not owe anyone an explanation! Period. Your child is fine socially at 3 (if he can play with others nicely he is good) and won't be warped. All the extra things once he is a little older will be wonderful.

We have homeschooled for going on 8 years and our dd is into so many homeschool activities. 4-H, Dance, the local homeschool group, plus church groups and keeping up with her cousins and friends via texting and emails.

Your plans sound wonderful and your little boy is so blessed to have you.

Phaedra - posted on 06/27/2010

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Stick to your guns. I would look for a local homeschool group in your area so you can get the support. That fact that your mother is on your side is a good thing. Everyone else can just suck eggs. We home school our daughter and plan to do it on the next 2. I see her learning alot more. She asks all the time can I look up this info. Can I find out about this? I don't know any public school kids who look up extra stuff just so the understand better what they are learning. I love the close time I get to spend with my kids when I homeschool. My husband does most of it I work full-time and can support my family. So I feel blessed that my kids are homeschooled. Ingore those who don't have the option or the want to looking up the information to educate themselves.

Anna - posted on 05/09/2010

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Everyone has great things to say here! My opinion about socialization is that they learn better how to do it from adults than from peers.

(We go to church some, and I think that is good for them, as well. I believe in keeping them with us and not carting them off somewhere else...if they are teens are are used to be carted off/ not attending...what will they do when they are grown?)

BUT, last year a study came out in Canada saying homeschooled children are much more social as adults than public schooled children!
http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/washingto...

We no longer have people questioning us. My grandma was ok with it when we told her we got a computer set up with educational games for them and that I was using the same curriculum I learned from in private school.

And my MIL was ok with it after there was proof that they were actually learning to read and everything. She actually visited from out of state and read with them at first to make sure...she doesn't seem to need to do that any more. (She did teach her children to read before they went to kindergarten.)

I did try a dvd taught curriculum one year...private school on video...I found I like a more relaxed approach than a rigid schedule...but that's always an option.

Some of the best minds in history were homeschooled, including ten presidents.
http://www.hslda.org/docs/GetDoc.asp?Doc...

You want what's best. You are in the best posotion to determine what that is. Besides, who could argue with a student having a teacher all to themself? ;)

Karen - posted on 05/05/2010

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The best proof is time. We have 8, 6 boys and 2 girls, and everywhere we go people tell me how wonderful my kids are. I am not special. I'm here! With them everyday, loving life, talking, teaching, laughing. IT IS ENOUGH! You're boy has everthing he needs... his parents. Keep him home, teach him and re-learn with him. Who knows and loves him better than you? A school teacher? Go ask homeschoolers what they use, read the books at the library on the subject. One day, he'll be talking to you about girls and you'll wonder why he is so honest, ... You were there.

Virginia - posted on 04/03/2010

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tell them they get to raise their children their way you get to raise yours your way and to butt the heck out, You're not going to be able to convience such stuborn people so don't waste your time trying. be strong stick to your guns. and to crediting tv for your sons learning ask them how he learned anything from tv service that you don't even have.

Jamie - posted on 03/31/2010

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Remember to keep your head up! You are his mother. You are doing a great job. Try not to dwell on the opinions of others. OPnly the ones that interest you. Everyone raises their children differently. Everyone thinks that his or her way is the best. You are a great mother. Don't beat yourself up.
I think that all children need to learn and learning should be fun. My girls like to read a book about different bugs or things and see if they can find them. This is something that can teach him and have fun doing it. Different activities will help with the social skills. Like the classes or library story time. Some children still struggle with the social side of things even though they attend public school. My daughter hates school some days and others she misses me that its hard to send her. I think that you should do what you feel is right in your heart and what your budget allows. Stand firm in your decisions. You are the Mother. I wish you the best. Just remember that you are a great mother and believe in youself. You will make the right decisions for him.God Bless

Courtney - posted on 03/26/2010

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Ok.. I didn't even make it all the way through your letter without wanting to jump in here.. Listen... You are taking charge of your life, your son's education. Its a big step and one that you can do and appear to be doing just fine. Your child does NOT need to learn how to socialize from other children who probably aren't any better at it than the next child. And besides, the first thing children are told when they come into the public schools when the bell rings is to "take their seats because this isn't a time to socialize with your neighbors."
As far as any relation of yours or your husbands.. you let what you teach your child stand for what you are doing. When they see him being refined due to the type of socialization he does and doesn't have with people of your choosing and comes out well adjusted, you let that speak for you. When your child shows what a fine intelligent person they are becoming, let that speak for you. You don't need to explain or try and make friends or nicities with anyone one on this. This is your child, your lifestyle decision. I could really rant on and on. lol

Anne - posted on 03/22/2010

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Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job for your son and he will have all the advantages his public schooled peers will not. I am planning to do the same for my little girl. It is a real problem that nowadays parents are villified for raising their children rather than the state raising them. I wouldn't waste too much breath on explaining yourself to these people. They aren't thinkers and they won't get it. Perhaps you could say you are proud of how well your little boy is doing and you are pleased you can give him the best start in life; That although you feel the system they have put there child into is the low maintenance- low attention -low achievement one you would not dream of going around butting your nose in to other peoples business and telling them how to raise their children.

Michelle - posted on 03/10/2010

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Stick to your ideals because they are good ones. everything you said you are doing or plan to do it right on target. As for what to tell people I try the first time to be nice and explain it but if they keep after me I tell them " the boys are mine and my husbands and we feel we are doing the best for thing and it is really none of their business." I also told a family memeber that you raised your kids your way but these kids belong to me and I will do it my way and if you do not like it leave and stay out of our lives.

[deleted account]

I was so thrown this past weekend...my sister-in-law had the nerve to say that if I don't "force" my kids into sports or something that I'm going to end up with a couple of wierdos! Not just once, but she said it twice! I was so shocked that I couldn't even think of what to say back to her. My father-in-law's wife tried to step in and stick up for us and our decision, but I'm still furious!

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2010

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Hello Crystal,

My name is Jennifer. I have a 3 yr old son, Rion and my husband Bobby, who is in the military (National Guard p/t and civilian DoD f/t). Anyway, we have been battling the same fight with our family and friends- mostly his parents. I get the questions of "my" qualifications and his social well being. Here is how I see it (and it wasnt easy to get here)... I am the most qualified person to teach my son. My son is NOT a carbon copy of anyone else so why is a curriculum that is given to everyone good enough for Rion. I am the one who has taught him how to walk, talk, pee in the potty, etc. (with help from my husband of course) so why am I not good enough to teach him the rest of his life lessons? Well I AM!!! As far as his "social" well being, what are most children learning now a days.... Have you actually set back and watched the "school" children. My son is sooooooo much more polite and mature at the age of 3 than most school aged childern. I get so many complements on Rion's behavior and they ask "what school he goes to". I get to tell them proudly he is HOMESCHOOLED!!!! Rion is enrolled in The Little Gym where he takes a sports development / gymnastics class. The curriculum is done in a Montessori syle. The classes usually span 2-3 yrs difference bt the oldest child and the youngest child. They have just gymnastics, sport development, dance, and karate classes. They start children as young as 6mo (i think). Being Montessori, Rion gets to lead as well as follow children his age and older. He's currently the youngest child in his class but you wouldnt know it watching him. We also plan in getting Rion involved in sports through the YMCA. When I get the chance to work out Rion goes to the "daycare" there...for like an hr..but thats social interaction. We dont treat Rion like a "baby", we treat him as an equal. We catch a lot of slack about that. We dont sugar coat life. Now dont get me wrong, Rion plays and has "child" time, but we also expect that he with hold a certain behavior just as anyone else. We have decided to "unschool" for our curriculum. Long story short...we will teach through LIFE. Math = cooking or building, History we will travel to museums or what ever we can afford, etc...
A friend of mine told me about a book called "So You Think You Are Going To Homeschool" by Lisa Whechel. This book goes through each chapter is like an interview with a family. Each "family" has different reasons, ethics, obstacals, etc. and they discuss their story as to how and why they made their decisions. Some families have multiple children that they choose different methods for each child. One chapter the family has one child in PUBLIC school and one child is in HOMESCHOOL. There are many options from charted schools, online schools, curriculum fairs, etc. I have personally found a store in Gaffney, SC at the Prime Outlet mall that is an education store. They sell books that guide you as to what your child should know by what age per the "state". Its not necessary but there are stores out there that has information like that to help keep you on track.

So like I said, parents are good enough to make it through the first 5 yrs to turn it over to someone else, I dont think so. You are the only one that tailor your childs curriculum. As far as "social" well being, just watch the children that are pushed through the school system. You dont want your child lost in the mix of everyone else.. So many parents lose touch with their children through work and school and if you are BLESSED enough to be close to your child and involved in their life I would suggest doing it.
If you have anymore questions you can email me at jenngordon21@yahoo.com

Hope this helps
Jennifer

April - posted on 02/25/2010

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We went through the same thing with our family. Eventually sending them online articles through email and such about home schooling helped them see the difference. Aside from that it is in the Bible that it is the parent's responsibility to teach the children. You are perfectly capable of it. Keep in mind anytime you do things differently you will be ridiculed, it also says in the Bible if you are following his ways you will be persecuted. Sometimes that shows you that you are going in the right direction. Perhaps they are jealous that they can not do the same thing you are doing. Also for the one's who are saying that you are depriving him of hanging out with his friends, well that's not what schoool is suppose to be for. There are tons of people who are highly successful that have been homeschooled. There are statistics that actually show most homeschooled children have better test scores so all of that about mental problems really have no idea what they are talking about and are just being negative. If these people choose not to be supportive just explain to them that he is your son and it's your decision and that you would prefer not to discuss it with them anymore. I think the ideas that you have for socialization are great. Also try to find a homeschool co-op that way you will have a support system. I know a few of the churches around me do them so that would be a good place to start looking. And ofcourse we are always here for you. :) Best of luck. I will be praying for you!

Carly - posted on 02/17/2010

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Trust me I've heard all the reasons not to homeschool. I still hear it from my MIL how my daughter is not allowed to be social with other kids. I'm sorry but she is 5 and reads better, understands math better, likes science and can't wait to learn more than my newphew who is 9 and in public school and getting lost in the system. Both my husband and I were bored in school because we were ahead of the curve. Can you imagine what our kids will be like?



As for the "socialization" issue I would look for a network in your area of other families that homeschool. (There's alot more than you think) Out here in California there are so many that the museums have days where only homeschoolers are allowed to do certain activities. Or look into a charter school. Thats what we did. They gave us all the supplies, I meet with her teacher once a month and turn in papers about her progress, and her school offers classes I can chose to put her in one day a week. Sports is great too. Lots of other kids of various ages.



My biggest suggestion would be to look online for support in your area. And as far as your disability goes I know someone who is legally blind and homeschools his oldest whose in high school.



Don't let them tell you shat you can and can't do. Politely say "I accept your challenge"

Crystal - posted on 02/10/2010

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I have just begun homeschooling two out of four of my children. I have a 15 month old son, and a 14 year old daughter who is still in public school (until my first and second grader get into a routine, then we will add my 14 year old to the mix). I live in Northeast Georgia. I am getting mixed responses to our choice. My family is supportive. My in-laws not so much. Surprisingly there are families pulling their children out of the public schools in my area in large numbers! My reasoning is the bullying that happens in our local school. I also am not satisfied with Georgia Standards. So, I have decided to take their education in my own hands and I couldn't have made a better choice! I love homeschooling, and my children are learning more at home than they could have learned at school! I am already seeing improvements in their reading and math skills. They are excited about learning again....it's wonderful!

Marcia - posted on 02/09/2010

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I know where you are coming from. I have three children I home school. 16,11,and 8. None of our family agreed with our decision. My husband and I have explained our reasons several times. Arguments have occurred just as many. For the most part we avoid the subject, but, when cornered, we come prepared. We research and keep up to date on the laws, curriculum, and social programs, so when we do have to defend our choice we are well prepared. We often have to end the conflict with an agreement to disagree. Some of our family went as far as reporting us to Child Protective Services. To their dismay, CPS was pleased with our children and they way they are being raised.

My husband and I both have disabilities and have not had any trouble teaching our children. Actually, I think our disabilities have given our children a rare insight that many children don't get a chance to experience. I believe they are more compassionate and understanding than other children their age because they live with our disabilities.

As far as what method to choose to teach with...That is going to have to be your choice. The advise I would offer on that is that you do your research. You need to choose a program that works for you and your child. I personally like the Alpha Omega Life Pac products, but enhance them with 4-H and Scouts as well as a few of my own ideas. If you are fairly sure you will be blind before long then I would look for a program that is not going to require you to do a lot of reading, unless it is available in brail or audio. I f you can find a homeschool convention in your area, I would recommend attending. It is a great place to get a "look" at the programs available all in one place.

Well, I wish you the best and hope I have been some help.

Christy - posted on 02/08/2010

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Honestly, I didn't read your entire post, just enough to get fired up for you! First of all, NEVER listen to anyone else's opinions if you KNOW you're doing what's best for your child. The fact that you stay home with your son to raise him yourself instead of allowing someone else to raise him is admirable at least! The fact that he's never been sick should prove to everyone that you're doing what's best for him! I was a single mom for a few years and in the time that my kids were in daycare they were CONSTANTLY sick!!! As far as the curriculum goes, I'm new to this myself, so there are alot of moms on here that can help guide you through as they are myself! Good luck and keep your head up!

Amy - posted on 02/06/2010

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You have obviously thought this entire subject through very thoroughly. They can't complain over the amount of effort you have expended in putting together your "plan".

Obviously not everyone agrees on everything, especially schooling ideas. We also decided long before Kindergarten level to do homeschooling and got some strange comments from family. We thankfully didn't have any hostile family members, although I know we're definitely the "weird" ones in the family (full of teachers, professors, etc.).

I agree that if possible - limit the contact to situations where you are not able to be argued into a corner without politely removing yourself. If it socialization is the key question - and you want the blunt approach - ask the "aggressor" in the conversation - "How is being told to sit without talking for 45 minutes per class and running from class to class for 5 minutes possibly socializing?"

In reality, you won't be able to change anyone's mind with aggressive conversations, however, you might get them to leave you alone at least on that subject, if that is the desired goal.

You have a great idea of what it means to homeschool. You have the desire to figure it out and make it work with your schedules. You have solid reasons for wanting to try homeschooling. Don't let someone who is attacking your ideals get you totally rattled if you understand WHY you are doing WHAT your are doing.

Keep up the great work!

Karen - posted on 02/06/2010

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Everyone I know who has homeschooled has gotten flack for the decision. I think it is a wonderful option and better for all involved. You will get to spend so much more time with your son and he will get an education that moves at his speed and caters to his interest. I think some activities or sports are an excellent way for his to get "socialization." And if you recall, when you were caught talking in school, you were told you weren't here to socialize.
My advice in dealing with people who discuss your decision is to be polite. If they really want to discuss, then explain your position and your reasoning. If they only want to argue, just smile and change the subject. Remember he is YOUR child. They have no say in your decision. Some people will just need to see that your child isn't going to walk around being a social misfit.
My advice is to get Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD. It is fun and teaches phonics. And don't stress too much. I spent my first year worried I was screwing up my son. But we all love it now. He is learning and moving on at his pace and loving the independence.

As for the "school experience. My experiencne was never getting to much time with my son. He came home from school extremely hungry and tired. The school experience is overrated. Homeschooling means you will get to spend a lot of time with him as well as your husband. I couldn't recommend it more. Especially if you are already staying at home with him, just be firm and polite around your family. Some of mine were supportive, but mostly I got a lot of strange looks. With time they will see how good your son is doing. Best of luck

[deleted account]

Oh, man. I'm brand new here, and I'm homeschooling my three kids and feeling like I'm not doing a good enough job, but you sound like you've got a great plan, and yes, I think you're definitely doing the right thing.



I live in Missouri, and homeschoolers here are considered pretty normal. I don't have any friends who try to criticize what we've chosen to do [it's usually, "Man, I know I couldn't do it."] I can't imagine how hard it is for you to have so little support.



I think this might be one of those things like religion and politics. You're never going to convince someone they're wrong by arguing. And it's hurtful to you because you can't make them understand and see things from your point of view. I've been there, and the best I can give you is: don't argue.



What I've done is, I don't bring it up to the people who aren't supportive, and if they mention it, I just tell them that we're going to have to agree to disagree and move on, and that I don't want to talk about it anymore.



If that doesn't work, and if it's possible to do, you might want to limit contact with those people. It's hard if it's your family, but the only way you're really going to convince them that you're doing the right thing is to do what you've planned [but be flexible enough to change the plan if it isn't working for you] and let your baby grow up.



I homeschooled my oldest daughter until she was seven and then sent her to public school for three years. My son started kindergarten the same year the oldest went to public school, so they started together. My daughter was independent from the start, and became a leader and defender of the weaker kids in class, and my son had a hard time adjusting because he just wasn't ready.



I pulled them out last year and they're both happier staying at home. I've talked to them about going back to school if they want, and they've both told me that they'd rather stay home, but get involved in a church and maybe some scouting or the homeschool group here in town because they want to have friends, but they'd rather get to know other kids in a safer environment than public school. They're 12 and 9 [I've got a 6 year old, too, but she's never been to preschool or anything].



It's ironic, because my oldest is actually better at dealing with other kids because the main influence she had when she was really young was adults.



Kids don't automatically know how to treat each other with respect, they learn it by watching us. And if they rarely get to watch adults interact, they end up learning from each other, and that can be disastrous sometimes.



I don't have much wisdom to offer, but I'm sure others here do. Follow your heart on this one, though, and try not to let others get you down.

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