Homeschooling thoughts

About homeschooling? Well, I did it when the boys were little, preschool ages. We would have Bible lessons and number lessons. I even did my eldest's kindergarten. But then he didn't want to learn to read. He told me he didn't need to. We'd gone through the whole 100 lessons for teaching your child to read. I was very frustrated, so I put him in the best private school where we lived.

That was a disaster. Two weeks into the year he was reading, of course. Once he realized Mommy wasn't the only one who thought he should. But the teacher, though she had 20 years experience, was very strict, rude, and mean. She made you raise your hand to ask a question, but she wouldn't call on you to answer it. She made fun of the children's accents, even though they were in their home state of Texas and she was from Boston. She hated my son. But I was too chicken to pull him out, afraid I would not be able to homeschool him forever and feeling that was the only alternative to leaving him there.

After that I decided that nothing was worse than leaving him in that situation. So I started homeschooling him the next year again. My youngest never went to public or private school, even though he is an extrovert and might do quite well, because I wasn't willing to risk his sensitive heart to another vicious person.

I never really intended to do it forever. I meant to just get them far enough along that they were old enough to fend for themselves. However, my oldest is very young for his school group and he is now working at a full grade level above where he would be in normal school. I will never, unless I have to, put him into school like that again because he's just before the cut off for his regular grade (6th) and he ought to be in 7th grade based on his work. Would you want someone who just turned 12 going into public 8th grade? I sure wouldn't.

I think my youngest could go to public school now, because he is such an extrovert and I think he could handle being bored in school a bit better than my oldest. The youngest is working on schoolwork from grade 4 to grade 6. He should be a 4th grader. However, homeschooling has been a major blessing for him because he did not learn to read until he was 8. Had I put him in public school he would have been labeled special ed and I don't think anything I could have done would have fixed that.

In Texas the rules for homeschooling are that you must have a valid curriculum for spelling, reading, grammar, math, and citizenship. That's it. Most states are much more strict, but Texans are kind of “do it my way” folks.

I intend to keep teaching them until after they are 16. Then, if both of us think they can handle it, enroll them in the local community college to do their freshman year from home at that age. I am thinking 12 hours of school a semester and a job. That will give them time to be like other kids their ages and still have an academic challenge.

There is a homeschool alternative here where kids who are homeschooled can go to an academic program for classes in English, history, math, and science. They go for an hour and a half two days a week (just like a three hour class in college) with teachers who specialize in their areas. We might do some of that when both boys are age correct for junior high.

And of course there are the extracurricular classes they take on Fridays at the “co-op”. That used to be my one day off, which I loved. Now I teach there and I have found that I actually enjoy that more. I am interacting with people other than my kids which helps all three of us.

1 thought on “Homeschooling thoughts

  1. Suzi, thanks for the details. What you experienced with your son in school is precisely what I am afraid of happening with my son. I think I feel like you regarding learning to read, and it's a shame that public/private schools are so harsh about demanding when a child needs to learn to read. Having read a bit about the natural development of boys I began to fear for the type of experience my son will have in school–I think boys especially need to be allowed their own pace for certain things. Yet my son is also an extrovert, and so I also worry about my own inability to provide him with the human contact he thrives on (I'm an introvert and planning get togethers is hard for me). I had a lousy school experience, but my husband reminds me that my son's experience won't necessarily be the same. I'm a bit sad about deciding to enroll him in half-day kindergarten, but at best it will give me the breathing space I seem to be craving. At worst it will finally convince me homeschooling is the way to go. Ah, when I'm up late all by myself with wonderful resources to flip through I get very excited about learning activities, but when I wake up I can't seem to find them again! I may not be built for homeschooling, but I do think that having a firm belief in its superiority will help me help him, if need be, if he ends up in public school long term. Thanks for the entry!


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