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NEBBIE
NEBBIE asks:
Q:

What suggestions or advice would you have for a parent who is contemplating homeschooling?

I am contemplating homeschooling my soon to be first grader.  This year was his first year in Kindergarten.  All seemed well until a month ago when his regular teacher left for maternity leave. The new teacher is just that, New to the school system all together.  My son use to enjoy going to school with his regular teacher as she rewarded them for a job well done.  The replacement teacher constantly harps on his shortcomings without offering much praise for his positive attributes.  Now he gets up every morning crying saying he doesnt want to go to school.  The new teacher requested a conference with me. She advised that my son was far behind in learning and that she recommended to the Principal and others that he be retained in Kindergarten.  The only drawback was they needed my permission to retain him in kindergarten.  I, without hesistation told her no.  She did not have my permission and I know my sons learning capabilities may be different; however, he is a very bright child and can learn much more if encouraged instead of harrassed.  She immediately took offense and has not let up off him since.  I am in fear that she will label him for future grades at this school and thus decided to explore home learning. The problem is I don't really know how or where to start and do not want to cause my son any further hardships.
Looking for any and all help with this matter.
In Topics: Homeschooling
> 60 days ago

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RebeccaMom
RebeccaMom writes:
Hi
I feel your pain!  I am so sorry that has happened to your son.

My son was in kindergarten last year and his entire year went like your son's last part of the year!  My son's k teacher criticized and was very negative (I witnessed it...not just my son telling me).  My son reacted the same way...crying...not wanting to go etc. etc.  My son was also being teased, hit and pushed by other kids.  My hubby and I were brought into meetings with the school psychologist, principal, teacher and other staff and we were told that our son should be retained unless he went to a full day of school (instead of a half day program).  They said he cried too much and didn't follow directions.  Hubby and I let him attend a full day of school and he was not retained.  

We decided this year to homeschool him instead!  Things are going well.  My son does NOT miss his school.  He wants to homeschool next year too.

Anyway, I would advise you to first look up your state laws and find out what you have to do start homeschooling.  In my state I have to fill out a form every year.  We also have a certain number of hours and certain subjects we need to school in.  You may want to find out if you have local homeschooling groups in your area.  They can also help you out and be supportive.  Local homeschooling groups are also a good place to find friends for your child.  Maybe you could search for other message boards with other homeschooling parents to get ideas on curricula and support.  I'll try to give you some if I am allowed to post other websites.  ParentCenter has a homeschooling board.  Homeschool spot is another one.  The people on there seem to be very supportive and wise.

I hope all this helps you in some way!
> 60 days ago

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Kimmi
Kimmi writes:
I have two special needs children with everything from adhd to bipolar and autism...my oldest who is 9 and a 4th grader has been abused, threatened and harrassed by his school for 4 years now.  They allow the other children to call him names, hit him etc. etc until he looses it and then it is his fault and he is the one in trouble.
My youngest is in 2nd grade and now the school is allowing a 5th grader to bully him....when I complain I am told "boys will be boys" and "oh well"  It is to the point that any time the younger child needs to use the restroom he goes and gets his brother out of class to go with him for protection (the restroom is right next to the 5th grade classroom so that child always knows when to go to pick on him).  My oldest has vowed to get revenge for his brother, in the mean time the school is doing everything possible to make sure that both of my children are expelled.  Both children are now crying for me to not send them back to that school.  It is a very sad situation.
I have decided that we are going to try to get through the rest of this year but that is it.  I will homeschool from there on out.  It has really become a safety issue for my kids.  
I found a very interesting site that for a small fee will provide full lawyer services if you need it against anyone that gives you trouble about homeschooling.  On that site it also provided me with all of the laws for my state (it provides them for every state) as well as many other helpful hints and ideas.  You may want to check it out.  I can't post the site but I think you can find it this way....... go to  hslda  dot org   It has really helped me get started.
> 60 days ago

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RebeccaMom
RebeccaMom writes:
Kimmi-
I am sorry to hear about your sons' school situations!  I hope homeschooling goes well for you.  I have heard great things about the website you mentioned.

To both Nebbie and Kimmi -you ladies might want to go to your local library and read many books on homeschooling too.  That helped me make a decision and I received a ton of good ideas and information.  I can't remember all the authors I read except for these two.....Lisa Rivero and Rebecca Rupp.  Finding out your children's learning style and deciding what type of homeschooling (school at home, eclectic, unschooling) your planning on doing are other things you might want to look at.  I know all of this probably seems overwhelming and scary (at least I felt that way when I started).  I just take it day by day.  One of my homeschooling mentors gave me this simple, but good piece of advice, "If something doesn't work, change it!"

Good luck to both of you!
> 60 days ago

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nambronoj
nambronoj writes:
Have you made your decision yet?  I would say dive in and do it.  The great part about homeschooling is that he doesn't have to keep up with anyone in his class.  My son is 6 and a homeschool kindergartener entering first grade homeschool.  In his kindergarten year all the work was boring so we used a 1st grade curriculum. His reading is probably behind other first graders but his math is ready for 2nd grade.  Since we did 1st grade for his kindergarten he is right on track and we have this next year to get him up to 1st grade reading.  I know everyone you talk to gives you the same negative reaction.  Don't let them make you feel bad about your decision.  I don't care what anyone has to say and neither should you.   Sam's Club and Bj's Wholesale both sell books that you can use to teach your child.  And everyday at home is learning.  I believe that your child will learn so much more from being with you than from being around 6 year olds all day who are just imitating their parents.  I feel like we love our kids more when we give them ourselves.  Teacher's are just like everyone else in the working world some are good at their jobs and some are not, why take a chance on them, take a chance on yourself.
> 60 days ago

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ginaa
ginaa , Teacher writes:
Hi Nebbie,

I think your story is a heartbreaking reminder of how vulnerable children are to having their motivation and desire to learn destroyed by the wrong kind of educator. I think it's great that you're willing to invest your time and energy to keep your son on track academically. Homeschooling can seem daunting at first but there are a lot of resources out there to help you understand the legal issues and decide on a learning approach and materials. The link below takes you to the Home Schooling page on this site where you can find a ton of information on getting started.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress

http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Home_Schooling/
> 60 days ago

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Louiseasl
Louiseasl , Child Professional writes:
Hello Nebbie,

Unfortunately, as a School Psychologist I have heard similar scenarios that you have described.  I know that your first response would be to remove your child from public school. However, there are other possible remedies as well.

First, school staff are accountable to someone.  Even the superintendent of schools cannot make a decision without being accountable.  Therefore, ask for a meeting with the new teacher(s), administration and other educational specialists to determine if your son has a learning disorder that needs to be addressed.  The kindergarten teacher may not have had a wealth of experience working with children with learning differences in order to recognize the "red flags" of children who have true academic attainment difficulties.  

When you ask for the meeting, do so in writing.  Date your request letter.  Keep a copy.  Also, explain why you wish for this meeting.  Try to keep emotion out of the letter and state the problems your child is having with learning vs. the poor teaching that was received. Of course, you can use the end of your meeting to address the negative environment your child endured with the staff to help prevent future occurrences with other children.

Next, go to any meeting with your spouse, significant other, a friend and if need be a parent advocate.  These meetings can be intimidating if for no other reason because of the formal terminology that is often "thrown around".

If you are seriously considering homeschooling then seek out information about homeschool groups in your area.  Local libraries often house home school groups during the "school hours" and are an excellent resource.  Also, your school district should be able to provide information about alternative schooling (which can include homeschool).  There are also several on-line homeschool websites.

I have attended several homeschool training sessions through local support groups.  (Mainly to learn for myself and to help parents)  I was able to access a lot of information just from attending these meetings, but the one thing that I did learn is that homeschooling your child can have tremendous rewards.  Flexibility, out of classroom learning experiences (e.g. museum trip, attending concerts, etc.), and the pacing of instruction were all noted. However, it is only for the parent that can be organized, has extra time and patience, and can endure the ups and downs. (Many parents noted that February is the "longest" of months for homeschooling!)  Networking with others seemed to be key, as well, so that the homeschooled child could associate with peers.

Good luck and please let us know how this situation resolves.  It can be a learning experience for many.


Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
http://www.SigningFamilies.com
> 60 days ago

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edconsultant
edconsultant writes:
I wish I knew what state that you reside in. To start out, visit the website for Home School Legal Defense Association. The website has laws which pertain to each state and there is guidance as to how to pull your children out of the local school in order to legally bring them home.

I have been educating my children at home for eleven years. We had a short experience with my oldest child who is now sixteen and on track to graduate with her high school diploma in June. She went to a local public institution for a couple of months in first grade with a teacher who sounds similar to the one you described in your post. She labeled my daughter and treated her like an idiot because she was apparently having problems reading and spelling. As it turned out my daughter needed glasses and once she had them she took off at high speed.

It was amazing to me to see someone who spent all of those years in college to teach young children speak to them so cruelly. There was no respect for the individuals in her classroom and my daughter was so miserable that she began to vomit in the mornings from nervousness. We brought her home immediately and she has done beautifully ever since.

Do not leave your son in that situation. He is at an age where his outlook on school and learning will either be one of excitement and joy or despair and despisement. If you have the ability and the means to bring him home it is the best place for him. No one else in any school setting is going to invest the love and effort into him the way you will.

Monique Zarcone
M.A. of Ed in Teaching and Learning
> 60 days ago

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LanelleDevlin
LanelleDevlin , Parent writes:
I too wish I knew what state you were in and there have already been many good answers.  But I'll add my $.02 worth!

Our son was in Head-start and enjoyed it very much but there is a bullying issue at that school, the academic ratings are low and there was a incident on the back of the school bus with 2 girls and a boy (13 yrs old) one girl was recording with her phone while the other girl "orally satisfied" the boy.

That's all I needed and we decided to home school!

Our district provides an "off campus" program so we use their resources and as a parent I have accountability to stay on track with my son's learning.  I can add my own stuff which I use a lot of ideas, print out work sheets and activity ideas from education.com along with many other great websites.  All of it so far has been free except for supplies.  They also have one day a week where they attend "school" with all the other off campus kids.  He spends time in a kindergarten class then had what they call "clubs" and he has lunch and PE too.

I LOVE it!!!  He is doing great, still sees his friends at AWANA's, we are going to get him in 4H, he takes swimming lessons with other "off campus" and home schooled kids so he is getting plenty of socialization and we have other play dates and field trips.

Lapbooking is another great activity too for more in-depth learning on a subject plus as they learn they are having fun...  So am I!
> 60 days ago

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Sheila1958
Sheila1958 writes:
I wish I could help you. If you find any answers to your question. Would you please let me know. I am so tired of the school my daughter is going to. They are not helping her and I want to homeschool this year too. Do not have a clue as to where to start. I 2 need help. My email address is sschafer5@neo.rr.com.  If I get anything I will let you know too. We will find a way together!! Sheila
> 60 days ago

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