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Do You Enjoy Homeschooling Your Children?

FORUM: A reader asks

I am considering homeschooling. I have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old. Are you happy with your dicision to homeschool? Are you very stressed? Is it expensive? What is your advice? Thank you

16 comments to Do You Enjoy Homeschooling Your Children?

  • Karen

    My husband and I have been homeschooling for nine years. We began when our sons were in 4th, 2nd and kindergarten grades. Until we homeschooled they were in a local public school.
    Overall, our family has been happy with homeschooling. We started out for academic reasons and continued because we felt that not only were the boys getting the education they needed, but our family life had also become different – more relaxed, more quality time together.
    Homeschooling can be done in so many ways. We used a combination of traditional text books, library resources, internet resources and local cooperatives.
    Our oldest two boys are now full time college students (they are 17 and 19). Our youngest is starting his sophomore year of high school and will also begin college courses this fall.
    I love the fact that our kids have not spent the bulk of their days stuck in a classroom. They have had an opportunity to build solid relationships with their siblings, parents, grandparents and community, as well as with other children of various ages.
    All of them are active in several volunteer positions in the community.All of them are active in scouting (Our oldest achieved the rank of Eagle Scout last year; the other two boys are working towards it.)
    In addition to being a full time student, our oldest works part time at a local college as a computer tech and he has his own computer repair business (serving mainly businesses). Our second son is also a full time college student, completing his last year of high school and first year of college at the same time. He works at a local community art center where he does stagecraft for theatrical productions and also works in the business office. He also volunteers there working with younger children. Our youngest son does a bit of part time computer work with his oldest brother. He has a passion for music and spends a lot of time studying guitar and clarinet.
    My advice is this: look at homeschooling as not just an educational experience where you teach your children to read, write and do math. Think of it as a lifestyle that allows children to completely explore what is interesting to them – which will ultimately help them figure out what they want to do as confident and responsible adults.
    Someone else responded to the original question with “Kids still need the actual school setting to develop their social communication skills, essential for future employment.” I would like to stress that this is NOT a true statement. Kids do NOT need to be in a classroom with kids their age all day long to learn how communication and function socially or in the work place. In fact, a classroom situation is so far removed from the experience of working and socializing in real life that I believe it does the exact opposite! If you want to teach children how to function in the real world, then you need to get them out into the real world dealing with people of all ages. I see this with my sons and with the many other homeschooled kids I have taught in co-ops over the years. For further reading on the subject, check out the book The Well-Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling, by Rachel Gathercole.
    Traditional schools are great for some kids. Homeschooling is great for some kids. Traditional schools are not the only place where children can learn; homeschooling is a method that allows families to “think outside the box.” As parents, it’s our job to determine which method is best for OUR kids.

  • Juno ツ

    I think homeschooling is the best option there is for children as well as teenagers. I homeschool myself through ILC for 2 years since grade 9. I am very happy with my decision to homeschool. I find that I am less stressed being homeschool, as there is more time and freedom than public schools. No, it is not expensive.

  • Britney

    I am 13 years old and I have been home schooled in 7th and now 8th grade. I really enjoy it, and I am considering doing it for high school as well, but I might go to the local high school because that’s where all of my friends are going, and I tested into a gifted group for which they have a special program.
    Anyways, enough of me. I would say that homeschooling your kids would let them trust you a lot more, not to mention that they wouldn’t have to deal with the social pressure that comes with public schools. I’m sure that if you look around, there will be some sort of home schooler’s group in your area, since it is becoming so much more popular, and your kids could have social interaction with other kids in that way.
    As for you, I would say that it would be much LESS stressful. Although you may think that you would have to teach them the exact curriculum that they would learn in school, that is not the case. If you want to keep them up to the level of other kids their age, there are many great books about what your kid needs to know at a certain age/grade. However, if you aren’t worried about that, then I would recommend letting your kids go at their own pace, learning about what they are interested in. Won’t it be so much easier to teach your kid about something that he/she really wants to learn about instead of helping them with social studies homework that they absolutely despise? You can read them books about subjects that you would like them to learn about, and then if they are really and truly interested, they will inquire more, and you can check out more books from the library. Since they will want to do it, they will be more enthusiastic.
    As for the cost, there is virtually none. You can check out books at the library, buy used games, or even just use the resources that nature has to offer. When your kids get to a higher level, you can order some textbooks if you need to, but still, this is a small price to pay for the bond that you and your child will form, and for the exceptional education that he/she will gain.
    If you really are considering it greatly, then you should look into it more. See if there are any home schooling groups in your area, and talk to other parents of young kids to see if they are interested in joining you in the adventure. Most of all, don’t be afraid to start! If your kids inquire about something, check out books from the library and give them a chance to learn!
    Although I am only 13 years old and still in middle school, I plan to home school my kids when I do have some. I hope that you decide to go with homeschooling yours, although there are many great options out there when it comes to education.
    Good luck and keep on asking around!!!

  • jsillywo

    We are very happy with homeschooling. My boy’s are now almost eight (in March) years old and one just just turned six this month. We have started from the time my oldest was about to enter Kindergarten. I will admit the first year was the toughest and I was stressed out in the beginning but once I realized homeschooling isn’t like public school and learned not only how my children learned but also learned what kind of a teacher I am things have been great.
    This is our third year of homeschooling and the first year of homeschooling both boy’s (officially anyway) and so far it’s been the best yet. Will there be stressful times? Yes everyone has those day’s weather you homeschool or not. But for us it’s been the right decission and has worked out wonderfully for us. Remember too though that every family is different and needs different things.
    As for how expensive it is, it really depends on what kind of teacher you are and how your child learns. It can be expensive or inexpensive as you make it. So that all depends.
    My advice to you is to relax and find out how your children learn. Play is so important especially at your children’s ages. Don’t feel you have to compete with public or private schools. Your children will learn. The one on one learning is great for a lot of kids and you can end up teaching them more about any given subject than a public/private school has time for. So even if they don’t learn everything on grade level they will learn so much more.
    Also if you do end up sending them to public/private schools please do not feel like a failure. Even a little time at home with you will do wonders. We all do what feel is right for our family and that doesn’t make anyone a failure. Not every person or child learns the same way so just relax and enjoy your children.

  • Question Addict

    I also have a 2 and 4 year old, both girls. We homeschool and love it. It is stressfull at times, but not as stressfull for me in comparison to having my kids gone from me all day everyday;not knowing most of what they were doing, hearing and seeing.
    My 4 year old just turn 4 this past week. She has already mastered all of what any kindergarten class would have taught her, including reading. By the time she is ‘old’ enough to attend public school she will be far beyond what her class is. That is just not fair to anyone.
    My 2 year old is also beyond most kids her age. She won’t fit into the system well either.
    As for cost, at this point it is quiet inexpensive. We go to the library often, we have alot of art supplies and we play alot of games. We also talk alot, mu children ask alot of questions, if I don’t know the answer, we look for it.
    I print worksheets off the internet and pick up a work book or two here and there. Once my kids are older we will see about an actual curriculum again. We tried one this past year, but my 4 year old learned all of what was in it all on her own, we didn’t need the book at all.
    Find a locat HS group, you will get tons of information there too.
    Good luck

  • pinkpigl

    Usually. LOL We have days I hold my head in my hands and wonder why on earth I’m doing this. Everyone homeschooler I know does. *grin*
    However, overall, we love it. I’m a lot less stressed now then I was when we were in the ps system. As the kids get older the curriculum gets more challenging of course so there is more work involved but it’s not too bad.
    We started out because of my son’s autism (pulled all 3 kids) and now we do it because of the lifestyle, the neat social activities they couldn’t get if they were in school, and the way the kids can learn about their interests rather then the interests of the teachers.
    Homeschool, thanks to the internet and libraries, can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.
    As I often say for the ages you have I we loved “Five in a Row”. You can just buy the book (about $30) and then get all the books from the library. It’s my favorite program by far.http://www.fiarhq.com/

  • Janis B

    I am very happy with our decision to homeschool. We pulled him out in first of 8th grade and feel we should have done it much earlier.
    It is not expensive.
    We are stressed sometimes but not as near as stressed as when he was in school all day and came home to do homework for hours.
    My advice would be to be relaxed and give your children plenty of time to be children. They learn more by accident than we did on purpose at that age.

  • Anonymous

    I am exceedingly happy with homeschooling. We were in public schools for five years, and by the end, it was too much work for not enough for the kids.

  • glurpy

    I wouldn’t keep homeschooling my children if I didn’t enjoy it. 🙂 We have our days (sometimes weeks) where it can be frustrating, but 99% of the time, it’s great.
    I’m very happy with our decision to homeschool. Having my 10yo daughter and 7yo son come back from Sunday School and telling me that it was frustrating because the other kids weren’t well behaved makes me feel good about homeschooling. When my son expresses his discomfort at not having a story to share on being bullied in Sunday School, I feel good about homeschooling. Having their instructors for different programs praise how motivated, cooperative, helpful, etc., they are makes me feel good about homeschooling. Seeing them play on a playground with kids they’ve only just met that day, as though they’ve known them forever (happens all the time at homeschool park days) and they don’t care how old, if they’re boys or girls or anything. Allowing my kids to go their own pace instead of being forced into a specific pace, like my 7yo nephew who’s bored in school, makes me feel good.
    I can get stressed, but I’ve continually worked at improving my time management, setting goals and cutting out unnecessary stuff. Makes for a much happier lifestyle. I don’t find it very expensive since I don’t purchase much or find things second hand (sometimes free!) through homeschool groups.
    Advice: Read up on it, join some free support groups NOW (like in Yahoo Groups) and get to know people, ask your questions as they come up hang out at events… Even if you haven’t decided, most groups are very welcoming of those who are still trying to figure out if it’s the right thing for their family.

  • Jazzy

    I love homeschooling my children! It is hands down the best decision my husband and I have ever made for our children. I was pregnant our first year homeschooling, and had a newborn this year. Even with all of those changes, I am not stressed at all! It is infinitely easier than trying to make my family fit into a school schedule.http://www.successful-homeschooling.com/…
    It is much easier to homeschool with three children than it was to take my oldest to preschool when he was young. I know exactly what my children are doing each day. I can help them with things they are struggling with and tailor their education to their interests and strengths.
    Homeschooling does not have to be expensive. Here are some tips for cutting down the cost:http://www.successful-homeschooling.com/…
    If you use your library well, you can homeschool for free.
    I second Glurpy’s suggestion that you look for support now. Here’s some info on online forums:http://www.successful-homeschooling.com/…
    There’s more general info below.

  • busymom

    We would not have it any another way.
    There will be stressful times, but that happens in all families no matter if they home school or not.
    Home schooling is as expensive as you want to make it.
    In the earlier years all you have to do is play games, watch some DVDs like the Magic School Bus and others like it.
    Read many books to them, go to the library story hours, and just let them help around the house, find a play group, or home school support group.
    These groups often have field trips, and other activities that you may be able to join in with.
    having a moms support net work is helpful as well, especially when you are getting started.
    You can print all kinds of curricula of the Internet for free, or pay a nominal fee to some of the sites that for all intensive purpose can be your source for just about all you need, and with the help of the library allows you to home school through the third grade, or beyond.http://www.enchantedlearning.com/http://www.abcteach.com/
    My advice is to take it slow, let them learn natural, do not try to mimic the school system, or start doing school @ home.
    Home schooling is all about finding out how your children learn, and adjust any materials to them, not buy a curriculum, and have them do the work; trust me it’s going to start feeling like pulling teeth real fast.
    Relax, and start with the basics, for math get books like M&M, Twizzlers, and Hersey’s chocolate.
    They will learn to count, add subtract, divide, and multiply.
    Eating the answers get’s to be pretty tasty as well.
    For science, and history look into Usborne books, through Scholastics you can often get the first library encyclopedias,
    Our world, space, seas and oceans, science, dinosaurs, animals, and history, at a reduced price.
    Most libraries will have them too.
    Some of these are Internet linked for more information.

  • El Jefe

    Its a terriable option that makes your kids unable to deal with social situations. And at the end of the day what kind of education are you really giving your children so when they go out into higher education can they hack it and make it into todays fast pace situations and job market?

  • 黄 蓉

    Consider the mega budget-cut the Bush Administration have implemented, public schools have cut the school days a bit shorter than back in our old days. So I have to resort to half-homeschooling with my academic curriculum for my 8-year-old daughter. But I still make her go to school anyway, just to maximize my tax dollars. 😉 Kids still need the actual school setting to develop their social communication skills, essential for future employment.
    For example, my daughter’s school has a special program called “School Store,” right now it’s only available for 5th graders. It is an activity that involves teaching kids how the real world operates: actual job interviews through which the kids must learn to pass (as we need to do so in real life) in order to get a position in this store, positions ranging from cashier, warehouse stockers, accounting/bookkeeping, managers, and even security guards. There’s even a recent theft incident, in which 2 kids stole some calculators and the “store employees” had use their own problem solving skills on how to deal with this situation. This School Store program gives the kids the opportunity to learn interpersonal relations and communication skills, from the process of “job hunting” to dealing with relationship conflicts between “employees” to “management level” to “customers,” exposing them to different situations in real work environment with not only kids, but also with adults (parents, teachers, school personnels) and teens (teens from a high school across the street), of various age groups, as well as different ethnic backgrounds. And we, the school’s Accountability Committee, are working on getting more funding to provide more programs and activities such as the School Store for the lower grade levels. From the aspect of these social activities, I, for one, am unable to provide this type of activity at home with just a few neighbors’ kids.
    For me, yes, it is very tiring, because I also work at home and pursuing a law school education. No, it’s not that expensive of a task, just more time-consuming. I got books from Barnes&Noble that meet the state’s academic standards for each subject area, as they have that for every grade level. Besides Barnes, check out your local phone book for bookstores that specialize in selling books specifically for school teachers. They have a much wider selection, such as teaching foreign languages. Placed in the middle of 3rd-grade level now, my daughter has reaped the reward of academic acceleration (over 8 levels) since the beginning of her 2nd-grade school year in August. Yes, as parents, we need to be proactive in facilitating our kids’ academic growth. Plus, it’s a great way of staying close to our kids and show them how much we care to participate in their lives.

  • Nicole

    I'm just curious to know if El Jefe could provide us with some facts and stats to back up his/her statement.

  • Alva Vos

    I need to a large number of thanks for that endeavours you’ve obtained contributed in composing this blogpost. i am hoping the identical top-quality publish from you from the lasting as well. In simple reality your soil breaking composing abilities has inspired me to start my pretty own internet page now. in true truth the blogging and site-building and site-building is spreading its wings rapidly. Your build up may pretty well in all probability be considered a pretty good style and design of it.

  • Thank you Alva. It takes time to build a following, but once you do it really starts to soar from there. Think about looking into WordPress. They have many different application that can make your blog fantastic. The big thing for me is I hate blogs that have tons of advertising on them. They get so bogged down with the advertising you cannot see where the blog post is. I know a lot of people make money with blogging, and advertising is the way. But I do this simply for enjoyment for myself as well as for my readers and as a record for my kids of their homeschooling days. So making money is not an issue.

    My moto…keep the blog site simple looking and will draw more attention then a blog heavy with advertisements.

    Godd luck to you!

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