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Switch to Forum Live View Anyone here homeschool?
10 years ago  ::  Dec 28, 2007 - 6:19PM #1
Posts: 26
I am considering homeschooling my 15 year old son.  From 1st grade through 7th grade my son went to a Christian school.  We moved and he started public school in the 8th grade.  He is now in the 9th.  He has made a steady decline since entering public school.  Teachers tell me he just "checks out" in class.  The teachers are constantly having to redirect him.  I have taken him to a child psychiatrist who gave me an ADD checklist for his teachers to fill out.  The school district seems more interested in punishing my son with in-school suspensions for not being prepared for class than finding out why my son has made such a sharp decline since entering their schools.  They tell me that because the teacher has to spend extra time with my son redirecting him and making sure he is doing his work, the other kids in the class are suffering.  The school district has a program called "alternative school" that is for kids who fall behind their peers and need extra help in order to keep up and get their credits.  However, I'm told my son doesn't qualify for "alternative school" even though he is flunking every single class!  I've talked to the special education coordinator about the possibility of my son having ADD and I'm told he wouldn't qualify for any special help from that department and I was asked "do you really want your son to suffer the stigma of being labeled 'learning disabled?'"  I have come to the conclusion school district cares very little about helping my son at all.

So now I'm considering homeschooling him starting next semester and I'm wanting opinions from other homeschoolers out there with teenagers.  I also was wanting opinions about what other options I have for my son.  I work at home, so homeschooling is conceivable for me, but it would definitely be a challenge.  Plus, my son has become defiant and rebellious and I worry that I may not be able to get through to him and teach him.  I can't afford private school anymore as I'm a single mom now.

Oh well, I just really wanted to whine a little anyway.  Thanks for listening!
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2007 - 9:43AM #2
Posts: 748
I have not personally viewed the overall benefits of one way of study compared to the other although I have heard that home schooling has been  on the rise this past decade.
I wonder though if your son has difficulty now doing what you ask of him do you really think he will oblige the school work schedule?
My suggestion might in fact lie somewhere between having a tutor for him from an older crowd to regular meetings with a child counselor to see if they can get to the root of his difficulties.  To immediatly open school at home may indeed bring more trouble than perhaps you can readily predict at this time.  I would check out all the options available to someone raising children on their own with a limited income.  There must be some form of help out there for those in this position.  (Or at least if there isnt, there should be)
I wish you and your son all the very best on this new adventure in his life.  Maybe if seen as such he may indeed put in 110% so that  he can catch up and return to regular classes with his friends.
Love and Light ^0^
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 29, 2007 - 10:23AM #3
Posts: 294
OTOH...  I don't home school, though I know folks who do.  I could see how home schooling could help your son.  Individual attention; more flexible schedule; more control over distractions in your classroom area.  Depending on where you live, there may be a home schooling association to assist you with more advanced classes and socialization activities. 

I'm not saying that you should do it.  But I'm also not saying that you should give up on the idea.  Good luck!
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10 years ago  ::  Dec 30, 2007 - 1:50PM #4
Posts: 16
Hi LoriLu,

Your situation sounds a lot like the way we found homeschooling.  We didn't spend time in private school, but our oldest son (of 3) was 16, in public school and the situation was deteriorating fast.  He'd never been a strong student, tho he is a very bright person.  He'd been tested in second grade, because the teachers were convinced he had some kind of learning disability they could diagnose and use to track him into the "right" class.  Only the tests showed no disabilities.  So they labeled him lazy and unmotivated and poorly focused, and so on.  By his sophomore year, he was really drowning, and he told he couldn't continue at that school, in that environment.  We explored our options - he didn't qualify for the alternative programs, because he hadn't yet earned enough credits to transfer; he was failing where he was so staying wasn't an option; he was too young for night school.  He asked if I would homeschool him.  As it happened, a friend had already suggested that option to me -- a friend who directs the math program for our entire school district, and who chooses to homeschool her own chid -- so I was receptive.  Also our next door neighbor homeschooled his teenage sons, and worked in a book store, so he offered to pick up a GED prep book for me at his discount.  Our son had expressed an interest in getting his GED so he could go on to college when he was ready.

We'd has challenges with this child -- he'd been defiant, secretive and hard to 'manage' over the years.  I'd been a single mom until he was almost 10, when I married my current husband.   We had two much younger (almost 5yo and 4 mos) children at home, who kept me pretty busy full-time, and I took care of one young child full time in our home as well.  Homeschooling sounded like a huge undertaking, but it also looked like our best option to support our son, so off we went. 

That all started in May, 2001.  By August, we'd decided to keep the then-5yo at home from kindergarten and give homeschooling him a try.  In large part this was because we'd already seen amazing changes in our oldest son being at home instead of the school environment.  I remembered how school had changed my oldest son over the years; how his experiences there had broken in him in many ways; and how he was really blossoming at home.  I just could not bear to send another of my sweet children off to school to risk being misunderstood and mistreated. 

By the end of our first year of homeschooling, our oldes son had taken and passed the test (with very high scores) the test for his GED.  The next fall, he took two classes at the local community college during what would have been his senior year in high school.   He later chose not to pursue more classes, spent several years working (he's living on his own now and employed full-time) and is now talking with a counselor at the local community college about starting classes this spring or summer to earn a degree in Sociology, having reached a point, at age 23, where he has some idea what he'd like to do with his life. 

Fast forward 6-1/2 years.... our two younger children, age 11 & 7 have never been to school -- and likely won't be until they choose college (or maybe never, depending on their life path).  They learn like crazy all the time, they have friends, we are very active in many interests and directions. They aren't defiant, or difficult, or secretive, or deceptive -- they are open, caring, thoughtful, excited people. 

I've found that defiance, as labeled by those in authority, is a big flashing neon sign that one is unhappy.  Happy people don't have anything or anyone to defy, they are busy about the activities of living a happy life.  They are pursuing -- and excelling -- what they love. 

We don't 'do school' at home -- we live authentic lives with our children every day.  Our oldest son worked thru the GED prep book at his own pace, because that was his goal for himself.  Our younger children pursue their interests and passions.   Their learning is interest-led, but we don't just wait for them to express an interest. We're always on the lookout for interesting things to see and do in the world around us. 

I'd encourage you to give it a try.  A good first step would be to check with NHEN (the National Home Education Network) at to research what the laws about homeschooling are in your state.  Don't rely on answers you get from your local school -- they often have no idea what is really required of families who homeschool.   You could also try and search for a homeschooling group in your area, which would give you the opportunity to find other homeschooling families nearby.

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