my dilemma

Discussion in 'Alternative Learning' started by IrishMama, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. IrishMama

    IrishMama ~Hawaiian Dreamin~

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    This post is more of a way to get all my thoughts out then asking for advice, but if you have any comments I am more than open to them.
    I am so conflicted about homeschooling. I always wanted and planned on it, then kindergarten came around and the deal I had with dh was if our daughter was reading by the time school started she would homeschool, if not then she would go to the charter school. Well, she wasn't reading. I wasn’t consistent enough sitting down with her so off she went to school. She loved it. She did kindergarten and first grade and at the end of first grade I decided to do some extra "fun" stuff over the summer as I taught my son to read to get him ready for kindergarten in the fall. I realized my daughter didn’t' read well and had no idea what she was doing in math. So through manipulation of my husband (I fully admit it) he agreed to let me homeschool for the following year. It was a disaster. My daughter’s problems were more than I thought and she just wasn't grasping things. I got frustrated and we would go days without doing anything because everything I was doing wasn't sinking in. Meanwhile my son flew through everything I gave him. Very quickly he was on even par with my daughter. All this was going on during an unexpected pregnancy that dh wasn't happy about and made it known almost daily and he was also making it known that he wasn't happy with our homeschool progress. Then baby was born (dh finally came around) and 2 months later dh accepted an out of state job and I played single mommy for 5 months, then our last month of homeschooling was spent in a 1 bedroom hotel suite. I had a mini-nervous breakdown and crying to dh I said I couldn't do it anymore. So both kids were put into public school. There they have been for the last 2 years. My daughter was put into a grade behind where she should have been and I badgered the school into having her tested but they said she scored 2 points to high for any help. They agreed that she needed help, but they couldn't give it to her. So she keeps progressing in grades but her math and reading is still way behind where it should be. Her class was promised an ice-cream social when they passed their math speed multiplication tests and the class didn't get their party because my daughter and one other student were never able to do the required questions in the allotted time. But she still loves school. She loves music and art and seeing friends everyday and loves her science classes. She tells me so much about everything that she learns during science and spends a lot of time on the computer looking up more information about what they are doing in school.
    But my son, who has no problems other then when I put him into school he was reading above average is now average, wants to come home for school. DH says he is just lazy and thinks he won't have to so much work and when I ask my son about his reasons less work and shorter days is one of the reasons but so is the fact he can be sure he won't have a mean teacher (he had one this year) and he can study history and geography at home and they don't do that at school yet. And yes wanting to stay home to be with me is one of the reasons.
    So that is the history in a nutshell. Obviously there is more, there always is.
    Now we are getting ready for another out of state move and I don't know what to do. My daughter wants to stay in regular school even though I know she needs more then what she is getting, my son wants to homeschool and I am scared that if I force him to continue he will become one of those very smart kids who hates school because he doesn't want to be there. DH is 99% against it but gives lip service to thinking about it. And there is me who is extremely worried that I will fail again, not be consistent enough, and have another mini breakdown. I am kind of lazy myself.
    Did I mention that their attitudes have slowly deteriorated over the last 2 years? They fight a lot, often leading to them beating on each other. They have also become disrespectful to me and towards the 2yo.
    I don't know what to do. I want to bring them both home, but I am scared. We will get to the new house 3 weeks before school starts and I am thinking about setting everything up and seeing how it goes and trying to figure it out then.
    And yes, I do work with my daughter with math and reading. And I do have some idea on how to help her if I am doing it full time. Is is very hard to work with her at home doing it one way when the school does it a different way. The schools way isn't working, but appently having it presented 2 ways confuses her more.
    So there I am.
    Am I the only one who sometimes wishes they could just be "normal" and do what I am "supposed" to do without questioning it? Life would be so much easier, lol.
  2. TeriMomOf4

    TeriMomOf4 Active Member

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    Well, first of all, there isn't "normal". Ever kid is different, everyone's learning styles are different, every family is different.
    In my opinion, that is where school's often fail. They don't do things differently for different kids.

    If you do bring them home, you need to not stress so much. Maybe a mentor could help you with that?

    I totally get having one that isn't doing what she should and having another flying past her. Been there. Done that.

    I would pursue testing again for your daughter. Obviously, you think there is something going on and the school thinks there is something going on. It is such baloney that she scored a couple of points too high.
    My daughter is very bright, but dyslexic. She scored like a classic dyslexic on her testing. VERY VERY high on perceptual reasoning and extremely low on reading and short term memory. It has made a world of difference in her world just knowing how she learns and how I should teach her.
    She did go through a two year program and is well on her way to being caught up.

    I wish your husband didn't have to be convinced and that you didn't feel pressure to perform because of him. I do not relate to that. My husband leaves schooling to me and I leave semiconductor manufacturing to him. ;)

    It sounds like both of your kids would benefit from some really creative hands on learning opportunities. And your daughter would benefit from being involved in activities that she could excel in (maybe music?)

    If you can get to a point where you can homeschool them without worrying about what you are doing or how often you are doing it, then I think you should give it a go.

    Another thing to consider is that another state might be more willing to offer your daughter the services she needs.
  3. justthemama

    justthemama Amity's Focus Member

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    I think it would be really, really difficult to homeschool with a dh that is only 1% on board. That would have to factor into my decision. And yes, I do often wonder why I always have to buck convention and do this a different way. ;)

    As far as your dd's math and reading issues, have you considered tutoring a la Kumon or Sylvan? Even if you're homeschooling you might be able to use the extra support?
  4. heythereheather

    heythereheather A reading family

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    In the school's defense, there is this gray area. It's annoying for the professionals, too! it frustrates me to not be able to provide services for a kid who is below average, but not far enough below average to 'qualify'. there are sometimes ways around it, and since you're moving to another school, I'd definitely pursue testing again.

    You could also find a private agency to get some testing done. A school often has to do their own, but it can still be helpful. AND, it could help you a lot in the event you decide to homeschool.
  5. chrissymama

    chrissymama Amity's Focus Member

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    :hug: I too often wonder (about many things) if it would just be easier if I were "normal."

    My dh was initially very resistant to homeschooling too, but we have been at it for almost a year now and he has totally come around.

    I think if I were in your shoes, with the move, I would not rush right into schooling. I think I would plan to take off the fall semester and get settled in to my new house and new town. I would check out the local homeschool groups and try to make some friends, for me and the kids. And, knowing myself, I'd spend a ton of time researching different curriculum choices and planning.

    **This only applies to my own family** I know lots of kids do fine with electronic media, but mine don't. As long as they have very very limited (none is better for them) screen time, they learn amazingly well on their own, so I wouldn't worry about taking a semester off of "school," while settling in. Of course, plenty of books would be provided for them as well as lots and lots of unstructured outside time.

    I know many families whose kids do well with using the computer as a learning aid, and if that were the case in my family, I'd probably use some of those programs during that fall semester too.

    Anyway, that's probably far more than you wanted from me!

    Best of luck with whatever you decide!

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