I Should Never Have Homeschooled My Daughter!
by Desperate Mom
Problems with Homeschooling
Ever been shunned by fellow home educators? Or experienced problems with homeschooling? Where did you go for help? This desperate mom wants to know!
I have three children. I decided to homeschool when my eldest was very young, for various reasons, one being that she had some prominent ADHD issues. She is now 11 yrs old and in the "5th grade". She is very intelligent, but lacks motivation, and I really have a hard time trying to motivate her, find fresh ways to stimulate her mind to want to learn, though it's not from lack of trying. We are currently following an interest-lead curriculum. In the past we tried a similar path during her younger years, and it was moderately successful, however, as time went on, her interest in the subjects she chose waned.
I then began to follow a more formal curriculum, though still covering subjects that she showed great interest in. As time went on, her ADHD manifests itself more as inattention, rather than hyperactivity, and so I wanted to make sure she still had a vested interest in what we learned. However, a more formal schedule created a lot tears and headbutting (basically, she wouldn't follow the "schedule" and I was more involved in disciplinary issues rather than the love of learning).
At the urging of a local homeschool online group, we switched it up again and followed more of a deschooling, then unschooling route (deschooling to detox us from my obviously bad and wrong choices to be more formal; and unschooling to follow her more unstructured, nature schedule). A positive result is that my daughter and I started to resume a more relaxed relationship again, however, she is still hard to find anything where she is actually interested.
We schedule field trips to museums and other outings she is interested in and asked to be involved in, however, when the day comes, there is a little follow through on her part. She won't get dressed, or brushed or eat breakfast to leave on the outing.
I have also tried to get her involved in our now more interest-lead curriculum. Lots of art. Lots of science projects. Earning Pokémon cards, practicing writing about subjects she loves like Pokémon and elephants. Lots of fun and hands on things that she has specifically stated she wants to do. Still, there is little interest to do any of things.
Consequences have little effect, as do rewards. She doesn't feel like she fits in with homeschooled children (as they are usually go-getters) or with school children. Meanwhile, I have a 3 yr old and a 5 yrs old that don't really get as much attention because much of the day revolves around the learning time that never comes to fruition.
I have realized now that I should have never homeschooled my daughter, even though at the time I felt it was best for her specific, special individual needs. It has also been a source of tension in our relationship. She is not at all ready for public school. I have done her a huge disservice. I have a hard time talking about this with other homeschooling parents, as I was told by one very prominent member in our community of homeschoolers to never ever have any more children, when I reached out and asked for advice.
I don't really know what to do. So, since I don't know where to turn, my goal is to get my daughter ready for public school within the next two years and hopefully it's not too late for her. We were involved with too many other homeschoolers before I got my car two years ago, so we don't know a lot of people. I'm sure my shy and incompetent demeanor was a put off to other homeschooling moms and I'm sure I have been a hindrance in my daughter's academic and social life.
I'm not having the same issues with my younger children. My sons are more interested in doing things and when they express interest in something and we follow through, they are excited and usually cooperate. My only problem there is getting the time, with limited interruptions, to do the activities they want to do.
Where do homeschooling parents go for help? I feel pretty alone in this and really feel so badly for my daughter.