I Should Never Have Homeschooled My Daughter!

by Desperate Mom

Problems with Homeschooling

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.

Comments for I Should Never Have Homeschooled My Daughter!

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Jan 06, 2010
Don't be afraid to ask for help
by: Anonymous

I really do have to agree with the other moms here - you really sound like you are being very very hard on yourself.
Frankly homeschooling is not a club, and who ever told you it was(ie- mega mom who thinks she has the right to tell others not to reproduce) - is a loser without a life.
Homeschooling is all about personal choice - we homeschool in conjunction with our local public school - (Right here is where the mega moms say "WHAT?!?!?) and it works extremely well with my 10 yr old ADD (Inattention not hyperactivity) son.
We also used public school to help my youngest son with a speech delay.

You may be able to get involved with an online homeschool program (google OHVA in Ohio) where a certified school teacher helps with homeschool. We take the yearly Ohio Achievment Tests - they are free and they are an acceptable form of showing progress - which is required in Ohio.
(Nationalized tests can cost hundreds of dollars)
Finally I would really encourage you to talk to your childs doctor - they may be able to prescribe something to help with the inability to focus - or you could talk to a local herbologist for a more natural treatment such as diet and limiting exposure to synthetic materials.
Finally I would GREATLY encourage you to break ties with the judgemental legalistic people in your life - like this very negative woman you mentioned - and find a group of like minded - able to chill out - homeschoolers who will commit to support you - with out all the judgement.

Praying for you and yours!

Dec 02, 2009
So sorry
by: Anonymous

You are being very hard on yourself.

When I read the part about your daughter not wanting to get dressed or ready for an outing, I'm wondering if maybe your daughter has some depression issues. I am by no means a psychiatrist.

Maybe if she volunteered somewhere or got involved in sport.

I suggest this because my 17 yo son was like this. Nothing seemed to work and he fought me. He gained weight. But, once we got him involved in something he really wanted to do outside our home---in our case playing football--we really fought it--he lost 40 pounds, is getting all A's, and actually does chores the first time I ask.

I look back now, and I see that he was depressed.
I just didn't see it.

Will be praying for your family--have been in your situation.

Dec 01, 2009
don't give up
by: Anonymous

I am so sorry to hear of your frustrations; esp. the lack of support from other homeschoolers.

I think you are being much too hard on yourself. It sounds like you have provided a multitude of learning opportunities for your daughter. Some children just process things very differently. My kids have had their own struggles with learning, motivation, and follow-thru. It is not an easy time when everything seems to be going against you.

Don't forget, many kids who go to school end up feeling the same way as your daughter. The kids who attend school are not guaranteed some sort of rosy future; they will have struggles just like everyone else. I am not saying that it is wrong to put your daughter into school (anything but!), because I believe homeschooling is always evolving, and sometimes it will mean a return to school for any number of reasons. But please don't blame yourself. If your daughter had attended school all these years, who's to say where she would be now?

For what it's worth, I have a good friend who is a passionate unschooler. Her first child did attend high school and is now attending college, and doing fine. Her second recently started high school and her third plans to start school next year. None of them ever had much "formal" type of education, but all are learning what they need to learn, and all have adjusted well to the world outside of homeschooling. Unschooling might not be perfect for your kids, but don't berate yourself for not using a formal curriculum, either.

Maybe you could try sitting down w/your daughter and explaining your worries and concerns? Try to help her see the future as you see it, so maybe she will begin to see the need to work on some things a little more. And keep up w/capitalizing on her interests.

I hope you can find some more supportive homeschooling friends; please just ignore the people who are not helpful. No one has the right to judge you.

Good Luck--I know you can do it!!

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