Seriously Considering Homeschooling, But...

by Maru Fehr
(Northfield, NJ)

My four year old boy is turning five late October and misses the school cut this year. Some people said this is a good opportunity for him to be the older kid in his 2010 kindergarten class.

I've witnessed some bullying and bad behavior in other kids in his nursery school. It's scary how these little kids can be so mean and miserable at times. In addition to my concerns, we have the limitation in subjects, the importance on testing the kid’s knowledge, the negativism in peer pressure, etc.

I'm not sure if I want to send him to school (kindergarten) and get back a collection of bad behaviors and extreme experiences with the education system; but, at the same time, I'm not sure how this decision based on my fear of other people's kids behavior will impact my son's life as an adult human being in the professional and social fields.

Some guidance will be highly appreciated.

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Jul 15, 2009
Homeschool Socialization Worries
by: Heather

Hi Maru,

I sympathize with you and your concern for your child's well-being and future success. It's tough making decisions regarding our children, especially when we are unsure of the results or the impact it will have later on in life.

The minimization of negative peer pressure is definitely a benefit of homeschooling. As a homeschooling parent, you will be able to filter negative influences and minimize interaction with these unruly children.

It's hard to believe you are dealing with teasing and bullying issues in NURSERY school; it saddens me.

I don't want to lead you to believe that homeschoolers are perfect and that you won't ever deal with mean or undisciplined homeschooled children. Unfortunately, you may experience some of the same situations while homeschooling. Kids are kids and people are people.

However, I think you will experience a lot LESS bad, unruly behavior when homeschooling. When negative situations arise, you can address them immediately and will have more time to teach your child how to deal with negative circumstances or peer pressure in an appropriate way.

I agree with you - although there are some great public schools, often they do not adequately meet the educational needs of our children. Due to government funding a school's focus can be on test scores, etc. to ensure they get the money needed to run their educational institution.

Over the years, my teaching friends have told me that weeks are spent on prepping for state standardized tests, giving little time to cover required grade-level material. Teachers then have the pressure of making their way through the year's course work quickly - no wonder kids get left behind!

Homeschooling allows you to go at your child's pace - however fast or slow you need to, so your child learns and masters concepts without $omeone hovering over your $houlder.

Homeschooling gives you the wonderful opportunity to focus on and develop your child's strengths, talents and giftedness. You will also have more than enough time to address problem areas as well as any weaknesses you see in your son.

You will find many opportunities for socialization, so don't worry about that. From homeschool groups to enrichment classes, play dates to church, if you make some time for extra-curricular activities, friendship-building, and interaction with others, your son will develop normally. I know "socialization" is a concern for many considering home education, but in most cases, it's a myth that causes much un-necessary fear in parents.

As far as your son's future professional career, many colleges love homeschooled students. Homeschoolers make excellent student because most know how to learn and work independently. Because you are able to design your home education around your son's interests, he won't hate school like most kids, but will actually love learning - at every age. :)

Jul 15, 2009
RE: Seriously Considering Homeschooling...
by: Shelli

I don't think that your fear of other people's kids will affect him in the long run. If you homeschool, you will surely join homeschool groups and play dates, and you'll meet all kinds of people, some you like, some you may not like. But if he sees you relating to people, that will only help him do the same later in life. And as for people who really aren't good influences, then we should teach our kids to steer clear from them! Why is that a bad thing?

Good luck with your decision. I know it's hard in the beginning, but once you get started homeschooling, you'll probably be glad that you did. And you can always put him in school later, if you had to.

Jul 15, 2009
home for K
by: Anonymous

Kindgarten in the public school seems pointless. It's free preschool, with social headaches and unnecessary influences. Even if you later decide not to homeschool, there is no reason you can't keep your child home for kindergarten. You will be able to give him the advantage of your influence and one on one academic attention. You are his first teacher. You have taught him to walk, talk, sing, share, play and countless other things, teaching him ABC's, numbers, colors, shapes and so on will be fun and easy for both of you. The longer your child can benefit from your guidance and direction, the better.
Just my opinion:) pray about it and do what's right for your family. You don't have to justify why you want to teach your son.

Jul 15, 2009
Socialization is the best reason to homeschool!
by: Anonymous

I understand your concerns but let me share what I've learned after graduating one and working on another in high school. You can do it!

Our oldest homeschooled from 7th grade on and we went through lots of grief from her school when we withdrew her about her not getting the socialization she would need. Well, I say, phooey! When she had her 15th birthday party, she invited 120 kids- 80 came!! They were right, I had stunted her socially. :p

The beauty of homeschooling is that it helps our kids be able to socialize with all ages, not just their immediate peers. Both of our girls can converse intelligently and sincerely with kindergartners to senior citizens. Frankly, after substitute teaching in the schools, I don't think the pettiness that they show is socializing. The 5 minutes between classes and the lunch period only led to daily mini-dramas (girls, remember). After she came out of school, when she saw her friends they had REAL interaction and socialization. In our case, it has been totally worth it.

Our oldest easily got into both schools she applied to and even received 2 scholarships. She is now excelling and is active in a sorority. Her sister (16) is ever following in her footsteps, both socially and academically.

There were days that I wondered why we were doing it but then they passed and I gave thanks for the opportunity. I've always told my inquiring friends, you need to be convicted to homeschool, not convinced. You'll know the difference and make the right choic!

Much luck and prayers,

Jul 15, 2009
Thanks for your
by: Maru

Renee, Shelli, Heather, Anony1 and Anony2,

Thank you all for your advices and stories and your precious time. I just received some information about homeschooling and the legalities and rules to follow in the state of NJ, a little bit confusing, but I'm reading it.

We are lucky, my son misses the cut for some days, so we ended up having him for one more year before he gets to kindergarden. Therefore, I've decided to try to homeschool him this year and see how it works for us.


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