Last year at some point, my youngest kid was having a difficult time at our public school. At recess. What? Yes, he was having a difficult time at recess and not to mention, while he seemed to behave decently in class, he was having a hard time with peers. The level of noise. Whatever, the public school was not working for him. Period. Do not get me started in how the principal at the school spoke to me, and never followed through with consequences, yet I made this kid write 20 times not to do what he did at recess. I made him go without privileges at home, but even this 10-year-old would call the school out on not following through with what they tell parents or with consequences, etc.
The kid was tired of it. We were tired of it. Saying one thing to our face, another behind our back while kids are at school. That’s not cool! Meanwhile, he wasn’t ever working to his potential. No reason to. No inspiration, no guidance, too many kids with not enough teachers. A sad reality many school systems are facing right now.
This is for sure not me against the public school system or teachers. Not at all. I know some amazing teachers who have been a blessing to all 3 of my kids’ world while they were in public school. These teachers continue to be a safe place and person to go to when some kids can’t do that in their own home. The school system does have some amazing teachers who still care like they did back when I attended this school system, and for that, I thank those teachers who work hard to care for the children who are not biologically theirs.
Teachers do rock!
With that being said, our path has gone another direction. My oldest child went from being a high honor and honor roll student to getting C’s and below. We met with the school, we tried our best to fight for this child but sadly, times have changed with the public school systems. That’s our truth.
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The oldest kiddo came home to attend an online charter school full time, and has brought grades back up to straight A’s and will graduate next year.
Fast forward, back to my youngest kiddo. He was not doing well it seemed, mental health was not well in that school system. He cited many times that the school pushes a positive outlook yet they do nothing but yell at the students. They are hypocrites is what he felt and saw. I understand. As a parent, I had to hear him out and figure out what was best for his education and mental health well-being.
Yet, what were we supposed to do as parents? Was homeschool the right option? We were not sure, but we were willing to give it a try. In November of 2018, my 10-year-old son came home to homeschool for Grade 5 and will attend online charter school next school year.
Now, welcome to March 2019. Our 12-year-old son came home one day to say that he wanted to do homeschool. While he was only staying in school for the fact that he was able to have social time with his friends at lunch, he still wanted to stay in the middle school brick and mortar setting. We approved, as he has a 504 and is high functioning autistic. It seemed this routine worked for him.
Until now. We waited. I kind of thought it was a phase, that the next week he would change his mind. That didn’t happen.
I was worried that his dad wouldn’t want to attempt this path with our second child together, but I also knew that it would be wrong to say no to him when his siblings’ homeschool.
His dad and I discussed things, talked with our son and made the decision to bring him home under some conditions, such as:
- He will listen to me, and not “bully” me with his ways when he doesn’t want to do something.
- He will attend online charter school part time to take some classes, as I am not a teacher and feel the kids DO need that interaction with teachers and such.
- He is on a trial run, and will not give us a hard time if we decided he has to go back to public school.
Am I crazy? Perhaps. The thing is that I firmly believe as parents we need to do what we feel is best for our children. While I don’t think the kids should ever learn just from me 100%, as they do need to get a solid education, and learn to respect others and such, the world is a different place. The doors are open to having kids attend online school at Grade 6, for free here in NH. There are so many opportunities for kids who homeschool to learn what they need to learn while also learning other things in less time than it takes to attend a regular all day school.
So, while I never had plans to homeschool all of my children, I am. This chapter is interesting, but so far the kids are doing well and each week we step it up a notch to learn more and I push them to do more each day. We are still trying to get a solid routine in place that allows me to work from home and actually make money while teaching the 3 kids, but I am confident this was the right decision to go with and my kids seem happier, more confident, and even go out on walking adventures together.
I picked up supplies, and continue to get support from other homeschool parents as I venture into this new chapter of motherhood …
I will share more organized thoughts and such on this venture, but for now, I just wanted to share the new chapter that is unfolding in my life.