Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Homeschool Mom Asks...Would it be bad to send a child to school short term?

Welcome to a new Hammock Home School weekly feature - "A Homeschool Mom Asks..."

I am hoping that in the weeks to come we can explore questions posed by home educating mothers.  If you are a home school parent, make sure and stop by on Tuesdays and leave your much needed thoughts.  No answer is wrong, as long as it is courteous and kind.  Let's put our collective experience together and provide insightful answers.

Of course if you have a question that you'd like to see posted, you can send them to me - Savannah McQueen.

Recently I bumped into Sharon online and had she presented the following dilemma:

The last few days I have been thinking about sending my son (6 yrs) to public school for 1st grade, next year. We are kinda working on 1st grade material now but very inconsistently. To be very honest with you.. I have not been good at all about homeschooling on a regular basis. I pray all the time for God to help me organize my thoughts and life so I can home school better. I am also not the most disciplined person and it sure shows in our home school.  I am feeling a little overwhelmed with my 6 year old who complains about 'school' so much that I avoid it, my 4 year old who has some behavior and emotional issues, and my two year old... well, he's 2 ~ enough said. But I am also pregnant with our fourth child who is due Sept 9th.  I just don't think I have it in me to care for all that I already have and homeschool better than I am right now, while operating in a sleep deprived state.  I feel like such a chicken saying that because it was our choice to have the children, why pass then off to someone else? They are my responsibility.   We live in a great neighborhood with a great school district. I am thinking we would send him to school for one year (or less even).  Just enough to get me past the initial hump of a newborn and learning to live with MORE laundry and more kids etc.   His attitude about school work is terrible and this way he will sure get a taste of what other kids do at school.  I am hoping he will appreciate being home  after his experience.  Really, I am just exhausted right now (of course I am pregnant). But I can't imagine it will be much different after the baby comes.  Are there any homeschoolers out there who don't think it is such a bad thing to send a child to school, short term?

So, what are your thoughts?  In order to best help Sharon, please consider these specific points.
  • Sharon is feeling overwhelmed because her son complains about school.
  • She feels she lacks discipline and is not organized.
  • She is unsure how realistic it is to improve the scenario given her current circumstances.
  • She feels guilty "passing the teaching off to someone else."
  • Bottom line:  What are her alternatives?
I look forward to hearing your input. *Of course on a day that I am trying to get a lot of input on a specific issue my Wordpress comment program - Intense Debate quit working.  This has never happened before.  Please know that I didn't delete any of your comments.  Hopefully Wordpress will get this fixed and all of the comments will return.  I am sorry and thanks for taking the time to respond.

Sharon writes here:

Shaping Little Souls

Savannah McQueen is the author of Hammock Tracks which includes Savannah's Savory Bites - dedicated to recipes and cooking with simple ingredients, Hammock Track Tales - a photographic journal of our life on the hammock, and Hammock Home School - includes editorials, book reviews, and educational link posts.  You can follow Savannah on Twitter and Facebook.

This post is linked at Hip Homeschool Mom.  If you home school take a moment and check out this great online resource.

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Paige said...

This sounds so familiar! I grew up with younger siblings in a homeschool setting. I don't know how many days Mom wanted to pull her hair out! The children are always excited to do school for the first day, maybe two. It goes downhill from there. There are a few things that I want to try in hopes of avoiding some of the burnout:
Tip 1- Simplify. Something is better than nothing.
For housework, I recently found www.flylady.net and developed a very simple routine using her babysteps. I don't recommend her whole system for an exhausted mom, but do read the "how to fly when pregnant" and "how to fly when homeschooling" for tips from other moms. I focus on 4 things: putting clothes in the washer, putting dishes in the dishwasher, making food, and taking a nap. And if I have 5 minutes left, I set the timer and pick up clutter.
For homeschooling, I believe that 15 happy minutes a day will teach far more than hours of frustration. The longer we had to sit, the slower we worked. We were convinced that our work was IMPOSSIBLE.
What would have happened if we knew we only had to work for 15 minutes? Maybe we would have dwaddled anyways. But maybe mom would have felt better knowing that she could stop when the timer beeped. Less frustrated mom, less frustrated child? After a few weeks we may have felt better and willing to do (2) 15-minute sessions a day. (Hope it works for me!!)
Tip2- Set a timer when you go online. When it goes off, you get off. (I'm talking to myself, now! Bye!!)

Our Side of the Mountain said...

I think a lot of Moms feel they SHOULD homeschool and feel guilty and sad about sending one of their kids to public school, but it's OK! It's what works best for the situation! I don't mean to encourage you to "give up" on homeschooling, but remember it's TRULY OK for him to go to school especially when you know it's a good school. It's not about "passing him off"; it's about meeting his needs and your family needs the best you can at the time.

With that said, he's 6. I have a son who just turned 7 last month. His school is: do 7-10 minutes of Math, play, do 7-10 minutes of Reading Eggs, play, read a Bob Book to Mom 5 minutes and copy 4 short sentences 5 minutes, play, watch "Liberty's Kids", play...well, you get the picture. They're young! Some boys (and girls) simply can't focus for more than 10 minutes at 6 or 7, and so much learning happens just PLAYING. If you miss some days, it's OK!

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