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May 02, 2005

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» Help a Potential Homeschool Dad from Homeschool Mom Tips
I came across this post on one of the all-time most popular parenting blogs. This ultra-hip, NYC dad is actually considering homeschooling his daughter. Well, sort-of. With considerations such as socialization, sports, influencing his child... [Read More]

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Brent

As one who was homeschooled for two years, I have to say that mine was a relatively good experience. But I should preface that by saying that I wasn't homeschooled by my parents. It was more of a tuturing at home situation (we were living abroad at the time). Educationally, I think it was very enrichening but I was fairly lonely and missed the day-to-day encounters with my own peer group. Ultimately, that's why I was switched back into the school system. Like you said, it's not for everyone but it can work under the right circumstances.

Melizzard

My two nephews were homeschooled for a couple of years and it was an utter failure. It was done because my SIL couldn't face the fact that her oldest was old enough for middle school, not because she had a burning desire to teach her children and guide their education.

She didn't treat it as her new full-time job. She just sort of did what the book said and kept the state happy by meeting minimum requirements.

As a result during those critical years when you go from just memorizing to actual thinking... the boys missed out on some important lessons and in many ways never caught up. They have never learned to HOW to learn.

The oldest graduated with a B average and actually qualified for state-lottery funded full scolarship because of the B. But since every kid in the state with a B average gets the scholarship, he in no way actually meets the minimum GPA standards of any state run college.

The world of lottery scholarships has made admission to state run schools as fierce as Ivy league - if you've got the grades, money is no longer an issue.

Given that fact, unless you're prepared to challenge her at the highest levels. My thoughts are her education is best left to professionals.

Not-For-Profit Dad

My wife talks about homeschooling our kids. Since she's a (soon-to-be) former teacher this tends to carry more weight in terms of it being do-able. In terms of the socializing I know lots of homeschool families form co-ops with each other to do things like field trips and to cover each others' academic weaknesses. Still, you mention homeschool and I can't help but think of Cartman at home, in bed, watching the phonics monkey.

enygma

Wow, it sounds like you went to an awesome school. I'm nerdy enough to say that I'm envious. Well, as a high school English teacher to-be, I'll say that public school education is as good as the teachers there. I don't know about NYC (I'm from the Chicago suburbs), but there are some great publich schools out there and I don't regret my public education.

Rouper

I was homeschooled when I was 10 years old. The experiment only lasted one year because I hated it. I missed being away from school and I resented my parents for not letting me have a "normal" life. I know my parents had my best interests at heart but, like you said, it's not for everyone. Could I have gotten a better education at home? Maybe. But based on my personal experience, the life lessons learned at school are almost as important as one's academic progress.

Erika

We have only discussed schools in abstract terms since it is so far away. The public schools scare me to death so I intrigued by the idea of home-schooling (more so because I read Jay and Kim also). But the reality of it is that it would drive me insane being home all day with Jackson and being in charge of his schooling. And my insanity would not be good for his education.

Our rule of thumb is going to be, to go into a school and ask if they teach evolution. If the equivocate at all we walk back out and try another. We may be stuck with Catholic school since they have no problem with evolution and science and aren't afraid to say it.

While I was in Uni I babysat for two families, one which was homeschooled, and one which was not. The children in both families were about the same ages, yet the differences were enormous. While the homeschooling mother (who did work 3 days a week - when I baby sat) did engage her children in homeschooling and church groups I have to say these were not normal socialized children. They seemed to be lacking many of the social skills seen amongst other children their age. The pressure from the parents also seemed insane. They had a whole plan where the kids were to be in uni by 16 years old. The other family sent their children to the public school. Granted this was in a suburb, and not a innercity school, yet it was not a 30k a year prep-school either... These children were well adjusted social and incredibly smart. I always had a sinking feeling that the homeschooled children were being deprived of a normal life by their parents.

That being said, I now live in Europe and the one thing keeping me and my husband from returning to California is the state of the schools there compared to here. My soon to be born child will recieve a much better public education here than ever can be imagined in the failing California system. However if we did return to Cali, I would never consider homeschooling. Instead I think it is good to try and find a public school that may focus more on parent involvement and also try to suplement the gaps in education with after school activities (I am thinking art and music etc..).

Bradley

Holy cow, dude! $30K a year for a day school? For a 3 year old? That's more than I make in a year! I knew that New York was an expensive place to live but I had no idea that a tuition could be that high. Man, I feel like a total redneck now. My school didn't teach us any of that stuff. We had no music classes. No drama department. No school paper. Our only language choice was Spanish. I did learn some Pig Latin though. No wonder I'm such a f*ck up!

angiemom

I think you covered all of the pros and cons of homeschooling brilliantly, and that in the end, you know your own options and opportunities.

I lived and worked in Manhattan for 8 years...I loved it. Now as a mom of two boys, living in the boonies of MA, I sigh and smile over memories of those days of stomping around the city. I daydream of life there, but am always halted when I remember that living there with kids offers many challenges, and one huge one is education. I know several people that were raised there, and all of them went to private school, either in Manhattan proper, or sent away to boarding school. It's sad that with all of the wonderful resources that exist there, that the public school system is so lacking as a viable option for the majority of parents.
The competition to get into the private schools is fierce too!

Yes, $30,000 a year for private school is insanely expensive, and outside of the city, most private schools are half that amount...My son's school is less than 1/3rd that cost, and that's for private preschool, 5 days a week, full day enrollment. A bargain from the prices you are facing! And the price goes up only incrementally as the years pass.

I have some options to suggest to you...
1) Would you consider applying for finacial aid?
2) What are parochial schools there like?
3) Are there good private schools in outer bouroughs?

And on a last note...it has been nearly 7 years since I lived there. The baby boom is SO obvious when I visit there now. I'm amazed at all of the bugaboos and maclarens lining the sidewalks. Living with kids there must be a bit better with SO many people choosing to raise a family there...Given this, do you think it will have an impact on the public school system? Maybe by the time the Peanut is school-ready you will have more options.

June

Hey MetroDad. My oldest is about to start Kindergarden in the fall in the NYC Public School System and I am feeling a new dosage of anxiety that I have not felt since she turned 3 and became more logical and thus manageable. I myself went through the NYC school system and turned out OK but things have changed a lot since I was in school. (so it seems) And to listen to the parents who already have their children in the public school system, you would think that the school system and the admnistration are falling apart to pieces. If it comes down to it, I am ready to homeschool but I am going to let her try out the school system. She is very excited about starting kindergarden and already at the age of 4 1/2, she is totally looking forward to making more friends. So for now, I am going to give the good old system a try; I'll let you know how that goes. By the way, what do you think of a "million mom and dad march" before the NYC mayoral election to let the candidates know that there are parents out here like you and me who chose to stay in NYC and are watching and caring about the NYC school system?

Lois

MD...our kids are both in elementary school out here in nevada. i have to admit that my husband and i are not thrilled with the school. we live in a region that has experienced a massive population boom in recent years (california tax flight) and the school system here is suffering for it. the schools are simply underequipped and underprepared to deal with so many students. it's so bad that we also briefly considered homeschooling.

the only thing that's saved us is the fact that many of the parents here take their children's education very seriously. since there aren't any private schools out here, we're all stuck with the same crappy public schools. so after endless community meetings (the worst!) and private gatherings, we all realized that nothing was going to get done anytime soon. meanwhile, our kids would all suffer. the solution? as parents, we all decided to get more involved wiith the schools. we volunteer as teacher's assistants. we raise money for the school. we conduct our own field trips. people are donating time, effort and resources. and while we're all a little bitter because we're going above and beyond the call of duty, we think we're making a difference. sure, lots of parents are involved in their kids schools but sometimes we feel like we're running the schools here! not a great feeling. it's actually been quite stressful for all of us.

so i'm not sure that homeschooling's the answer. like i said, we thought about it pretty hard. we might consider it again if we didn't see some better results for our kids. but right now? it seems like the option of last resort. but i'd love to hear from some parents who are homeschooling their kids. maybe we'll consider it sooner rather than later.

Abby

My daughter is in 1st grade in the NYC public school system (Manhattan). It is possible, especially on the upper east and west sides, to find a good school. But be prepared to do a lot of leg work. Look for special programs, b/c they will usually take kids from out of district. My daughter is in a gifted and talanted dual language (english/spanish) program. And of course everythings not perfect. But our best friends in Montclair (sp?) have had problems too, just different ones.
For us to home school one of us would have to quit our jobs, and that's a major chunk of change, trust me. More than it would cost us to send her to private school, even. It would probably be too much of a lifestyle adjustment. Another reason that I could never do it is that staying home all day and not working outside of the home would drive me nuts. Also, my husband really want her to get the socialization aspect, too. To learn to handle all different kind of situations, good and bad.

Jessie

My always-progressive sister tried homeschooling her daughter for one year and had a nightmare of an experience. I think she almost had a nervous breakdown from all the stress. She thought she could do a much better job than the local schools so she took on the project by herself. One thing nobody menntioned to her was that between being a mother and a one-person school, she was with her child 24 hours/day. She had no free time to do anything else. She had no interaction with other adults. She was completely overwhelmed. The stress of trying to handle all this was painful to watch. She's a bright woman but I think she had some false expectations. Thankfully, my niece didn't suffer for it but I don't think my sister will ever make that mistake again.

Queen of Ass

I thought about homeschooling Munchkin, but as I am a single mom (which translates to my income is the ONLY income), it didn't exactly come together. I love the concept, but for some, the execution is a bit difficult.

Stacy

Heh... wait'll she gets, like, older, and pretty and stuff. You'll want to stash her in the nearest convent.

ozone ferd

I have a 15 year old 9th grader who participates in distance learning. He is enrolled in an online school much like you would an online college. the school is out of Florida and has all grades and is reasonably inexpensive. The drawback (depending on your religious leanings)is that it is a christian academy so the lessons, like biology, are geared toward creationism instead evolution. Although they do present evolution and explain it's theory. We are not overtly religious so this aspect doesn't bother us. I am happy with the program but it takes a motivated student to log on and do the work daily or you can get behind. My son is not the most motivated, he's a teenager, so he gets behind. They run as a normal school year, 36 weeks of work to complete in 45 weeks or so. You could theoretically complete high school early if the student was highly motivated. We answer questions from our son and explain things as needed. The teachers have chat sessions weekly and you can email the instructor or counselor with questions. I usually check his lessons daily to see where he is at and I have read alot of his lessons and learned alot myself, especially in world history. I wish he had taken French instead of health now.

We decided to enroll him in this because he wasn't interested in attending the local high school. He says there was too much drugs and fights in middle school. We live in a nice neigborhood and city so I find that hard to believe but we agreed. Turns out two of his childhood friends who attend high school have been arrested for drugs and vandalism. So he doesn't have to deal with high school cliques and peer pressure. he gets his socialization through skateboarding. he is a sponsored skateboarder who is always at a skatepark or street skating or doing skate demos. Another reason for the home school - so he can attend functions in and out of town as needed without the state coming down on us for pulling him out of school.

I have 2 more kids in elementary school. Not decided on the home school for them yet. They will attend public school at least through middle school. I have no problems with home schooling a high school student because today's public high schools are full of unwarranted pressure and stress. It's dangerous. It's no wonder we have columbine type incidents. Now if your child is an athlete then high school sports is the way to go but I have seen where home school co-ops have gotten together and created teams to compete. So who knows what the future holds for home schooling. I fully support the concept.

teachermom

I'm a public school teacher, but took 15 years off to stay home with three children. I homeschooled them for about six years. We had a blast, including living in Manhattan for half a year while two of them were in a Broadway show. We went along with their interests and they saturated themselves with what they wanted to learn. They are curious, seekers of knowledge. When my youngest decided she wanted to try school, we all went back...me to work, one son to jr. college (as a high school alternative) and one to middle school. I'd do it all over again...it was worth the financial sacrifice.

Sheryl

I have a degree in Education, and I taught elementary school before my kids were born. Our plan is to send our kids to public school for grades K-5, homeschool for Jr. High, send them back to public/private for high school. Jr. High is so hard on kids' self-esteeem, and kids have so much going on hormonally, it's really tough for them. Plus I think we can accelerate their education during those years, and give them a secure base to hopefully avoid some of the peer pressure they'll experience in high school.

Celeste

I recommend an awesome book called "Family Matters" by David Guterson, author of "Snow Falling On Cedars". It's about how he and his wife arrived at the decision to homeschool, the family opposition they faced, the history of education, and how they make it work for them. I read about the family years later when Guterson had written more books and he said that when one of their kids presented his case for why he would like to go to public school, they accepted it and let him try. I really think they did it one child at a time and didn't just decide that what was good for one of their brood was good for all.

My favorite part of the book is where the father got into a debate with his own father, who said that kids need to go to school not only to learn what it feels like to raise their hand and give the right answer, but to learn what it feels like when they give the wrong answer. He also thought they could learn as much from having a teacher they just loved as they could from having a teacher they just loathed--since life is made up of dealing with people all over the spectrum.

HS'ing is just not feasible for us on any level (social, financial, aptitudinal, etc.) so it's a non issue for us, but oh how I love the discussion of it. That said, if I really felt there was no other way my child could learn except at a home school, I am sure I would try to find a way to make it work out somehow.

Kath

I think my favourite part in your whole post was the bit about "not sure how healthy it is for kids to spend so much time with their parents". The horror!
No, wait....it's the part where you want your daughter to be able to play on all the sports teams that she wants. So, there are no recreational sports opportunities available in NYC outside of the school systems?
To quote from a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, "Homeschooling, its not just for scary religious people anymore!".
I confess, I'm a home schooler. I just think that I might be a little different than you think.

Tammy

Hi Metrodad,

I'm a homeschool mom of 3 and I am absolutely having a blast. So are the kids. And, from what I hear, they are really great kids to be around and not the social misfits that I was when I was a kid attending public school :)

I think it's funny when people refer to homeschooling as this horrible thing because they know homeschool kids that are "social misfits". I know many kids that fit right into the school culture and are fairly popular and liked, but are also unhappy, rude and think it's funny to make fun of people and talk smack. I also know some public school kids that are failing at school and at life. I know kids that enjoy school. I know some homeschool kids who are immature and like to roll around in the mud laughing. I know homeschool kids that are rude - but not for long. I know some homeschool kids that really enjoy homeschooling. Ok, I know a LOT of them. I have yet to hear any of the kids at homeschool park day complaining about being homeschoolers. I don't know any school kids that don't complain about school. I can't make any generalizations from that, but, it says to me that just because someone is very good at "fitting in" and making good grades doesn't mean they are going down the right path, ya know?

But, when we made the decision to homeschool, it wasn't because other kids are or aren't successful in school or homeschooled. It was because we thought our kids would do much better out of school. We also have the opinion that our lives are relatively stress-free because we don't have to worry about problems in school. We also are one of those crazy families that actually likes to spend time together. We enjoy each other's company. We get along. No, seriously, we really do.

I'm not with them 24/7. Well, close. But I make it a point to make time for myself. Also, we make it a point for the kids to have their own time too. We also don't sit at the table doing school work. We chose a much different lifestyle that doesn't look like school at all. It looks like.. uhm.. life. We have this crazy notion that in order to be successful in life, we gotta live life - not huddle around the table everyday at a prescribed time. I know, I know, I've lost my mind. But I guess, I'd rather we be crazy and immensely happy, than crazy and stressed out.

If you want to read a whole bunch of stuff on the web about homeschooling (and still be normal) check out http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com or http://www.besthomeschooilng.org In all the cases I've personally seen or heard about, the reason that people give up in homeschooling are the following:
1) They try to emulate school at home or
2) They try to change who they are and "become" a perfect homeschooler, whatever that is or
3) They try to do everything themselves, without help or support or
4) They try to follow a program without thinking about what their children really need or want to learn.

Hey, also, if you want to meet a TON of homeschoolers, and find out just how normal and crazy we all are, join a Yahoo! group on homeschooling, preferably for your state and/or an all-inclusive group and ask these questions. You'll get some really interesting responses.

Not-schooling rocks. Life is wonderful. Carry on.

Tammy

Karen

I thought the socialization bogeyman was dead... turns out he's alive and well and living in NYC.

Yes, we homeschool our kids. Yes, they are advanced academically as a result. They also have many friends, do volunteer work, play sports, participate in group activities and are generally some of the nicest, most interesting kids you've met. More significant: Each year we have a conversation with the kids in which we present their other options (public and private schools). To date, no one wants a change.

Of your concerns, the one about money is the only valid one, imo. I'm willing to bet you can find sports opportunities through other venues. And if you look at some of the independent thinkers that homeschooling has produced -- from Thomas Edison to Franklin Roosevelt to Albert Einstein -- I think you'll realize that time with mom and dad is not a hindrance to independence. Finally, while it's possible that if you were teaching your daughter you might emphasize your own interests, it's more possible that she would force you to emphasize HER interests. And, in any case, what makes you think that the school board's interests are any more diversified or otherwise superior to yours or hers?

Good luck with whatever you choose.

teachermom

Tammy, Right on! In my opinion, "Unschooling" was the only way that made sense to me when I homeschooled my three (two have gone off to college). Our motto is, "I learn best when I teach myself." There's a homeschool book with that title and it really says it all. My 15 yr. old daughter chose to go to public school, just took her first AP test (calculus), and I'm sure she did well. Her teachers say they've never had a student like her. She loves learning, which is the greatest outcome from unschooling. Enjoy those happy unschooling days while you can! Kids grow up so fast.

Victoria

I wonder if those who feel they are not qualified to teach have taken the time to review the education curriculum at their local university or better yet read one of the many books and research articles written by educators and education administrative professionals about the horrors of the shoddy instruction being taught to those who teach our children. Theories with little research to back them up, tenets that change almost monthly and an emphasis on soft skills such as diversity training are the focus of most education programs. I feel that it is sad that we live in a society in which parents feel they must relegate the most intimate parts of their lives, such as parenting, to so-called experts. And yes, schools are substitute parents, not just teachers of academics and you can read statements from the large teacher's unions such as the NEA that will verify that as their mission. As I have noted in my blog, parents spend more time researching what cable or satellite service to use or what computer to buy than they do researching their children's educational options. Please, before you make any decisions about your child's education, check out websites like http://www.EducationNews.org or http://www.EducationWeek.com. If you choose to knowingly send your child into what has become an atrocious public school system, at least know what you are getting into.

Andrea R

Hey - long time, no comment. :) (i'm over at Jay's & kim's too) Feel free to stop by my place and talk home-ed. Tammy's tips on why some homeschoolers fail is right on. I'll even go so far to say if someone tries it for one year, after pulling their kids out, it's not long enough.

You mentioned the classics - check out the book "The Well Trained Mind". It'll blow your wide open. Now's the time to read up on things - not the nuts and bolts of exactly *how* people homeschool (every one is different), but more of the why and the philosphies behind it. Run to the nearest library and bookstore, read all you can from John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. Lots of their writings are online and a quick trip through Google will keep you busy.

You may want to go so far as to find a local support group and go to a meeting or two, just to see what it's really like. (ooo! I'm jealous of all the museums, the libraries.. ah!)

Also - I've been at this more than ten years. 3 of the 4 kids have *never* been to school. Okay, the last kid doesn't count - she's 4. You'd never know it if you met them.

How do I teach them stuff I don't know? I don't. They learn it anyway. My point in home-ed is not to fill thier minds with my knowledge, but to let them think and learn for themselves. Collectively they've covered more information than I could ever have stuffed into them and expected to have them remember.

Spunky

Your asking the wrong question here. The question is not should I public school or homeschool or private school.

The question is WHY do you you want to educate your daughter not HOW do you want to educate your daughter. That will answer the question. Every school has an agenda and a plan for the students they enroll. Your job as dad is to see if their agenda fits your agenda. That assumes that you have an plan for your daughter. If you don't shame on you dad. It is easy to say what you DON'T want your daughter to be (prostitute, drug addict, etc.) But can you say what you would like her to be?

You dismiss some aspects of home eduating because you equate the method of education with the agenda of those educating. That is an unfair bias that will cloud your decision making process. You might find a post I wrote called the Myth of An Equal Education helpful. You can find it here

http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2005/02/myth-of-equal-education.html

When you look around at all the different types of ladies that are out there who would you say you would like your daughter to be most like? Obviously, she won't be a carbon copy of the talents and such but what kind of character, behavior, and attitudes do you want her to possess. These are factors that should influence you in your decision.

Also, what type of relationships do you want your daughter to have. Who are you willing to let influence the heart and mind of your daughter? I have never read your blog before so I apologize if you have answered these questions before. But you asked for feedback so that's mine.

BTW I am the homeschooling mother of 6 children who has always been home educated. The oldest is a 16 year old daughter.

Monica-Philadelphia

I'll throw my 2 cents worth. You remind me of me when I was dipping my toes into the possibility of homeschooling.

My 8 y/old is now completing 3rd grade and my 4 y/old will start kindergarten in the fall. I am doing this at home and I love it. The kids love it. They have never set foot in a public school - or a private one for that matter.

Another homeschool mother suggested that I ask this question when the issue of socialization came up. The question is, 'What do you think socialization is?' So - what do you think it is?

This is work yes. We sacrifice yes. (my being unable to work full time) Most days are good and we have our bad days yes. (few and far between) There are days I feel bonkers and need to get out yes. (few and far between again) These little children deserve better than what government education can offer. They are small for such a short time and we are their parents the ones who love them more than any other. All of the homeschooled kids I know are fantastic kids. Socialization studies have been done showing that homeschooled kids are FINE! My girls are together - way together compared to the kids on the block who attend public school.

There are lots of options out there and a whole lot of support for you. Think about this carefully because your little ones deserve better than mediocrity.

Carolyn

Allow me to squeeze in here... I have a blog called "Guilt-Free Homeschooling" where I chronicle the ups and downs I went through homeschooling-after-public-school my 2 children. Oldest child homeschooled 5th grade through high school graduation, youngest homeschooled 1st grade through graduation. Both completed 2 years of community college, then transferred to 4-year colleges/university. Wonderful experiences, few problems, fantastic results!

Please visit my blog with all your questions -- check out the listed titles of my previous posts to find the ones most interesting to you. May I suggest a few: Socialization and Why You Don't Need It, Homeschool Failures I Have Known and What Can Be Learned From Them, Common Homeschooling Myths Disspelled, and If You Have Children, You DO Homeschool.

I hope someday to publish this material in book form, but meanwhile I am making it available online to those who need the information right now. I have addressed many of your concerns (and those of your commentors), so I hope you will drop by and spend some time browsing.
Guilt-Free Homeschooling
http://guiltfreehomeschooling.blogspot.com

Kim

MD, have you ever heard of the book, "The Well-Trained Mind"? It's about a homeschooling method called "classical education" that puts the focus on the classical model of education using a system called the "trivium". This model follows three stages of learning - grammar, logic and rhetoric, and has a heavy emphasis on logic, languages and classics. Check it out, dude.

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/

And homeschooling in NYC? What better place could there be? The world would be her oyster, and she'd have a teacher dedicated to ensuring the gets the finest education possible. Lucky Peanut. And lucky you, if you choose to spend her childhood as her learning guide. It's an amazingly rewarding lifestyle.

thicket dweller

Eclectic schooling, with a very strong bent towards unschooling, is totally awesome. If I were you? Read, read, read all you can about unschooling, especially books by John Holt and John Taylor Gatto.

Heck, if I were you, disatisfied with public schools, can't afford private education (which may not be a whole lot better, anyway), passionately in love with your kid and confident that her education is ultimately your responsibility and her reward, I'd homeschool in a heartbeat. Wait. That is me. Huh.

Anyway, good luck on your search, and have fun bloghopping all these awesome homeschooling blogs.They have a lot to offer.

Nance

***Like every other single aspect of parenting, one has to decide what works best for you. And though I like the concept of homeschooling the Peanut, realistically I know this isn't going to happen for us. Firstly, we can't afford for the BossLady and I not to be working. We're a dual-income family who need every penny of those dual incomes.***

So, that's decided then. Like every other aspect of parenting, you have chosen and your choice is to continue in your current lifestyle and try to find the best fit for your daughter in one of the institutional schools available.

Good luck in finding a school that will meet her needs. Surely NYC has better choices than we have down here in FL.

OTOH, down here in the swamp :) we can afford to live on one income. We live frugally but still. . .

Our choice allows us to unschool our two children. They are lovely, bright individuals.

They would still be lovely, bright individuals if we chose to send them to ps. Don't you think so?

Surely you can find a school that will allow your beloved daughter to grow into the lovely, bright individual she no doubt is. Good luck to all of you!

Nance

landismom

yikes, this has generated quite a lot of comments. I think that my best advice to you would be to wait a year or two before making this decision. Because right now, I don't think that the Peanut is old enough for you to know what's right for her.

I would never homeschool my daughter, for the same reason that I am not a successful SAHM. We argue. A lot. I'm a lot better mom to her, reinforcing the lessons that she gets from her teacher and maintaining my temper than I would be if I had to argue with her about number sentences. (yes, that's what they call math equations in kindergarten now). There's a lot of other stuff in there, too (what did the previous poster say? social, financial, aptidunal), but that's the number one reason, as far as I'm concerned.

YMMV. Your daughter may end up being the kind of kid who never challenges parental authority, and you may want to spend every waking moment with her. But I think it's too early for you (or the Boss Lady) to decide.

BTW, this doesn't mean that I'm not involved in her (and my son's, albeit less advanced) education. For god's sakes, I just got myself elected the VP of the PTA, because there are things wrong with the school that I want to fix. I'm just saying that there are ways to be involved, and there are ways to be involved.

Lillet

I would say DO IT! I was anti-homeschooling until I met my husbands three neices -- twins age 8 and their sister age 4. They are the brightest, most fun, intellectually curious girls ever, and I am crazy about them, and now am totally sold on homeschooling. They take ballet and horseback riding and have playgroups and friends. I would say go for it. Besides, when she's older and decides to go to public school she can, AND she'll probably have an edge over the other kids.

We live in Williamsburg, BTW, and there is NO WAY we could afford any kind of private school in NYC when we have kids. ANd my husband went to Stuyvesant, but that was over 20 years ago.

alice, uptown

MetroDad,

did the prep school you attended happened to be named for the founder of free public school education in Massachusetts? it sounds quite familiar to me -- and the price tag is 10 times what it was when I was there. I have a hard time seeing it as a wise investment at 30K a year -- especially considering how homogeneous an environment it is. I went to public school in the 'burbs/country until I was 15, and I knew a lot more about socioeconomic diversity from there than the high priced prep school.

Mike

My wife and I homeschool our 4 boys and as the one who resisted doing it at all, I can confidently tell you it's the best thing we could have done for our children. The socialization issue is smoke and mirrors. We have too many opportunities to do things outside of the home. These include music lessons, orchestra, swimming, soccer, baseball, basketball and a variety of co-ops where the Moms (and a dad) get together for group learnings. They work with a group of kids of a variety of ages. There is very little peer pressure regarding music, tattoos, clothes, sex and other things. My kids have minds of their own and don't feel too pressured to fit in or be cool. As you know, homeschooled kids do far better on standardized tests than both public and private schooled kids. Some colleges are actually specifically recruiting them because they make excellent college students and citizens. Studies now show that homeschoolers are more engaged in civic activities and politically as well. As far as your concern that your kids might learn only your interests, they are going to learn somebodys, it may as well be yours, rather than some teacher you barely know. Kids will also learn a world view and if they are in school all day and at home a couple of hours, it will be someone elses. Some things only a parent should teach. As far as sports are concerned, while they are young there are alot of opportunities with town leagues. Things get a bit more difficult when they hit high school age. We are soon to face that challenge. My sons are extremely close, shich I don't think would be true in ps. Experiences vary, but overall homeschooling has been a wonderful experience for our family.

Julie

Stumbled onto your blog via google search.

I was homeschooled for a year (my seventh grade year) and it was the single greatest year of my schooling life (at least till college). I and two other girls got together a small homeschool cooperative where our parents shared teaching responsibilities. We used a Waldorf curriculum, but we covered so much and at such a quick pace that we had ample time to pursue a HUGE variety of interests. I myself was an avid equestrian, one of my friends spent time doing a lot of arts, and the other was a talented cellist. Because we were able to learn at our own pace we had plenty of time to go to the library, our local university for lectures, hiking, to special art classes, and much more!

As to socialization, now there is a huge network of homeschooled children in many states and towns. We even participated in a homeschool science fair!

Afterwards I was shipped off to prep school (in Connecticut for a while) and was bored to tears because I had gotten so far ahead.

Now I am a perfectly normal happy well adjusted student at the University of Chicago (in case you were worried about your Peanut getting into a good school, a school doesn't get much hotter than the home of the atom bomb, ohh bad pun).

You just need to find ways to make homeschooling work for you.

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