Should we homeschool?

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A desparate mom needs your opinion on this loaded subject. Please help!

My husband and I have been having a discussion about homeschooling for almost 2 years now. He comes from a family of teachers and sees the school system as something every single child should be a part of, if possible. He also had a stigma about homeschooled children. That is, until I dragged him into the world of blogging and introduced him to families that do it right. Finally, his view has changed. My view? I watch my son each and every year in our town’s school system and I don’t like how they handle my son’s special learning needs. They do the bare minimum. They start to care, but then gives it up during peek times like school testing, or right before school breaks. He deserves better, and while I’m not sure if I’m really the solution, I sure as hell want to try. But, this is such a loaded topic. I need more voices to help with this decision. So here’s the question I ask of you: should we homeschool?

We’ve had our son in this school system for almost 4 years. With each year, they’ve lacked at something when it came to my son’s education. When he was diagnosed with ADHD, we were adamant about them following the routines that were suggested by his neurologist. We did our part at home, but it always seemed like things were coming up short at school.  Last year, he had a great year. The reason? He was with a teacher who had been teaching for 15 years and has a son with ADD at home. She knew exactly how to speak to me and to my boy. He excelled last year and we were excited about his success. She promised to pass on all of the routines, practices and notes to his next teacher. She did just that. The problem was that his teacher for this year is new. Now I have nothing against new teachers, but when they are more interested in getting through the lesson plan they created for the year, instead of working with my son who needs to not follow anything in that lesson plan, we have an issue.

There were similar issues during his kindergarten and first grade years. And just a few months ago, we started to see a big difference in his behavior. He’d had issues with his behavior when I deployed as well, and the school was not very accommodating to the situation, even when we asked them to please work with him during that stressful time. His current behavior is a blatant cry for help. He is acting in ways that doesn’t fit his personality at all. State testing is coming up, and he feels like he’s being left behind again. Hence, the lashing out. As a mom, I want to reprimand him, but as a woman with common sense and an intuitive nature towards the needs of children, not just my own, I know what he needs. He needs not to be there. His intelligence has also been suffering, since he learns differently and loves to become and “expert” in whatever his new learning obsession is that month. When you are deeply interested in science and you only get to learn it 3 times a week for only 40 minutes, you feel flustered. I don’t like my son falling deep into himself this way, and I think if we homeschool, things may be different for him and all of us.

But, this may just be a mama bear response. I’m still not sure.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Should we homeschool?

(Just a heads up: I would really love some opinions on this, but please keep it clean and contructive. Malicious comments will not be published. Thanks.)

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

Plan Your Year Now!


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  1. 5.5.14
    Susan said:

    I have worked as a public school teacher and I have worked as a homeschool liaison for a major museum. Now, with my work as a private tutor and educational advocate, I feel like I see all sides of this conundrum. When I started teaching (and before my time working at the museum), I had a stigma probably similar to what your husband has against homeschooling. That has changed as I been more and more exposed to families who find it works for them.

    I think there are two important things to notice about everything you’ve said.
    1) You aren’t approaching this as an “public school is evil and my kids will never set foot in one of those horrid places” issue. You are acknowledging that homeschooling might best fit one of your kids, and may fit your family as well. I think that’s an important perspective to have. And you know what? If it turns out not to be the best fit? You can go back to traditional school.
    2) With all you’ve said about your reasons for homeschooling and your extensive research, what is it that’s holding you back? It sounds like your gut feels it’s the right way to go.

    Would I homeschool my kids? No. Emily and I would strangle each other. It would take the joy out of my profession and calling, which sounds terrible to admit, but it’s the truth.

    I think you have to listen deep into your core. Think about what you WANT to do. You’ll figure it out.

    • 5.5.14
      Amiyrah said:

      Oh Susan. I think this is the response I really needed to read. Yes, I do love public school, and the teachers that really make a difference. I went to both public and private school and I appreciated both so much. My In-laws are some of the best teachers I know, and they have worked in the public school system for many years. The issue is not the system as a whole, but that it’s not working for my kid. I guess what’s holding me back is the fear of failure, really. I know that I can do better than what he’s getting currently, but I’m so afraid if even that not being enough. At least that’s what I think it is.

      As for why you don’t want to homeschool, that’s why my husband didn’t really want me to do it. But, that was years ago, and now that my son has matured (and so have I) he can see how awesome this would work out for the both of us, not just my kid. It’s taken him 2 years, but he’s there. Now I think is the best time to make a solid decision about it.

  2. 5.5.14
    Tazim said:

    I would be supportive of homeschooling. It’s what I would do if I had kids. I don’t have much positive to say about the school system both here in canada and when I lived in Texas for 10 years. You’re right, there are so many bloggers who are doing it right, and tons of great resources out there. You sure wouldn’t be doing it alone.

    What would that mean in terms of working/being home? Logistically? I guess you’ve probably discussed that a bit. Good luck with whatever you decide. 🙂

  3. 5.5.14

    Listening. Going thought the same process with our youngest. He is a well behaved gifted kid. For him that means they sit him next to the ill behaved child to babysit and at nine he is so bored in class he can read a 250 page book in his spare time in the classroom. His older brother have learning issues, preemies, and they attend a private school with a full time academic tutoring support system that works in tandem with each and every class. The cost? We could buy a new Mercedes every year and drive if off a cliff. That leaves the kid without “needs” in public school, bored and I feel we neglect him. This parenting this is way harder than changing diapers and cranky babies.
    Can’t wait to see what you do.

  4. 5.5.14
    Deven said:

    I have a son who is going into kindergarten. He has been diagnosed with sever adhd and I have had his teachers tell me that he should just be homeschooled because it would be a better environment for him to learn but for us homeschooling is not an option. Me and my husband couldn’t afford to lose a job. I do know that certain school take requests on the teachers you want. My son will go into K but we requested a teacher who we know has experience with adhd kids and that can work with him. And I understand the struggle me and my family are trying to find out what works best. I would homeschool if I could in a heartbeat if I was able. You have to do what you feel is best because no one will be an advocate for you child like you!

  5. 5.5.14
    Andrea said:

    I don’t homeschool. Would I? Currently, no. My child is not one who would do well learning from me when it comes to so many subjects. She needs the structure of a school environment. I know this about her. She was home with me for five years. I homeschooled for nursery school/preschool. We did crafts, read some, danced, loads of light activities. When it comes to now, elementary school, she needs to be there. I have friends who homeschool and wouldn’t do anything else. I respect their choices and know they know what their kids need as I know what mine does. I hope that makes sense. I think as long as the way you have your child educated meshes with what your family needs, and more importantly, your child, you know what the right choice is. I am sorry your son’s needs are not being met by the school or his teacher. That is disappointing. I know there are certainly teachers who do care, but am sad you are not experiencing them. I agree with other comments saying you know in your gut. I also know that you will make the right choices for your kids. Good luck, mama. I will direct some friends here for feedback, too, later today.

  6. 5.5.14
    Val said:

    I know a lot of folks who homeschool. Some I’ve seen done well and a couple I question their practices. I know beyond a doubt you will do well and be on point with your son. If you already know what is the unique learning style for your child and have the resources to do it, I would say go for it.

  7. 5.5.14
    Allise said:

    Yes it will be the best experience for you and your children. Also I know studies show homeschooling kids do better in college and in test because they have a lot more one on one time and can ask questions and not feel stupid for it.

  8. 5.5.14
    Susie said:

    Well, you specifically asked for my comments on FB, so here they are:

    Reading your comments gives me the reasons WHY you want to homeschool, and that’s important. But what really resonated with me was your answer to the question by another why aren’t you homeschooling now. And your answer: “I guess what’s holding me back is the fear of failure, really. I know that I can do better than what he’s getting currently, but I’m so afraid if even that not being enough. At least that’s what I think it is.”

    You know me and quotes. “Face the fear and do it anyway.” (For the record, I was scared too when I started homeschooling.) But fear? I think it’s a natural reaction to any parent who focuses on wanting to educate their kids at home. (Um, is this a good time to also add the Star Wars quote: “There is no try. There is only do.”)

    There’s pros and cons to any situation in life. But you’ll never know if homeschooling is “right” for your family unless you jump in with both feet! The coming summer is the perfect time for a trial run!

I loved that I could ask my kids what they were interested in–beyond the basic core subjects. There’s nothing like seeing a kid’s face light up because he actually wants to learn, and is excited about the subject matter. And I think some public schools are too driven with completing the “lesson plans” and not focusing on what the kids are actually excited to learn about. It’s also near impossible to do that with 25-30 students in each class. I’m not here to bash public schools. Home schooling is just an alternative to that. You have to know your kids, who they are, and what’s best for them. If you go with your heart, I know everything will work out. Remember, you have ALWAYS been your kids’ teacher. You were their first teacher from the minute they were born! 

Also, “GB” has a very successful career in tech now. I still remember him sitting on my husband’s lap at the age of 4 while his dad did finish carpentry estimates. He was learning even then. It reminds me now that kids show us what they want to learn. As parents, we need to respond to that. You don’t want their “inner spark” to be extinguished.

    Last thoughts. There are a few books that I adore:
    1. John Gato was a NY Teacher of the Year (and a public school teacher for 30 years) and has written a few books. “Dumbing Us Down” is a perennial best seller for a reason. First edition sold 700,000 copies — 10 years ago. (I don’t include this title to bash public schools. John Gato–being in the system for 30 years–has insightful commentary.

    2. Find the classic work of John Holt: “Teach Your Own” (He’s called the “grandfather of home schooling.)

    3.The other book has nothing to do with home schooling but is a wonderful aid in parenting. It really helped us when the kids were adolescents. “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish)


You can read reviews of these books on Amazon and then get them through your local library system.
    I’m always here for you, Amiyrah. I simply adore you and your family, and that will never change.

  9. 5.5.14

    Amiyrah, sounds to me like your gut is telling you to do this. My husband also came from a family of teachers so felt like your husband did. My son also had an amazing teacher in Kinder who he adores today. She went above and beyond for him.
    But then he got a teacher who was new and chose to fight him rather than teach him the way he needed to learn. For 3 years he made no progress and to this day I wish I had chosen to homeschool him sooner. He’s making progress now and I couldn’t be happier and neither could he. Somedays are rough but as a whole it was the best move we could have made for him. My daughter is still in public schools for now so it’s not like I don’t believe in public schools but it just didn’t work for my son. Please feel free to connect with me anytime if you want to talk.

  10. 5.5.14
    Sherra said:

    I decided to browse your website today, and I am so glad. I think I even giggled a little when I saw the home schooling post! I have three children and like some of your other readers I send my children to a private school. These decisions we make for a children are tough. I have no experience with public education. I felt that I wanted a more advanced schooling and to have my children work on their Christian character. However, now I am rethinking my motives. We are trying home schooling for the first time next year. I am pulling my 5 grader twins from a school they love and the only schooling environment that they know to try something different.

    There are several challenges I have already faced with home schooling that you may experience.
    1- Your family may not support you.
    2 – Every home school mom wants something different. For me, it is for my children to be advanced and not bored. For others it is Christian character or to keep them safe or finances or behavior problems. Trust me- some moms can be very passionate!!
    3- Is finding the right home schooling curriculum for you that works. Some moms want to be involved others want the children to be self taught. We decided on a private school that has a home schooling option. The kids meet up for sports, chapel, tests, etc. They also will attend one day a week. It is an “umbrella” program so if you ever decide to throw them back in public/private school there is a school record and grades.

    Think of this as a new adventure….

  11. 5.5.14
    Nichole said:

    We knew before we had kids that we wanted to homeschool, primarily so the kids could learn at their own speed. That freedom is still one of my favorite things about homeschooling. If a particular curriculum isn’t clicking with them, we switch to something that makes more sense. If someone develops an interest in a particular subject, we can spend extra time exploring it. I also love how much my kids enjoy spending time together, and I love that we’re able to spend much more time as a family than we would if the kids went elsewhere for school.

    So yes. I think you should give it a try. I think you’d be really, really good at it. Even if it turns out not to be the solution for you, a year out of traditional school won’t hurt him. Let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to try to answer!

    (Another big bonus: You can go to Disney World when everyone else is still going to school!)

  12. 5.6.14
    Bridget said:

    I’m going to try to be brief because I’m on my phone while I’m at the beach. (One perk of homeschooling is that you can go fun places when they aren’t as crowded)! We did several years of public school and when we decided to homeschool everyone kept asking me what was wrong with our school. Nothing! It was a great school and we had wonderful teachers…but my heart-gut just wouldn’t hush up! So we started and it just felt right. (Just because it felt right, doesn’t mean there aren’t days – or sometimes weeks – that aren’t really stinkin’ hard)! So you do what feels right and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in yor decision. And if you are, you can always go back. I kept my ties with the school in tact. We go to public events at the school (like fundraisers and the talent show and drama team productions) and I still go every year to speak about social media. I was honest with the teachers and administrators as to why we were choosing homeschool. Not that I think you have to do that, but if we decide to send a child (or children) back into the school, I don’t want there to be “bad blood”, ya know? Anyway, I think one of the most important things is to go into it saying that this is what you’re trying for now and the reassess every year. Homeschool might fit one of your children perfectly and the other may not do as well with it. At the end of every semester I do a little evaluation of each child and I write down my thoughts about how they’ve been doing and I write down what they think/feel. (Now that my older two are a little older, I have them write their own assessment). Even if you continue to homeschool, it’s nice to be able to go back and see the progress you’ve all made.
    I have more to say but this tiny screen is not conducive to writing novels. 😉 Also it won’t let me go back and proof-read what I’ve written so I apologize for any error. 🙂

  13. 5.6.14

    I don’t have any experience with homeschooling, but like Susan above I would probably strangle my kids or go insane trying to get them to do their school work.

    My husband is a huge advocate for public school. He’s now a high school administrator. But I was educated at private and public schools, so I have always had an ear to the ground for what is going on in private schools. When my middle was nearing high school, I started getting up to speed on several private Catholic high schools with learning support programs. Sending my middle to 9th grade at one of these schools was the best decision I have ever made with any of my children. Her middle school classes were 30 or so students, while her private school classes have anywhere from 5 to 20 students. We’re paying for smaller class sizes and more individualized attention. I got SO frustrated asking teachers from 4th to 8th grade to please teach her how to write an essay…by 8th grade I was begging them to little avail. Now essay writing with teacher review is a given. She has learned SO much that I wish I had sent her in 6th grade.

    My oldest and youngest are still at public schools. Though I have reservations about the education they are getting, or now it makes sense to keep them where they are. Time will tell if we need to make a change. The crazy part is that I am in a very good school system, but class size means that from 3rd and up the classes are not conducive to learning due to noise and disruptions. From K-2nd the classes are mandated to be under 20 in our public schools.

  14. 5.6.14
    Scherrie D said:

    I have been a Special Education Teacher in the NYC public school system for about 6 years and since having my own children I am totally for homeschooling them. I just feel that my boys will be exposed to much more, challenged, given the chance to express their creativity and given the opportunity to learn at their own pace. My husband was against it at first because he thought homeschooled children are socially awkward but my children are very social and are involved in a ton of activities where they can get their social interactions. I have changed his mind and he is all for homeschooling our boys given the mediocre schooling choices available to us. So it looks like I will be officially homeschooling our boys. I believe homeschooling is worth a try if you have the opportunity todo so.