An Open Letter To Moms Thinking About Homeschooling

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An Open Letter To Moms Thinking About

Dear Thinking Mom,

I’m writing to let you know you are the best most qualified teacher for your child.

I know, you must be thinking, “Who is this person to tell me they know who the best teacher is for my child? You don’t even know me or my child!” Yes, I admit it’s a pretty bold and presumptuous statement! My apologies if it offends, but bear with me a moment and let me tell you how I know this bold statement to be true!

Let me answer that first bit and explain who I am. I am a writer, a blogger, a proponent of a self-reliant lifestyle, a teacher, a wife and a homeschooling mom. The mom part and the teacher part are really the only things relevant for this conversation, but I want to be transparent.  I have three boys (the oldest will start high school next year) who have never been in public school. I am also a certified teacher in the state of Texas, and I have been in a teaching role most of my adult life; first, as a public school teacher and then as a mom.

As someone who writes about homeschooling one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do you teach all the subjects?” This question is usually followed by a distressed look and a bit of thinking out loud that usually goes something like this, “I’m just not sure I could teach all those subjects. I’m really bad at Math and I really don’t like Science. I just don’t think I’m smart enough.” It’s always a little painful for me to watch a mom doubt her abilities. Part of me still, even after all these years, identifies with her, because I asked myself the very same questions.

So let me lay it out for you as a public school teacher, and a mom and finally as homeschooling mom why you are the most qualified person to teach your child.

As a public school teacher I was trained in classroom management. I can manage a class of around 25 kids, as I was taught strategies and procedures to follow. I do not have a degree in child development, however, I have studied it in college as part of my certification process and then more as a mom interested in the subject. I have to say it is a fascinating subject and I do believe all parents should read a book or two. But, having a degree in child development is not necessary to teach your child, even if your child has been diagnosed with a learning disability or other developmental problem. If you have been watching your child develop from birth and have been engaged in their life you are qualified to teach your child at any stage of development. You know them better than any other person on Earth.

Will it always be easy? No, and there is always those days filled with doubt, just like those days filled with doubt about being a parent, or like those days in the classroom I (and other public school teachers) had filled with doubt.

The education a public school teacher possesses equips her (or him) for the classroom where she has to deal with managing many children, adhering to state laws as it pertains to public school, and communicating with parents. You do not need any of these skills to teach your own child.

When I became a mom I wanted a better environment for my children than I had as a child. I am a product of public school and although my mother did a great job raising my brother, sister and me, there were some areas where school did more harm than good.

I wanted my children to be closer as siblings than I am to my siblings. I wanted to be there to help my children through everyday struggles and guide them, because I remember when I was in school I often felt alone. I wanted my children and me to function as a family every day and not just on weekends.

By the time I became a mom I was also very concerned about exactly what was being taught and how. I want to be able to practice my religion with my children, daily. I also want to teach them to question rules and use critical thinking when learning facts. As my children’s mom I am the one most qualified person to teach these things to my children, just like you are the most qualified to teach them to your child.

As a homeschooling mom I can tell you I have taught my boys how to talk, how to read, and how to write. Trust me, I’m not the greatest at any of those things!

Homeschooling is not about bringing a public school classroom into your home, although for many years I thought it was and if you start out that way, that’s ok. After all that’s all most of us know. Hopefully as your homeschooling journey progresses you will open up to new ways of teaching your children. There are a ton of philosophies about just how to do that. There is even a whole movement about how to “unschool” your child. You can just type in homeschool in your favorite search engine or maybe join a homeschooling group to learn more about all the different methods out there.

You do not have to teach the subjects you don’t like or don’t feel comfortable teaching.  My oldest son takes a science class from a friend with a PhD in science. Yes, it’s an old fashioned sit down at a desk, listen to lecture class, with a lot of experiments (there is value in being able to navigate those kinds of learning environments as most adult classes, a.k.a. college classes, still have this same structure).

Although I can teach my boys high school math I chose a computer based curriculum on CD. With my writing schedule and the nature of the complex math kids learn in high school, it works out easier for our family.  I did teach math problem by problem when they were younger.  A lot of my older son’s history is taught through the conversations we have.  One subject leads to another and soon we are looking at the history of why things got the way they are, for example in the Middle East.

But, let’s just say for the sake of argument that you got yourself into a pickle where you didn't know all the answers. You know, like when you're trying to teach Math and you know your baby just woke up from a nap because you can hear him crying and your toddler will not stop banging on the table, at the same time your oldest son asks you what the answer is to 7x8, and you have no idea. So you take a deep breath and begin to count by sevens as your son keeps count. Showing your child how to cope with that kind of situation is a golden teachable moment that he just can’t get in public school. So not only are you qualified, but, in that moment, you are more qualified than a public school teacher.

But let’s take it a step further. Public school teachers teach the same subject at the same grade level year after year.  They can easily get into a rut and make the subject drab and boring. If you are learning a subject for the first time, like how volcanoes are formed,  your child sees how excited you are about the subject and the steps you've taken to teach it to yourself as well as him. You've done something public schools fail at time and time again. You have demonstrated how to be self-driven.

There are seasons to homeschooling; teaching methods and hands-on time change with needs. You don’t have to have the knowledge base of an entire high school to guide your child through high school. You do not have to be a scientist, a mathematician, an English Professor, or a History Professor to graduate your child from high school.  If you have a love for learning and like to engage in meaningful conversation you are more than qualified!

So if you are thinking about homeschooling do research curriculum, do get involved in a homeschooling community, and do think about the possibilities! But please never doubt your ability or qualifications to homeschool your own child!


An Open Letter To Moms Thinking About Homeschooling

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  1. says

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! You are right when you say a mom is the best possible teacher for her child 🙂 Yes, it's a bold statement, but it's truer than some people realize! So many homeschool moms doubt themselves, and the people around them often don't help. Homeschool moms need reminders like your post 🙂

  2. says

    Jennifer, as a public school teacher, I wholeheartedly agree with you on the homeschool vs. public schooling issue. No teacher knows your child the way mom knows! I have encouraged several parents to homeschool children over the years. They are allowed to follow their own interests, avoid group think, and those pesky habit training bells.

    Keep doing the stuff, Jenn!!

  3. Michelle says

    Thank you so much for posting this, I really needed to hear it right now as we are considering homeschooling next year, a 1st grader and Kindergartner! It feels daunting at times yet I see lots of advantages and opportunities.

  4. Esther says

    Thank you so much for posting this. This is my first year homeschooling and I have had a few days where I had doubts about homeschooling. We have had more good days then bad days though :). I knew homeschooling wasn't going to be easy but, it is also NOT as hard as I thought it would be either.
    As the school year is coming to an end, I asked the kids if they would like to go back to public school in the fall and to my surprise they all said "NO WAY MOM" ! That only confirmed for me that homeschooling is the best choice for our familyl. We love it and I know that with God's Help we will get through all the school years just fine 🙂

    My only regret.......I wish I had started homechooling earlier 🙁

  5. jeanne says

    Jennifer, what a great article! For about 10 years, I homeschooled other parents' kids. These were the square pegs, the ones who thought they were too different from other highschoolers. I was able to legally do this under our state laws by using the religious exemptions for certification.

    I had no formal teaching training, but I am a MOM-so I knew I could do it! It was the best "job" I ever had! We had short classroom hours, homework timed so that the kids could have a job and still get a "full" days education.

    I never considered math or science to be my strong point....but, with the awesome help of teachers' manuals and solution manuals, we went from basic math to algebra 1 & 2 to geometry. Science included biology with labs (a blast!) I learned along with the kids, I did the homework, I planned the lessons, etc. It was a lot of hard work.

    Whenever a kid graduated (with ceremony, flowers, speeches, families) their parents would tell me that they so appreciated the time I spend with their kids. The biggest thing, we all agreed, was the free family counseling each kid got. Troubles at home, boyfriends, bringing a baby to class, all were handled.

    So, if anyone reading Jennifer's post doesn't get it by now, YOU CAN DO THIS! All you need is love and teacher's manuals and determination.

    Oh, and btw, all my kids tested into the honors sections of English and the regular math classes (for credit, not the remedial ones) at the local community college. That was one of my main keep their learning on track and moving forward.

    thanks for the great post!

  6. C.M. says

    I'll probably get slammed for this, but I'm not a big advocate of homeschooling. I am glad we live in a country where you can choose to homeschool your child, pay for a private education or send your child to public school. For that I am grateful. As a parent, I have been fortunate to have wonderful public schools, but I completely understand the desire to send your child to private school or homeschool him/her if the public schools are terrible. However, if you are in a good district with a solid pubic school system, I think that has its benefits. When I was a teenager, I worked at a Montessori school. It is a wonderful philosophy and wish that there was one nearby that I could have sent my children to. However, my children, due to circumstances, had to go to public school. Now that they are older, I see the benefits of a public education. There were/are Christian teachers in the schools that pray for the parents, admistration, and teachers. My children had the benefits of before school music lessons, Odyssey of the Mind, clubs, sports, etc. that I would not have been aware of if they weren't in public school. In addition, both of my children took college level classes in 10th grade, AP classes and graduated with high honors. My daughter got a full scholarship to a college in Boston and is finding the classes interesting and challenging, but not overwhelmingly difficult. If you want to homeschool your child and feel God's calling to do so, by all means follow what the Spirit is leading you to. However, don't discount a good public education because "public education" is not the "in" thing right now. There are good public schools, with Christian teachers and administrators who work hard and pray for your children daily. I know because I am one of them.

    • CC mom says

      C.M. - I appreciate your honesty and respect your opinion. I agree that I'm thankful that, at least for now, we live in a country where we have educational choice for our children. Even though you aren't a huge fan of homeschooling, I'm glad we agree there 🙂

      You shared a lot about your experiences with your children being in public school, and I'm so glad that all worked out well for you and your children! But, there are many things about homeschooling you don't know because you've never been there, or at least you don't appear to be aware of. For instance, many, if not all, of the opportunities you pointed out about public school are also opportunities for homeschooled children. Music lessons, clubs, sports, etc are all things my kids do. Homeschooled children also take AP courses and also have the opportunity to dual enroll in college classes while in high school. Many of these things I know about because I'm proactive - it doesn't take a child being in the public school to find out about them. As a matter of fact, I feel that homeschooled children may have more opportunities. As a family, it's not hard to take 5 or 6 field trips/year - some near and cheap, maybe a couple of them a little more costly. But for a school, that is not as easy because it costs a lot more money to take a few hundred kids vs. a family of five. Also, homeschooled children have more opportunity for socialization among several age levels. I'm not saying that a family can't have a good experience sending their children to public schools, and I personally know Christian teachers - but, while you say you don't think parents should discount a good public education, I also think you need to look at the flip side and not discount a good homeschool education.

      "If you want to homeschool your child and feel God’s calling to do so, by all means follow what the Spirit is leading you to. However, don’t discount a good public education because “public education” is not the “in” thing right now." Homeschooling is hardly the "in" thing, at least not by my definition (since I often still get the look like I have a third eye when my kids mention they are homeschooled). However, even if it is by your or anyone else's definition, most, if not all, of the homeschooling families I know hardly made this decision lightly - and it had nothing to do with whether it was "in" or not. A lot of thought and prayer goes into a decision like that as this is our children we are talking about. I don't think you meant to offend in any way, but I wanted to address that comment because it makes it sound like this is a flippant decision made by parents who either want to do the trendy thing or want to live on the fringe. Hardly. Whether we live in a "good" public school district or not (and that also depends on your definition of "good"), the decision is based solely on one thing - what is best for my children? Is it a public education? Is it a home education? If parents feel the answer is a public education and they are comfortable with their district, that is the choice they will make. Alternatively, if it is a home education, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen - for their children...not for the fringe, not for the trend, not to be different.

      Again, I hope I don't come off as a slam or anything, because it is not. I just don't think you have considered all of the possibilities when it comes to homeschooling and why some families might choose that even if they live in the same school district you do that worked so well for you. What works for you doesn't work for everyone - that's why I don't go around condemning parents who send their children to public school even though homeschooling works best for us. (And I know you weren't condemning) Again, I'm so glad your children turned out great and had all those wonderful opportunities...but they aren't any better off than a lot of grown homeschooled kids that I know and know of. Best wishes!! 🙂

    • Amanda B. says

      First, I must say that I am so thankful for the excellent public school teachers out there (and I know there are many).
      It's important that we recognize that the public school system has a very specific purpose, and that is to make sure that all children, no matter their circumstances, have the opportunity to get an education. Our country is one of the greatest because we provide for this need. However, the public school system was never meant to take the place of a solid home education. I think sometimes non-homeschoolers get things backwards when they think that homeschoolers only homeschool because they find fault with public education. It is as though public school is the first and best choice, and when that fails, we look at homeschooling as a secondary option. While this may be true for some with negative experiences, many parents chose not to participate in public schools because homeschooling was their 1st choice. Sending their children away to be educated with the masses by the state would be the last resort. This is not because of poor teachers or difficult schools, but because parents are capable (as Jennifer so encouragingly expressed). They love and understand their children in a way that no teacher, no matter how well meaning, can. So, don't feel as though all parents who are homeschooling think that public schools and teachers don't measure up (though you must know that, in some cases, they do not). We are simply making the best choice for our families.
      I would also like to add that homeschoolers do have the same opportunities that you mentioned as being a reason to be involved in public schools. Our children take music lessons, participate in clubs, take AP classes, and do well in the college system. My oldest son graduated high school at 16. He could have taken the AP tests, but we found that it was more cost effective to take CLEP exams. He was able to get 18 college credits without taking one college class. My son completed his Associate's degree in one year, and is now (at 17) completing his Bachelor's degree. Before you think that he is an anomaly, let me say that many of our homeschooling friends graduate early, get college degrees early, and go on to find success in their chosen field. Some have the time and support to start businesses (which would be more difficult to do while attending classes in public school). Others join the armed forces without difficulty. Homeschooling does not limit a student.
      Just wanted to clear up some misconceptions you have about homeschooling because others may have them as well. Because you are a teacher, the public school system may have made sense for your family. For my family (and I was a teacher also), I have chosen to homeschool.

  7. says

    Great article and thoughtful responses to the comments. I know (hope!) you probably would have included dads if that was your a big part of your audience.=) I plan on homeschooling our twins even though I also run my own business. I'm not sure how that will look yet, but with an awesome wife we will make it work. I simply do not want to leave their education to chance. While I also hope to instill in them some values along the way (that they likely wouldn't learn in public schools), I simply think I can do a better job. We are also going to start Montessori style learning as soon as possible, as my wife worked at a Montessori school and I love their principles.

    I'm a little less positive about public schools than some. While I attended a good public school in a fairly upscale town (we were not 'upscale' as most residents were, however, and my dad just happened to find a decent rent there), the (negative) results across the vast majority of the country are staggering. Many cities are looking at a 50%+ dropout rate. And even in more rural areas, sometimes the results I've seen are less than reassuring. The constant fight by the establishment against charter schools and vouchers also indicates to me that many in the system don't really have the best interests of children in mind.

    A funny anecdote (though a little sad), and I know anecdotes do not facts make (but they can illustrate symptoms): Back when I was working for at the Dollar General corporate office, I had several very intelligent young women working for me over the years (Between 20-25 years old). At break-time most mornings we would try to find something fun to do. We started doing History 'Jeopardy'. So here we have 2 girls specifically, one who graduated college with a degree in HR and another who didn't attend college back then (though she is now) but was very bright. The VERY FIRST question I asked them, more joking than anything, was History for $100: 'Who won the Revolutionary War? With straight faces (and not kidding), the first answered 'The French' and the 2nd answered 'The North'. You could have knocked me over with a feather.

    Over the next few months we played almost every day, and I did my best to do some teaching as best I could. Some of the things they thought they were taught in school: Pearl Harbor happened in the 1800's, the Civil War occurred in 1650, and no one had ever heard of the Battle of Hastings.

    The thing is, the schools in these towns are supposedly very good (I live in one of the towns where they grew up). Maybe its just me, but there is a baseline set of information that every child should remember from school. No, most of us couldn't remember heavy algebra or chemistry...but seriously...the basic names, dates and events from history were absent from ALL of the young people who worked for me over the decade I was there, while ALL of the more senior adults remembered them regardless of having been out of school for many more years.

    Something has changed between the 70's/80's and now. I'm not sure what it is, but my girls are too valuable to risk putting them into such a hit or miss public school system.

    • Jennifer says

      Hi Toby,
      Yes, of course, Dad's are included!! Thank you for bringing that up!! As my boys are getting older and the work gets more complex (not necessarily harder) my husband works with each of them more than when they at the elementary level.

      Wow, the story about people not knowing who won the Revolutionary War is beyond sad, but typical these days.

  8. susan says

    Thanks so much for this encouragement! My oldest is due to start kindergarten in the fall, and we are really feeling like public school may not be able to provide what we want for him, in many respects. We also don't want to go broke paying for private schools.. we have found one that we love and if we get enough aid he will go there, if not we will try homeschooling (prolly using a cyber program). I am excited about the possibility but also very nervous as I work part time, and my husband and I would have to split to homeschooling responsibilities. But this article gives me hope that we might be able to manage it. Thanks!

  9. Misty says

    Great article - and perfect timing! I am and have been considering homeschooling my boys! We are, at the moment, living temporarily in Canada (Quebec province) and they are in a public school in grades 1 and K. BUT, oldest son was in Kindy in our hometown in the USA. He HATED school.....I did not know any kid who could hate Kindergarten, but he did. I began considering then that homeschooling may be a better option for us. Both of my boys are very kinesthetic / experiential learners and oldest has a formal diagnosis of Severe-Profound dyslexia and Dysgraphia and I suspect at least some level of both with younger son as well.
    So, even a "very good" public school system does not seem to be the best option for them! The district we live in (in the states) is known to be a "very good" school (it is actually the one I went to growing up - though MUCH changed from my time!!!). However, the more I research, the more faults(for us) I find with even a "good" public school.
    We are likely moving back to our hometown in the states this summer and I am hoping/planning/researching/feeling overwhelmed to begin homeschooling our boys for the next school year. Now, I just need to figure out HOW to do it....and to convince my hubby that it is the right step for our family (as it would also mean that I would not be going back to work (even part time) as we had "planned" once boys were in school - though we have been able to live with one income for several years already 🙂
    Anyway, this is exactly the kind of article I need right now!
    Thank you!

  10. says

    Excellent post!
    When I first considered homeschooling, it was with my 4th and last child, and his 1st grade teacher was one of my biggest supporters. It turned out to be the best thing for my son at that time of his life, and we have never looked back. The following year, we pulled our middleschooler out, and then one of our highschoolers (my oldest had graduated by then). Again, it was the best choice for each child, to homeschool instead of continuing with public education.
    We move around a lot and we have public schooled longer than we have homeschooled. For us, homeschooling has so many more benefits over pubic education. That is just how we see it based on our experiences. My kids will happily list all the things they do not miss about going to school.
    Most of my doubts came from other people questioning my choice to homeschool, so I would like to tell anyone considering or new to homeschooling to respectfully ignore the nay-sayers, especially when they are usually parents who have never homeschooled themselves. Instead, form a support group of other homeschooling moms, and friends and family who recognize that you are doing what you consider to be best for your child, and your family. Because you are your child's first and best expert.

  11. Miss Sami says

    Well that's NOT nice Miss Jenifer, telling us we can teach math then putting a math problem on here to prove I'm a human 😉 Terrific piece, I could not agree more though I am a veteran HS mom. One question if you don't mind, would you recommend any child development books for me? Epically any geared for young child diagnosed as exceptionally gifted w/no other add ons (IE twice gifted, no ADHD etc.). Thank you Ma'am, I love reading any good books on these topics.

  12. Valerie says

    I have another option for you as well. My daughter wants her children homeschooled, but her situation wasn't working out for it. So I am homeschooling the kids. Grandparents MIGHT be an option as well. Obviously there are many factors in that, distance, age/health of grandparent and so on, making it a lesser option, but it may be a consideration for some.

  13. Amanda B. says

    This was an excellent post, Jennifer! Thank you for your open letter. I am going to post, tweet, and pin so that all my homeschool friends can enjoy it as much as I did.

  14. farmergranny says

    An interesting post and comments!! Although I now have a MS in Reading and Literacy and 20+ years public school teaching experience, at the time I first home schooled my kids, I was a factory worker with a high school was also illegal in our state to do so. The first child to be home schooled was learning disabled, but highly gifted...the principal said he needed to be spanked into conforming. The "resource" teacher told him he couldn't be a marine biologist because he was in a class for dummies. The next child, also highly gifted, wanted to enter competitions for skateboarding and wanted extra practice time. I worked days in a factory, and on Sunday night we would go over what needed to be accomplished for the week; on Fridays we reviewed what had been learned. Both ended up getting a GED...the learning disabled child had the highest GED score in math and science ever at that time in the state (Nebraska). Both of them are highly successful businessmen...oldest son, you know the one who could never be a marine biologist because he was "dumb"....he and his family with three boys live on a boat in Florida where he is a charter boat captain living his dream. His three sons, all home schooled did attend one year of public school and all tested into the gifted program. They have decided to forgo public schools and are again teaching themselves at home. Next son has transferred his youthful love of rocks and minerals into a highly successful business in Arcata CA, using his knowledge of gems, rocks, and minerals to inform and teach his clientele. My middle son also home schooled his daughters, the oldest just graduated from University of Iowa with a degree in Arabic and Biology. None of my kids has a college degree and still home schooled. I guess my point to all this is to tell parents to not be afraid to school their children according to their consciences. By the way, I became an educator after learning what the "resource teacher" said to my son... I never wanted that to happen to any one else. All the "home schoolers" decided at one time or another to return to school; some stayed in public school while others returned to educating themselves at home.

    As a public school teacher, it breaks my heart to not be able to TEACH my students, but instead comply with the "rules and regulations" and "teaching to the test".

  15. Pam says

    I was a afraid mom to teach my children, but after I read your article I felt so well. I was looking for something like that. THANK YOU so much. Now I am considering homeschooling next year. Last post dated on August 17 tell me that I can do well too.

  16. Tara says

    My husband was home schooled through 4th grade. He looks on that time with fondness and highly regards home schooling. He has often expressed that he would love for me to home school our 4 children. It honestly scares me to death. I have no degree, as we were married when I was 19 (he was 18) and I worked full time while he earned his degree. He is an engineer and I know he would be very supportive. I do worry about supporting my children's need for challenge. My oldest is 11, in 6th grade (she skipped kindergarten), and in all advanced classes, band, and vocal. She has all A's (a 97% in at least 3 of her core subjects). I'm not bragging about scares me to death. I was always in advanced classes and did very well, but I don't want to be the reason my children out on a solid, challenging education. Our town has a strong school system, fabulous band, and great choir program. Would taking her out be a crazy mis-judgement??
    My other children a 7 year old in 1st grade, a 4 year old in Pre-K, and a 2 year old. They are all very social.
    And the most selfish homeschool moms every get time to themselves?? I am a couple of years away from having a couple of hours now and then. It seems so selfish, but will I ever get a break?? I would love feedback!

    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Tara,
      It sounds like you liked school as a child and you feel like your children are happy and healthy in public school, and the only reason you're entertaining the idea of homeschooling is because your husband thinks it's a good idea. Maybe that's not the case, and if it's not I apologize for misunderstanding. I can tell you that you have to want to homeschool. If you feel pushed or coerced then no one will be happy because you, by being a homeshcooling mom, will be the motivator and leader of the school. Also, your children will learn different things from you than they will from public school. So your daughter might not be getting all A's in your homeschool. (As a side note if she is making all A's, she's probably not being challenged enough in school. Few people actually learn by doing everything correct. It just means they already know it. However, I know there is a strong push to achieve that all A's tier in public school.) So you have to be ok with that before you take her out. Then if I had a dime for every time someone asked me about the socialization issue, I'd be rich! Your children will not be in a bubble just because they are homeschooled and will have plenty of socialization (often times too much if you ask me) in other places. As far as socialization goes you might prefer to focus on quality verses quantity. Although I've never noticed a real drop in quantity for children (not just mine) in a homeschool setting, I have noticed that the quality of socialization goes down as children get older in public school. As far as the time alone, I'm not sure what to say about that. It's so different for everyone. When I have writing to do or phone calls to make my children know they need to wait until I'm finished before I can answer questions or talk to them. On the other hand, one of the best memories and feelings I have from my own mother is that she was always there for us no matter what time of day or night, although she did not homeschool. I wanted to give that same sense of security to my children so for better or worse I've never sought out that "time alone". As my boys have gotten older and they are not as needy as they once were it does come naturally that they will work on things independently and I don't have that feeling of needing a break like I might have when they were younger.

  17. Gill Pearson says

    Jennifer I am English and I too home schooled my youngest two children. They were getting very badly bullied at school, and the head teacher refused to accept there was a bullying problem at school. I joined a home schooling group here in Britain called EDUCATION OTHERWISE. The otherwise bit meaning other than state education. I had to write a letter quoting the part of the law that would de-register my children from formal state education and make sure I got a receipt to state the school had received my letter otherwise they send social workers in. I was worried that I would be unable to teach, but the state curriculem taught in schools is not compulsary at home. I had a lot of help from Wendy Plested who at the time was the local E.O. coordinator, a wonderful lady home schooling her own children, who helped me with the subjects I struggled with. I would do it all over again. My son was able to go to horticultural college at a much younger age. To have kids that were happier and relaxed because the bullying was removed was worth everything, and we had fun while learning. Gill Pearson lett

  18. Rebecca says

    Question more than comment; what are thoughts about pulling my son from grade 6 public school? The learning strategies, class sizes and lack of teacher aids are not working for him. I am thinking of pulling him working with him through grade 6,7,&8 then return to highschool. Our highschool offers a lot of practical hands on programs that will be the things he needs going out of school. He wants to be a farmer and inventor 😊

    A friend directed me to your blog. She home schools and is helping me decide if it is the right course of action for my boy.

    Thanks for the honesty of your post. It has helped me answer some of my own questions about my ability to do a good job.


    • Jennifer Osuch says

      Hi Rebecca,
      Gosh, that's a interesting plan. I'm not saying it's bad, but honestly I don't think that's something I would do. Here's why..

      Children, and adults for that matter, are creatures of habit. They also respond to routine. It might take a year or more for a child to adjust to a homeschool environment. So to pull them out and get them used to homeschooling just to turn around and put them back in school is really not something I would consider. I know you are concerned about class size and the attention your child is getting, but I would try to find a way to help him through middle school. Can you spend some time in the his classroom/s or maybe supplement some of what they are teaching in his classes? Maybe you can have regular meetings with his teachers or even try to change his teachers. Is it possible to change schools or send him to a private school for a short time? They do a lot of prepping kids for high school in middle school so if he were homeschooled he would miss that. Of course, I don't know your particular situation, but in general I think going in and out of public school can be stressful to a child. I'm not saying it can't be done, but I would do everything I could to not do that if it were my child.

      If you are open to homeschooling through high school, of course, it would be a different story. You can find homeschool classes for subjects you don't want to teach and still keep a lot of the routine and habits you establish while homeschooling. No one can tell the future so you really might love the time you get to spend with your child, and they may respond to homeschooling in ways you've never dreamed.

      So if it were me and I was sure my child could not remain where they were and the only good option was to homeschool, I would not have a predetermined idea of what the future holds. In your case, maybe he does attend high school, but maybe you'll homeschool him through high school depending where his is in 3 years. In other words, I would go into it open minded with no firm plans, and let your time with him and knowledge of his growth determine your path.

  19. Janetta says

    Hey, cool article, but I thought it a bit harsh to suggest people who have to work outside home and therefore send their children to schools, are only families at weekends...I don't believe that at & family is what you make of it. Not every family can home school. They are not less families for it...sorry, just hit a nerve. But great idea & wonderful to do if right for your family.

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