I am going to homeschool and here is why...

So.  I have to vent off to somewhere where no one knows my name because I just have to get these feeling/words out.

Let me start off that I am a part-time 4k teacher (3 mornings a week) at a private school.  I love my job.  I always wanted to work at this school.  I also wanted my children to attend this school because I would literally have panic attacks thinking that I may have to send them to public school.  So I got my dream job and could afford to send my kindergartener to this school.  Everything was wonderful her kindergarten year went so well and she made a lot of friends and did extremely well academically.  I enrolled my 3 yr old in the daycare program one day a week to give my husband a break from two kids at home in the morning to just one (our baby).  LOVED the daycare as well.

Fast forward to this new school year.  I had so issues with the other 4k teacher at this school (her teaching method with 3.5 and 4 yr olds is not what I feel is developmentally appropriate and her tone of voice with the children is always on the harsh side - she is sarcastic as am I, but one has to watch the type of sarcasm you use with children).  My three year old was to be in her class NEXT year.  I started having second thoughts to sending her to that teacher since #1 - I know exactly how she teaches and as a educate parent, I am not sure I want to pay $$ for my daughter to be in her class #2 - my daughter tends to be a go-go-go kid, always on the move and hasn't responded well to my 'teacher-directed' approach to helping her learn things at home, so I worried about how she would do sitting for MANY teacher directed lessons in a short 3 hr morning classtime. #3 - my daughter wouldn't be in my classroom where, I am sorry to say, but I think where all 4k kids should be in comparison to the other classroom.  So my husband had been talking about not sending our 3 yr old until she was old enough for kindergarten.


My older daughter is now enrolled in the school as a first grader.  Over the summer we moved into a new home and it has been an adjustment as we have done renovations and all that stuff.  I didn't get to work with her nearly as much as I would have if we wouldn't have moved.  I was confident in her going into the first grade because I had asked her teacher toward the end of the school year where she would like her to be in reading and she said as long as she is doing well at her AR in kindergarten and knows her sight words and can sound things out as well as a basic comprehension then she will do just fine.  That is where my daughter was and maintained over the summer.  This year had been going well, I would sit down for awhile and do her sight words and her reading with her at nights about 3-4 times a week... never got any information that she was behind or anything.  Until last Friday when I went to pick her up from school and her teacher (among the children waiting to be picked up along with my other smaller children running around) says to me that I will see a white sheet in her folder about her getting extra help with her reading.  I was a little caught of guard, but automatically thought that this meant she was a bit behind and would be getting some help from the aids that we have at the school.  To be fair, I probably didn't hear her all the way or correctly, but again, it was after school with children running around!  I got home and looked in her folder and saw that it was simply some help for her, but that HER TEACHER HAD ENROLLED MY DAUGHTER IN TITLE 1 WITHOUT MY KNOWLEDGE.  Title 1 for anyone that doesn't know it is  a government funded program that gives help to 'disadvantaged' children in both public and private schools.  I never received a phone call or an email or a request for a meeting with the teacher about my daughter's reading ability.  I never received test scores or information about how much the teacher had worked with her on her reading.  I never received paperwork about any request for her to be enrolled in this program.  Nothing.  Only the paperwork stating she was enrolled and some random generic reason why they thought she needed this.  I was pretty much in shock and then I got upset for reasons written above.  I work for a school that tests kids, measures their ability in whatever way they do, and refer and give names to the public school system to enroll the children in government programs for disadvantaged kids (even if these kids really aren't that disadvantaged).  After talking with my husband I sent and email to her teacher about my issue with me not knowing anything about this until I got this paper and that I am not completely AGAINST my daughter being in the program, but me and her mother and as an educator I would like to be given the chance to work with her on her reading and reach some goals set by her teacher and myself to bring her skill up and maintain it... IF that doesn't work then I would be fine with her being enrolled.  I did talk with her teacher at a mutal meeting we had at school and she was somewhat receptive to my email, however she told me when she tested my daughter she scored an 'A' which is kindergarten level and that she would like to see kids "at this point" at more a 'B' or 'C'.... which confuses me.  My daughter has been with her for less than a month - shouldn't she still sort of be at a kindergarten level (or did you not let me know you wanted her higher when I asked you at the end of the year?) and also, how much time has she spent with my child in a reading environment to see where she is really at or did she just go right into testing and labeling my child?  My husband and I will be having a meeting with her in the near future about this issue.


So it gave me the one last push I needed to homeschool.  My amazing neighbor homeschools and her children are so well-rounded and her youngest is close in age with my oldest.  There is a good number of homeschooled children in my small community - there are about 100.  I know I would have a good support system and social community for myself and my children.  My husband is 100% on board and will help teach the kids while I am at work (yes I will continue to teach at least for this year and the next).  I think that this last thing with my daughter and her reading and how the school that I thought was something is turning out to be unfortunately, just like any school system.  My honest opinion is that they are passing the kids off to someone else instead of taking the time to teach the children like they are supposed to.  I am not a fan or referral unless every other option has been exhausted and it is an obvious program that will help the child reach his or her goals.


I am looking into actually pulling my daughter out of school after Christmas break as this will give me time to prepare for her to be homeschooled and allow me the time to figure out how this will all be with me pulling my child from the school in which I teach.  Homeschooling has more to do with it than this isolated (but important) event of her reading.  We had been thinking about it for sometime and allows us to save the money that went to her tuition, gives us more time together as a family (my husband has a crazy schedule) and keeps my kiddos with me and learning from me as both their mother and a professional educator.  I just am unsure how to break the news to the school without it looking negative as I teach there, but am pulling my child in the middle of the year to be homeschooled.  I believe in the school, I think it is an amazing place for children to learn, afterall I teach there, but being at home is what is best for my kids.


I would love to read and comments/opinions and would love some sites to look at to help me as a prepare to do this!


Thank you!

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Re: I am going to homeschool and here is why...

  • It sounds like you've been under quite a bit of stress as a result of this, and I don't blame you! I would be very upset if that happened to my daughter too. 

    I think that having your formal training as an educator will be a wonderful asset to homeschooling your children.  Letting your daughter stay enrolled until after Christmas is probably a wise move. I'd use that time to start thinking about how you'd like to do structure things once she's learning at home.  Would you prefer to order a curriculum and supplement as needed? Would you like to create your own curriculum and piece different things together? It can be very overwhelming at first, but you'll figure it out with time.  There are tons of books and opinions on different methods, etc., but honestly just go with your gut and find something that works for you and your family.  It won't be perfect from the start.  It may never be!  It'll evolve over time though, and eventually you'll get into a groove.  A book that I read and found useful/encouraging was Lisa Welchel's "So You're Thinking about Homeschooling".  It was less a "how-to" and more just a good read about real-life familes that homeschool and what works for them.  Reading it with my husband helped us get a better idea of what it would be like to homeschool, and gave us great ideas for things we'd like to try with our kids.

    It sounds like your neighbor will be a wonderful resource as well.  I would ask her as many questions as you can think of and turn to her when you need support. Forums like these are great resources as well. 

    As far as having to pull her out of the school that you're currently teaching at, I can see why you'd be a bit nervous.  Yet at the end of the day you have to remind yourself you're doing what's best for your daughter and your family.  I probably wouldn't start pointing any fingers as to why you're taking your daughter out specifically, but just keep it very general and say that you think that's what's best for her.  I'm sure things will be a bit awkward for a while, but it'll pass with time I'm sure. 

    Congratulations on your decision to homeschool.  Hopefully it's a journey that you and your entire family find to be a rewarding one.  Best of luck to you.

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  • I read the first half only but wanted to say that title 1 is not only for poor kids. Title 1 can be used for all kids in tr district that receives it and it is used to find remedial reading in many many districts.

    If you want to homeschool that is great but it seems part of your reasoning is a reaction to being insulted so if that is the case I would work out your current issues and go from there.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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  • I read the first half only but wanted to say that title 1 is not only for poor kids. Title 1 can be used for all kids in tr district that receives it and it is used to find remedial reading in many many districts. If you want to homeschool that is great but it seems part of your reasoning is a reaction to being insulted so if that is the case I would work out your current issues and go from there.
    I won't disagree that Title 1 funds are being used for children who don't fit the need, but the original intent was for those funds to go toward disadvantaged children.  That's our government hard at work, wasting tax dollars on what they weren't intended to be used for.  But, I digress...

    I think her issue isn't a reaction to feeling insulted, but rather with the fact that no one approached her to talk about the reading issue before they suggested throwing her into a government program for remediation.  OP is right that the teacher should have first approached her about what she can be doing at home to help her daughter before Title 1 ever was brought up.  There are about a million steps that could have been taken between the teacher seeing her daughter was a little behind and the teacher deciding to enroll her daughter in a program without ever bringing up the reason why in the months prior.

    OP, it sounds like you have been on the fence about this issue for a while and this was just the straw that broke the camel's back.  PP gave you some great advice on where to start.  You and your DH just need to sit down and discuss a plan (as a teacher, you already know how to plan curriculum and structure a classroom, so this will be easy for you).  Do you want a religious or secular homeschool?  What learning method do you want to use - Charlotte Mason, Reggio, Montessori, etc.?  What type of learner is your child - visual, kinesthetic, etc.?  Where do you want to school?  When - year-round, part-time, full days, etc.?  Who will do the teaching?

    The next step is to look into your state laws.  What are the requirements?  In some states you have to provide documentation that you are teaching certain subjects and in others you have more freedom to teach whatever you want.  In some you are required to do yearly assessments.  In some you have to keep attendance and grades.  Make sure that the curriculum you choose and the methods you employ will satisfy your state requirements.

    If you can answer some of these questions, come back to us and let us know what you decide and we can give you some more specific resources.  Good luck!
  • I just wanted to add that some know I am not a homeschooler but I have been reading this board partially out of curiosity and partially because of things I am not happy about in our public school and I could not afford a good private school. I don't want it to seem like I might be trying to give people a hard time. I just wanted to offer a different perspective.

    And I do agree that she should not have gotten to this point before a parent was notified. I would also strongly suggest talking to the Kindergarten teacher to see where she thought the child was at the end of the her because I had a friend in a similar situation where K teacher said slightly above average, PMAP testing said slightly above an 1st grade teacher made a huge stink and wanted him enrolled in the same program.

    Whatever is decided I wish you good luck.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • Thank you everyone! 

    My issue with Title 1 was not that she "has" to be in it or qualifies based on what her teacher thinks her reading level is, but more that the communication was lacking in a drastic way.  If my daughter needs a program like Title 1 I am fine with that, but I want to exhaust all other options INCLUDING me working with her at home.  And the word disadvantaged can mean a wide variety of things, and I never said that it was about being poor.  I am an educator and money (however, yes it can be a factor) does NOT determine how a child can and will learn.


    I plan to use the same sort of language and one of the posters used - that this is what is best for our child and even more it is what is best for our family.  I don't have a problem with homeschooling and then teaching part-time, my worry is how it may or may not reflect on the school and myself as a teacher.  If you understand that... I don't want my decision to homeschool to send some sort of message that the school "isn't good enough".  It is a wonderful place, it is just that for us we are in the position that we can homeschool and we want to!!!  The whole reading thing with my older daughter is something that is fixable with good communication and would be merely a road bump in her education and one that the school can learn from.  I am 'that' sort of parent, but I am not THAT bad, believe me if this happened to some of my friends' kids they would be furious.  I get it.  I get how it happened, but it needs to be remedied to happen in a better way WITH parent involvement.


    I live in WI and from what I learned form my neighbor it seems our state is pretty nice for homeschooling parents (yay!) and she is giving me some of her curriculum to look at and use for the first year as something to go with until I figure out how this will all work.  I am so grateful to her and to this message board!  I have a wonderful husband and he is willing to do a lesson with both our girls in the morning while I am at work - I think we will plan it to be something along the lines that he has strength in and enjoys with the girls just in our regular lives.  I am pretty individualized as a teacher, so I am optimistic about this all.


    Are their other boards I can frequent that has more people on it and is as nice as this one?

    What do your days/weeks/months look like as a homeschooling family?

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  • I would be very pissed if I were in your situation. I had a hard time pulling DD from preschool because it was so wonderful, but  I never ever regretted it. It's a crazy life, but I LOVE it :)


  • I occasionally lurk, and thought I'd offer a different prospective on Title I. In 2nd grade, I was identified as needing extra reading help under Title I. If you had looked at our family, you'd never have come up with "disadvantaged" - upper middle class, my parents were a CPA and a teacher, I was in our school's gifted program because my IQ was over 140, top 10 public school district in the state, etc. But despite all of that, I was struggling to keep up with my class in reading and it was a good decision by the district. Now, I agree that a note home wasn't the best way to communicate that she was going to get extra help, but it's not a bad thing that she is. It's not for disadvantaged students exactly (though that's the group most often helped), but rather those at risk of falling behind their grade level. After four years in title I, I was mainstreamed and was off and running. Fast forward ten years, I graduated 8th in my class and went to an Ivy League college.

    My mom had talked to me about it since, and she hated it for a lot of reasons, including that she was a teacher and she felt like she failed. But, really, she didn't. She didn't work through lessons with me everyday; she didn't have a peer group to benchmark me against... She couldn't have known.



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