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Thread: Homeschoolers - Would you share your stories please?

  1. #21
    sisymay is offline Member
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    Hey ranchgirl, I hope it's ok to reply to your message here.
    Schools do not teach gifted children according to their ability. They put all kids in the same box and teach all of them the same.
    I guess I can understand, it would be impossible to teach 20 something kids according to their own style.
    But, that doesn't make it right, it's still wrong.

    It surprises me that the teacher laughed and said she didn't teach the lesson well. The reason is, if the kids don't pass the state tests the school loses money and accredidation. I guess since she's more into the athletics instead of teaching the students she doesn't care.

    I have heard lots of times that schools are not strong with disclipline because of the NCLB law. Part of the law mandates that the school gets more money for the less disclipline problems they have. The way that the gov't knows if there are problems is thru the schools disclipline records.

    The school ignores bullying, troublemakers, etc because they just want more money. THIS is why there is even MORE bullying , fighting and killing in schools.

    Ther reason schools mainly focus on math and reading is because this is what is tested on the state tests. I have heard that some schools are getting rid of ALL other subjects completely!

    In my state, homeschoolers have to learn 5 subjects. But then public school does NOT have to? What is wrong with this picture??

    The kids probably don't memorize the multiplication because teachers have to spend ALL of the class time teaching what is on the state tests so the kids will pass them so the school can get more money.

    Most schools say they don't have enough money for special ed. The law that mandates special ed says that school can not use this for a reason not to provide special ed services.
    And with schools denying special ed services so much (your district seems to be an exception) I dont' see how they can say they dont' have enough money if they are not using money to help the sped kids anyway.

    I'm not saying special ed is more important than gifted. They are both equally important.

    Kids are not learning much of anything except memorizing answers to the state tests. Nothing else matters to the school.

    NCLB *DOES* lower the bar. This has been proven. This is to make the tests easier so the schools can get more money. They churn out illiterate kids not knowing anything, not learning HOW to LEARN. THey will be the future of our country and not know anything.

    I have read reports and stories of how kids graduate and go on to college only to quit because it's too hard for them.

    It's funny how schools don't want homeschoolers to participate with them, but they are in a hurry to take the homeschoolers tax dollars to pay for THEIR education.

    With my experiences of public schools, I would not want my child to have anything to do with any of it. People sometimes homeschool because schools are bad, why do they want their kids going there, even for the extra classes?
    If schools are bad at the basics they will probably be bad at this, too.


    YOu wrote -- The public school system is like a little factory, turning out little robots

    This is exactly what I think! I have always said that! IMO this is communism because it is the gov't telling the kids WHAT to learn. THey will grow up having to have everyone TELL them what to do becuase they will not know for themselves.

    I wish there was SOME way to make all this stuff public. Most parents are in the dark and dont' even know what is happening to their kids.

    I get some negative feelings from people about homeschooling. THey just don't know that school is NOT what it use to be.

    The worst thing of all is, parents are paying the schools to do this to their own children and they dont' even know it!!

  2. #22
    momtogrif is offline Member
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    We've been homeschooling since day 1! But, I've tried many different curriculums only to get burned out or find that my son was getting bored, etc. I'm not a very creative person and I have found T4L to be a great benefit to us because it explains everything so well!
    I have learned so much just from using this website for the past few weeks. One of the reasons we chose to homeschool is because our son has anxiety issues, sensory issues, and he just moves at a different pace than others his age. He seems to take a while to process information, etc. So, when I found this website I was ecstatic. We could redo lessons that he struggled with or we could print worksheets to help review, etc. I love homeschooling and so does our son. He's lucky, though, that he's never had to deal with the whole IEP process and school system in general!
    Bonnie

  3. #23
    SahmIam is offline Senior Member
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    We are about to become accidental homeschoolers.

    Growing up, I knew that my cousins halfway across the country were all homeschooled. I have a friend who homeschools her son. But those moms hold masters degrees and were made for teaching. I am not one of them. I am a mom, a stay at home mom, but I love my children's school and feel that they are getting a fantastic education where they're at.

    I am also a military wife and support my husband's necessity to ping-pong back and forth between coasts twice a decade. This leaves us in a sticky situation because the home we purchased when the children were babies is not in a good school district. They are enthusiastic learners and I can't ruin their perception of school when I know there's a better option. We looked into local private and Montessori schools, but they aren't a good match for us. That leaves homeschooling.

    I can honestly say, I am excited --thrilled-- to be homeschooling. I love the fact that there are programs like T4L that allow my children to learn their core curriculum in a fun and timely manner. After comparing T4L's curriculum with my state's requirements, I am confident that my children are right on track for when we move and they have the option to attend public school once again. They can work at their level, whether it is a bit behind or ahead of where their classmates would be in a traditional classroom setting. There is plenty of time left in our day for exploring other subjects (music, art, foreign languages, typing) and the fact that it's relatively inexpensive (even for multiple children) leaves plenty of money in the bank for field trips and whatever else we want to pursue.

    Best of all, I get to enjoy my children growing up one day at a time!
    Melissa.

  4. #24
    chasiety is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Hello everyone,

    I am the mother of three boys that are all homeschooled. The grades and ages are 8 and in 3rd grade, 6 in 1st grade, and 4 in K5. We just started using T4L and everyone loves it. This is my third year of homeschooling and every year seems harder yet more rewarding than the last.
    Our oldest son has some learning challenges and our middle son has ADHD, so our school days can get hectic. Our first grader loves the bright colorful activities and I wonder if he even realizes this is school work.
    I am looking forward to using this program for the school year and during the summer months as well.

    Chasiety
    AL

  5. #25
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    Stephanie739 is offline Senior Member
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    My 11 year old daughter is being homeschooled for the first time this year, and we love T4L. We use it as a core curriculum.

    Tori is being homeschooled because she was so bored of going to school. There wasnt any excitement about learning, and she is smart. School used to be fun for her, and it still is for her sister (7) and brother (3) in p.t. preschool.

    Tori's last year of public school was depressing...drudgery to her. She had friends, was on honor roll, and was school president, but she was still miserable. I didn't want her to become to burned out to learn, and that is what was happening in public school. I guessed middle school would be worse.

    We had discussed homeschooling before, and honestly, being a single mom, I didnt know if I could do it. When a friend in one of my online classes (yes, Im a student too) mentioned T4L, I checked into it and believed right away this would be the way for us.

    I have only praise for T4L, and Tori is doing beautifully. I am thrilled when I ocassionally get to see that little spark for learning she used to have when she was much younger.

    I don't have immediate plans to pull my other children out of public school right now. They are doing well, have fun, and my 2nd grader was recently chosen to be the school's treasurer; however, I know if the time comes, T4L will be the curriculum for them too.
    ~Stephanie

    mom to:
    Tori (13)
    Meghan (9)
    Andy (5)

  6. #26
    jennm2203 is offline Member Newbie
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    Our daughter who is 10 loves homeschool and here is how it all started.

    From the first day of K I knew public school was possibly not for us (who would have thought since I was both a Catholic school girl and a public school girl) Her K teacher had a mix master of a room, nothing organized, just a big mess like Tornado alley. There was no order, she would have family members come in all the time and bring her food and would leave. So I began the long fight with the school. They refused to let us switch classes and the teacher was in denial. I learned the teachers will be defended by the school and there was no one to back me up as a parent. Our daughter was eventually passed through to grade 1 but the damage was done. Our daughter learned that in short, school sucks, and no one was there to help or protect her, not exactly what I wanted.

    Fast forward, 1,2 and 3rd grades were all the same, meetings, phone calls, emails and more meetings, the teachers refused any one on one time and were only teaching for the F-CAT. She barely passed, but did pass stating she needed remediation. (DUH!) Now bare in mind through these 4 years of school I worked a full time job, took care of the house, my hubby and sat and did homework and extra work and re-did school papers per the teachers every single night even on weekends! Some nights it was form 2:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. constant work to show we were trying, that I cared and to do what the teacher required or us. I wanted so bad for our daughter to succeed, but she wasn't, emotionally we were all broken. 3rd grade was bad too,weekly meetings with the teacher, counselor, vice and head principle and the super of schools and no one would help us! I wrote until I couldn't write, called and everything, the teacher got mad stating she felt that I was saying she did not care, trying to push it all back on me. I had it!

    The last year, 4th grade, the breaking point. I loved the teacher at first. She was young, was her first year teaching and I thought great someone who is not stuck in her ways. Well she got pregnant and then was inconsistent and during surprise school visits all the kids were doing was coloring. Our daughter took advantage and would not bring home her work and would not turn it is, she just gave up, as did I.

    They put her in Sylvan as per the state and what was funded to her, she required over 100 hours of tutoring, but the state would not give us that, so she got 2 months of about 36 hours or so, I fought and convinced them and the state to send her back again, same thing but no improvement. They then gave her in school tutoring which was a joke. Coloring pictures of popcorn and counting them is not math for a 4th grader! I was so done it was not funny. We enjoyed the holidays by allowing her to slack off and just be a warm body while I gathered what we needed. In Feb. we pulled her out and have not looked back.

    It has been the hardest yet best thing we have ever done. Our daughter is so much happier and pleasant, positive and confident.

  7. #27
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    aandwsmom is offline Senior Member
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    We are accidental and not accidental.
    We started Oct. 2008 after we made the decision to pull my 11 yr. old from 6th grade aka Middle School.
    My mother is a retired schoolteacher, Hubby and myself were raised thru the PS system and did great. My son's attended PS thru 5th grade and while I was happy with it, it wasn't ALL I wanted for them. I feel there was a lot that they missed. I wanted to homeschool from K on, but Hubby was against it and was stuck in the whole 70's/80's homeschool tv/movie scenario with closeted children who grow-up to be odd, etc. I couldn't change his attitude so I let it go. When we knew Middle School was approaching, I started again pushing for it but still no luck.
    Well my son is VERY tall for his age, has ADHD, has a temper and doesn't like change and has a Math block. 5th grade did NOT prepare him for Middle School, constant changing of classes, being on time, etc. He lasted 5 weeks, was late for classes, was failing Math with a 42% and generally miserable. He was surly at home, grumpy to all of us, in general had a horrid attitude. We tried to work with the Math teacher to get him help, her idea of help was to put him in 2.5 hrs a day of Tutoring at the school done by High-Schoolers. Ummm, the child is in school ALL day and you want him to stay almost 3 more hours to tackle an area he has issues with, but without any help from you?!! Then he has to come home and have another 2 hrs of homework, which he struggles with, etc. No thanks!
    Hubby and I talked and gave a deadline of the month of Oct. Well, my son turned in a Math project that was VERY hard and we had helped him and felt he did a good job. He brought it home and had received a D on it. WHAT?! It was a wierd problem to begin with, extremely hard for adults not to mention 3rd week of school for 6th graders.
    Here it is: 1000 students and 1000 lockers. Student 1 opens all odd lockers, Student 2 opens even lockers, Student 3 closes every 3rd locker......
    He had to show his work for 1000 lockers and 1000 students, explain how he got there and why.....
    Hubby said he was done, went to school with my son that day and pulled him out. The school didn't care, didn't express any emotion, nothing. My son hadn't made any friends, didn't want to say goodbye or anything.
    Our "plan" was to Homeschool him for 6th grade, get him up to speed and put him back in PS close by our house(other one was a better school but farther away) for 7th grade.
    2 days later, my son was a changed kid! He smiled, he was happy, he was back to being himself!! It was AWESOME! That was on a Thursday!
    Monday, I signed us up for T4L and we started practicing, checking things out! We both loved it, even though he thought some stuff was dorky at first. He loved that he was done with work within a few hours, no homework, he could relax.
    He has been doing T4L for 1 month now, he has an 85% overall average and 86% average for Math. He is retaining things, he understands and even though he gets frustrated with Math sometimes.... he still does really well on quizzes! He is doing so well, that Hubby is considering that we do this permanently and next year include my younger son(he is in PS for 5th grade this year). Which would be great, as my younger son is gifted but the school has really done nothing for him in this area. He is not challenged, nor given anything extra.
    We are flying by the seat of our pants right now and using T4L only. We are planning on adding some extras as we go along and if we do this permanently, will definitely expand as others have.
    I would be REALLY thrilled if T4L would expand into High School area!!! Because we are already considering this as a long-term solution we are checking into High School homeschooling options!!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider expanding T4L!!!

  8. #28
    The Thompson Terrarium is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Hi everyone - I'm new to the forum and this is our first year homeschooling. We're not really accidental hs'ers, it just took us a while to realize that our first instinct to hs (back when our oldest was a baby) was right! So, maybe "Delayed HS'ers" is a more appropriate category for us, lol.

    We have three kids - Isaac, 8 yrs; Will, 6 yrs; and Audrey, 4 yrs. So their "grades" are, respectively, 3rd, 1st and PreK/K. Though, I'm already starting to shy away from keeping them on and using just one grade level, necessarily. Isaac is having to relearn some things from 2nd grade, as it's becoming evident that they weren't covered in depth enough or he was rushed through it to get a certain grade on a test - not a thorough understanding of some math/science concepts, etc. Will is ASD, but beyond his age level in some areas, so he does some 2nd and 3rd grade level things. And Audrey - well - we all know what they say about girls "being smarter" or learning/school being easier for them. In her case, it just might be true. I don't think she's necessarily smarter, just that since she's the youngest she has a lot going on around her to absorb. Learning-through-osmosis is definitely occurring with her, I believe. I was doing sight words with Will the other day and Audrey began reading the words before I could. I haven't done any real work with her on reading yet, other than knowing the alphabet and the sounds each letter makes. She just started souding words out and before we knew it started reading the words on her own. I was floored, amazed and so very proud. It was one of those moments when you realize this HS thing is working!

    I'll try to give a brief synopsis of how we finally came to homeschool our family. But being brief is something I'm not very good at, so please forgive me if I ramble on.

    Isaac began preschool at 3 1/2. We sent him to a great little day-school with an excellent, rich program - lots of arts, spanish and computer work. Awesome staff, very loving. We loved it. Will started there just before he turned 4, but he bit his teacher on the 3rd day and we realized after a really rough week or so that he was just not ready for the "school" thing, at least not away from home. So I kept him home and worked with him on my own. Up until this time, we had been having some testing done with Will and at 2 1/2 he was diagnosed with Austim Spectrum Disorder. My in-laws believed I just "let him watch too much tv and he would grow out of it if his mother would turn off the tv". The doctors and other professionals, though, believed differently. They recommended behavioral therapy for him, which we did 3 times a week for almost 2 yrs, before we tried preschool. It didn't seem to change the fact that over-stimulation is the trigger for Will and he would act out by throwing, hitting, rocking, crying, etc. with the final straw of biting his teacher. So we knew early on that traditional school was going to be a struggle for him.

    Fast forward to Isaac's 1st grade year, the same year we tried preschool with Will. We decided to try the public school in our community. Isaac was so excited about being a first grader, even loved wearing a uniform because he thought of it as dressing up, like for church, since we live in the country and tend to be in our "work clothes" (clothes that are already stained and can get dirty) most of the time around here. He was just so proud to be starting school and viewed it as an adventure. After the first week, his teacher started calling me and sending notes home, along with mounds of homework. "Isaac won't sit still in his seat." "Isaac doesn't pay attention." "He drums on his desk with his pencil." "He can't answer questions I ask him." "I think you may need to have him tested for ADD/ADHD." When I tried to schedule a conference with her, she made herself very unavailable. Couldn't meet me after school, she lived an hour away and had to get home. Didn't want me bringing the younger siblings to the meeting with me, as we wouldn't be able to focus, etc., etc, excuse, excuse. I contacted the principal and asked if SHE could schedule a conference and be present. Her reply - "I'm not in the classroom with your child so I don't know what good it would do to have me there. I have too much on my plate to do that." Ummmmmm - I thought that was part of her job. Anyway - one week after that, after sitting in the car line for almost an hour to pick Isaac up, I see him sitting on the bench crying. When he saw our car, he cried even harder as he walked/ran to it. He got in and told me that he hadn't been allowed to eat lunch. Because of their policy of the kids emptying their backpacks first thing in the morning (which Isaac forgot to do) he wasn't allowed to get his lunch out of his bag at lunch time. The teacher wouldn't do it because it was against policy for them to go into the kids bags. It also was against policy for staff to give children any of their food. The teacher told my 6 yr old boy all of these things and then proceeded to let him sit at a table full of other kids eating and give him NOTHING. With Isaac stuffing his face with his lunch, at this point in the car, I told him to gather his food, bring it with him and with a baby on my hip, holding my 4 yr old's hand, we marched in the front door and I asked to speak with the principal, asst. principal, anyone. The secretary told me none of them were available. I told her what happened and her jaw dropped. I said I wanted to withdraw my son right then. Technically I wasn't supposed to withdraw him without notifying the principal, but she went ahead and gave me all the paper work, I returned it the next day and THEN the principal wanted to speak with me - in private. I stood right there at the front desk, in front of other parents and students and staff and stated the reason I was withdrawing him - no communication with teacher and/or principal, etc. and mostly because they allowed a 6 yr old child to go without food for an entire school day because of "policy" . The principal turned around and went into her office without a word. I mean, really - what could she have possibly retorted?? So that was our horrible, insane PS experience.
    And our county, supposedly, has one of the "best" school systems in the state. Pfffffttttt.

    I found The Organic School which is based on the philosophy of Marietta Johnson. The school and philosophy was great but the director there was kind of flighty and had this "love is all you need" mindset, more emphasis on the fun and hardly any on the learning. They don't do "tests" but even if a teacher wanted to give a student an assesment to see what their needs were in any given subject, if the director got wind of it, she would fire them. It was just too extreme for me. To the point of the older students running the school, not the staff. So we finished out the year there, with both of my boys, and then went on to a christian school.

    The christian school was new, but full of sweet, well-meaning people. I was voted their first PTO president, though I knew nothing about all of that, lol. It was a struggle to get parents involved and I ended up doing most of the work myself, but it allowed me to be at the school a lot, help a ton, and be very involved. We all really liked it, mostly. The problems there were: Isaac's teacher was a veteran - 30 yrs teaching. She was short tempered and burned out, I think. She had "high expectations", which translated into tons and tons and tons of meaningless worksheets, book reports, 3 hrs of homework a night, etc. No real meat to any one subject. Cover the basics, get the grade. When Isaac wasn't making the grades she felt he should, she'd take me aside and tell me how worried she was.

    Will's teacher was a first year teacher who hadn't finished school herself, therefore no degree. Not a biggie to me, at first. Then I started seeing things more clearly as I spent time at the school. Will was bored. Everyone was expected to be on the same level, do the same things, learn the same way. Both in Isaac's class and Will's. There was frustration with my children (and me) from both of their teachers and the staff, as well. My kids weren't aren't trouble makers, they just learned differently and were bored with the "everyone's the same" thing. So was I. Because they weren't the same as every other kid in the school, they were treated differently, but not in a good way. They were treated inferior, as an annoyance. They asked for "assistance" with Will in the classroom. So I went to the Dept. of Education, which had provided his therapy a few years back. They said they didn't have the staff to devote to him because he is such a high-functioning ASD kid. In other words, he's too normal to qualify for any help through the state/county, but enough of a problem for teachers for them to want "help" with him. If he'd been in PS they said they would NOT have put him in special ed classes, even with his diagnosis of ASD, because he would come out of that program with more problems than he ever had to begin with. The school was not happy with that.

    The last straw was February '08. The school called us in for a conference with both the boys' teachers. Isaac's teacher was concerend because he wasn't "fast enough" with his math skills and hated reading. Also - it was beyond her why he hadn't mentioned his birthday to her and why I didn't bring a cake to the class to celebrate it. ????? His bday fell on a weekend and we had a party which most of his classmates attened. Whatever. Will's teacher just "didn't know what to do with him" when he was bored. I asked if he could be given more challenging work. Their response was no, because that would be treating him special and different from the other kids and they didn't think that's what he needed.

    So we decided to finish out the year and struggle through. During the summer we made the choice to homeschool and have since dealt with all the newness of it and are learning more each day. We're finally getting a comfortable routine going and I at least know that I'm learning more about each of my kids' learning styles and am figuring out how to adapt to each of them. And I'm sure that they're really, truly learning and not just blazing through concepts to get a satisfactory grade. I'm learning how to teach them skills and how to learn on their own. There are kinks every day. Curveballs come at me from my in-laws on a regular basis, too, as they are against us hs'ing and are just waiting for something to happen that makes us unable to. But we're trudging through and finding our way regardless. HAPPILY. The five of us are growing closer every day. That makes all the difference in the world.

    See.....told 'ya I'd ramble on. And on. And on.
    Thanks!!

    Jennifer

  9. #29
    drgnstrm's Avatar
    drgnstrm is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Homeschoolers - Would you share your stories please?

    I knew about homeschool but was under the impression that educating your own child could be the wrong way to go. I grew up with 2 children who were homeschooled until high school, when they were put into ps they had troubles keeping up. The son couldn't read very well and the daughter had problems with the most basic math. I helped to tutor her through her math classes. I also didn't realize I was partly homeschooled, I missed half of my school year due to medical issues and basically taught myself how to do the work. So when my son was having problems in ps I started researching it to see what was available to me.

    My son has adhd and has the emotional issues that come with it. They school told me they understood and could handle it. Instead after a couple of months, they demanded that he be heavily medicated, they isolated him from the other children for PE and recess. He ate lunch in the principal's office and I was called in for meetings every week to every other week. The counselor admitted she didn't know how to deal with his emoptional issues. His teacher didn't know how to deal with his squirming and emotional outbursts. No one was helping him to deal with the bulliness he was getting due to his adhd. My loving, fun, eager to learn child became withdrawn, lonely, and felt like a freak (as he would tell me). At the end of kindergarten the teacher made him feel more like a freak when she told him he would not be moving on to 1st grade since he could not hold a pencil correctly. (He was doing well on all the testings but held a pencil differently) I had a meeting with her and informed her she would not be holding him back for that. He will be fine, when she insisted that this could be a problem for him in school I decided to share with her my story. I picked up a pencil and wrote my name, he holds a pencil like I do, I told her that I had a 3.85 gpa in high school and a 3.75 in college and feel if I could grow up and be educated holding a pencil differently then so can he. I then informed he is moving up tot he next grade, and I will fight it if she wants to persist.

    Then in the 1st grade (where I was hoping the teacher would be better) ended up with the same problems. By December I started researching homeschooling and talking to my husband about it. (We have been married at that time for 2 years, we had 1 child together, 4 sons from his previous marriage, and my son from a previous relationship all living under one roof) so part of his emotional issues was dealing with a new huge family, we tried to explain this to them but they were
    The last straw came at the end of Feb when a girl stabbed him with a pencil, it went into the skin. Apparently he wanted the black crayon and reached across her for it, this is what the teacher told me. I asked her what was going to happen to the little girl, I was she told me to calm down that pencils are made with graphite not lead....I said yes I know and repeated my question. She told me they spoke to her and it wont happen again but that they feel no punishment was needed because he provoked her by not asking.. ok I told her when ds pushed a kid down for yelling at him they sent ds home and was threatened with a punishment, and she gets a lecture for stabbing. That was it, I began to pull him out to hs him.

    The fun came when they called me in for another meeting to discuss this new issue of me homeschooling him. I was ready, they brought up his socializing needs, I told him I felt stabbing a pencil into his arm was more socializing then he needed, I also brought up the fact that he was denied recess and freetime at lunch, that he was not allowed to do PE, so remind me again about his socializing needs. I think I can do better then that. Then they brought up material quality, they were using a science book 8 years old, I told them with the internet and the resources availbale I could give him a better education and more up to date one at that. Finally I got up and let them know he was my child and that I will do what is best for him not for their pocket books. I took him and we never went back, the funny thing is the school adminstration representative at the meeting told me later that she agreed with me, that hsing would be better for him, wish she would have said something in that meeting. Oh well.

    My 2 older stepsons also asked to be hsed (issues of falling behind, teasing and being bullied or fighting alot) and then my youngest stepson also wanted to be hsed. I ended up hsing 4 for my 1st year, dd was 2 and we did some preschool, so I guess 5. one stepson had no issues withthe public school and ended up graduated from there. the youngest stepson went back for high school, and now I am currently hsing my son and daughter.

    Happy homeschooling Dayna
    Happy Homeschooling Dayna

  10. #30
    Stephanie739's Avatar
    Stephanie739 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Homeschoolers - Would you share your stories please?

    Thanks for sharing Dayna. I'm glad you put your foot down.
    ~Stephanie

    mom to:
    Tori (13)
    Meghan (9)
    Andy (5)

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