Homeschooling Dropout

Everywhere I turn, I am reminded it is Back to School time, for educators, students, and parents alike.

I do not have particularly fond memories of my school years.  Being a bookworm whose goal was to stay out of trouble, I quickly became known as the teacher’s pet. Plenty of times, I was ostracized by my peers.

When running for student government, I was told, “I’m running against you just so you lose, and I win.”  I was also informed by someone I considered a friend, “I can be your friend when we walk to school, but I can’t be seen being your friend at school.  I’m sure you understand?”  I understood perfectly well – those people were not my friends.  It also made me delve deeper into my books, which provided me with an outlet.

Becoming a parent, I have begun to dread my children entering school.  Memories, combined with certain curricula and policies, and an educational climate increasingly focused more on testing rote memorization versus teaching critical thinking skills, I have become skeptical about the quality of education my children will receive.  Adding to those concerns is the distinct likelihood my children will change schools every two years, being challenged in some districts, and not challenged in others.

For all these reasons, I have strongly considered homeschooling.  In the home environment, I can oversee my children’s curriculum, ensuring the expectations to perform to their standards never waivered or faltered.  I have learned how the semantics of homeschooling have changed from when I was a kid – co-ops now assist in providing support if the parent lacks a particular talent, and provides regular social interaction with same aged peers.  Sports leagues allow for homeschooling teams, and even some progressive public school districts allow homeschooled children to compete in the school system sports.

My oldest misses the cut-off for school by 12 days.  So, he will be six when he starts kindergarten.  Knowing this, I decided to start challenging him with preschool during our week.  Blogs and groups to which I belong made me think, while difficult, it would be manageable. Armed with high hopes, I started homeschooling about a week after our local schools started their year.  I expected good days and bad days, and had grand images of happy child, happy mom sitting together, sharing smiles and creative memories.

Random picture after Googling “homeschooling is great picture”
A month in, I have decided I am a homeschooling dropout.  The bad days outweigh the good ten to one; there are no happy smiles, aside from the giggles of a boy driving his mother to the brink of craziness.  My boy knows his letters and numbers some days, and other days he can’t identify anything.  Some days he wants to color and work on projects, other days he whines and shuts down.  Furthermore, when he sees my blood pressure raising, the boy has the audacity to laugh at me!

While we have tried worksheets, construction paper projects, whiteboard projects, chalk, building letters with legos and train tracks, all various projects are met with equal amount of apathy.  He does, however, enjoy enthusiastically closing his letter c’s, and watching me go crazy!
I’m not ruling out homeschooling for good.

But, for now, I will let my son close the c’s to make a full circle.  I will let him play his Paw Patrol, Thomas the Train, and Hot Wheels.  I will let him choose whether or not he wants to color or draw or cut with scissors.  I will continue letting him take the lead on potty training.

I will stop feeling guilty when other people ask me whether or not he is in preschool.

I will focus on learning to stop comparing our “homeschool journey” with others.  

I will stop researching ways to make learning more creative.  

I will stop worrying about his early childhood education.

And, I will let us both off the hook.

7 thoughts on “Homeschooling Dropout

  1. Cute blog! Now you know why I cannot homeschool. Summers are bad enough! I quit this summer for the same basic reason: attitude! Not mine, theirs.

    He isn’t ready I guess, but when he sees his friends doing all those things, he will sit up and take notice.

    1. Auntie M can attest – he does know his stuff … when he wants to know it. 😂 And, I think the kids in the home are the same age I was when you stopped summer homeschooling us – tweens and teens are an entirely different game than preschoolers!

  2. Homeschooling can provide the benefit of individualized attention, and maybe a better education than one can get elsewhere depending on the parent.

    But kids NEED to learn how to deal with the way the world really is. People are not nice, and kids need to learn how to deal with those kinds of people. We can’t shelter them forever, nor should we.

    I suggest you focus on providing “value added” tutoring after school, or being their “summer school”.

    1. Thank you! I agree that, more thank likely, I will be their “value added” or “summer school” teacher. I have met a couple moms who homeschool as their children get older – so, the younger kids go to school to learn the basics, and then they homeschool. Who knows where the Army will send us, and the education system in that state, so only time will tell. 🙂

      For now, my son has another 2 years before he can start Kindergarten (hence, why I was starting him on basic learning objectives…)

  3. Ya know, the other thing is that being in school with other Army kids can help to develop a great support system for them AND for you.

    A childhood friend of mine used to teach at Ft Campbell, and now teaches at West Point for DODEA, and thinks being with other Army kids can help them deal with that different than normal lifestyle.

    1. Oh, it most definitely can be beneficial!! The only concern is being able to live within the boundaries of the DODEA school, and if it competitive. But, having peers that go through the same upheavals in their families is SO important. Thank you for that thought!

      1. But even if you’re not in a DODEA area, if you live in an area with a lot of other Army families, it can still provide the basis for support by the Army family.

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