From: Tammy ( - 188.8.131.52)
Subject: LONG....Need prayer on the future of our Homeschool
Date: February 15, 2005 at 2:26 pm PST
I've had many sleepless nights and feel like I'm between a rock and a hard place.
My husband and I have 3 boys, 13 1/2, 12, and 7. My husband works 12 hour days, with weekends off. He sees the boys for less than an hour most days. I have been homeschooling our children for nearly 3 years.
Our two older sons have attended private school and public school in the past.
We switched from christian school to public school for two reasons, cost and the strict policy they had on memory verse memorization. They had to memorize an entire chapter every month or leave school until they had it memorized. Our middle child has severe difficulty with reading and this assignment often had us both in tears.
We then moved to public school for two years. During that time our oldest son became an emotional wreck. It took me a long time and the reading of Dr. Dobsons book "Bringing Up Boys" to realize that my son was being bullied. He was ostracized by his peers and picked on. Even the kids that liked him had the choice to either to be his friend and suffer the same wrath or to stay away from him. Nobody was willing to do stay with him (I can't blame them). My son is not wierd, he is quite handsome, is neither super smart/stupid,wouldn't be one that you would generally pick out as the victim.Even his teachers were stunned to learn of what was being said and done to him. Needless to say, when the school was approached, the situation was even worse.The bullies were really mad.
Our middle child was meanwhile struggling with reading and constantly in trouble on the playground for climbing up the slide backwards, climbing trees, running backwards, basically for being a boy. He brought home a pink slip weekly for this sort of conduct and was getting further and further behind in his courses because he couldn't read.
Our only course of action seemed to be homeschool. We've been at it for 3 years. I have often been overwhelmed and unsure of myself. When the two older boys were tested on the CAT last year my then 7th grader tested at 6th/7th and my then 5th grader tested at 1st/2nd!
My husband was angry. He wanted me to send the boys back to public school, but they both wanted to stay home schooled. So he agreed, on the basis that if they continue to test low, that we will have to do something else.
Testing is soon. I don't think that they have improved all that much. We don't follow a curriculum. Workbooks for two seperate grades was too hard to do. We use Saxon math, Easy Grammar, Spelling Power, read novels for history, Around the World in 180 days for geography, computer programs for typing/sign language, Exploring Creation for science, and Alpha-Phonics. My oldest is a good worker and does his job. My middle son is another story. I am still working on his reading. It has improved, but not a lot and his spelling is horrible. His math is 4th level, but he has been working on the multiplication tables off and on for 2 years and still doesn't have it memorized. He has to have many outside breaks a day, or he can't concentrate at all. He takes up the majority of my day.
Meanwhile our youngest son isn't getting much schooling. I often have to seek him out! We are still working on the memorization of letters, some sounds and he knows some addition and is currently using a hundreds chart to learn to count to a hundred. I don't have enough hours to work with him. My husband feels that he should be at 1st grade level, even though I did some research on not formally teaching children until the age of 8. I explained it to him and got the typical "It's your decision" reply.
I looked into a new christian school last week, for my oldest son. He could earn a high school diploma by attending school there, they are currently using PACES. Plus memorization of scripture doesn't have as strict of consequences as the other school.
My middle son also wants to go, but I feel that until reading and comprehension "clicks"(will it ever?) he won't be able to do workbooks. He thinks I should give him the chance.
The private school is currently looking for a Kindergarten teacher for the new year. It's still up in the air.
My father-in-law has offered me a part-time job that would nearly pay for the entire monthly tuition of all three boys at the private school. I haven't ever had a job. Went from high school to marriage.
My husband wants the kids back in public school. It's free and he thinks our 12 year old would get the tutoring he needs. He feels that they should have more friends, that I am to overwhelmed by the responsiblities, and that our house is too messy. He doesn't care if I work or not. I feel that my place is in the home, but I'm willing to work for their education. My husband says the decision is mine.
I am scared to send them to public school, especially during the teen years. The very friends my husband wants my kids to have are the ones I am trying to avoid. (I was a preachers kid and succumed to peer pressure, my husband had parents that attended church off and on and he never rebelled.) We are attending a new church and our boys are meeting kids there. Our oldest absolutely does not want to go to public school.
Part of me wants to continue to homeschool my kids (or at least my middle son) but do I often feel like I'm not doing enough/ covering enough subjects. Other family members think I need to look into other options, either because they feel it's too much for me or they are worried about the whole socialization thing.
I feel like a failure. I don't want to ruin our sons lives. And I don't want to disobey my husband, even though he said it's up to me. Home school, private school, public school. I don't know what to do. I want to have a peace about these near future decisions. The decisions are all up to me and I don't know what to do.
I need your prayers and support. I'm tired of crying about it. I've been praying but I feel so lost still. Thanks for listening!
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