Dear Helping Hand,
I have a problem. My son has off and on refused to go to school this year. He is in the 2nd grade and he just says he wants me to homeschool him. I have wanted to in the past and did for preschool and kindergarten. I believe my biggest problem is that I am plagued with fear. I am overwhelmed with the idea. I already have issues of finding a sitter for him when I need too. I have two children a daughter who is 6 and he is 8. He is much more persistent in needing and wanting his parents. I want to be there for him but I am not sure if taking him out of school in the middle of the year is ok. I don't want him to think he runs the show. Most people whom I have consulted tell me to be strong and send him to school. I am very confused. Most people don't understand the concept of homeschooling. I know its a huge commitment but I would like some professional advice, what do you think?
I'm not sure that I'm giving you the "professional advice" that you asked for, but as a homeschooling mom I'm glad to try to help where I can.
You're absolutely correct that your son shouldn't be seen as "running the show", however it seems to me that there are difficulties where he is right now or else why would he be demonstrating the attitudes that he is? He shouldn't be calling the shots, but then neither should the government school. God has placed us in charge of our children's education, not the bureaucrats who are in charge of a failing system. Families are the original departments of health, education, and welfare!
Does this mean that you should take on every aspect of your child's education? Not necessarily. I would imagine that someone else grew and harvested the food you ate for breakfast this morning and someone else took care of collecting and refining the petroleum used to run your car. Delegating tasks and dividing labor is perfectly understandable. Homeschooling is no different. There are ways to get help so that you don't have to "do it all".
First and foremost, I urge you to make this decision for your son based on a firm understanding of your authority as his mother. What do YOU think is best for him right now? Pulling him out midyear could be a wonderful idea if you're bringing him home to something better than he's experiencing in the classroom. Customizing a course of study, lack of negative peer influence, and one on one instruction are just a few of the advantages of home education.
Confusion is normal at this stage of the game. There are always costs involved with any endeavor and this is no different. Schedules may have to be adjusted, priorities shifted, and budgets reallocated. Homeschooling may take less time and money than normal, but not less of YOUR time and not less of YOUR money. The rewards, however, are endless.
I would encourage you to locate a good "how to" book and begin some serious decision making. One of my favorites is Debra Bell's The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling published by Tommy Nelson.
You can find others on our EHO website.
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