I pulled my boys out after 3rd and 5th grades years ago. It was a difficult transition, and we gave up after a year. I tried to keep what I could the same--their curriculum (aBeka). Ironically, I think that was our downfall. Buying two separate grade levels pretty much guaranteed that each of them would be isolated from one another, with me mostly helping the younger of the two or grading piles of papers (aBeka as provided has lots of papers, quizzes, and tests). In retrospect, I wish I had done something radically different, like a lit-based history and a combined hands-on science. I wish I had gotten them involved in some outside sports.
Be up front with the differences. They WILL miss their friends, the structure of the classroom, the routine. On the other hand, they can sleep in and school in their PJs. I even let my night owl do most of his work in the evenings. He also had a lot more time to devote to his passion--piano.
I also didn't find a good co-op to get them out of the house enough with other people. They were in 4-H, but that was a bomb for all of us. They took piano, but that is an individual class. I think they felt isolated, especially since they weren't used to being each others friend. In fact, my two boys are so very different from each other, they would never naturally gravitate towards each other as friends in a school environment.
I think it takes a bit for them to see you, not only as Mom, but as their teacher. Even though my boys went public school after a year, I do think I gained some respect from spending that year with them as their teacher. I still feel that to this day. BTW, one graduates this year and the other 2 years ago, so it has been awhile.
I don't mean to make it look impossible, but I do think your individual circumstances and the temperaments of the children matter a lot in how well this will work. I also think it is much easier to start at the beginning. I've been homeschooling my 4th grade dd for 6 years now. It has been a joy and just the best experience for us both. I didn't have to "deschool" her. I also had time to rethink the "how" in homeschooling. I knew I had to give up all the obsession with grades and grading or else I could never do this, for instance.
Persistance and the ability to adapt on your part will go a long way. Good luck!
March 28, 2013 at 6:49 AM
I found the transition from public school to homeschooling easy and exciting. Maybe it was because we were both completely over our situation. My main focus was to allow some flexibility and my main goal was to encourage my child to love to learn. We spent lots of time reading comic books and mangas. We talked about why certain things happened the way they do, not just memorizing facts. I also did a lot of review to see what he knew and what he didn't so that we can progress from there. Good luck!
by blueyedbakerMarch 28, 2013 at 8:43 AM
It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. For me I knew I was doing the right thing for my daughter but I would second guess my actions. I would worry (and still do) over the curriculum. But as long as you go into it knowing that there are going to be some bumps and that you can get over them you'll be good. Both my girls wanted to be home schooled. My oldest did not like PS at all. But my youngest,who is very social, loved PS but also wanted to be home and HS won out so I didn't send her back for first grade. She still gets to see her friends she made at PS. I think that is what makes her not mind being there. HS is flexible and remember that. If the day isn't going as planned stop, readjust that's the best part about home schooling, you can do what you want during the day or night you really don't have to follow someone else's schedule.
by blueyedbakerMarch 28, 2013 at 8:51 AMI had to keep reminding my youngest that she would still be able to see her friends from PS. She was really torn between going back or being home schooled. We love being outside and that was one big thing for her, she hated being inside all day at PS. That helped my side. I would remind her that we could do what we wanted once our school work was done (which was done way before PS got out) AND she would still have playdates. Anything that we would do during the day I would tell her that if she was in PS she wouldn't have been able to do that activity. I can't believe how much my girls would miss out if they were in PS!
I'm wondering the same thing. My son enjoys alot of things about school so I think he'll miss it at first.
by tuffymamaMarch 28, 2013 at 10:05 AM
I always suggest taking time off for the transition period, & to not try to replicate school at home. Both of those will help make the transition smother.
This. ODS had to take some time off to deschool, and before I realized it, we were kind of unschooling.
by mem82March 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM
We transitioned over summer so we had time to deschool and get ourselves settled. How old are your kids?