Homeschool vs. private school?

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 6:26pm
sebastian's picture
Joined: 05/26/2003 - 09:00

Hi everyone, Basically I am looking for any input, advice, help or suggestions regarding your experiences with a private school setting.
I currently homeschool my 5 year old, she is in Kindergarten.
I don't think it is working out well and I am seriously considering enrolling her in school next year.

I am not sure what I am up against or what to expect when I bring up the peanut allergy.
I would think a private school would be easier to deal with because they are independent?
Honestly, even thinking about making this kind of decision is killing me. I have even considered applying at the school to teach while DD is enrolled there because I cannot bear the thought that something bad may happen.

Any input or your experiences with a private school or private Christian school would be appreciated.


Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 9:46pm
lalow's picture
Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

Do you mind me asking
why do you think homeschooling isnt working?
I am just asking because I am considering homeschooling next year for my almost 5 year old.
James 4 yrs, NKA
Ben 3 yrs, PA and MA and SA

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2006 - 11:27pm
CarsonsMom's picture
Joined: 02/11/2001 - 09:00

My son goes to a private Catholic School which is not peanut free. They have a peanut free table in the lunch room. The one thing a liked about them is that they let him have an Epi-pen in the classroom, lunchroom, and of course nurses office. There are a few kids in the school with a peanut/other food allergies. I like it because it's a small school (19 students in his class)and seem to be aware on how to handle food allergies. This is his second year there. He usually has 2-4 kids sit with him at is lunch table.
There are alot of Public schools that are peanut free.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 12:28am
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

hi-the public school that my daughter will be going to in Midlothian VA will do a peanut free classroom if there is a child with PA. She does not have PA but her brother does. That was a big decision to let my kids go to public school, but hopefully by the time my son goes to school maybe there will be even more peanut awareness. She has always gone to private Catholic school. There was a boy in her class so they are asked not to bring in peanut products. It is crazy, do parents not know that Reeses Peanut butter cups has peanut butter. I have been for lunch duty where kids are eating these. I would definetly tour the school and ask how lunch is handled and snack time. Make sure there is a lot of hand washing.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 4:05am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

I am also curious to know why homeschooling "isn't working" for you...
We've homeschooled for over three years. The first 18 months was VERY ROUGH. Luckily, my DH and I both agreed that it was the only reasonable choice at that time, and so we were able to ride it out.
Are you using a prepackaged curriculum?
We tried this and it was an ABYSMAL failure. Truly awful.
Often kids who have asynchronous development (some academic areas much stronger or weaker than others) will have trouble with these "one-size-fits-all" programs, no matter how well intended. The other possibility is that your child may just have a learning style which doesn't lend itself to certain activities or pedagogical techniques.
My daughter is had both problems and I thought I was a terrible failure... This with many years of teaching experience at the university level, mind you, so I didn't go into it feeling insecure about my ability to teach! Let me give you some examples of what I mean. My daughter was already reading very well before age 5 (like 4th-5th grade level)... so she simply threw a FIT when our curriculum asked her to do phonics worksheets at the kindergarten level. In retrospect, this must have seemed like water torture to her. She also couldn't stand to do math with little counters and stuff. She isn't just NOT a tactile learner... she has serious sensory issues which put her several years behind her peers this way-- she doesn't want to touch ANY of it. No fingerpainting, no touch boards, etc. This makes it very hard if you don't modify curriculum to fit her.
I would say that if you are experiencing a LOT of misgivings about sending your child to school, you should listen to your heart. If what you are doing isn't working for your child, you have pretty much limitless freedom to change it so that it DOES fit. KWIM? Evaluate your child's learning style and any asynchronous behavior and try to work around it. If you feel overwhelmed by that, see if you can find someone in your area to help you out with those kinds of assessments, or look for resources at your local library (there is a lot available about different learning styles and how to differentiate curricula).
On the other hand, if HSing isn't working for YOU, then that is a different matter. This can be for a variety of different reasons. I know people who weren't sufficiently "authoritative" and therefore had trouble getting their strongest willed child(ren) to listen to them. They could homeschool some of their kids, but not all of them. There's no shame in that; it is a simple personality mismatch. Other reasons people decide to stop include needing a second income, a child who is either exceptionally withdrawn (and needs socializing in an immersion style environment) or is perpetually sad about being HSed.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 6:23am
samirosenjacken's picture
Joined: 09/30/2002 - 09:00

Hey there
Our public school does a phenomenal job handling my girls' peanut allergy. They've been extrememly cooperative and have not given me any troubles with my reasonable accomodations. My girls both have peanut free/nut free classrooms.. carry their epi pens everywhere, sit at a peanut free table and every teacher in the school knows who they are, what the symptoms are and how to use an epi pen.
My personal feelings on this is public or private doesn't really make a difference... it's the people in the school and how "aware" they are or want to be. I wouldn't take my girls out of the school they are in now for anything.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 11:12am
Naer74's picture
Joined: 11/03/2003 - 09:00

We homeschool two of our three children. One is technically too young to be homeschooled but he does attend a preschool for children with disabilities.
I have been homeschooling them for the past 5 years and, though there are good and bad days, things have definitely improved over the years. Would you mind posting why you don't think things are working out well?

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 12:01pm
sebastian's picture
Joined: 05/26/2003 - 09:00

Thanks everyone for your responses.
Well basically I feel like HS'ing is not working out so great because...
1. DD is not easy about it. Some days it is a battle to get her to sit down.
2. We are enrolled in the K12 virtual academy which has an online school. They offer all curriculum and assign you a teacher. The thing I hate about it is that I feel rushed and that we don't have the time to pursue what my daughter is really interested in.
3. A lot of the coursework is a lot of review, some of the things she has been learning are things that she has known for a long time and she gets bored easily.
4. In a small way, I feel like I am not teaching her well enough and that she will miss something important.
Mostly I think I am going through a serious doubting period. I love having my kids home with me and being there to see them learn new concepts..I think overall I am seriously frustrated with the whole charter school we are in.
I talked with a friend at the co-op we go to on Wed. and we are going to get together and talk about going independent next year.
(She already is.)
Maybe my problem is that I am too much of a perfectionist and expect things to go a certain way...and when they don't I get completely overwhelmed!
Thanks again for your replies.

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 12:47pm
toomanynuts's picture
Joined: 08/23/2003 - 09:00

Hi Shelley!
I homeschool my dd who is also 5. The thing about 5 is that they need a lot of variety.
Don't rush - learning should be fun and if you homeschool it should be at your and your childs pace of learning. You can't learn anything rushing. Everyone just gets frustrated.
My dd also gets bored very easily especially if she already knows it and has to do it again or if it is just boring curriculum.
Your dd should definately have time to do the things she enjoys as well as schooling.
Homeschooling should be less time than the regular schooling process as you are dealing with fewer children.
Many people may tell you what you have to do to keep up with the public school system but you chose to homeschool to do what is right for your dd among other reasons I am sure. As long as you do the alloted number of days each year and keep track of what she is learning.
I would take the time and look into other curriculum, talk to other families that homeschool and use some outside sources to get what you and your dd need.
I believe at 5 some children are ready to sit and learn while others just need more hands on. Learning by experiences. Not one style is better than the other. 5 is tricky for some that they are ready to read and some are not.
On most information I ready about ready to read doesn't take place until around 7. Also the age of reason is around 7 also.
At 5 you make it fun, go independent if you need too and if you want to follow the guided curriculum do that, too.
Sometimes at 5 they just need another year depending on the personality to just play and have fun and get a little more serious and ready to learn at 6.
All depends on the style of learning and personality.
My dd tells me I just want to play and have fun and then other days can we just do school.
Set your goals with your dd and then find what you actually want to do. What teaching style do you want to do, what outside sources do you want to use, what extracurricular activities to you want her involved in and don't give up.
Teaching doesn't just have to be a bunch of sit down paper work. She can learn math as easily in the kitchen baking with you as she could on a piece of paper.
If your heart and passion is to teach her and she wants to learn at home then find what works for the both of you and do it!
Take Care

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2006 - 1:43pm
anonymous's picture
Joined: 05/28/2009 - 16:42

We are homeschooling after pulling ds out of pre-K this year. After discussions with our allergist (ds was very ill in school with his asthma) one month out of school and ds is back to normal. This very educated woman, whom I was worried would think I was crazy for deciding we need to homeschool, simply said that she thought that was best. I really don't think we have a choice, medically speaking.
Ds will be hard, there are certain things he hates to do, writing and coloring mainly, but he is very bright. Even the pre-K noticed that the same child they fought for 40 minutes to make 3 scribbles on a paper, was so excited to do math, he started adding and subtracting, they could hardly pull him away. Loves exploring things too, science type things. he is a computer whiz, and computer games are a favorite.I don't think I could do any worse than the same teacher who forced him to make three scribbles, I mean was there any doubt he could? I really don't see that he got any educational benefit that day. As well, this program director/teacher who has spent 20 odd years of pre-K tells me my son is the most defiant child she has ever met. Then says he won't color because he has fine motor delays. I try to tell her he can color but he doesn't want to. So I have a private PT/OT evaluation, which determines he's pigeon toed, no fine motor problems. I will probably need to really find interesting ways to teach him, I don't believe based on what I observed from his short time in class, that he will be viewed as anything but a problem. I also believe that it was much to do with resentment over accomodations for his food allergies. What I observed from watching his classes was that they were like little robots, chanting in unison, marching in lines, certain signals caused the children to immediately jump to doing certain tasks. Impressive control over such a large group of children, I was almost envious as sometimes I can hardly handle my own two, at the same time my gut was uneasy, on another level it was almost creepy.
So I guess other decisions have gone into our decision to homeschool, but basically I believe that they will continue to test the limits with his allergies, or target him for "problems" in retaliation, for us it's not worth it.
There are some good homeschool sites that have given me some good ideas.
DD who is going to be four soon will be an easy teach, she just loves to learn, she writes now on her own, loves to practice everything. Maybe some will rub off on her brother, only time will tell. In the meantime we'll just try to make it fun, I just don't think that our school in particular is at all what is best for either of my children.

Posted on: Thu, 02/09/2006 - 1:10am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Your first year sounds exactly like mine in many ways. I too am such a perfectionist... totally anal in soooo many ways. It took me a long time to realize that my daughter wasn't going to be seriously "delayed" if she refused to do any "schoolwork" for a day or two. Well, schoolwork the way our curriculum wanted.
She just had other things she wanted to do.
A couple of books for you to check out:
Montessori at Home
The Charlotte Mason Companion (or is it Handbook)
It also sounds like eclectic homeschooling (which is what we have done for a long time) would work best for you-- you can also allow your child to "pretest" out of sitting and doing material she has already mastered. Making them do what they already know how to do perfectly well is just plain punitive, IMO. (And it doesn't just apply to HSing methods of instruction.... hehehe.)
You really sound like you enjoy being at home with your child-- I would hate for you to give up homeschooling just because you are so frustrated with a curriculum that just isn't right for you. On "those days" we used to go out for a "scavenger hunt" walk... where my daughter had a pictogram list of sounds, sights, etc. that she had to look for. Or go to the library.
Edited to finish my post (interrupted to give DD breakfast!)
I also strongly encourage you to allow your child to help pick out educational materials... my daughter has definite preferences for certain things. When she was younger, she really (I mean REALLY) liked Mercer Mayer's "Little Critter." (Ugh) Anyway, McGraw Hill makes very good workbooks using all of Mercer Mayer's illustrations. DD loved these, and was much happier to use materials she had selected. This is not "unschooling" BTW; we have always been in charge of what gets covered (based on state standards and Core Knowledge scope and sequence). She also likes "The Complete Book of..." set, but wouldn't have at your DD's age. We also like educational computer games, and if you keep your eyes open, you can pick them up for less than $4 a game. Reader Rabbit is AWESOME!! (And self-leveling, by the way, so it adjusts its difficulty to suit.) DD also likes to play board games like scrabble and monopoly (junior versions at your DD's age) and Mancala. This counts as school too, and it isn't very different from what goes on in regular classrooms. (My mom is a retired k-4 teacher of 40 yrs.)
The big secret that I have learned is that it doesn't have to feel like drudgery to be "educational." [img][/img]
[This message has been edited by Corvallis Mom (edited February 09, 2006).]


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