When we lived in California we had a nightmare of a time with the schools. Awful teachers, awful curriculum, awful everything. We had just one child and more money so we tried a lot of different things to make it work. We changed from public to private school and  we even moved into an area with a better reputation for education, but nothing worked, so I eventually began homeschooling. I homeschooled our son all the way to college and our daughter to seventh grade.

After we adopted the 3 little ones from China and had cochlear implants put in to help them hear, we were advised to put them in school. With 5 kids at home and one military income, private school was not an option. I struggled, but eventually found it was a very good choice. They benefited greatly from the extra services and support.. My husband and I have been very happy with their teachers.

When our son left home and the 3 little ones entered school our middle daughter, M, decided she wanted to try public school. She has been very successful. National Junior Honor Society, Honor Roll, leads in plays and made elite singing groups. She is well liked and doing fine, but my husband and I just aren’t happy with the high schools here. She has asked a few times to come home because even though she is doing well she would prefer to be home.

I have resisted the idea because I don’t want to isolate her from the world or keep her from dealing with things she disagrees with, but neither my husband or I can continue to send her to a place that is so different than what we think and believe.

M will not be returning after Christmas. The little kids will stay where they are, so I can focus on M and keeping her up where she needs to be for college. We will probably higher a tutor for Latin. Once she is off to college, I will bring the 3 little ones home. Which will be about time for them to enter junior high, so a great transition spot.

With just one kiddo I will have plenty of time to do the traditional academic subjects as well as add in some shooting and other life skills. Virginia is ripe with wonderful field trip opportunities and resources. I found a great computer program to track her grades and prepare her transcripts in order for her to be able to enter a university if she chooses that option. I have always been a fan of 2 year colleges and then transferring to a university, but we will see what she decides.

So the AGirl clan is off on yet another adventure. Wish us luck!

P.S. Any tips, ideas, suggestions, please feel free to share.

37 thoughts on “Homeschooling

  1. I admire your decision to do what you believe is the best choice for your family, and for each individual child. We have been in your shoes, having experience with public, private and homeschooling options, and it’s never an easy choice, there are pros and cons to each. In my experience, it’s impossible to isolate them from the world and/or dealing with things that they don’t agree with. They will get plenty of that, it just takes a different form, and you will be right beside her to set the record straight. Praying for great adventures for you guys! 🙂

  2. Probably a smart decision in this day and age… And I’d keep an eye on college requirements for homeschool documentation!

  3. In some states, communities have a very active & strong homeschooling circles. I hope you find one.

  4. I think you know how supportive I am! We homeschool the kids now – and even though there are relatively good schools in the area plan to continue to do so even when they are older.
    I myself was home schooled from about 4th grade on. Dating myself here- but since there weren’t any computers widely available at the time I did a correspondence course through high school that gave me a actual deploma. Made getting into a JC ( which like you I highly recommend before a 4 year college) a lot easier.
    You are and the hubby are smart and have awesome smart kids! my only advise… move to Texas ASAP! we have very “nice” homeschool regulations. Hehehe
    Best of luck to all of you! I know M will do great!

  5. Good for you. And M. and the little ones. Bad public schools seem to be horrors and wrecks, and “good” public schools seem to teach underachievement and drivel. You are awesome.

  6. Somehow I submitted my comment before I was done. Next sentence:

    “You and hubby both. God bless you.”

  7. I was homeschooled, but did some time in private and public schools.

    For Latin, which I took in college, check around (online, probably) for an outdated edition of “Wheelock’s Latin” and the exercise book that goes with it. (It’s a textbook, so the current version is going to be stupidly expensive–and really, your child doesn’t have to have the newest one considering the subject material.) I think that second book’s called “38 Latin Stories” or something. It’s been several years since I looked at my copies, but these two books are excellent resources with or without a tutor.

    She might want to look into CLEP exams, as she’ll probably be really familiar with a lot of the things covered in freshman-level, core classes (English composition, for example). It’s a quicker, cheaper way to get the credits than sitting in classes, being bored because she’s been over this material a bunch of times already.

  8. I had a very interesting childhood and got to experience the whole gamut from private to public to home school. The private schools I attended were very good and I learned a lot but my classmates tended to be from wealthier families and weren’t always the nicest people, especially when you weren’t rich. Public schools were all over the place, some really good, some really lacking. Hayward High gets the distinction of being the worst academic institution I ever attended. I made some great friends there, but didn’t learn much. My Mom home schooled my sister and I for a year and we learned far more in that year than any other.

    My son just started kindergarten in a public school in CA. We now live in a much better area. I have no complaints. I volunteer in this class so I get to see first hand what the environment is. He’s doing very well.

    I think the decision to home school has to be based on all factors. I certainly did get an academic edge doing it for just a year though. The self-paced nature of it far exceeds traditional educational methods.

    Best of Luck,

    CA Dad

  9. Way to go!!!! 🙂 I am so proud of you!!! Fwiw, I was fortunate to have attented parochial schools when I was a kid. Now that was over 55 years ago. Even back then, we were at least one grade if not two ahead of public school kids the same age. Today, with all the BS in schools, no way would I ever send one of my kids to one. Then one has to also look at that mess in Texas with that stupid RFID thing they are pushing. Oh….not meaning to change the subject but it ties in… I saw a video tape made about the new credit cards. Seems those with the WIFI logo on them are the ones you don’t have to swipe through the card reader. They can even be read with your card still in your pocket! Not only that but there is eqipment out that will scan and copy the chip…then that info is transfered onto another card…..doesn’t matter what kind…piece of paper will do. Now….the guy that did the scaning and copying has all your information at his fingertips. So much for security. I brought this all up to tie it into that Texas deal. Lessee…..your kid has this RFID card hanging around his neck…hmm wonder if at some point some pervert is going to glom onto that… he/she knows all about your kid and maybe even your family and address etc. Nope….no way would I ever recommend sending one’s kids to a public school….and I am not at all sure the private ones are safe or good anymore.

  10. Sounds like you have made a good decision and obviously have the experience to get our daughter to where she needs to be on an academic level. I noticed that you mentioned that she sings. Since I have a music and art background, my advice is to not forget to include as part of your curriculum some form of creative outlet. There are community singing groups available in most areas, and all types of art classes to be found. Good luck! Wish I could have homeschooled during high school; the chorus ensemble and my art classes kept me going to get through the rest of it, though.

    • Good point. I have been looking into local community groups here. I think the homeschooling group in the area has a list of resources as well.

  11. You’ve been saying how you have no time lately, how are you going to find thhe time to home school 3 kids?

    On a side note, i find my life strangely paralelling yours lately! I just bought a new 4×4, volunteered to be an EMT w/ the local ambulance service, and am buying my first M4! Weird!

    If you must home school, check out the Khan Academy online. Supposed to be some excellent videos on a variety of subjects.

    Finally, Latin… really?! Why? What’s the kid going to do w/ that? I think if you’re spending money on a tutor teach the kid some spanish. She’ll get more use out of that! IMHO.

    • Tom, I am not home schooling 3 kids. I am homeschooling one, but if I decided to homeschool all my kids(4 of them), I have no doubt I could handle it. Obviously, I will be making adjustments to my schedule. Nothing is more important than my kids. Not EMT. Not blogging, so if something has to go it has to. But, busy to me isn’t bad. I like busy. Busy doesn’t make me stressed or overwhelmed, so I think we will be fine.

      As to your concerns over her education, I think my husband and I know what is best for her. She plans a career in science and Latin is very beneficial in that regard.

      Thank you the resources. Might check those out.

    • The best thing my husband did was take Latin! When traveling internationally he can figure out what the romantic languages are saying. Latin is at the root of all those languages. I wish I did! It could also help with learning other languages if she decides to. Very cool!

  12. That homeschooling stuff can be quite a challenge. If anyone can do it, you can….but….who’s going to teach them spelling?

    • Lol, actually my kids are excellent spellers and I am the one who works with them on that. Now typing and editing is gonna be a problem:)

  13. Good luck and good for you! We went with a hybrid sort of idea and are doing virtual school with our son. It’s still part of the public school system, but he does it at home. There is an online curriculum and testing system and we are free to add lessons for which we can give him credit.

  14. My wife and I decided to home school our two kids this fall after a disappointing experience in the “best” Montessori school where we are. The 9 y.o. was having trouble with multiplication tables, and the 7 y.o. couldn’t read and was considered borderline dyslexic. Now, the 9 y.o. has the multiplication tables down cold and I have her calculating option spread prices in her head (I’m a trader), and the 7 y.o. is reading for pleasure now. I’m convinced. Granted, my wife is doing 99% of the work, so whether we continue is largely up to her. But I think in true American fashion, home schooling is the do-it-yourself fix to this country’s crappy education.

    As for Latin, I learned with Jenney. Wheelock is very good, too. I got a B.A. and M.A. in Classics, so I love this stuff and will start my kids on it next year. Looking for text books online, I found a lot of bad ones. Stick with Jenney or Wheelock. Avoid the ones that try to make learning Latin like learning a foreign language. That’s not the point. You learn morphology. Your syntax becomes clearer. You become better at identifying what is and what is not needed in writing and speaking. You don’t get that learning Spanish or French or Chinese.

    • Glad to hear your kids are doing well in the homeschool environment. I agree that it is the spirit of the can do American attitude. I am happy we still have the option.

      Thanks for the resources on Latin!!

  15. Curious how you got started with your homeschooling? My wife and I would like to homeschool our kids but there is no homeschool community in our area and everything you research about it just seems to contradict itself.

    I guess my two biggest concerns are what type of curriculum to follow and how tough is it so show the documentation for what they have learned when applying to college?

    Public schools around Delaware leave a lot of be desired and both our small kids have been in a Christian based school but they are now almost to elementary school and I cringe about sending them off into the abyss sometimes. While I myself came thru the public education system I just feel as a whole that it along with society is in a major downward sprial.

    Thanks for your time and please keep us updated on your homeschool “adventures”.

    • Hi!! You have little ones…awesome! What a great time to be thinking about homeschooling. When I first started years ago I literally pulled my son out one day and started by using what we had in the house for reading, math ect. I needed time to research and get materials. It didn’t take long to get into the groove.

      I am sure there are other homeschoolers in the area, but sometimes it can be hard to find them.

      If you contact the Home School Legal Defense Association( you can get a lot of guidance. They have links to support groups and resources. They are also very helpful on the phone.

      In your research you said things seem to contradict themselves. If you have any specific examples you can post or email me, maybe I can help clear those up.

      Did you read Duke’s blog post about his kids success? It’s a tough choice, but I admire you for exploring all the options now.

  16. I think you make the best choice possible as parents given all of the information. I had an excellent public school experience for the most part in the US, but that was in the 1970s, and a very long time ago. We started our own children in public schools in the early nineties. We were shocked at the ineptitude, the disregard for common sense, safety, and the lack of a school nurse. We decided to homeschool in the short term. After a year, our two eldest kids tested five years beyond grade level. After that, we made the commitment to homeschool but to provide as much socialization for them as what optimal through homeschooling groups and activities. We eventually struck a balance. Our children transitioned to community colleges at 16 and then graduated with honors when they got to university. Our adopted son is 17, and will be a later launching soul, but he did come to us at 14. We have now homeschooled five children.
    I think that there has been a grand deterioration of American schools in such a manner than even I did not understand the depth to which they have fallen. When your child returns from public school, there is so much that must be debugged, explored and reprogrammed that the dubious benefit of socialization may not be worth the trade.

    • I had an excellent public school education also, but I grew up in a small town in Iowa, so I had both a quality education and lots of attention.

      My husband keeps telling people one of the main reason’s we are pulling her out is due to the socialization. Since she came home a week ago, there have been 3 fights and 4 kids arrested at the school for threatening a teacher. I think she is good without that kind of real world exposure.

      Great stories about your kids. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  17. First, congratulations on your decision to homeschool.

    We have homeschooled all 3 of our kids since day 1 (they’ve never attended a government school, nor a private school… tho here in Texas, legally homeschools are considered private schools).

    You seem to already know about HSLDA, so that’s good. I don’t always agree with them, but they are the “big gorilla” to have on your side for all the legal and regulatory stuff. A very good resource.

    And then there’s “the S word”. My response when people ask me about socialization is to say that we let our children out for 30 minutes a day, 2 laps around the yard, then back into the dungeon they go. 🙂 That usually helps people feel silly about asking the question. Then I follow up telling them about the co-ops, the music lessons, the rock band the older 2 kiddos are in, church groups, and so on that they attend on a weekly basis. How their daily interactions are with people of all ages, all walks of life, all strata… not just herded around with others of their age and ilk, the blind leading the blind. And then, kinda like you mentioned above… 3 fights and 4 kids arrested — is that what you want your kids socializing with? People usually lay off… especially after they meet our kids and see how well-adjusted and well-behaved their are.

    People also found it odd that the Mrs. was a homemaker (i.e. home all the time), and until a few months ago I worked from home full-time. Thus we were always home and always around each other all the time, far more than the average family. Yes, that made us weird, and a lot of people looked at us funny because of it. But, it doesn’t bother me too much, because we are a very tight family. Sure our kids have other friends, but there’s no question their best friends are each other (tho they probably won’t admit it). Cultivating this sort of family tightness is invaluable.

    Sure, our kids miss out on a lot of things because they are homeschooled… just like those government schooled kids miss out on a lot because of what they’re subject to every day. You can’t have it all in life, but we can sure work to make sure our kids have what we believe is the best, instead of having to accept something less.

    Good luck!

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