Homeschooling Part 3: The Cons

Here is a continuation of my homeschooling “research” as I try to prayerfully determine if this is what is right for our family.  Again, these are not cons that I came up with–they are from the Family Education website.

1)  Time Restraints.  The author of this article pointed out that homeschooling consumes a lot of mom and/or dad’s time.  My thought is–my time now is already consumed eight hours a day with WORKING “for the man” : )  !  I’ve never been a stay at home mom so I don’t even know what it would be like to have every day to myself.  As I see it, even if I spend four hours everyday homeschooling then I still have four hours to clean (wow–imagine that, I may have a clean house once in awhile!), cook, run errands and just be a mom and wife.

2)  Financial Restraints.  I am praying, praying, praying that we are able to get our finances in order so that I can work only part time once we move.  Our plan and goal and what we are praying for is that we make enough from the sale of our house to pay off all of our debt.  All of it.  The van, the school loans, the credit card, all of it.  We need to make enough to do that and still have enough left over to put a down payment on our next home.  So then when we move our only financial responsibilities will be our mortgage and our living expenses.  If we are able to do that, then it is feasible that I will be able to work 16-20 hours a week instead of my usual 26-40 hour work week.  We certainly won’t be living like millionaires and I could work more and we could get a bigger house but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make to be home more with my kids.  Who cares if you have a big house if you have to work all the time to pay for it?       

3)  Being with Your Kids 24/7. I love my kids.  Do they get on my nerves?  Sure they do.  However, I don’t see this being a problem.  Aaron’s big thing has been (said to me), “I just don’t think you have the patience for it.”  Okay.  Here is my response to that.  Do I have much patience with my kids right now?  Not really.  But here is a typical day for me:  Get Annagrace up and out of bed around 7:30.   Get her backpack ready to go.  Pack her lunch and snack.  Get her hair and teeth brushed and send her out the door to the bus stop.   (Aaron does help out with all that I might add!)  Get myself ready for work (and Madalyn too if it’s a Thursday or Friday).  Go to work usually from 8:30-4:00.  Come home to a very messy house–dirty clothes on the floor, dishes in the sink, trash waiting to be taken out, school papers all over the kitchen table.  Do a few chores then sit down and finish my computer work (usually takes me anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on how many patients I had that day).  Help Annagrace do her homework.  Cook and eat supper.  Do more chores.  Get the kids bathed and to bed.  Finish photography projects (especially this time of year!) until around 11pm and then go to bed.  Would you have much patience if that was your typical day?  

Aaron is always telling me that “everyone else deals with it” and I’m not the only one.  Hold that thought for a minute.  My hubby and my 3 year old are home everyday.  We are blessed that Aaron can work at home.  However, having a man and a 3 year old home all day equals one messy house when I get home.  Madalyn is like a tornado.  Normal people send their kids to daycare when both parents work.  But Madalyn is here all day making messes while Aaron is working  so I don’t come home to a clean house, I come home to a house that is even messier than when I left it 6 hours prior!  

I get very frustrated with the kids because of all the other things stressing me out during the day.  I truly believe that I will function better when I am home more.   That and I am hoping that I can take a four day school approach with Friday’s off so that we can do activities, run errands, visit the park, go on our field trips, etc on that day. 

 4)  Limited Team Sports.  I am the mother of a very uncoordinated six year old girl.  Maybe she will want to play organized sports one day (I doubt it) and when and if that time comes we can always look for community teams, homeschool teams, etc.  Over the last 4 years she has taken swim class, karate, ballet and tap classes–all using community resources.  So I don’t see that being a big deal for our family.     

5)  Living Outside the Norm. Our family doesn’t have a problem with this at all!  We certainly don’t follow the mainstream with our views on church (we belong to a network of house churches).  I have thought about how it would feel to the kids to go to church at home, have school at home, etc.  We would definitlely have to get out there and get involved in community organizations, homeschool groups, etc. so that the girls would have plenty of opportunities to socialize with other kids. 

Can anyone think of any more cons?  I know someone had mentioned before about the socialization aspect–that the kids may become socially awkward without daily interaction with other kids.  I have read from more than one source that homeschooled kids tend to socialize better with people of all ages (including adults) than their public school peers do.  One woman pointed out that her child had a birthday party and had kids from 3-14 there–all of them belonged to her homeschooling group.   Our kids are both very social anyway and love being around people so again, don’t think that will be a problem. 

My mom asked me yesterday what would happen if I didn’t like it or that I couldn’t handle it.  Well, she can always go back to public school.  There is nothing saying that this is a forever deal.  I don’t think that I’ll have to worry about it though. 

My biggest concern right now is CAN we do this.  Financially, I mean.  Can we afford to do this?  Can we afford for me to work part time.  If we were staying in Virginia, in this county we are in right now, then I know the answer would be no.  The cost of living and the cost of homes are way too high here for it to ever be a reality in our current living situation.  (So maybe that is just one more reason why we feel we are suppose to move to Greenville).  Anyway, more on the financial aspect in my next post.  Let’s just say it’s been a financially difficult (and that is putting it mildly) week for me.     


10 Responses to “Homeschooling Part 3: The Cons”

  1. 1 Heather December 6, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Keep rolling out the thougths. Sounds to me like you are seeing a very clear picture. Some local Christian schools allow hs kids to come in and do electives, sports and field trips with their grade. For my boys, that has been a great option, as they have history with those children. Can you research the co-ops and others hs supports in NC? I bet there are plenty of options…

  2. 2 Jennifer December 6, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Have you considered putting her in a private school, possibly a Christian based school, especially with a Montessori approach? I’m not sure what will be available in the area that you guys are moving, but with a Christian based school, she would be surrounded by Christian teachers and have an atmosphere that would keep some of those negative things away from her. Also, if you find a Montessori school, they are wonderful with letting kids learn at their own level. While there are things that they have to learn in each grade, they are encouraged to learn at their own pace, learn about things that they are interested in, and really stretch themselves to be wonderful, hands-on learners. While I am not against homeschooling at all, I have seen the benefits of being in a school setting, with other people in college while we were at RBC and with some of the students in our youth group.

  3. 3 lsaufley December 7, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    H–there are several homeschooling groups in the town we are moving to–both Christian based and secular. To be honest, I am actually thinking about contacting the secular group. I think it would give me more opportunities to meet lost people!

    J–I have looked into the Christian schools there–there are several. (In fact, I went to a Christian school about an hour from where we are moving and our teams played each other in sports). The only thing is that I’d have to work way more to be able to afford it. Which means I’d have to put Madalyn in daycare because I’d be working–so I’d basically be working 20 more hours a week to pay someone else to watch and teach my kids. That’s why I’m so torn. I have a friend that teaches in the public schools there and she loves the school she is at so we are keeping that open as an option. I think at this point Christian schooling is marked off the list. Thanks for your thoughts. I hadn’t thought about Montessori although I’m guessing the cost would be a concern with that too. (My cousin is actually the director of a Montessori school about 30 minutes from where we are moving to.)

  4. 4 Jennifer December 7, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Private schools can be expensive, that’s for sure. (Thankfully, being a teacher at a private school, if and when we have kids, I will be able to either get free schooling or low cost schooling.) I loved it growing up. I went to a private school since prekindergarten (minus second grade) and I don’t regret it, but I do understand your concern on the money issue.

    I thought I’d go ahead and give you this link: It is basically a directory of Montessori schools across the nation. While this will have some of the schools on there, it won’t have all of them. The school that I work at has a Montessori preschool, but I found out that we are not listed. I would also check and see if the area has any magnet public schools, since some of them can be Montessori based as well. (We have one here in FL.)

    Has she been tested for being gifted and given an IEP?

    • 5 lsaufley December 7, 2008 at 9:43 pm

      She has not had any ‘official’ testing that I am aware of (other than some reading and math tests that her teacher has given her) and I’m not sure what an IEP is! Tell me more…! She is testing on a 4th-5th grade reading level and is at about 4th grade for math. She is in the process of being moved up to second grade–just started that process last week. She has been terribly bored in 1st grade this year and maturity wise she is well beyond her 1st grade peers. Her teacher is actually the one that encouraged us to have her moved up! They are trying really hard. If we were staying here it wouldn’t be a concern–I’d likely keep her at the school she is at now. I’m just not sure about the school situation in NC. My friend that teaches there gives her school glowing reviews but I’m still not sure. They do a lot of racial redistricting there and to me that doesn’t look out for the best interest of the child it puts the emphasis on the color of their skin. Just my opinion!

      Thanks for the comments! Tell me about that IEP! I’d love to get Annagrace’s IQ tested just for curiosity’s sake. She’s very bright when it comes to logic type of things so I bet her IQ is pretty high.

  5. 6 Jennifer December 8, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    An IEP is an individual education plan. Normally, they are for kids who have learning disabilities, but a gifted IEP can also be for students who have exceptional learning skills (aka…the gifted ones).

    With a gifted IEP in a public school, a student might be allowed special opportunities or allow them to be put into a TAG program or gifted program. If you were to find a magnet school that you liked and she had a gifted IEP or had been tagged gifted, it would be easy to get her into that school or into those special programs which would give her more opportunities to be challenged.

    I am not sure how NC works, but I just tested a child in my school to see if he was gifted. All you should need to do would be to contact your local public school or school district office and request it. You might also want to talk with her teacher since she is the one that mentioned it to you, since she might be able to get the process going quicker. Getting the test was actually an easy process for the parents of the child I just tested.

    The test was pretty much an IQ test, testing their reasoning skills and critical thinking skills. For example, there was a piece of bread and then bread in the bag, and then a egg and a blank box. The student had to figure out what needed to go into that blank box and that the correct answer was an egg carton. There were also questions where they had to look at five items and tell which one doesn’t belong.

    I hope this helps! 😉

  6. 7 lsaufley December 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    That really does! Thanks a bunch for stopping back by to comment again! I’m going to send an e-mail to her second grade teachers to see how they think things are going so far and after Christmas break will ask that she be moved to second grade for the entire school day. Right now she is split between the two grades. Thanks again!

  7. 8 Alison December 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    I’m still reading to see what you guys come up with. I’m interested, especially when it comes to info on local groups &/or co-ops. I did my student teaching down that way (graduated from ECU)…I saw both good and the bad, when it comes to that school system. Anyway, mainly stopped by to share this link. It always cracks me up.

  8. 9 alisha December 9, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Interesting. I agree with you totally. Furthermore I have another point to add. I think its essential that children today have a friendly and good swim instructor to guide them along. So that they will take to the hobby with delight, rather than find it a useless skill. But then again, most kids always love swimming afterall.

  9. 10 homeschooling support December 11, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Hi! Definitely nice and neat site you got there.

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December 2008

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