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Old 01-23-2012, 07:32 AM   #1
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Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

Any mamas out there who lean toward homeschooling or waldorf/montessori/unschooling, or just educational philosophies in general end up in public school? Any happy stories? Or even bad.

I'm leaning toward Homeschooling my kids, but I also really do believe in Public School and a part of me really wants it to work for our family. At least for the early grades, k-3 or 4 or so. I'm currently trying to build curriculum resources and do research as I prepare to go back to work in a year or two, right when my son would be ready for pre-k or preschool.

So - any mamas who've really wanted to do any of the above kinds of education end up doing Public Schools? Any good or bad stories?

TIA!

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Old 01-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #2
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

I wanted to hs my kids, probably eclectic with some curriculum and some unschooling. But my dh is not really on board. My ds1 is in ps kindy this year and I've been surprised. He enjoys it and seems to be learning a lot. I will say that it is a teeny little school - there are 2 classes per grade and ds's class only has 16 children. It's in this little old fashioned building from the 30's with only a couple hallways and all the rooms are big and bright. Also, I delayed sending him. He is 6, almost a full year older than some of his classmates. I was worried in particular about reading instruction too early so I waited an extra year until he was showing signs of being ready. I'm not crazy about all the xeroxes, and sometimes he brings home some pretty culturally biased/skewed stuff - we had some interesting conversations around Thanksgiving about Indians, about Eskimos this winter, and last week I practically had to spend the entire day explaining the Civil Rights movement to him because he thought the only problem was that black people weren't allowed to use water fountains. Sometimes he comes home saying some other child hurt him or something - I suppose this could happen anywhere, though. For the most part, though, it is a really pleasant, friendly atmosphere.

My dss went to Montessori up until grade 4 and is now in ps. Unfortunately he is having a much harder time and we are pretty upset with some of the
social/cultural stuff he is coming home with. It is a bigger school though, in a
different town. And tbh he has never been much of a student. He was never
disruptive so they kept him at the Montessori school, but he certainly wasn't
successful. Dh and I hoped he could go to school in our town and I do wonder if that would make a difference for him, but we have no say in his schooling.

I would still prefer to be doing something eclectic or unschooling with him, and that micght still happen. There is the possibility that schools here will close May 1st. My dh and I also want to start traveling for the winter, and if we figure that out it won't make sense to have them in school. But, for the most part ps is ok.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

I was unschooled until 4th grade, went to a quaker private school (that didn't do grades just reports to parents on how you were doing) from 4th to 8th, and then public school from 9th to 12th. It worked out great for me! I was ahead in just about every subject except writing and i was about 3 or 4 grades ahead in reading when i started school in 4th grade. My suggestion would be to homeschool/unschool until 5th or 6th grade. Give your kids plently of time to play and have a fun childhood and then start them in school when they get a little older and need to take subjects that you might not be able to teach them. One suggestion is to start them in school at 6th grade because where i grew up there were 3 elementary schools but only 1 middle school so at 6th grade the kids met lots of new people from the other schools and its wasn't as scary being the only new kid.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

i'm in a similar situation. i'm debating homeschooling, and i feel like if i do i only want to until about 6th grade, then i'd like to put them in public school. luckily we live in a metro area so there are lots of choices for schools, otherwise if we lived in a small town i probably would just home school. i will be very involved with their schooling no matter which we chose, however, and if one of my kiddos is having a hard time in school i be glad to pull them out and teach at home.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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My older girls were in PS from k-5. They both did well. They have now been home for 4 years. My 13 year old is most likely going back into public school for high school next year. The main reason she wants to go back is to go the the performing arts school for photography, it is her passion. I have no problems if she gets in (by lottery and audition) because it is a good school and will foster her talent. My other kids will not be going to PS though. They lower grade schools just are not good enough. I have no worries my duaghter will transition just fine. She is very social and the girl that everyone likes.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miacoda
I was unschooled until 4th grade, went to a quaker private school (that didn't do grades just reports to parents on how you were doing) from 4th to 8th, and then public school from 9th to 12th. It worked out great for me! I was ahead in just about every subject except writing and i was about 3 or 4 grades ahead in reading when i started school in 4th grade. My suggestion would be to homeschool/unschool until 5th or 6th grade. Give your kids plently of time to play and have a fun childhood and then start them in school when they get a little older and need to take subjects that you might not be able to teach them. One suggestion is to start them in school at 6th grade because where i grew up there were 3 elementary schools but only 1 middle school so at 6th grade the kids met lots of new people from the other schools and its wasn't as scary being the only new kid.
This is our plan. I believe public school can offer a lot later on when the subject matter is harder and kids do need more socialization and friends as they get older. This is all just IMO. I have three cousins that were homeschooled all the way until graduation from high school and they are totally normal, well adjusted, have friends and boyfriends and the oldest scored just under perfect on her SAT's. My aunt is a serious overachiever though and I just know I couldn't do high school curriculum with my kids.
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

We HS last year with DS and this year he is in K and is very happy. The school is excellent. I mean super duper great. Art, music, language, gym lots of hands on stuff. Several teachers per class room. Nurturing environment and he gets out of school by 1:45 so we have lots of family time and he can chill. I was 95% sure he was not going to PS this year but we were blown away by the school and he begged to go. Now I am still not convinced he will return next year. The school is wonderful, kids are nice, parents involved and great teachers but it is a significant commitment.

We planned to give it one full school year and then reevaluate. I have no issues whatsoever with taking him out if it is no longer working. So there are fantastic schools out there. I hate when people make it sound like every public school will have your child coming home with knives and pregnancy tests. I went to public high school and 95% of my class of 300 went on to a University. I have no baggage from school and I went to private and public. Do your homework and remember it does not have to be either or. You can certainly try both and see what works for your family. I know some pretty fantastic HS families and they are getting more than they could in a PS setting but I also know some who are doing their children a huge disservice and the kids should totally be in school. There is no right answer or better education. There is just better for your situation.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:14 PM   #8
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

We had planned to home-school; all the way through high school. And we did for two years. This year we were overwhelmed with the new baby and some other drama. But, there was no way we were sending our 6 year old to the local public school. Absolutely no way. And we could not afford any of the private or parochial schools. I searched around and asked the parents I knew and one of them mentioned that there was a small public charter school 3 miles form our house. We went for a visit and things just fell into place (for one thing they had one open space in her grade level. ) There are 2 certified teachers in each classroom, they have very strict uniform standards and rules and they are actually enforced. (Which was something we found lacking in the local public schools, the attitude was if the student was resistant to discipline you left it up to the parents.) At her school, she make reparations for infractions and I know if something happens. I also see the what they are working on and what standards are being taught. There is daily communication and if she is falling behind I know that week, not just at the semester. She is thriving and loves it, though there has been some mention of her returning to our Friday field trips. We have two more children who may or may not attend school there, if not they will be home schooled, but for the time being I could not be happier.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:22 PM   #9
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Re: Any HS/montessor/waldorf/unschoolers parents with happy stories of PS

Thanks to all. I kind of agree with all of you! I believe in public schools, and I think there are some that are great. But I also think there are some that are awful. I went to both public and private school growing up... and I actually think the combination of the two was great for me.

I'll be moving to a small town (from another small town) in about a year. I think the school is pretty good from what I've heard, but it is the only option because it's such a small town. I think I'm leaning toward putting him in school to at least give it a try. There is a small montessori school nearby that I believe only has pre-k and kindie.

For our family, if some school would work out for the early grades it would be fantastic because I will need to be able to work in some way, and I really like the idea of some kind of regular socialization. It's important to me that my kids have diverse people to get to know and have in their lives. I'm okay with homeschooling the later grades because being from such a small town I'm willing to drive to bigger cities nearby as they get interested in certain subjects if necessary. Also, when they're able to work more independently I think I'd be better at balancing it all.

I'm not certain of the homeschooling community in the area... I guess that would b a big part of it too... in terms of co-ops and social occasions, that kind of thing...
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