Putting My Oldest in School

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Putting My Oldest in School

Post by MomtoJGJE » Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:48 pm

We've finally decided that we are going to start the process of putting Jayden in school.

The main reason is for sports. She's very athletic and good at sports, and wants to possibly go on to play sports in college. We just can't figure out a way to get her in a competitive basketball (her favorite) league close enough to home that we can make it work with our other kids' activities. Not to mention the cost. This would also allow her to easily try other sports and activities that we don't have a way to provide close to home.

But what spurred us to make a final decision was math. I feel she just needs more consequence for not listening or not trying/paying attention than I can give. I can't tell whether she truly understands something or is just rushing through it at this point. I do know it's infuriating to me, and that's just not good for any of us. It's also trickling down and I can see the same attitude being given by Grace now.

We live around the corner from a charter school. They have great athletic programs. They are also a fine arts school, which means that she will be able to do all sorts of other things that interest her. The public high school we are zoned for is NOT a good school. And since she'll be entering in 8th grade, we aren't going to start her in the middle school just to pull her out again. So we will be putting her name in the lottery next spring for the charter school.

At this point, for me, it's a little weird because we've not done school before. I'm talking to people and finding out what all I need to make sure she knows/does/whatever before starting school. She does know quite a few kids that go to that school, and she makes friends easily. We are moving on to pre-algebra (a curriculum that a friend of mine gave me) so that she'll be in the best position to do algebra next year.

I feel so torn. Again, we've never done school before, so the selfish side of me thinks "what is this going to mess up for ME!" But I do know that at this point it is what is best for her. But I might be whining (or praising!) on this board from time to time because I know that you all will know where I'm coming from.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by Hope » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:54 pm

I can tell that you are really putting a lot of thought into this decision and want what is best for her.

Our local schools allow homeschool teens to play on their sport teams without attending their schools. Is that a possibility for you? I know homeschoolers who have gone that route. It is high exposure to unwanted substances that the homeschool sport teens I know have steered clear of. I thought I would share that information though since in our area it is rampant among teens. Playing on a highschool team though, as a homeschooler, is very easy where we live. Perhaps you could go that route?

A question I would have though is what will be most important 10 or 20 years from now? A Christian education throughout the day? Sports and Christian teaching when you and your DH make time for it outside of school, sports, and homework hours? Is she a leader or a follower by personality? Will she be the one in 10 that resists anti-God teaching or 7 out of 10 that move that way? Every kiddo is so different!

I have wondered your question for private Christian teams as home schoolers. For us the public school teams as homeschoolers isn't an option. This decision though is very much between you and your DH and the LORD. Only He knows best for your family. You are thinking so caringly & I am sure already taking this to prayer. I would keep praying since so much really is at stake.

I played sports in college for a year. As a Christian I had to skip most of the social activities. I enjoyed the practices and I felt respected, but I never really part of the team; if that makes sense. Most of the real bonding was around activities that I wouldn't join into.

You truly have a big decision. My 12 year old loves soccer, so I do understand. My DH and I have been talking a lot about the negatives of sports lately versus the positives. I have also been reading the book The Socialization Trap that I saw Carrie recommend on an old thread. Very insightful.


P.S. I don't think you are being selfish at all.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by LynnH » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:16 am

I also can tell that you have put lots of thought and prayer into this. I also pray it goes well with your daughter. My kids came home from very high ranking public schools. My son was there through 4th and my daughter through 9th grade. I just wanted to give you a few heads ups that you might want to be aware of. First is don't expect the school to push her or give her consequences in the area of math. In our experience and many others that I have talked to math is the area where private, charter and ps schools can really drop the ball. What my daughter experienced was that the teacher just has too many students to truly teach to each students needs. They explained it one way and if the students didn't get it that way they were left behind. The teacher spent the majority of the time dealing with behavior issues or attitudes verses really teaching, especially at the high school and junior high level. My daughter is a very strong student and so instead of letting her soar and move ahead the teacher had her teaching the kids that were struggling. This was frustrating for my daughter because the kids weren't going to listen to her and they really didn't care. She had some good math teachers and some really poor ones. Just know you will probably spend as much if not more time helping your daughter with math than you are doing now, due to limited explanations or time to go over things in class. Also it is very easy for kids to fake it for the teachers, especially if they are well behaved students. My daughter was in honors English her 9th grade year. She has told me she didn't read a single one of the assigned books that year and she still got an A in that class.

The one other word of warning I would give is to really watch her for changes in her personality and behavior. My daughter became a totally different person in 9th grade and we just wrote it off as "typical teenager" attitude. It turns out she was undergoing some massive bullying and even sexual harassment and didn't tell us. Finally she came to me and told me she wanted me to homeschool her for 10th grade and since this was my kid that said she would never be homeschooled, I knew something was going on. After she was home we found out the extent of what went on and the toll it took on her. She dealt with emotional ramifications of that year for many years afterwards. She is the type of kid you would never think would get bullied. She is pretty and outgoing and yet that is exactly why she was targeted. I don't tell you this to scare you, just to give you a heads up so you don't brush off things like we did.
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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by MelInKansas » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:29 am

I can tell this is not an easy decision for you. I can relate, if we were thinking of putting one of my children in school I think it would be really tough! I love the lifestyle of homeschooling, most of the time. I will pray for you.

One option I would look into as well is to see if maybe the charter school would allow her to play on the team. Our local Christian school has some teams where they are combined with homeschoolers. We are blessed to have a local homeschool association that offers volleyball and basketball teams but it's not quite big enough to offer the sports that need more people - soccer and football. For those sports the Christian school combines (but it is a small school so it benefits them too, as they probably don't have enough students to create those teams with only their students). But I would think if she shows promise, and is getting in as a freshman, they might be willing to let her play.

I have often wondered how to best help my kiddos have the understanding that if you don't do your work, you fail. I have a friend who is doing HOD who has met with a lot of resistance from one of her children on getting the work done. You may find though, with the school, generally the teachers just say "don't get your work done, you fail." That is motivating for some kids and not for others. The teachers can't and don't take it personally and remind students to get their work done. Your daughter is probably an achiever who will care, and I guess if you go that route you will find out.

I assume this is not a Christian school, correct? Is there a good core of Christian students there? Does your daughter know any of them? Are there Christian staff/faculty or any Christian groups? There are a good number of kids in this area who have gone to public school for high school after being homeschooled, but the only reason that has worked out well for them is that there were Christian groups of students and even some teachers who encouraged and supported them. My brother is an example of the fact that the friends you make when you first enter high school can either make you or break you (in his case it was bad, very bad). So if you do go that route, I would put in a lot of prayer, and discussion with her, over who she will befriend. Of course, the Lord can and will work and He will protect her, I just think the influence of other students is probably an even bigger problem for young people in school than the worldview they are being taught (which is bad enough by itself).
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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by Gwenny » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:34 am

Thanks for sharing with us Lora Beth! All of these decisions with our children are so multifaceted aren't they? Tough things. It will be really different after so many years of not having any in school. You are not being selfish at all to think about how it will affect you! It's huge. It's so hard to make the balance of what is best for one of the children and what it best for everyone. Sometimes we decide that even though that would be great for that child, it just isn't best for the family overall. Sometimes it goes the other way. Right now, our 13 yo has been doing ballet for a couple of years and it takes a lot of my time (and money) to take and pick up and so much of our schedule revolves around that. In some ways I want to quit and say it's too much, but I know that for this one, she needs this because there are already too many other things in her life that don't help her personality/self-worth, etc that ballet is really good for her--mostly because of the people who run it and how loving and Christ-Centered they are-makes a huge difference. Also, the girls are very kind and loving also. It's about the only thing that will bring a smile to her face and somewhat force her to smile and be positive. (she is pretty much the most miserable, melancholy person I've ever known--she has many woes that don't really exist--she's been that way since she came at 2 yo.) So, we are doing it. There are many days when I want to scrap it all--especially when she complains about something or is so ungrateful. :)

I used to pretty much ignore what was best for me, it was always about the children. I've learned that it's okay to think about myself and how things will or will not affect me and what I need to do. One of the things that I've always thought about if we put a child in, being trapped in their schedule. haha I don't like to be tied down and want to be free to take off and do whatever I wanted. There's good and bad in that--I've been a little TOO flexible. lol

Anyway, I just wanted to share some thoughts and let you know that I'm praying for you.

Oh, I just remembered that I was going to ask if Jayden wants to go?

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by MomtoJGJE » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:06 pm

Homeschool kids aren't allowed to play sports in school here yet. There's been a bill on the table for YEARS, but it's not a priority I suppose. :roll: There are no homeschool groups within 30 minutes of here that do competitive basketball. For competitive basketball within 30 minutes of here there is no other option. With four other kids in activities and sports we just can't do that far of a drive multiple nights a week.

Jayden is back and forth. She's a very outgoing person (Huge E in a house full of Is!) and is looking forward to being around people (I've explained that she cannot actually TALK to people all day ;) ) but she's nervous about the change.

I'd say about 1/3 of the teachers/faculty/coaches at the school actually go to our church, and probably the same amount of kids. Not that that makes them Christian, but at least we know them, you know? There is a large Christian "feel" about the school, but it is definitely a public school. Teaching our beliefs isn't relegated to the hours she spends in HOD (I know you weren't saying that) so I"m guessing her going to school will actually force us to teach things to her that we wouldn't think to while she's here. But for us it's more of a lifestyle. She is hard to pin down on whether she's a follower or a leader. She is VERY influential among everyone she meets and is around, but she's not very vocal about her beliefs. Honestly, I do not think she would bend to peer pressure or whatever as far as her beliefs go. Of course that's something that is hard to tell until a person is in that situation. But we always talk about how following Christ is hard and they have to be willing to deal with people making fun of them or losing friends because of their beliefs. We've been honest from the beginning with all of them that we are very blessed and fortunate to live in a country that will not automatically kill us if we believe in Jesus. Tease, make fun of, not want to be around you, but your life is generally not on the line here. I've never actually had any negative issues in my life because of my beliefs, but I think it's because I'm very open about who I am and what I believe and I'm confident in that. I've done my best to teach that to my kids. Know what they believe and stick by it. Test everything they hear against their current beliefs, etc.

Ugh, it is hard.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by Nealewill » Sun Nov 22, 2015 4:47 pm

I just wanted to say that I prayed for you and her. It is hard! Life is hard! I am sure you didn't come to this decision lightly. I do hope that she loves school and that you and she accomplish your goals.

I was not raised in a Christian home and did not come to know the Lord until I was 21. When my oldest was 2 or 3, I was judging a speech and debate tournament for a homeschool group. I was taking a break in the break room and was asked if I was planning to homeschool my own kids. At that time I didn't know my plans and said just that. I knew that I wanted them to have a good education but at the time, the Lord hadn't put it on my heart to homeschool them. Well, she made sure to go on and on about why I needed to homeschool my kids. I will say, I was way more boisterous at that time then I am now. She also didn't have a censor button for her own lips. Everyone in the room that was on break left one by one after a while. What I wouldn't give to have seen a video clip of that discussion now in my life LOL. Basically we left at odds but I do firmly believe that kids can still have strong relationships in the Lord in public school. Is it easier when you are homeschooled? Probably. But your dd has had the benefit of being at home and growing in the Lord for many years thus far. I am guessing that your dd is saved and at least has the Holy Spirit available to her at all times. My firm belief when I ended my conversation with that woman was that it is the Lord who pursued me. He will pursue my kids. And that while I can include Him in their day all day long if they are homeschooled, ultimately it is still their decision to accept Him. I know many, many people who have kids in public schools both they and their kids are saved. They love the Lord. They are all there for different reasons. For me, I am grateful and thankful that I can have the Lord be part of my kids education but you are right, God is not restricted to school time. He is just as prevalent and focused upon during non school hours.

Not only will I pray for your dd's goals and yours to be accomplished but for the work He has laid before her. Many times God calls us to places we don't expect or even want to go but it is our job to be obedient. If you truly feel the Lord is calling you to do this with your dd, then there may be other reasons for this as well. Praise God and praying for the times ahead.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by Gwenny » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:11 pm

I agree with Daneale. :) God is so much bigger than us and our home schooling. :)
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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by MomtoJGJE » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:19 am

She is saved. Sometimes I wonder if homeschooling them has made it too easy, if that makes sense. Sure it's easy to say you believe in Jesus and trust Him if you are pretty much only around Christians. I need to start having her pray specifically for strength and courage while she's at school!

Honestly, I still don't feel called by God to homeschool. I don't feel called any one way for their education. I started homeschooling because Jayden couldn't be still... her preschool teachers worked with it, but I knew K was going to be much longer of times where she HAD to sit still. So I decided, she was already starting to read, so how much could I mess her up in K? Worse case scenario we could start her in K the next year. It's always been a year by year thing for us. I feel the same way about sending her to school. It will be a year by year thing.

I believe that for us and our family, giving her the opportunity to see what school is like, and giving her those chances for the sports and fine arts stuff she just doesn't get here at home, is going to be a very important step in her growing up. I have come to see that for her to make some decisions on her own, she is going to have to experience something other than our little world. Simply because of the world we live in now. If we lived even 50-100 years ago and everyone pretty well stayed in their small area all their lives, it would be different.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by Tidbits of Learning » Sun Nov 29, 2015 12:08 pm

We have done this with our oldest 2 girls b/c there is literally no options once they turn 14 here for sports, bands, or anything else extracurricular and competitive. It has been overall a great experience, but with the good also comes bad. We have had many conversations that were hard. The world is a very difficult place now and even in small town worlds there is a lot of the world in school. I am glad we have had the very real talks but sad that we had them a lot earlier than I planned to delve into such topics.
I would suggest having her take the Iowa (ITBS) testing to have with you when you go to enroll. It is pretty much universally accepted and may help get proper placement in classes without spending a ton of time in placement testing for the school. We did this with both of our girls and alongside a report card created using Homeschool Helper...we had no issues going back as far as academic placement. For sports and extras, this is key as they look at academics for sports eligibility.
You may notice changes in behavior, but I would encourage to keep an open dialogue going. We choose to drop off and pick up the kids to have those minutes before school and directly after school with them over them riding the bus with peers. We found the bus to be a real bad idea as the kids are mainly unsupervised and a lot of bad conversations and actions happen on the bus.
For us, there were no other options for the girls to continue with soccer and to participate in marching band. We have had great opportunities--our oldest was on the winning team for a jv soccer tournament her freshman year--my middle daughter was part of a marching band that was Grand Champions at a state competition...I am very thankful for those opportunities. We have had some bullying. I have been to the school to talk to teachers and administration. So far for us, the good outweighs the bad and the girls are adjusting to school and the differences fairly well. Being in activities does give you a good friend base and being busy does help to avoid trouble. Plus with games, competitions, and all...you have a lot of opportunity to meet parents and really get to know the kids your kids are friends with as well.
There are often days when we have 10+ kids in the living room watching movies after hanging out in the neighborhood. Four of them are mine and the rest are friends. I may get tired of the noise but I wouldn't trade it for anything as I know where they are and who they are with...I would encourage friends coming over so you can get to know them.
It did actually get harder to homeschool though. Between driving to school, getting back and getting going with the boys, lunch, then back for carpool...then back home to try and school some more...then back for sports/band pick-up depending the season going at the time...we have to be very, very diligent with school and keep a strict schedule. It has been more tiring for me having 2 in and 2 out. You will be jumping from one thing to the other. We could not keep up with homeschool co-ops b/c of the school schedule and picking up the girls from sports/band activities. I will also warn you that school sports are expensive.
Public school sports are not free. They cost hundreds of dollars just for the fee and then you have to buy your own gear and often the shoes are specified that they want them to wear. Those were things I had no clue about before the girls went back. So you may want to keep any money you would have spent on next year's curriculum in a holding account b/c you will need it. Classes also have fees. Almost all the classes have a fee about $25-$50 these cover technology fees, online access to texts, art supplies...The cost of public school and doing sports and extras with public school was a big shock for me. So I thought I would mention it as you have not been in the school system...it has changed a lot and parents foot a lot of the bill for all those extras the schools can offer and charter schools will have all those fees.
I pray more now than I did before and I find myself searching now more for the path that I need to walk to help them find their path in life that they are meant for as well. I would suggest talking to some of the parents you know from church about costs that you may incur for the school and sports. The charter school will likely have a contract for you to sign saying if you fail to pay the fees they will hold grades and transcripts.
It has definitely been something I couldn't duplicate at home and the opportunities have been great, but it is definitely the harder path as a parent.
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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by my3sons » Sun Nov 29, 2015 5:42 pm

As parents, we have some tough decisions, don't we? I don't believe that there is one right decision for everyone to make. I think each family must prayerfully make decisions together. I have prayed for you Lora Beth, and also for your dd. I have struggled with this same decision with our son. He is 6' 1", and he is an excellent basketball player, I think. :D I am basing this on the way he plays with my brother-in-law and his cousins, as he's never been on a formal team. :wink: I will say his uncle who has dc in public high school played with Wyatt last summer and said he'd be the star of our high school team if he played, as he was blocking shots, near dunking it, and scoring pretty regularly. I played basketball in high school and loved it. However, I also fell away from the Lord in high school my last few years, even though I started basketball every one of those years. I still went to church every Sunday, we still prayed at every meal, my parents still were the best Christian parents ever - but I didn't have any relationship with Christ anymore. I don't play basketball anymore, but I still carry the scars of regret from the decisions I made away from God. I also carry the scars of injuries - broken fingers broken toes, bone chips in my head, repeatedly twisted ankles, etc. Certainly basketball alone did not cause me to stray from my faith in God, but peer pressure, an older boyfriend far too young, and little time with my parents and siblings who were my Christian influence and suddenly were not much in my life were side results. I'd redo that time in my life in a heartbeat and readily give up basketball to do it.

My son plays basketball with his cousins and uncle once almost every week in the summer. He loves it! He looks forward to it like crazy! He also shoots hoops in our driveway, even in the winter. When I asked him if he felt sad we'd chosen not to have him play basketball for our local high school, he took a bit to answer. He said he already had the basketball team he wanted - his little brother, his cousins, and his uncle. But then he also said he'd love to have a whole team to play with and against sometime. Our church has a basketball team that he can play on at 18 yo. That's 2 years away. That's the plan he's on, and he is supportive. Heavy decisions. Who knows 100% what's right? I think we're all just doing the best we can! I pray for guidance so often, as I don't know if we're always making the best decisions or not. I will say these are precious times for us with our ever-growing son. To hear him singing in the morning as he does his chores, to see him wrestling with the dogs and loving on the cats as he does his chores outside each day, to hear him helping his little brother practice his Bible verses, to hear him singing the skip counting CD with his youngest brother, to hear him laughing over lunch, to see him hopping in on calisthenics with Emmett's Bible practice, just to have him present in our home with the family is such a blessing!!! Thinking back to what my high school years were like at his age - it's all worth giving up organized sports. Now, how he'll feel about it in years to come? Of that I'm not sure. Maybe he'll feel like he missed out big time. Maybe he'll harbor resentment. But all we can do is parent the here and now, can't we? The best we can. The future - well, that's theirs to do with it as they want. He may put his dc in every single organized sport out there, and who knows? Maybe that will be the best thing too. No matter what, just hang onto your dd - to her faith, to her love, to her obedience to you, to her relationship with you. That's a forever win. The rest? Well, that's just for a small fleeting part of life. I pray that she loves her school, her sports, her life, but most of all, I pray she loves the Lord! No matter where our children are or what they are doing, that is the prayer that counts. I will be thinking of you and your dd and remembering you in prayer from time to time! Please do the same for me.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by mrsrandolph » Sun Nov 29, 2015 7:37 pm

Our 13 year old daughter is also very athletic and plays soccer and basketball. In Georgia, homeschooled kids cannot play in the public schools either. But there are select leagues. They are expensive, and we are a family of 6 living on a teacher's income. We ask for money for her sports for her birthday and Christmas. We can't see turning our daughter over to the public/pagan school system just for sports.

GOD IS SOVEREIGN. He will provide for her college!! Think about what is eternal, not temporal and of this world.

You and your husband will give an account for her soul and what you have done on behalf of it while she is yours to raise. :D

I hope I don't sounds harsh. I know this is a hard decision. Just try to think eternally.

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Re: Putting My Oldest in School

Post by MomtoJGJE » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:02 am

Thanks for all the prayers.

As I said... I honestly don't feel called to homeschool. I homeschool because it's easy and convenient for me. So I'm not just thinking temporally. :) I truly do not feel pulled in any one way by God for their education.

Thank you for all the things to think over and the information about schooling! I know that all those things aren't free, but I'm guessing the fees for sports will be pretty close to what we are paying now for her sports. Oh and when I said that about riding the bus I meant to the games. There is no bus for the charter school as far as getting to school. I'm also pretty lucky that I'll be gone a max of 30 minutes taking her to school (if I am at the end of the line, etc) and we don't typically start school here at home until about 9 anyway. In fact, it's a possibility that most if not all of my others would still be asleep when I take her to school! And we are done well before she would be done with school to pick her up. And Grace will be almost 12 when Jayden starts school, so perfectly capable of staying with the others.

It is truly just very hard to let go of doing whatever, whenever. But I'm guessing that happens as the kids get older no matter what you do.

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