I Put My Child Back into Public School

I put my child back in public school.

I’ve talked before about how to re-enroll in a public school. But, today I’d like to talk about *why* I decided to put my child into public school. Just one child, while I continued to homeschool the other two.




Homeschooling isn’t for every one. It might not be for the whole school journey. If you’re considering putting your child back into school, I hope my story will help encourage you–whatever school choice option you decide.

Our reasoning for homeschooling was primarily personal reasons. We wanted to simplify our lives and encourage a close-knit family unit. We felt that homeschooling was a great way to accomplish those goals.

We we’re against public schools (as some of you may know my husband is a public school teacher). We never felt it was a “calling” for religious reasons either. We reevaluated our decision to homeschool one year at a time.

Every year, we would assess what was working and what was not working. That’s part of the semi-annual progress assessment required by law. Though I think it’s something you’d naturally do that anyway, whether the law said to or not. Many times, you can make adjustments to your homeschool plan in order to improve and find success.

Something Wasn’t Working

But, for us there was something not working in the relationship with my daughter. It felt like I was wrestling a lion every day. I felt it was exerting so much effort and energy to accomplish the simplest assignments with her.

I often said, “If you don’t want to do this, we can let you go to school.” But, the school was an unknown change. She had no idea if she would want to go there. She couldn’t make the decision…and neither could I.

I would conserve my efforts by sending the older two kids off to do some math assignments or something. They could do a certain amount of work independently anyway. But, it would be a week before I’d check up on them to go over the work they’d done.

I’d say, “I’m not sure what you were doing here.” They’d say they didn’t know either. So, they’d have to do it all over again.

No one was succeeding or making much progress. We weren’t getting to our goals of simplifying our lives nor our happiness level as a family unit.




One day, my daughter was doing her reading lesson with me. The sentence she read was, “She looked up for her notebook.” I stopped her and pointed at the word “for”. I said, “Look at this word again.

She spelled it. F-O…F-O…F-R-O…F-R-O-M. I could see the realization on her face that it wasn’t “for”. She paused. And then she huffed. “For” and glared at me.

I was determined to not yell this time. I redirected and tried to get her to just read the sentence correctly—the girl looked up *from* her notebook.

It was spring break, and my husband overheard the interactions. He stepped in and said, “Are you kidding me? This is unacceptable. You’re going to school—and that’s it.”

There were behavioral issues that were all tangled up in the education. It just made sense for us to sort out what was going on. We had to focus on being parents…and let someone else focus on the education. At least for a while. Even if was only for a few years. She could eventually come back to homeschooling later.




Switching to Public School

So on Monday, I took her to the school for the last six weeks of the year. It was a very hard transition. She was supposed to be in 3rd grade, but I knew she wasn’t reading at grade level and the school wouldn’t be able to hold her back. So, we put her in at 2nd grade in order for her to succeed from there.

The teacher gave so much homework that she couldn’t even finish it all. She’d be gone at school all day. Come home to start homework. Till it was dinner time and bath time. Then, she’d do more homework till bedtime.

She cried everyday. And so did I. Was it the right choice?  Would things ever get better? Or had we made a huge mistake?

I didn’t know. All I knew, is that we did the best we could at the moment. And that had to be enough.

Eventually, she was diagnosed with ADHD. School was still very difficult. It’s common for kids with ADHD to struggle socially with their peers. They prefer to interact with kids who are younger.

She did well on tests. But, couldn’t remember to do the homework assignments. She’d get in trouble with the teacher for that.

I’d say, “Well, do you want to come back home?” No matter how much she struggled in public school, she never did want to come back to homeschooling. All the difficulties we had before she was diagnosed, she attributes to the educational environment.

I find it interesting that many people come to homeschooling with similar feelings about the traditional school. The struggles associated with learning difficulties are blamed on the school environment or particular teachers.

When people asked her what grade she was in, she would always say what grade she was supposed to be in…but she failed one. I don’t know why that was such an important thing to her. I’ve tried to tell her many times that I feel that was my failure. Not hers.




Parenting Is Hard

But, in the end, it did work out. She graduated from public school with honors. She went on to pharmacy school. And our family turned out to be a close-knit unit anyway.

So, if you’re considering why you might need to put your child back into public school. I know the pain and the struggle.

Go back to your reason why you’re homeschooling in the first place. Adjust what you can. Sometimes that’s switching curriculum or scheduling. Sometimes that’s switching to another school setting and going back to public school. It’s not an easy fix to the problems though.

Parenting is hard. You do the best you can at this moment.
And that has to be enough.

Read more about the Battle of Wills over Schoolwork:
Does your homeschooler love schoolwork? What if your kid doesn't want to do school? Is that normal?

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About Kim Andrysczyk

Homeschool veteran, Association Director, coffee addict, sarcasm expert, and accidental blogger. I'm here to encourage you thru the tough times and inspire you toward excellence. If I can make it, so can you!

Comments

  1. Thanks for this. A few moms in our co-op are feeling the same way. Just shared this post with them. Thanks again for putting your feelings into words we can all relate to and understand.

Trackbacks

  1. […] And even when all the paperwork is done, there’s still more hard days ahead as your family adjusts to the change. If you’re having a hard time with the decision to enroll your homeschooler back in school, then hugs for you. I know how hard it can be. […]

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