This week we go a little deeper into the reasons why we chose homeschooling. We explain why we think it’s important for us to have our children homeschooled.
Resources and links
Podcast 012 Reasons Why We Choose Homeschooling transcript
Luis: Hi guys thanks for downloading today’s podcast, so today I am bring to you guys once again Katie.
Katie: hi everyone
Katie: thanks for having me back
Luis: you are welcome, I think people enjoy having you back; it is so good to have a females voice brought into the mix. I thought that today we will talk a little bit about why we decided to do home schooling. A little bit more on the home schooling front.
Katie: more details and this is exactly how we got to this point, our decision making to home school, yea.
Luis: right, but before we get started I just want to thank all of you guys for all of the feedback that I have been getting. It’s been great I really appreciate it. It really gives me the boast and the motivation to continue to do it, also in case you guys haven’t gone to you tube channel. We do have a You Tube channel, mostly some of the stuff we have going on there is about the school bus but we will be bringing more stuff too you through there soon and all of the feedback through the website has been great. Like I said it’s a really good boast of motivation to continue to do this.
Katie: the You Tube channel name is Lemon head press right?
Luis: yes, so you just go to You Tube and just search Lemon head press you can also do a search on Google if you search Lemon head press on Google all of our different avenues of information that we have available including pin interest, YouTube and the website. I guess I am going to let you get started on what we are talking about today.
Katie: I wanted to talk about how we got to this point in our lives where we decided that home schooling our kids would be best thing for them and there were many different reasons why and it basically started with our oldest daughter Haley, who has some kind of learning, speech disabilities. After all these years we are still not quite sure exactly what it is. Anyway from the beginning of her life she has had kind of issues when it came to talking. We are not strangers to having her tested and all of that. Once she started school, when she was three we did notice that she would always been kind of little bit behind in the class compared to the other kids and the older she got the more noticeable it was. Our first real frustration with this school system was when she was in this tiny private school in first grade; she was obviously having more and more difficulty as the work would get harder and harder. Her teacher was very nice but, she pointed out to me that Haley needed this and Haley needed that and I always had to work with Haley at home with home work and I just see how well she does with one on one compared to in a classroom setting and that was kind of like a red flag number 1 for me and for us. At that time I decided to home school her, it was a very quick decision so I didn’t have a lot of time to do all the research and to kind of get my mind in the right spot, so honestly I burnt out really fast when I was home schooling her. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that her difficulties made it a lot harder on me as her teacher on let’s say what an average student would be.
We sent her back into school because we couldn’t afford to put her in private school, so again we put her into a charter so. I am sure most of you know it still a public school, maybe a little bit better. We put her in a charter school and right away the teacher had a lot to say about her and it wasn’t positive she had trouble with being bullied by a group of boys; this was a first for us because at her small private school she never had that issue. That was another red flag; we started the process of testing her to see what exactly was going on and just today which has been over a year and a half later just today I had to go back to her school to get some test results. When Lilly started that same school, she too was having a lot of issues being bullied. They would call them names and the mean girls would tell them they are not smart, they have on mouth stash. Just really bizarre and crazy things we were hearing from them. It just didn’t seem right for first graders to have to deal with or hear. Even though we were never in denial of Haley difficulties, it is very hard to hear other adults telling you these negative things about your kids. In reality these adults don’t even know your child and are looking at it from a professional side and it is very hard to hear and it makes you kind of angry in a way to have to listen to this and you just want to yell at them and say hi! You don’t know my child, how dear you say that! Even though a lot of the things they were saying true some of them ridiculous. I don’t know if you remember Luis that time when Haley came home with her backpack from her teacher saying that Haley told another little girl in her class that day to “shut up bitch”.
Luis: right, and that’s pretty ridiculous because we don’t curse whatsoever at all, ever, never around them.
Katie: I think in general, especially not around them. When I approached the teacher saying that is absolutely impossible and if you actually know Haley really well, you would know she wasn’t even capable.
Katie: at that time of even making such a remark like that and the teacher chalked it up like, oh well it must be the music or TV shows and it was absolutely laughable and compostrious (6:43) to even assume that so that was a huge deal for us cause know this teacher is judging us we are these parents that let our kids listen to such flit.
Luis: the reality is we don’t even curse, we don’t watch TV like that ever, never around them. We don’t listen to music that’s cursing or any of that stuff, never around them at all. It is very hard to expose them to none of that.
Katie: we don’t even let them watch power puff girls, we believe it’s too violent although they are sneaking power rangers every now and again.
Luis: when you hear this from school teacher, whatever it’s difficult for us having to deal with her issues at times. Any parents that are going through that process of they are not keeping up or doing this or that.
Katie: it is very stressful
Luis: it is very stressful to hear that on top of it where we are here trying our best. We are basically being told that she is cursing because we are allowing her to watch or see these things.
Katie: when you look at other kids in her class, I might be judging, I might be just as bad as the teachers but, these backgrounds that these kids come from are very different from our background and culture. It is hard to just throw everybody together and expect it to be fine. We might say something different other than bitch that another child’s parents might not agree with and vice versa. That is a big thing that you have to constantly deal with in any school setting unless it is this tiny town school where everybody know each other form they were born, nut that is pretty rare now a days. We never lost sight that Haley does so much better with one and one and Lilly we don’t have to worry about her too much.
Luis: she is very excited to learn, constantly.
Katie: very excited and easy. Probably the very easiest home schooling kid around because she just wants more and more, never protest but even though Lilly is very smart she is as sharp as a whip, gets new concepts very easily. I should mention that after all of that she test very poorly and nowadays all of these schools are geared around test scores and how it reflects them. Honestly in this charter school they went to they took five major tests each year. 4 bench mark test and an SAT test at the end of the year and basically every other month they are taking a test and we would get these scores and Lilly would only score a few percentage point above Haley and Lilly has no learning disabilities. This goes to show that test scores are ridiculous and not conducive. It is not reflective on what our children know and that is another huge reason we wanted to pull them out and that way we didn’t have to deal with this.
Luis: the amount of homework they would get when they would come home is ridiculous. It seem like this big old stack of never ending homework where these kids are at school early in the morning to mid afternoon and are expected to come home and do an hour of homework, reading and math, computer. At that age it is hard enough to keep them in a chair.
Katie: I always read about home school stuff on the internet and one of the things I completely agree with and I think is very much lacking in the average school kids life is just down time where they can just do and imagine whatever they want and nobody is giving them direction. Nobody is interjecting they can just have that down time to just decompress and relax and do what they want to do. As time goes on our children has less and less of that time. They are going to school; do homework all the extra circular activities, go to after care and all there school days are completely jam packed and they have no time to relax.
Luis: and be kids.
Katie: and then throw in all the electronic devices nowadays it’s like forget it. There is absolutely no time for them to just have that down time. I believe that is super important and that is why we don’t have the TV on during the day at all except maybe during rest time. The girls they figure it out and you know what, they stopped asking for electronics, they stopped asking to watch the TV. Now they read books and they draw and color and play outside. Honestly children have the biggest imagination you really don’t need to direct them at all when it comes to that. There is a lot of different aspects to it that are important and I think our children just aren’t getting anymore.
Luis: finally when we decided to take her out how did that decision go about with your worries and experience from the last go around?
Katie: that is a good thing to mention, like I said in the last podcast I am a very type A personality and I like list and everything in order. It is almost like when it comes to Home Schooling, it just doesn’t seem to work too much that way.
Luis: right, you have to be free flowing.
Katie: yea and as I just finished saying, I do a lot of research on the computer about home schooling. There are plenty of mom’s with blogs out there that document their home schooling experiences as a very classical way to with work books and everything is very organized and they actually seem to accomplish quite a bit everyday including Latin lessons, music lessons and all of these things and I think that’s awesome if you can get your kids to do that every day. I am sure they are not completely documenting all of the tearful tantrums that might happen during the day but for me if I were to operate that way I would just be setting myself up for failure and I would be very overwhelmed with it all. I knew I figured this out the last time with home schooling with Haley is that all those work books and all those all of that planning while it’s good to have an idea of what you want to accomplish having it set out like that and doing it depending of finishing that day is just like a recipe for disaster. That is exactly what kept happening, while not every day is pleasant there are still disasters days now. I do write list and if not everything gets completed I am totally ok with just erasing it and either doing it the next day or just not even doing it at all. I think one of the biggest things and changes this time around is that I am really learning to just kind of trust the process. In reality if our children, in regular normal school settings the amount of information they are getting fed vs. the amount of information they are actually retaining is probably really low and so I would rather go at a slower pace and have my children retain at least half of the information instead of just jamming it down their throat and fighting with them, then they retain nothing. For one we might not have done all the time tables there is to do but we did half and they know half at least as opposed to other kids that don’t even know any of them.
Luis: the main difference in home school and school nowadays and this could become a whole other podcast. The thing is they have changed everything around common core standards and there is only one state that doesn’t have standard core.
Katie: Oklahoma, I believe.
Luis: right, even if I believe the states I claim could be wrong.
Katie: we can double check that, I think I remember you saying Oklahoma.
Luis: I think that is one of the states that actually put it off I am going to put it in the polls just to be a hundred percent sure. For instance; Florida says that they don’t follow common core but they have the sunshine state which is basically similar to common core. Texas isn’t supposedly using common core but they have something called C school (16:05) which is basically the same exact thing. You are just constantly taking test, but you are just studying and learning to take the next test and the reality is kids from my experience don’t learn like that. That is not the way I learn it is very difficult for these little kids. It doesn’t matter what age my oldest son is 17 and I see the stuff he is doing know. I actually went to the teacher, the school open house and those teachers sitting up there basically saying that exact thing. His English teacher saying we are basically studying for the next test.
Katie: he is not the only teacher I have several friends that are teachers and we have talked to several school psychologist; just today I talked to the speech pathologist and all these people and officials that work in the schools are completely agreeing with us. With testing there is so much pressure on these kids to do these tests.
Luis: that was one of my issues which I knew all of these other like things because I like to do research on these. I had a lot of issues myself I was labeled with learning disabilities and also throughout my whole life I lived with it on the inside like I was Haley going through the whole process and the reality is it is ridiculous, I didn’t learn anything at all in school whatsoever and I remember sitting in these test that Haley was taking when I was little. The physiological test and all of these stuff and it is the exact same test, they might have changed it somewhat but it is the exact same test that she has taken because what I have seen and heard her talking about it and had asked her questions about; “oh look at this what does this picture look like”? I have been through all of that and I remember going through the process and getting to phases where teachers and the counselors and stuff would basically throughout my life would tell me oh yea you will not be able to learn how to read and write whatever it is ok. You will just go and work with your hands, factory worker, fix A/c’s and stuff.
The damage that did to me that again is another podcast that I can get into another part of my whole life story, which kind of went off deep end. I believed that for a very longtime. The reality is once I got older and was able to start to learn stuff that I enjoyed was I can’t even start getting into the list of things that I do nowadays which is just huge that I have taught myself from programming not only one language, multiple languages I learn to program on my own, also I have ended getting Microsoft certifications and MCSC and all of these different things. These things were basically told to me that I wasn’t capable of doing any of these things. I have been able to reach to places I have not been in colleges where I am the one teaching college professors that have doctorate degree’s certain techniques in technology field. I was directing and teaching them how to do these things and as far as I was told when I was little was I wasn’t going to be capable of doing anything near that. I was basically going to be an A/c repair guy. What I learned as I got older that the reason I was able to learn these things was because I enjoyed it. These were the things that I enjoyed and taught myself how to read, taught myself how to be a best speller and I am able to do all these things. Throughout this whole process with Haley, I have been a consistent voice from that end telling Katie it might be difficult now and seem like the end of the world but I truly know that when we find out her area of enjoyment to encourage that and she will be able to prosper just as much as I have and I think even more because when I was growing up my parents basically were listening to the professionals. The professionals were telling them one thing and they just did what the professionals told them to do. I spend the whole time telling Katie, the professionals are the professionals but I grew up this way.
Katie: because that happen to you are definitely more aware and it has caused you to have great interest in learning about all these different things like common core and like’ yea what is really going on’.
Luis: it really damages children; it doesn’t leave any room for the person that is just a little bit out of the ordinary. If you don’t fit into the square peg you are basically labeled as disabled. The reality I look back as a kid I was between 8-10 years old getting a computer an apple 2C plus. If you guys know what that is and was around that time. At that age nobody had taught me how to do anything at this time I was already labeled disabled with a learning disability and at that age my dad but that computer in my room and I was programming basic in that room. I was programming a computer game nobody had taught me how to do anything, I think I took a small little programming beginning computer thing and took that and ran with it and the reality is my parents didn’t know any better because they were listening to the professionals. They did see what I was doing and encouraged it but the reality is they kind of fell for it also. With Haley I am trying to keep my eyes open and aware of that thing that spark that Haley has so I can take that and hopefully encourage her to run with it all the way and to help her find that thing that allow her to expand and learn the things she is going to want to learn. What we are doing now with our children is definitely trying to encourage different avenues of learning, trying to find these hobbies and desires.
We ended up putting Lilly into like a ballet type thing, not only so she can have interaction with other children but also maybe she might like it and follow on. We also had her in baseball and T- ball and we are always trying to find things they might enjoy so we can get them involved in those things not to overwhelm them but we don’t have the money to put them into so many different activities.
Katie: the more we sign them for stuff the busier we get and it is pretty exhausting to be running around with 3 kids in tow. Haley really seem to be really into art and she has always loved art and Lilly as well they both take art class every Friday afternoons and she just loves it and I think it is such a great avenue for her because with art nobody is telling you are wrong or you are right. They might give you some direction with a different kind of technique but she can do what she wants and there is no right and wrong. There is no judging and grades and I can’t even imagine what goes through her head in a regular school setting like the last few years and I know she tries so hard. When she is trying so hard and she is getting these poor grades and her teachers are telling her no that’s wrong, what about this. Whatever they say it just breaks my heart because she is such a sweet little girl and to just even think her self esteem is being lowered because of something like that it is devastating to both of us as her parents. It is very critical that she finds something she loves, that she can excel at and have that self confidence.
Luis: I remember being about her age starting to realize that there was something wrong and different that I was pulled out of class to go to some other class sometimes during the day and other students were reading and writing things that I just wasn’t capable of doing at that time. I really started to notice that sometime around that age and it affected me it did.
Katie: well today when I went for her speech evaluation test results, in the evaluation it was actually written down that Haley tended to shy away from certain social situations when she would approach those situations and not be able to express herself she would just kind of walk away and because the other kids did not know what she was saying that just makes me want to burst out in tears even like picturing them it’s got to be so hard. As her mom I want to protect her. I know you can’t protect your kids forever but when they are this age and now we are home schooling them I can protect her at least a little bit more.
Luis: there is things we can do that we don’t have to leave up to anybody else. At the end of the day everything we are doing in our lives, so that we can take control of our lives and do not look back at situations like this and say; did we try enough, did we do enough and obviously we are going to think we are not doing enough. I believe every parent or person go through that whatever that situation is but we really want to be able to take control of this situation and try our best to do the best we can with or children and I think the one on one home schooling situation that we have done here that you are able to sit here and be able to go with her little by little and give her exactly what she needs and the positive about doing these kind of home schooling things, we are not only able to see these negative coming from these teachers. When you sit down and do home schooling with your kids in our case there is a big difference between abilities of one from the other. Haley excels at certain things; she definitely knows her sounds and how to sound out words a little bit more.
Katie: She takes her time more; Lilly likes to rush through it all and thinks she knows it all. She knows it all and it can be very frustrating.
Luis: one of the things that I have been doing is we have Xylophone (28:27) and we brought it out and acting like their music teacher. The funny thing is I am not a musician whatsoever, but I bring it out and we all sit for some music time. It has been a month now I have been pulling it out. I am teaching both of them to do Mary had a little lamb, twinkle, twinkle little star, old McDonald. Lilly has pretty much learned all of them but she rushed through it so quickly that she is banging it and going crazy. Haley on the other hand was kind of shying away from it for a while but I kind of got her hand and bang the zilla phone one hand at a time and she has learned it but she takes her time. Even though Lilly is better in terms of she remembers the songs but she is so worried about finishing quickly that she just blazes through it and she messes up just about every single time. Haley takes her time and hoes slower so she gets the song right so it is the difference between one and the other. I am really surprised how I am able to sit with them and able to learn how to do these songs in a couple of weeks.