To homeschool or not to homeschool?

Posted By on January 20, 2020

At the end of 5th grade, my son was coming home with words no parent would ever want to hear: I hate school.

My husband and I did everything we thought we could do at the time, listen to him vent his frustrations, discuss options, and talk to the teachers. For months, he was angry when he got home, talked of self harm, and begged us daily for us to let him skip school.

Some people asked if something bad was happening at school. The answer is no. He had good friends, his teachers appreciated him and thought of him as a positive contribution to the class as a whole. There was no bullying. Yet, he came home stressed and annoyed. He would worry about homework, his looks, his hair, his performance on tests. We could not reach him or talk to him until he calmed down which sometimes took days, by the time he could problem solve and talk about it, he was going back to school and the cycle continued to the next weekend.

It became clear that the change we were seeking would need to be more drastic. He was crying out for help and we needed to listen. Should we seek counseling? Should we go to our neighborhood school? Private school? Or … homeschool?!

Without missing a beat, my son voted for homeschool. I wasn’t sure if he realized what he was asking for. But then I realized, neither did I.

So in order to give clarity for everyone involved, my husband and I wrote down what we were willing to do, how it would it look and what our expectations of him were. My son agreed to it all with conviction and was ecstatic that it was an option. His only request was to not go to school anymore.

We chose a Waldorf Curriculum. I drew out daily schedule Monday through Friday, then a block schedule for the year. My work had flexibility. My husband quit his job at the bike shop to focus on homeschooling and his major project of finishing construction of a tiny house in our yard. My husband and I agreed to rotate teaching subjects for the month during main lesson (in the morning). He will take most of the classes after ML and I will occasionally take a movement, math or art class.

I feel really fortunate that we were cohesive as parents, and flexible enough in our lives to make this a reality. Our son has been respectful of our time and diligent in his work. Five months in and he still loves homeschooling. The love of learning is back and he looks forward to classes like woodwork, art, and history. Even with subjects he struggles to enjoy like math, he still puts effort in learning and striving. It was the best choice all of us could have made to meet this challenge at this time.

We don’t know how long this is going to last, but we do know that right now, it’s the perfect solution and fit for all of us.

My husband enjoyed teaching so much, he decided to go back to school and finish his Waldorf Teaching credentials.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


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