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Should I homeschool my child? What one mom tells us.

With schools trying to organize their fall programs, moms worry that their kids are not learning

homeschool, parent, child, learning

I am seeing lots of concern about how kids are learning right now. Or not learning, as the case may be. Learning while sitting in front of a computer screen may not be great for every child. And many parents are expressing dismay at the prospect of not knowing what the fall may bring. Some are considering homeschooling as an alternative choice.

It prompted me to call Stephanie Sandler. She is a Fishkill mom who homeschooled her daughter Madeline starting when she was in 3rd grade.

Why did you choose to homeschool your daughter?

It started when the common core regulations were first being rolled out. I wasn’t comfortable with the changing curriculum and the whole attitude that one size fits all. That doesn’t work for all kids. My daughter was 8 years old at that time and I didn’t feel that what was being taught and how it was being taught was suitable for my daughter. To me there was too much stress being put on the kids and too much stress on teachers as well. I started homeschooling Madeline in March and my husband and I decided I would use those few months until the end of the school year to decide if I would keep going. I homeschooled Madeline until she entered high school.

What were your major concerns when you homeschooled Madeline?

Socialization. How could I make sure that Madeline interacted with other kids? When I told a friend about my concern, she asked me if the concept of socialization in school was accepted as the gold standard that I would want to replicate. I admitted that I wasn’t comfortable with all that was going on including the increase in bullying.

My second concern was whether we keep up with her peers in school. I wanted to make sure that homeschooling was not a handicap.

In the beginning, what was the biggest mistake you made?

I was quick to set up our schedule like what was going on in the classrooms at school. I had to change my mindset that this was not a school at home.

What attributes should you have to succeed at homeschooling?

There are four attributes that I feel are important. And some of them I had to learn as homeschooling became part of our life.

Must learn to be flexible.

Be organized. It is important to use organization tools to help keep you on track.

Use life itself as a learning tool. Do not limit what your child learns to what they learn at a desk.

Take your child’s lead. Many times, they get excited a facet of learning that you didn’t expect. Use that to help them grow. 

Stephanie Sander is a psychologist. She works with Elise Derevjanik, who founded Becoming Mental Health. Website is The group offers mental health services to mothers with young children (or who are pregnant) who are experiencing any kind of anxiety, depression, loss, or adjustment difficulties. They offer online individual and group therapy.

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