Homeschooling     Hot Topics     Home and Family     K-12    

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.

More Homeschooling

  • Mother Shares Her Journey with Heroin-Addicted Daughter

    Read the gripping new book about this family

    September is National Recovery Month and one mom has shared her journey with her daughter struggling with addiction. read more »
  • Learn How to Help Your Struggling Adolescents Navigate Change and Overcome Anxiety

    Parenting expert Erica Komisar has a new book that can assist you

    Adolescence is a notoriously complicated time for kids as well as their parents. Plus, the epidemic of mental health disorders in young people has made parenting today even more challenging. But it’s not too late. Parents of adolescents can still have a profound impact on the health and well-being of their children. read more »
  • The Mama Bear Effect Launches New Resource to Combat Child Sexual Abuse

    Parents of young children and those with special education needs now have a free tool to educate children about their bodies and boundaries

    Parents, caregivers, teachers, and therapists now have a new tool to educate the most vulnerable population of children, those who need specialized assistance with learning and communication. read more »
  • Libraries in the Hudson Valley

    Visit your local library for books, classes, events and more

    Libraries are a great resource for families. Not only can you check out a book, or two or can also find classes for kids and adults. Some have summer reading programs, book clubs, homework help, career education and family-friendly events. read more »
  • Stem toy that kids are guaranteed to love

    Kids can learn all about the digestive system

    Have your kids take a journey through the belly with this STEM kit from Meandmine. HVP staff's grandkids review this fun toy and it gets 2 thumbs up! read more »
  • How to be funny, and how not to be

    Famous comedian Roy Wood Jr. offers tips

    Being funny can be a kid’s superpower, but it can also become a weapon to wound. Comedian Roy Wood Jr. helps fellow parents guide children accordingly. read more »
  • How and when to teach kids about homophobia

    A two-mom couple offer tips on having this crucial conversation

    Social media influencers Ebony and Denise, moms of three kids, have some helpful guidance on how and when to broach the topic of homophobia with your family. read more »
  • s-NO-w Day

    The world won't come to a halt if you spend the snow day with your kids

    Peter Shankman offers some great advice on what to do with that surprise snow day read more »
  • Three books to encourage healthy outdoor play

    Great ideas to help kids get outside

    A fun journey with a grandma and granddaughter, nature play and how to create areas to connect children with the natural world read more »
  • Words to soothe the angry child

    The right phrase can make all the difference

    Pandemic or no, children can get really mad, really fast. The folks at motherly offer some strategic phrases that can help de-escalate any number of situations, from toddler-hood to the teen years. It’s never too early to teach anger management. read more »