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  #5  
March 28th, 2011, 06:53 AM
Tofu Bacon
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1. What made you decide to homeschool?
My oldest has special needs (autism) and was in a school for children with developmental disabilities for 1.5 years. We pulled him out half-way through the second year (long story) and planned on homeschooling for the rest of the year and sending him to public school for kindergarten. Unfortunately, the school wasn't able to provide the support he needs, so we decided to keep him home for at least a few years. We're not sure how permanent a situation this will be, as having him home and coping with his issues all day is incredibly draining, but we're all trying to make it work for his sake. We don't plan on homeschooling dd and ds2, but are not opposed to it.

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling? I like to take an unschool-y approach for the preschool years, then a relaxed approach for early elementary years.

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district?
Aside from learning the state's requirements, I'd say take time to uncover your child's learning style AND your teaching style; it'll save you a lot of time and money if you're not having to "test out" different curriculum until you find the right one.

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much?
Our family wasn't all that supportive at first, but they're not all that involved in our lives anyway, so it really doesn't matter to us. Our teacher friends were very outspoken in their opposition, but have come around after taking the time to actually listen to why we chose homeschooling. Interestingly, we felt a lot of pressure to homeschool, as most of out friends are homeschooling as well; I felt a lot of guilt for not homeschooling dd and ds2, but now I'm fine with it because we need to do what works for each of our kids.
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