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Contemplating home schooling this fall


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  #1  
April 2nd, 2008, 07:39 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 13,328
I am 80% sure that I will be homeschooling my son this fall. I am really nervous about it - fear of the unknown - and I am hoping that you ladies will give me your honest thoughts on it - the good or the bad - I want to go into this with my eyes wide open.

Right now my son is in private school - which we love -but can no longer afford. He will be in third grade this fall. He is a bright child - but headstrong like his mother and I am worried about how he will handle the relationship change in me becoming mother and teacher. I am also concerned about him not being with kids his age on a daily basis. I have looked into it - and it seems like there are a lot of homeschool events for children on a weekly basis - at the YMCA - local parks and ice rink. But still is that enough socialization for him??

I will also have a 2 year old at home while trying to homeschool as well.

Please give me your thoughts on this.......

what do you love about it?

what DONT you love?

what do I need to know?
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  #2  
April 2nd, 2008, 07:48 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,852
Your son is the same grade as my daughter. She's very head strong, too. As for socialization, school being a good place for it is very much a myth. When in real life do we associate with 30 people born within about a year of us and who live in our immediate geographical area? Nowhere. Instead we associate with people of a lot of different ages and who live in various places usually (think about where all people drive from who work with your husband). Additionally, kids are constantly told to be quiet at school. Lunch (or at least part of it) is often eaten in silence. In class you get in trouble for talking to your neighbor. Recess is pretty much it, and when you think about it, that's not much of the day at all. An activity a week is plenty of socialization. Additionally, it is a myth that homeschoolers turn out weird for lack of socialization. Fact is some homeschoolers do turn out weird. But so do some public schoolers and some private schoolers. Some kids (and adults) are just plain weird.

What do I love about homeschooling? Being with my kids and seeing them learn rather than send them off to an institution every day for 7 hours. Getting to learn/relearn along with them. Not having to deal with homework after they've already have a long day at school. Being able to do what we want when we want, including going on vacation in the "off" times (cheaper, fewer people).

What don't I love? I suppose it would be nice to be able to run errands some times without three (soon to be four) kids in tow (I'd still have one, soon to be two). We just go as a family along with my husband on weekends and evenings instead so that's definitely not a huge deal. My house would probably be cleaner if the big kids weren't home all day.

What else you need to know all depends. Where do you live? What questions do you have? What's your vision for homeschooling?
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  #3  
April 2nd, 2008, 08:00 AM
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We are living in Ohio (used to live in Fredericksburg, VA --- saw you are NVA we are near Cleveland now.

My questions: how do I find a good curriculum?
who do I have to contact in to let them know that he will be homeschooled?
will someone in the state monitor his progress?
how do I find support for myself in my area as I undertake this
and my biggest question::::
do I have enough patience to do this????????????????????????


I have no idea what my vision is yet -

Thank you so much for your input ---- everything that you said was SO TRUE!!!
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  #4  
April 2nd, 2008, 08:37 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Hampton Roads, VA, USA
Posts: 3,678
There are options for finding curriculums all OVER the place. Some that are used by people around here are Sonlight (a literary based curriculum), Math-U-See, ABeka, Explode the Code (a phonics program), and Story of the World (history stuff). There's also BJU, Saxon, Miquon (math), and a number of other things that I'm not sure how many, if any around here use. There are a LOT of different options on christianbook.com (under the "Homeschool" section), which is actually where I found some of the stuff I'll be using with my nephew.


I think I'm about to be the first to be using Christian Liberty Press (ebiz.netopia.com/clpress/) for language arts stuff, which will be with my nephew, but we are starting with Explode the Code's Ready, Set, Go set. We'll also be using the Rod and Staff (rodandstaff.com) Preschool/Kindergarten set of seven to work on some skills he is severely lacking in because he's significantly delayed in a few areas. Quite honestly I wouldn't be doing anything with him except that he's begging to read and do math.

With my niece I'll be using the ABeka (abeka.com) full program for grade one, because I don't feel right switching her out of the program she started in school with. We'll gradually move her to a more literary based school program, but we have to convince her she likes to read again first. Right now she doesn't even like to listen to a short story a lot of times.

For the legal side of things (monitoring, notifications, and all that) you can look here: http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp?State=OH

HSLDA also lists some support groups/organizations which may be able to put you in contact with other homeschoolers and help you figure out a lot of the legal side of things (particularly notifications and reporting): http://www.hslda.org/orgs/default.asp?State=OH

Regarding your first questions...

I love knowing what the kids are learning, learning with them, and being in charge of what and when they learn. I love spending time with them and enjoying time outdoors and going places with them (we'll see how I feel about that part in another seven months when I have a baby as well, lol). When I was being homeschooled, I loved having so much time to do what I wanted to do instead of being stuck inside! I liked having time with my parents all through the day, and I liked being able to brag about how little time "homework" took me when I was in highschool (wasn't I bad??)!

I don't like the fact that I'm going to HAVE to spend all day every day doing stuff with my niece and nephew, but I can't wait to be spending all day every day with my own child... I guess it's a matter of who is and who isn't mine. I would like to have the freedom to go places without them, but I have a feeling I'm going to have the two kids here all day from 8:30 in the morning until (earliest) 5:30 in the evening, so I'm kind of stuck with them. It's like I'm going from being not a parent to a parent of three (age 6, 4, and will be newborn) in the course of seven months! I also don't like the fact that the kids have to be tested or assessed in some other way, but I suppose it is better here where they only want math and language scores than in some other places where they want every single subject!
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  #5  
April 2nd, 2008, 03:29 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Australia
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Hi and welcome to the homeschooling board!

Quote:
I am also concerned about him not being with kids his age on a daily basis.[/b]
I think the perceived need of children to be around other children who are a few months younger or older then themselves is a myth generated by public schooling. Some children may like to be around others each day if the are extraverted, most are happy with a couple of times a week, while others would happily not do much at all. Public schooling has only been around about 100 years and I am sure people got on with others before then. If anything I think problems in society such as violence and crime went up and are getting worse since public schooling. I don't think throwing together a large group of children with inadequate supervision fosters social skills. It is known that it encourages bulling, peer dependence, and clicks. I would look more at your individual child to see how many times a week he would need to socialize. Extraverts are energized by social interaction often, while introverts are energized by time away to themselves or just with family.

Quote:
I will also have a 2 year old at home while trying to homeschool as well.[/b]
Little ones can make for interesting days. The great thing about homeschooling is that it doesn't take very long. You can get it all done in a couple of hours and can be done at times that best suit you all. Often younger ones want to join in, so a box full of there 'homeschool' stuff sometimes works well.

Quote:
what do you love about it?[/b]
I love the flexibility of it. We are free to set our own schedule of when we do school, when we take a break, of what we will learn about. It's great!

Quote:
what DONT you love?[/b]
Sometimes my kids drive me crazy and I would like a break more often. I think a lot of that is to do with my youngest who has some issues though. Then there are those bad days which all kids have when they don't want to do school and they seem to have forgotten everything. It's best just to pack up and forget it.

Quote:
what do I need to know?[/b]
The legal side has already been answered. I would advise after you bring your son home to give him some down time. Let him do whatever he feels like (talking about playing not disobedience here) Then introduce some board games and read alouds, then after a while add in some maths and LA. Even just using some workbooks from the newsagent. I wouldn't worry about other subjects till you feel you have found your niche. Decide what you want for your sons education. Look and see how he learns best. Some curriculum is more hands on, some is more traditional work books, other is more literary. Sonlight for example is literary, If you and he love books then that may be for you. But if reading aloud leaves you feeling drained and your son could care less then that would probably not work. If he loves to write and fill out puzzles and boxes then workbook style may be what you need. I wouldn't rush into getting curriculum.
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  #6  
April 2nd, 2008, 07:38 PM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 11,318
I want to say welcome!

I have a 3rd grader, but I homeschooled with a toddler and a kinder. You find ways to make it work.

I love it even in the bad! I can say that now after 4 years! Even the bad days just aren't really a big deal now. The more you learn and grow in this as a homeschool mom, the better you are emotionally in this task. I am so okay in being the teacher/mom. Those two things just go hand in hand now. It is no longer stressful and my kids are showing me the fruits of my labors everyday.

My 3rd grader is reading a book about mononucleosis right now and talking to me like he is a doctor! I don't know another 3rd grader like that in real life other than my homeschool kids around me. Learning is fun to him, I wouldn't trade any of the bad days and the hardships that brought us to this point. It has worked. He aches to learn.

I have another son who has time to catch and tend to his own zoo of lizards, frogs, bugs, caterpilliars, etc. LIFE is GOOD!

You just have to try it!

Curriculum isn't as daunting as it seems. Find something that you like for Math, and language arts, have him write creatively and read, add in some fun science from any source and some hands on living history and you are teaching better than any school in america! I was thinking a few days ago how easy that is and how I wish I could pass that carefree view onto all new homeschoolers. Take it in stride and enjoy where your child takes you.

Patience? If you are able to parent when he is home...you can do this!
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  #7  
April 2nd, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,657
Cleavland has some great groups

http://www.neohsc.com/
http://www.ohiohomeeducators.net/

I live in south Ohio

what do you love about it? Not having to deal with the public school often

what DONT you love? My superintendent take on Ohio rules

what do I need to know? Some days you'll want to scream or you will scream, but more often then not it'll be good days there will be patches that are more bad then good but over all it's great days.

how do I find a good curriculum? Find what style you like and research it. I found trial and error to be the best method for us. A lot of kids do well with math-u-see.

who do I have to contact in to let them know that he will be home schooled? you would contact your public school superintendent
will someone in the state monitor his progress? just them
how do I find support for myself in my area as I undertake this Those two groups are very good, some libraries have great resources, pm me if you want more groups.
and my biggest question::::
do I have enough patience to do this???????????????????????? My theory is if I "have the patience" then anyone does. A lot of it for me is learning when to back away and call it quits for that day and when to decide that as long as he's reading or doing something educational that's good for the day.
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  #8  
April 3rd, 2008, 09:13 AM
Shery's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,696
Hi Melissa,
I, too, pulled my children out of the school system to start homeschooling them. I have never regretted it. It was one of the scariest things that I have ever done, but so worth the risk.

what do you love about it?
I love being able to take our lives back. I love the fact that our kids aren't sitting in school for 8 hours a day only to come home to 3 or 4...or more...hours of homework. I love seeing my kids get excited about learning and having the freedom to learn what they want to when they want to. I love almost everything about it!

what DONT you love?
It is sometimes hard to find time to do the things that need done around the house, homeschool, and still find time for myself. However, since we don't have to get up running in the morning to fit into the school schedule, I usually get my alone time in the morning before the kids get up.

what do I need to know?
Set a schedule for yourself, but remember to be flexible too.

how do I find a good curriculum?
I don't actually use one set curriculum. I try different things for different subjects and stick to the ones that work for us. We use Abeka for English and History, Bob Jones for Science and Reading, Hough-Mifflin for Spelling, etc. It is one of the great things about homeschooling...being able to tailor your kids education to his/her needs.

who do I have to contact in to let them know that he will be homeschooled?
Here, in Louisiana, I only had to send in a letter to the state to apply for private school status. I also sent letters to the school and school board out of courtesy to let them know that my children wouldn't be attending the public school anymore.

will someone in the state monitor his progress?
Here, in Louisiana, no one does. I get my kids tested every other year just for my sake. When they reach highschooll, they will have to test once a year for TOPS.

how do I find support for myself in my area as I undertake this
Find homeschool groups! I see that someone gave you some great links. Also, we joined a church where other homeschoolers went.

and my biggest question::::
do I have enough patience to do this????????????????????????
If you had patience for all of the mess that is expected in the school system and the homework involved, then you will have patience for this. I seriously spend no more time teaching mine than I did when they were in school because so much of what they were learning was happening during homework time....hours of it a night!!! You can do this!!!

Again, welcome!
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  #9  
April 5th, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Sounds like you got a lot of great advice already! I pulled my kids out of public school this year, 3rd and 4th grade. It was the best thing we ever did. We were seriously stressed during the school year, getting up early, rushing to get ready in the morning, then by the time they got home there was homework, dinner, baths, chores and after all of that it was bedtime. I was frustrated and yelling, they were frustrated and cranky and none of us spent any time together. I felt like I didn't even know my own kids anymore because we had no time to just sit and enjoy each other. Now, we take our time in the morning, there is no yelling and fighting to stay on a schedule. We have FUN learning what we want. Most of our lessons are done on the couch in our PJ's And the best part, I finally know my kids again because I have the time to spend with them. I can't believe I missed out on so much. To think, I might have went through the next 10 years of the same stressful stuff and then sent them off to college and I never would have known what amazing kids I had. As for the patience, I am NOT a patient person, but if you have enough to teach them how to brush their teeth, feed themselves and tie their shoes, then you can homeschool. It is realy not as hard as you think it is. Something I wish I would've known years ago!

The only complaint I have is that I got so used to being able to just pick up and meet a friend for lunch or spend every day with a lot of quiet time and the house clean, I had a hard time adjusting to having them here again and the house being a mess But with a baby on the way, I was going to lose all that anyways lol... and it really is worth it in the end. DH has been a great help in making sure I still have some "me time" every now and then so I don't go crazy.
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  #10  
April 5th, 2008, 04:29 PM
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Posts: 13,328
Thank you so much for all of the advice and kind words that you have given. It makes me feel better and gives me the courage to keep looking into this. This seems like a great group of supportive ladies and I am so glad that I found you. I hope you dont mind me "lurking" to find out more of what this is about.
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  #11  
April 5th, 2008, 06:21 PM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Louisiana
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Nope, but don't just lurk, POST!
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  #12  
April 7th, 2008, 07:13 PM
Farmers-wife's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I just scanned over the other posts, filled with amazing advice. The only thing I would add is to give yourself at least one month for every year he has been in school to adjust to being together all the time. It will be new for all of you, even the 2 year old will take some time to adjust to not having your attention all day.

Have fun, it is an awesome life!
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  #13  
April 9th, 2008, 06:28 PM
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again - thank you! I will be posting. I am learning so much from you ladies!
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