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  #1  
May 21st, 2010, 12:30 PM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Buckeye, AZ
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Hi mama's, I am new to this board but not to JM. I have 4 children, ages 7, 4, 3 and 1. My oldest dd is in 2nd grade and will be in 3rd grade this fall, she is very intelligent and I feel that she is being held back and PS. This is my main reason for considering HS, but I have about a million other reasons as well! Right now my only obstacle is dh, he's not too sure about all of this as we both went to PS and every other person we know was also in PS. Some of his worries are that I won't have enough time to HS the oldest 2 right now when I also have 2 other little ones. He's also very worried about the social aspect. I'm slowly working on him and for right now he has agreed to let me give it a try next year when the oldest two will be in 4th and 1st. I'm still working on him though! So, with that whole intro, I have some questions for you intelligent gals!

- I have looked into my state laws (AZ) and the only thing I'm finding is that I'll need to file and affidavit 30 days before I switch. But from what I've read on here and another site, all states are different and some have a certain amount of hours, or testing that needs to be done. http://homeschooling.about.com/gi/o..../www.afhe.org/ This is the only link I can find for AZ and it doesn't say anything about hours, tests or logs. Do you girls have another website to look this info up? Does it look like AZ has these "restrictions"?

-How old are your children when you start them in kinder?

-How fast do your children progress to the next grade? Do you do 1 grade per year like PS? My oldest dd has always been way ahead of her grades, which is the reason for these questions.

-Do you feel that doing school in the morning is best? None of us are morning people, but I also don't want to do school in the afternoon if it's not best for the kids.

I think that's about it for now, TIA for all of your help!!
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  #2  
May 21st, 2010, 12:53 PM
JustAKrazymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Welcome!

Good luck with the husband.. I have found once you begin HSing and the fathers see how well it is going they jump fully on board fast.

As for AZ i am not at al sure.

We do not do one grade per school year.. it varies.. for math my 2nd oldest has done 2 years worth each of the last 2 years, but my daughter is slower in language arts. Homeschooling means you can move at their pace, be it faster in some area's and slower in others or just at an even pace..it's one of the huge pluses of homeschooling.

As for when to homeschool.. it's all about finding what works best for your kids.. I have 3 that do much better in the morning and one that does better at night..

I don't do officially schooling until they are 1st grade age.. so much of what kids learn in Kindergarten can be learned just by living.. but most start at 4.5-6 depending on the child.
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  #3  
May 21st, 2010, 12:57 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Location: The Lonestar State
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AZ is a very easy state. http://www.hslda.org/laws/analysis/Arizona.pdf

-How old are your children when you start them in kinder? There's more than one answer for that. "When they're ready" is the best answer, but "at least by the law" is the right answer. AZ says 6, so you have to start at 6. You can start earlier, but you can't start later. We skipped K, actually. My son started 1st when he was 3. Not everyone is able to do that... even within the same family. Attention span, attitude, and things like that have to be considered along with the normal "readiness" stuff (like numbers and colors and such). If my youngest isn't ready for K until he's 6, that's fine. Also keep in mind that homeschooling in K means about 30 minutes per day (not all at the same time). You don't have to spend all day on it like a classroom does. We're doing 13 subjects this year (not all on the same days), and it takes appx 1.5 hours a day.

-How fast do your children progress to the next grade? Do you do 1 grade per year like PS? My oldest dd has always been way ahead of her grades, which is the reason for these questions. Again, whenever you want to! We progress to the next "grade" on a per subject basis whenever the time is right (year-round). Mine "reads" (not comprehends) on a high school level, so we don't do phonics at all. We're doing 2nd grade comprehension, 3rd grade geography and latin, 2nd grade english and math, multi-level science, spelling, and history, etc. Do whatever is right for the child. You don't have to teach to the lowest level of a classroom when you're homeschooling.

-Do you feel that doing school in the morning is best? None of us are morning people, but I also don't want to do school in the afternoon if it's not best for the kids. It doesn't matter. You teach when you think is best. If your kids are the type to sleep until 10, you're NOT going to be able to get progress done at 8 a.m. They're going to fight you every day, and everyone will end up in tears. If they function best in the afternoon, teach in the afternoon. If someone in the family works a graveyard shift, why not do school later in the evening? It really doesn't matter.

And for socialization..... No Thank You, We Don't Believe in Socialization (SAHERO)

Last edited by BensMom; May 21st, 2010 at 01:03 PM.
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  #4  
May 21st, 2010, 02:19 PM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Wow, such great information, thank you! That's the same site I've been reading and from what I'm getting we also just need to send in an affidavit. This may be a silly question but how do you know when it's time to move onto the next grade level in each subject? Is there a list of everything that needs to be taught in each grade and then you move onto the next grade? If so, do you all follow that list? Thank you again!
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  #5  
May 21st, 2010, 02:44 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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You can use guidelines from several places, or you can go by your curriculum publisher's scope & sequence. If you're not using a published curriculum, look at either your state's guidelines (which can be found by googling the state & education and are a MINIMUM requirement ... most homeschoolers work way above that level), or look at Typical Course of Study | World Book Inc or at the library for a series of books called "What your ___ grader needs to know". You could also do standardized testing at home. If your child exceeds the minimum standards of the test, you know you're meeting what most states would consider grade level work.
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  #6  
May 21st, 2010, 04:18 PM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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To do standardized testing at home, how exactly is this done? Thank you again for all of your help!
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  #7  
May 21st, 2010, 05:03 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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For just reading and math, I use Let's Go Learn. A lot of people like the PASS test, too. (I'm not required to do any testing in TX, and I don't think you are in AZ either. I use that for my own peace of mind. It compares the score of the test to your state standards as well.) States that require testing sometimes allow testing to be done at home, especially if the teacher (parent or hired tutor) is a certified teacher. You can go to various sites to find tests for different levels. Some will allow non-certified teachers to administer the test, and some won't. Some can be used for documentation, and some can't (like using a public access test that was previously used by a state for standardized testing). Some test sites I have saved in my favorites are:

The Iowa Tests | BJU Press Testing & Evaluation Service | BJU Press
Texas TAKS Tests - Spring, 2009
Hewitt Homeschooling Resources
Online Reading Assessment, Math Assessment and Supplemental Instruction
ACT's EXPLORE Program
Product - Peabody Individual Achievement Test-Revised-Normative Update (PIAT-R/NU)

Some tests can be done by homeschool groups (administered by one parent who is certified) or you can hire an in-home psychologist, tutor, etc. to do it for you. Joining a local HS group will probably give you more detailed info. Look for yahoo groups, or look around at local church websites and such. If you have any private homeschool academies in the area, they could give you more info as well (and may even be able to do testing for you).
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  #8  
May 21st, 2010, 05:58 PM
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Your state laws you don't need standardized testing because it was repelled (check to make sure).

How old are your children when you start them in kinder? I officially started when he turned 5. However I completely regret it. The school labeled him in 1st @ 5 and we've had problems with things since. He's tall but immature for his age so he's usually held to a higher standard of behavior and that's an issue. Now moving states he has to re-enter third grade.

-How fast do your children progress to the next grade? When he finish one book he starts the next. He goes through 2-3 years at a year. This year is Algebra, physics, American lit., US history, Robotics, karate, and High school Spanish 1

Do you feel that doing school in the morning is best? We split it morning work and night work, and weekend stuff. Math, English in the morning, Bed-time stories for SS, and Robotics, art on Saturday. Science when he feels like it.
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  #9  
May 21st, 2010, 08:35 PM
JustAKrazymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Here in Mass you do not have to do kindergarten..it's not state mandated, our compulsory age is 6-16..so they must be enrolled in some form of schooling from 6 to 16 years.. you can end up with things like my daughter who turned 5 in Oct, beating the school cut off of dec 1 but I would never have sent her to K as a 4 year old. Now I didn't have to report her til this past year *( calendar year they turn 6) and they placed her in 1st but she would not be in 1st.. it can be harder when they have b-days such as that.. BUT one thing about MAss is they don't/can't tell me what to teach, when to teach it or how to teach it.. they assigned her the grade not me ( I do NOT put a grade just their B-day on my letter of intent).. then you get my other son who is working 1-3 grade levels above.. but oh well..I turn my my portfolio and I work on their level..the school system here just has to deal.
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  #10  
May 21st, 2010, 10:09 PM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you to everyone that has posted, very helpful! This HS stuff is a little confusing (maybe overwhelming is a better word?) though!
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  #11  
May 21st, 2010, 10:22 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Yep, it's overwhelming at first, but it gets easier, and it's a lot of fun.
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  #12  
May 22nd, 2010, 07:16 AM
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I started my DD in K5 when she was 5 years old, but only because she was ready for it. With my DS who will be 4 this year, we probably won't start anything formal with him until he's closer to 6. Here in Pennsylvania compulsory school age is 8-17 so Kindergarten is optional.

We divide our day up as well. Some work is done in the morning and others in the afternoon/evening. I usually try to save Reading and other stories for quiet time/bedtime.

Like everyone else said, it's a lot about finding what works for you and for your children. When I first started I was so overwhelmed and petrified that I wouldn't do it "right". Finding a homeschool support group in your area will help with the socialization part. I worried that my kiddos wouldn't get the socialization that they would get if they were in public school, but through homeschool support groups and church groups I was able to connect with a lot of other homeschoolers in my area and the kiddos ended up making a lot of good friends!

PS - This past school year we did not homeschool. I had taken a year to breath and get my priorities straight. Big mistake on our part! My 9 and 7 year olds will be back home with me this upcoming school year and both of them are thrilled! They can't wait to get out of the public school system.
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  #13  
May 22nd, 2010, 11:29 AM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you very much for all those have helped me!! These curriculum choices are kicking my behind but I'd love to post a list when I'm finished deciding to see what you all think. Thank you again!!

Oh, one more thing, dh has agreed to let me hs THIS upcoming school year! I gave him the fight of, my 2nd going on 3rd grader is already half way above the standards of what your child needs to know by 4th grade. My little one whom is 4, turning 5 in July will still be Kinder age (by PS standards) the following year. So if it doesn't work this year my oldest will test in to 4th grade (I will make sure to teach her the little she doesn't know) and the little one will still be of age to go to Kinder. He finally agreed!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #14  
May 22nd, 2010, 01:37 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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That's wonderful!! Ben begs not to go to PS whenever we joke about it. He knows I've already called the local district, and they said they don't allow any type of acceleration (although, the documents online say they do.) He'll be in either 3rd or 4th when he's old enough for K. He doesn't want to go back and learn all of his letters again.

Interesting... I was reading the TX info again last night, and it said that a 5 year old could skip K and start in 1st, but only if they pass the 3rd grade test. Hmm... if they pass the 3rd grade test, doesn't that mean they should be placed in 4th, not 1st??
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  #15  
May 23rd, 2010, 01:15 AM
HeavensMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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That is very strange and makes NO sense. Actually most of our PS don't make sense to me so I'm not too surprised by it! For our schools they also don't allow any type of acceleration. Our elementary schools don't have any sort of honors classes either. The only thing they have to offer is that the students can go to a class during their lunch time and eat while learning, doesn't sound to me like ANY kid would want that!
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