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-   -   Just a few questions if you are willing to share- (http://www.justmommies.com/forums/f32-homeschooling/2287616-just-few-questions-if-you-willing-to-share.html)

Twoboysmaybemore March 27th, 2011 06:57 PM

Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
1. What made you decide to homeschool?

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling?

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district?

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much?

I'm sorry if these are questions that you are sick of answering. I am just still on the fence and need a little push in the right direction. Thanks in advance!

BensMom March 27th, 2011 07:10 PM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
Don't apologize! :) Happy to help!

1. What made you decide to homeschool? Several factors for me. (1) I want God to take priority and not a back seat. (2) My son is way ahead in some areas and behind in others. We talked to the public school, and they were unwilling to work with him in both... it was an either/or sort of thing, and they didn't come close to meeting either need, no matter what. (3) I used to teach public school, and I don't like the changes I've seen over the past 30 years. Kindergarten today isn't what it used to be. I don't want my kids dealing with the junk kids deal with today.

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling? Depends on your line of thinking. Some people prefer to start "formally" teaching (even if only for 10 minutes a day) right from infancy, and some use a "better late than early" approach, and don't formally teach anything until much later... 8-10 years old. There are also some who are radical unschoolers on the farthest end of the spectrum who prefer their kids to learn through life, and that's it. I think *most* people still pretty much start around age 5-6 like public schools do, though (for kinder... not preschool). As long as you're following state laws, it really doesn't matter. I start preschool at age 2. That's just me, though.

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district? The first step is to learn the laws of your state. Where are you?

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much? I'm supported very well. Some people aren't supported at all (other than forums like this one).

Frackel March 27th, 2011 10:41 PM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
1. What made you decide to homeschool?
The local schools here are not up to the standards they ought to be, despite what "state records" may show. An "effective" school is not good enough for my kids. They simply are not giving my children the best education they can. We also have a bit of a unique situation here, which could change at the drop of a hat. I need to have the least amount of steps required when/if that happens.(ie. not having to deal with schools and removal/switching, yadda yadda)

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling?
I think most start at kindergarten age-between 4 and 6-for the most part. We started basic learning far younger though. I've never really considered that homeschooling though, either. For me it was just what I did, just part of parenting, I guess.

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district?
First you need to know your local rules and regulations and your state rules and regulations. Some states still say the district decides(ie local) and some have state representatives and specific rules for the entire state. It all depends on where you are. So I would go with that first. You should also start looking around for ideas, what you're looking for in a curriculum. Do you want an all in one? Piece part a curriculum together? Perhaps trying an e-school. There's tons of options out there, and loads of information. It never hurts to start looking through it. I also highly recommend allowing your child(ren) to have a voice. That's just my personal opinion though, that kids should have a bit of say in what they learn. Maybe not the last word, lol mom always knows best. But some involvement in the curriculum choice certainly doesn't hurt.

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much?
I don't really have any friends that aren't online, so that doesn't really apply here. Our neighbors couldn't really care less, lol. The only ones we talk to are the ones directly next door. My kids play with their little guy, he's Leo's age. But he goes to a local Catholic school. My mom is super supportive, as is her hubby. My kids' father...eh...that's a sore subject. Suffice it to say he does not approve, takes whatever opportunity he gets to make sure we know it...but we don't really pay him much mind. He doesn't get a choice in the matter. :D Then again, neither does anyone else, but the kids and I, lol.

Butter March 28th, 2011 04:57 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
1. What made you decide to homeschool? I was homeschooled and loved it.

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling? When they are ready. That's been 4, 5, and 4 so far.

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district? Depends on your state. For most it is notification, but not for all.

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much? Totally and completely.

Tofu Bacon March 28th, 2011 06:53 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
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.

Twoboysmaybemore March 28th, 2011 10:04 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
Thanks to all of you who have shared. I am actually a former Special Education teacher so I have classroom teaching experience but I think it is just part of my personality that I turn everything into a learning experience. We talk about fractions when I cut his sandwiches or I am baking. We have learned our letters and numbers by just pointing them out whenever there is an opportunity. So, like Michelle pointed out, I guess I never really think of it as school just my responsibility as a parent.

I guess where I get the most nervous about really committing is that I barely have time to do laundry and dishes as it is. I am scared that I am not going to have the time to commit to "teaching time" especially as I am hoping for another kid or two before all is said and done. I am just so nervous that I will short change my kids if I am responsible for their education and I am trying to change diapers, nurse, cook, clean, etc. I guess I just need to hear that it is doable. That I won't be selling them short by homeschooling.

I am in Ohio. It sounds like I don't have to formally make any decisions for a couple more years as my ODS just turned 3 in Feb.

And as a special note to TofuBacon- While I don't have a child with Autism I know how challenging it can be to deal with all of the intricacies of the, often, high needs. I am sure you have a great team (or at least I hope you do) but if you ever need some help with shaping behaviors, my most recent work was with writing behavior support plans for a county board of MRDD. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Seriously. I would love to help, if I can.

BensMom March 28th, 2011 10:14 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
Homeschooling in the early years doesn't take much time at all. I mean... kindergarten takes appx 30 minutes a day, and you don't have to do it all at once. The younger the child, the more hands-on the teacher (mom) has to be. The older the child, the more independent the work gets. The amount of time YOU spend schooling your child won't change as much as you might think, because of that independence factor. All in all, you can expect appx 30 minutes per grade level (give or take) for your total homeschooling time, but again, that's not your total teaching time. That includes things like handwriting practice and independent reading, which are things you're not directly involved in doing. When a child finishes school, they should be independent enough to either get a job or go to college (unless there's a special need in which the child will always live at home, of course). You'll get into a routine, and you'll find that ... as with your example of fractions and making lunch ... everything is a lesson, and every moment is a teachable moment. You don't have to lecture from a white board, and the child doesn't have to sit in a desk writing all day.

It's hard to switch your entire mindset over to homeschooling, but once you do, it becomes a part of your lifestyle and an extension of who you are. In fact, I have BETTER time management skills now than I used to. My laundry and dishes are on a schedule, so they're always done. Dinner is planned in advance. We're not wasting money eating out or running from place to place. We have good days and bad days like everyone, but I'd say we have a whole lot more good days than most families.

Frackel March 28th, 2011 10:50 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
It's definitely much easier than it seems. I think most people go into it not super sure if they *can do it. It's a pretty normal reaction, at least until you get in there and start. It quickly becomes second nature. Granted you could always have an off day, or two. But the beauty of homeschooling is that you CAN take those days off, if you need or just want to. You can work around whatever schedule you, or your child(ren) have too. It's really nice to not have to worry about missing school because of appointments, being sick, or just generally having an off day.

Like today for example, the kids got up by 5am, and were up driving me bonkers, lol. So we started lessons early and everyone was done before 9. That included a couple of semester reviews we needed to get in as well as a few extra things I gave the kids to work on for their trouble areas. It was mostly just busy work. The girls are pretty independent in their work, so I don't have to do a whole heck of a lot of "teaching". It's more for Leo, who isn't quite ready to read all of his directions for things and understand concepts on his own, yet. At least not for all subjects anyway.

I guarantee you that you will not shortchange your children, whatever your final decision is. Just knowing what you *want for your child is enough to realize that if things aren't going right, you'll know it, and change. Not real sure if that makes any amount of sense but it does in my head, and I have a horrid migraine so I may not be putting that into words very well, lol. (trying to get rid of it before my ct this afternoon, but it's NOT working.. oy)

I'm in Ohio too btw ;) There's a few of us from Ohio here.

mommybugnbugga March 28th, 2011 11:39 AM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
1. What made you decide to homeschool? I decided to homeschool because my dd has a ASD (they are thinking Aspbergers and we are under going testing again) and in the class room setting at her private school, she learned to escape and avoid. She would throw a fit so she could leave the class and never have to make up the work. Well right before I pulled her she was spending about 5 hours a day in the office doing nothing. Dh and I looked at the public school special ed program because we knew she needed the smaller class rooms and more one on one attention, while they would give her that she had to do "special ed" work not the main stream work. It was either special ed all the way (which would have been horrible as she is very smart and would have gotten bored) or main stream her (which wouldn't work because she gets overwhelmed by being around 25+ kids at a time). So we decided to try homeschooling, the original plan was for one year and re-evaluate, but after seeing how much she is learning and ds is learning with her, she most likely won't ever go back to a "regular" classroom setting.

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling? here it is by age 6

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district? Here it is, but as the others have said, check your state laws to find out what you need to do first.

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much? None of our family or friends really support us. They think we are crazy and raising anti-social kids. Although, as they are seeing how much the kids are learning they are starting to come around and see it is a good choice for our family.


As for the time issue, when my dd behaves and does her work, she can usually blow through school work in less than 2 hours (and that is with me slowing her down). But there are days when we break school apart into "sessions". We do some first thing, then break or go to an appointment, do more when we get back, break for lunch, or chores, do more, etc. We have been known to do school work after dinner. I keep a daily lesson plan to know what should be done that day, but we have no order to how we do it or when we do it. If we don't get it done one day, we do it the next (and dd being the OCD child she is, she will generally do both that day and previous days work...however that is HER choice).

4hearts March 28th, 2011 02:53 PM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
1. What made you decide to homeschool? My DH was homeschooled, private schooled, Christian schooled and finally Public schooled (which is where I met him.) He was adamant from the beginning of our "when we have a family one day" talks that our children would be homeschooled. I said "ok" I love love love it! It works for us!

2. What age is customary to begin "formally" homeschooling? I started up with a curriculum of sorts with DD1 at age 4. I plan to do the same with DS in the fall when he's 4. We registered DD1 as homeschooled when she was in 1st grade as that's the law here.

3. What is the true first step? Is it notifying the local school district? Yes, a letter of intent and here in FL, it's super easy.

4. Do you find that you are mostly supported by friend, family, neighbors or not so much? Yes! A few of my friends find it odd as they're more "mainstream" in their thinking but they are respectful.

Tofu Bacon March 28th, 2011 03:03 PM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Twoboysmaybemore (Post 23477166)
And as a special note to TofuBacon- While I don't have a child with Autism I know how challenging it can be to deal with all of the intricacies of the, often, high needs. I am sure you have a great team (or at least I hope you do) but if you ever need some help with shaping behaviors, my most recent work was with writing behavior support plans for a county board of MRDD. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Seriously. I would love to help, if I can.

Thank you! To be honest, I have no team, but I do have a wonderful friend who comes over once a week to babysit so I can run errands or go out with dh. But mainly its just we, trying to be Mom, Teacher and Therapist, all in one, LOL.

mamma_anna March 29th, 2011 12:16 PM

Re: Just a few questions if you are willing to share-
 
Quote:

Thank you! To be honest, I have no team, but I do have a wonderful friend who comes over once a week to babysit so I can run errands or go out with dh. But mainly its just we, trying to be Mom, Teacher and Therapist, all in one, LOL.
Wow! I can't even imagine! We have a great team around us and I still feel like I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing 99% of the time. You are one courageous mamma!

Okay...back to the post. You sound like I did a few weeks ago!:p We only just got started officially well...today. I'll do my best to answer your questions.

1. We were reluctant at first, but like many others here, our little one has special needs and the public preschool she was attending just wasn't working for her. There was a lot of disagreement between us and the school about what her needs and abilities are and how best to work with her and she was the one who suffered for it. Now we can just do what she needs without dealing with others opinions.

2. I guess age depends on location and maybe what your schooling plans are. Our plan for now is to finish pre-k at home this year and send her to kindergarten at a private school in the fall. That will be about a month before her 6th birthday. If I had known it was a realistic option for us I probably would have started sooner.

3. For me the first step was posting my questions in here.:D Since you've already done that, I agree with the others. Get to know the laws for your area.

4. So far we have been very much supported by everyone. (except her former preschool but they don't count)

Good luck with your decision. :)


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