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Old 05-23-2007, 10:05 AM   #1
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Smile Any homeschool moms out there?

I am both excited AND nervous at the same time. I will begin homeschooling this fall with my 7 yr old. I also have a 2 yr. old. What in the world do you do with the younger children while schooling? I have activities incorporated into the plan throughout the day but a 2 yr. old is after all, just that, a 2 yr. old. Any advice from other homescool mom's out there would be fabulous!
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Old 05-23-2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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hi! that is a loaded question...what do we ever do w/ a 2yo? lol!

we are just completing our 8th year homeschooling. when we started, i had 2 children (5 & 1) and was preggo w/ #3. now, we have 5 (13, 9, 7 tomorrow, 4, 16mo) and preggo w/ #6.

it is always difficult trying to work with younger ones. my advise is to do something w/ the 2yo first, before you try to start school. that way, the little one got special time first and should be more content to let you work w/ the older one. i don't know how you feel about television, but we sometimes put in an educational dvd for the little ones when we really need uninterrupted time. Baby Signing Time is great! and, it teaches signing to your little one.

i hope that helps. if you need any other help, let me know. i don't have all the answers, but i prolly could find someone who does
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Old 05-23-2007, 01:12 PM   #4
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I had to laugh. Oh, I remember those days. When I started with my 5 year old, I had a 3 year old and a 2 year old. My three year old was very mature and still is (now at 11.) She used to blurt out the answers all the time before the kid I was actually homeschooling had time to process the question . . . still does! lol! Anyway, my three year old used to sit in on lessons with the five year old. My two year old . . . I used to fill a low foot soaker, set it on a big absorbant blanket on the kitchen floor and let her play with her toys in the 1 - 2 inches of shallow water. OMG - this kept her occupied for a long, long time. In fact, she never got tired of it! When she got to be 3 and 4, I moved her up to the kitchen sink and let her play with bubbles and a sink half full of water. Just a hit! Don't know if this will work for you, but it sure worked well for me.
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:36 PM   #5
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Thank you so much. I think I'm going to have plenty of time to create some kind of plan as back up for days that feel out of control, like a "unit study" or field trip. I'm sure the first year is going to be all trial and error and learning on both of our parts Thanks so much for the advice and glad I was able to bring back some memories for some of you ha,ha.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:58 PM   #6
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I am begining our homeschooling adventure come late August/early Sept (haven't decided what is best yet) my oldest is 5 and I will be trying to get my almost 3 year old in it and my son will be 1 by then. I am going to try to get all of them in on schooling wether it be colors, shapes, sorting etc. I will be using the Weaver Interlock for this year and can't wait.
 
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:41 PM   #7
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We have homeschooled our eldest since he was 5, he is now 12

With the twins, we had lots of crafts going on while he had lessons.

We use a mishmash of curriculum, he basically leads us to where he wants to go with interest eg. "How does an engine work?" "Why is a meteor icy?" and that leads to corresponding math/vocab/science lessons and field trips.
The internet has made it worlds easier!

Much luck to you, it's the best decision we ever made

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Old 06-06-2007, 08:01 PM   #8
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I homeschooled daughters #2 & #3 from 5th to 12th grades. I get to start all over again in 2 years when my 3 year old will be starting Kindergarten. LOL!

I cannot imagine having had a 2 year old then, but perhaps making good use of the nap times, and early starting, and giving the toddler a color book or table that they can do their work on? Play-doh, special toy that are only allowed durring school time.

A few things that I wish I would have known before I started home schooling would have made life much less stressful that the start. Here are some:

Be organized!
The first year we used loose leaf paper and were constantly trying to sort papers and find them and keep them in order. The next year we stocked up on cases of those spiral bound subject books...had them write the names and which subject on each one...decorated too, if they felt like it - then they just kept all the pages in order and tossed the whole book with all the pages in spiral bound order in a magazine rack when they were done...so I could corect.

Expectations!
You child is not perfect. Attentiveness to lessons won't be perfect and the answers on the papers won't all be perfect. The penmanship may be awful and the spelling and grammer may also be imperfect. It will even out and you will quickly find that your child's teacher isn't perfect either.

Correcting Papers!
Best done while your children are sleeping. I found that it was easy to become critical/perfectionist of their work and make them re-do this problem and that problem as I found the mistakes. Adds terrible tension for all. I learned that by correcting when they were gone or sleeping, I got through the correcting much quicker, and had them re-do their problems at the end of the assignment before they started the next lesson in that subject. If they really botched it, the whole lesson would have to be re-done. If they seemed to really have the knack in some areas, I often told them only to do the even # or the odd # and as long as they did well, I counted it as complete...even my teachers in school assigned that way.

Schedule
Try to start and finish each day at the same times. Realistically, they won't have 8 hours work days. 4 good hours will accomplish much. Assign a lesson from each subject and see how much they get through...some take longer than others, and by that flexible rule of thumb, you can set your goals of getting through the year. Sometimes, I would have them focus on one or two of their subjects in a more concentrated way to get it done in one semester and then in the second semester do anoth one or two (i.e. research report or astronomy class) But don't ever try to do 6 weeks of one subject to do them in blocks...chidren need the repetition for retention so a variety each day is best.

School Room, if you can...
I really burned my children out by having them work in the family room...by the end of their school day, they didnt really want to spend leisure time in the same room. Eventually, we found 2 desks that were set up in front of the sliding glass doors on the back foyer of the house that gave them a view and a neutral place to work and they eventuraly found themselves enjoying the family room again.

Relationships
If it is feeling like you are losing something in the schooling formula...re-think what the problems really stem from...Ask you children what they think the problems are, what their ideas for solutions are...that's part of the learning/teaching process too. I guarantee you that you will learn more than you ever thought you would when you took the role of the teacher.

Fun!
It will only be worth it if you can cut loose sometimes and make the homeschool experience exactly that...an family expereince that cannot be duplicated in a school setting. No one says that you can't start the day in your pajamas doing your reading subjects curled up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate on the end table, take a longer breakfast break and get dressed then? As Administrator of your school, see what you can offer your students!

I know this is long, but, felt it was really important to share - it took a few years to learn, but maybe if it helps someone have an easier start, I will feel like I didn't go through it by myself for nothing,

Happy Homeschooling.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:18 AM   #9
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Thank you cherbear for your advice. I have a degree in elementary education and have considered homeschooling...my oldest just turned 4. I'm still undecided about it, as I've got my hands so full with my other two kids as well. I'm also an incurable (or so I think) perfectionist. My oldest is also EXTREMELY excited about going to school. She's been talking about it since she was 2.5 and saw the kids playing on the playground when we would drive by. I'm afraid of letting her down by not having her go to school. How do all of you handle the wanting to go to school with their friends thing?
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:36 AM   #10
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This will be my seventh year of homeschooling our kids - it is the best decision that we can all make for our kids - congrats to all of you who are just starting out!! First of all, just take a deep breath and relax. If you have a bad day, it is ok, because you have tomorrow for a fresh start. That is the most important thing we tell the new parents is relax, enjoy the experience too. Scheduling, organizing etc.. are all important, but if you are too uptight, your kids will be also. One thing that I would try with younger siblings...
start your toddler out with blocks, colors, age/ability level activities. While they are occupied, work with your 7 year old. Even at 7 they can be somewhat independent once they have had the lesson explained/taught to them. So by the time the baby/toddler is losing interest in what they are doing, the 7 year old is completing the rest of their task. Of course, things don't always work out this perfect. That is ok too. Soon enough your little ones will be getting older, and things will get easier. In fact it happens really quick. I would also work around nap time. This is when we did math, since it takes a little more instruction. Sorry this is so long. Good luck to you all.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:45 AM   #11
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Yep, it is still me Choc0holic - we do a lot of things with our homeschool group. Field trips, classes, etc.. We are also very involved with 4-H. Plus there are sports, and tons of other activities out there for kids. We have not had any problems with our kids missing public school. Encourage friendships in the homeschool group. What part of Utah are you in? We live in SW Colorado.
Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2007, 01:31 PM   #12
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"I'm afraid of letting her down by not having her go to school. How do all of you handle the wanting to go to school with their friends thing?"

Definitely get them involved with 4-H (the best rounded groups IMHO) or other civic groups, church group involvement, home-school groups often get together for field trips and activities...swimming, skating, gymnastics (not in my area). Taking your children to the local park will allow you to meet adults with similar aged children while children play & interact with each other.

Do not fall for the "but they won't learn how to socialize" from people who are against home schooling. I heard it from my own family and many others. You need to consider what is being taught to children as being socially acceptable by the public schools...and do you really want to have your children learn socialization with children that don't talk the way you want your children to talk (profanity) behave (acting up, disrespecting others, violence) or live (lesser values that you want your children to hold). I am not saying that all public school children are delinquents, as that is not true. What is true is that, your children will adjust their views on what environment surrounds them day in and day out.

Homeschooling lets you use your freedom to have a bigger impact on your children's education than if you let committees, board members, & government officials decide what is needed to "get by" and how attitudes are to be "cultivated" in the masses. I feel my children were far better educated than most in a public school setting.

Hard work? Absolutely! But the best investment in the future I could make!
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:54 PM   #13
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We've been homeschooling a looooooonnnng time - let's see - around 17 years. I've only got 9 years to go before the youngest is done. LOL!

Homeschooling when you also have little ones is a challenge, no doubt about it, but it can be done. You just have to be a little resourceful and not get frustrated. Expect plenty of interruptions and don't get exasperated when they happen.

Have some special toys you only pull out for school time. Provide some hands-on fun things to do at the side, like paint or playdoh (and some place to do it where you won't get upset when they make a mess all over the area and themselves). Give them some special "schoolbooks" and chunky crayons of their own that you only pull out at schooltime - it makes them feel like they are part of it.

The good news is, for a 7 year old, you won't need to be doing school all day. And unit studies are good for this age, too.

And you can insert lots of field trips without worrying about taking up valuable school time - they are such educational opportunities, especially for children of this age!

Just have fun! It is such a blessing to be able to teach our own children! The time will go so quickly - enjoy this time with them!
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:13 PM   #14
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Regarding the question about wanting to go to school with friends . . . check and see if there are active homeschool groups in your area. I have found it's very easy to find other homeschoolers to do activities with - in fact, there is such a thing as oversocialization! We need to get our schoolwork done sometime! LOL!

Seriously, though, between church activities, family activities, Bible study groups, 4H, and all of the things we can do with homeschool groups - some provide such things as co-op groups (in which moms and dads teach certain classes to groups of homeschool children - my children have had classes in such subjects as biology lab - complete with fetal pig dissection; driver's ed (taught by a highway patrolman homeschool dad); and theatre with an emphasis on Shakespeare), ballroom dance class, band, choir, sports, service clubs, special interest clubs (chess, math, drama, etc.), plays (my children have done such things as The Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler on the Roof, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), spelling & geography bees, talent competitions, science fairs, special dances (with themes like Masquerade Ball, Fiesta, Country & Western Dance) . . . what's to miss in "regular" school?

Don't have an active homeschool group in your area? Start one! Or join an existing one and become active! If you want these kinds of activities, you can make them happen!
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:21 PM   #15
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Hi Tanya ~

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! You have gotten some great advice here. We just finished our first year of homeschooling (5, 4, and 2 year old). It was not always easy with the two year old but, we got through it. I did end up moving my son's reading time to the afternoon during my daughter's nap time. During the morning when we worked on the bulk of our school work my two year old worked out of her own "school books". I found a lot of great workbooks at the Dollar Store that were perfect for her to scribble in or color. What was funny is that she seemed to learn alot this year just from listening. By the end of our school year she was memorizing the bible verse we learned each week.

I know I was really scared this past year that I was not doing things right. I was constantly second guessing myself and changing how I taught but, you do finally find your groove and then it just becomes second nature.

This coming year the only change we are making is doing a one day a week homeschool program that one of the church's in the area offers as a ministry. So I will only have to teach four days and Fridays they will be in "school" from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Good Luck!!
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:21 PM   #16
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i thought of something else to add...

make sure you know your state's requirements. you don't want to find out that you're not doing something you're supposed to.

www.hslda.org has links for the requirements of each state. there is a lot of good information on that site whether you decide to become members or not.
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Old 06-17-2007, 06:20 PM   #17
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Congrats on your decision to Home school! We just finished our 14th year. Our oldest has gone through college and has been married a year. At home, next school year, we will have 2 Kindergarteners, a 2nd grader, a 6th grader and an 11th grader. Schooling with little ones is not hard. I make sure they are occupied with paper, DVD, alphabet toy. My youngest son was the hardest. He has Aspergers and needs constant supervision. He will turn 6 next month and will start K with his 5 yr old sister. My only daughter is so ready to learn as she sat by our 1st grader all year following along and listening, she knew his answers better then he did. That really pushed him to try harder.

I do not keep a quite home during school. I feel the distraction teaches them to work while other things are going on. When they get out in the work place there is no guarantee their job will not have distractions to work around and I hate to have them use to it being quite and be easily distracted. Many times this last year I was verbally correcting 10th grade science, 5th grade history and giving a 1st grade spelling test and folding laundry all at the same time. My kids call my Mrs. Mulit-tasker

For those who say they need socialization...I think socializing without constant peer pressure is the best. They learn to get along with all ages and make the decisions based on the morals taught in the home, not by what their friends are choosing.

A majority of my kid's friends are home-schooled also so wanting to go with their friends is not an issue here. We have a very large Home Educator's group in our church with plenty of activities. I have jokingly said "Behave or I'm sending you to public school!" They straighten up and buckle down fast. They love being home-schooled and have never asked for anything else!
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:03 AM   #18
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You all are incredible! Praise God that there are support groups out there because when you feel as though you are doing what's in the best interest of your children and KNOW that it is a spirit-led decision, the only thing left to do is remain in prayer and trust God. So far family has been understanding, I have a mother-in-law who is a second grade teacher and new emotions have arisen in that area seeing how I'll be homeschooling our son who will be in second grade. We live in the same city and know she'll be drilling him on what he's learning in comparison to the public school systems curricula so in that aspect I stress a little but do not want that to come out onto my son so am keeping this in prayer. It amazes me everyday just watching my boys wake in the morning thinking, wow, the overwhelming amount of love a mother has for her children and how we want to do what's right and what's best for them and how we want to protect them from all that is harmful. We only get one chance and I sure don't want to waste a moment. I am observing him throughout the summer as to how he learns and what his interets are just through his interaction with others and the questions he asks. This will be his unschooling/deschooling time to prepare for fall. I have been reading on different styles of homeschooling and am picking curriculum out for some areas and will do interest-based unit studies for others but know that in the end it will all be trial and error for a while, so I'm not really going into it with high expectations other than to take it all in stride and every day will be a new day, especially juggling this with a 2yr. old. My 7yr. old has been asking so many questions since he's been out of school on topics such as volcanoes, street signs and dotted lines in the road, to how do scabs form and why do they protect us to learning names of bones. I've been taking notes and writing all these down in a journal for more in-depth learning and unit studies created from these questions in the fall when we begin, that does not mean I haven't explained or touched base on it now but am hoping he'll see how important his questions are and see the time taken out to learn more and discuss them together as we go through this transition phase together.

Thank you so much for being so helpful!!!
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:13 AM   #19
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There is this beautiful sparkle in the eyes of children that you don't see in too many adults. I started seeing this spark slowly fading the more he was in school and wanted to do everything I could to regain the fullness of that spark, that glimmer of light in his eyes.

I finally got to the end of my homeschooling book I'm reading, at the end of this book was a picture of a beautiful girl, it was in black and white, and the thing that stood out the most was "that spark" and how I could relate to it. I ran to show my husband with tears in my eyes telling him, THIS IS WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT!

He never fully understands what planet I've fallen off of ha,ha but he trusts my judgement when it comes to our children, he remains in prayer and is amazingly supportive. I thank God for him ALL the time.

I am a mom on a mission! Operation Sparkle to the Rescue!

May God Richly Bless Each and Every One of You...
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:15 AM   #20
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Hey, I just signed up today with SCS and tripped onto your homeschool questions. I am a homechooler of my 2 boys, 7 and almost 6. We are heading into Gr 2 and Gr 1 and I also babysit a little girl who is soon to be 4. I have looked after her since she was not quite one. Sometimes things get interesting, but she's pretty easy going and likes to watch the boys do school. Sometimes she does puzzles, colors, crafts, stc. Sometimes she's perfectly content standing on a stool behind me playing hairdresser, putting every imaginable hairclip in my hair, OUCH. This year she will likely join in a bit more, maybe learning letters, numbers etc. It's so good to hear of other homeschooling moms that try to make time for cardmaking as well. That's my treat to myself at the end of the day.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:22 AM   #21
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My DH's side of the family was filled with public school teacher's of all grades who did not agree with our decisions. After 2 years we were complimented and said our children where better behaved, well rounded and well educated. One of his teacher Aunts started sending the kids "New school year" stuff every year. It is a package the kids look forward to, flash cards, pencils, all sorts of additives. It is a great blessing to us.

Our church group is the First Baptist Home Eduacators. We go by H.E. for short. Our theme verse is "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge HIM, and HE shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6
We believe God will give us the guidance and understanding to teach our children based on His Word as long as we lean on Him.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:42 AM   #22
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Hey, now that it's summer, school is hardly top on my mind. We are not home a lot in the summer and when we are, it's major catch up time with laundry the garden and the yard. Theis last week my husband, myself, 3 other men, incuding our pastor and my stepson when on a challenge of our lifetime. We rode road bikes (like the old 10 speed style but new and improved) 200 miles in one day. My stepson did 150 miles. He's only 14. so that is major huge for a 14 yer old kid. Anyhow, we trained like nuts all winter and managed to pull it off. Started at 5:00 am and finished off 215 miles at 12:15 am. Just over 19 hours to complete it. Almost 13 hours of actually being on the bike peddaling. A really long day. But what a challenge. So glad I could be a part of it.
Anyways, now that I had my little show and tell, about homeschooling, I am starting a different curriculum in the fall. It's a unit study called KONOS. Any of you out there do this curriculum? I am feeling a bit (a big BIT) overwhelmed by what I should be doing this summer to prepare for it in the fall. Any words of advice for how I go about getting into this deal?
The reason I decided to try this is because my boys are not LOVING school as I would like them to. I think perhaps all I've done is bring the classroom home to them and boys are not really designed to love sitting and working at a table. I can force them into doing it, but I can't froce them to love learning. So we'll try a new method.
Have a great day.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:10 AM   #23
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i hope the new curr. "clicks" w/ your kids.

we are starting some new things this fall as well. i'm kinda limited on what i can do at this moment because my school computer crashed an i am having to get another set up. the good news is that we had just done a complete backup of the system, so i have all of the kids' records i'm sooooooo glad i forced the issue w/ dh. the computer crashed 2 days after he finished the backup!

last night i set up our new schedule (my kids really need the structure...some don't). i THINK i got it worked out well so each one gets the individual time needed for his/her specific school needs. this was really hard to do for me this year, because i have a 2nd grader who needs me to teach all subjects and a 4th grader who has specific needs in 2 subjects and an 8th grader w/ needs in 3 subjects. that kinda limits my time considering i have an almost 5yo who wants his time, an 18mo and a new baby coming in december. i think this schedule will work at least until the baby comes...though i'll change it before then if necessary.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:34 AM   #24
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Wow! I bet your day is intense. I often feel like I need a couple more of me and I don't have near the complexity to my day that you must have. Is your schedule a daily routine or does it change every day of the week? Do you use a purchased curriculum or make up your own? Do you do some tings combined with all the children?
Last year I combined health, social and science with my boys (kindergarten and Grade 1)We also did some of L.A. at the same time, like Journal and Printing. I know I should be preparing for fall, but oh, how I love my summer and the break from school and schedule. We pull out tonight for 2 more weeks of holidays and I can't wait. thought I may take my new curriculum along for some "pleasure" reading while I'm gone.
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Old 09-02-2007, 12:36 PM   #25
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Rather than start a new thread, figured I'd just ask my question here...
I have a 10 year old nephew who has always been homeschooled. His mom is a licensed teacher and he is quite bright. The problem is....he is SLOW! He is finishing up Saxon 87 from last year. It takes him HOURS to do a lesson. He knows HOW to do it. Part of the problem is that he insists on trying to do it in his head. Part of it is that he gets easily distracted.
She has tried using a timer, using incentives, etc. This week she has started making him finish up on the weekends what he doesn't get done during the week. I was visiting from FL this weekend and have spent most of my time trying to keep him on track finishing up math & analytical grammar.
Any suggestions for her/him?
Thanks ladies.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:02 PM   #26
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Wow, I was thrilled to see this thread! Our DS is 3 and we are planning to homeschool him. We live in Canada in the summer and FL in winter. Last winter I was given a kindergarten curriculum that I haven't looked at yet (left it in FL this summer) but I hope to start on it in Oct. when we return. Our little guy will be 3 1/2 then. He can already read very, very well (I'm guessing at least 5th grade level) but has no interest whatsoever in learning to write, so it should make for an interesting start!

Where do I look to find homeschooling groups? We have no religious affiliation.
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Old 09-02-2007, 01:51 PM   #27
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IMHO (I'm a middle school teacher), a 3 or 4 year old doesn't need to start writing. At that age 'writing' should be telling stories and coloring and playing with things that develop hand-eye coordination. Lots of kinesthetic & tactile activities - very little if any paper & pencil.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:42 AM   #28
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I'm sorry if this is a "dumb" question, but I will ask it anyway! I know NOTHING about homeschooling. My district is good and I am VERY happy with our setup. BUT I was watching TV, and Steve Irwin's wife, Terri was on talking about how she homeschools their daughter, Bindi, who is 9, I think. They were talking about all the things Bindi does, and how does she have time, etc. Terri made the comment, "Well, she is homeschooled so she doesn't have homework." Is that true? I thought homeschooling would still lead to homework, to one degree or another, just like traditional schooling, but maybe not? I'd love to know!

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Old 09-05-2007, 01:11 PM   #29
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I'm sorry if this is a "dumb" question, but I will ask it anyway! I know NOTHING about homeschooling. My district is good and I am VERY happy with our setup. BUT I was watching TV, and Steve Irwin's wife, Terri was on talking about how she homeschools their daughter, Bindi, who is 9, I think. They were talking about all the things Bindi does, and how does she have time, etc. Terri made the comment, "Well, she is homeschooled so she doesn't have homework." Is that true? I thought homeschooling would still lead to homework, to one degree or another, just like traditional schooling, but maybe not? I'd love to know!

Cindy
I don't know how other people think of it, but I think of homework as being useful for teachers to know who (in their 20-40 person class) is mastering the material and who is needing more help.

In my "class" of two, it's obvious when they understand something and when they need more time/explanation/experience to grasp a particular topic. We don't even find it necessary to test in order to demonstrate mastery. I keep a checklist of topics and skills for grade levels and tick off things as they're accomplished.

Homeschooling can, and in most families does, take less time out of the day compared to multi-child classrooms. There's a lack of typical classroom timewasters - attendance, passing things out and back in, behavior issues - okay, behavior issues are universal, but in our case they don't disrupt the learning of so many other children! There's no need to address topics using multiple approaches in order to accommodate different types of learners - a parent becomes aware of her child(ren)'s learning style(s) and plan appropriately. A typical classroom will also have quicker and slower learners who both need extra time/materials - a homeschooling family can tailor their chidren's material for the pace of their child(ren).

I remember reading that the material covered in a typical classroom day of 7 hours could be accomplished in a little over an hour of one-on-one tuition with motivated child/teacher pair. I don't know if that's true, but it certainly takes much less time to move through a curriculum with one or two children compared to 20-40 children.

To totally blow you mind, my son has mastered reading and arithmetic without more than the most cursory of "lessons", along with a lot of exposure to written and mathematical language. Our family follows the unschooling philosophy, which posits that children/humans are born to learn and can learn to read/write/compute/think/etc. in the same way they learned to walk or talk.

I'm not sure what style of homeschooler Bindi is, but I know they have formal school programs for homeschoolers in Australia (many schools here are doing this now, too) where the material comes from the school but the parent does the teaching. There are some independent homeschooling families in Australia, too, many of which follow the unschooling philosophy like our family. Regardless of the method, homeschooling would give Bindi lots of extra time and flexibility to accomplish her goals and fulfill her dreams while still getting an appropriate education.

Anyway, I hope that helps you understand better -
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Old 09-05-2007, 03:03 PM   #30
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we have "homework" but only on subjects the children are struggling w/. for the most part, my kids are done w/ school before the public school kids get home.
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:00 PM   #31
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I thank you all for letting me jump in and ask questions. This thread has been very elightening for me! I think homeschooling is a great alternative for those who feel it is the best option for them. There's just so much I don't know about it. I think there's a stereotype that isn't true at all. I like to educate myself, and this topic is no exception.

I just feel so lucky to have the situation I do have. My daughter is 10. She is VERY smart, social and well adjusted. She goes to our public school which has an amazing reputation and she does amazingly well. Sure, I have some beefs with some things, but I'd never be happy no matter what, you know? I think part of it for me is that I went to a SMALL Catholic school (I'll be 40 soon). There were 16 kids in my eighth grade class. Very small! I always knew I wanted my kids to have all the stuff I didn't.... cool courses, cool programs, extracurriculars, a real gym, etc. And they do! I think it's just that my two do so well, that I really feel that I could not do better. My daughter participated in the school's "Peer Mediator" program. She gets to go once a week and assist others in mending their fences. She has developed amazing personal skills because of it. I am constantly amazed by the wonderful things at our district. Maybe I'm luckier than I realize!! Then again, my mom, an amazing woman who put herself through college while working full time, is a retired h.s. math teacher in the public school system nearby. I suppose a lifetime of dinner table chatter on being a teacher in a traditional setting set a certain foundation for me.

I do see the point about "time wasting" in a traditional setting. But to me, it's not time wasted as much as it is different lessons and skills learned. it's not bad prep for the work world, really. I can't tell you how many times my DD has come home with this story or that about something in the "larger group" and that leads to a bigger discussion, and it feels good.

Anyway, I think it's really cool that there can be two different means to accomplish what we all really want, and that is to have happy, healthy and well-educated kids.

Cindy
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #32
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Ack - sorry for spelling and/or grammar mistakes in my post above - I was listening to my mother at the same time (a story I've heard several times already) or I probably would have caught the mistakes...
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Old 09-05-2007, 08:23 PM   #33
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Anyway, I think it's really cool that there can be two different means to accomplish what we all really want, and that is to have happy, healthy and well-educated kids.
Agreed - except I think there's way more than two ways
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:01 PM   #34
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Homeschooling mom here too....I have been at it now for 7 years. My oldest will graduate next June. I have a 15yr old also who will start drivers Ed soon..HELP..LOL
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:37 AM   #35
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I am homeschooling my daughter for kindergarten this year. We are doing well, but it is a very simplified curriculum at this point. I am so pleased to be able to do this!
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:04 AM   #36
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Alyson,

Of course... way more than 2! I was just making the point between the two that were being discussed.

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Old 09-06-2007, 07:57 AM   #37
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Wink OMG~! My first post here and it is LONG.....

Hi everyone!
I'm so glad I found this thread. Lots of info here. Thanks.

I'm once again debating about homeschooling my oldest DD(10).
She went to our "neighborhood" school for K-3. The teachers she had were GREAT, but the administration of the school was HORRIBLE. The school was just going down, down, down. Circling the drain. Then they closed another school and bussed in even MORE kids from outside our neighborhood. There were now about 28 kids in each classroom, AND my daughter ended up w/a real.............okay, gotta say it......jerk, as a teacher. This was for third grade. We had tons of issues w/the school and some really bad things were going on there. On top of this, because of the large class sizes, I'd have teachers come up to me and tell me how happy they were to have my DD in their class that day cuz, "she is such a great helper!" Well, come to find out that she was basically ending up as an unpaid teacher's aide. **sigh**
I could go on and on........but you get the picture.

After a "final straw" incident......no supervision on the playground.......we decided the kids would NOT go back. (My DS was to start Kinder there.)
We looked at tons of schools around town. Found a couple that fit the bill, but the travelling all around town, the money one would charge, etc. just made it prohibitive. The one public school we had sooooooooo hoped the kids could go to was full and April missed out on it's "lottery" every year.

We finally found a charter school. Things were GREAT for my DD last year. She was upset we had pulled her from her friends. However, I explained to her that 90% of her friends were no longer at her old school anyway.....mass exodus of kids AND teachers!! Yes, it was THAT bad. Once she knew she could contact some of her old friends in other ways, she seemed ok. That all changed when school started. She did terrific scholastically.......100% in math on her state test!.......so that part is okay, but she has bumped up against kids who have been at this school since kinder and are being "mean".
She was the BMOC at the old school, not so here. It's been really tough on her.

During all this, my poor DS had a really lousy year. They team taught his Kinder class. OK, so I am ALL for job sharing for women, but the way they did it was totally messed up. Two days for one teacher and three for another. The kids had a hard time adjusting. Then, one the "teachers"......who really was a teaching student......would lose kids and just shrug her shoulders when you'd ask where your kid was. It was out of control. Well.......apparently I was not the only one to complain. She was let go shortly afterwards. They never replaced her w/a competent teacher. They finally got a "permanant" substitute.

So, at the end of a torturous year, I interviewed all the first grade teachers, then wrote a two page letter about what we had been through and how I would really like either teacher x or teacher y for my kid.....two choices of the four. We didn't get either of them. So this year, I'm running into the same problems as last year. My poor DS's teacher doesn't communicate, hell, I don't even get a thank you e-mail after sending in donations of prizes and helping in the classroom (Is that too much to ask?). ANYWAY........I think I have found a REALLY great school for him and am heading out soon to fill out the paperwork. One of his good friends goes there, the principal is TERRIFIC and it is a small K-2 only school.
So, then why am I a nervous wreck about actully doing this??????

On top of all this.............
My DD is having a rough start at the charter. I love her teacher (or did until yesterday) and she does well there academically, but there has been a change in the principal and other things going on that have made me re-think this school for her too. **sigh** --- You still with me ????????
April ran for student council. She worked soooooo hard. Last Thursday, she lost the run off election by one vote. That same day, she broke her pinky finger during volleyball practice. She had been working on trying out for the school team for at least a week. She broke the finger the day b4 the actual try out and now cannot play. The coach told her that had she not broken her finger, she would have been one of only two 5th graders on the team. The kid came home in tears! OK, so one last thing.........something called starbase. It is a science/math special program at the AF base here. They choose 6 kids from each 5th grade classroom. There was criteria they were supposedly using to choose the kids, etc. And April was trying sooooo hard not to turn in homework late, follow rules, etc. to show she could be a great rep for their class. Well, the teacher apparently changed her mind on how she would choose. I had even written a note to her asking her to PLEASE tell me ahead of time IF April would NOT be chosen so I would know WHY and cushion the blow after such a sucky week. Well, the teacher did NOT tell me.
April came home from school and just fell apart. She was not chosen. The teacher decided it would be easier to just put names in a "hat" and draw out six. The girl that won the student council race gets to do both.
I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo upset for my kid.

OK, I know......that was terribly long. Sorry.
Esp since it is my first post here.

Here is the bottom line and the question.
My husband has always thought that homeschooling is "crazy".
He is against it but will cave in if I insist. My DD has wanted me to do it for her since last year. I am on my DHs side that I am not very organized. I don't have a lot of self discipline and am easily side tracked. On top of this, my DD is hitting "that" age, and can be a terrific manipulator.

I am seriously considering taking both kids out of this charter.
Keeping my DD at home and working with her myself and sending my son to this other school that I think will be great for him.

I'm scared to death...........
I'm like a deer in the headlights.
I don't know if I should just 'hang on' at this school and hope it gets better, or make yet another huge change for my kids. It's like I'm frozen.

How organized do you really need to be to teach a very smart fifth grader?
How difficult will this be? Am I being realistic thinking I can do this?

Again.........sorry I've gone on and on so long. I hope it made some sense!
Thanks for letting me vent, if nothing else. It has been a long couple of weeks since school started here. If you have any resources that might help, I'd really appreciate it.
THANKS!!!!!!!!

Cheers,
Stacy
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Old 09-07-2007, 11:46 AM   #38
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How organized do you really need to be to teach a very smart fifth grader? How difficult will this be? Am I being realistic thinking I can do this?
Stacy -

I don't have a fifth grader yet, but the level of organization you need to work with a child at home is somewhat dependent on the educational methods/philosophy you choose. You can choose to purchase an all-inclusive curriculum that will go as far as give you scripts to use in teaching your daughter. There are computer and/or video curricula available, too. Many homeschoolers start out buying some type of all-inclusive curriculum. Quite a few subsequently find that a one-size-fits-all curriculum is not a good fit for their family for various reasons.

In WA there are partnership programs in the public school district - the children remain public school students (therefore the school district receives state/federal reimbursement for them) but the parent does the educating using material borrowed from the school, purchased by the school, or purchased by the parent. There's usually a weekly program day at the school. This didn't happen in MD where we most recently lived, but I know it happens in other states. Some families seem to feel more comfortable with school supervision/participation.

I personally have found that my bright children (ages 5 and don't need much academic direction/instruction. Instead, they take the lead and I jump to facilitate their interests. So I personally don't have to be very organized - just ready to head outside or on a field trip or to the library or to help gather arts&crafts material or build a puppet theater or model of Plimoth Plantation or Jamestowne or Egyptian pyramids, etc., when they express an interest.

You can find links to local and state support groups at www.nhen.org
There are any number of books available as well as websites.

Good luck as you decide what will work best for your family -
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Old 09-07-2007, 03:14 PM   #39
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Thanks Alyson!
I will look up that web site.
I'm just sooooooo confused as to what would be right for my kid right now.
Just got off the phone w/someone I consider a good friend, and got the "No way. You CAN'T do THAT!!!!!" speech. Heard all how I'd screw up my kid. **sigh** Now, how on earth will I socially 'destroy' my very social kid??
Considering what has gone on recently at her "new" school, most of her social life has nothing to do w/the school kids anyway. KWIM? I mean, literally NONE of the kids from her class last year attended her b-day party.
She was soooooooo sad. (Not one RSVP call either.)
Anyway..........
running on again.
LOL!

Thanks for the information.
It is mucho appreciated.
Cheers,
Stacy
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:01 PM   #40
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Thanks Alyson!
I will look up that web site.
...
Now, how on earth will I socially 'destroy' my very social kid??
You're welcome I mentioned the support groups listings on that website because finding out that there is one (or two or three or 10) homeschool groups in your local area can be a powerful inspiration when you're thinking about starting. As you said, there aren't as many opportunities to socialize in school as people seem to think, but if you're concerned about finding enough activities to keep your social child active, you may be surprised by the number of groups with whom you could fill your calendar! With us it's often a case of cutting back on desired activities in order to be certain we have enough time at home
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