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Old 02-25-2013, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any homeschoolers out there?

I am back to considering homeschooling my son. He is currently in kindergarten and while he's doing well socially and academically, he hates the school schedule. I understand-7 hours with one short recess is rough on my active boy. We are reaching a point where everyday he begs me to pick him up early, stay home, go late, anything to not be bored! And I am getting tired of the same ( and I mean exact same) homework tasks that we have had for 5 weeks running and that he is a master at. Unfortunately that is the state of our schools today with the rigid curriculum, varied skill sets in the students, overworked teachers, and poor funding. I get it, I was a teacher, but I feel like my son is not being served and that I could do it better but then....

I taught high school science for 7 years but am worried about handling elementary skills like reading, writing, etc.

Any homeschoolers out there with advice, encouragement, stories to share?

Oh and socially- he has baseball, basketball, and will start cub scouts this fall so we have social life covered I think


Thanks for listening!
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I do not home school, not because I am opposed to it, but because I knew that I would be one of those parents who loved the idea but were really bad in the follow-through. We seriously thought about it for our kids, but it just wasn't something I thought I could do well.
Since you've taught, you are more than qualified for it. I have quite a few friends who either do or have home-schooled. 20 years ago, when I first looked into it, there were almost no support services and anyone who home-schooled was considered a religious nut case. Things have sure changed!!
I know there are some areas where the schools help provide curriculum, etc. and work with the parent. There are lots of home-school groups out there, and tons of child friendly places that offer home-school times (roller rink is the one that comes to mind, as well as the YMCA).
I also know there are quite a few PPers who do, and I'm sure they'll be along to help you out. Good luck!
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We have homeschooled and I sent you a long PM with our experience.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Can't help you with home school but maybe he is over scheduled and needs to learn to sit still and focus and learn to entertain himself. It is also a good lesson that sometimes(actually most of your life) you have to do things that you do not want to. I know as parents we want our kids happy but giving in to that is actually worse for them. I think what schools lack in academics is makes up for in other life lessons like working with others and following rules and pretty much figuring out that as special as you are at home to mom and dad, that to the rest of the world you are just one of the many. But you should definitely talk to the teacher about your concerns that he has mastered what they are doing and to maybe give him something to work on. Kindergarten is tough because so many people now hold their kids back to start that some are turning 7 during the year instead of everyone being 5/6 years old like it should be and so trying to get everyone on the same page is tough but it all evens out in first and second grade.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feonag View Post
Can't help you with home school but maybe he is over scheduled and needs to learn to sit still and focus and learn to entertain himself. It is also a good lesson that sometimes(actually most of your life) you have to do things that you do not want to. I know as parents we want our kids happy but giving in to that is actually worse for them. I think what schools lack in academics is makes up for in other life lessons like working with others and following rules and pretty much figuring out that as special as you are at home to mom and dad, that to the rest of the world you are just one of the many. But you should definitely talk to the teacher about your concerns that he has mastered what they are doing and to maybe give him something to work on. Kindergarten is tough because so many people now hold their kids back to start that some are turning 7 during the year instead of everyone being 5/6 years old like it should be and so trying to get everyone on the same page is tough but it all evens out in first and second grade.
I believe what is stated above is very good information. Kids are often bored in kindergarten but kids need to learn to follow along and do what the group is doing. He will have to get use to schedules in the real world and kindergarten is as good a place as any to start learning that. As he gets up in higher grades he will have more opportunity to do work that is more stimulating. My dd was very bored in kindergarten but we stuck with school (although moved her from catholic school to public school) and she has done very well in school to the point where she will be attending Princeton University next year. Schools offer so much more in addition to the education. Sports teams are good but the socialization in a school setting is very important.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Another variation would be to speak to the teacher about not doing such repetitive work if he gets it. Something similar has been discussed at rageagainsttheminivan.com. There are other learning activities her children does to reinforce lessons instead of the same worksheet over and over again.

Search locally for homeschooling groups in your area. Around here there's a homeschooling co-op. You can start by looking for an attachment parenting group online in your area. Many times AP parenting feeds into homeschooling or unschooling. I know that different states/cities have different criteria and you may need to get paperwork started now for next Fall. Another blog that I can think of that discusses unschooling with her 7 or 8 year old daughter is http://harmonioushomestead.com/
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the thoughts! I have at minimum a few more months to decide which direction to go. Our state home school conference is in May so I plan to head over for a day and see what strikes me. Having taught, I have say I am not worried on the socialization front if he's homeschooled. People skills are people skills and can be learned in any group setting, school or not. I am just tied up and frustrated with what we call "learning" today. My kindergarten kid doing 30 minutes of worksheets a night is not real world. Being disciplined and self controlled is a must of course, but I question how valuable that lesson is from a boring, one dimensional education model that most of our schools are stuck with today.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was homeschooled as a child and my mom was a pioneer for it back in 1984 and she still homeschools today with her grandchildren. My brother wanted to be homeschooled because he is a very intelligent person and his school refused to let him advance a couple of grades even though they gave him an IQ test and he had a 160 at the age of 8 but the school kept giving my parents the run around and that it wouldn't be fair for the other students if he advanced, also my sister has ADD and was also having problems in school. My mother decided for the sake of us kids she would look into it and started homeschooling us, there wasn't a lot of resources back then but my mom was creative and found other ways with other homeschool moms for our lesson plans. My brother graduated and had his choice of universities to pick but decided he didn't want to go, my sister with ADD went to an Ivy league Christian school with a softball scholarship, my other sister went to a bible college and I graduated with 42 credits and a 3.8 GPA but decided I wanted to travel instead. As a homeschooler I never felt unsocialized as the common misconception is, I played softball, took dance, acting and vocal lessons, was in a homeschool choir that did competitions, took vacations during the school year and many more experiences that I had the chance to do that I would not have had had I been in a regular school. I never learned less than my public school friends I actually learned more and retained more information then they did from school, even though by the time I was in high school my lessons were laid out and I did six subjects in one hour by myself. I understand that it isn't for everyone and it takes a special kind of parent to be able to work and be a teacher for their child and I am forever grateful for my mom for doing it knowing that I wasn't an easy student to deal with. There are more options for you now and places where you can find what you need and some states are better with homeschoolers than others, I am not going to lie and tell you that it is easy because it isn't and it takes a while to find a rhythm that works for you and your child and if they excel in a certain subject feel free to bump them up a grade or two that is part of the beauty of the homeschool world. My best advice is to find other homeschool moms that may have experience in subjects that you are not too certain in and they will help with making lesson plans for/with you, it is a tightly knit community that is willing to help other parents help their child to succeed.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi there,

We just recently decided to homeschool our daughter, who will be finishing 2nd grade this year. (In fact, we began the discussion during our most recent trip to Disney and I researched options on the ride home!)

If it's any help, my family has decided to go with the Calvert School (http://homeschool.calvert.org), which offers a complete curriculum & lesson plans for K-8 grades. I like it because I don't have to figure out lesson plans (there's prep involved, but I don't have to find source materials, figure out the calendar, etc.) It's a solid program that meets my state's SOLs.

As for teaching reading, I've just begun a book called The Well-Trained Mind. I'm not very far into it, but I remember seeing some ideas for how to teach phonics to emerging readers. There's also a curriculum called Five in a Row, which uses popular children's books (like Goodnight Moon --- too young for your son, but you get the idea) to pique interests, pose questions, etc. I believe it may also have some good ideas for teaching early reading.

Good luck with your journey! (How timely --- UPS just rang the doorbell --- my curriculum just arrived!) The more I've read, the more I think homeschooling can be quite successful, as long as families are able & willing to adapt the lifestyle changes. If you like blogs, I enjoy following simplehomeschool.net. The mom follows unschooling, but many of her writings apply to homeschooling in general.

Good luck!
Carol
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I homeschooled oldest DS through 8th grade and my younger 2 DS until 7th grade. This is my last year homeschooling, and it's bittersweet. It's been a wonderful experience. My kids all loved it, and we got a lot out of it. I've made some wonderful friends. I'd suggest joining a homeschool group, and taking full advantage of the museums in your area. My kids took classes at MIT, the aquarium, the science museum, the audubon society, etc. We participated in book groups, co-ops, sports days, etc. There are tons of options for curriculum - the catalog I get each year from Rainbow Resources (Home - Rainbow Resource Center, Inc.) is thicker than a phone book!!

Good luck and have fun!

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