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Any Homeschoolers?


bluebell

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My kids are in the 2nd and 5th grades and the school they transfered into with our last move is not the best. They are doing fine academically and socially, but the school environment is unsettling for them-it's very loud, the kids are often rude and in trouble, and swearing seems to be an artform.

My 5th grader, who LOVES to eat, recently decided out of no where (and with no guidance from me) to fast for his class, that they would be able to be quiet and not get into trouble. This is the kid who was typically the chattiest in his class in his other schools.

We just moved into this school at the end of sept. and there's a good chance we'll be moving out of the state before the end of the school year (or at least before next year's school season) so we are not at all invested in this school district.

I'm kind of considering homeschooling for the remainder of the year, but i'm also terrified of it. I have no idea if it's possible to homeschool in the middle of the year and then only until the end of that year, and i'm worried about how difficult it would be to re-enroll at the next school after homeschooling for such a short period of time.

And then there are the general worries that it'll be a disaster for everyone involved.

So any info anyone could share would be great. I'd also love to hear experiences from those who have done it (good and bad).

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I am joining in with the rest of the country. I am just going to let the state run my life. That is were it is really at. I mean the government does everything so much better than anything or anybody else.

"Were all socialists now."

On a serious note, I would home school if I were in your shoes. I think it is a good idea.

Edited by Mola Ram Suda Ram
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My kids are in the 2nd and 5th grades and the school they transfered into with our last move is not the best. They are doing fine academically and socially, but the school environment is unsettling for them-it's very loud, the kids are often rude and in trouble, and swearing seems to be an artform.

My 5th grader, who LOVES to eat, recently decided out of no where (and with no guidance from me) to fast for his class, that they would be able to be quiet and not get into trouble. This is the kid who was typically the chattiest in his class in his other schools.

We just moved into this school at the end of sept. and there's a good chance we'll be moving out of the state before the end of the school year (or at least before next year's school season) so we are not at all invested in this school district.

I'm kind of considering homeschooling for the remainder of the year, but i'm also terrified of it. I have no idea if it's possible to homeschool in the middle of the year and then only until the end of that year, and i'm worried about how difficult it would be to re-enroll at the next school after homeschooling for such a short period of time.

And then there are the general worries that it'll be a disaster for everyone involved.

So any info anyone could share would be great. I'd also love to hear experiences from those who have done it (good and bad).

Montana misses you very much.
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My kids are in the 2nd and 5th grades and the school they transfered into with our last move is not the best. They are doing fine academically and socially, but the school environment is unsettling for them-it's very loud, the kids are often rude and in trouble, and swearing seems to be an artform.

My 5th grader, who LOVES to eat, recently decided out of no where (and with no guidance from me) to fast for his class, that they would be able to be quiet and not get into trouble. This is the kid who was typically the chattiest in his class in his other schools.

We just moved into this school at the end of sept. and there's a good chance we'll be moving out of the state before the end of the school year (or at least before next year's school season) so we are not at all invested in this school district.

I'm kind of considering homeschooling for the remainder of the year, but i'm also terrified of it. I have no idea if it's possible to homeschool in the middle of the year and then only until the end of that year, and i'm worried about how difficult it would be to re-enroll at the next school after homeschooling for such a short period of time.

And then there are the general worries that it'll be a disaster for everyone involved.

So any info anyone could share would be great. I'd also love to hear experiences from those who have done it (good and bad).

Depends on the area. Many schools let you check out textbooks and use their materials. Others might not. You need to talk to the coordinator who handles homeschoolers in the district.

In my experience, with younger kids they are not too uptight when it is not going on their long term records. I am not even sure if they checked on my son's work when we homeschooled for half a year due to going to Russia. He hadn't finished all his course work (we went through a company that provided everything as tuition because the company paid for tuition but not supplies but the drawback was he had to do the whole year rather than just half year...we just dropped some of the busy work to make it more reasonable work load) by the time he was back in regular school, they never even asked for the form that showed he passed that year IIRC since it was already November when he finished. It was 8th grade. They told me one more year and they would have to have been much stricter.

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My biggest problem with homeschooling is that my kids couldn't just look at me as a teacher, it was Mom asking them to do stuff so they felt greater anxiety about doing it wrong or making mistakes (yes, perfectionism runs to a certain degree in the family, I tried hard not to pass it on to my kids but it must have snuck through enough to pass on the anxiety associated with it if not the drive to actually try to make things perfect). I would have thought they would be more relaxed, I certainly would have been with my Mom, but for some reason (probably a gene they inherited from their dad) they have always been quite comfortable with people outside the family, not particularly caring what they think about them (their anxiety is not about what others think about them, but what they think of themselves...).

This may have been because I had already done tons of stuff with them with school and with schoollike games at home with reading and math and science because I was interested in sharing with them what I considered the fun stuff of learning so when it became more of the same, but suddenly they had to do it, they rebelled or it became too confusing so led to anxiety or something else. Never really figured it out, except to go to tutoring for my daughter when she had to be homeschooled rather than me teaching her though I easily could have done it having tutored other kids myself since high school.

So I would suggest as much as possible make the homeschooling stuff completely different from home stuff. That way discipline may be easier because they won't be thinking this is just more of our usual chores. Set aside a specific time for beginning and ending, make them get dressed for school and not just stay in home clothes and have if possible a separate area in the house just used for school stuff. Shut the phone off so you aren't interrupted either. You need to show the same level of commitment to it as they do, otherwise they will assume it's not really school. If all goes well, I've seen stats that show kids can get done in about 2 hours what takes all day at school due to interruption, all the social stuff, etc. so you don't need to worry about it taking up all day especially if you can get them working on it at the same time (set things up so one kid is doing independent work while you are working with the other if possible).

There is tons of stuff online for free, other stuff that you have to pay for. I would highly recommend the Saxon Math program, that has always been the highest recommended math program I've heard from moms and tutors for decades both in Canada and the US. With Math, you can just test where they are and work on from there, don't worry about half year, just aim for what they are supposed to know by the end of the year. English, depends on what you want to do it, but go for lots of reading as that is how spelling and vocabulary gets expanded. AGain, check the level that they are supposed to get to, sometimes there are lists of books and words for vocabulary and spelling that can help. Creative writing is where you may want to go online to get ideads. Science...there is a book called Science Is....that has a lot of experiments and science concepts that can be done at home. Well worth the price: http://www.amazon.com/Science-Is-fascinating-projects-activities/dp/0590740709 It is massive with tons of stuff to do in lots of different areas of science.

With just a half of year, keep things very simple as it takes that long just to get your bearings yourself. Don't try to do more than what is required until you've finished the requirements and then add stuff in like extra books, field trips, etc. If you focus on the extra stuff thinking that will add interest and such, you may find out that you aren't able to finish the required stuff and then that throws you into a frenzy that the kids pick up and makes life very hard (can you tell I speak from experience?)

And remember everything is pretty much repeated year after year until one gets to highschool so if you miss a detail you don't really need to worry about it as it will be covered again next year (this was told to me by several teachers). It is more of keeping your kids in a learning mode so that they don't lose everything or have a hard time fitting back into a school environment.

Edited by calmoriah
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I think my biggest worry is whether or not it would be worth it to homeschool for such a short period of time. I've heard that it takes a few months just for everyone to get homeschooling figured out and to reach a point where it's actually a benefit.

And then also, is it just adding more stress to my kids' lives rather than taking it away? Part of the reason the idea is appealing is because we will be moving in the near future and they will be changing schools at that time anyway. But, if the transition from public to homeschool is stressful, and then they are still going to have to go through the stress of starting a new school next year, is anything gained or am i just making it harder on them?

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Hey bluebell.

We are finished now, but began homeschooling in 1988 when hardly anybody did and the government was hostile. You love your children. You'll find a way. How can you be terrified of teaching second and fifth grade? I think it is conditioning. We are conditioned to think we can't. But parents are the primary educators of their children, not the government. Sure, we most of us need help from experts later, but not in elementary school. Try it for a few months. You might find it is the way to continue.

If you want to fear something that is a danger...it isn't that you can't teach...it is that you won't make them be disciplined. Make a time and a place. Keep a schedule. If you do nothing except instill in them a habit of discipline until next summer, turning in work on time, doing homework, it will be more important than ABC's or 123's at this age. If it is going to be an experiment, you emphasize character and don't sweat the curriculum too much.

Get them good books for their age and get them reading. Read to them aloud something that they will love. The Hobbit maybe, with the movie coming out? Our young ones loved the Lord of the Rings aloud. Make them write summaries according to their proficiency and answer questions orally. Give them a turn to read too. Teach them to read aloud with gusto. Make them bring life to the words. Yes. In half a year of school teach them to learn to read aloud and if necessary teach yourself to do it well for their sakes. It will enrich all of your lives for the rest of your lives. It is a lost art to read aloud with attention to pronunciation and interpretation. (It will prepare them to speak better publicly). Just a suggestion. You can fill in the rest or pick something else. I had a fifth grade teacher who often read aloud to the class for an hour or more. I loved it. Reading aloud done well is theater and far better than video games!

If you decided to continue, I suggest that next spring would be the time to worry about any future curriculum.

God bless,

3DOP

Edited by 3DOP
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I'm not terrified to teach them, i'm terrified that we won't be able to handle the constant alone time together!

We live in a tiny apartment right now and the kids share a room. They enjoy each other, as far as brothers go, and have always done well, but both of my boys need time apart to function well and right now, school is the only time that they aren't together. We live in ND where winters days often have a high of -zero or lower and there is no outside area for them to play where we live, even if the weather cooperated. Plus, we live in a smaller urban area, with one very small free museum and that's it as far as educational things to do in the winter. Everything else is outdoors and closed until spring or summer.

I'm seriously worried that we will all crack (me included) under that kind of stress with no relief valve.

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I hate to belabor the point, but I have to share something I remember from grade school. You're in a class with 20 or 25 other kids. I had a teacher who made us read aloud in class. It was good. I couldn't wait for my turn...ham thatIi must have been already. But...I waited and waited and waited to be called. I is boring to sit and listen to a bunch of bad reading. Only with private tutoring or home schooling can one have the concentrated coaching necessary to help the child to be encouraged about what they do well while learning what they do poorly. I was a stickler with mine for pronouncing things clearly. Open your mouth. Use your lipppps. Use your teeth. Use your tongue. Do not be afraid to speak deliberately. Vary your pace for the sake of your listener. Make them know that reading aloud isn't about them. It is about the listener. When we are thinking about the words and how we want to affect the listener, that is when reading is a blast.

In Bible School we had a great speech teacher who worked with us on reading aloud. We would pick a passage from Scripture and interpret it. I remember choosing the story of when Moses came down from the mountain and was pretty hot and made his "Who is on the Lord's side" speech. I won a Bible in competition with the other guys in the class, because even in college, with guys who were supposedly going to be speaking publicly, they were reading in a monotone. Unacceptable! I didn't even think I did so well with the reading, but at least I was willing to put my heart into it. Another time, 7th Grade, we auditioned for the lead part in Christmas Carol by the author whose name is always censored here. Why did I win? I just decided to read my part like I meant it. I even affected a goofy English accent. I am sure it was absurd, but nobody minded. The teacher could see that I cared more than anybody else.

Some of you know I was a Protestant minister before I became Catholic. Do you think I was scared in those first years to preach my first sermons? Sure! You know what got me started? Reading aloud. If I was scared to death of preaching for thirty minutes or more with notes, I could at least get myself settled in by reading the pertinent Scripture passage. With most public speaking you can have your opening scripted and if you aren't afraid to read aloud, you are on a roll within twenty seconds of starting and then the words come...well most of the time. Anyway...its been so helpful to me through the years to able to read aloud without being ashamed to let people know that what I am reading is meaningful to me. Even if you don't homeschool bluebell, this is something that will remove fears and give them confidence in many many unforeseen circumstances down the road. It is a treasure to have no fear of reading aloud no matter who is listening.

Edited by 3DOP
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I'm not terrified to teach them, i'm terrified that we won't be able to handle the constant alone time together!

We live in a tiny apartment right now and the kids share a room. They enjoy each other, as far as brothers go, and have always done well, but both of my boys need time apart to function well and right now, school is the only time that they aren't together. We live in ND where winters days often have a high of -zero or lower and there is no outside area for them to play where we live, even if the weather cooperated. Plus, we live in a smaller urban area, with one very small free museum and that's it as far as educational things to do in the winter. Everything else is outdoors and closed until spring or summer.

I'm seriously worried that we will all crack (me included) under that kind of stress with no relief valve.

are you thinking of moving back to where you came from or elsewhere? Wish things would get better for your family!

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I'm not terrified to teach them, i'm terrified that we won't be able to handle the constant alone time together!

We live in a tiny apartment right now and the kids share a room. They enjoy each other, as far as brothers go, and have always done well, but both of my boys need time apart to function well and right now, school is the only time that they aren't together. We live in ND where winters days often have a high of -zero or lower and there is no outside area for them to play where we live, even if the weather cooperated. Plus, we live in a smaller urban area, with one very small free museum and that's it as far as educational things to do in the winter. Everything else is outdoors and closed until spring or summer.

I'm seriously worried that we will all crack (me included) under that kind of stress with no relief valve.

Those are difficulties worth weighing into the equation. I misunderstood your fears.

One year for a few months after I had left the ministry my wife worked. It was the worst years of our lives. The two older kids were in public school. The social part was what we didn't like. The early sexualization of little kids was going on even in the 90's. So we experimented with public school for one or maybe two years (can't remember) and went back to what we knew. I tend to think we made a mistake with the public school, but thankfully, they seem well adjusted adults anyway. I personally prefer a good private school. I am hoping our grandchildren can do that. But that can be prohibitive for many reasons. Money. No good schools. I never say homeschooling is for everybody, but I offer encouragement to those who seem inclined to try.

3DOP

Edited by 3DOP
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As mentioned before I sub in a Utah school district with a high ratio of students per teacher. I see several students get passed over who need one on one help. I know the teachers have help with aides etc. but sometimes they fall through the cracks. With you they'd get that priceless time with you. If it's only for a few months think of the bonding you might get. To me it always felt like the school teachers spent more time with my children than I did because when they come home and hang with friends etc. The ages of your sons seem to be a stage where you will have more control. My first thought when you posted was that they'd miss out on the social end but if that's not working out and home is better then good. But I also relate to spending too much time but you might find out that you will gain some rich experiences. I'm a boring mom. All I ever get to do is hug my 10th grader goodbye in the morning and then say a couple things at night because he's busy doing other things. I really failed at the bonding part and gaining a closer relationship with my 10th grader. So if you do homeschool I wish you have a great experience. Good luck either way! BTW, it's too bad their principal doesn't get a better grip on the structure of their school and how the students behave.

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If you want to fear something that is a danger...it isn't that you can't teach...it is that you won't make them be disciplined. Make a time and a place. Keep a schedule. If you do nothing except instill in them a habit of discipline until next summer, turning in work on time, doing homework, it will be more important than ABC's or 123's at this age. If it is going to be an experiment, you emphasize character and don't sweat the curriculum too much.

That is where I blew it. I let how my health was making me feel allow all of us to create excuses not to keep to a scheudule. I thought our mutual love of learning would be enough....not so.
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I had a fifth grade teacher who often read aloud to the class for an hour or more. I loved it. Reading aloud done well is theater and far better than video games!

Same here. I would also take fairy tales and other stories and we would rewrite them with them as characters such as "______ and the Three Bears" with chocolate pudding (his favorite food at the time) instead of porridge. They loved helping to fill in the details.

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I'm not terrified to teach them, i'm terrified that we won't be able to handle the constant alone time together!

We live in a tiny apartment right now and the kids share a room. They enjoy each other, as far as brothers go, and have always done well, but both of my boys need time apart to function well and right now, school is the only time that they aren't together. We live in ND where winters days often have a high of -zero or lower and there is no outside area for them to play where we live, even if the weather cooperated. Plus, we live in a smaller urban area, with one very small free museum and that's it as far as educational things to do in the winter. Everything else is outdoors and closed until spring or summer.

I'm seriously worried that we will all crack (me included) under that kind of stress with no relief valve.

Are you close enough to the church that you might be able to get a key and take them there to blow off some steam in the gym or something?
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Unfortunately Cal, we're about pretty far from the church. There might be a homeschool play group in town, i haven't done much research in that regard yet.

Tacenda-i agree that I wish the principal would get better control of her school. The kids' last school stressed manners and respect equally with learning. This one has problems, but it's probably mostly because of the influx of people moving into the state.

3DOP-thanks for the wise words on reading.

Blackstrap-that might work, but if i understand right, homeschooling only takes about 4 hours a day to cover everything that needs to be covered and then you're done. That means we'll have a lot of time to try to fill where school work and studying won't be on the agenda at all. That's daunting to me.

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Check out after school activities to see if they accept homeschoolers and if the attitude is better. Then at least there would be a few days a week that they might be able to get out. Also maybe the school has lunchtime clubs. My daughter's school had an art club that met during the last half of lunch.

If the local library isn't nearby, see if you could use the school library.

Edited by calmoriah
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