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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

Really need honest Advice...please

Posted by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM
  • 8 Replies

Hi Everyone...


I am in need of some help here. Let me give you some background. I have 7 kids.  Ages 10,8,6,5,3, 21 months and a One month old.   I have been homeschooling my kids since they started school.  I have gone between virtural academies... (3 different ones) to just trying to do this on my own.  while preg with dd #7 and after having her, its been very hard for me to keep up with the kids work. I dont really have a math curriculum therefore, my kids are very behind in math. Im worried about my oldest and her getting what she needs academially, i feel she is very behind  from where she needs to be. On the other hand, my 8  yr old is very bright, and i dont feel im doing enough for her to challenge her.. I just dont know what to do. My 6 yr old is doing good in her reading, but im not really doing math with her either because i just dont know how to  go about scheduling my day to give everyone  the attention academically that they need.  

Several months back, I recieved a flyer in the mail, it was for a new Charter school opening up, small class sizes (12-15 kids) , uniforms, and above all they offer "classical education" which is the kind of education i wanted to give my kids but i just dont feel im able to give them what they need.    Im sooooooo conflicted here... this is my "ideal" school i guess.....when my 8 and 6 yr old saw i was looking at the school website, they were begging me to go and said they get distracted at home and that they really want to learn at school (even tho they have never gone to schoool).  however, my oldest is very nervous and said she doesnt want to go because she  would miss me too much and she just wants to stay home.   She is the one i am worried about the most academically.   I love my kids home with  me, I enjoy them home.... but im really wondering if this is the best place academically for them.... I dont want to hold them back or not have them reach their potential because i dont knw what im doing or that Im too overwhelemd/busy to sit with them and teach them.  Some days, i just have so much to do , between the baby, errands, appointments, bills , cleanning.. that we dont even do "school" and i feel soo guilty about that.  I know my kids are behind academically, i wish i was the homeschooling mom that homeschools because my kids are far ahead of their peers.    I can't give them "science lab" or other classes that the school can give them.  I have a comprehensive book that they each work in, and a spelling book, i have them do reading, but that is the extent  of what we have been doing.  My 10 yr old cant even write or read cursive, still doesnt know her mutiplication facts, fractions, geometry.  I have so much curriculum that i have accumulated, but nothing is getting used because im overwhelmed.

I would never put my kids in public school for obvious reasons. If this charter school didnt open up and it didnt have everything i wanted in a school then i wouldnt consider sending my kids to school.  And i would continue getting further and further behind. My dh wants me to try the charter school and see what happens, he said if they dont like it , then we can pull them out.  Im so torn and confused on what to do.  the kids school situation consumes me all day, while i dont want them to be away from me, I cant help but wonder if it maybe the best for them ATM.  My biggest reason for homeschooling is the influences of other kids and that still is an issue for me.  DH says that we just will be really involved with the kids and schooling.  

If my kids were not behind academically, this wouldn't be an issue for me because homeschooling would be benefiting them, but i cant help to think that sending them to this charter school will catch them up and perhaps they can excel. 

sorry to be rambling, i think you get my delima.  

please someone just offer me your advice. Ask me questions if you need more information.

thank you!!!!!!!!


by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM
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Replies (1-8):
oredeb
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM

 oh boy thats a hard one, how many of the kids would you send there? is it close to where you live? what kind of people teach? moms and dads of students or ?the cost per child? what do they think of homeschooling?

mem82
by Platinum Member on Apr. 2, 2012 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this

*hugs* Sounds like you are really swamped right now. 8(

Do you just *think* your kids are behind, or do you know they are? Have you checked their level against a 'content standard'? Sometimes, we think we are behind but we aren't really.

Have you looked into workboxes? Those are supposed to be excellent for large families? Can your husband do one subject with them?

I would sit back and figure out where they are all at, really, and then see if you can focus on what they really need to know. Your 8yo can hold up multiplication flashcards for your 10yo and then they can switch. 8) Some stuff really won't take much to catch them up.

Just remember, you are tired and stretched with a newborn. Don't make a hasty choice. You have all summer to decide. 8) Good luck!

Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Apr. 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM

From what you describe, the kids NEED a change. I would send them to the charter school. you can always pull them out if the school doesn't work out.

I have to say, I see lots of famliies where the moms "assign" an older kid to help teach the younger ones. While I see some advantages to this, I don't see that it is fair to the older kids. I would much rather see them go to school than be lacking in the long run.

You also have the option of keeping your oldest home, but letting the others go. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. However, because it is a small class size, it would probably be good to give your oldest that independence. She's definitely old enough.

If you wanted to continure to homeschool, you would HAVE to make some changes. I would school them in pairs or groups. Do any of them have learning disabilites or other issues? If not, or if they aren't too severe, you could easily do unit studies for the four oldest kids and just change the assignment slighlty for their age and ability.

Why ARENT you using a math curriculum?  Even without a curriculum, you can tailor a decent math program using flashcards and free programs up through 6th grade, until they are hitting the pre-algebra stage. There are so many free options or there are things you cold buy and use for multiple kids,

If you wanta boxes curriculum that isn't too expensive, I HIGHLY recommend Math U see, You would get one teacher manual, DVD and manipulatives that all could use  a workbook for each child. The older two could probably share a workbook and do alternating pages until they are caught up to their level. I would start them all in Aplha, learn the basics of how MUS teaches, and let them move at their own pace. The 6 and 5 yo are close enough that I would do all their work together.


6banat
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 3:31 PM

No, none of my kids have any kind of learning disabilty of any kind.   I think the older ones teaching the younger ones is a great idea and would benefit the  younger child.. but my older one is behind herself... so she really gets no benefit.  I have printed out placement tests for them..  and half of the things they are "supposed"to know... is foreign to them.

maybe my reasons for homeschooling are not the right reasons. I am not homeschooing my children because of the academics... I am homeschooling because i want my children home with me, i miss them when they are away, i dont want them exposed to anything that could harm them, or get bullied, i dont want them to be scarred by any school expiereince that could  cause them  any kind of stresses.  Am i sheltering too much?  Are my reasons just selfish?  I want to do the best thing for my kids and  give them the best education... unfortunatly, i dont think the best education is at home for my situation.......

I also think, if my 3 oldest were in school, then i could have more one on one time with the younger ones, maybe take them to the library for library time or do toddler/baby type classes with them..

maybe for once in many years i could actually make time  for myself and go work out during the day , hire a babysittter to watch my 3 little ones while i go and get healthy.. right now i have 0 time to do that.. dh says for me to workout at right after the kids sleep, but by them im exhausted and last thing i want to do is excersize.  If my kids were in school, i could make that time for myself.  

Ive just never ever thought i would put my kids in school.. and i still wouldnt send my kids to a public school, so when this charter opened up with all the things i want in a school, it really made me think that maybe i should rethink my decision to homeschool and maybe they would thrive in  this type of school.. I want to offer them the best academic education  for their future.  

I guess i could try it and if its not ideal for us i could pull them out and homeshool again, but i agree, i HAVE to make changes and figure out curriculum for my kids......  

I  just dont have the support of anyone or know any other large families that successfully homeschool.


5BMom
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 4:20 PM
It sounds to me that in the best interest of the children, they NEED to go to school. They are not thriving at home, and in fact, their educational needs are being neglected.
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kirbymom
by Sonja on Apr. 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM

 Well, you have finally met a family of the exact same size and homeschools too.  We are about to graduate our oldest this summer.  Sweety, I was you a few years ago.  :)  

What you need to do is talk with your husband and find out for sure what it is, exactly, you want to do.  Then, based on that information, you may be able to decide which is the best decision to go with.   

As for me, I had the same problems.  It took me awhile, but I finally was able to mange to get back on track.  I, also, have homeschooled all the kids from the beginning.  Sometimes you just have to sit back and let some things go. Yes, I know how hard that sounds. lol  But, you can do it.  While you are deciding what is best, how about taking one subject at a time with all the kids and ask them general questions to begin with and gradually stepping up the difficulty until you or them come to an impasse. Then just be done.  You will feel less overwhelmed and have gotten more accomplished. Which in turn, helps you relax about things in general and specifically.  After awhile of doing thing like this, you will find yourself being more confident and your kids will be getting some of that education your fearful that they aren't getting.  Then, if you and your husband decide that you think its best to send a few of the kids to this charter school, that is what you do.  If they prove to thrive, then you know that the decision you made was the right decision. If you feel they haven't made any improvements then you can always take them out and decide  to homeschool them again. 

As for the curriculum, I write my own, When my oldest was about 8 or 9, she and I had a difficult time connecting in regards to her school work, so we decided that her dad would take over her schooling and see how she did. Well, she took off in her schooling and we knew we had made the right decision.  i still had some input as to what she had to learn but her dad did the lion share of her schooling.  Oh and he worked fully too. Sometimes 3 or 4 jobs. I'm not saying that what worked for me will work for you but it might. 

Also, if you have any questions on anything, just ask away.  I would love to answer any and all you may have.  Good luck in whatever decisions you make. 

Quoting 6banat:

No, none of my kids have any kind of learning disabilty of any kind.   I think the older ones teaching the younger ones is a great idea and would benefit the  younger child.. but my older one is behind herself... so she really gets no benefit.  I have printed out placement tests for them..  and half of the things they are "supposed"to know... is foreign to them.

maybe my reasons for homeschooling are not the right reasons. I am not homeschooing my children because of the academics... I am homeschooling because i want my children home with me, i miss them when they are away, i dont want them exposed to anything that could harm them, or get bullied, i dont want them to be scarred by any school expiereince that could  cause them  any kind of stresses.  Am i sheltering too much?  Are my reasons just selfish?  I want to do the best thing for my kids and  give them the best education... unfortunatly, i dont think the best education is at home for my situation.......

I also think, if my 3 oldest were in school, then i could have more one on one time with the younger ones, maybe take them to the library for library time or do toddler/baby type classes with them..

maybe for once in many years i could actually make time  for myself and go work out during the day , hire a babysittter to watch my 3 little ones while i go and get healthy.. right now i have 0 time to do that.. dh says for me to workout at right after the kids sleep, but by them im exhausted and last thing i want to do is excersize.  If my kids were in school, i could make that time for myself.  

Ive just never ever thought i would put my kids in school.. and i still wouldnt send my kids to a public school, so when this charter opened up with all the things i want in a school, it really made me think that maybe i should rethink my decision to homeschool and maybe they would thrive in  this type of school.. I want to offer them the best academic education  for their future.  

I guess i could try it and if its not ideal for us i could pull them out and homeshool again, but i agree, i HAVE to make changes and figure out curriculum for my kids......  

I  just dont have the support of anyone or know any other large families that successfully homeschool.

 

 

0123456
by on Apr. 2, 2012 at 11:02 PM

It sounds like this charter school could be exactly what you need. It's a school choice that you could feel good about, and your kids need it. I think it's great that you are able to admit your limitations and realize that maybe a different path is needed. I say go for the charter school. Over the summer, I would do everything I could to get my kids caught up on math.

www.ixl.com has 20 free problems a day, or you can pay for a membership. If you have the funds, pay for the membership. Then, your kids can all work at whatever level they are. You get nice little reports weekly on how they did and can easily see areas where maybe more work is needed. If they signed up with this tomorrow, you could turn them loose on it to see what they could do and see where you need to start patching holes before they go off to school.

Good luck. There is great success is in recognizing the problem and actually doing something to fix it.


StrictMomof2
by on Apr. 3, 2012 at 10:19 PM

 Okay, you asked for the advice, so I'm going to bluntly tell you what my opinion is. I'm struggling to home school my oldest son, but now that my daughter is 3.5 months old, I decided today that we were going to make some serious changes around here. I was going to make a schedule of who in the household is going to do what-when, and I was going to start limiting when I make trips into town for the family. I only have two kids in "school" (we have our four year old doing pre-K.)

It sounds to me like you've already answered your own question about what you want to do, but your looking for someone to grant you permission to let your kids go to an actual school. The school setting has not worked out well for us only because our local schools are down right terrible (to much bullying, it's flat out dangerous for our kids to go, they are expensive (we can't afford it), and I LOVE home schooling our kids.) However, had I lived in my home town or in a town I moved from, I'd send my kids to either one of those schools without question. They are both far enough away that it wouldn't benefit me to try to send them to those schools due to the cost of fuel to get them there. Plus I love the flexiblity that home schooling gives me.

 

As far as you not giving your kids what they need....I fully UNDERSTAND!!! I have been struggling like crazy to get on a pattern since my daughter has been born. However, I have an 8 year old who learned flexiblity has to happen and he has to be willing to dig in when we're able to do it. He's done a great job of it overall!! That has a lot to do with the fact that he WANTS to be home schooled.

 

Maybe you can send some of your kids to the charter school and focus on the ones who WANT to be home schooled and who are willing to put forth the effort to do the work when YOUR able to give them your attention fully. As far as curriculm, I use Connectionsacademy.com because they provide the materials, live lessons if we need them, contact with teachers if we need them, it's still a public school, and I have lesson plans laid out for me. However, I'm also free to teach when and how I want!!!

typingCome check out my blog at http://www.tidbitsofexperience.com/. I'd love to have your feedback there.  Also it lets you know more about me and my family. Hope your having a great day.

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