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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

New to group...thinking about homeschooling

Posted by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • 12 Replies
2 moms liked this

Good morning everyone!

I have a 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter. My son is currently enrolled in public school and in 2nd grade. My daughter is in preschool 2 days a week for 3 hours each day. Come September, my daughter is set to start Kindergarten. Ever since my son was off to school I have not felt right about the decision....If that makes sense. To me, it doesn't feel OK to have him gone from me all day like that. I am worried constantly about what he is being taught and subjected to when not in my care. Also, about how he is being treated and how well he is being watched. The thought of having to go through this all, times 2, come September just has me thinking of other options.

I have always loved the thought of homeschooling. I like that I can teach my child on their level and not by an SOL standard. I like that I can teach more through experience and play. The freedom to do more day trips for learning at museums and such. All of those things excite me about homeschooling. I know it may also be a challange as well. Having to make sure my children realize that school time is school time while being home. I was thinking I could set up a designated school area in our home so they are not tempted by other things.

I am sure you are thinking, what is your question? lol. I am sorry if I am all over the place, but I am kind of thinking it all out as I go. I guess what I am here looking for is support...or your thoughts/ideas on homeschooling. How does it work for you and your family? What resources do you use? How much time a day is set aside as school time? Do your children do any enrichment programs at local facilities/churches? I like the idea of being part of a group where the children can get out and play, learn, socialize with other kids. I am not opposed to the kids doing some sort of enrichment program once or twice a week.

The main reason I never did homeschooling before is because I do not get the support with family. Nobody in my family has ever done homeschooling. I have a large family and they all think I am "crazy" for even thinking on it.

Thanks for your time!

by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:10 AM
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Replies (1-10):
KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Many of your questions vary so much from person to person and homeschool to homeschool.   There are many different styles of homeschoolers and each is different.

You can be an unschooler... (this is a neat concept, and you'll have to ask an unschooler about it for specifics).. this type of homeschool basically follows the child.   The CHILD decides what they do, how much they do, etc... it's very child led, interest led, etc...   It's very true that they learn better when they are interested in the topic, so this is the basic concept and that it doesn't just start at a certain time and finish, unschoolers take every moment of life and feel it's about learning.   But again, ask them for a better way to put it.

There are extreme unschoolers, too, and there are people that kinda "unschool" in some topics or some approaches, but they aren't really unschoolers, they just use that principle in some areas.

There are homeschoolers that follow a "Charlotte Mason" style.   I don't know a lot about it, but it's a little more old fashioned and traditional with setting good habits and such.   Also a big point about Charlotte Mason is that they use what is called "living books" rather than a ton of text books.   Living books are considered books that the author was "passionate" about the topic rather than a dry text book.    You'd have to probably google Charlotte Mason to find out more.

Other options are...  cyber schools, co-ops, curriculum based, and ecclectic...   I'm sure there are more, but I stopped at ecclectic for us and didn't really research further.    As for the co-ops, some of them are just meet ups and aren't really involved in your actual homeschooling, they are just tools.... while others actually attend classes a couple days per week and the parent follow up with the teaching and assignments on the off days following the same work.




mem82
by Platinum Member on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:40 AM
Welcome! I know exactly what you mean about not feeling right about the kids being gone for so long. After 2 years, if it hasn't become normal feeling, then it is not going to.
mem82
by Platinum Member on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:42 AM
Families tend tobe ag ainst it until the child really blossom . Then, they will be able to accept it and be supportiv .
Boobah
by Nikki :) on Nov. 4, 2013 at 9:48 AM
Hi, and welcome!
Those are all very good reasons on why you'd want to homeschool. Everyone does it for different reasons. I love being home with my kids and watching them learn and grow. Sure, there are days I'd kill for a break, but there are way more days that are awesome.
I love being able to take them to the park, learn through real life experiences.
We use a Waldorf curriculum (Waldorf is a method of homeschooling that focuses on the whole child, nature, and art - learning with the head, heart and hands.) and the curriculum we use is called a journey through Waldorf (www.waldorfessentials.com) we have used it for two years and love it. Occasionally we supplement with oak meadow (www.oakmeadow.com) which is slightly more academic. Either would be great on their own.
We preciously used a mixture of the Charlotte mason method (www.simplycharlottemason.com) and the classical method (www.thewelltrainedmind.com). It was too structured and pushed too much too early for us.
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KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Nov. 4, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Oh and some people don't bother to follow state laws, they just stay under the radar.   However, if you want to start by knowing your state laws, there is a post at the top about it.

For example, here in Missouri, I have to do 1000 hours (600 of those in the core subjects of math, science, reading, language arts, and social studies)...  I'm supposed to keep a log of hours and some kind of records of how they are doing.   I can keep a portfolio, test results, grades, etc.)    We are also supposed to school at least 400 of those 1000 hours at home.    It sounds like a lot, and compared to some states it is while compared to others it isn't.




 

PurpleCupcake
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Here are the basics of your state laws, this is we're you should start.

Virginia Home Educators Assoc

Virginia

Compulsory Attendance Ages: Between 5 (on or before September 30) and 18 (§ 22.1-254.A) However, "any child who will not have reached his sixth birthday on or before September 30 of each school year whose parent or guardian notifies the appropriate school board that he does not wish the child to attend school until the following year because the child, in the opinion of the parent or guardian, is not mentally, physically or emotionally prepared to attend school" is exempt from attending school. (§ 22.1-254(H)).

 Required Days of Instruction: Generally, 180 days. (§ 22.1-254)

 Required Subjects: None, except under option iv of Option I, language arts and math are required unless parents provide evidence they can provide an adequate education.

Teacher Qualifications: None.

 Standardized Tests: Only for parents choosing Option I, and only if the child was 6 or older by Sept. 30. By August 1, parents must submit evidence that they have complied with one of two testing options. (§ 22.1-254.1(C))
   1. Submit the results of any nationally-standardized achievement test showing the child attained "a composite score in or above the fourth stanine" (i.e., 23rd percentile). 
   2. Or submit an "evaluation or assessment which the division superintendent determines to indicate that the child is achieving an adequate level of educational growth and progress" (ALEGP). A 2006 statutory change requires the superintendent to be objective in reviewing evaluations or assessments for ALEGP. Families therefore have significant flexibility. For example, a standardized test score below the 23rd percentile could show ALEGP under appropriate circumstances. 
       Neither the test administrator nor evaluator is required to be approved in advance. Any standardized test can be administered anywhere, anytime, by anybody. 
       If progress is not shown as required, the superintendent may place the home instruction program on probation for one year. Parents must file with the superintendent "evidence of their ability to provide an adequate education" in compliance with the law and a remediation plan which addresses any educational deficiency. Home instruction must cease if the superintendent does not accept the remediation plan or if progress as required is not shown by the following August 1.

• Parents have four options from which to choose to home school legally:

   Option I: Home School Statute. (§ 22.1-254.1). "Home Instruction" 
   1. Parental instruction of children is an acceptable form of education. (§ 22.1-254.1(A)) 
   2. Parents must annually notify their local superintendent of their intention to home school by August 15. If moving into the school district or if starting home instruction after the school year has begun, parents must notify "as soon as practicable" and thereafter comply with other requirements within thirty days of notice. There is no requirement to use the local school district's form. 
   3. Parents must satisfy one of five options: 
       (i) have a high school diploma, or 
       (ii) be a "teacher of qualifications prescribed by the Board of Education," or 
       (iii) enroll child in a "correspondence course approved by the Board of Education," or 
       (iv) provide a curriculum or program of study that includes the state standards of learning objectives for language arts and math, or 
       (v) provide evidence that the "parent is able to provide an adequate education." 
            Note: State Superintendent's Memo 105, June 6, 1984, stated that in determining whether a parent can provide an adequate education, a local superintendent should determine "whether the document itself exhibits a mastery of language by the writer; whether it includes plans for instructional activities;  and whether it present a reasonable scope and sequence of content. The superintendent does not have to approve or disapprove the activities or the content and should not pass judgment on whether the curriculum is a satisfactory substitute for that of the public schools. That should be left to the parent." 
   4. Parents must submit a "description of the curriculum" (list of subjects and textbooks) that they intend to follow for language arts and mathematics. 
   5. Anyone aggrieved by a superintendent's decision may appeal within 30 days to an independent hearing officer.

 Alternative Statutes Allowing for Home Schools:

   Option II: Religious Exemption Statute. "A school board shall excuse from attendance at school any pupil who, together with his parents, by reason of bona fide religious training or belief is conscientiously opposed to attendance at school."
   (§ 22.1-254(B)(1)). Homeschoolers may receive an exemption under this statute according to § 22.1-254.1(D). This exempts them from all requirements under the home school law. § 22.1-254 (H)(5). 
   Homeschoolers choosing this option, therefore, need to prove: 
   (1) they have sincere beliefs that are 
   (2) religious, not merely philosophical, which 
   (3) demonstrate their objection to attendance in the public schools. To satisfy this, homeschoolers should prepare a letter describing their religious beliefs which make them opposed to sending their children to public school and submit to the school board. Also, homeschoolers should include an affidavit from their pastor (or other religious expert or authority) stating that their beliefs concerning education are religious in nature, and two or three letters from friends who can vouch for their sincerity.

   Option III. Certified Tutor Statute: If a parent is certified in Virginia, he need only provide a one-time notice to the local superintendent that he is tutoring the child and verify that he is certified. No other requirements apply. (§ 22.1-254(A)).

   Option IV. Private or Denominational School: Groups of homeschoolers have organized into private schools where each home is a part of the "campus" and each parent is a  "teacher." An administrator is usually hired to keep all the records, organize field trips, etc. These home-based private schools usually incorporate. Private schools are not regulated. (§ 22.1-254). An individual home school "shall not be classified or defined as a private… school". (§ 22.1-254.A)

Reference: Click Here 


Virginia State High School Graduation Requirements

  • English units:  4
  • Math units:  3 (Algebra I and higher). "Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall be at or above the level of algebra and shall include at least two course selections from among: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, or other mathematics courses above the level of algebra and geometry. The board may approve additional courses to satisfy this requirement."
  • Social studies units:  3.  "Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include U.S. and Virginia History, U.S. and Virginia Government, and one world history/geography course.
  • Science units:  3 lab science.  3 units laboratory science. "Courses completed to satisfy this requirement shall include course selections from at least two different science disciplines: earth sciences, biology, chemistry, or physics."
  • P.E./Health units:  2 units "health and physical education."
  • Arts:  1 unit "fine or performing arts or career and technical education"
  • Foreign language:  0
  • Electives units:  6.  Must include at least two sequential electives.
  • Other units: 1 unit "fine or performing arts or career and technical education"

TOTAL # units:  22

Other diploma options:  State offers honors/college prep and technical curriculum options. State offers proficiency-based credit option.

Notes:  This section of the database deals only with Carnegie unit requirements and does not include the "verified units of credit" (end-of-course test) requirements.
















LukesMommy836
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Thank you all for your replies! thank you

I have read up some on the laws in my state. From what I have gathered, Virginia is an "easy" state to homeschool in. They only require a written notification that I will be homeschooling and a copy of my high school diploma.

I am thinking myself and the children would do better with a structered learning/curriculum. I am thinking though, that it is probably something we will just have to do with trial/error. As my son is now in the middle of a school year and doing well, I think this is something we would start the next school year. This will give me time to really research what I want to do...and also to maybe meet some homeschool families in my area. The preschool my daughter goes to is run by a family we know and are close with. They are a private establishment. They do homeschool enrichment classes multiple times a week. Where the kids can come in for an hour and a half. They do many different classes, including art/music, science/math, and even cooking! lol. I am encouraged by things like that. I don't think my children would suffer socially at all by staying home for schooling. They have a massive family of cousins who are always together! lol. But I do want them to have friends to learn and play with. So I think for us, doing activities with other homeschool families would be great. 

The more I think on it, the more it feels right to me! Where as sending my son to public school every day just has never felt OK!

I am interested in learning more on accredited homeschooling like K12. What are your thoughts on those? I have only mildy looked into it, but from what I gather it is run by teachers? More like online schooling? I do like the thought of my child being able to switch into public school when they are older if they would like to. From what I was reading it is easier to do this with certain programs...?

PurpleCupcake
by on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Va is not an easy state to homeschool in, there is more to it than notice of intent and a high school diploma. It's actually a somewhat difficult state to homeschool in.

Don't let that discourage you, you can do it...You just need to be aware of the requirments. I don't want you to go buy a bunch of stuff only to find out later that you can't meet a requirement. 

It sounds like you are getting excited about homeschool, which is awesome. You'll love it!

A lot of people do k12, some buy boxed curriculum, and some people piece together what they want.

Since your state requires you to get approval annually, it is important you pick something good.

Quoting LukesMommy836:

Thank you all for your replies! thank you

I have read up some on the laws in my state. From what I have gathered, Virginia is an "easy" state to homeschool in. They only require a written notification that I will be homeschooling and a copy of my high school diploma.

I am thinking myself and the children would do better with a structered learning/curriculum. I am thinking though, that it is probably something we will just have to do with trial/error. As my son is now in the middle of a school year and doing well, I think this is something we would start the next school year. This will give me time to really research what I want to do...and also to maybe meet some homeschool families in my area. The preschool my daughter goes to is run by a family we know and are close with. They are a private establishment. They do homeschool enrichment classes multiple times a week. Where the kids can come in for an hour and a half. They do many different classes, including art/music, science/math, and even cooking! lol. I am encouraged by things like that. I don't think my children would suffer socially at all by staying home for schooling. They have a massive family of cousins who are always together! lol. But I do want them to have friends to learn and play with. So I think for us, doing activities with other homeschool families would be great. 

The more I think on it, the more it feels right to me! Where as sending my son to public school every day just has never felt OK!

I am interested in learning more on accredited homeschooling like K12. What are your thoughts on those? I have only mildy looked into it, but from what I gather it is run by teachers? More like online schooling? I do like the thought of my child being able to switch into public school when they are older if they would like to. From what I was reading it is easier to do this with certain programs...?

















paganbaby
by Silver Member on Nov. 4, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Bump for later

usmom3
by BJ on Nov. 4, 2013 at 1:33 PM

 Welcome to the group! This group is here to give you & all other Mom's the support & advice you are looking for!

I think the others have give you great information & advise so I will just add some encouragement! You can do this with out the supportof your extended family! It will be hard & there will be times that you question what you are doing but that is good! That means you care about your children education & want to do the best for them!

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