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Ok. Newbie here, please read

Posted by on Oct. 17, 2017 at 9:23 AM
  • 6 Replies
Okay! Here we go. I have so many questions, concerns, and more. I am hoping this can help me out some. And I apologize if I am all over the place.

It has not been long but for the past week or two I have been doing VERY serious consideration for homeschool. I do not know much still. I have looked up various laws and such but still need more information.

I live in Maine.
I have a 8 year old son in 3rd grade public school. It has been a nightmare. His entire school career thus far. He has very "mild" aspergers. Shows 100 percent every sign for ADHD but it is not ADHD. We think it more along the lines of a vestibular sensory issue. So my kid. Super smart. But he cannot and will not sit down. School has been rough. He is right on the cusp of needed help with special ed but at the same time every one agrees putting him in that class would not help. I do not know. On top of this, our current school system is hell. Omg, torture. You have no idea the things we have been put through just for some help. This school is a joke and I just cannot stomach sending him here any longer. Its been rough and every part of my body wants to melt when I think about continuing this for any longer. Just some background info.

I have always wanted to homeschool. Long before school days started. I am your fairly typical crunchy mom in most aspects of life. This was something I wanted to do but never did. Mostly of out fear of the unknown.

My concerns are worries:

• I won't be able to teach him everything he needs to know and he won't be able to graduate.

• going off of that, one of my biggest concerns is... WHAT DO YOU DO when your kid is in middle and high school. How do you teach them things that maybe you do not understand yourself. Like I suppose I am mostly only worried about advanced math. Etc. I got my GED when I was 16 because high school was not for me. I have long since ditched math or caring about math. I know I am smart. I am. But high school math teacher smart ? No.

• The pricing. I am a single mom. Currently only getting disability but trying to look for work. What are the most expensive parts to homeschooling?

• What are the most difficult parts of homeschooling? Most confusing?

•How often and why would I need to meet with anyone about progress or testing. Doing things like this is semi hard for me because I have severe social anxiety and intense fear of going to a place I have never been and having to do something. Its all just hard.

• How will I know if I have taught all I need to teach in a given year. I know its all on our own time but what if he HAS to go back go public school at any given time and hasnt learned anything they have ? Will this be bad ?

• most of my concerns lay with not knowing the technicalities and laws for homeschool. And with worry about homeschooling past elementary school.
I am confident to teach my child at his age now. In fact before school started I taught him at a very young age to read and write. He is very proficient. I am proud of that. He loves reading. He is SO intrigued by science and loves it and has said for years he wants to be a scientist when he grows up.

I am afraid I cannot teach him all he needs to know in some areas as he is older. And afraid I wont teach him enough in case be merges back into public school when he is much older.

But i know in my heart and soul I want to try this. I need to. I think at this point in his life it could be very beneficial.

Plus I absolutely hate it when he is away.


So yes. ANY and ALL information is helpful. Starting points. Explaining the laws more in depth.

The basic "homeschool your kids for dummies" crash course.

Tell me the hardest parts. The most expensive parts. The most confusing ones.

And i apologize for grammar and spelling errors. I am on my tiny phone trying to just type up a storm as fast as I can lol.

Thanks !!
by on Oct. 17, 2017 at 9:23 AM
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LostTheSlipper
by Group Admin on Oct. 17, 2017 at 11:52 AM
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My concerns are worries:

• I won't be able to teach him everything he needs to know and he won't be able to graduate.

There are things you can follow (like this: https://www.worldbook.com/typical-course-of-study.aspx ) that you can kind of use as a guide as to what kind of things you should teach for each grade. Various schools, and various homeschoolers all do things a bit differently though, so it's never going to look exactly the same for everyone. The big concern regarding such a thing is in high school, and then you can teach the "typical" classes that would be required for each (if that makes sense.)

• going off of that, one of my biggest concerns is... WHAT DO YOU DO when your kid is in middle and high school. How do you teach them things that maybe you do not understand yourself. Like I suppose I am mostly only worried about advanced math. Etc. I got my GED when I was 16 because high school was not for me. I have long since ditched math or caring about math. I know I am smart. I am. But high school math teacher smart ? No.

There are resources online you can use for that, or find online courses, tutors, DVD options, etc. For example, a lot of people like "Khan Academy" and there are tons of videos on different subjects. Youtube can be of some help, too, depending on the subject.

My son is in 10th grade right now. Last year for science (I hate science lol) he had a good book and I supplemented with another book and there was this Chemistry guy on youtube I had him watch a lot.) He took an online English course last year (though that was a bit pricey). This year we are using DVD options. He watches a video for most classes each day where they "teach" like they're in school and then has "homework" he does later in the day.

I actually went up through Calculus in high school, myself, but now that my son is in higher math, even though using his books (and sharing with him my own little tricks) I taught him up through Algebra, I have him learning from this guy on DVD now....it's just been WAY too long and I don't have it in me to teach Trig and  Pre-Calc.


• The pricing. I am a single mom. Currently only getting disability but trying to look for work. What are the most expensive parts to homeschooling?


Curriculum can be pricey, though there are various free options available (check out http://www.freeworldu.org/Welcome/index.html  and  http://amblesideonline.org/ )

There are tons of "alternate" options (like charters, where he goes to school some days and homeschools on others - but I don't think that sounds really like the best for your situation) that are free as well.

A lot of people just make their own curriculum using different textbooks, regular books (free from library mind you) and other materials (I did this a lot for elementary and would recommend you consider this option if you homeschool - but there's work involved with planning.)

For me, though, the biggest cost is "activities" and "outside classes". Things like music, sports, art classes, etc can run a pretty penny, but there are alternate things out there.

For example, Physical Education is something you can easily do at home, but I chose to take advantage of a local organized place that does it for homeschoolers because this option was fairly inexpensive (under $30 a month) and got my son out and about with other kids once a week, and he could learn about different sports. I've heard the YMCA offers similar options in different places, so you'd have to look into something like that.


• What are the most difficult parts of homeschooling? Most confusing?


At first the most confusing and difficult part is finding your footing and wading through the vasts amounts of information out there.That and feeling like you're being odd by doing something that many consider to be against the norm (although, nowadays we're pretty lucky, because it's really not so "weird.)

Once you figure out how you want to teach, what you want to use, etc, and learn how to schedule if you're doing that on your own, it all pretty much falls into place. It can also take awhile to find your own rhythm, but usually it happens.

The challenges are going to change though. I'm doing high school now. My difficult part? Dealing with a teenager and his crummy attitude. He's adopted this "I don't care" attitude this year and it's making schooling MISERABLE. This wasn't an issue for most of schooling, so that wasn't even on my radar, and getting a good balance between things was more of the difficulty in earlier years.

"Socializing" and meeting peoples beliefs of what it should be for home schoolers was something I also found to be a challenge because I'm not social, and my son is, and finding the right group can be hard. They are out there though. Meetup is a great place for this and we've met different people through different events and activities elsewhere as well.

•How often and why would I need to meet with anyone about progress or testing. Doing things like this is semi hard for me because I have severe social anxiety and intense fear of going to a place I have never been and having to do something. Its all just hard.


I don't know about this really. My state (CA) doesn't require this. I did, however, buy standardized tests yearly, just to have "proof" if we were ever questioned (we never have been)... kind of like a CYA kind of thing. (I worry too much lol.)


• How will I know if I have taught all I need to teach in a given year. I know its all on our own time but what if he HAS to go back go public school at any given time and hasnt learned anything they have ? Will this be bad ?

You can see if your school has what they teach each year online (just dig through their website) and follow that (I know ours did and I followed it the first year or two along with some other ones I found), if that's really your concern. This is often an issue when people change school districts/states/etc so the schools are probably used to it and know ways to work through it.


• most of my concerns lay with not knowing the technicalities and laws for homeschool

This really does vary by state, and I don't know your state's laws. Your best bet for this might be finding other local homeschoolers and get the details from them. Some states do have specific webpages though. You can search those out and see what they can find. HSLDA.org also has some information you can get for free, though for some of it you have to be a member (costs $.)

Try meetup.com (free to join) and look for homeschooling groups in your area, then join, and go to a meetup. I don't see why most wouldn't be willing to accept in someone willing to learn about HSing. You could hear how different people do it, how they deal with the laws, etc.

autismpirate
by Member on Oct. 17, 2017 at 9:49 PM
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• I won't be able to teach him everything he needs to know and he won't be able to graduate.  
Personally i think we all worry about this one, but i think it is because society has told us 'your kids must know xxx before xxx or else", which i think is a crock of crap lol.  Kids are all different.  If you are teaching him he will learn...And you will change how you teach and what you teach as you find your way.


• going off of that, one of my biggest concerns is... WHAT DO YOU DO when your kid is in middle and high school. How do you teach them things that maybe you do not understand yourself. Like I suppose I am mostly only worried about advanced math. Etc. I got my GED when I was 16 because high school was not for me. I have long since ditched math or caring about math. I know I am smart. I am. But high school math teacher smart ? No.

I was worried about this too.  My math is iffy, i stopped taking math in school before pre algebra lol.  But there are a lot of things out there and a lot of them are free.  KHAN ACADEMY is free and amazing for math, all the way thru high school and kids seem to really enjoy it.  Plus as i was teaching things to my older kids, i learned right along with them, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that....why do you need to know it ahead of time to teach it....learn and grow with them....Remember home school is what you make it, it isn't sitting at a table doing 1 hour of math, 1 hour of social studies....that's the beauty of homeschool.  

• The pricing. I am a single mom. Currently only getting disability but trying to look for work. What are the most expensive parts to homeschooling?  

For me, when i started, Ink was the most expensive thing.  I went thru a lot of ink and paper with worksheets, lapbooks, notebooking, etc.   Now, its a lot less as we are taking different paths and learning in different ways. But by far when i started, ink was the most expensive thing lol.  I have never, to this day, bought a single curriculum.  Between the library, internet and so on i didn't have to.  I googled a lot, i spent hours making lesson plans but never bought curriculum.  Not even a math book  or work book lol.

• What are the most difficult parts of homeschooling? Most confusing? 

For me it was teaching my kids the way that they learned best and listening to the 'helpful advice' my family and friends (who don't believe in anything other than brick and mortar schools) would dish out.  Even worse were the 'pop' quizes they use to give my kids to see if THEY thought my kids were smart enough.  When my oldest corrected an uncle, and showed him proof, regarding something in chemistry they started to slowly back off lol.  

•How often and why would I need to meet with anyone about progress or testing. Doing things like this is semi hard for me because I have severe social anxiety and intense fear of going to a place I have never been and having to do something. Its all just hard. 

That depends on your state rules.  Here in colorado they simply are tested in 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 11th grade, and i can administer the test at home because i have a college degree (not in education lol you can have any degree here lol).  But usually there are loop holes and typically not as stressful as we make them out to be.

• How will I know if I have taught all I need to teach in a given year. I know its all on our own time but what if he HAS to go back go public school at any given time and hasnt learned anything they have ? Will this be bad ? 

My daughter decided to try high school 'to see what all the hype was about' so i enrolled her....she knew all she needed and then some and never missed a beat.  Kids are sponges and they soak up so much.  Especially when they are interested in something...I would take an interest and form all kinds of things around it....when she loved rocks then we did math with rocks, handwriting was writing about rocks and telling stories about rocks, history was mount rushmore, etc etc.  Again, remember your homeschool isn't public school....
• most of my concerns lay with not knowing the technicalities and laws for homeschool. And with worry about homeschooling past elementary school.

Google homeschool laws in maine, you should be able to find your regulations and requirements.


I am confident to teach my child at his age now. In fact before school started I taught him at a very young age to read and write. He is very proficient. I am proud of that. He loves reading. He is SO intrigued by science and loves it and has said for years he wants to be a scientist when he grows up. 

I am afraid I cannot teach him all he needs to know in some areas as he is older. And afraid I wont teach him enough in case be merges back into public school when he is much older.

You will do fine.  Breathe, and relax.  Remind yourself this is a journey and it will change along the way.  You will start in one place and years later look back and go 'wow'.  Listen to your child, if he is interested in science look up science experiments on the internet and youtube is great as well.  A lot of experiments are reproducable with stuff you have at home.  Myth busters science is this way and we used it for years.  So is household science experiments.  We made Geodes out of egg shells and so on lol.  There is so much out there and it requires a lot of time and research but i wouldn't change anything.  Its made a huge difference in my kids lives and my own.

Angela4boys
by Member on Oct. 19, 2017 at 8:01 AM
2 moms liked this

• I won't be able to teach him everything he needs to know and he won't be able to graduate.

-You'll never teach them everything, public schools don't either.  Most of what they actually need to know in life, they learn outside of school.  In school, they will only retain the information that is interesting to them.  

-As for what they need to graduate....that depends on your state.  In my state of NC, I decide what they need to know to graduate, and I determine when they graduate.  I issue the diploma, and the transcripts.

• going off of that, one of my biggest concerns is... WHAT DO YOU DO when your kid is in middle and high school. How do you teach them things that maybe you do not understand yourself. Like I suppose I am mostly only worried about advanced math. Etc. I got my GED when I was 16 because high school was not for me. I have long since ditched math or caring about math. I know I am smart. I am. But high school math teacher smart ? No.

-I happen to have two kids in highschool.  My kids learn math at their own pace.  Your child may or may not be advanced math ready....now or ever.  Why push something that they may or may not be ready for.  If they are learning at a pace that they will grasp and master it, cool, if not...why make them hate math that they will never use? 

• The pricing. I am a single mom. Currently only getting disability but trying to look for work. What are the most expensive parts to homeschooling?

-Homeschooling can be free, or as expensive as you want.  

• What are the most difficult parts of homeschooling? Most confusing?

-Starting.  It takes a few years to find your groove, and realize that your groove will always be changing and evolving with your changing child and family dynamics.

•How often and why would I need to meet with anyone about progress or testing. Doing things like this is semi hard for me because I have severe social anxiety and intense fear of going to a place I have never been and having to do something. Its all just hard.

-Again this is on a state by state basis.  In my state, I've never met with anyone.  NC is very hands off.  I'm very grateful for this.

• How will I know if I have taught all I need to teach in a given year. I know its all on our own time but what if he HAS to go back go public school at any given time and hasnt learned anything they have ? Will this be bad ? 

-Unless you're doing online public school at home...you're not going to be teaching and learning what the public schools are.  In reality, two classes in the same school probably wont be either.  I wouldn't worry about it.  We have moved cross country 3 times and interstate once.  My kids have all been in public school with exception of my youngest.  When they would start a new school, they'd be ahead in some areas, behind in others...it all will balance out overtime.  I wouldn't make that an area of concern.  

• most of my concerns lay with not knowing the technicalities and laws for homeschool. And with worry about homeschooling past elementary school.

-Just learn the laws of your state, and comply with them.  That's it.  No school can customize your childs education like you can.  What the public school teaches isn't supperior to what they learn outside of school.  Sure, they will learn how to take a test in school...but that 's really not something that's valuable to life.  

Karma-karma
by New Member on Oct. 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM
2 moms liked this
You guys have seriously helped me so much. I feel much more at ease.

Everything about home schooling feels so right and how it is suppose to be. I just feel like everyone, mostly the school if they end up involved at all, will judge me and use this against me somehow.

I just want out of public education. I want my son home with me where he belongs.



My only question would be.

Does it matter when we start ? Is it better to start off a new year or would switching him in the middle of this grade matter?
Angela4boys
by Member on Oct. 19, 2017 at 7:06 PM
2 moms liked this
Why wait, when you already know what’s right? That’s kinda how I feel. Just do whatever feels right to you. There’s no right or wrong way.

We started mid year....due to a move. Anytime's the right time.


Quoting Karma-karma: You guys have seriously helped me so much. I feel much more at ease.

Everything about home schooling feels so right and how it is suppose to be. I just feel like everyone, mostly the school if they end up involved at all, will judge me and use this against me somehow.

I just want out of public education. I want my son home with me where he belongs.



My only question would be.

Does it matter when we start ? Is it better to start off a new year or would switching him in the middle of this grade matter?
Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Oct. 22, 2017 at 2:47 AM
1 mom liked this

Not going to try to answer all your questions now, but starting out, about laws and such, as others have mentioned that varies by state.   What I suggest is, if you are on facebook, search "Maine Homeschooling" and then limit the search by "Group" and you will find several groups just for homeschoolers in Maine.  I live in another state, but I've found those local homeschool facebook groups invaluable (if you do start homeschooling, you can also do the same type of search for homeschooling group in your city or region and find local groups to meet with in person).

Pricing does not have to be bad.   You can buy a lot of things used.  There are free things online (though some require printing stuff out and printer ink can add up).  Here is a whole list of free curriculum, and at the bottom there's a link to a whole other list to even more free curriculum: http://imaginativehomeschool.blogspot.com/2016/07/complete-curriculum-for-free.html  

Plus, the library is your friend.  I've actually seen some of the books and CDs for the curriculum I used (the not free ones) at my local library, not to mention supplemental reading.   Pinterest and youtube are your friend too.

Not counting supplemental books I bought for convenience/preference more than anything (since I could get the same or similar things at the library), my core, essential curriculum this year cost about $120...not counting printer ink cause some of that was digital material, and a Spanish class I'm paying for that cost $15 a month plus $20 for an optional DVD to supplement.

The hardest thing, personally, for me...is really something you're already facing, and that's worry.   I worry about "Is what I'm doing the best thing for my child, am I doing enough, making the right choices, etc."   From what you describe I'm not sure if you will face that any less if you choose to leave him in school, though.   I can say that the worry I face as a homeschooler (which has gotten lesser with time) is not half as stressfull as watching him be miserable in school.   With my child who's homeschooling (I have 2 in public school too), it is just plainly clear that EVEN IF I'm messing up in some ways, what I'm doing is still better for him than school was for him. 

As for not being able to teach him things in some areas as he gets older...that is something there's many ways to deal with, BUT, that's not really going to affect what you do now, is it?   So even if at some time in the future you weren't able to teach him what he needed to learn, and he did have to go back to school, that doesn't mean he wouldn't be better off for having had what you can give him now.  

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