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So today is the day we start homeschooling!!!

Posted by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM
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I am new to CM so I will give you a little background on us.  My husband is an active duty soldier in the AF and is currently overseas for the year.  We have 4 kids.  My oldest daugher is 10.  She was adopted through foster care and suffered a lot of abuse: mentally, physically, and sexually.  She is "supposed" to be in 4th grade but when we moved back to Missouri we switched her to 3rd.  She fit in pretty well but was still not as mature as the other kids in her class.  She is very far behind in her reading and math.  The new school they are supposed to start in said that if she hasn't been diagnosed with an "actual learning disorder" there is nothing they can do for her and "obviously she isn't trying and working hard enough." She is just going to have to work harder.  That brought out my Momma Bear and I almost had it out with the principal. 

My second daughter is 9 and was also adopted from foster care and is my 10 yr olds biological sister.  She suffered the same types of abuse as well.  She was in 3rd grade but moved back to 2nd my our own choice.  She is very smart and is doing well now with the change.  The school here tried to talk me into putting her back into 3rd because of her age.  Its not like she is 3 or 4 years older than all the other kids so who cares.  (They don't seem to really care about their education.)  She also has an anxiety disorder because of what she went through (who wouldn't) and slight PTSD.  They asked if she was on medication and I told them no we are dealing with her differences with behavior modification and therapy.  She suggested that I medicate her because they just can't handle that in the schools and it will take away from the other children.  Again Momma Bear and I'm pretty sure that my blood pressure was rising and maybe just maybe, I had a little steam coming out of my ears.

My 3rd daughter is going to be 6 in 2 weeks.  Where did the time go?!?!  She is our biological daughter.  I remember the day she was born and all the pain and suffering to have such an amazing little girl in the end.  We are truely blessed to be able to experience the pregnancy and birth even if we can't again.  She is super smart and I worked with her everyday as a baby.  All of her developmental milestones were hit really early and by her 2nd birthday she was walking and even running well and speaking so clearly no one believed she was just turning two.  She took the test in our old school district (different state) and with her scores being so high they wanted to move her up to 1st grade.  The school here said that they cannot offer her anything to help ward off her bordom.  She is the first one done and is starting to hate school because it is boring.  The school said she cannot go into the gifted program because it is only for 2nd grade and up and its only 30 mins a WEEK so "it probably wouldn't be worth even trying to put her in.  She is just going to have to get over herself and deal with being bored."  OMG what kind of place did I just walk into????  This is not elementary school as I remember it.  I finally broke and told the principal what a horrible place she was running.  This is not a school this is a glorified daycare!!!  You don't really care about their education so what are you even here for??? 

My 4th and youngest is our son.  He is 2 soon to be 3 and adopted as well.  He is also a biological sibling of my oldest 2.  He has come a long way in the year he has been with us.  He was not "abused" but neglected.  He was left home as an infant alone for hours on end.  He was small (still is but finally healthy) with almost no speech at all and horrible coordination.  He is finally past all this and sometimes I just want to cry tears of joy when I hear him speak and strangers can somewhat understand him.  He was saved before he was put through all that my girls endured.  He is such a joy and my husband just beams when he gets to talk to him on skype.  My son always hears him on the computer and starts to jump up and down and yell "talk to daddy, talk to daddy.  My turn first." 

It has been amazing to watch all these little people grow under us.  And we are excited to start our homeschooling... BUT!  I just don't know how to get started.  Do we work into it slowly or do we gung ho start in with all subjects and time schedules.  How do I teach my older girls with my son here and most of the time "in the way" as the girls would say.  My husbands biggest worry is that they won't have any friends because I cannot find any co-ops or groups near us.  They are all atleast an hr away.  (We kinda live in the sticks. lol) We are going to start going to church again now that we are settled in our new house and yes sunday school is one way but I am just a little lost on all the rest.  I know what curriculm I want to get but we are waiting for taxes since we have 3 different grade levels.  Its going to be a little costly but we figure we will get our moneys worth since so many kids will be reusing they material for several years to come. 

At this point anything, any advice or knowledge an established homeschool family can pass on to us would be greatly appreciated!!!  Thanks for reading my super long post but I felt it was important to explain why we have chosen this path.

by on Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:25 AM
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by Hall Monitor Bren on Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:59 AM

You are correct that you will get your moneys worth.  My first few years were a bit costly but now I have had many years with the only costs being new stuff I wanted.  

I would take it easy for a bit.  Just work on up into your full load of school.  Have some fun for awhile :)  When I first pulled my kids out many years ago I didn't have their books.  I just had them read good books and we talked about stuff for awhile.  There are good educational type videos you can watch too.

I have been at this for many years now (down to my last child now!) and I still love it and have never, ever regretted one second I spent with my children.  I now have a whole slew of grandchildren that are also being educated at home :)

by Welcome Squad on Feb. 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

We live in Fulton, MO, and there are a couple groups out here (around columbia and Jeff City)

There are also many groups in and around KC area and St. Louis area.   Socialization isn't as big a deal as most people try to make it out, but still.. I keep in my my kids needs in that area.   

Maybe you can start up your own group?   Start meeting at the library, zoo, etc..

by Welcome Squad on Feb. 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

good for you! I have twin adopted sons from foster care. I just started homeschooling one of them a few weeks ago and he's in 8th grade!!! Plus, I'm a single working full time mom. Goodness, I have found that we can make ANYTHING work in our lives if we really want to! And you sound like you've already accomplished some pretty impressive stuff! Just keep doing what you've been doing all along and you can't go wrong! With Rusty (my hs'er), I did just what you did once I made the decision which is JOIN THIS GROUP! It has been very helpful. Led me to lots of great web sites. The one thing I kept reading over and over was "don't buy curriculums or anything until you're familiar with all that's available". That was great advice! It's given me the time to just print out free worksheets, join Time4Learning (for $20/month) it probably remains one of the best sites - particularly for your young children. Rusty is doing just fine. I call him and check on him at lunch everyday. If he doesn't complete his work during the week, we just work on weekends. WOW has my little aspergers guy really opened up. We have a whole new, (and nice) relationship developing. Honestly, wish I'd done it sooner - but I did it now and that's good enough. You'll do great!!! Keep us posted. I admire you! Lynn   

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