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what have you learned from homeschooling?

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I am considering homeschool for next year. My children will be in Kindergarten, 2nd Grade, and 4th Grade. Up to now they have attended public school. My youngest is n Pre-k this year and has a terrible time with seperation! STILL and it's JANUARY!! ugh! anyway. If I do homeschool I plan on using GA K12 which is public school online.(ALL FREE plus they send each child a computer to work on) I feel confident in this as it will be my first year HS. So here are my questions.

Why did you choose to homeschool?

what program do you use?

What grades are your children?

If you pulled your kids out of public schools what were your reasons?

what is the most difficult part of HS?

What is your favorite part of HS?

What has been the most unexpected part of homeschooling? Good and bad...

what do you kids think of homeschool? Do they ask to go to public school? Do they ever think they are missing out on something?

DO you belong to any type of co op or other group?

Please share any other thoughts or advice with me. I am trying to get as much advice and information as possible so that I know what I am getting myself into. thanks so much


Just to add My reasons to homeschool are:

*I like the thought of having the freedom to do what we want and go where we want without having to wait for school breaks or being worried about making up work, or getting in trouble for missing to many days.

*My children behave well at school but I have alot of issues with my younger 2 (age 5 and 6) at home and think that by having them home it may be easier to fix these issues.

*My pre-ker Cries almost everyday to go to school. some days are good but when it's bad it's bad! She loves school once she's there but the saying goodbye part she hates and the teachers have to pull her out of the car kicking and screaming! Sometimes I feel bad and sometimes it just makes me mad! lol

*I feel like they are growing up so fast and I want to be able to spend this time with them and with school adding to other activites Life feels so rushed some days

*I feel that being a stay at home mom is what I am meant to be, Although when the kids aren't home and are at school I feel like even though I clean the house and take care of things for them It's still not what I am suppose to be doing.. I dunno how else to explain it.

* I think that if I was teaching them I would have more time to see what their biggest talents and intrests are. and allow them to learn more about what intrests them


My doubts:

*I'm worried I am enabling my 5 year olds seperation anxiety by homeschooling her and allowing her to continue the pattern.

* my 6 yo son is very shy and has to be forced into social situations. School has helped him alot in this area. I'm afraid he'll regress if he's not placed in social situation without me.

*I'm worried they will feel like they are missing out on something

*I'm worried that I won't be able to handle them being with me 24/7 everyday. This has been my first year with no kids at home and I must say I enjoy the silence and the clean house haha! Not sure if I'm ready to loose that

*Not sure if I have the "smarts" to homeschool..... thus the reason I want to use the K12 program as each child has a technical teacher there to help. I worry though that they will fall behind.....




by on Jan. 15, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Replies (11-18):
Bleacheddecay
by Leader on Jan. 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Why did you choose to homeschool?

My kids begged me. It was the last resort for my miserable kids that I could afford.

what program do you use?

We were electic, piecing together curriculum and unschooling some subjects. I believe that full programs are no only expensive but work for very few.

What grades are your children?

Both mine graduated high school through homeschooling and got scholarships to college, one got an academic the other an athletic scholarship. We started when they were in 4th and 6th grades. I wish I'd started from K-5 on.

If you pulled your kids out of public schools what were your reasons?

They were miserable. The schools were content to pass my son rather that teach him, wanted him drugged and he is not ADD or ADHD like they thought. The teachers and students were hostile. My girl WAS ADHD and they not only didn't catch it they put her in the gifted class. A kid got raped on her campus and instead of being honest about it the school lied and tried to cover it up.

what is the most difficult part of HS?

Worrying uselessly that they aren't learning enough and so on.

Second worst is nagging them to get the work done.

Third is grading latin or alegbra.

What is your favorite part of HS?

Not having to get up and waiting in line twice a day.

Not having to deal with how negative schools are.

Having family get along better.

Seeing the kids grow in what they learn and how they feel about themselves.

What has been the most unexpected part of homeschooling? Good and bad...

I anticipate everything so I can't think of anything. LOL

what do you kids think of homeschool?

I think it's great.

Do they ask to go to public school?

No. They are so grateful to be out of there.

Do they ever think they are missing out on something?

Yes. Soemtimes. My son would have like to play on a high school team for instance but he says he'd never want to go back to public school or school at all.

DO you belong to any type of co op or other group?

No co-ops. They tend to try to control how you do things and be very academic but several social groups and a cover school.

Please share any other thoughts or advice with me.

Here are my best tips:

1. Look up your state laws. Make sure you are in compliance. I like this site rather than HSLDA

http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/directory/Legalities.htm

2. Decide what your mutual goals for the future of your student are, high school degree, GED, college and so on.

3. Find out your teen's best learning styles. I'd use POC4U to aide this.

http://www.edudps.com/poc4u.html

4. Research ways to do an education along with your teen. I recommend The Teenage Liberation Handbook.

5. Pick out curriculum (if any)  WITH your teen. I do not recommend buying a full curriculum the first year. It tends to lead to frustration and a waste of money.

6. Be flexible, expect change.

7. Locate local groups and resources.

8. Don't forget to make it fun, relax now and then, just enjoy each other.

9. Be sure to keep your student in touch with any friends they really want to spend time with and which you do not feel are a really bad influence.

And finally, relax, relax, relax. The very best thing you can do is de-school. Let your students find what their are passions and pursue them.

I have one that has won a four year academic scholarship and one that has won a renewable athletic scholarship. That's only my student athlete's first college visit and offer. There are more offers to come.

Stressing over making your child learn or doing what the public or private schools are doing or doing enough won't help you or them. I wish someone had told me that when I began and that I could have wrapped my head around it and believed it.

Love them. Like them. Trust them. Support their dreams even when you don't like or understand what they are. This is the best gift you can give anyone. It's also a gift that will allow them to do things that will impress you over the years.

BD

sally310
by Welcome Squad on Jan. 16, 2013 at 9:18 PM

My reasons to HS, neither of my kids were doing well in PS.   One has a disability and it was a disaster, the other has some dyslexia, but was just floundering.

We never used a program, i am not a big believer in them.  We did use the library a lot!!!   So much great stuff and free.  We used a lot of cheap exercise books from the dollar store to write in.  I went to school in England and work sheets did not exist.  We wrote real sentenses and paragraphs and stories every day.  Math i used a combo of traditional sit down teaching, my son worked on line with IXL also some cheap generic workbook that covered grade level stuff.  So, cost wise it was not very much.

If it breaks your heart to send your kids to school then don't.  My youngest had severe attachment issues, but now she is 9 and is totally over it.  Forcing a child into an overwhelming environment like PS, with all the noise, chaos and often bullying will not make them more social.  Home schooling offers so many productive ways to socialize.  We were on lots of field trips, went shopping, to the bank, restaurants, museums, parks, church, they are out and about every day and the socialization is very productive.  We also have the opportunity to be outside every day and go for walks and enjoy nature, we cook, make bread, do crafts and read a lot. 

Yes, there are tough days when you want to run out the door screaming, but that is when you go for a walk, laugh together and thank god for your wonderful children.  They really are a gift and spending time with them is so precious.  I worry that we are not covering enough, but when i see what they are doing in PS, i realize we are way ahead.  Have high expectations and also have fun.  Laugh a lot every day!!!

sha_lyn68
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:57 PM

K12 charter schools are public schools.My reasons for homeschooling are irrelevant if you are interested in public school at home programs.


If you must use a public school at home program then look at GA Connections Academy because K12 is under criminal investigation for several violations, from falsifying student and teacher records to securities violations.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/11/2996093/online-educator-k12-under-investigation.html

http://www.allvoices.com/news/11242146-k12-inc-under-investigation-for-possible-securities-fraud

here's several links to info on K12, its founder and the company's agenda to undermine homeschooling:  http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/humor/157.htm#.UPCjjKwxFZo


Even if it wasn't for the fact that the company is in serious trouble, I wouldn't touch GACA with a 50ft pole. I've known several people who enrolled their children in GACA and all but one withdrew their child within a few weeks. The workload is ridiculous. Trying to get a student place at grade level for specific subjects is nearly impossible, and there are too many websites were students trade answers.

momamanda
by Welcome Squad on Jan. 17, 2013 at 7:12 AM

I actually did alot of reading last night and have decided that connections academy is My top choice over K12.

Quoting sha_lyn68:

K12 charter schools are public schools.My reasons for homeschooling are irrelevant if you are interested in public school at home programs.


If you must use a public school at home program then look at GA Connections Academy because K12 is under criminal investigation for several violations, from falsifying student and teacher records to securities violations.

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/09/11/2996093/online-educator-k12-under-investigation.html

http://www.allvoices.com/news/11242146-k12-inc-under-investigation-for-possible-securities-fraud

here's several links to info on K12, its founder and the company's agenda to undermine homeschooling:  http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/humor/157.htm#.UPCjjKwxFZo


Even if it wasn't for the fact that the company is in serious trouble, I wouldn't touch GACA with a 50ft pole. I've known several people who enrolled their children in GACA and all but one withdrew their child within a few weeks. The workload is ridiculous. Trying to get a student place at grade level for specific subjects is nearly impossible, and there are too many websites were students trade answers.


Aniseed
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 7:40 AM
1 mom liked this

Why we homeschool is to allow our children to grow up at their own rate and devolop their own unique talents and to simply be children, to run and play and socialised across all age groups. I have found enforced, scheduled 'schooling' can kill our inate curiousity and love of learning dead. Some children thrive in that enviroment or in particular school with teachers that click with the child's own personality. Many do not thrive intellectually or do well emotionally at school away from their chief allies and protectors, their parents. Aside from reading, writing and mental maths, we unschool (no formal face to face 'teaching' at all).

Home ed isn't the easiest route but I think it's the most fulfilling and exciting way to live and raise children

Aniseed
by on Jan. 17, 2013 at 7:41 AM

This assumes a child's parents are worth being alone with of course. Some parents are not hot at the job, so for these their children would do better being apart from them at school I think!

All the best!

NYCitymomx3
by Helping Hands on Jan. 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

My initial reason for homeschooing was that I had a gifted child who was bored and frustrated in school.  She even did her last 2 years at a gifted academy.  I researched options, told her about homeschooling, and let her make the decision.  She was 8 years old.  It went so well and we had so much fun with it, that I homeschooled my son as well.  He started in Kindergarten and is now in 6th grade - still homeschooling.  Oldest dd chose homeschooling for 8th grade only.

We started out as total unschoolers.  A few years later, when the kids came to me asking for a bit more structure, we all decided on a Charlotte Mason approach and then Ambleside Online.  Ds liked it and stuck with it for 4 years.  Dd ended up creating her own structured schedule instead.   Now we're eclectic and use what we love and what works.  For ds it's:  Saxon Math 7/6, Apologia General Science, Hake Grammar & Writing 6, Wordly Wise 6, Read & Understand Poetry 6+, and Story of the World.   Academics take us less than 2 hours a day.  Ds gets to follow his interests for the rest of the day (and wow are there a lot!  Did I mention he barely watches tv?).

Ds is in 6th grade and dd is in 11th grade.  She homeschooled until 8th grade then auditioned for and was accepted to the Fame school in NYC.  Oldest dd is 19 and is currently attending college and working.

The most difficult part of homeschooling is getting all excited about and spending a lot of money on a certain program only to find that your kids hate it.  But that's what we do.  Being able to formulate a curriculum based on your own child's needs and preferences is awesome.

My favorite part of homeschooling is having the freedom to live and learn the way we choose.

The most unexpected part of homeschooling is how mature, self-assured, independent, and enthusiastic my kids became - at such young ages.   So different from when they were in school.   

All 3 of my kids think homeschooling is/was an amazing experience and the best time of their lives.  My oldest only homeschooled for a year, always with the intention of attending public high school.  Here in NYC you get to pick from hundreds of high schools, based on your interests.  She chose a high school for journalism.  She is my first and I now say that I wish she had homeschooled instead.  Younger dd's passion is and always was dance.  At 12 y/o she said she'd love to audition for a performing arts high school.  If she wasn't currently at the best performing arts high school in the country, she would still be homeschooling.  Ds loves homeschooling and will probably continue through high school.  It's his choice, so if there's a phenomenal school out there that provides a ton of classes for his particular interests (maybe technology, performing arts, fine arts, science, etc) then why not.  But he already knows that he can homeschool and pursue all of those with no problem.  None of them felt they were missing anything.  Their choice to attend high school was mainly a way for them to further their existing passions at no charge.  :)

We are part of several very active homeschool groups.  They have co-ops, clubs, classes, trips, and get-togethers.  There's so much going on that we can be very selective.  Ds prefers only the field trips now and those are about 2x a month.  Also, he's in a Youth Show Choir, Musical Theater/Drama class, CCD (religion class), and we go to the gym 3x a week.  As soon as I can get my work hours changed from evenings to mornings he'll be able get back into basketball and soccer, too.  

I think homeschooling is the best option for almost all children.  Your doubts are common for new homeschoolers, but those things usually never happen.  Kids actually become MORE independent.  They make BETTER friends with deeper relationships and are never forced to be with people they don't like.  There are so many activities and events going on in communities that they shouldn't feel they're missing anything.  My kids have done tons of sports, dance, gymnastics, karate, chess, scouts, etc totally apart from school.   They've always had tons of friends, too.  I also love having a quiet house all to myself, but I really love having my kids home and the freedom to go out and explore the world together.   The older the kids get the more they're able to keep themselves busy.  School kills that ability - kids learn they have to constantly be told what to do, what to think, and that they have no choices in the world.  Homeschooling makes them incredibly self-sufficient.  And you don't need "smarts" to homeschool.  Teachers aren't experts in what they teach (not until college, really).  They peruse the textbook before the class.  I found elementary and middle school a breeze to teach.  There are so many programs, books, lesson plans, and advice-giving moms out there.  You are the only one who really knows and really cares about your kids.  You can't fail!  Kids are hard-wired for learning.  K12 is a strict and rigid program that is way too much like school for many folks.  Lots of parents try it but I don't know anyone who has continued with it after the first year.  I recommend you do lots of reading to them, go on lots of field trips, do fun educational computer games together, a nature study, science experiments, and playdates.  They need a few months of deschooling.   Check out the bookstore for some colorful workbooks.  That's really all you need.  You can research more popular programs and curriculum advice later.  

You will never regret homeschooling.  You'll only regret not dong it sooner!

______________________________

Angela

dd(19) 2nd year of college, dd(16) Junior at the (real) Fame school,                                               ds(11) 6th Grade homeschooler

Visit my Blog

HistoryMamaX3
by Welcome Squad on Jan. 17, 2013 at 3:24 PM


Quoting momamanda:

Why did you choose to homeschool?

I always wanted to home school, but my husband wasn't on board until the last year. My feelings are that I want my children with me as much as possible- they are only little for so long and I don't want to miss it. More-so, however, I feel that the schools today are lacking in some very serious ways and I want nothing more than the best for my little guys. They should have all the attention and one-on-one time they need and deserve, and who has a more vested interest in how well my children do than I? They are my responsibility to raise and educate. Sure it might take a village, but I'm going to choose who that village contains. :-)

what program do you use?

I don't use a full program for everything- most things I make up or put together... with the likes of teaching site, homeschool groups, and pintrest- who needs more!?! lol We do use, Words Their Way, for our spelling/phonics program, Making Math Meaningful, for math and we use, Hooked on Phonics, for teaching my youngest to read.

What grades are your children?

I have a third grade daughter, and two sons that are in first and kindergarten.

If you pulled your kids out of public schools what were your reasons?

This year my daughter would begin taking the state SOLs- I am fully against today's standardized testing. The tests are a joke and a horrid mess of misinformation and cause small children a great deal of unnecessary stress. I am glad that she is not taking them, but she was a wonderful student and loved school so her time at school was not a bad experience.

My middle child, I am actually happy that I sent him to Kindergarten last year. He has some sensory issues and his teacher was the most wonderful lady... his experience was very good for him to work on his issues and she was so willing to put forth the extra effort he needed to ensure that it was a positive one. With that, I am glad that he is now at home as he focuses more and learns better in a quieter atmosphere with one-on-one support. He's very bright and cannot become bored or he could cause quite a bit of trouble in a situation where he isn't being closely watched.

My youngest wasn't old enough to start kindergarten this year, though he was MORE than ready... he missed the cut-off date by 4 days and they were hesitant to offer me a petition because they had such a large influx of new kinders. I really would have liked for him to have the same teacher my other son had, but since we'd already decided to bring the other kids home- we just started him this year as well. And, I'm very happy with our decision.

what is the most difficult part of HS?

You know those days where you're tired and feel a bit grumpy... for no real reason, probably hormones? lol Well, those kind of days for me are the biggest obstacle. Those are the same days that nobody wants to read, or math takes a zillion hours! Just reminding myself to enjoy each day- even when there are times I just don't really want to.

What is your favorite part of HS?

We just spent a month in another state, visiting all of our friends and family for the Christmas holiday... we've also left for a week when my husband had to travel for work without worry. We just went with him, took our regular school work and did it at the hotel and then explored the rest of the new city until he was back. We school for around 3-4 hours a day, 4 days a week. The rest of the time we hang out as a family and have great adventures or else they play. Instead of spending their times herded around a building all day, and then being shuffled from one activity to the next- fussing about homework while trying to make/eat dinner and worrying about bedtimes because we all have to do it again tomorrow, starting EARLY- my kids play. :-)

What has been the most unexpected part of homeschooling? Good and bad...

Most people talk about how many problems they have with what they rest of the world has to say about their decision... I was worried about what my family would say. (I come from a long line of school teachers, and was one myself!) However, I've experienced none of it. I've only had support. Many people have questions, but never has anyone ever been rude or discouraging.

what do you kids think of homeschool? Do they ask to go to public school? Do they ever think they are missing out on something?

My kids love it, and many people have asked them if they like one or the other better and all claim that they don't want to go back to 'regular' school. I thought my daughter might miss it some, but she's never expressed anything but happiness with our choice.

DO you belong to any type of co op or other group?

Formally, no... but I have a good friend that decided to home school her kids this year as well. She lives next door and we work together- I teach art one day and she teaches the kids piano. We're putting together a science club for our kids and some more that she knows through church... I'm not sure how that'll go, but we'll see. That's another bonus- if something doesn't work, it is pretty easy to change it up.

Please share any other thoughts or advice with me. I am trying to get as much advice and information as possible so that I know what I am getting myself into. thanks so much

I see home schooling as a life style choice- something that is all inclusive to the way you chose to live your life every day... it is about how your raise your kids. It cannot be a separate entity from your every day life. :-) And, I think many people make it more difficult that it should be- there shouldn't be too much stress, just relax and go with it!

Just to add My reasons to homeschool are:

*I like the thought of having the freedom to do what we want and go where we want without having to wait for school breaks or being worried about making up work, or getting in trouble for missing to many days.

Great reasons.

*My children behave well at school but I have alot of issues with my younger 2 (age 5 and 6) at home and think that by having them home it may be easier to fix these issues.

I fully understand, and agree that if YOU, their mother, feels this is best- then it probably is. :-)

*My pre-ker Cries almost everyday to go to school. some days are good but when it's bad it's bad! She loves school once she's there but the saying goodbye part she hates and the teachers have to pull her out of the car kicking and screaming! Sometimes I feel bad and sometimes it just makes me mad! lol

Your little one is only going to be little for so long... she will out grow this. However, the big world is pretty scary and she just want her mom. That isn't a bad thing, it just shows that you are the most important person in the world to her! This won't last forever... lol

*I feel like they are growing up so fast and I want to be able to spend this time with them and with school adding to other activites Life feels so rushed some days

Yes, yes, and YES!

*I feel that being a stay at home mom is what I am meant to be, Although when the kids aren't home and are at school I feel like even though I clean the house and take care of things for them It's still not what I am suppose to be doing.. I dunno how else to explain it.

You don't have to- it is what is best for you and your family and that shouldn't matter one ounce to the rest of the world. :-)

* I think that if I was teaching them I would have more time to see what their biggest talents and intrests are. and allow them to learn more about what intrests them

You are their mother- there will never be anyone more vested in their lives than you. :-)

My doubts:

*I'm worried I am enabling my 5 year olds seperation anxiety by homeschooling her and allowing her to continue the pattern.

No. In fact, it might just do the opposite. Providing her the support and security she needs as a small child will allow her to grow up confident and secure about herself as she grows up. She's only been on this world for 5 years... that's not really a very long time!

* my 6 yo son is very shy and has to be forced into social situations. School has helped him alot in this area. I'm afraid he'll regress if he's not placed in social situation without me.

Then put him in social situations without you. There are so many opportunities for home school kids today- if this is something he needs, then you can provide it for him. It'll be more meaningful for him to socialize in a setting where he's having fun and loving what he does with kids around him that feel the same way- we definitely cannot say the same about a school setting.

*I'm worried they will feel like they are missing out on something

This might always be true no matter what- all you can do it what you can do. The grass is always greener on the other side, and you really can't give them EVERYTHING.

*I'm worried that I won't be able to handle them being with me 24/7 everyday. This has been my first year with no kids at home and I must say I enjoy the silence and the clean house haha! Not sure if I'm ready to loose that

At first it can be a bit odd, but if you create a good schedule and have some support- it just becomes natural. We have quiet times and my husband and I have an understanding that I need alone time as well. We also work it out that he or I take the kids out individually for some one-on-one time outside of the house as well. With all the stress of the school day shuffle, there is more time to figure out how to fill the rest of the hours. :-)

*Not sure if I have the "smarts" to homeschool..... thus the reason I want to use the K12 program as each child has a technical teacher there to help. I worry though that they will fall behind.....

There are so many resources out there, and so many great programs with the every day mom/dad in mind. If you are willing, you are able. :-) And believe you me... there are many people out there that I am SURE that should NOT be schooling their children but somehow, things manage to turn out alright. :-) Have faith in yourself, first- then have a plan.




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