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Posted by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:40 AM
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My son is in 1st grade at public school. Currently he is up for retention because of his grades which have been effected by his behavior. So I have decided to homeschool him. I am not sure where to start though. I have read the laws for our state, Tennessee, but am not completly sure if i understand them. I want to make sure I go about it the right way so I dont have some truency officer knocking down my door. Also, would like to know what curriculum worked best for everyone. My child is a very visual hands on learner so I need a program with lots of engaging activities, but I am also a single mom so I dont have a whole lot of time to plan so a pre packaged curiculum would be best for us.

by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 2:40 AM
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by Leader on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Pre packaged curriculums rarely work best for anyone, IMO, but particularly not first year homeschoolers. It's usually money that goes to waste as it rarely fits the student or parent / teacher.

I don't know anything abou TN rules but hopefully someone will come along soon who does.

First grade is not that hard and you don't need that much curriculum. Getting curriculum pieces does not make planning harder. You just decide how much needs to happen in X period of time.

Here are my best tips for staring homeschoolers. I wrote it for my teen group but the information is mostly the same.

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

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.

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.


by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM

It looks like you have to file a letter of intent to homeschool before you begin, your school day must be at least 4 hours a day, and the school year 180 days, and you must turn in attendance records. I suggest you contact your local dept of education and ask them how to turn in the letter of intent to homeschool and the attendance records. There may be standardized testing needed occasionally as well. I didn't see it listed exactly how often that is needed. I live in georgia and here it is every 3 years. Also, you might want to google homeschooling groups for your city, or ask the public librarian if she knows of any homeschooling groups and contact them. The parents in the homeschooling group can probably walk you through the requirements and possibly tell you about many opportunities for your child. Good luck!

by Testing the waters on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:57 AM

I actually checked all of the Friday morning. It took me about a half an hour to officially pull him from school and file with the district as a homeschool family. I turn in attendance once a year anytime before the end of August and that is it. I found out that my church is the cities homeschool co-op which until i started to find resources was unaware of so that helps alot. Now our biggest thing is to figure out the best curiculum for us. and also if there are any assessments I can give my son to see exactly where he's at. He was having trouble communicating at public school so they admitted to having no idea where he was at.

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