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Not sure what to do....need support and advice.

Posted by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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Well a couple months back I had decided for sure I would start homeschooling 3 of our 5 kids starting in the fall. I have been so excited about doing this until recently and I've sorta just become overwhelmed with all the curriculum and stuff to do. As a parent I don't want my kids to fail at learning and so far none of them have since being in public school. Is this something most homeschool moms go through? Now I'm kind of unsure if I should do it or not. My youngest will be in kindergarten and I'm terrified I won't get him taught how to read, although I have been working with him for about a month and he can sound out and read 3 letter words. I have decided on most of the kids curriculum stuff except for the phonics program. The thing is I look at my now 1st grader and see how good he reads his books and even his bible. Their school is great but I just don't like some of the things they are learning and I do feel they could progress more with one on one. I guess now it's a matter of truly deciding if this is what I want to do. Anybody have these same feelings or advice about this? My husband is very supportive and will be helping me out with the kids. How do I know for sure I'm teaching them the things they need to know? Science and History kinda scare me. Any advice there? Thanks!

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 2:06 PM
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by Helping Hands on Apr. 9, 2013 at 2:42 PM

 I have been there.  It took my 7 year old looking at me and telling me that school is  place parents send thier kids to get a break.  I gave up the dream of sending all my kids to public school and having hours to clean, cook and plan. 

by Leader on Apr. 9, 2013 at 2:49 PM
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Everyone feels overwhelmed at times. Looking at different ways to teach / learn and/or curriculum can make your head swirl.

Also everyone tends to worry about failing their kids or their kids failing due to not doing homeschooling well enough.

It's a journey not a race. The best thing you can do is relax and take it easy and naturally. The worst thing you could do is should yourself to death.

by Helping Hands on Apr. 9, 2013 at 5:16 PM
Its perfectly normal. Trust me, you WILL find your groove and you will NOT fail :-)
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by Welcome Squad on Apr. 9, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Thank you ladies so much for the comments.  I love coming on here and getting all the advice. It helps me a lot.

by Welcome Squad on Apr. 9, 2013 at 6:09 PM
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You can do it. My son went to public school through second grade and is a great reader. My daughter went to the same Christian preschool my son did and went into public school kindergarten reading three and four letter words quite well. She spent her whole year in public school K reading those same words and actually regressed towards the end.  Reason?  She's not a sight reader like the public school teaches. She needs all the phonics and all the rules why something is a certain way.

if you are looking for a phonics curriculum, I highly recommend the Logic of English. My daughter flourished in less than a year went to about a third grade reading level.  They have a new foundations program for younger elementary, but I used the essentials curriculum at a slowed down pace since that was the only one out this time last year.  

Good luck!

by Welcome Squad on Apr. 15, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Everyone has doubts and concerns, that is quite normal. 

I was very concerned about science with my 5th grade son, but we went to the library several times each week and just did a lot of different stuff.  Science is everywhere.  At the beach, in your back yard, look at the sky the moon, the sun, plants, animals, insects.  I found that by just looking around for a lead from the stuff that happened in our lives was perfect.  Lots of museum trips are good too.  For example, we visited a pottery one day and the man was telling us about the glazes he used.  It was a great intro to chemistry.  Talking about the ancient greek scientists, combines both science and history.

History is also fun, most kids love to learn about the ancient greeks, romans, vikings, medieval, castles, knights, King Arthur, explorers, ect.  Just jump in and get excited about it all and the kids will too.  I am a history major so that is easy, but the science part was more challenging for me.  Later on I found out we had covered practically everything he would have done in ps, but just more fun and he actually learned something!

by Helping Hands on Apr. 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM

I used to worry about it, but the thing I've come to realize is that they will learn, no matter what. Even if we just spend a day chilling, watching TV and vegging out, they'll learn something - even if it's only that taking a day off to chill and veg out is valuable to your physical and mental health.

The first thing that you have to do, I think, is let go of the idea of what school and learning should be. I'm still struggling with this myself. Especially for those of us who also went to public school, we have this image that it should be sitting down, shutting up, learning and being done - and being able to regurgitate what we've learned on command. I've learned to look for the various things they've learned when doing something other than "school."

For example, we went to Legoland yesterday. My kids learned a variety of things.

1. They learned that when Mom forgets to put sunscreen on the back of her neck and top of her chest, she gets a bad sunburn. So now they've learned the importance of sunscreen, and have learned about the risks that go with sunburn (I was very overheated and dehydrated when we got home. I focused more on making sure they were hydrated than myself. lol)

2. They learned to take chances. We went on a roller coaster. They were determined they wouldn't like it. It wasn't the most thrilling experience for them (we all have a fear of heights, mine being incredibly intense), and they didn't want to go on another one, but they learned that even if they discover they don't enjoy an experience, when given a chance, they should take it.

3. They learned how to budget their time. They had numerous things they wanted to do, some of which had scheduled times. So they had to look at line lengths and determine if they wanted to wait in line and risk missing the show scheduled at X time, or if they wanted to go see the show, or figure out if they could stand in line, do the ride and make the show.

4. They learned more fully why the human body sweats, and why it doesn't work so well in Florida's humid heat. They also learned that finding misting water and standing under it can feel really, really good. lol

Ask a public school parent, and they would have said that going to Legoland is a fun trip, but nothing educational. But, as you can see from my examples (and that's only some of what they learned), it can be very educational. And everything they learned yesterday was entirely on their own. I answered some questions, but that was because they asked, not because I went, "Hey! Here's a great learning opportunity!"

Wendy Miller
Single mom of 2 boys
Author of Tangled Deceit (July 2012),  The Secrets He Kept (December 2012), and Ripped Away, (April 2013)!
Learn more about her on GoodReads

by Welcome Squad on Apr. 24, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I was TERRIFIED when we began homeschooling.  If I knew what I know now back when we started, I would have started a lot sooner and without all of the worry!  There are so many great benefits for the homeschooling lifestyle, and learning becomes a natural way of life.

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