K.T. asks from Cary, NC on October 14, 2008
How to Home School
I am actually a teacher and have spent the last 10years in the classroom. I am having second thoughts about keeping my children in public education, especially as I see my oldest ( a 4th grader) continue to struggle. I have a hard time balancing my dedication to the classroom and the needs of my husband and 3 children. I keep thinking and rethinking home schooling, or darn-it starting my own school, but I do not even know where to begin... I would love to hear experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly!!! Is this feasable or will I lose myself amidst the demands? How do the children do socially? How do parents know all the "rules" for homeschooling? Is there a lot of red tape? HELP!!!
So What Happened?™
I want to first thank everyone for ALL of your responses. Our family has had a bump in the road, so as of now, I am still considering Homeschooling. I am still responding to many of you, but I wanted to just send a general thanks for all of the advice and honesty. I have done some "quickie" homeschool stuff over the weekend... the baby in his high chair coloring, me working with our 4 year old, and Daddy working with our 9 year old... We all had a great time. All of you that know that prayer works, keep my family in your prayers as financial woes are hitting us VERY hard, but I do beleive that GOD is in control...thanks again and I will be intouch with many of you!
T.E. answers from Nashville on October 15, 2008
I'm sure you are going to get a lot of passionate responses for and against homeschooling. I homeschool and love it. My children are thriving. They love learning, exploring the world around them, and building relationships with others. I have worked hard to make sure that the are critical thinkers, intrinsically motivated, and compassionate people.
However, there may be some who homeschool and probably haven't loved the experience. Same with public schooling. Some probably love it and some have hated the experience.
I'm not going to try to convince you for it or against it because it is very important and private decision for your family, however I will make a few suggestions.
1. Build relationships with homeschooling families in your area. There are support groups in most major cities where you can connect. There are a lot of myths about homeschooling and this will help you separate fact from fiction.
2. After you have had some conversations with homeschooling families, try homeschooling on the weekends. Maybe just one day for a few hours. Do a fun subject that your kids will enjoy, like - dinosaurs, birds, or planets and just enjoy discovering together. This will give you a chance to try it out.
3. "Home"schooling doesn't mean that its always done at home with mom and the kids. We spend as much time out of the home as in the home. Most communities offer classes for homeschoolers. You are free to be as creative as you can to create learning opportunities for your children. Search for homeschooling classes in your community now to get an idea of what your children can participate in. Check Libraries, YMCAs, Museums, and Nature Centers.
4. Talk to your kids about what they want to learn and their interests. Start making a list of the things that they want to learn more about. Also talk to them about what they want their school to be like.
5. Formulate a vision and mission for your child's education. How do you see your children in 10 years. What traits do they have? What is their attitude toward learning. Even if you do not homeschool this will help.
Most of my friends that homeschool have a background in education. We love teaching, learning, and discovering. It is not unusual for an educator to become a homeschooler.
We have formed a small co-op where once a week the children learn together. This has given my children the opportunity to form wonderful relationships with other friends that value and honor them. Perhaps you could start a co-op or homeschool tutorial.
As for the red tape, it depends on the state. There are usually many different options on how to register. You should speak with a few homeschooling families in your area before you register.
If you have any other questions or want to talk email me.
2 moms found this helpful
R.W. answers from Charlotte on October 15, 2008
Hello, K.! I hope you are doing well. Please do not listen to the negatives out there about home schooling. People just don't know what they are talking about. I have been homeschooling my children since Kindergarten. My daughter is now in the 6th grade, my first son is in the 4th grade and I'll have a kindergartener next year. I absolutely LOVE it. We start about 9 a.m. every morning and are done by 12 Noon. We love being together and learning together. Everywhere we go is a learning experience for our family!
As for the red tape, please find in your area, a local home school association. They will help you with the rules of home schooling in your area. Each state is different. If you don't have one, please contact me and I'll help you find one. I am in Lancaster, SC and we have a wonderful association that runs from our town. It covers anyone in SC who wants to home school. The only general guidelines that I have is that I need to school 180 days, keep a journal or teaching planner of our activities and curriculum and maintain a sample of my children's work from year to year for college. I teach about 9 subjects (a lot more than public school) -- Math, reading, history, science, Bible, spelling, English, handwriting and then an elective -- this year our electives are art, typing and Spanish. We just finished art and are starting on typing and then will do Spanish in January. My children are well balanced and have friends who go to public school and friends that homeschool. There are support groups but we are just now getting involved with those for the activities. Our family loves the flexibility of home schooling. Just 2 weeks ago, we went the Myrtle Beach for the week! No other kids were there! We have gone to Seaworld (haven't done Disney yet) in the middle of September when all the school kids are in school and it isn't so crowded! There are so many curriculums out there to choose from based upon the type of learning style you want to use. I personally like a Christian curriculum that does not teach evolution, but we have learned about evolution and why we believe the way we do.
As for college, my sister-in-law is a professor in Washington DC and she said that her best students were home schooled. They don't need their work spelled out for them. They work independently and don't need much instruction from the years of practice they had at home schooling. Most of them have already read books in high school that college students are now reading.
Please weigh your options and find out what is best for your kids. I know of homeschool parents who put their kids in public school at 9th grade. Some put them in and then pull them back out. I plan on doing this all the way through because that is what my husband and I feel is best for our kids! Like you said "I love teaching . . . but I love MY children more" It is all out of love! Please contact me so we can discuss this further. If you respond to me I'll give you my personal e-mail so we don't have to go through this site.
I am praying for you and your family in making the decision that is right for you all! R.
1 mom found this helpful
K.R. answers from Raleigh on October 15, 2008
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with Brenda. I know several people who are homeschooling and I know a couple in their mid twenties that were homeschooled. They are currently very successful in their jobs and graduated from college with no problems what so ever. They are very social people and some of the most impressive young people I have ever met. The other family I know has two of the most outgoing children I have ever met. They stay involved in church activites and their local athletic association. The outcome of your homeschooling experience is totally up to you and your children. The problem is public schools are not what they used to be. I have a 14 yr. old and a 3 yr. old. I now plan on homeschooling the younger one. I am a very involved parent and have become very frustrated over the past couple of years with the school system. There is a lot of information on line that can give you the information your looking for. You can also do a search for local homeschool groups in your area that get together. My friend goes to the one in Wake Forest so I'm sure your area has one. Also utilize the public library. I found several books on homeschooling that were helpful. The possibilites are endless as to what you and your children will be able to do together that you would normally be able to experience.
1 mom found this helpful
C.R. answers from Knoxville on October 15, 2008
We have homeschooled all of children in MO and are relocating to TN. In MO there are several support groups with planned outings, classes,musical instruction and field trips. I am sure that there are similar things everywhere. If you look up the HSLDA site (Home School Legal Defense Association) they have rules for all the states. It is also a good idea to join if you plan on homeschooling. As long as you let your children interact with other peers and adults outside of the family setting then they will get the socialization. Becoming involved with other homeschoolers and possibly recreational sports,church activities,choirs and youth groups are all good ways to include socialization. Some days make you want to pull your hair out and possibly the kids hair too. But when you have worked on something that your child did not get easily when it clicks and they get it, it makes it all worth while. I would encourage you to look at the financial end of it first. Can you make ends meet with only one income? Do you have enough money saved up if something should happen to that one income? If you determine that you can make it on one income will your children be willing to listen and work with you in a school setting for home education? Talk to the children to make sure they understand what it means to be a homeschool family. They can still talk to and see the friends they have now-if you will allow that- but they won't see them daily like they do now. Can you make the change to be with your children all the time? Also make sure that you pray about it. I am all for homeschooling and truly enjoy the extra time that I have had with my children. I also have many friends who say that they could not spend that much time with thier own children. It would be a big change but it could be the most positive and loving thing that you can do for your family. Good Luck and may God Bless you as you explore this avenue.
C.P. answers from Memphis on October 15, 2008
Hi, K.. I am a homeschool mother of 7 years. I took my son out of public school because I saw him failing academically and socially. His self-esteem was at a scary low. He is now a senior in high school, and will graduate in May. The biggest thing is to get with an accredited homeschool plan. Type into your search engine.. homeschool. You'll find all kinds of resources, but you can also check around your town. We went with a christian-based homeschool plan, and it's been wonderful. I know my son would've been a drop out by now if he had stayed in school. You will lose yourself in some ways, but find yourself in other ways. You should find yourself a good homeschool association for socialization concerns. It can work with preperation. It's as strict as you want it to be. Learning styles can flourish at home. Just pray about it.Best wishes!!!
D.M. answers from Fayetteville on October 25, 2008
I don't know how to home school; but I am a teacher too. My husband and I are trying to start a family. I teach high school and if your 4th grader is struggling, I'd recommend home school or to give him some extra tutoring.
I don't think the public schools are designed for success anymore.
B.L. answers from Jacksonville on October 15, 2008
What about a compromise and home schooling your oldest, or all of them, for a year or two to catch up? But then it might be too hard to go back to work! I don't have anything against home schooling, but the handful of people I know personally who were/are home schooled seem to be lacking in one particular aspect of socialization: they talk too much. I am thinking of three very different people, one of whom is 11, and the other two are adults. They all talk so much that no one else around can get a word in. Most of what they say is drivel. I think they never had to be quiet, like in the school setting. For all I know that characteristic could just be innate to them, but certainly when we go to school we have to learn to not talk all day. They never experienced that, and have a constant stream of consciousness coming out of their mouths. So if your children have been in school at least some, perhaps they wouldn't fall into that trap (of never learning when to zip it).
Also a friend of mine with a degree in speech pathology said that she was once at the park with her small children and a group of home schooled kids came to play. She casually observed several undiagnosed speech disorders in the group of kids. Since they are not in school with professionals who would catch those issues and make referrals, they have fallen through the cracks so to speak and aren't getting the help that they would be in the school system. But as a professional you would be on top of that.
A.R. answers from Knoxville on October 15, 2008
I think home schooling is awsome if the kids have lots of friends. My neighbors child was home schooled for quite sometime but she started getting kind of weird. She would just stand at the fence waiting for my daughter to get home so she could play. My husband would get home at 2 pm and she would be there for 3 hours just waiting for my child to play with her. She would often complain to me about being bored and wishing she had more friends. Her parents put her back in school. I know another mother who does it with a lot of success but she has her child in many other activites such as gym, piano and a church youth group. He is a very bright boy and his mom does a great job.