L.B. asks from Lima, OH on April 21, 2009
To Home-School or Not ??
Hi there. I need advice. My husband and I are pretty determined that we want to home-school. My son will be 5 in a week, so he technically could be in kindergarden in August. We also have a daughter that will be 3 in July, and a 5 mos old, too.
So-here are my questions?
How do we even begin to get started?
Who do you contact to get info?
What do we do to still keep him active with kids his own age?
He has been going to pre-school 2 days a week -- but now all those kids are going off to "school".
How do you balance everything - with 2 other younger kids in the house?
Looking forward to your responses! THANKS!
1 mom found this helpful
L.L. answers from Indianapolis on April 22, 2009
I visit a few bloggers who are homeschooling moms and most of them have kids at home too. lmk if you would like the websites. :) L.
T.S. answers from Indianapolis on April 21, 2009
I say NOT. How can a parent replace several people with degrees and often decades of experience in every subject? They can't! And many parents don't have a teaching certificate so they shouldn't be teaching; they wouldn't let just anyone who decided to teach into a school to teach, so why should just anyone who wants to homeschool be allowed without some sort of objective testing for minimum qualifications? And what about the missing socialization?
Ugh. I think it's a serious detriment to development--just an opinion. As it is my kids are in school and I have teaching to do as I help them solve problems & complete homework. Leave it to the experts but stay involved.
1 mom found this helpful
E.D. answers from Cleveland on April 22, 2009
I don't have any advice for you as to how to home school, but it seems like you have to get everything together pretty quickly. It seems to me that your son will be required to start school in a few months if you don't have a plan in place.
I will also say that my sister-in-law home schools her kids and they are the smartest, most well-behaved children I know. Just make sure you are giving your children lots of opportunities to socialize through sports, activities, playgroups, and classes. Make sure you are also giving them opportunities to think and question and that you are not insulating them too much. You are putting a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, you must observe your children carefully and make sure they are progressing both academically and socially. It’s a lot to take on and your will be the one in charge of all these aspects of their life.
S.C. answers from Dayton on April 22, 2009
This article should put to rest the arguments about "dangers" of homeschooling. I heard him speak at a conference this past weekend, and he was wonderful. Good luck!
K.W. answers from Indianapolis on April 22, 2009
Congratulations on your decision to homeschool. I have done so for my two girls for the last 8 years. My oldest is a junior this year and I pulled her out after 3rd grade. My youngest has never gone to public school and she is doing fabulous. First of all, you are already doing the first step by asking for lots of advice. Everyone goes about it differently and what and how you do this will depend largely on your own child(ren). You may have to sift through a lot of information, but you will find what works best for you.
I'll start off by saying that everyone chooses to homeschool for different reasons, so don't let anyone deter you. Our society is built around the public school thinking...schedules, vacations, etc. But, there are many groups out there to help you out. Some are just for support and some actually help each other with teaching. You didn't mention where you live, so I'm not sure what your state requires.
You can go online and check out your states department of education and find out what the State requires. Some just want you to register which consists of filling out a form basically stating that you are going to homeschool. Others want you to test just to be sure you are actually doing it!
Then, I would suggest you find a homeschool convention. Most states host one usually around this time of year. There are vendors for all kinds of cirriculum and activities plus workshops about getting started, etc. If you can't find a convention, try finding a group in your area. I'm sure you'll find something online, but a lot of times word of mouth is the best.
This is one way to keep your son involved with other kids. But, ironically, socialization is very rarely an issue. We attend church, so most of my girls get their interaction there. But, they also took dance lessons and for a few years, we played soccer at the YMCA. Again, do a little research and I'm sure you'll find something.
Cirriculum is probably going to be the toughest challenge because there is SO much out there!! One reason I like to go to the conventions is to get a good overview. You can talk to the vendors and look through the materials to see what you like. Don't get discouraged if you have to try a couple of different ones, either. The first couple of years I tried different ones until I found one I liked.
As far as balancing everything, again, it will take some time to find what kind of schedule works for you. You may find that the 3 yr old will enjoy learning some things along with him! You can give her some simple letters and numbers pages if she wants. Anyway, one thing that REALLY helped me was to just turn off the phone for whatever time you are going to be working with him. Let the answering machine get it. You may be able to sit down with him while the baby is sleeping. Or, you might be able to give him one task to do and check on him a couple of times while you do something else nearby. Remember that you have control of the time. So, if you need to take a break, it's ok. I kept a notebook at first of the time we spent and how much they got done. You may want to do one or two subjects a day, or a little of each subject.
I would probably spend the most time at the beginning letting him learn to read...this takes more work than most people realize because we don't really remember learning to read! And, then I'd work on learning their numbers and math facts. Even if this takes you all year to do just that, he'll be ready to take off quickly after that.
I know I've been longwinded! If you want to email me directly feel free. ____@____.com this is something you want to do, you will be able to make it work just fine! Just take one step at a time, Mom, and you'll be great!!
J.W. answers from Dayton on April 22, 2009
I know that many are very opinionated on home schooling. I believe this is that route we are leaning towards. I just wanted to let you know that I know a college professor that told me the students that were home schooled did better in class. They knew how to study independently and how to manage their time more effectively. Just thought that might give you some peace of mind.
I recommend keeping your children active in community sports, their are plenty of thaters around if they are into that. Also, you can find many home school networks. They learn socialization from you, not in school.
Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.
J.C. answers from Indianapolis on April 21, 2009
for the 3 years before this school year, I did homeschooling only on both of my children. I just told them that I'd be their teacher instead of sending them to a stranger. I did both kids at the same time, just easier for me that way. There's a homeschooling group on yahoo thats great at giving advice back & forth, for when you need to vent, share activities with others, or for legal questions & concerns. I think its www.yahoogroups.com/groups/Indianahomeschooling but I'm not 100% positive on that. For us, we do the method called unschooling. As I'm driving down the road I take turns asking them random questions, "what's 4x4?" "Who is our president right now? Before him?" "how many is a dozen?" stuff like that. I make up papers that have problems on them to solve, use notebook paper to practice writing,... When we go to the store, I tell them, ok we have $5 to get bread, how much is it a loaf? how many loaves can I get? or I'll ask them, ok how much would it be for 2 gallons of milk? Since they're done with their work sooner in the day then other kids get home from public school, they have a little quiet playtime with just the 2 of them & then when other kids in the neighborhood get home they can play with them so they get socialization still. Also, the homeschooling yahoo group has a co-op where you can arrange playdates, group trips to the zoo or think-lab, stuff like that.
I do have my kids in public school this year because I'm also in medical school myself, but I work with them still when we're not in school.
J.P. answers from Cleveland on April 22, 2009
My son is only one. But I can understand your wish to home school. I have told my boyfriend that if we still live in the area we are at now when he's old enough to go to school we are home schooling him. There are 2 very good computer based home school programs that I know of. Ecot and Treca. Both can be found online and I know people who have used both with success. Not only will he learn everything that he has to know for school, he'll also learn some great computer skills in the process. They both do K - 12. The only non-computer based schooling I know of is based out of Arizona. But when he finishes 12th grade they don't give him a diploma, he has to take the GED test. A friend went thru them and was very upset to find out that after all his work he didn't get a diploma, only his GED. They didn't tell him until he finished all the work. My niece went thru TRECA and graduated earlier than she would have at school. My other niece is in it now and finished her 10th grade stuff in a month because you work at your own pace. It's a great program. Good luck. As far as keeping him active with other kids even though he's home schooled, that's easy. There's all kinds of group activities, though I don't know which ones are available where you live. Boy Scouts, Indian Guides, there's also a group that is for home schooled kids. They meet once a month or whatever to go on "field trips" so that the kids can get their much needed social skills. Hope you find what works for you.
A.M. answers from Youngstown on April 22, 2009
Hi there, just wanted to resopond to some of your questions. First of all, you will need to contact your school district and determine which paperwork you need to fill out in order to be approved to home school. There is a timeline for this prior to the beginning of the school term, I believe. Also, you may want to go on the Ohio Department of Education website and search "Home Education". I tried pasting the link but it wasn't working, sorry! There is a wealth of information on this site regarding what you will need to teach, resources for you, etc. Also, it may be very helpful for you to use the IMS (instructional management system) in order to find appropriate lessons in each subject area for your child's grade and ability level. The lessons are often lengthy but have printable materials and are very "hands-on" and fun. You can also search this system for specific content standards so that you can be sure that you are hitting all of the content standards each year in order for your child to pass the end of the year assessment.
As for time management, I would structure specified time for "school" each day based on the schedules of the entire family. If you have 2 other little ones running around and nobody home to help out, it's going to be crazy unless you plan specifically. For example, conduct an introduction to the day's concept in a given subject area in the morning while your youngest is napping and your middle child is snacking or playing independently. Then plan for independent practice of the skill while everybody's awake and your attention is needed by the two younger kids. Finally, as for getting the social aspect taken care of, joining extracurriculars (soccer, gymnastics, swimming) and attending activities at the local library for children on a consistent basis would be a great start. Hope this was of some help. GOOD LUCK!