Home Schooling

Updated on November 09, 2008
M.B. asks from Hialeah, FL
23 answers

Does anybody have any experience with homeschooling their children? I am seriously considering this for my three little girls and was wondering if there was anybody that has actually gone through this successfully. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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A.B.

answers from Fort Myers on

My son attends Florida Virtual Academy at home and he's in 4th grade. If anyone has questions, please ask. Tuition free and they supply a computer and printer.

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C.W.

answers from Boca Raton on

yes the best program and the most resonable is the Calvert Program it is the best I have been homeschooling for 5 years and love it we meet with Moms in the program plus my kids go to camp for socalizatrion skills
Hope that helps
C.

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L.K.

answers from Boca Raton on

Well I just launched my teenage daughter off to high school after nine years of homeschooling. We had a great journey and I miss having her home but she wanted to try out high school and she got into a magnet program in our area so we're giving it a try. I homeschooled my other daughter until 4th grade and did some prek with my son. Turns out we live near a charter elementary school that has small class size with a teacher's aid for each class and I felt this would be a good chance for them to try out school(it only went through 4th grade at the time, but was adding on a year each year through 8th grade) I am considering hsing them again but we are still trying to get our hurricane damaged house from 2 years ago fixed(insurance problems) so right now we don't have a kitchen and we eat off of card tables so that's on hold. Also I had twins last year and I have a 3 year old. And did I mention I work full time. It can be done.

Best thing is to find local support groups in your area. I actually liked a lot of the preK programs in the area and my kids did go to preK. I just never felt comfortable sending them to public school in my area. And I didn't want to work overtime to do the private school. I think it's a calling and it will work out if it's meant to be. There's plenty of hs socialization and that is the big joke around homeschoolers-It's actually too much sometimes. I started to go to support group meetings when my daughter was three. It's a totally different way of thinking but I will always cherish the years that I was able to do it. I hope to do it again. LaurieK

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W.M.

answers from Tampa on

I have an 18 year old that I home educated from 9th - 12th grade (we moved back to Florida in his 9th grade year and the schools leave something to be desired). We had to fix 10 years worth of bad habits, teach him many things he missed in his public education from K-8 and generally get him up to speed with his peers. We did it all in 3 years and he did most of the scheduling and work himself. He is now on his own, self supporting, very mature, and a supervisor in a large manufacturing company while he decides what he wants to be "when he grows up".

My 6 and 7 year old girls have been home educated since birth and will continue to be educated at home.

My recommendation is to read, read, read! Start at fpea.com and read their handbook. Get all the information from the people who know the facts. Here in Florida it is very easy to homeschool, you do not need any type of degree, and the Board of Education requires an evaluation once a year. (I'm fairly certain that is statewide, but don't count on my word - check the FPEA handbook). After you read the FPEA site, there are many wonderful books on homeschooling. There are also many many different ways to homeschool. Find what is comfortable and works for you and you'll be fine.

The local Borders bookstore seems to be very homeschool friendly (I'm in Pasco county, not too sure if it's like this all over) and has a ton of books on the subject as well as many workbooks and learning materials. Barnes and Noble also has quite a selection of workbooks. Those are the only stores nearby, but I'm sure other bookstores must also have at least some books on the subject and to use for lessons.

Good luck!!

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N.P.

answers from Tampa on

HI, I was homeschooled and we are considering it for our son. My mom is still homeschooling my 4 younger siblings. You can email her and ask her any questions that you may have about it. [email protected]____.com ... hope she can help

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S.L.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi! My name is S.. I am currently Homeschooling my kids. I have a 6 year old 1st grader and a 4 year old preschooler. We have Homeschooled since Pre-school with my daughter and just started with my son. Homeschooling is great because there is no where near as much opportunity for bad influences to wreak havoc on your babies, but you DO have to double up your efforts to socialize them so you won't have the weird kid. You also have to get ready for everyone else to tell you how you SHOULD be raising your kids. All the ones NOT Homeschooling want to convince you that you shouldn't be Home Schooling and why. (I have recently been told I was depriving my kids of valuable school age experiences and I should be ashamed) I responded by telling them they needed to mind their own dang business, or run the risk of finding my foot planted in their sphincter. I then asked which of the experiences they might be referring to. Molestation, physical abuse, verbal abuse, lunch money stolen, learning new swear words, being stuck with hateful teachers, having the school Board force your kid on ADHD meds so they can get a little extra kickback at the end of the year...beaten up for their sneakers....made fun of for not having the "right" clothes...best friend stealing boyfriend....being pressured into sexual activity in the 6th grade.......maybe these were the ones they were referring to. If your strong enough to combat the other Mom's, then I say Go for it! I LOVE all the time I get with my kids. Don't go with the can't afford to do it junk either. We have given up purchasing a home for a while, and I work part time on the weekends (16 hrs Sat and 8 Sun) and my husband works 2 jobs, but we make ends meet alright, and WE decide who and how our kids are influenced. WE choose who they spend time with and NOBODY gets near enough to them to do them harm. They still have parties, sleepovers, friends over, field trips, picnics, meets at the park etc. Difference is, we sleep till we get up, and do school in our pj's.:) Feel free anytime to ask questions.:) [email protected]____.com

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E.M.

answers from Lakeland on

I'm homeschooling my two oldest boys with Florida Virtual school and my kids love it. If you need more info you can e-mail me [email protected]____.com

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B.L.

answers from Orlando on

Hi there. My name is B. & I'm a SAHM who homeschools a 4 1/2 year old & 3 year old. We don't have an official homeschoool with the County or anything like that yet, but I need to do that next year for kindergarten. I started early with my children with a program called Brighter Vision Learning Adventures. We love it. I wanted them to get used to the idea of school being at home & of me being their teacher.
Brighter Vision sends us an age appropriate package once a month for $17.00 in the mail. For example, if the theme for the month is family, it includes a workbook, a CD with songs about family, stickers, a reading book like chicka chicka boom boom, and a craft. Most of the reading books have prices on them of about $15. I've been a customer for almost 3 years now & can't say enough good things about them. Do I sound like a company rep? I couldn't find any easy curriculum out there without buying tons of books. It's very simple that they do everything for you & ship it right to you. The website is: http://www.learningadventures.com/
Hope this helps.
I have a boy who was born 5-03 & a boy who was born 1-06. My daughter was born 10-01. I just thought it was cool that we both have 3 children & they're so close in age. Take care, B.

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K.E.

answers from Pensacola on

I have Been homeschooling my son since kindergarten. I pulled him out after 18 days. It was a really negative learning environment. He is in second grade and i homeschool my daughter pk 4.

It will bring your children closer and your entire family bond will grow. Is it difficult? Not really. The benefits outweigh the fact that mom can't just drop the kids off and have the day to herself. I just found that i would rather have them home being taught by me and it has made us a closer family.

I hope this helps.
K.

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K.F.

answers from Daytona Beach on

I am currently homeschooling my 4 year old for pre-school. But as most parenting books and doctors tell you. You are your child's first and most important teacher. With young kids I've heard and through my own experience have found that unschooling works very well. Unschooling is child led learning and does not look anything like "school". My son and I will do phonincs drills when he asks "What starts with 'c'?" I take that as my cue to start some phonics and we do it til he's bored. We play lots of games (I have yet to find a game that doesn't have some sort of learning involved). He helps me in the kitchen with everything from loading/unloading dishes to baking cookies. My youngest turned 14 months old today but he often tries to get involved with what we're doing. Mostly though he sits on the sidelines and plays with his own toys or if we're doing an art project he sits at the table with us and colors.

There are many homeschooling resources out there and I'd be happy to help you find some in your area. Homeschooling is a big commitment but is also very rewarding. You know that your child is learning because you see it happening everyday and you don't have the worry of "what's happening in school?"

Socialization will happen, you would have to work very hard for it not to. Going to the park, running errands, family get-togethers are all forms of socialization. Kids don't need to be surrounded by a large group of same-age peers to become socialized they need to just be surrounded by people. HOmeschooled kids are usually more comfortable around kids of all ages and adults because those are their peer groups.

Sorry this has gone on so long, I just wanted to try to answer as many of your questions as I could remember from when I was researching homeschooling myself. If you have any other questions feel free to send me an email.

K.

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R.

answers from Tampa on

I am a home school graduate (along with my 3 siblings) and am planning to home educate (formally) my children in a few years (now 13 months and due in March). My parents both took time to teach us different subjects. We were in an umbrella private school when we started and then changed to public school notification. You are not required to hold a degree to teach your own children, it is your right and privilege as a parent. My mom always said that what worked for her was a willingness to learn alongside us. We had tutors for certain subjects in high school. There are so many great curriculums and local resources available for everything from science to sports and activities. Your children can participate in public school athletics if you wish as your taxes pay for those services. Best wishes for a successful educational journey with your children. You have the opportunity to provide a superior level of academic and character development in a safe, nurturing environment.

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C.C.

answers from Orlando on

Where are you located? THere are some great HS groups on Yahoo - and I highly recommend HS if you live in FL - the schools here are atrocious.

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A.

answers from Miami on

I home schooled my son for a year and it was very rewarding but he ask to go back to school because he did'nt have any one to play with and no friends, he's an only child. We used the singapore program its really good and it includeds everything you'll need for the whole school year. My girlfriend has homschooled all of her five children with this program she now has two in college the other three are home with her 1 in high school 1 in middle school and the other in elementary. There are many benefits to home schooling for you and your children. Although you must keep in mind the materials can be expensive. My reward my son is 7 y. o. and in one year of home schooling his first grade he is on a fifth grade reading level. Call the home schooling board in your district and get more info. Good luck!

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N.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

I homeschool my oldest and plan on homeschooling all four. Because my other three are so small, I opted this year to try the Abeka DVD program and WE LOVE IT! It involves me much less so if I have to nurse the baby or keep the toddlers busy I can run and do that and she still has the structure of all day.

Good Luck with whatever you choose. It is so worth it and very rewarding!!
Take care,
N.

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M.T.

answers from Pensacola on

I am homeschooling right now. There are also homeschool groups your can join to help you. I have lots of friends and family who homeschool very successfully. If have other questions feel free to ask or email me [email protected]____.com. I'm no expert, I've just begun myself with my 3 and 5 year old daughters but I believe in it whole heartedly and we are having a blast almost a month into it.

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L.

answers from Orlando on

There are plenty of web sites for Florida (FPEA-Florida Parent Educators Assoc., being one of them.) There are so many avenues for homeschooling. I myself will be home schooling my 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old girls. Have been since birth actually. You're welcome to contact me if you'd like, if I can answer some questions for you.;o)

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A.C.

answers from Port St. Lucie on

I homeschool my 7yo and have since K he was in a Public school for 3 months in pre k when he asked to do math with the K kids and he was refused even after the teacher was told he just wanted to sit and not ask questions and that I would buy the workbook from my own money nope no way we were told so here were are 3 years later and loving it. :)

We use www.k12.com independantly but they are a part of the florida virtual academy which provides free home education to children grades K (5 years old) trhough 8 right now my soon to be 5 yo will be starting with them next fall it's expensize otherwise to do it alone but it's great my 7yo without pushing just doing the regualr curriculm (for 3 hours a day I might add) he has tested out at a 5th grade level in some areas and 4th grade in others and is officialy doing 2nd grade work.

www.flva.com

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V.A.

answers from Daytona Beach on

Hi M.,

I'm new to this. But my best friend works at the Children Home Society, and in order to home school she says you have to a degree. I'm not totally sure in what field though. My degree is in Criminal Justice. But if you would like me to I could find out more information for you.

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D.C.

answers from Fort Myers on

I would recommend the Virtual home school really help!

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D.

answers from Tampa on

Dear M.,

I homeschooled my eldest for 5 years because she was not getting an education otherwise.

It is a lot of work. My daughter now tests out advanced, but I think it depends upon the people who are involved. I used an umbrella school for home school. This way we wrote monthly reports on progress, kept attendance sheets, kept records of everything and then the umbrella school can transcribe everything for later.

My youngest goes to a Montessori school because she loves it and she is a different person who wants to be out and about and very active. This is what I mean by it (homeschool) being based upon the whole picture.

Florida schools rate in the ten worst school districts in the United States. I researched schools extensively and the only one I liked was Montessori. With my older daughter, we did not know about Montessori and also she was ten years old when I pulled her out of the school system. She was illiterate and was not functioning as a "student". For us the Homeschooling paid off handsomely.

Live Oak Academy is the umbrella school we used. They help with materials, tutoring, etc. Also she organizes wonderful field trips for all of her homeschoolers. She is in the Tampa Bay area and her telephone number is ###-###-####. There are other resources as well. Do a search on the internet.

Your local library offers many options. Our local Montessori School is offering classes to homeschoolers as well.

Good luck.
D.

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J.F.

answers from Orlando on

HI M.,
I was a single mom. I put my kids in Christian schools, because I have always felt allowing the government to educate my children was a bad idea. Could I do it over I would home school.
I have not personally home schooled, but I used to be 7th Day Adventist and many of their children are home schooled with superior results. I know loads about what to do.:)
Some important things to know are: home schooling keeps you with the children more than is normal thus you'll want to provide some kind of support such as a play center or other place for the children to go so you can have time for yourself. Nurturing yourself is THE most important aspect of home schooling
And,2 you will be required by the state to provide consistent interaction with other children such as play dates. The home schooled children I've known are highly socialized and could interact with adults and children on a more advanced level than the public school child.

I have 'home school' friends whose children were taking college courses while yet in elementary school, I'd be happy to give you contact to one of more of them.
My daughter home schooled for a semester, but she is a quitter at so many things I'm not surprised she gave up! LOL. She's not the 'homebody' type. I think she just got sick of the routine.
She is considering home schooling her high school age son this year and has asked for my help.
Another option is to group with other mothers who want to home school.
You're welcome to email me because I have more info than I should probably put on this site. [email protected]____.com
With love and many happy thoughts!
J.

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J.Z.

answers from Orlando on

There are HUNDREDS of homeschooling families in Central FL. I'm an evaluator and am also a homeschooling mom in the area. There are many wonderful support groups, etc.. What kind of info are you looking for?? I'm going to be doing a homeschooling seminar next month in Sanford..

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C.M.

answers from Gainesville on

Hi M.,
Check out free-to-homeschool.com! It is a great resource! It is from a real mom who is homeschooling and how to make extra money from home!
Good luck!
C.

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