Seeking Information onHome School.

Updated on October 07, 2008
E.B. asks from Excelsior Springs, MO
21 answers

My husband and I are looking into alternatives to public school. One of the options we are considering is home schooling our children. I know many of the reasons not to home school. What I am looking for is what were your reasons to home school? What does your home schooling day look like. Is it difficult to meet state requirements? Do home schooled children have to take the MAP test? Any information you can give me to help my family make the right choice for us, would be a huge help.

Thank You ahead of time for your help,
E.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for responding and the wonderful amount of information you provided me with. My husband and I are going to home school. We are first going to start with enrichment activities with our children and then we are going to give it a trial run this summer. I am going to continue to research home schooling by talking to as many families as I can, reading what ever I can get my hands on and looking for a home schooling group in our area, so I feel fully prepared to take on the task.
Thank you all again for your time and wish me luck as we wade into this journey.

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K.C.

answers from Wichita on

A typical homeschooling day is as different as the homeschooler. There are so many ways to homeschool - from traditional school-at-homer to radical unschoolers. We fall somewhere in between. We have days that are like typical school days. We have days that we spend outside working in a garden or collecting rocks. We have art days, music days, you name it. As for reasons to homeschool, there are even more! Number one, you will be educating your child instead of putting it in the hands of the government. Secondly, your child will learn your values and your morals, not the morals of the school system and the teachers. Third, the school system is truly broken. Think of how much stress kids are under today because of tests, tests, and more tests. Is that truly the best way to learn? I prefer my sons to enjoy learning - and learn to remember not learn to pass a test. The one question all homeschoolers - and I do mean all homeschoolers will get - at one time or another is, "What about socialization?" I'm thirty-three. I was homeschooled. I got the question. I now homeschool my sons, and I still get the exact same question (no, it never goes out of fashion - lol). To answer that question, I have to say there is a big difference between socializing and socialization. Socializing is what takes place everyday in the workplace, in places of worship, in the grocery store. We meet people. We become friends. We enjoy being with them. Socialization is what takes in public classrooms - kids of one age are stuck in a classroom and taught to act just like the other kids. (Think about the kindergarten teacher in Florida a few months ago who had the students in her class vote out another student because they didn't like his behavior). I don't know about you, but I much prefer socializing to socialization. And there is plenty of opportunity for true socializing for anyone willing to pursue it. And, if you still feel your child needs socialization, join in on community sports teams, art classes, even a homeschooling co-op (there are lots of them out there!) As for what state tests, etc. homeschoolers need to take. That varies with the state. Check out HSLDA's website to see what is required in your state. I am always available by e-mail if you would like to contact me. :^)

Oh, and one more thing - homeschooling is as expensive or as inexpensive as you want to make it. Some homeschoolers go for full-fledged curriculum. Others homeschool strictly using the library and the internet. And, unlike students in the public school system; the income of parents (even education level) does not seem to hamper the child's educational development. Do a Google search of homeschooling studies. According to statistics, homeschoolers score higher on ACT and SAT tests than their public school counterparts, regardless of how much the parent makes. We are a working class family. My husband and I are both working on our bachelor's degrees. My parents were both working class. My mom had a seventh-grade education. My dad has a ninth grade education. I know of doctors and attorneys who homeschool their children. I know of factory workers and SAHMs who homeschool their kids. All are successful at it - regardless of use of an expensive curriculum or lack thereof.

With homeschooling, the possibilities are truly endless!
K. - second-generation homeschooler

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F.M.

answers from Kansas City on

There are too many reasons to list FOR homeschooling. Google it, and there will be much information. It all varies state by state, but MO is one of the easiest states to homeschool in. No need for testing, unless you want to do it for your children, no need to send in any records, but do keep them.

The reason we homeschool is because it leaves flexibility for my children to have time with their father that works crazy hours. There is a lot less peer pressure to have this and that, these kinds of shoes or clothes, etc. We can pass on our beliefs and values 24/7 rather than just on Sunday morning and having to undo the constant outside influence. I can teach my children creation science instead of undoing evolution THEORY. My children have a very close relationship with each other and different age groups. The older know how to nurture younger, and the younger look up to the older. My children are just as happy around elderly people, babies, and disabled, because they are exposed. They have time to volunteer, to work for the older people around town. They have time to learn life skills. So, the socialization thing is really NOT a problem.

I can tailor their curriculums for my son who is advanced in everything but math, my daughter who is extremely dyslexic, and having my almost 5yo doing kindergarten because he reallly needs something to do that uses his brain. He would be bored in K by next year. My son will be able to graduate early if he really wants to, before 18 so I don't have to worry about him wanting to drop out. He can be in college prep courses.

And, during the time we had a baby in and out of the hospital and drs, we didn't have to work around schedules, and could be flexible about it. They could be with family and friends while he was in surgery, and come visit as soon as they could.

I have more reasons, but not enough space here.

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R.S.

answers from St. Louis on

I agree with Chelle and Sarah. They gave great advice. I am a certified teacher and have decided to home school my children. There are many reasons: negative influnces from peers as well as things that could be taught that we don't agree with, and my oldest daughter is very small (possibly a growth hormone definency) and it bothers her. At home she acts the part of the oldest. Outside of home, even though she is the oldest, she acts the part of the youngets because she is so small and she think because of that she is the youngest. She would possibly be made fun of. So we are keeping them home. I can move at a quicker pace for them. This is our first year home schooling and we are moving through the math and reading very quickly. I had already done so much with her before and it is all review and her interest is just moving us along quickly. Her 4 year old sister is doing all the work along with us. I decided I wasn't going to teach the 4 year old how to read but she is so interested and wants to do everything big sister is doing I am now teaching her the same stuff. It is great. We move at our own pace.

I plan a weeks worth of lessons. Each day we have certain things to do. I like to get as much done in the morning as possible. I am more a morning person and it works better for me. There are times I end up doing some science and social studies after lunch when the 2 year old is napping. We have also done handwriting after lunch so I don't have the youngest crawling all over us as we try to write.

I think that you have to do what is best for you and your family. I have many friends who have sent their kids to private schools and they are doing wonderfully. Whatever you decide stay active and involved in you children's education. I will be praying for you as you make this important decision. If you have any questions please email me anytime.

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B.K.

answers from Wichita on

I know you have plenty of good responses, so I just wanted to throw in my two cents. My husband and all of his siblings were home-schooled. Just from being around them, I have a decent perspective on some pros and cons, and if you send a request for it, I can give you the names of several moms that I know that do homeschooling for lots of kids in the Wichita area.

Pros: You can teach your children at THEIR pace--not everyone else's, which may uncover some hidden genius that public school might never have found. You can adjust the curriculum to cover certain things that you want covered (Evolution vs. creationism? Limited only by your choice). No one is going to tell you that just because you child doesn't have enough recess time to expell energy that s/he needs drugs "because s/he's obviously an ADD case". Flexibility, this is a big pro--especially if you live on a farm, my IL's depended on their kids to help around the farm while also attending school. Home-schooling gave them that necessary flexibility, to an extent. Home-schooled children are often perceived as smarter, with better study skills, but also withdrawn socially--this isn't necessarily the case. My hubby and his siblings still had active church lives, played every sport imaginable, went to dances, had graduation ceremonies, took extra college classes in high school, etc. They are all extremely smart straight-A students that are well-rounded and socially active. They often do have better study skills, but that's often limited by their teacher--meaning you.

For my SIL, (the only one still outside of college) her school day starts at about 7-7:30, and ends about 5-5:30--bear in mind, she's a year ahead in school, and she's also helping on the farm...the average day probably wouldn't take so long if she didn't help out (and goof off! :D) quite so much. They generally take at least an hour for lunch, and the "rule" is that she stays "in school" until she's done.

The state requirements stuff and MAP test I know nothing about...it doesn't seem like I've ever heard my MIL say anything about it being difficult to do the state requirements as they are pretty minimal compared to her curriculum. I'm not sure what a MAP test is, I know that those kids all took the ACT test in high school just like every other high school student.

Some final things to think about: Are you willing to invest the time and effort needed to ensure that your children receive the best possible education? Are you financially capable of spending the time/money involved? (Home-school is apparently pretty expensive--especially once they get old enough for science projects and stuff.) Do you have the "virtues" necessary to take this task on? (i.e. Patience) Do you have the support structure you'll need to keep going? (i.e. hubby? friends? This is hard work, you'll need a circle of support.)

If you look at those questions and think that you might just be overwhelmed, don't feel bad about it, but also don't try to take it on if you don't feel that you can. Private schools are another viable option, many churches have a private school, so you should easily find one that fits the bill.

Sorry about the book, hopefully something useful came out of all that rambling. :blush:

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M.P.

answers from St. Louis on

This year will be our 6th year homeschooling our children. My daughter is in 5th grade and my son is in 1st. We homeschool for many reasons: 1) we want our kids to get an education that is based on our Christian beliefs, 2) there are so many scary and bad things that you hear about in the public school system, 3) we couldn't afford a private school, the list can go on, but those are the main reasons. If you are worried about laws in your state go to hslda.org and you can look up your state and it's laws concerning homeschooling. You can also join their organization and if anyone ever tries to turn you in for not sending your children to school, all you have to do is make a phone call to them and they will take care of it. I actually had a friend who had to do that and they got it all worked out for them at no additional charge because they are members. It is not expensive at all to join-I do the payment plan $11/mo. It is worth it for the peace of mind of knowing that I have some great lawyers who are on my side should I ever need their services. Anyway, a typical day homeschooling basically goes like this: we have a devotion, talk, and pray. Then I do school with my son (he is a morning person), after he I and I are finished, I go over my daughter's school work for the day and she gets her work done. We are usually done by lunchtime or early afternoon. My advice would be to try it, you will never know if you don't. I didn't think that I would be able to until I tried. If you are worried about their interaction with other kids there are all kinds of activities out ther for homeschool families. Join a group, they have field trips and parties, some even have co-ops. The YMCA in Edwardsville offers a PE class for homeschoolers called Fit & Fun. The rewards for homeschooling (for your children and you) far out weigh the negatives (which personally I don't see many negatives). Good luck and God bless!

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A.B.

answers from St. Louis on

Another teacher chiming in here...I think it really should be determined on a case by case basis. Not all children will do their best in home school, and not all kids will do their best in regular school. Not all parents make the best teachers. I have seen kids that thrived in home school, and kids that entered public school not anywhere near where they needed to be for the grade level they were supposedly in. Of course that happens in public/private schools also. Schools do have a lot more resources than most parents. For some children, those resources could really outweigh the benefit of one on one instruction of home schooling. For others, the one on one instruction could be huge.

I personally wouldn't keep my own children out of public schools or private schools just because there are bad influences, etc. Unfortunately, "bad influences" are an unavoidable fact of life. I think it's more important to teach your children to make good choices for themselves rather than trying to shelter them from everyone who might not make the best choices.

As for MAP testing, home schooled students are usually exempt from state testing. They have been in the past. I'm not positive about how that translates to the new "end of course" exams that DESE is implementing this year.

Good luck with your decision! I hope you find the best solution for your children.

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S.L.

answers from Kansas City on

E.,
We homeschooled our kids originally because I felt the classrooms were too full even in the private school we were paying for. I didn't like the things my daughters was learning or the letter coming home from the school saying they found drugs and I definitely did not like the beer that was at any and all functions the school had including birthday parties etc. I had an agenda and I knew how I intended to raise my kids. I didn't want my kids exposed to so much worldliness.

There are so many things to love about homeschooling. We work year round so that we don't need to put in much time. It's actually been a long time since I seriously looked at the Missouri requirements. I used to keep meticulous records. But I don't anymore because they never check or get involved unless someone you know turns you in for not homeschooling. We had a neighbor turn is in once and we didn't even know her! Someone came out from social services and I just happened to be having a planning day for the next years school. So I showed her all that I was working on and she was very satisfied. That was back in 1993.

Another reason I don't keep a lot of records is because of what happened when we sent the kids to public school. I had taken a lot of time pulling together info on each of my kids to prove what classes they were in. They didn't want, need or care about any of it. They just took my word for the grades they belonged in. Each of the girls did extremely well and no one even knew they were homeschooled. The girls chose not to tell anyone because they didn't want to feel different or have a lot of questions. So they just let everyone believe we just moved into the area which was the truth too. At their parent teacher conferences the teachers were really shocked when I told them.

Now the kicker is that none of our days look like anything. I mean we do what we want. I tell the girls they have to work on their school work and they always did. My youngest is the only one left. She has been working online in a good school. But that has recently changed for various reasons. She just started her new paces which aren't new to me because we've used them before. But we've also done unschooling. That made my husband nervous. The girls enjoyed it for awhile. But after a year even they wanted to go back to paces because they knew each day what they needed to do.

You can talk to others all you want, read books etc. But your best bet is start googling curriculum's and looking at the prices. That will tell you a lot.

Suzi

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S.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Hi E.,

I was homeschooled and went to public school. I tell everyone that I got the best of both worlds:o) I loved being homeschooled! My parents were GREAT at it! It is not for everyone though, that is why I am choosing not to homeschool my children, I do not think that I am capable enough to do a good job at it. For those who are, I think it is a wonderful thing to do and can challenge your kids individually to succeed and find their strengths quickly!

My parents homeschooled us originally b/c my brother had some physical issues that the state of Florida wanted to send him to a special school that was over an hour away! My parents chose to homeschool him instead so naturally, they did the same for me. My brother was very smart and was always ahead of everything and I was the opposite (I was born with learing disabilities)! It worked out perfect b/c Mom could challenge my brother while going at the pace that I needed to gain confidence and willing to work hard through my difficulties. Mom started selling Usborne Books to have great books for our different needs. We started going to public school in highschool. Mom and Dad made a wonderful decision by homeschooling us! I got the best of both worlds! We both did well once we got in Public school, we were both ahead of our classmates, which really helped me out to get used to public school. Everyone has a different reasons, for or against it, but as long as you are doing what you think is best for your family, then go for it!

Please write with any questions or if you have any questions for my mom, I could give you her email addy.

S.
[email protected]____.com

***If you need books! online catalog: www.ubah.com/w2474

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C.P.

answers from Kansas City on

E.,

Once upon a time, a very long time ago (1986 to be exact,) we decided to home school our children. Three children were homeschooled basically through high school with the exception of one year when we had a tragedy with our 4 year old and Mom was at the hospital with him for about 10 months. We homeschool our youngest 3 children currently, but all 3 of them started out in public school-it's a long story. The number one reason we homeschool is because we feel God called us to do it. The benefits include, but are not limited to: actually getting to be there for all your child's milestones; using the learning style/curriculum that best fits your child; being able to teach biblical truths; having flexibility to take a vacation or visit a relative when it fits your schedule--not the public school's schedule; the opportunity to really delve into a particular subject when the interest level warrants it; meals around the table in the middle of the day; and oh, so much more. Missouri laws are more restrictive than Kansas, so I would encourage you to check out HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) for your specific laws. I know there are organizations for sports in the Northland and the East portions of the metro area: K.C. North Knights and K.C. East Lions. Our children are involved in Metro Academy Mavericks home school sports organization (mostly based in Johnson County, Ks.) The 2 girls are in volleyball and the older girl is in basketball, while the boy is in basketball as well as a swimmer with the KC Blazers. The 3 older children were involved in 4-H, church, and community dramas, but the 3 younger children are kept really busy with sports, so they are not involved in other things as much. A typical day right now includes volleyball practice from 6:30-8:30 AM; individual work until noon; lunch; history together; finish up individual work and be done between 2 and 4 PM. If we don't have practice, we have volleyball matches in the afternoon/evening and often all day Saturday. We have 6th grade, 8th grade, and freshman level students. The freshman is usually the last one done, due to higher level academics. I help when needed, plan, grade papers, supervise, encourage, discipline, listen, lecture, etc. Some days are really difficult, but overall it is well worth it. I would highly recommend that you and your husband be in agreement--it will make things so much easier.

Blessings to you as you make your decision.

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S.C.

answers from St. Louis on

E.,
I don't think I can offer much information that you've not already received. These ladies have done a great job answering about homeschooling. I just wanted to write as another positive response about HS. I am 34 yo amd I also was homeschooled and am now homeschooling my children. I loved homeschooling as a kid and through my teen years. I was taken out of public school at the beginning of my 5th grade year and HomeSchooled through high school. There were times where I missed a couple things like choir and just being part of the whole high school thing. BUT, overall, I was actually glad that my mom refused my requests to go back to public school.(the requests were shortlived) As I saw what my public school friends were going through during high school, I was glad that I had no part of it! My two older sisters and I are so close to one another and to our Mom. We learned so many things by being in the home with my Mom. Both of my sisters also homeschool their children.
My son is in the 2nd grade; this is our 3rd year homeschooling and I love it. I have so much fun with my children. I also have a 3 yo daughter that I am already homeschooling with a preschool curriculum. She loves to do her "schoolwork" each day just like her big brother. They are learning to play together well, and we are part of a Homeschool group in our area. I also experienced the question of "how do you socialize?" When I was growing up and now with my children, we had/have church friends, activites, relatives, and various other means of interacting with other people.
My oldest sister has been homeschooling her children for several years, and the last 2 years, her oldest son went to public school b/c he wanted to see what it was like. She decided to let him; he was in 4th and 5th grade. He is now in 6th grade and chose to go back to homeschooling partially b/c he realized he was missing out on the family activities throughout the day. My sister was actually wanting to take him out, so his desire to be with the family made it that much easier. While in public school, his teachers all commented on how well he did. He was not behind in any way. Her children are all very involved in community sports programs.
We were never required to do any form of testing. It is not difficult to meet the state requirements. I have been informed that a homeschool "hour" does not have to be a 60 minute hour; but the time that we cover what a public school teacher would cover in an hour. We may cover a lesson in 20 minutes that a public school teacher would take an hour to cover. The ladies who wrote about the school day "being as different as the homeschoolers" were right. I prefer to have a classroom setting for my children and we are very routine oriented people. So our best days are very scheduled, but then we just have laid back days that we may spend in our jammies or go to the park or have a field trip. I just always try to make sure we are learning. And something that my sister shared with me, is that when you homeschool, you don't just teach from say 9 - 3. You are teaching whenever your children are awake. As a homeschool Mom, you always look for ways to teach your children in every situation, whether it be playtime, story time, music time, a family crisis, or playing in the back yard to cooking in the kitchen. Catching lizards and frogs, butterflies or earthworms! Measuring ingredients for baking cookies or making Daddy's birthday cake! When the siblings fight, there are moral lessons to be taught. There are endless moments to train our children "in the way they should go", to point God out to them in so many daily "life lessons". And there is NOTHING in this world that is as satisfying as knowing that you are teaching your child. To be able to say, "I taught him/her that!" and watching them grow and learn about the world around them right before your eyes!! It is truly amazing.
But before I finish this rather lengthy note, I must agree with those who say that Homeschooling is not for everyone. You as the parent must have the determination to work hard and be diligent about your child's education.
There are alot of curriculums to choose from, and it can seem overwhelming to someone who is not experienced, but if you think this is the road for you to take, don't worry! There are SO many resources available. The internet is FULL of information. And there really is no wrong way to homeschool. Just find what's right for you and your children. And don't forget to have FUN along the way. If you decide to homeschool, there are great computer programs to track your attendance and hours for keeping records. I am using Homeschool Tracker and I love it! Just as another note - my mom had a 9th grade education when she began homeschooling my sisters and me. What she didn't know, she learned right along beside us.
Best wishes as you make your decision in the future. You have many moms out here praying for you as you seek wisdom in this decision.
God Bless you and your family,
S.

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C.S.

answers from St. Louis on

We have been homeschooling now for 5 years and love it. Our daughters are currently in 8th and 4th grade. There are a great many reasons to homeschool. The first being to keep them from the negative peer influences of public school. The second is so they learn at their own pace (we have one daughter who gets everything right away and would probably be bored and another that has struggled with math and would probably get left behind because the rest of the class would be ready to move on). Those are the two biggies for me but there are other things such as really knowing your kids and having a much stronger relationship with them that are great too.

The state requirements are not hard to meet at all. All the state requires is 1000 hours during the year, 600 of those have to be in the core subjects (language arts, science, math, social studies). They do not have to take any standardized test, but you can contact a public or private school and arrange for them to participate in them if you'd like.

Your school day depends on your own personal organizational style. I know moms that plan their day out by hour but that would drive me nuts. I put together lesson plans at the beginning of the week and the girls have a daily list of what assignments need to be accomplished that day. We take frequent breaks during the nice weather.

They have way more socialization than they need...but it is positive peer socialization. We go to a large church that has a lot of opportunities for them to be with their friends. We belong to a homeschool support group (of which there are many depending on what area you live in) and we go to a homeschool fine arts center (Providence Fine Arts Center) for orchestra, choir and drama classes. There are also co-ops and tuition based programs for the core subjects as well.

If you have more questions, please send me a message. I'll be happy to answer more questions if you have them.

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D.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Depending on the ages of your children you could be a candidate for online schooling which is available to almost anyone in the state of KS and its actually a great alternative to home schooling and the issues you might face! There are plenty of places to go through for this but something you could do is ask your counselor or soomeone of that nature in your school facilities about it they can give you some options!

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A.C.

answers from St. Louis on

I teach at Ballwin Christian Learning Center held at ballwin baptist church. Contact them for more info. We teach supplemental courses to homeschoolers on Tuesdays. Not sure of their phone #

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A.H.

answers from Kansas City on

If you live on the MO side, the mid continent public library has a ton of homeschooling resources. I am sure the Johnson County ones have just as many. You might also look into area home school programs that offer things like PE, art, and music for home schooled kids. It would be a great resource to meet other parents, and great for your kids to learn those things you may not be able to teach them.

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M.S.

answers from Lawrence on

I do not have experience in homeschooling at all but I have seen e-schools in Lawrence. I don't know all the details but it is basically guided curriculm with teacher support if needed online while the child is homeschooled. Like I said I am not advocating this I have just seen this as an option in our area and you do not have to live in Lawrence to take part in this program. I hope you find the right learning avenue for your family!!

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J.E.

answers from Kansas City on

I do not home school but I may when my daughter is older. Our church has a supplemental program to home schoolers... Heartland Christian Academy. You could check that out and get some good informations. Also check out thepioneerwoman.com (under the PW Home and Garden tab). It's a great site and there just happens to be an article on there today about home schooling styles. Good luck!

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N.W.

answers from Kansas City on

As someone who's highschool years were robbed from me by homeschool I would urge you to look no further into home schooling! If need be send them to a private school (as if money is no object! I know it is for us all!) but do not home school.

We have rights of passage that we cross as we grow up. No school dances, no option to join the band or the drama club or choir or cheerleading. No volleyball team or softball or basketball. No Freshman year when you join the big kids school. No chance to run for student council. No chance to go to prom or play in the powder-puff game. There is a lot more to school than just the acadamia. There are social interactions and responsibilities. For those who went to school it's not a big deal but for those of us who didn't have the option it is a huge void in our lives.

Please, again, my entire highschool career was robbed from me and not a day goes by that I don't think about it. I was forced to homeschool and if you homeschool your children they too will be forced. Please don't do that to your children and to your relationship with your children.

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J.C.

answers from St. Louis on

My children attend school, but if I could be a SAH mom they would be home schooled, For many reasons! Large claasrooms, not enough one on one time at school. I spend two hours (at least a night doing home work)& you can home school in close to that amount of time (or less). The kids can work at their own pace, they're not slowed up if they are faster learners & not hanging by a thread if they are slower learners. No competition & stupid rewards for the kids that are always going to get an A or a B. (My son's dyslexic so even with his best efforts he usually only gets a C & that's usually putting in more tme than the average student)If people tell you not to home school because of socialization, they're wrong. There are several ways to socialize, church, community sports, going to the park, skate rink (my kids love to socialize with new people). Hands on skills count for learning with home schooling. The children from HS families seem to have more family unity.
HS don't have to take the MAP tests, that's the point of HS.
The state of MO has a homeschooling program you can do over the internet, which takes the fear of not following the correct curriculum out of it. I just learned about it, so I don't know all of the details, but if you google MOVIP you should find the page you need. Try dese.mo.gov/movip
Good luck, with whatever you choose. I'm sure you'll do well.

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K.L.

answers from St. Louis on

So much to tell you! I am not at all sorry for the years we homeschooled. The schools available at that time were just unacceptable. Even most of the teachers would agree with me. It was easy to learn the requirements. Just Google the name of your state and 'homeschoolers'. You will find website with great info and resources. We were able to get a copy of the state's 'Key Skills and Core Curriculum' by contacting our local state rep's office.

I like the teacher's response that suggested you take your abilities and your children's unique needs into consideration.

We all learned a lot and my son is now a wonderful young man. He, and we, still feel it is better to find an adequate school. We had to care for aging parents and did not have the option to move where better schools were available to us. Whether he was in school or homeschooled, I still had to work with him a great deal due to his relatively unique learning needs and the school's, even better schools', inability to meet them.

D.H.

answers from Kansas City on

E., I know this is late, but my friend who has been homeschooling for several years was out of town and I thought she could answer your questions really well to help you with your decision to or not to homeschool. Here is what she wrote...

I feel that God lead me into homeschooling and I won't go into all of those details. The "straw that broke the camel's back" was when I looked at the number of hours they would spend at school with a teacher that I do not know for sure holds to the same values and morals as we do. The number of hours that they would be spending with friends also. When you compare that to the number of hours that they would spend with us, we decided that we wanted to be the major influencer in our kids lives, not their teachers and not their friends.

What does your home schooling day look like?
I set an alarm and they get up at 7am. They start on school work by 8am. We will take about 45 minutes for lunch. We usually are finished by 1:30pm. I will work with one child on their grade level work and then get them going. Move on to the next child to get them going. We do Science and History together, since those subjects are not a grade level curriculum, too much.

Is it difficult to meet state requirements?
No. Look at this website http://www.hslda.org/default.asp?bhcp=1 then just look up your state and they will tell you what the requirements are.

Do home schooled children have to take the MAP test?
The age that my children are at, no they do not. But I don't know about the older ages.

My friend's name is Jennifer and she has three kids she homeschools, one in 4th grade, one in 2nd, and one in preschool (4 years). She started when her oldest was in Kindergarten. I hope this helps you out some and again, I'm sorry this is late. Her family went camping for a week (they left on Thursday and returned yesterday) and emailed me back this morning. That is another perk of homeschooling, you don't have the school system telling you when you can take vactions and when you can start and end your school day and year. Good luck and God Bless.

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J.B.

answers from Wichita on

I share your concerns about public school. I have major problems with it myself. Home schooling would be awesome to do, but make sure there is opportunity for your children to grow socially, and join the Y or have some way they can do team sports when the time is right. Another thing to consider if you are not certain you can pull off home school (because it takes alot of discipline and time management) is private school. If you are a Christian, more and more various denominations are forming private Christian education and this is wonderful. It is so important in their formation to have their faith as a central to their development, it gives basis for all morality. Alot of the private Christian schools are getting more affordable. I am a single mom working FT, so homeschooling is only a dream for me. We are catholic, so go to a catholic school and wouldn't change it for the world. To tell you the truth, they have a far higher academic standard anyway. Luckily in our diocese, tuition is free, but the family is required to 1. be active in parish life 2. tithe. Tithing should be done anyway, so it's a no-brainer.

Good luck on your decision. I deeply respect the public school teachers who are out there making a difference, but I hear stories every day that are so sad. Like, my step daughter is a 3rd grade teacher and was told they were not allowed to teach about Christmas, Easter or any Christian customs whatsoever, but were told they HAD to cover all non-christian ones. This is so off base, and tragic for our society.

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