Thinking About Homeschooling

Updated on August 26, 2008
C.S. asks from Benicia, CA
21 answers

I'm thinking about home schooling, and would love to hear from other moms who have considered it and how they made their decision to home school or not. I really do not have any first hand experience about how it really works and would also love to hear from home schooling moms on what the experience is like for them and their kids. Do you find it difficult to manage? How do you choose curriculum? What about socialization? What is a Charter school exactly?

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S.A.

answers from San Francisco on

You've received a lot of responses that are pro homeschooling, therefore I felt I should respond to the negatives of homeschooling. I am a public school teacher and homeschooling can be a major detriment to a child. Teachers are professionally trained and receive degrees so that they can teach. Not just anyone can be a teacher. The public school system has received such a bad wrap because the general public does not support it and its teachers. Homeschooling is not "real world". It is our job as parents to prepare our children for the real world experiences they will encounter. Real world experiences include going to school and being faced with challenges. Kids need to learn to work with other adults and kids and find their own way. Mothers can't be the only authority. By homeschooling you're telling your children that school is not a "good enough" place for them. Homeschooling teaches kids to be afraid of what school is all about. I've had students who were homeschooled for several years before entering into public school and they were terriefied and lost both socially and academically. In general, teachers are not respected in our society. It's amazing visiting other countries where teachers are treated like heros. Unless you live in a very dangerous area where kids bring guns to school, I would HIGHLY recommend that you not homeschool. Obviously this is just my opinion.

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J.Y.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

You are definitely not starting too early to look into this! I have been looking into school options since the time my kids were in preschool and still haven't found the right solution and they are (birthdays today and yesterday!)7,7, and 9! After much research, considering our financial situation (I am a stay at home mom),visiting many, many schools, and worrying myself sick, we chose to send our first child to our local public school.

It was a fantastic little school and she did very well. She was born "30 years old" as I try to describe her unbelievable maturity and intelligence to others and she ended up skipping into first grade halfway through. She continued to thrive. Two years later, we sent our twins there too for kindergarten. They all had excellent teachers and we got wonderful service in relation to our eldest daughter's special needs. That was the lower grades. When our little girl was about to enter the upper grades, I panicked and looked again at all of our options. The upper grades at her school, as with nearly all public schools, went from 20 kids with one teacher to over 30, usually 32 I think. Since she was such an easy kid, she was already sort of not getting a lot of individual attention (although her teacher was fabulous!) and any more than 20 kids seemed ridiculous. Anyway, this is getting a bit long so I will just skip to now. We moved schools but took her out midyear this year, after her class was just a disaster for her, and we are homeschooling through a charter school that focuses on independent study.

This school provides a visiting teacher, one day per week classes, field trips, all the materials and resources you could ever want and more. There are so many other options available that all seem really helpful too. Some actually write you a script as to what to say to teach the different subjects and some do a lot of it on line. While we do love homeschooling, my daughter included, I will be the first to admit that it is a huge challenge. Teaching is a full time job! I know many homeschoolers say that their families just learn to learn in everyday contexts but we do that in addition to actual school work and teaching is a full time job. It is very hard to keep up with the wonderful planned out activities, projects and events her previous school had exposed her to(and I actually went to college to be one so I have an advantage!)

There are so many advantages to homeschooling and so many choices that I believe if you wanted to, you could make it work but I seem to be the only one admitting that it is very very hard to balance other kids, a home, a husband, and all the rest that comes with all of it as well as homeschooling. I'd be happy to discuss this more privately with anyone as I have a lot more to say but I don't want to crash your computers with this loooong post!

Good luck, keep asking about alternatives and enjoy!

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H.F.

answers from San Francisco on

C.-

We homeschool our children (6, 5, 2 and 7 months)and love it. The path to the decision was long but we feel good about the choice we have made. We homeschool because of many reasons. First we are Christians and do not agree with all that our young children would be taught in public school. Next we firmly believe that learning happens best in small groups at the child's pace. We feel that at young ages the family relationships are most important and should be fostered, if my children went to school they would be away from our family most of their waking hours. There are many more reasons. I will try and answer each of your questions.

Do you find it difficult to mange? How do you choose curriculum?

Of course there are days when I find it difficult to manage, all moms and dads have those days. I have to be organized but I can also be flexible. If you think you will be overwhelmed start small. You don't have to school for the exact amount of time that a public school does or teach in the same way. My kids learn a lot about math through cooking and cleaning and playing games. We also have a workbook. Our science involves gardening, nature walks and some fun easy experiments. For language we have workbooks and read real books and then I read to them tons of books fromthe library. We spend a lot of time at the library. For history/geography we read real books and so far we have really enjoyed it. I choose a curiculum (Sonlight) thatdoes the majority of the planning for you and then I supplement as my children's interests dictate. It took us awhile to find a curiculum that we liked. We tried some we didn't first. If you can go to a conference or a curiculum fair or join a Yahoo group for homeschoolers in your area. There are groups all over California. California Homeschool Network is the main homeshcool group for the state of California and they put on a conference every year. If you have questions about legal issues then check our www.hslda.org the Homeschool Legal Defense Associations webpage.

What about socialization?

I believe my children are socialized just fine. They get along well with each other and enjoy the company of other children and adults. They take a few classes outside the home and are involved in local sports. We regulary frequent our neighborhood playground and my children play with our nieghobr's children and their cousins. They attend Sunday School and they go grocery shooping with me. We go to the library, the local fire station, the feed barn, the coffee shop, the National Seashore and spend time with whomever we meet there. Other than if they were in public school at no itme inthere lfie would then spend all day with 30 people born in the same year as them. I think that homeschooled kid have the unique advantage of being able to relate well with people of all different ages. Actually what first interested me in homeschooling was a 10 year old homeschooled girl's willingness to adjust her game to allow my then 2 year old son to play. Most homeschooled children spend lots of time with others and honestly socialization is another reason mine stay home. I know waht I learned from my firends in school and I hear what my neighbor kids here. It is impossibly for a teacher to hear or see every interaction that happens thorughout the day. I want to be around and see and hear when they interact with their peers.

As far as charter schools, I don't know much but I do know that their is one Pathways that works with homeschoolers but we don't use them so I don't know much about it.

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N.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi, C.

I see you've gotten many responses, but I'd like to add this. From all the children that I've seen and known, I'm realizing that there is no one, perfect, single way to educate our children. All children are different, some learn better in different environments, sometimes their best learning environments change as they grow. I see the problems come when they are not matched well with their educational environment. So I encourage you to keep looking into homeschooling, and try it, but always be open to change if you see that it's needed. Likewise, if you start with a traditional school, be open to homeschooling if the need arises.

I've homeschooled my son for Kinder and First grade. (I considered Kinder a trial run, since it isn't even mandated that our children attend school until first grade.) Here are some reasons I chose homeschooling... I'm a credentialed teacher and I know what teachers deal with in a class with a lot of children. I know that in the early grades the emphasis is on learning to read and write, and understand math. I'm trained in that and knew I could do it more efficiently one on one than a teacher who has to divide her time between so many students. I also saw the behavior issues in my classroom and I wasn't ready to expose my son to that yet.

Now we are enrolling my son in a private school for second grade in the fall. His reading and math skills are above grade level, and I think he's ready to learn about the structure of a classroom environment. We already socialize a lot through church, but it will be good for him to learn to get along with a wider range of people. But we may decide in the future to return to homeschooling, or even look at a public school. I will homeschool my daughter for Kinder in the fall and look forward to giving her one on one time like my son had. I didn't go through a Charter school--I registered with the state on my own with the private school option.

I will say that homeschooling is timeconsuming, and it was difficult for me to manage both my school-age son and preschool daughter. It might be easier when at least one of the children is more independent in their work. But I loved the flexibility of homeschool. When my son found something interesting, we could spend time on it. When we had to take family trips, we didn't have to deal with explaining absences to the school, but just took our materials with us.

I would advise you to:
1. look into different curriculum, and not be afraid to mix up different publishers for different subjects. Also, don't feel bad about replacing a particular curriculum mid-year if you find that it's not working for you.
2. attend workshops for educators so you can learn important and useful techniques for teaching reading and math. It's not always as easy as it seems. The money you spend on the workshops is worth the confidence and skills you will attain. (I highly recommend "Making Math Real" for teaching math.)
3. if you can, make a "school" space in your home. Put up an alphabet chart and other learning posters, so that it feels like a special place to learn.
4. don't be afraid to ask for help, or to change your educational plan. (I'm always being asked about what our educational plan is for our children, and I have to answer, "Well at the moment, the plan is..." because it is always changing as I see the needs of my kids changing.)

Best wishes, and feel free to write anytime if you have a question. We have a circle of friends who have collectively used a variety of school-types, and we've seen many pros and cons of each.
--N.

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M.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I have homeschooled my son for the last 5 months because he was asked to leave from his preschool for hitting the other children. I never saw myself as one to homeschool my children because I just don't feel that I have the patience for it. I can certainly see that my son is at the same level if not a bit more advanced than other preschoolers because of the special attention and help he gets with his work. My city offers several classes such as fitness and dance or science class for an hour once a week for my son to go and interact with other children.
I think that homeschooling is wonderful, if you have the patience and make the time for it, in a way you are teaching your child all day through the daily activities you perform around the house and the errands you run, but you have to make sure to get him/her around other kids or he/she will fall behind socially.

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E.D.

answers from San Francisco on

I home schooled my two children from 3rd grade through 12th. Your kids are young enough to start any system you want. "California Virtual Academy" offers home curriculum and is public, so it is free. They even give the kids computers to use for schoolwork. I started out in an Independent Study program through the public school system which meets with the students once a week and gives them assignments that must be turned in the following week( My kids were a year apart in school, so it was easy to teach them) Then I moved to Pathways Charter School for the remaining years in 10th through 12th because the public Independent Study system closed in Benicia. Charter Schools offer classes for the kids to take to help supplement the home study if needed, They offer fully paid for curriculum and support when needed. The parent turns in sample work of each subject once a month and fills out the paperwork for hours and work done.My facilitator would come to my house once a month which made life easy. When the kids are older you can take college courses for High School and get 3 high school credits for every college credit.(This is the best way to get a great high school educaton. My daughter graduated a semester early because of the college units) You can do home schooling as an independent and register your home as a private school through the state of California, I chose to go through someone who would keep records for me. I think when the kids get to High School this is very important for transfering to College and having accurate state records. You get a routine going that works for the family situation. We would have school in the morning, and do some sort of sport, which can be PE. Also there are huge homeschool groups, that offer PE, ART, Lab sciences and many extra classes for the kids to interact with other kids. They have a designated day that they meet every week. They offer graduations, dances,plays and other social activities for students as well a field trips. Home schooling is a process, and if you utilize all your resources, you can have a very rewarding experience and the results are amazing!!! My Son and Daughter are both in college now, and are doing great.
I could go on and on, but if you want to contact me for any advice or bay area suggestions, I would be happy to talk to you. ( [email protected]____.com ) or ###-###-####.
E. D.

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A.K.

answers from San Francisco on

I just wanted to comment on what Mary A said. There has been no law change. It was a single court case with a public decision which means it can be used to set a president. However there was a lot of outrage about it and it will likely be challenged. In the mean time it is still perfectly legal to home school with out a teaching credential. This made big news on NPR a few weeks ago so they did a long story about it.

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E.C.

answers from Salinas on

I work for a charter school that supports homeschooler. A charter school is a regular public school that has more flexibility to use funds and resources. I have done this for 5 years and think it is a great thing. My kids are too little for school now so I do not home school them.
My school- Ocean Grove Charter- provides family with a budget to buy curriculum and pay for classes with select vendors- so the kids can do things they enjoy- tennis, golf, art, music, spanish etc and get to be with other kids. To homeschool legally in CA you need to meet with a teacher or file an R4 creating your own private school. I go to my families homes and checkin with the parents and kids. I help select curriculum and place orders for supplies and books. I check over the students work to make sure they are progressing and answer questions. My school is parent choice so you can choose to do anything in any order- not following the state standard for a set grade- you can jump around.

Some of my parents are super organized and have a set schedule like in a school and some are very relaxed and will work lessons around school. It is a bit scary at first, but I have never had a parent not be able to do it. It takes time to find out what works best for you and your kids, and the trial and error really helps you figure out how your kids learn.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck,
E.

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J.W.

answers from Yuba City on

We homeschooled our kids for five years and I have to say that was the best decision we ever made. Is it difficult somedays? Yes, but you have to weigh it out. I constantly got chided for homeschooling my kids from family that thought I wasn't socializing my kids enough. I was never busier than I was when we homeschooled. My kids had scouts, community activities, play groups and we paired up with other homeschoolers and put together group field trips and the kids all got along. Plus it is a good resource to network with other homeschoolers for some support if not the adult interaction. ;)

It really isn't hard to manage. You choose the curriculum you want. We chose it based on what interests the kids had and then built around it therby making them so interested.

It depends on the parents how easy or hard it is. I loved it because I could plan trips and vacations, etc., and not worry about the public school system getting huffy aboutmykids being absent. As the "teacher/Administrator," my kids were never absent or sick. We just adjusted our days accordingly. Plus if you find that your kids are really hooked on a project or subject, you can spend all day on it using their enthusiasm to learn to intensify their learning. Even going to the grocery store is a learning experience in math and social skills and reading. My kids called our week long trip to Wash DC, a week long Social Studies trip. And it sure was.

I started with a Charter since they handle the paperwork and curriculum but I only lasted with them for a year. Then I branched out on my own and was much better for it.

You will find if you search enough on the internet, that there is a ton of free curriculum out there. I only started paying for materials when I hit older kid studies like Algebra, etc.

Here are some good sites to start with:

www.hslda.org - Home School Legal Defense Association. They will help you understand the legalities you need to address for the right to eduate your kids.

http://homeschooling.about.com/ - lots of info. A homeschooling mom's blog.

www.californiahomeschool.net - awesome resource for parents. They even have a yearly conference.

www.homeschoolcentral.com - has support groups listed.

I will never regret the time I spent homeschooling my kids. Money was tight but the education they received was so worth it. When my daughter chose to attend public high school for the "experience" she said, they said "Oh, she's been homeschooled? We'll have to test her." And waste their time they did. The head of the English and Math departments came out after testing her for almost 2 hours and said, "Uh, she tested post-high school on everything. But you kenw that already, didn't you?" "You bet I did." She is now getting ready to graduate from high school with a 3.83 GPA and is having the time of her life. She already has her college education mapped out and is excited to go. Same with my son. He will be starting high school next year. I can't wait. Good luck, and if you need anything, feel free to ask. Your best resources will be other parents that are homeschooling or used to.

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R.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Being a family who loves our home schooling experience I could go on and on with why. But instead I'd like to just share a few book titles that really helped me learn what it was all about. The first is called " A Patchwork of Day's". This is a collection of stories about a day in the life of different families experience. Some you'll read and think that dosn't sound like a good day. Others you'll read share how wonderful it can be. A few other titles are ,Dumbing us down, How children fail, The joyful home schooler, For the childrens sake. We currently are in a program through a local public school that has an independent study classroom. It is k-6th and has about 25 children. They go 2 days a week and are a regular part of the school. They get music and theater, art and science. This has been a wonderful experience . The classroom is the most cohesieve enviroment you'll ever step into with the older children helping the younger. The only trouble is on the play ground when it's time to mingle for recess. The regular day kids miss treat and are unkind to the homeschoolers.It's very subtle most of the time. Unfortunatley they think something is wrong with them and because they are there only two days a week they rank low on the play ground. I do not homeschool because my children are in any way special needs or different. They are ordenary kids as the rest of the class we are just parents who wanted a different educational life for our kids. My children have learned alot about character from this and who they want to be. It has not had a negitive effect on them because there is so much positive time and interaction in their life that they are extremley out going and friendly. They have time to volenteer and do community service and have friendships with people who enjoy them that span from age 2 -80. If you'd ever like to talk more feel free to e-mail me. Best wishes to you, R.

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J.Z.

answers from Sacramento on

I am not a mom who homeschools or even considers it. I was however a homeschooled child. My first hand experience is this.

I was ahead somewhat on my skills academically, however socially not so much. I was around my mom and other adults a ton. That in a sense was a handicap. Even though she took me to homeschool events and put me in Brownies, I never felt the same as the other children. In Brownies most of the kids knew eachother from school, and I was always an outsider comfortable more to hang with the adult leader than the kids my age. Finally at the end of second grade, I begged to go to school with the other kids. My mom relented. It was a big adjustment for me, but I think it was the best. I was placed in our local public school which I loved. Then two years later my mom placed me in a private school where there were literally 10 kids in a class, and again, I was the outsider since they had all been there from grade kindergarten and here was a new 5th grader in a class of 10.

Anyway, that is my outlook. I think socially it is stunted by not having the everyday contact with kids, not learning how to deal with problems, and also the good of other kids, not learning how to deal with opposite personalities, and such that really causes socially stunted growth. There is something to be said about playground interaction.

You need to do what is best for your child, and only you know what that is. I wish you all the best no matter what your choice is.

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A.A.

answers from San Francisco on

I have a close friend who homeschooled, so when my girls were having problems in school I looked into it. There are many sources for homeschoolers available and often there are homeschooling communities you can get involved in for the social aspect. They had a lot of freedom to go wherever they wanted for lessons (the beach, the park, as many field trips as you like, etc...) It was really beneficial for my friend's children (they later chose to go back to public school, but not because they didn't like home-schooling, they just felt they were ready for the change.)
I however, decided not to. I love my children dearly, and love spending time with them AND I love having my space to work / take care of myself, my relationship with DH, and my house while they are in school. Being the impatient Aries that I am and knowing how I dislike helping them with their homework (I'm good at it, but I don't care for it) My husband and I chose to put our money together for a private school instead. We don't have a charter close by and we had always wanted to send our kids to Waldorf when we could afford it, it just happened sooner and a little more financially challenged than we thought given the problems at the public school.
A little sidebar, initially only one daughter was accepted to Waldorf so we sent our eldest to another alternative, very small, private school based loosely on the Summerhill philospophy. She went to school there 4 days a week and I homeschooled the 5th. I have to admit, we bonded very strongly during that time and it was fun (most of the time.) It did take a lot of energy to plan lessons and by the end of the day I was tired and ready for some "adult time." So I can't imagine doing it 5 days a week, but I like the combo. This year both girls are in Waldorf, and I have no intention of looking back. We love it!

If you have any questions about Waldorf or Summerhill, please don't hesitate to write! I'm not pushing in any direction, just offering information on other avenues of schooling if you are interested.

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S.M.

answers from Stockton on

Hi C.. I'm a homeschooling mom to 3 children ages 10, 8 and 2 (soon to be 11, 9 and 3). We've been homeschoolers for 6 years now and have no plans to stop any time soon. Our main reasons for choosing to homeschool were because we are a military family, my oldest son did not respond well to his first experience at school, my husband's and my own experiences at public school were not all that great although we're both very bright people, and I'd rather my children be exposed to the great big, wide world, not the unhealthy, narrow slice offered up at public schools.

Deciding to homeschool is a very difficult decision. If you feel you'd like to share in your children's learning experiences rather than sit on the sidelines, then by all means please do. Do not be frightened by the teachers who say teaching is so difficult and parents lack the knowledge to provide their children with a good education. From their experience it is difficult. They are charged with trying to educate 20 students at a time, each one with their own unique personality and learning style. It's not so hard to teach a child that you've know since birth and have a vested interest in seeing him or her succeed. In our small homeschooling group of about 15 families, we have 3 parents that have previously been teachers, but now feel that the public schools were detrimental to their child's education.

As far as socialization goes, my children and I have been involved with so many activities, we've had to cut back. I would suggest finding a good local support group for homeschoolers. If you're in San Joaquin Co., please send me a message and I can invite you to our group and point you towards a few others. For those naysayers who think homeschooled kids sit inside all day and aren't exposed to anyone but their parents, that is not my experience or the experience of any homeschoolers I know. Through our support group, my kids participate in a monthly book club, a monthly science club, a weekly park day, a weekly pokemon group, various field trips throughout the year and camping trips set up just for homeschooling families. They also participate in activities outside of our group such as scouts, karate, horseback riding and gymnastics. When they are not out and about, they are running through our small neighborhood playing with <gasp> the public school kids. They certainly are not missing out on any of the important lessons they're supposed to learn in regular school, like how to deal with bullying, fighting, backstabbing and alienating other kids. All that important socialization stuff everyone talks about. ;-)

C., please contact me privately if you have a wish for any more information. Also, there were some great links posted already, but I didn't see one for the Homeschool Association of California. (I probably overlooked it!)They're based more in northern California and have an awesome conference coming up, in August I think. They have a great website and an online Yahoo group.

http://www.hsc.org/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CA-Homeschooling-HSC/

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A.B.

answers from Bakersfield on

Dear C., I hope you have found lots to consider as you think about homeschooling. As far as we understand here in California to see the qualifications check with HSLDA( Home School Legal Defense Association) to see that currently you do not have to have a teacher certification in California. You can use a private school with a homeschool program, a charter school, register with your county school district as an ISP(Independent Study Program), and sometimes do independant study through your local school district. There are lots of options, and support groups. I have five children. I homeschooled my daughters in Kindergarten, then private school, then public school, back to home school, My eldest was home schooled sixth through twelfth grade, and went to Community College at sixteen partime. She says it was a positive experience in her life. My second daughter was at home from 1st grade through eighth grade. Now she is 21, and it was a good experience. My boys started at home till 3rd and 4th grade, but now we use a small public school, I am a substitute,and know all the teachers.I believe in homeschooling, and I believe a close knit public school situation can be right sometimes too. I believe you need to pray what the best situation is for your family and your particular children. My youngest son has special needs,and as he gets older, home schooling may be the best again. We look and pray each year. To be involved takes a ton of time whichever route you take. Consider all the possibilies, talk to other families,and God will direct you as you ask Him. Blessings, A.

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A.P.

answers from Sacramento on

I think it would be really hard to homeschool. I think it takes a certain level of discipline that goes above and beyond just being a parent or just being a teacher to a child.

I think it has its flaws and positives, just like going to public school or doing the private school option.

I think that you only know what works best for you if you actually explore it.

Charter schools can be great options depending on what the focus is. I think if you had a kid who was a dramatic child or very artsy, a charter with that focus, or a magnet school, could be a really great opportunity for her to explore her own strengths.

The difference between general public and charter public are pretty huge depending on what qualities you are looking at. No matter what, your kid should be following a recommended curriculum. Homeschooling allows you to expand on that option more though (for example, a homeschool history lesson might include a backpacking trek down the Wells Fargo Trail from Placerville to Sacramento, and include nature hiking info on the way about what is edible and "point out the native plants"--something that the rest of us who are so inclined would have to wait for a weekend to do, for the most part, but a homeschooler could plan for a Wednesday.)

Really, the only thing you can do is evaluate schools, evaluate your child and evaluate yourself. What do YOU need to be a successful mother and homeschooler? What would your child need? What do you like about what the schools are doing that you could replicate at home? What do you hate about the schools, what could you change by being active in the school district or PTA? How open are the schools to parental involvement? How open are they to supporting homeschooling? Really get a handle on the options.

Make a list of all the positives and negatives as they come up. If you enjoy having 2 kids in preschool even part of the day, either for the break you get or for the education they are getting, staying home and doing all of their teaching yourself might drive you batty and make you a) not so effective as a teacher and b) not a happy mom.

But if you are excited about it, and the excitement stays over the next few years as you are determining what you want to do, you should not shy away from it. The only way to be effective in this sort of situation is to fully commit.

My much younger coworkers just shared with me that they always thought the homeschooled kids were "weirdos", and further exploration revealed that the kids were either too progressive or too conservative, based on their family dynamics. They also shared that public school kids thought that private school kids were "richies." I got kind of a kick out of that perspective.

I think that extreme homeschoolers are more likely to have kids with socialization issues, but heck, I was the "weird kid" at my public schools, and no matter how much socialization I had, I never fit in. Lo, I have a master's and am working on a PHD, waited to have sex, had my first kid at 34, and have been all over the world. So, I ain't lacking for the fact of my sad middle school era when my slumber party had no takers.

Me? I'm pro public school for my kid because it's easy and I'm willing to be involved, but I am not anti homeschooling for anyone else.

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J.H.

answers from Sacramento on

I don't have first hand experience with homeschooling, but I am a teacher at a charter school, so I can speak to that question.

Charter schools were developed as an alternative to the regular public schools. Charters are publically funded and have to follow the state standards. The teachers are credentialed by the state of California. Most charter schools ascribe to some sort of alternative curriculum style, teaching philosophy or are some sort of magnet type of school (for example, school of arts). I teach at a Montessori, but there are Waldorf schools, and many others. Most charter schools require parent involvement. Because of the parent involvement, the parents more say in certain decisions, such as which teacher the child will be placed with.

We have many families that come to us from the home school situation. Often times parents find they can manage homeschooling until the child(ren) reaches the intermediate grades (4th & 5th), then the curriculum becomes more difficult to manage. I imagine it depends on the level of education of the parent and the number of children at home.

The parents of students in my classroom who previously homeschooled (3 families) mentioned they had a place in the house they performed school, they had a set time, and a list of things to do.

Also, many school districts can provide the materials and a support person to come to your home to assist you with homeschooling. I think they may even help in connecting you with other homeschooled families. Also, there are thousands of online resources.

Lastly, I wonder why you are considering not placing your child in your neighborhood school?

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T.S.

answers from Washington DC on

There is a lot more to teaching than understanding the material and loving your children. As a devoted teacher, myself, I can tell you that teaching is a vocation. In addition to a calling, it requires its own unique skill set. And you don't want to simply learn by doing, your children are far to important to you to use as guineapigs.

If you decide to teach your children yourself, please spend some time learning about HOW to teach, not simply what to teach. Yes, mothers are their children's first teachers, but teaching mathematical thinking is very different from teaching to share, doing the best job for your students (in this case your own children) requires a deep understanding of subject specific learning and pedagogical best practices. There are California Subject Matter Projects (ie Math Project, Science Project, History Project) devoted to teachers improving their craft. Most have workshops throughout the year, and I would strongly recommend you attend a few and pick up all you can about teaching before taking on the task with your children.

I wish you the best. If you decide to homeschool your children, take advantage of all the recources out there and then HAVE FUN!

HTH
T.

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A.C.

answers from Sacramento on

My sister-in-law homeschools her two girls and they all love it. After several years, they tried public school this year and they had so many problems with the other kids and administration that they decided to go back to homeschooling and are much happier. Her kids are really well-grounded, sweet kids with very strong character. They socialize through church groups, dance class, and classes offered to homeschoolers. I considered homeschooling earlier this year and may still do it. I really liked the Abeka DVD series. The kids would have teachers via a DVD. I would be there to organize the work, keep everyone on task, and answer any questions, but I liked the idea of having a teacher to watch.

Good luck!

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

Not sure what your motivations for wanting to homeschool are...I would suggest calling the homeschool contact for your school district for information. Also did you know that the law has been changed and you must possess a CA teaching cred. to homeschool now?

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D.G.

answers from San Francisco on

C.

We just started homeschooling last week. We chose this because we could no longer afford the private school our son was in and didn't care for the public school in our area. We are using the Abeka curriculum for this first year, mainly because I am comfortable with it. He used it in school plus my sisters homeschooled with it.
I set up an area in the diningroom for him with a desk and everything he would need. I keep this area off limits during non-school hours- that way he can feel like he gets a break from school.

We have only done it now for 3 days but it seems to be going well. My 1 and 2 year old have been very cooperative and at times my 2 year old wants to come write and color.

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L.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi C.. I'm the homeschooling mom of 6 kids and love it. There are no plans to ever put our kids in regular school. You can go to www.californiahomeschool.net to get all the information you are looking for. You can also find a local county contact so you can find out what is available in your area.

L.

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