Who does it here? How do you even get started? How do you decide your curriculum and daily activities? What are your personal pros and cons list?
Thanks in advance.
I tried to home school my preschooler last year before kindergarten, and I started out with a list of goals she needed to meet for kindergarten, and then I made a list of activities to do each day, focusing on letters and numbers with crafts and what not... I made it a few months, she is too smart so I was running out of things for her to do too quickly in the day, she would breeze through everything and I was at a loss at to what to do next not wanting her to be too far ahead because I didn't want her to be board in school... so I slowed down and just did learning activities throughout the day... she is where she needs to be and then some at school, I'm super proud of her!
I homeschool all three of my kids. They are currently in 7th, 4th, and 1st grade.
How you get started really depends on the state you live in... The homeschooling laws and process vary widely from state to state. A quick google search brought me to this http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ho...s_122555_7.pdf but I'm sure there is a lot of other information out there.
Here, in North Carolina, you are free to choose whatever curriculum/path you wish. When I first started with my oldest daughter, I did a lot of research and basically picked something different for each of the main subjects. I pieced it all together on my own and it took a lot of planning. Fast forward a few years and I'm now schooling three kids instead of one. LOL I don't have enough time or patience to break it down that much anymore. I have now purchased what is often called an 'umbrella curriculum'. It's basically like saying, "Here is everything for 4th grade in a box!" I picked one called Moving Beyond the Page, but there are several choices out there.
I'll address the pros and cons later this evening. I love homeschooling and don't expect to ever return to public school. I need to get my youngest off to karate class.
Me again.. I thought about just sending a PM instead, but perhaps someone else will be interested in the response. LOl
Homeschooling is a very personal thing and everyone's list of pros and cons will vary as people do it for different reasons or goals.
1) I can tailor the presentation of materials and the schedule to each individual kid and their learning styles. Sitting still at the table is nearly painful for my 6 yr old. LOL Why fight it? He does a lot of his lessons standing at the table, laying on the floor, or curled up on the couch. CAN he sit still and quiet where appropriate, such as a restaurant or church service? Yes of course, but why should I push it if he is more comfortable, confident, and better-performing otherwise? ;)
Have a visual learner? Kinesthetic? Auditory? Classroom teachers can touch on that, but have to deal with an entire class of individuals. I have more flexibility to work with how they learn best. Of course they will use the other methods as well, but it makes life easier.
Early riser or night owls? I have one who is up and often starting her work before I pull myself out of bed. LOL Another is pretty much useless until lunchtime.
2) It provides more time with my family! This seems like a no-brainer, but it was a big issue. I didn't have kids to send them away for almost eight hours of the day for thirteen years of their lives. Drag them out of bed and rush them off to school? Get home, tackle homework, scramble for dinner, and put them to bed again? It got to the point where the only time we had together was weekends. I love seeing the joy on their faces when something finally clicks on an assignment. I want to be the one to see the pride in their face when they finally overcome a challenge. I truly enjoy seeing them excited over the materials.
3) We choose the times we school. In our state, we have to hit 180 days of instruction. How and when we break that down is up to us. My family schools Monday- Thursday and we take every Friday off. Our local homeschooling group does a big Park Day gathering at a local park every Friday. It's a must do for our schedule. You can pick when you take family vacations etc.
4) My kids are under much less stress. My oldest has Aspergers and anxiety issues. She was often on the verge of a panic attack in the classroom. She would look at something different than the way it was being presented and then doubt herself because it didn't match what she was thinking. Who cares HOW you solve that long division problem as long as you understand the concept and calculate the right answer? She was so worried about what her final grade would be and then miss small details in directions. I don't give 'grades' period at this point. We go over work together and I have them make corrections. I know them best and I can easily tell if they haven't done their best on something. We also have more flexible time restraints. My 9 yr old always got frustrated at school when they would have to wrap something up and move on just as she was understanding something or really getting into it.
1) "Me time" is rare. LOL I've been a SAHM for about ten years. Was it nice to send them off to school for the day? Heck yeah! I have to make it a priority to get some time to myself now, but it's doable.
2) Depending upon what you choose or the educational philosophy you follow, the cost of materials can add up quickly. There are several ways to do it all well on a reasonable budget too though.
3) Make sure you keep social skills a priority if that is a concern. Seek out a local group for support and activities. It's easy to become isolated and stuck at home. My kids actually have more friends and free social time now that they are NOT surrounded by the same classmates for several hours a day. LOL
There are more pros and cons, but it's time for dinner. ;) I've thrown out plenty to get ya started thinking. Feel free to PM me anytime.
I was home schooled as a child, as was my husband. We are currently home schooling our 3rd grader, 2nd grader and 1st grader. We live in Oklahoma, so our laws are pretty relaxed.
This year we are using an online charter school, so our kids are doing school via the computer. We have a teacher who tests them to make sure they are staying on track etc. and who assigned the work to the kids via the computer. We picked the online course studies that the kids are doing. Since we are using the online school that is part of K12, we also have access to larger, more costly curriculum that we probably wouldn't have looked at had we been doing typical book and pencil home schooling. However, we are also doing a few work books with each child so that they still gain hand writing skills.
As was mentioned above, home schooling is all about what fits with YOUR family. This fits with ours. Our children are easily engaged and learning and excelling quickly with the interactive learning environment of the online class room. We love doing school work in our PJ's. And I love the 'safety net' of having another teacher there backing me up, testing the kids, and making sure we are on track!
For now it's something my husband and I are researching and going to pray for God's direction in this decision. I will PM you if I have any more questions!! Thanks so much!
I thank you for taking time to come answer this. I certainly love the fact that you and your husband were home schooled too. Thanks sooooo much!!!!
I've been homeschooling my boys (now in 7th & 8th grade) for the past 3 years. We are in CA and the laws are a little stricter. We started off with an online public school program, but made a switch this year. Now they are attending a "para-school" 2 days a week which is great for them because they get to be around kids during that time, and it gives me a bit of a break. We take it a year at a time... I thought I would be sending them to school for high school, but since making this change, I may end up keeping them home the whole time.
We have 5 boys that all fall somewhere on the high functioning end of the Autism spectrum (Aspergers, High Functioning, and Not otherwise specified) ranging in age from 16 to 4.
We live in a not very good school district and after spending time in Special Ed. classes myself as a child I knew that would not be a good fit for our oldest son.
I've been through the range of purchasing a box curriculum from a school (all of 1st grade provided including lesson plans and schedule with the school doing the grading), piecing together our own from purchased books and library resources, lap books and using virtual school.
All of the options have their own difficulties and rewards. The one piece of advise I would give anyone who decides to home school is that you need to remember that you know your child best and should pay attention to your gut. Just because something works for a few years doesn't mean it always will. Unlike teachers in a class room you won't get to focus and do one subject or grade, you will be changing what you do each year as your child grows. You also will be changing what works with each child.
I don't know how any teacher can do this with 20+ kids in a classroom and want to give a hat tip to them here. I can only do this because I LOVE my children with all of my heart and so will gladly invest my time and energy into doing what is best for them. Teachers are special people to do this for so many children every day for years on end!
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