My daughter is the same age as your son. So I'm not speaking from a great deal of experience here, but here goes anyway.
Originally Posted by jackaroosmom
1. He is very social and I want to make sure he can play with other kids on a regular basis. He has no siblings and we are new in the area so only know a few people so far.
My daughter is also very social. It's hard to give a good sense for the social landscape when it varies so much by community. Fortunately, in our community we have found it fairly easy to be social. We take DD to the YMCA for swim and gymnastics lessons, plus the library is a frequent haunt. She has made friends at those places, plus one at a playground she goes to in the summer. Most of her friends are schooled right now, but their moms still like to do playdates on weekends or after school. Obviously this is made a lot more possible with a stay-at-home mom but we have found them. But like I said, the landscape does vary in different communities - if you're rural, for example, that's inherently harder. However, from what I read on this forum, people do make it work. Also bear in mind that he doesn't need 6 hours a day of social activity - a playdate is quality social time, whereas school time is not 6 straight hours of quality social time. Of course, it's very helpful to get involved in a local homeschooling group, if it exists, or start one if possible.
2. I need to have some time for myself and do enjoy a few hours while he is in school. Without some time on my own I eventually lose patience. My husband is at work during my son's waking hours all week. What do other mamas do about this?
Sorry, I don't know if I can really speak on this question. I am a WAHM, not a SAHM. DH is a SAHD with his own part-time business. We are with DD all. the. time. We have no family in the area, and don't use babysitters. However, we have each other. I think the best approach is routines that involve attention from you followed by a break for both of you. So let's say your routine is to get up in the morning and have a lovely breakfast at the table. You pay attention to him, you talk to him. After breakfast he helps you clear the table, then he goes off to play while you do dishes, start laundry, whatever. Then you read a book to him (I know you're unschooling, but you might still have routines). Then he goes off to play while you check your email and read the news. And so on. Every child is different but I think these on/off periods fit a typical child's needs well. Also, my personal suggestion is that if you have a TV, consider putting it away. Ironically or not, my DD tends to be able to entertain herself better when there is no TV around.
3. I am so crappy at math. What in the world will I do once he is older and doing math I can't do???? Sure, I have a few years before I have to worry, but I do worry!
This is a big question for a lot of people. It makes me wonder what larger issue is going on. I think a majority of people, or at the very least, a majority of women, say they are bad at math. Almost like a phobia. Why is this? Is the level of math demanded by our schools higher than typical people can acheive? Or do we have a self-esteem issue, a perception issue? Was math taught poorly to us?
I am married to a math-phobic, and he will simply shut down if he senses math anywhere. Even if the issue only involves numbers and not their manipulation (such as just ordering things from 1-10, not adding them or anything). I confess here I'm not the best person to ask this question because I'm pretty confident in my math abilities - oh, sure, I've forgotten a ton but like everything else, I'll just brush up on it when the time comes.
So my words of wisdom are: it IS down the road. You have options. You can find a tutor of some sort if need be. Or you just might find that math, if you take it year by year, makes a lot more sense than you remember it. Could you learn it again, with your son, with an open mind? Could you develop a curiosity? Maybe not, my husband could not do this. But... could your husband deal with math? Do you have a relative or friend who could oversee this subject? As our children get older, I think seeking out experts makes sense for a lot of things. If your son expresses an interest in auto mechanics, you would probably find a way to get him that experience even if you don't know a carburator from a socket wrench, right?
I hope my words are encouraging, I wish I could give more - but one of the things I like about homeschooling is that it stimulates my own problem-solving skills, my own learning.