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overwhelmed! Where to start?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I live overseas and our school options are rather limited - either overcrowded unsatisfactory state schools or very expensive unsatisfactory private schools. DS was born in 2006 and so has to start compulsory primary education next year. DH and I have decided to try the state school option but fill in the gaps somewhat by homeschooling for a couple of hours a day. The problem is I just don't know where to start. There's such a wealth of info out there every time I start reading something I get totally overwhelmed. I refered to the National Curriculum set out by the government of my home country (UK) and it just seems to include SO much. How can one possibly cover 12 core subjects and reach all the targets in a week? I somehow feel that I'm approaching this from the wrong angle or with the wrong attitude. There has to be an easier way than this! Please any words of advice, encouragement, links, etc are very much appreciated. TIA

post #2 of 10

Oh my gosh!!! School AND two hours of home instruction? When does your son get to be a child? When does your son get to LEARN? At that age far more learning happens through play than through academics. Here are some links that may help you help your son.:



This book addresses how preschool kids learn:



Here=s an article about how play will help children get into Harvard:



Article on why young kids= brains aren=t ready for early reading/writing instruction:



Here=s an article that discusses how children who start academics at later ages do better in the long run:


Here=s a video on delayed academics in Sweden:




Do schools kill creativity? Very entertaining video with some good points to ponder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY




post #3 of 10

Your plan sounds totally crazy (said with the gentlest possible way). I think it would be helpful to you to go observe a class in a school. I am sure the reality looks quite different than the papers you have read. Your child is still very young... There is absolutely no way he can do a full day at school and then two hours of home schooling at home. Neither should there be a need to.

post #4 of 10

hmmmm.....I think all those subjects are separated in the list, but in actuality are easily covered without a whole lot of time and as pieces of a few "umbrella" subjects. 


What are the hours like with your schools?  Are they all day or shorter?  Could you not "make up" for the lack in your schools with informal learning (like dinner table discussions) and providing lots and lots of books?  Most of my education I got from my dad, completely informally, without him sitting me down and tutoring me.  It was just an organic part of our family life, talking, reading, and learning together.

post #5 of 10
I would recommend being intentional about interest-led, experience-rich, unschoolish approaches if you're worried. I was formally after schooled quite a bit in my younger years (reading, writing, etc.) and I don't have fond memories smile.gif. I think my mom did it for enrichment, not remediation, but it just felt horrible to have more seat work after even a half day of K! JMO- good luck!
post #6 of 10
I'm curious what country you live in...? If you poke around, you might find a thriving expat homeschool group that would help you gather the courage to just homeschool without using either of the school options. Unless homeschooling is illegal where you live, it might be worth it to check out the third option: just homeschooling.

I live in the United Arab Emirates and there are several fantastic homeschool groups here. We are loving the freedom we have from school-imposed schedules. My kids and I get to learn so much about local culture because we can explore freely whenever the mood strikes or something interesting comes up.

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for your replies and thanks for the links Sundaycrepes. You've certainly given me some food for thought. We live in Turkey. I actually agree and support the idea of learning through play and informal learning.....but when you hear the other mothers talk, you sort of get panicky! Perhaps 'homeschool' was the wrong word to use. I want to devote the couple of hours in between him coming home from school and dinner to doing activities that will enrich him and help him to develop. Justthinkin recommended being intentional about interest led, experience rich, unschoolish approaches, that sounds up my street. Is it as straightforward as it sounds? I have so many questions, so many concerns about this. Please if you can send me articles, resources, links anything I'll be so grateful

post #8 of 10

We did "afterschool" when DS was in a full-day public school kindergarten. It was funny, he would come out of school needing down time and needing physical activity, but also needing to engage his brain. It's possible, I think, if you follow his lead. We did a  lot of math in bed before bedtime, at his request, and things like making a word village over time, and lots and lots of history reading, things like making (sorry!) American Revolution wooden soldier dolls out of clothespins and painting a shoebox to be a Valley Forge cabin. Some days he would want to do two hours of math workbook, and some days he'd need to play outside. If homeschooling is legal where you are, I also would encourage you to look into that. We hs now and it is so much more wonderful than the year at school. But I wanted to add in my experience that gentle and child-led afterschooling was a big plus both academically and keeping DS's love of learning.



post #9 of 10

oh, a few websites off the top of my head:


living math

crafty crow

art projects for kids

deep space sparkle

steve spangler science

ambleside (charlotte mason; we've used some of the poems gathered there)

write start


crafty crow has a lot of links to crafty blogs, many of them homeschooling. it's better for art stuff than math and science.



post #10 of 10



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