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Homeschooling moms

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Are you adapting things so that you can stop for the summer (if you take summers off) by the time baby comes?  We don't necessarily skip summers, but I am thinking we will definitely take a month or so off, just to relax.  I think we could definitely handle continuing, even the day after baby comes (we've always resumed life naturally immediately after adding a new one LOL), but it would be nice to just not have anything to think about.

 

I am not strict about finishing a certain amount of work/concept by a certain time of year, so it should be easy for me to modify things to where we can stop for a time, but I would like to make sure we get some specific things done while we can.  And I might try to make up some packets ahead of time so that when we start resuming school it can be lighter, independent stuff (mine are still fairly young- DD1 doing 1st/2nd grade work, DD2 doing kindergarten work, so I'm kind of at that point where a lot of it is still guided out of necessity, but they have the potential to do a lot on their own, especially if DD1 can read instructions and what not).

post #2 of 37

No. My kids seem to take their own breaks....they do good for a few months and then they become terrors at school time and I know it's time for a break. Plus with all the prental appointments so far away they miss some. However, we have been using the Robinson Curriculum for the last year. My oldest takes her work in her room and does it quietly.  My seven year old....well that will be my project. I need to make her a little more independent.

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

I definitely look forward to when mine are older and don't need guidance every step of the way!  That is one thing that is always very encouraging!

post #4 of 37

For those of you who do homeschool, do you work at all or are you stay at home moms?  I would love to be able to stay at home but I don't see how we can make ends meet without me continuing to work.  I would still like to try to find a way to homeschool my children and work at the same time.  I was thinking maybe I could give them assignments while I'm working and ask whichever family member is watching them to encourage them or help if possible but I don't know if that's something that will end up working out.  I have several family members that swear they want to babysit for us while we work but is it selfish to ask them to also make sure the kids do their work?  And then just have lessons when I'm not working?  Have any working moms out there figured out a way to do both that works well?  This is my first child and I really don't trust the public school system to properly educate my children.  If any of you do work, is it full or part time?

post #5 of 37

I worked part-time for a short time while homeschooling (somewhere around a year I think?).  I wouldn't do it again as it was too much of a strain and wasn't worth the $.  I was only doing it to help my husband at his work.  When you factor in the cost of transportation, childcare, meals (because you are so exhausted there are more convenience foods and/or eating out), and for us the reduction in child tax credit, I brought home very little to help and it was NOT worth it for us.

 

We have homeschooled from the start and while we have struggled at times (right now being one of them), we have never regretted it.  I won't lie, it's hard work just like anything worth doing, but even with the stress I can see my children blossoming into lovely people who are confident in themselves and free to be who they want to be (without the interference of bullying and/or peer pressure).  They have plenty of friends in our housing complex and through church but have the perspective that makes dealing with rude comments easier, and they are down to earth, wonderful people!  Kids who go to public school can be wonderful too but there's definitely more stress for them I think particularly now with the constant threat of technology to expose any embarrassing moment for the world to see~!!!  But in the end, the enduring love of parents and the children not becoming peer-dependant is what matters, no matter where they are schooled.  :)

 

PS - edited to add that my oldest is nearly 14 and we have homeschooled from the beginning.  :D

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateHNM View Post

For those of you who do homeschool, do you work at all or are you stay at home moms?  I would love to be able to stay at home but I don't see how we can make ends meet without me continuing to work.  I would still like to try to find a way to homeschool my children and work at the same time.  I was thinking maybe I could give them assignments while I'm working and ask whichever family member is watching them to encourage them or help if possible but I don't know if that's something that will end up working out.  I have several family members that swear they want to babysit for us while we work but is it selfish to ask them to also make sure the kids do their work?  And then just have lessons when I'm not working?  Have any working moms out there figured out a way to do both that works well?  This is my first child and I really don't trust the public school system to properly educate my children.  If any of you do work, is it full or part time?

 

We are the kind of "odd couple" in most homeschooling circles we frequent because we have both worked and/or been in school the entire time we've had kids so far.  Neither of us have worked a "normal" 9-5 kind of job, however.  As we move forward our careers, we  have and are prepared to continue to negotiate who gets more time at work versus who has to work less because we will never be able to homeschool with both of us working "whole hog" - and homeschooling is the priority for us.  So I would say a wide variety of situations can be made to work, but I would personally find it somewhat impossible to both be working in f/t jobs that are out of the home.

post #7 of 37

I work at home as a virtual teacher.  DH also works at home as a virtual teacher. We have flexibility so we try not to work at the same time or we try to only overlap by an hour here and there. I have a 10 year old that can help out if necessary for an hour at a time and also in that case someone would be on their laptop in the living room.  My 7 year

old needs me to sit beside her (and  she's always been my needy one in all areas) so I pay attention to her and set up my 18 month old with toys and watch him out of the corner of our eye. When I was at home by myself with the kids (ages 2 1/2 and almost 6 at the time), this was our schedule:

8am breakfast
9am school
11am kids played outside while I worked on my laptop.
12:00 inside to fix lunch
12:30 Lunch
1:00-1:30 get kids down for a nap/quiet time.
1:30-3:30 Work while kids nap -This was live teaching.
4:00- Dh arrived home and I got to do more work while he took over. 

 

ETA: I also had a smart phone in which during little pockets during the day, I would check and respond to e-mail as well as take calls if I wasn't in school time.           


Edited by camprunner - 12/7/12 at 8:17pm
post #8 of 37

I do totally think you can work part time  and stay at home with the kids but the key is making sure that  you are able to put the kids first. They have to know that when they need something, you are there for them.  They have to know that you are watching everything they do. I"m not sure how it would be by myself at home with a young toddler (and no help) unless the toddler had a set and reliable naptime and dh was really understanding.  Before he started working at home he was much less understanding.  Working at home is still work and the work still has to get done and that's also important to remember. How well you are able to work while your kids are playing hide and seek under your desk is a big factor.  Also flexibility. My 2 1/2 year old was fine if she felt like I was going to watch TV during her naptime which did happen at first a couple of days a week but if she knew I was going to work she'd refuse to go down for her nap. I put a mat down at the back of my small office and she took her nap there. Occasionally, she sat very quietly in my lap and I made sure she didn't appear in the web cam.

 

Another solution that I used when I ended up with more work than expected was to utilize mother's helpers. Once I realized it was more than I could handle with the kids AND dh was starting to work in the evenings so he could transition to home, I hired two older homeschool girls who came in an played with the kids two mornings a week while I worked.  That is the only time I worked behind closed doors and I usually made all phone calls I needed during that time.

 

There are lots of curriclums kids can do independently these days. You still need to be able to answer questions but we've done a few.  There are books that are easy for them to go through themselves once they can read.  There are computer based currilcums.  We follow a currilcum that has an independent math curriculum (in theory :-) ) and  is literature based beyond that. It works well for us. I set them up with what they need ahead of time.  It does get stressful when you have one that is just learning their math facts or learning to read because they need more attention but at that stage they are really only "in school" for 30min. to an hour per day.

 

AND our house has gone through many phases where it just hasn't been as clean as a lot of other SAHM's houses.  It's been frustrating and since I'm having a low key semester this semester and next for sure we are working on getting a system going for that.  Quick meals, crock pots, cooking ahead, etc are necessary because it is a busy life.

 

Working at home has been a rewarding experience for us despite the challenges.  Sorry that I wrote a book but I wanted you to know it can work. Everyone has their own preferences and thresholds and sometimes there is a lot of creativity involved.

post #9 of 37

Do those of you that homeschool follow some sort of schedule or plan for how you teach your children?  How often do your kids usually spend on schoolwork every day and how many days a week?  Do you get together with other homeschooling families or how do you make sure your kids are properly socialized?  I just have so many questions.  I really want to homeschool my kids because I can't stand the public school system but I worry about socialization and making sure they learn everything they will need to know.  Plus I have to somehow make it work around my husband and I continuing to work.  So I'm curious how you all do it as far as how much time you need to spend actually teaching and how much time they spend learning on their own through books, research, assignments.  There's a lot I still don't know about the topic.  Are there state guidelines you have to follow?  I live in New York and I think they are pretty unfriendly towards the idea of homeschooling from what I have read.  But we are thinking of moving in a couple years.

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateHNM View Post

Do those of you that homeschool follow some sort of schedule or plan for how you teach your children?  How often do your kids usually spend on schoolwork every day and how many days a week?  Do you get together with other homeschooling families or how do you make sure your kids are properly socialized?  I just have so many questions.  I really want to homeschool my kids because I can't stand the public school system but I worry about socialization and making sure they learn everything they will need to know.  Plus I have to somehow make it work around my husband and I continuing to work.  So I'm curious how you all do it as far as how much time you need to spend actually teaching and how much time they spend learning on their own through books, research, assignments.  There's a lot I still don't know about the topic.  Are there state guidelines you have to follow?  I live in New York and I think they are pretty unfriendly towards the idea of homeschooling from what I have read.  But we are thinking of moving in a couple years.


Kate, where in NY are you?  I can talk to you more about my experiences here if it helps.  I already discussed this a bit on my thread when you asked but I am happy to talk with you more.

 

I would recommend reading about homeschooling as there are some great books out there.  _The Well Adjusted Child_ and _Free Range Learning_ are some of my favorites that may answer some of your questions.  I also like reading about families who have homeschooled.  _Family Matters_ by David Gutterson is a good one.  Luckily you have several years to work up toward making this decision! 

post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateHNM View Post

Do those of you that homeschool follow some sort of schedule or plan for how you teach your children?  How often do your kids usually spend on schoolwork every day and how many days a week?  Do you get together with other homeschooling families or how do you make sure your kids are properly socialized?  I just have so many questions.  I really want to homeschool my kids because I can't stand the public school system but I worry about socialization and making sure they learn everything they will need to know.  Plus I have to somehow make it work around my husband and I continuing to work.  So I'm curious how you all do it as far as how much time you need to spend actually teaching and how much time they spend learning on their own through books, research, assignments.  There's a lot I still don't know about the topic.  Are there state guidelines you have to follow?  I live in New York and I think they are pretty unfriendly towards the idea of homeschooling from what I have read.  But we are thinking of moving in a couple years.

We use the Robinson Curriculum. 

 

1 hour and 1/2 of Reading from the required reading list.

1 lesson of Math.

1 hour of writing (but we still need to teach some of these skills so this isn't happening yet).

 

I spend about 30 min. to and hour with my 7 year old. My 10 year old is completely independent (but I do need to spend more time on her writing).

 

In NC, we have to agree to do a standardized test for each child ages 7-16 once a year. No other guidelines which is nice. Even when I've not spent time with my kids, they learn SO much more than they would be learning at public school.

post #12 of 37

I live in upstate New York near Lake George.  I'm thinking I will probably try a more structured approach although I agree with you that initially it would probably be better to let the child initiate the learning with their own curiosity.  I guess I'm just not sure that I'll be able to find ways to socialize my son and I'm also curious how New York State regulations will affect my life.  Starting to research that now.  And as I said just wondering how much time I should expect to set aside each day for learning or how much time they should be spending on schoolwork (which of course would probably change quite a bit as they got older).  Thank you for the book suggestions I will have to see if I can find those.

post #13 of 37

Thanks Camprunner that's helpful.  Definitely seems like a schedule that would work with my life.

post #14 of 37

There are a number of curriclums that can work independently other than Robinson too.

 

Saxon math in general is good for independent work once they read 3rd grade.

Apologia Science

Any sort of reading really.

Story of the World for History.

 

Switched on School house is a computer curriculum that has all subjects.

 

Online schools- charter and othewise.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by KateHNM View Post

I live in upstate New York near Lake George.  I'm thinking I will probably try a more structured approach although I agree with you that initially it would probably be better to let the child initiate the learning with their own curiosity.  I guess I'm just not sure that I'll be able to find ways to socialize my son and I'm also curious how New York State regulations will affect my life.  Starting to research that now.  And as I said just wondering how much time I should expect to set aside each day for learning or how much time they should be spending on schoolwork (which of course would probably change quite a bit as they got older).  Thank you for the book suggestions I will have to see if I can find those.

Oh and about socialization.  We socialize through community sports (they only play one) and several homeschool groups but it only takes one. If you have neighborhood kids then that takes care of it too.  The first year we homeschooled oldest dd was in first grade and I only left the house to take her to one homeschool play date on Fridays for a couple of hours.  DH did for part of the year take her to a sports practice once a week and we weren't attending church at all then. She is a very social person and was very happy at that age. As they get older they need a little more but it all works out.

post #16 of 37

My kids have a better social life than I do...I actually have to FORCE us to stay home 2-3 days a week or else we get spread too thin.  They are very well "socialized" and one thing that is particularly striking about my daughter is how comfortable and friendly she is to ALL ages (including adults, who always laugh when she strikes up a conversation with them on the playground!).  Their social skills are always commented on by people...they are very well adjusted kids.

 

I would say camprunner's schedule sounds a lot like many homeschoolers I know (and what I envision once we start carving out specific "school" or "project" time...which I envision happening closer to 7ish).
 

post #17 of 37

As an employer, I just want to say that homeschooling can be done really well, or really terribly. The sad truth is 9 times out of 10 I can spot the home schooled kids when they come in for an interview. Many times their applications look fine, but they are often socially awkward during the interviews. Of course that isn't always the case!! But I like to throw it out there because often the parents of these kids do NOT notice anything different about their children. They think their kids are well adjusted etc, but in reality they aren't.

 

I'm not anti-homeschool by any means! But as an employer, I think it's important to point out. Also, there are *PLENTY* of public-school kids that aren't well adjusted either. Just another side to consider.

post #18 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by firespiritmelody View Post

As an employer, I just want to say that homeschooling can be done really well, or really terribly. The sad truth is 9 times out of 10 I can spot the home schooled kids when they come in for an interview. Many times their applications look fine, but they are often socially awkward during the interviews. Of course that isn't always the case!! But I like to throw it out there because often the parents of these kids do NOT notice anything different about their children. They think their kids are well adjusted etc, but in reality they aren't.

 

I'm not anti-homeschool by any means! But as an employer, I think it's important to point out. Also, there are *PLENTY* of public-school kids that aren't well adjusted either. Just another side to consider.

I think the last sentence is the key. I attended public school and I'm plenty socially awkward. However, I wonder if it's socially awkward people like myself that are more likely to homeschool due to their poor experience in public schools and the kids get it honest? Just a thought. I think my oldest is more social than my husband and I are and my youngest is socialy awkward like us.  I've worked very hard to get the youngest into every possible social activity I can find and while it's helped a little, it's not been a complete solution. Going to a school where didn't didn't feel secure I feel would have a much worse result.

post #19 of 37

I am curious during what context you have conversation with the parents of people you interview about whether or not they feel their child is socially awkward?

 

It may be the culture of homeschooling in NYC vs. other regions but I have to say the homeschooled kids I have met (of various ages) are super awesome and pretty much the opposite of socially awkward.  It's part of the reason why we got interested in homeschooling in the first place...I say this as someone who didn't even think about homeschooling until I started meeting homeschooled kids who were almost UNUSUALLY well-adjusted in comparison to many of the other (traditionally schooled) kids I knew and taught.  shrug.gif
 

post #20 of 37
Thread Starter 

One of my favorite things about homeschooling- besides just HAVING that time with my children, don't think anything compares to that :) - is the ability to work at my child's level.  My almost 7 year old is at her level in some things but way above it in math, for example.  I love knowing that we can work with her where she's at instead of her working at the level of the majority of OTHER children surrounding her.  

 

The other thing I love is options for when they are older.  My hubby was homeschooled (MIL has been doing it for 30 years, having an age span of 20 years between kids and not having started right away with her first).  But they all went to college instead of "high school."  They started the local community college at age 15/16 or so, had associate's degrees (which cover a GED) within 2 years (when most of their peers were only graduating high school), and bachelors...or two...well before the rest of the people their age.  I just think that is SUCH a cool option.  I would have loved to be able to do that, myself!  Definitely not for everyone, but for those who desire it and can accomplish it, it's an awesome way to go about completing schooling.  And OMGosh, they are THE most social family I have ever met.  SO friendly, SO fun to be around, SO outgoing...just really cool.

 

I always felt ripped off at school, socially and academically.  I was more mature than my peers which just made for a miserable experience a lot of the time, and I was bored with a lot of my work.  My kids are SO much more socialized than I was...in fact, I think that the "forced" socialization of public school worked opposite for me.  I'm naturally an introvert, and I have been "scarred" by more situations growing up than I care to remember, and they've really affected me even in my adult life.  Hindsight is 20/20...and while I know my children aren't my clones, at least I am aware of more things now than I would be otherwise.

 

As for scheduling, mine are still younger, but we follow a lot of the Charlotte Mason method.  Shorter lessons (20-30 minutes per subject at this point), but I always adjust to where the kids are at.  We won't stop if they are having a lot of fun and want to keep going, or sometimes we end a little sooner if they have zero attention span left.  I also try not to stick too strictly to anything, because while a schedule-down-to-the-minute works best for a lot of families, with ours (I find the farm being the biggest aspect, but hey, that's a whole subject in itself!), if I don't allow lots of flexibility (even going WITHOUT a schedule many days) then we are more likely to fall behind and get frustrated.  Thankfully I really love the unschooling approach (not enough to follow it exclusively) and I feel like there are so many ways to engage and teach my children things they need to know!

 

But anyway, that's where we are at with homeschooling!

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