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Need to start homeschooling...and need help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

We have taken our 6 year old out of school. He was refusing to go...much drama and school was not helpful us. 


Major anxiety. So here I am.


I won't go into the upheaval that got us here as I would rather focus on getting school started.


My plan is to reconnect and get us back to a trusting place before I start school (we are doing well in that department).

I am very interested in a waldorfish approach, but I admit I am not 100 up on homeschooling or its variations.


I also have a 3yr and 1yr old.

I try not to be online researching all the time as I have been using it to escape and avoid. 


Money is definitely an issue, and I will need to go back to work in the next couple of years. We live in Northern Canada in a semi-isolated area. There are some homeschoolers here, but they do not have an online group so it is difficult to connect. 


I am agnostic and not familiar with religious content in the homeschool programs that have been recommended to me so far. 

We boarder on forested area and enjoy being outside for the two weeks of the year it is warm enough (exaggerating...but not by much, lol)


So, my point is...


I need some form of structured or logically sequenced curriculum. I am ADD, but I am bf so no meds...I can go off on a tangent like nobodys business, or on the flipside waaaay too much detail.


The structure is to keep me on track, some kind of boundaries that I can be free and creative within- with out being chaotic :)


I can get some funding in September, but I would like to do a K/1 on my own...he was part way through grade 1.


i am just trying to start a routine/rhythm....because I have always been a wing it sort of girl....my kids do not seem to revel in chaos as i have learned to do.


Thanks all <3

post #2 of 11
Take a deep breath, and make yourself a cup of tea. First, prepare yourself that you may need to de-school to give your son a chance to recover. This might take awhile. Some people find that their child rebels against any structured efforts to "do school" of this is imposed too early.

As for some loose structure that you might use eventually, I personally have found that on-line programs let me know I have covered the basics without being too rigid or requiring a lot of time for me or my kids. I have liked: readingeggs.com, time4learning.com, and dreambox.com. On-line stuff has worked for me.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you, I will look them up smile.gif
post #4 of 11

What province are you in? 

post #5 of 11

LIO has an enormous amount of useful links on Homeschooling K to College.


Just browse back. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://www.Libertarian-International.org ....

post #6 of 11

At this point I would do some math (I use Singapore- structured and simple and short lessons and am adding in Miquon), some science (I used Usborn books- things like science in the kitchen and similar titles along with experiments I found on Pinterest), and reading/phonics- which you can really use anything with...  if your DC is reading continue on that with easy readers and if they aren't- you could even do 100 Easy Lessons...  Nothing very costly and nothing too rigid or loose.  HTH.  I use a christian curriculum that I love- but that doesn't work for you- so these are my cheap and easy suggestions :)  

post #7 of 11

What province are you in? Or territory? (I'm guessing you may be north of sixty.)


In any case, I would suggest going slowly, and allowing time to breathe, decompress and deschool. You'll save yourselves false starts, anxiety and money. 


I would choose either math or language arts as something to start in a structured way. Not necessarily immediately. But just one of those things, at least to begin with. And I would choose whichever one your ds is feeling most engaged by. Singapore, Miquon and 100 Easy Lessons are all good suggestions. You could research each of those and see if any of them might be a good fit for your child. They're all quite inexpensive. If your child has specific learning issues or affinities, look for something different. Post a reply and give details; people might be able to suggest something that is a better fit.


I would set a clear daily expectation for that one piece of the educational puzzle, whatever it is you choose. Like "just before lunch we will spend half an hour together doing something from ____." And then I would build a daily rhythm around that. Not a schedule, which I think of as being time-structured and prescriptive. Something looser and more natural. Like breakfast together, crafts or something active, do supper prep together, then our academic block. Then after lunch, I'll read aloud. Then some time for play. Then active or creative time, whichever we didn't do in the morning (to the pool on Mondays and Wednesdays during this time). Then any errands we need to do in town. Then supper final prep. After supper, piano practice. Then if he wants, some computer play. Then story time and bedtime routines." 


That's just an example. But that's the sort of free-flowing but guiding structure that I think of when I try to create a rhythm for our family. It helps focus us, and build consistent expectations, and move things along when we get stuck. 


As you start to put something like that into practice you will probably find that interests and learning naturally sprout out of that. If you're going out for a snow-shoe a couple of times a week, you may discover some scat in the woods that you're curious about, so you may start a nature journal, and take a camera along, and pull out a nature guide, or start bird-watching. Science learning may spring out of that. You might decide to start measuring snowfall. And then you start graphing it. And math learning will flow from there. Or cutting and folding paper snowflakes may turn into an obsession, out of which flows some scrapbooking and story-telling, and building mobiles and noticing the lever effects inherent in balancing the snowflakes on the various arms of your bamboo-skewer mobile. 


You may decide to add in more curriculum as time goes along. Your ds may be loving his math workbook, and ask if there's something similar for printing. Or his interest in learning to read may re-awaken after a couple of months, and you realize he's loving coming at it from the writing (encoding) side of things, so you might look into curriculum resources to support that.


But I would first ... breathe and deschool. Then add one bit of structured daily work and build a daily rhythm around that. And gradually, as you identify interests and needs, build a bit more structure into the rhythm if you need it. It's possible that connecting with your local homeschooling community might be part of that picture. In our case (southern Canada, but also rural and remote) we've only rarely had access to such connections: it might work out for you but it's not necessary, and with two younger children in tow you needn't beat yourself up about not making that a priority.


Anyway that's how, I think, you could hit the sweet spot without spending too much money, doing too much worrying, or getting mired down in false starts and control battles.


Good luck!


post #8 of 11

I really like the Charlotte Mason approach.  


We use Right Start for Math.  That is the only curriculum  we use.  We read A LOT.  A lot of good living books.  Good classics.  We do most of our subjects by reading good books.

post #9 of 11

I really like the Charlotte Mason approach.  


We use Right Start for Math.  That is the only curriculum  we use.  We read A LOT.  A lot of good living books.  Good classics.  We do most of our subjects by reading good books.

post #10 of 11

Oak Meadow, for you!  deschool first

post #11 of 11

I highly recommend reading a book by Raymond and Dorothy Moore:  The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook.  Here is a link to amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/The-Successful-Homeschool-Family-Handbook/dp/0785281754/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358053932&sr=8-1&keywords=moore+homeschool


Here is a summary of their model:


Here are some excerpts from the Moore Foundation website:

If you doubt student or teacher burnout or your own ability, join in any Moore seminar or read The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook, (The Handbook). It's not mostly from intellectual or spiritual problems, as some suggest, but from wrong habit or method. We help you avoid or cure fear, frustration, boredom, stress, pain, despair, heavy expense. Teaching should be mostly fun: relaxing, healing, inexpensive, low-stress yet successful like Tom Edison [and] Abe Lincoln...

After 55 years of teaching teachers and students, and managing education at all levels, we give you here [Admin Note: Edited for copyright violation.  Quotations must be limited to 100 words without the express permission of the author.]

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