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Thinking of homeschool, wondering if I can?!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my son's school situation...just wanted to get a little encouragement from other homeschooling mamas!  We are currently leaning toward homeschool, but having him attend PS for a couple hours a day to get his special ed services, "specials" like art & music, and a little peer interaction. 

 

He has dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD...speech and motor delays, for which he gets therapy at school.  IEP is not going well - the classroom environment is just not right for him. After months of trying to get the school to pull their heads out of their @$$, I finally figured I could do a better job myself.  I know I can teach him better, and give him topics of interest to study in a way that works with his learning style.  The problem is, I have 2 other kiddos and one more on the way! 

 

How do you mamas do it?! I feel like I can hardly keep up with things as they are...with 3 kids running around, my house is a constantly disorganized mess, and I stink at structuring my time or sticking to a schedule. (guess my son comes by his ADHD naturally! LOL)  I just REALLY want to do the best I can for my kids, and I'm worried that my own shortcomings are going to be their downfall. Feeling really overloaded but wanting to be optimistic about this.

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 

 

How do you mamas do it?! I feel like I can hardly keep up with things as they are...with 3 kids running around, my house is a constantly disorganized mess, and I stink at structuring my time or sticking to a schedule. 

You are assuming things are different at our house? :wink 

post #3 of 34
Yep. Sounds about right!
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 

LOL - thanks, that makes me feel a lot better!! :Sheepish  I guess I somehow have this ideal of being a homeschooling mom (picture this in my little dream bubble): Kids who follow me in a cute little duckling line, pick up their toys when asked (the first time) and don't fight with each other...a mom who can turn baking cookies into a math & science lesson after a nice day of working on various projects they've chosen, and they've helped me clean the house, get the laundry done and folded, etc.  HA! Dream on, right?!

 

It is so frustrating to have DH come home and ask "What did you DO all day? The house looks exactly the same as it did this morning!"  I have told him before that if the house just looks the same, I consider it a "win"...without my intervention, it would certainly look like a tornado blew through the place.  He sometimes does - but then doesn't - understand how hard it is, and that there are just not enough hours in the day to do all the things I "should" be doing.

 

I'm constantly going out of my mind dealing with DS's school stuff, caring for all the kids, potty learning with a stubborn almost 3yo, trying to keep up with some of the mess, grocery shopping, meals, etc...not like I'm telling you mamas anything new!  But I guess I've been feeling like I am doing too much, and not doing any of it well enough, and it makes me wonder if homeschooling will be easier or not. Sigh. I suppose in all reality, it certainly can't be worse than dealing with the school and a stressed out kid! :wink

 

So how do I get started? Do I just set aside a certain time for learning, have DS pick a subject, and go with it? I figure he needs frequent breaks, so a little work, a little outside time, a little more work, a music break, etc. might work well for him.

post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 

LOL - thanks, that makes me feel a lot better!! :Sheepish  I guess I somehow have this ideal of being a homeschooling mom (picture this in my little dream bubble): Kids who follow me in a cute little duckling line, pick up their toys when asked (the first time) and don't fight with each other...a mom who can turn baking cookies into a math & science lesson after a nice day of working on various projects they've chosen, and they've helped me clean the house, get the laundry done and folded, etc.  HA! Dream on, right?!

 

We have an entire curriculum, "Diplomacy or Sibling Retribution, Pathways to Consider", supplemented with a vigorous study in "Advanced Tactics: Namecalling, Threats, and the Eternal Cold Shoulder".  We are just beginning "Whispering Insults: An Introduction to Passive-Aggressive Models" with enthusiasm.  We've already advanced from the lower levels for the younger set:  "Snatching: Yes, You Can!" and "Biting: When Words Fail You", though I suspect we need a review.  Those were fun!

 

HA!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post

 

It is so frustrating to have DH come home and ask "What did you DO all day? The house looks exactly the same as it did this morning!"  

OK, not kidding, this truly sucks.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post

 

So how do I get started? Do I just set aside a certain time for learning, have DS pick a subject, and go with it? I figure he needs frequent breaks, so a little work, a little outside time, a little more work, a music break, etc. might work well for him.

 

What you start with might well be different from what you will be doing a year from now.  I think others might have better advice here, but I think the second idea would be a good place to start.  It would let him see the benefits of homeschooling right away.  It would allow you to start small in an area that already has his interest.  I would simply support his interests and see what tolerance he has for your participation:  he might be self-motivated and want to work alone after you help him set up, he might want close one-on-one assistance, or a combination of the two.  Learn how your son learns, find what his rhythms are, when he needs to move, etc.

 

Then, of course, when the new one arrives, I would stick with the less parent-intensive methods for a while.  Focus on being a family and don't think that you have to power through. Hopefully dh will see what a good situation this is for your son and will be supportive of less intensive (or no) homeschoolng for a while.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
 

We have an entire curriculum, "Diplomacy or Sibling Retribution, Pathways to Consider", supplemented with a vigorous study in "Advanced Tactics: Namecalling, Threats, and the Eternal Cold Shoulder".  We are just beginning "Whispering Insults: An Introduction to Passive-Aggressive Models" with enthusiasm.  We've already advanced from the lower levels for the younger set:  "Snatching: Yes, You Can!" and "Biting: When Words Fail You", though I suspect we need a review.  Those were fun!

 

HA!

...................

What you start with might well be different from what you will be doing a year from now.  I think others might have better advice here, but I think the second idea would be a good place to start.  It would let him see the benefits of homeschooling right away.  It would allow you to start small in an area that already has his interest.  I would simply support his interests and see what tolerance he has for your participation:  he might be self-motivated and want to work alone after you help him set up, he might want close one-on-one assistance, or a combination of the two.  Learn how your son learns, find what his rhythms are, when he needs to move, etc.

 

Then, of course, when the new one arrives, I would stick with the less parent-intensive methods for a while.  Focus on being a family and don't think that you have to power through. Hopefully dh will see what a good situation this is for your son and will be supportive of less intensive (or no) homeschoolng for a while.

:lol Oh, SweetSilver, thank you - I love the way you think!!  We're currently studying "Yelling: Is the Loudest the Rightest?" and "Shoving, Scratching, and Pinching: When You Don't Get Your Way".  (The latter is a progression from "Sharing: When You Had It First".)  Also included are courses in "Ignoring Requests 101" and "Pregnancy Hormones: How to Tell When Mom Has Had Enough".

 

I like your idea about letting DS see the benefits of homeschooling right away - he's already so fed up with school, I know he would be thrilled to work on a science project instead of a bunch of mind-numbing worksheets. I think his needs for my participation will depend largely on the subject at hand, as he still needs quite a bit of support with reading & writing, but is like a sponge for absorbing information through videos/visual input and hands-on, experiential learning. 

 

I'll start small, one project at a time, and see how we can make things flow!  Then hopefully by the time the baby comes along, we'll have enough of a foundation and rhythm to it that he can take more initiative for a while. And if we end up taking it easy for a few weeks, so be it!!  DH agrees that a project-based homeschool "curriculum" would be better for him, and help him learn to focus on and follow through with one thing at a time.  I think once we get started, DH will see the benefits - and he'd love it even more if I take on homeschool projects with the little ones. I got them a bunch of Montessori materials & work rugs for Christmas, and if I can implement that to encourage their learning alongside big brother, it would be awesome. 

 

Starting to feel much more positive about this, and I think I can totally do it! :)

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 
:lol Oh, SweetSilver, thank you - I love the way you think!!  We're currently studying "Yelling: Is the Loudest the Rightest?" and "Shoving, Scratching, and Pinching: When You Don't Get Your Way".  (The latter is a progression from "Sharing: When You Had It First".)  Also included are courses in "Ignoring Requests 101" and "Pregnancy Hormones: How to Tell When Mom Has Had Enough".

I'm glad it's helpful.  My sense of humor has been cultivated through years of trial by fire.  Any person with less resilience in my place would have sent both my girls to school from the outset.

 

Quote:

 Starting to feel much more positive about this, and I think I can totally do it! :)

:joy 


Edited by SweetSilver - 2/1/14 at 5:19pm
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

I hear ya! Without a sense of humor, I'd have been tossed in the looney bin long ago.  Sometimes it's nice to be reminded that humor and a shift in attitude can defuse many stressful situations.

 

Feeling good about this now - if I just remember to lighten up on myself, I can do it!

 

Interesting aside story: Last night while I was at work, DS's kindergarten teacher came in for dinner. She was an AWFUL teacher, mean-spirited and demanding perfection of the kids, which DS was not able to deliver. In spite of all my efforts to get him accommodations, she still did things like take away recess for not finishing his handwriting practice, and making him sit on the bench to finish - next to the kid who got benched for punching someone. He was a WRECK in her class, to the point that I pulled him out & switched schools. I couldn't stand her!!  So many parents complained, that she didn't teach there anymore - I think she "retired" early.  But here she was at the restaurant, happily sipping a glass of wine, chatting with me like I was her long-lost best friend, asking how DS is doing.  It made me realize that school doesn't just have a negative effect on children, but on adults as well!  She must have been burnt out teaching, and taking it out on the kids...but once she no longer had the school's expectations weighing on her, she turned into a happier person. We know how unhappy our kids can be in school, it was just a real eye-opener to see the same thing from a teacher. Made me even happier about deciding to homeschool him.

post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 

I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by my son's school situation...just wanted to get a little encouragement from other homeschooling mamas!  We are currently leaning toward homeschool, but having him attend PS for a couple hours a day to get his special ed services, "specials" like art & music, and a little peer interaction. 

 

I just brought in my intent to home school in for my 6 year old son Jaden last week. He refuses to go to school, most days, desperately voicing a variety of anxieties surrounding conforming as instructed and feeling vulnerable while away from us. This is his second year of kindergarten, so it's not like we (myself and the support staff) haven't really tried to get him comfortable. It's just not his learning style.  I am hoping for a similar situation taking advantage of his IEP for services (he is classified as having developmental delay). Is anyone doing this? Jaden loves his friends and the specials. We love the school,too. But things are falling apart as the lessons become more challenging. He just will not give himself to learning there. His IEP specifically mentions social skills. How do I find out if that is an option for him?

post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tri31 View Post
 

I just brought in my intent to home school in for my 6 year old son Jaden last week. He refuses to go to school, most days, desperately voicing a variety of anxieties surrounding conforming as instructed and feeling vulnerable while away from us. This is his second year of kindergarten, so it's not like we (myself and the support staff) haven't really tried to get him comfortable. It's just not his learning style.  I am hoping for a similar situation taking advantage of his IEP for services (he is classified as having developmental delay). Is anyone doing this? Jaden loves his friends and the specials. We love the school,too. But things are falling apart as the lessons become more challenging. He just will not give himself to learning there. His IEP specifically mentions social skills. How do I find out if that is an option for him?


I would call an IEP review meeting and talk to his classroom teacher & the principal, special ed department, etc. You can express your concerns, and discuss the option of attending partial days to receive specials instruction and special ed services. You will have to withdraw him from the school and they will consider him homeschooled, while still receiving special services through the district.  They are required by law to do provide a "free and appropriate education", and if you feel this is the best option for your child, they will accommodate it.  This is exactly what we're looking at doing right now!

 

My DS loves his friends, specials, speech & OT, but gets so overloaded with the classroom expectations...it's just too much to process for him.  I plan on homeschooling him for his core subjects (he needs immense help reading & writing due to various conditions), and he will attend school for 2-3 hours each morning to do specials & special ed. I feel like this will help him tremendously, so he still gets some peer interaction, but not so much classroom time that he's overwhelmed...and I can work with him using techniques that are actually effective for his learning style, which they are NOT utilizing at school in spite of my best efforts and multiple sources giving recommendations.

 

Hopefully your son's school can do the same - it might just be a great option for him!  Let me know how it turns out! :) 

post #11 of 34

My younger sister has dyslexia and ADHD and we were both homeschooled. She went to a weekly tutor for dyslexia for a few years, and I think homeschooling really helped her get the individual attention she needed. Granted, I am seven years older than her and was mostly doing my own thing by that point, so that probably helped my mom, but I can tell you we had plenty of chaos in our house! Don't sweat it! :)

post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 

Thanks!! I did it! Yesterday, I filed the intent to homeschool with his principal - today is his last full day.  He starts homeschool on Monday - YAY! We'll have every Mon for field trips, a homeschool day with all the kids.  Then he'll attend school for specials Tues-Fri mornings for a little over 2 hours, and I'll spend an hour prior with him in the library reading. Afternoons will be spent on homeschool projects, experiential learning, educational videos with little quizzes after, Montessori-style "works" for the little ones while he does his projects, etc. I think this will be a good way to start, and it should be lots of fun!  Getting excited about it now, want to stay positive and come at this energetically. :)

post #13 of 34

great thread, i read a few too many "perfect" hs blogs out there and figure there's no way i can do it by the end of the article.  not real life!  you guys describe real life, thank you!!

post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wookumus View Post
 

great thread, i read a few too many "perfect" hs blogs out there and figure there's no way i can do it by the end of the article.  not real life!  you guys describe real life, thank you!!


That's what I had been feeling too! I'd read these articles and blogs, and feel like they're these Super Moms who have some kind of magic spell over their perfectly behaved kids, and they skip around the immaculate house singing songs, blissfully doing homeschool projects and botany lessons in their Martha Stewart-esque garden, while Snow White's bird friends chirp on their shoulders.  Maybe they're just painting a rosy picture, and their real life is much more like ours. :mischief

 

Now I feel like it's OK to have slightly organized chaos, to have household chores take a backseat, to continually work on positive interaction between siblings. Such a relief not to feel like I have to live up to some impossible standard!

post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post


That's what I had been feeling too! I'd read these articles and blogs, and feel like they're these Super Moms who have some kind of magic spell over their perfectly behaved kids, and they skip around the immaculate house singing songs, blissfully doing homeschool projects and botany lessons in their Martha Stewart-esque garden, while Snow White's bird friends chirp on their shoulders.  Maybe they're just painting a rosy picture, and their real life is much more like ours. mischievous.gif

Now I feel like it's OK to have slightly organized chaos, to have household chores take a backseat, to continually work on positive interaction between siblings. Such a relief not to feel like I have to live up to some impossible standard!

Yup, the latter situation sums up our life. Although sometimes our chaos is not even slightly organized!
post #16 of 34

It's not always the intention of the blogger.  You'll see what happens as you go.  Some days stand out as worth sharing with others.  You add several dozen of those posts, and it paints a certain picture that by itself does not reflect your reality.  

 

It's a bit like watching TV.  Your mind paints in what you think should be happening beyond the edges-- but instead you would really find lights and microphones, and maybe that scenery ends right past the picture frame.  Film production does this on purpose, takes advantage of that filling-in the brain wants to do, but I think most bloggers have no such intention.  

 

It would be nice if people would be willing to share the downsides as well as the upsides, to see how they cope because we all have them and they can be our biggest challenges.  The mundane, too, doesn't get enough coverage.  Sort of like the "making of" specials on DVDs.  Once the magic has been experienced, come on over and see how it really is.

post #17 of 34

I never thought I could homeschool because frankly, I was a terrible SCHOOL mom! "Bring 50cents on Tuesday. Send close-toed shoes on Friday. Sign this. Donate to that. Be at this meeting and that party...."  I could hardly keep up!  Oh and I rarely had my kids to school on time. My son once said, "Mommy, you have to quit making me late to KINDER-GARTEN."

 

So you can imagine that taking the plunge to homeschool was a stretch. I am a fun and creative mom - but not an organized one.  I am a people person too, so I was worried about feeling trapped at home with 24/7 kid duty.

Anyway, I am starting my 3rd year of homeschooling and I am loving it. I know my kids better now than I ever did when they were in school. We have been participating in Classical Conversations, which has been a stabilizer for us. We are moving toward more of a Project Based Homeschooling method now, as the children are 12,10,8. I have my footing a little bit stronger, and this method seems to fit with my personality (and the lifestyle of our family).

 

The reason I started the ironically named blog homeschoolqueen.com is for people like us, who have the desire to take the step into homeschool, but are not sure they have the "skills" or "patience" to do it.  Just want to say YOU CAN DO IT! If I can, literally anyone can.  My husband doesn't like it when I say that, but it's true!  

post #18 of 34

My blog is ironically named homeschoolqueen.com - with the intention of busting the myth that you have to be some kind of supermom to homeschool. WRONG ANSWER!  If I can do it, anyone can.

http://homeschoolqueen.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/off-with-her-head/

post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by my3beasties View Post
 


I would call an IEP review meeting and talk to his classroom teacher & the principal, special ed department, etc. You can express your concerns, and discuss the option of attending partial days to receive specials instruction and special ed services. You will have to withdraw him from the school and they will consider him homeschooled, while still receiving special services through the district.  They are required by law to do provide a "free and appropriate education", and if you feel this is the best option for your child, they will accommodate it.  This is exactly what we're looking at doing right now!

 

My DS loves his friends, specials, speech & OT, but gets so overloaded with the classroom expectations...it's just too much to process for him.  I plan on homeschooling him for his core subjects (he needs immense help reading & writing due to various conditions), and he will attend school for 2-3 hours each morning to do specials & special ed. I feel like this will help him tremendously, so he still gets some peer interaction, but not so much classroom time that he's overwhelmed...and I can work with him using techniques that are actually effective for his learning style, which they are NOT utilizing at school in spite of my best efforts and multiple sources giving recommendations.

 

Hopefully your son's school can do the same - it might just be a great option for him!  Let me know how it turns out! :) 


I just heard back from the coordinator. They will do services,but it has to be scheduled as it was during the school year. Which is every day- which overly constrains OUR schedule. In which case, I think I will drop the the whole thing. No specials for non students. It was worth a shot. Hope everything is going smooth for you. :rainbow

post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homeschool Quee View Post
 

I never thought I could homeschool because frankly, I was a terrible SCHOOL mom! "Bring 50cents on Tuesday. Send close-toed shoes on Friday. Sign this. Donate to that. Be at this meeting and that party...."  I could hardly keep up!  Oh and I rarely had my kids to school on time. My son once said, "Mommy, you have to quit making me late to KINDER-GARTEN."

 

So you can imagine that taking the plunge to homeschool was a stretch. I am a fun and creative mom - but not an organized one.  I am a people person too, so I was worried about feeling trapped at home with 24/7 kid duty.

Anyway, I am starting my 3rd year of homeschooling and I am loving it. I know my kids better now than I ever did when they were in school. We have been participating in Classical Conversations, which has been a stabilizer for us. We are moving toward more of a Project Based Homeschooling method now, as the children are 12,10,8. I have my footing a little bit stronger, and this method seems to fit with my personality (and the lifestyle of our family).

 

The reason I started the ironically named blog homeschoolqueen.com is for people like us, who have the desire to take the step into homeschool, but are not sure they have the "skills" or "patience" to do it.  Just want to say YOU CAN DO IT! If I can, literally anyone can.  My husband doesn't like it when I say that, but it's true!  


Awesome!! I could probably write something like this myself in a few years! :wink I SUCK at being a school mom, but because my kids have all sorts of food intolerances I always get to coordinate class parties and such, so they can have "safe" snacks...and all the parents of other kids with allergies are SOOOO happy to have my help. But I'm late almost everywhere I go, can't seem to remember anything (like homework, Valentines cards, snow pants, you name it), and it's always some kind of juggling act to keep things together.

 

I am so excited about homeschool!  Yesterday was our first day, and we jumped right into Greek Mythology & how it influenced artists and authors centuries later, like when Shakespeare turned the tragic myth of Pyramus & Thisby on its ear in his comedy "A Midsummer Night's Dream". My son was CRACKING up, loved it!! There is no way public school would have covered something like that until probably 11th grade. I feel like this is going to be great for all of us.

 

Thanks for posting your blog - I will check it out! Might just wind up liking it so well, I'll get all the kids on board. :)

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