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home/unschooling questions

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
My oldest son just turned 3. I have been thinking about hsing since right after he was born. I hate telling people I know, though, b/c they all act like I am crazy... Not wanting to get rid of my kids 5 days a week for 9 months out of the year. Well, I went to public school and HATED it. I don't feel like I learned much of anything past basic math, reading and grammar. I don't learn the same way as the 30 other kids in my class... And the teacher teaches the same way to all of us... Anyway, just wanted to say that that is my main reason for not wanting to go the public school route.
ANYWAY... sorry... I wasn't sure to begin with what I was actually trying to say. Sorry to ramble. I'm just wondering, what should I be doing at this point, if anything??? He will be going to a mother's day out program once a week starting next week, but that's only b/c I feel that he really wants/needs to be around other kids his age right now and I'm just not getting out much. I don't really know anyone here that has young children, let alone someone who doesn't think I'm nuts for wanting to hs or cloth diaper or whatever.
Are there good books out there for parents of 3 year olds who plan to homeschool down the road? I live in OK and I don't think I actually have to "do" anything to hs. But when do I start? I mean, in august when he's 5 do I just start some type of curriculum?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm obviously a little clueless and don't have tons of time right now to research things... Let alone know of a jumping off point.
post #2 of 16
Let him continue to be an active three year old. Museums , parks , libraries , play dates ,etc.... Make sure he has plenty of tactile stimulation. Lots of legos , cars , trucks , playdough , etc... You'll find that as he approaches 'school age' you've already started down the easy road of homeschooling.
post #3 of 16
You can just keep doing what you're already doing for the rest of his life - answering his questions, sharing your interests with him, pointing out things you think might interest him, and just meeting his needs.

You might find it helpful to join a homeschool support group and start going to park days, just to hand out with other homeschooling families and get a sense of what's going on... it will also help him to see that he's not the only kid not heading off to kindergarten at age 5. Many groups take the summer off (although there are a lot of homeschooling conferences in the summer) and start meeting again in the fall.

You can search for a local group here - I find Jon's page to be the most informative and unbiased hsing site out there.


post #4 of 16
Love him, encourage him, follow where his interests take you. The term curriculum never has to be a part of your vocabulary if you don't want it to. The neat thing about hs is that we don't believe that poof 5 - you go to school poof September the following year you move to the next grade. You move at your own pace. Following the needs of your own child. It is much more a flow of learning. You probably already are hs if you read to your child, play games, and go on mini-field trips. I agree with Dar that connecting with your hs community will help you get a better feel for the direction that you may want to take (one caveat - if you are not comfortable with the first group you meet don't be afraid to change - as you can see by our posts here, we are varied in our beliefs and hs ways). And continue to visit us and talk. Welcome and good luck.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I've actually never taken him to a museum or anything. Mostly b/c I also have an 18month old. When they were younger it was hard to take them both places alone like that. But now I can manage just fine, I'm sure.
So, another dumb ??? What types of museums are good? We don't have any kid type ones in the area. Mostly history and art.... that I know of. We've been meaning to take them down to the zoo, too, but things keep coming up on dh's days off.
post #6 of 16
Originally Posted by twouglyducks
So, another dumb ??? What types of museums are good? We don't have any kid type ones in the area. Mostly history and art.... that I know of. We've been meaning to take them down to the zoo, too, but things keep coming up on dh's days off.
What do they like? I knew one mom who took her kids and parked outside the dump. Her kids loved to watch the garbage trucks, so she took them to watch the dump trucks.

Zoos are great. If you can afford it, buy a membership so you don't feel pressured to see it all. When my kids were that age, we'd go and ds would just look at the fences. Because we had a membership that was OK. We could also go there any day, not just when dh could go too, like we would if it were a one-time trip.

We go to train places--train station, train museum, park near the tracks--whatever's available and affordable nearby. We used to live near a mining museum--kids didn't care about the rocks and stuff, but loved the giant dump trucks outside.

I'm sure there are dozens of other great ideas--just depends on where you are and what your kids are interested in.

:-) Diane
post #7 of 16
What types of museums are good? We don't have any kid type ones in the area. Mostly history and art.... that I know of.
Take them to the ones you know of, to start with. They won;t know if they like them until they've gone, probably, and many of these places occasionally have kids' programs.
Then crack open the phone book! Another good place to get loads of info is your city's tourist bureau.
post #8 of 16
Also, most major cities have children's museums which have tons of hands on activities. Science centers have also been a great hit with our kids due to their hands on approach.

But even museums that you would expect to be not very young child friendly i.e. perhaps an art museum, you may want to check into their programs. We have been to several that have kid orientated activities that give the kids a taste of the subject matter.

My kids also LOVE living history museums.

I think it is great to go back to museums many many times. The kids, I swear, take something different away everytime we go. Sometimes the local library may have free or reduced prices coupons. You may want to check into it.
post #9 of 16
hi, we recently pulled our first grader out of school to homeschool him. He has a little brother (5) and they are very excited about our choice. I too HATED school (especially high school) and would do just about anything to keep our kids from that experience. It was a hard decision since we too heard a lot of negative feedback. Someone on this board recommended that my husband and I read John Holt's "Teaching Your Own", so that is where we started. After reading this book, there was no turning back. Tom, our oldest was pulled out 2 months before the end of his first grade year. In our state, we must do some legal stuff, but it was very easy. As for our five year old, he is a nonissue until he is eight. We spend most of our days reading and traveling to museums. We have been taking our kids to science, history, and art museums since they were born, and they love it. My advice about getting them ready for homeschool is to start showing them the REAL world, not the unreal world they would see in school. The idea of our children being out of the house, at school, being influenced by someone we don't even know made us CRAZY!!!!! Follow your heart and your kids will love you forever for it..
post #10 of 16
My Dd is al;most 3 and we are child led HSers.

We are regulars at the library. All the staff know us already.

Library usually have a story hr w/ craft for tots/preschoolers,

Art Museum usually have a Family free day once a month. Check into that.

I look in the free entertainment papers to see what festivals are coming up. Anything w/ a petting zoo is a good bet. (Ren Fests, Fairs, Craft shows, etc)

Find your Parks & Rec website and they usually have a list of all the parks and activities programs. (we just found a nature center in the next county that is prefect for tots cause it is tiny)

good luck!

Just be a seeker of resources and you'll find stuff if not for now for later use.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've taken him to the library once. I know that's not a lot, but he has the LOUDest voice.
I'm trying to work on teaching him to speak a little softer when we're inside, but it's no easy task. I think that's one of the main reasons I haven't taken them more places like the library and museums. That and I just get tired of going alone (meaning, no other adults with us.) But these are all great ideas. I do plan on starting to get out more with the kids. Thank you.
post #12 of 16
You don't necessarily need museums and such. What I would concentrate on most is figuring out how to tell when something interests your child and finding ways to further that interest.

For example, when we were in Georgia (the country) this last time, we bought some fine art books. We had left all of these back in Paris, so she hadn't seen any since dd (4) was 2. Well, she sat for hours pouring over these books. I helped her by helping her to verbalize the emotions or the interpretations that came to her mind as she looked. So now I know that she really likes painting. So last night, at a restaurant, we looked at all the paintings on the walls and talked about them. One was Dali's "Explosion." I asked her what she thought had happened to those clocks, and she replied, "It was the wind."

My dd has also recently shown a keen interest (talent) in photography (papa is semi-pro). So my camera is now hers and we go on photography walks or she takes portraits of me or finds funny scenes around the garden (her toy animals floating in her wading pool, for example). I'm setting up a gallery for her on my website.

Anyway, it's about recognizing our children's talents and interests and taking an active role in helping them to express or pursue them.

I hope this all makes sense.
post #13 of 16
I think sometimes we overemphasize going and doing with young children. As babies, they're happy to be on the go a lot, and see many different things. As my kids grew to toddlerhood they were much happier at home, where they were free to explore in their toddler ways. Really, young kids learn by doing, and they place where they can *do* is at home! Out and about occasionally is good, but not too much. Books are very limiting for young kids, who need to experience real life before relating to it in the abstract.

:-) Diane
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am thinking we will try to do one out of the house activity a week. Like, mondays or thursdays. My 3 year old just started moms day out. It's one day a week but at this time, it's the best way I can think of for him to be around others small children. He LOVED it!! But I couldn't do more than one day a week. Also, we don't go many places period... so the kids and I sort of get a little stir crazy if we don't do something every few days or so. Thanks for all the great ideas. I'm going to try and get out to the library tomorrow and check out some of these books.
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by Diane in KY
What do they like? I knew one mom who took her kids and parked outside the dump. Her kids loved to watch the garbage trucks, so she took them to watch the dump trucks.
This reminded me of a friend who always stopped when there was road construction so her kids could watch. We didn't have to go to such drastic measures -- our street was torn up a couple of years ago to install a new sewer line. Hours of entertainment! I ended up buying some DK books about trucks to go along with this.

We've also visited houses under construction (use some sense here -- my kids aren't the types to fling themselves off scaffolds, but ymmv).

My kids are also fascinated by anything to do with plants or animals...farms, forests, zoos, gardens, ponds. If you can visit some of these through the seasonal changes it's really interesting.
post #16 of 16
Oh yeah, plant nurseries are great--always changing, outdoors, tolerate quite a bit of kid behavior, and free! National and state parks too. These can be very peaceful resources if your family's having a rough time, too.

:-) Diane
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