thinking of homeschooling... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby is still quite young at 11 months old, but I am thinking for the future. What is required in order to homeschool your child? I have heard you need to be "qualified"  in order to do so, you need to register your child, and tests are required. Please give me any information! Thank you!

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#2 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 11:54 AM
 
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First, know your state's laws. The national home education network (nhen.org) has links to state sites where you can get the info. See if there is a honeschooling support group where you can get specific questions answered from the perspective of your state, and possibly your school district. That covers the legalities.

How does the child's father feel about homeschooling? What about your families and friends? I think starting with information is helpful.

In the meantime, keep relaxed and enjoy watching your child learn.
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#3 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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A lot of people who are sure they know the rules for homeschooling don't actually have a clue, so if you have a non-homeschooler telling you that you'd need to be qualified etc... they may not be right.  Google your state's name and "homeschooling organization"  or "homeschooling laws" and find out for yourself what is required.  Many states consider being a parent to qualify you to homeschool your child, and may or may not require testing or registration.  It varies a lot, but there's nothing you need to worry about right now.  Often, even in states that require registration, school isn't mandatory until age 6 or 7, so you'd have nothing required of you for years.

 

In the meantime, enjoy your baby!

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#4 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 03:44 PM
 
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Often, even in states that require registration, school isn't mandatory until age 6 or 7......Or Eight, even!  (WA state.)

 

In the meantime, enjoy your baby!

Yes!  


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#5 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds good. Also, what are good ways to teach young children at home when they are 1, 2, 3 ..years old, etc? For future reference :)

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#6 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.elc-pa.org/pubs/downloads/english/oth-homeschooling%207-08.pdf

I looked at this site and had some questions:  has anyone ever done a "cyber charter school" and what was the experience like? Also,  if you are not issued a diploma, can the child not go to college? Also, the site says school is not mandatory til age 8, therefore preschool is not required? And it seems that the homeschooling program has strict rules and guild lines (according to this site), so how can people "unschool" in a seemingly more "Radical" way? Thanks all! :)

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#7 of 17 Old 12-22-2012, 09:43 PM
 
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Are you in PA?

To answer some of your questions, I think the legal requirements are clearer in the sites recommended by nhen.org, rather than random googling. For PA, I recommend phen.org for info.

If the state requirements start at age 8, then you do not need to send your child to preschool, or homeschool preschool. You can choose to do preschool activities, as a homeschooler, but not bother with documenting or worrying about state requirements.

Yes, children who are homeschooled can go to college. By the time your child is old enough to be thinking about college, there may be new options, do I'd not worry about it right now. One way, though, is to take community college courses as a high school student. There is always the option of getting a GED. You could cyber school high school and get a diploma that way. And, as I said, there may be more options a dozen years from now.

Unschooling refers to the teaching and learning methods, which is different from the reporting methods. Unschooled accomplishments can be written about and presented to show learning is taking place. If you plan to unschool in PA, take the time to find an evaluator who really supports unschooling. Some say they support it, but then make life difficult at evaluation time. You can get an evaluation the year before you legally need one, as a dress rehearsal and really get to know what your evaluator expects.
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#8 of 17 Old 12-23-2012, 08:03 AM
 
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Sounds good. Also, what are good ways to teach young children at home when they are 1, 2, 3 ..years old, etc? For future reference :)

I think the best thing you can do is to invite your children into your activities.  Whether they take you up on the offer or not is up to them (mine didn't usually).  I don't even think you need alphabet-oriented games or other typical toddler fare as long as you read together often, and the books are available for them to explore on their own.  Every child I know (which doesn't mean every child) seems driven to count things, once they get the idea, and group things.  They need opportunities to work with their hands.

 

I said I don't think they need alphabet-and-counting books specifically, but they can be fun and we always had several around.  Dr. Seuss's ABC is a classic for kids who don't mind some silliness.  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is the classic for younger generations (the full-length book I like best--the board book leaves too much out).  Richard Scarry's Best Counting Book Ever really was the best for us.  These 3 books were enjoyed hundreds of times, but more loved still were just plain books and hours of reading together.

 

We had tools for creating and exploring, including magnifying glasses and binoculars and measuring tape.  Even my younger daughter, around the ages you ask about, loved measuring everything.  (Though something 12 inches would be "30!" or "50!" or some made up number.)  

 

At this age I tried to practice spontaneity, and retraining myself not to always be the teacher during their explorations, but an explorer alongside them.  Not to always try taking their newfound skills to the next level--to let them spend time basking in their mastery and letting them discover the next level for themselves.  I hope that makes sense.  So, the early years was about deschooling myself.  The girls did all the rest.


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#9 of 17 Old 12-23-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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How does the child's father feel about homeschooling? What about your families and friends? 
 

 

Hmm, I disagree about family and friends. They really don't get any input imho.  It is a parenting decision only. Well meaning family and friends can just add to the confusion of it all.

 

If I had asked my family and friends what their thoughts were about the idea of me homeschooling, well...frankly, I wouldn't be homeschooling, lol.  In fact, I didn't inform anyone that we were homeschooling until it was necessary (before K) & when I stated it, it was in a very informative manner that didn't leave a lot of room for discussion. I still don't go to family & friends for thoughts or opinions about homeschooling. I seek out other homeschoolers for support. 


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#10 of 17 Old 12-23-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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At this age I tried ...... retraining myself not to always be the teacher during their explorations, but an explorer alongside them.  

I wanted to come back and elaborate on this a bit, because I personally feel that it is important.  Books about teaching children this age science (and other subjects) are heavy on instructions to direct explorations.  Asking questions, like "what color is it?" "How does it feel?"  "Is it big or little?" "How many?" and other examples.  I really dislike this.  

 

To some extent, it is part of our humanness to offer words to a child who is obviously inquisitive about something, or pointing to something.  That bubbles up in us almost as naturally as picking up a little one who is asking.  I'm not criticizing this, just the artificial leading suggested by books.

 

When a child is engrossed in a discovery, like a shell, leaf or bug, or new tool, there might be some words buzzing about in his head, but there are quite a few sensations that don't yet connect with words.  I think that makes the exploration more open.  They are truly in the moment, watching what happens.  For example, there is the experience of seeing greenness that is beyond our ability to easily categorize this.  It is elemental, and some children will eventually call it "verde" or "grun", so this greenness can only be communicated, but the experience is something else entirely.  And of course, this green is different in shade and texture to that green.  

 

I think for an adult to come up and start directing the exploration can dull and diminish the discovery.  Of course, children often ask, or indicate inquisitiveness.  And sometimes adults can be so excited about the discovery, too, that words and information come spilling out (I do this all the time!)  Again, I am not criticizing this, for it seems natural to me as well.  

 

Most books I have found try to direct the parent to make those connections for the child, especially verbal and numerical connections.  I feel passionately that this can create a kind of "tunnel vision" to explorations, like the only things that matter are words for color, number, and shape.  I feel like if I approach my children with this kind of direction, I am interrupting their experience, perhaps, of the warmth and softness from the belly, the occasional tremors that run through a small bird when you hold it, the twitchiness.  The feeling of a weevil, the way the legs hook into you and how different that is from the feeling of a lady bug, or a roly poly.  Where it is going, and how it is moving.  Their own internal reactions to interacting with whatever they have.  Watching and open.

 

I have had plenty of conversations with my girls about these discoveries, so I know that the verbal connections come.  We can still share our excitement about what we find.  I just happen to dislike methods recommended in books.


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#11 of 17 Old 12-23-2012, 09:05 PM
 
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Hmm, I disagree about family and friends. They really don't get any input imho.  It is a parenting decision only. Well meaning family and friends can just add to the confusion of it all.

If I had asked my family and friends what their thoughts were about the idea of me homeschooling, well...frankly, I wouldn't be homeschooling, lol.  In fact, I didn't inform anyone that we were homeschooling until it was necessary (before K) & when I stated it, it was in a very informative manner that didn't leave a lot of room for discussion. I still don't go to family & friends for thoughts or opinions about homeschooling. I seek out other homeschoolers for support. 

The point of asking friends and family is to avoid being blindsided by objections and criticisms if you choose to homeschool. My own experiences were that those I expected to give me grief did not, while those I expected to be neutral or supportive fought me hard! If I were doing it over again, it would be nice to have that info up-front. Would it change or influence my decision? No
It just would have prepared me for what was to come. Though, I can see that some might prefer to be surprised, and not worry. To each her own!
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#12 of 17 Old 12-24-2012, 06:29 AM
 
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The point of asking friends and family is to avoid being blindsided by objections and criticisms if you choose to homeschool. My own experiences were that those I expected to give me grief did not, while those I expected to be neutral or supportive fought me hard! If I were doing it over again, it would be nice to have that info up-front. Would it change or influence my decision? No
It just would have prepared me for what was to come. Though, I can see that some might prefer to be surprised, and not worry. To each her own!

i get that. i just would never recommend anyone sharing that they want to homeshool when their baby is only 11 months old (or 1, or 2, or even 3 for that matter). the OP will either change her mind about homeschooling or grow more secure in her decision over time. either way, to make it a point of conversation now seems more futile than beneficial. 


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#13 of 17 Old 12-24-2012, 07:51 AM
 
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i get that. i just would never recommend anyone sharing that they want to homeshool when their baby is only 11 months old (or 1, or 2, or even 3 for that matter). the OP will either change her mind about homeschooling or grow more secure in her decision over time. either way, to make it a point of conversation now seems more futile than beneficial. 

On the other hand, when we decided to homeschool early on, I felt really secure talking about it with our family because it was talking about the future. They didn't feel threatened by the immediacy of it, and I was able to say things like "probably" and "likely" even if in my heart I was more certain in my choice that I'd show. We had countless debates without that much of personal investment (on their side). Guess what, over the years they got used to the idea. Recently my BIL read a book a tried to have a debate about it again, and I told him, dear BIL, I remember we talked about it 8 years ago?  I loved all the debates, but now as were actually homeschooling, I don't feel like talking about it so much--I obviously still love homeschooling, but after 5 years debating about it is boring (especially with him, but I didn't add that part lol)

 

This is true for me--I used to talk about homeschooling so much. Just like before I used to talk about homebirth, and "extended" nursing. Now I finally have passions that don't directly related to my kids lol. 

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#14 of 17 Old 12-24-2012, 09:15 AM
 
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On the other hand, when we decided to homeschool early on, I felt really secure talking about it with our family because it was talking about the future. They didn't feel threatened by the immediacy of it, and I was able to say things like "probably" and "likely" even if in my heart I was more certain in my choice that I'd show. We had countless debates without that much of personal investment (on their side). Guess what, over the years they got used to the idea. Recently my BIL read a book a tried to have a debate about it again, and I told him, dear BIL, I remember we talked about it 8 years ago?  I loved all the debates, but now as were actually homeschooling, I don't feel like talking about it so much--I obviously still love homeschooling, but after 5 years debating about it is boring (especially with him, but I didn't add that part lol)

 

This is true for me--I used to talk about homeschooling so much. Just like before I used to talk about homebirth, and "extended" nursing. Now I finally have passions that don't directly related to my kids lol. 

well i certainly hope if she brings it up that her experience is similar to your's. that would be ideal for sure.


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#15 of 17 Old 12-24-2012, 08:53 PM
 
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I spoke about it emphatically from before I found someone to partner up with. I was always planning to homeschool my kids. I've taken a lot of guff over it. Oh well. I think "parent of a home schooler" has been part of my parenting identity from pretty much as soon as I was aware that I really wanted children. Educating them is most of the joy of having them. Why wouldn't I want to do it the most fun way?

 

But I understand that not everyone shares my approach to life. :)


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#16 of 17 Old 12-26-2012, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, all good points! I just read up on the last few posts. I know my child is obviously very young, but I'm just very interested in homeschooling. (What can I say- I like to be prepared!) Anyway, thanks for all the good information to think about.   :)

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#17 of 17 Old 01-21-2013, 08:20 PM
 
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I know in the past the K12 curriculum has said as long as the parent has at least an 8th grade education (and I'm sure you are way past that!) then you can successfully homeschool your child using this curriculum. And if you live in a state that has a virtual academy or charter school that uses the K12 curriculum you will have access to teachers to help you in any way you or your child needs. I only have an AA and have successfully schooled my children with K12 and I feel like I learned soooo much just going through their lessons K-8 with them. Now they are in Highschool and way smarter than me! (Or is that just because they are teens and think they are way smarter than me? :) )
 

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