How about a "tips for homeschooling" thread? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 35 Old 02-16-2010, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We have some brilliant minds here in the homeschooling forum. I thought it would be fun to have a "never do this" or "once we tried this" thread. It could be something funny like a homeschool science experiment gone terribly wrong or something encouraging like "Don't judge your child's progress by another homeschooled child".
What do you all think?
Any tips on homeschooling?

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#2 of 35 Old 02-16-2010, 04:30 PM
 
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I think anyone who is starting to homeschool should be banned from buying any curriculum for the first 6 months. You'll just end up wanting something totally different anyway! LOL
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#3 of 35 Old 02-16-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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Great tip, mom2ponygirl!

Don't interrupt them. That's the big lesson I'm learning right now. Anything that's holding her attention so securely is probably exactly what she needs at the time. So right now she's playing littlest pet and has been for oh hours but I'm not going to interrupt even tho there's "stuff" we "need" to do.

Um, best thing I could pass on? I have only been doing this a year now with my only (not for long tho!) child 7yo, so I'm not like an old pro or anything, but I would just say take it easy, try not to get locked into a certain way of doing things, and have fun! Loose plans, lots of room for change

Happy and in love with my family!
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#4 of 35 Old 02-16-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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1. Keep a list of your original reasons for hsing and review them often. I find that what I envisioned and what actually happens are 2 different things, unless I make an effort to spend more time cooking together, visiting the library, planning fun outings.

2. Do something for yourself every week so you don't burn out. We joined a nice family gym that we wouldn't have needed unless we were hsing. It gives me 6 hours a week to workout without having to take care of anyone else and my kids get to have fun playing sports at the same time.

3. If you are hsing a child with a toddler underfoot, remember that it doesn't last forever and hsing will get easier.

4. Don't buy a ton of (or any!) curriculum. We can afford # 2 simply because we follow a literature-based "curriculum" free on the internet and borrow the suggested books from the library.

5. Short lessons are my best tool for keeping learning from turning into a chore. 10 min for the early grades is plenty of time to learn or review a concept without stressing your dc or yourself out.
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#5 of 35 Old 02-17-2010, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas

I think it's also important to remember the bigger picture. When we homeschool, we are not only working on academics, but on the whole child. What do we hope to accomplish by the time they graduate high school? I have to keep my eye on the bigger picture sometimes when I start stressing over the little things.

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#6 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 12:40 AM
 
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When people start to get The Look in Their Eye (IE, you're crazy) when you discuss homeschooling....CHANGE THE SUBJECT. Don't let someone else bully you into feeling bad about your choices.

Don't be afraid to say something isn't working, especially if 1. the child is young or 2. you're new to homeschooling. Take a step back and wait. A few months can make a huge difference!!

Don't try to do everything in one day. You can't.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#7 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How about: There will be days when you wish you never heard of homeschooling because PS seems like the "easier" choice.

You know it's not that simplistic but you wish it were

(maybe this is just me though )

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#8 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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I think a thread like this would be wonderful! I am new to homeschooling and being able to refer to a thread like the one suggested would be very helpful.

I also feel that I could contribute even though I've only been homeschooling half a school year. I have already learned things by going through the emotional process of just deciding to homeschool, then jumping right in. I've already learned things that work or don't work or things that I love that I never would have expected. Still, I have many years ahead of me and have tons of questions that pop up every so often.

I've already been encouraged by one person's suggestion to those of us who have toddlers...I needed to be reminded that homeschooling will get easier as they grow up! I was just telling my husband that I actually feel that it would be easier to homeschool once all the children are school age and I can assign them work and responsibilities, etc.....and not have to fill sippy cups and change their diapers between lessons!!!! I much prefer the homeschooling stuff! I've read many books on homeschooling and one of them by Kimberly Hahn called "Catholic Education: Homeward Bound" really helped me put this issue in perspective. She encourages mother's to allow the toddler to be part of the school, even teaching your older children while a 2 year old is sitting on your lap. I found that it's usually best, when possible, not to resist inclusion and be resentful of the toddler and just accept that they want to be around the rest of the family and want to be a part of what we're doing! In the early days, I'd try to make my toddler "go away" by luring him away with tv or toys and there are still days I try it, but if he's not interested, I try not to let it get to me and just find him something to do at the homeschooling table!

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#9 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm loving this thread! Great advice for a super new homeschooler who's getting overwhelmed on a daily basis. Keep it coming!

Mama to three wonderful girls, H (9-2-04), A (8-23-07), and Q(4-24-11, our Easter baby). Married to D since (6-3-00).

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#10 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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I'm new to homeschooling too, and already love the tips! Thanks! I've also had to learn to manage to work in age-appropriate lessons for my 5.5yo and my 4yo and we had a baby on the middle of our first year. I'm guessing the baby will read younger than the other two?! I love how age-inclusive our learning is turning out to be.

I have a very practical tip that I got from someone online, I forget who, but it's one of the best HS tips I've had yet. We use our dining room for HS, and I didn't want to wreck my mother's gorgrous mahogany dining table, pluswe do like, from time to time, to throw an all out polish-the-silver dinner party, so I wanted to somehow cover the table for lessons. I had a white wall-board ($12 at a home-improvement store) cut to the same size as the table-top. On the table goes a sized cloth-and-rubber pad and then the white-board. It's spill-proof and paint-proof and I can use it as a dry-erase board, saving paper (I've even drawn a whole scene around a wooden train set-up on it!). For a party or a nice family dinner, it either can slide behind a bookshelf or I can cover it with a cloth, which makes the table kid-proof. I LOVE it!

Gwen , partner to D ; Mamma to T (6) , J (4) , and baby P
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#11 of 35 Old 02-18-2010, 08:16 PM
 
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Oohh, mammag, I like that idea a lot! Our table isn't that great, it's a hand me down from my mom, but I love the idea of being able to write and draw right on the table. Thanks!

Mama to three wonderful girls, H (9-2-04), A (8-23-07), and Q(4-24-11, our Easter baby). Married to D since (6-3-00).

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#12 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 04:39 AM
 
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My tip is to make time for your own social needs and activities to avoid burnout. That could be taking a walk, going out, getting together with friends, etc.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#13 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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Everything your child/ren does/does not do, is not because they are home schooled!
Everything the kid/s down the street does/doesn't do, is not because they are public schooled!
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#14 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 10:22 AM
 
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Loving this thread! I'm new to homeschooling (since October) and the novelty has worn off. I need ideas to liven it up again!

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#15 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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I might be alone in this one, hopefully not...

If you have a few weeks off, for example most of Jan and Feb with the odd bits and bobs here and there, don't stress it. With Home schooling you can get so much done in such a small amount of time...

I feel like we have been hibernating, lots of pajama days, bit too much TV and reading by the fire...Lessons have been happening but not that much. (once or twice a week ) Whenever we do them, though, I am pleased with how the kids are developing.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#16 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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#17 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 01:18 PM
 
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Forget about grade levels, forget about running through every grade of a certain curriculum, forget about 'gaps'. There are no gaps - just opportunities to learn!

Develop a bigger picture of what homeschooling looks like for you and what your (plural, kids and parents) goals are for this time. Then look at what you need to do to take another step toward those goals. It may involve curriculum(at their age/grade level or way above or way below) or games or field trips or mentors or just time to think and dream. Remember it is a long journey and you don't have to get there in one day or one year. Don't be concerned with periods of time where you feel your kids are experiencing a little benign neglect. Life sometimes interferes with your plans but the kids get lots of that thinking and dreaming time and it all works out.

We are in our 6th year of hs'ing. It gets easier and more fun! You will find that your passion for learning is rekindled as well, and that is the best model for your kids.
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#18 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 01:39 PM
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#19 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Loving this thread, ladies!

Allison:  a little bit Waldorf, a little bit Medievalish, and always"MOMMMMYYYY!" to sweet Cecily since 12.22.05
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#20 of 35 Old 02-19-2010, 10:25 PM
 
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1. Learning doesn't happen at a regular, measured pace. It happens in fits & starts, sometimes all-of-a-sudden with big gaps when you think your child isn't picking up anything, and that's okay. Sometimes kids need a bit to assimilate all the info coming at them, or need time to master a new skill. Don't spaz out. Kids don't fit in boxes.

2. Don't compare your homeschool to those of others. (SO much easier said than done!) It's great to get ideas from others, but try not to succumb to the pressure of, "OMG! They're building a diorama of the Parthenon, and writing a Greek tragedy, and her daughter is only in first grade. My kid can't even find Greece on a map! What am I doing wrong?!" YOU are doing what works for YOUR FAMILY! That's the great thing about homeschooling - we all get to do what works for us!

Proud Catholic, homeschooling, RN-student mama of
DS 10 reading.gif  DS 8 fencing.gif DS 5, DD 3 energy.gif and a new DS  belly.gif 3/2011
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#21 of 35 Old 02-20-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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#22 of 35 Old 02-21-2010, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't get caught up in the "my kids would have more fun IN school because then they could have those fun holiday parties and do all the fun crafts that whatshername's kids down the street do".

Own your decision to homeschool and make it work for YOUR family. Plan holiday crafts so you don't feel like you're missing out. Green eggs (natural dye?) for St patrick's day. Heart pancakes for Valentine's day. National no school on your birthday

Here's me I married then we had dd15 , dd11 , ds10 , and then and now we and I blog!
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#23 of 35 Old 02-21-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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DO NOT surf around in homeschool blogs & get totally overwhelmed by all the super awesome ideas & homeschool activities out there! Just create a list at the beginning of each year of what your goals are for the year, and try to stick to it. And don't worry if you don't have a gorgeous school room/art room/display of the universe room in your house like some bloggers do. Try not to be jealous! LOL

Can you tell I speak from personal experience?

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#24 of 35 Old 02-21-2010, 04:56 PM
 
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I will not say i am new to HSing because i have been teaching my dd since she was small. she is gifted. i guess you would say i started HSing when she was about 1. she is amost 8 and my ds is 3.5. we would be labled unschooling. my children do "school work" but they are the ones wanting to do it.

1-just go with the flow, you can be using different forms of homeschooling at one. this is your school, pick and choose what you like and use it. this is your world there is no right and wrong.

2-unless you "have to" dont follow grades, advance them when they know and keep them at the same if they dont.

3- dont rush if it takes 2 years or more to learn it, it just means that their brain is not ready.

4-every child learns at a different pace and in a different way. if they dont grasp it one way try a different method.

5-i say no box sets. you can not skip up or down grades when they are packaged for one grade level.

6-if it everything in your HSing world is not working take out what is not working and try something else.

7-you can NOT mess up your child or HSing

8-always remember schools and homeschools have nothing in comon. you dont need to take summers off, you dont need to learn 5 days a week, you dont need to X hours a day. remember schools have lots of fillers in them. 20 min of hs is more then a child may learn in a whole day at school.

9-learning does not happen between set hours! follow when they are most willing to do things (mine do their hs in the night before going to bed)

10-learning starts at birth and ends when we die. everyday in between we are learning. it is easy to do HSing with a mix of ages because you can put the younger one to do their HSing work as well which can be almost anything because they are still part of the HS learning and not left out.

11-try to know what you will want buy look around find the one you love then try to get it on sale or used. always watch for what is the weekly sales and what is on clearance.

12-dont be afarid so say "i dont know" because i think our children must know that everyone can not know everything, but you must say "lets learn it together/lets find out". (internet seaches are big here)

13-my most important tip is ASK THEM! they know what interests them, they know what they want to learn. when they are part of the desiding and the picking they want to learn
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#25 of 35 Old 02-21-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Homeschooling can be the gift of a prolonged childhood. There is just one childhood, hopefully it's going to be a cherished memory for dc.

Vegmum:Hedding::: treehugger::
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#26 of 35 Old 02-22-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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Give yourself permission to rearrange your house to fit your homeschooling family.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#27 of 35 Old 02-22-2010, 11:32 PM
 
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#28 of 35 Old 02-23-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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#29 of 35 Old 02-24-2010, 03:00 PM
 
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I'm subbing too. Awesome thread

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#30 of 35 Old 02-24-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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DO NOT compare your kids to other homeschooled kids & don't compare yourself to other homeschooling Moms.

This goes along with looking at those beautiful blogs where the mom makes everything in the house, has time & energy for 6-10 crafts a day, reads to her children, bakes, does lessons with her kids, makes a quilt & meanwhile her entire dining room table has been turned into Mesopatamia & it's gorgeous. (Can you tell I'm jealous too?)

Just enjoy the journey, it'll be over before you know it.

Lola , loving my DH, Mama to & we &
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