do i include DS(6.5yo) opinion on possible home schooling? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 07-04-2010, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and i are talking about home schooling in the fall with the K12 programs for DS 1st grade year. DH is still not sure but homeschooling is something i've always wanted to do. DS had an extremely difficult kinder year and had him evaluated after some severe behavioral problems. his IQ test back very high and that would explain why he always complained schooling was boring. i figure homeschooling would be great for him because he could work ahead or concentrate more on specific area that interest him.

so, do we consult DS on what he wants to do for school? he'll probably say he wants to stay home because he'll think he gets to play all day. is there a way i can explain to him so he'll understand what home schooling is about?
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#2 of 24 Old 07-04-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't. As a parent I feel it's my duty to do what I think is best for my kids, nutrition-wise, education-wise, etc. I've never given my kids a say in the matter of whether they'll be homeschooled or not. Just like I don't let them choose to eat ice cream for dinner. Every family is different though...

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#3 of 24 Old 07-04-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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Just like with anything else, you give choices based on age.

If your family has decided to homeschool, that is a fact. The choices offered would then be creating the schedule together, deciding on a fun class to do, picking a subject of the curriculum, how to organize, which educational books/toys/magazines to get...

As he gets older the choices become more open and he can have more options open to him including whether to go to school or not.


If I were in your shoes I'd look for a homeschooling group to join this summer. Meeting days are great for introducing kids to the concept of homeschooling.
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#4 of 24 Old 07-04-2010, 10:35 PM
 
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Ditto the PPs. This is not a decision for the 6.5yo to make. There is no way he could understand what this would mean for him on a daily basis and all the areas of his life that it would impact. Certainly involve him in planning for his learning--gear activities towards his interests, make an effort to get together with other kids that he enjoys, etc. Involving him in making a schedule and setting a routine is a great way to show him what it will be like. You could even start now with little cards to put on the fridge to show what your plan is for the day--breakfast, play time, grocery shopping, reading time, etc.
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#5 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the input. we're not saying anything until we figure out what we're going to do.
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#6 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:18 AM
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I also want to add that homeschooling-in-theory and homeschooling-in-action often do not resemble each other. Your methods, goals, and philosophies may very well change over time, as you figure out what constitutes a good "fit" for your child and lifestyle.
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#7 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 09:45 AM
 
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I would not think my 6.5 year old would be competent to evaluate the options.

I think you involve him in the decision making on smaller things, such as what he does for PE, what he free-reads, etc.

When I was first planning for home schooling, I looked at K12, but ended up deciding against the curriculum in a box. Are you enrolling in GCA?
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#8 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 11:44 AM
 
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my dd1 is 6. she was in ps K for about 8 weeks last fall before we took her out to hs. At the end of this school yr I talked w/ her about hsing and how she felt about it, and if she wanted to go back to ps next year. She said "my life is perfect just the way it is and that she wants to sing her ABC's when ever she wants to not just when the teacher tells her to". So for a 6 yr old, I feel that while dh and I make the decision, she should have a part in in so she can take some ownership over life.
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#9 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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pigpokey- yes, we would use GCA. since we're coming to this possible decision so late in the game and don't have extra funds for materials it seems like the best option for us. do you know if any HSing or GCA groups in our around ATL?
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#10 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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I agree that it's not a good idea to run it past your child at this point - it wouldn't be fair to him if you decide not to after asking him. But he would be right in thinking he'd basically be playing all day - it takes very, very little time to get in the kind of basics they waste so many hours on at school, and much of that at his level can easily be accomplished in play. He'll thrive without feeling he needs to be doing school as he's known it at home - a child that bright would be much better off playing and exploring the kind of things that do interest him. There are lots of wonderful books and materials that he could get enjoyment from.

I really wouldn't commit to K-12 right away - it may not suit a particularly bright child like him very well at all. Choosing interesting materials from a variety of sources that all specialize in those subjects can provide some pretty rich experiences and inspiration. Take a look at the FUN-Books website for some surprisingly creative resources - it's an assortment of good materials that have been chosen by their homeschooling family as things that will be most likely to support a lifelong enthusiasm for learning as compared to methods of trying to pour in facts.

Here's some "getting started" information I'm pasting from another thread:
  • Here's a good MDC thread on basic questions - Homeschooling, can we talk?
  • There's an MDC thread you might want to look through on decompression/deschooling. It's a rare child who doesn't need some decompression time after leaving school, especially if he's had a tough time, and it's actually a good investment of time.
  • You can do a Search in this forum for any specific subject you'd like to hear more about - you'll find a cornucopia of things such as math games, or other educational games, wonderful free audio resources, or whatever!
  • Home Education Magazine also has a set of articles on deschooling (and if you look over on the right when on that page, you'll find a whole list of subjects you can find more on, such as math).

Have fun! Lillian
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#11 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meg-momto2 View Post
pigpokey- yes, we would use GCA. since we're coming to this possible decision so late in the game and don't have extra funds for materials it seems like the best option for us. do you know if any HSing or GCA groups in our around ATL?
Sorry, I just got to this after posting about alternatives to K-12. But at the 1st grade level, I still think you can find plenty of things free and almost free that would fit all his needs quite well. The library alone is a treasure house, and there are lots of wonderiferous online resources. There are some good threads of suggestions around here - I'll look in my bookmarks and see if I can find some. Lillian
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#12 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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Here are some:
homeschool for free?
member list of free homeschooling links
favorite free audio resources?

And here are some amazing online reading programs:

ABC Reading Eggs
Free Reading Lessons from MontessoriHome.com
Raz-Kids
http://www.raz-kids.com
Starfall
Studydog
PBS Kids: Between the Lions
Reading games, stories, and video clips for early readers


There are great free math resources too, as well as science - every imaginable subject. If you go to this pdf of a little book provided by the HomeSchool Assn. of California, called Empowering Families, and scroll down to page 35, you'll see about 10 pages of resource listings, many of which are free or are websites that list lots of free ones. And keep in mind that you can find things in catalogs that you can request from your library.

I'm sitting here sipping coffee and trying to get into gear to go run some errands, so this has been a little like starting the day out with a crossword puzzle.

Lillian

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#13 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by meg-momto2 View Post
pigpokey- yes, we would use GCA. since we're coming to this possible decision so late in the game and don't have extra funds for materials it seems like the best option for us. do you know if any HSing or GCA groups in our around ATL?
What neighborhood / town are you in? I know I should know that.
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#14 of 24 Old 07-05-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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I have always discussed the options for schooling with my dd. However, I have let her know that while I value her opinion the decision rests with her dad and me. I consider her input an important part of the decision, but just a part. If the decision ends up being wrong it is our responsibility not hers. She seems pretty cool with that. She's 11 now, and her opinion weighs very heavily now. Some situations can just be unworkable though. She's requested to homeschool full-time next year (she did half-time school this past year) and we've worked it out to do so. However, if my boss had not been willing for her to hang out with me a significant amount of time at work it wouldn't have been possible. She knows we'll try to make her preference work, but sometimes our lives have other factors to consider.
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#15 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lillian- thank you so much. i was told you are an awesome resource for home schooling. i really appreciate all the info.
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#16 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kristin0713 View Post
Ditto the PPs. This is not a decision for the 6.5yo to make. There is no way he could understand what this would mean for him on a daily basis and all the areas of his life that it would impact. Certainly involve him in planning for his learning--gear activities towards his interests, make an effort to get together with other kids that he enjoys, etc. Involving him in making a schedule and setting a routine is a great way to show him what it will be like. You could even start now with little cards to put on the fridge to show what your plan is for the day--breakfast, play time, grocery shopping, reading time, etc.


homeschooling mama to DD 10 & DS 7 blogging.jpg

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#17 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Just ditto to everything Lillian said (as always heh). At this age especially, a formal curriculum is FAR from necessary, even if you're not going to unschool in the long term. I'll also throw out currclick.com -- lots of good resources there, a few are free and many are very inexpensive.

As for talking with the kid about hsing -- at this age, they would not have input in the decision. As has already been said very well, they just don't have the experience to compare between the options. It would be like asking them "would you prefer to drive a standard or an automatic?" heh...

BUT, I would involve them in the process beyond the decision. I'd probably sit down with them and say "we've decided that next year we're going to homeschool. That means that instead of going to school, we're going to learn things together here at home. I know you thought school was boring last year... it's a lot more fun this way, and we can find things to do that you'll really enjoy. How do you feel about this?"

If he feels badly about it, I would not use that to mean we should not homeschool! But I would use it to work through and soothe his worries. Maybe he's afraid you're going to be too strict or mean ("well, sweetie, no more than I usually am."). Maybe he's afraid he'll be doing school allllll day long and never play ("actually, sweetie, you'll probably have more time to play because school at home actually takes a lot less time.") Maybe he's afraid he's going to be locked up and never see the sun or his friends ("actually, sweetie, we can do a lot of learning outdoors, in fact I'm going to make sure you get MORE time outside in the fresh air than you would have at school. And it's true that most of your friends will be in school all day, but you can still play with them after school, and we'll try to find new friends who also homeschool.")

That's what I mean by being involved in the process -- you find out what his concerns are, and you deal with them in whatever manner is appropriate, but NOT by changing your mind. Then you can also talk about what kinds of things he might like to do... will he prefer reading lots of books, or doing nature studies outdoors, or painting, or doing dramatic stories with puppets, or computer-based studies, or lapbook projects... he probably won't know himself just yet, but he might have some inclinations, and you can tell him that you might try some different things that end up not working very well, but that's okay, because when you're homeschooling and something doesn't work, you can toss it and try something else!

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#18 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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I guess I'm on the minority team. We felt that dd1 should have a voice in the decision. She is 5yo and understands that 'final say' rests with dh and I, but given that she is the one this will affect the most it seemed only right to consider her opinions.

We visited the public school, did their "welcome" program, and discussed what her day would be like. We met with families at that school with children who had attended already (and dd1 listened to the adult discussion, asked questions of the parents, played with the children). Several of my family members are teachers at various public schools so dd1 got a lot of exposure to pros/cons. We talked about what might be fun, what might be less fun, what she wanted or didn't want.

We did the same thing with homeschool. Several of her friends homeschool (from school in a box to radical unschooling) and it's a common option around here. We visited a 2 day/wk homeschool co-op, we visited friends and had discussions about what their day included in terms of school, we explored pros and cons, what she might enjoy or not.

Once it seemed clear that home school was going to happen (our preference, and dd1's preference as well) she was involved in selecting a curriculum... she liked the workbooks she saw at some homes, the crafts she saw at others, the books she read while visiting. Eventually we let her pick between two programs DH and I both approved of. And then we let her take the lead in designing "her school" space.

I think a lot depends on the child, on how decisions are generally made in your family, how open to options you are, how strongly you feel about rightness of certain choices. We generally offer a choice of pre-approved options (for dinner, for getting dressed, for reading practice, for whatever) so for us (and this specific child) it made sense to involve her in this way. But I don't know if we'd offer as many options to dd2... she does better with very clear choices and gets extremely anxious with "what ifs".

(oh... dd1 decided she'd like to attend the 2day/wk co-op with her friends and a teacher she has known for several years, and she'd like to do MBtP with "extra math". In fact, she has been demanding that we "do math" every day even though I'd hoped for a summer break. )

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#19 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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I guess I'm on the minority team. We felt that dd1 should have a voice in the decision. She is 5yo and understands that 'final say' rests with dh and I, but given that she is the one this will affect the most it seemed only right to consider her opinions.
I'm kind of on that team, except that I'd hate to risk a child thinking her opinion is the deciding factor unless that's going to be the case, so I'd be more likely to feel it out first and bring her in on it after the parents have come to some resolution as to what they're willing to do. Lillian
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#20 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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Without a doubt! We learned hard and fast that we (dh/I) had to be ok with all of the options we gave dd1 or sure as shootin' she'd pick the one thing we weren't thrilled about.

And I agree that it's crucial (at least for us) to know what options you're ok with before letting the little in on the conversation. For instance, while most of our friends follow unschooling/funschooling philosophies... dh/I aren't comfy with that in the primary years. So we didn't offer that as an option.

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#21 of 24 Old 07-06-2010, 07:35 PM
 
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Lillian- thank you so much. i was told you are an awesome resource for home schooling. i really appreciate all the info.

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#22 of 24 Old 07-07-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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#23 of 24 Old 07-07-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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Well, I would. In fact, my then 4.5 year old had a big say in it when we pulled her out of pre-K. I guess it would depend on your reasons for homeschooling but if DD (almost 6) really wanted to go back to school, I would work through it with her and help her be successful.

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#24 of 24 Old 07-07-2010, 02:28 PM
 
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I let my DS who was in first grade be in on the decision. Another one in the minority here I guess.

I of course had to be willing/able to do it before giving the option. His unhappiness in the first 2 wks of K led to it and each year he is in on the decision to continue or not.

We did K12 1st grade last year. We got into our state's free charter virtual school. We started in the middle half of the year. I loved knowing that all my bases were covered and I wasn't missing anything.
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