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#1 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we have decided to homeschool our 5 year old. Rationally and logically that we are making the best decision for her. In florida our school system just sucks big time.

But here is where I am so unsure of myself.

We really don't have any friends to speak of. M has a few little friends that she made from preschool last year, but no one we see on a regular basis. There is a co op school that meets once a week and she will be going for about 2 hours. That sounds all well and good, but she is already complaining that she is bored at home, has no friends and wants to go back to school. It makes me heart sick to think that she is bored and wanting friends. I just don't know what to do.

Realistically, we can not afford this co op. It's not that expensive, but this month is just not good for us and to save the extra 100 would help us out so much. I know she doesn't "need" the co op and we can put her in in the spring session.

I just don't know what to do with her. I am not a driver(I have a car, but I have issues driving that I am working on) so going out all the time is out. It is to bloody hot to be doing anything outside. We have having a nasty summer with high temps and high humidty. I haven't really settled on a curriculum I don't really have that many supplies. I just don't know what to do. We were thinking about doing a waldorf inspired curriculum, but she is interested in reading, writing and doing math(all by herself).

I am just lost, feeling overwhelmed and the public school just seems like this easy out for us.

Oh and I forgot to mention that M is an only child, so it is just her and I alot of the times and I don't know what to do with her to make her feel not bored.

thanks.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#2 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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I can relate. I was really worried when we pulled our only dd at 5.5 out of Montessori. She missed going every day and being around all the kids and the teachers. Getting connected with the local homeschool group really helped. We also joined a once a week co-op so that she could attend class and meet more kids. We were worried we wouldn't have anyone to invite to her 6th birthday. She ended up with like 30 kids age 4 to 14 there! LOL She was happy about homeschooling within about 3 weeks. She is happily starting her 7th year now.

Curriculum can be overwhelming but you have the gift of time. Pick one subject. Pick 2 or 3 options that look good to you. Let your daughter look over these 2 or 3 choices and discuss what looks good to her. Let her get excited about trying it. Start with one subject, get in a rhythm with it and then pick another. In no time, you guys will be in full swing of it and wonder why you thought this was so hard! Don't worry, you will make mistakes and try things that don't work. It will all work out in the end!
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#3 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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I am so sorry. (((hugs)))

This is such a hard time.

Can you make up science activities? Yesterday, our science kits arrived and the first project was one you could do at home. You take a bowl and put some milk in it. On the edges, put a couple drops of food coloring, spread out. It is red, blue, and yellow. Then put a drop of dish soap in the middle. Let it sit and don't touch it. Discuss what the primary colors are and then the secondary. She will see them mix in the bowl. It is cool and fun. I would recommend the kit, it is $20, it is a Magic School Bus Kit, but I know money is an issue right now.

How about art supplies and do art?

Is your local kinder that bad? (I consider mine to be, socially, it is awful, academically, my 6 yr old spent the entire day on the computer). I admit that I am one that would possibly send a child knowing that can change. Most kids seem to get quite tired of school eventually.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 12:12 PM
 
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Since you mentioned feeling inclined to a Waldorf inspired approach, I wanted to steer you to Melisa Nielsen www.waldorfjourney.typepad.com -- she offers consulting, many very inexpensive curriculum options (including one for early childhood/kindy), free blogtalk radio shows on all kinds of topics, youtube "how to" videos on painting, planning the year, etc. etc. She also has a yahoo group that is full of great stuff.

I highly recommend consulting with her -- she is great at getting to the heart of what is needed for you and your child and can answer questions, relieve fears and help you plan a great homeschooling year (just to be clear, I am not affiliated with her in any way except as a very happy homeschooling client of hers!).

If Melisa isn't your style, lots of people also like Kristie Burns' lessons and website www.thebearthinstitute.memberlodge.com. It is Waldorf inspired and she has a more eclectic approach, lots of good stuff there, too.

Try searching for Waldorf homeschoolers in your area, and see if there are any co-ops meeting (these are often parent-led and free) or connect with the nearest Waldorf school and see if you can join in festivals, etc. to meet some like-minded families. Or post something at your library, etc. to see if there are other families with girls your daughter's age who may be interested in meeting for crafts, etc. You will find community eventually!

It is normal to feel overwhelmed and inadequate as you begin this journey -- you just need some support and guidance to get started -- homeschooling can work in all kinds of different "imperfect" situations, even if you don't see your way yet. Best wishes for a great year
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#5 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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You're making it sound as though she is indoors alone with you all day, every day.

It's not unreasonable for a child to be bored in this situation, no matter how interesting whatever it is you do at home might be.

It sounds like your daughter craves social experiences, and if that's the case, you do need to find some way to meet that need. Whether it's regular play dates with some of her old preschool friends, home school group park days, girl scouts, etc. -- she's going to need some kind of regular social interaction with other kids.

I think if my daughter were an only child, she would probably need some kind of get-together with other kids she knows at least three times a week. As it is, once or twice a week is sufficient, though she thrives on more.

I would definitely suggest connecting with your local homeschool group for free and low-cost opportunities to socialize.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#6 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 04:58 PM
 
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You're making it sound as though she is indoors alone with you all day, every day.

It's not unreasonable for a child to be bored in this situation, no matter how interesting whatever it is you do at home might be.

It sounds like your daughter craves social experiences, and if that's the case, you do need to find some way to meet that need. Whether it's regular play dates with some of her old preschool friends, home school group park days, girl scouts, etc. -- she's going to need some kind of regular social interaction with other kids.

I think if my daughter were an only child, she would probably need some kind of get-together with other kids she knows at least three times a week. As it is, once or twice a week is sufficient, though she thrives on more.

I would definitely suggest connecting with your local homeschool group for free and low-cost opportunities to socialize.


I would definitely work on driving, or on making friends who can carpool. Even if academically this is the best choice for her, it's not hard to see why she is unhappy if the situation is as you describe, OP. I would definitely make it a priority to get her more social interaction. I would not drop out of the co-op now, if that is what you are asking about.

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#7 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 05:03 PM
 
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I live in a neighborhood full of kids so when the bus drops off the Public school kids, my kids are there waiting and they run around the yards (our yard connects with the neighbors on both sides) with the PS kids until dinner time. That is their social outlet. Look outside after 4:00 p.m. Are there kids running around? Make a point to take a walk up and down your street around that time or later and be friendly to any other mothers you see sitting out on their porch or hanging out on the lawn. Best of luck to you!

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#8 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Is the co-op $100 a month, or $100 for the entire fall semester, but needs to be paid in one chunk?

Talk to the co-op and see if you can pay it out in installments- would it help you a whole lot if you paid $20 now and the balance in September? They might be able to work with you.

It sounds like you're already having a tough enough time getting settled into homeschooling, and having this 2 hour a week co-op will help a LOT with her social needs/ her feeling satisfied with homeschooling. Besides a guarantee of seeing friends once a week, you'll get to know other homeschooling kids around her age, and you can arrange for playdates on other days of the week. I could see doing the co-op now and then dropping it in the spring, when you've already made homeschooling friends.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#9 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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i dont think that at the age of 5 they need to be socialized constantly... 2 hours a week is a good start- maybe try adding in some rhythm to your days, an early walk, some quite time to journal, nature exploration, etc.

for activities you could do things that do not require special tools/supplies- at five its just about exploring anyway...
boiling temps of different liquids
mixing cornstarch and water
baking soda & vinegar experiments

bake with her...

nak, sorry...

just going to the grocery store, library, etc can be a fun social thing, nearby parks after school is out.... maybe a cheap parks and rec class nearby?

~jen~ )O( mama to k 07/05 o 5/08 and c 12/09
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#10 of 20 Old 08-19-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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It sounds like your daughter craves social experiences, and if that's the case, you do need to find some way to meet that need. Whether it's regular play dates with some of her old preschool friends, home school group park days, girl scouts, etc. -- she's going to need some kind of regular social interaction with other kids.
I completely agree with this and I would go NUTS if I couldn't take the kids out during the day. Are you within walking distance to the library, park, a community center of some sort? What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Maybe you could start a playgroup? Is your public school only half-day or full-day kindy? Just wondering if all the other K-age kids are gone all day or only half-day. Do you have any sort of local transportation options that could take you to the library? In our county, there is the Link Bus, it is very cheap and takes people pretty much anywhere they need to go in the county. I think it $1 to ride all day or something like that. Carpooling with other families is also a good idea. Have you looked into a local hs group, other than the co-op? Maybe there is a Yahoo Group for your area.
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#11 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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I think even one friend could be helpful. I do understand that it is sometimes difficult to just find friends who are available and just to find the right fit with your schedule as well.

You might have to turn yourself into a 5 yr old girl till then lol. I had to do this with my nieces when they were little. There were many times that their mother was scheduled for visitation and she didn't show I made impromptu birthday parties..when it was no ones birthday..for the dolls even. I played tea party in the backyard and pretended the hose was a giant sea snake that would wrestle us to the ground, mud cakes with flowers are fun too. What about crazy hair do's and polka dot toe nails..scotch tape fingernails even. Making soap or perfume with freezing shampoo and putting vanilla and cinnamon in little jars.
By the way..you have to be excited about all of it lol

Dancing to silly or unusual music-we liked Raffi and loud cuban tunes
wrap fabric into a costume or let her drag out all your stuff in the closet.
My boys were the ones that enjoyed face painting..I used face crayons and made them into animals, pirates, and monsters.

I hope things smooth out for both you and your dd soon. I know it is hard to be lonely or bored. Honestly though ..they still say they are bored when they have a billion friends and activities..so try not to feel bad.

This is a blog of ideas to look at
http://www.filthwizardry.com/
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#12 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by kristin0713 View Post
I completely agree with this and I would go NUTS if I couldn't take the kids out during the day. Are you within walking distance to the library, park, a community center of some sort? What kind of neighborhood do you live in? Maybe you could start a playgroup? Is your public school only half-day or full-day kindy? Just wondering if all the other K-age kids are gone all day or only half-day. Do you have any sort of local transportation options that could take you to the library? In our county, there is the Link Bus, it is very cheap and takes people pretty much anywhere they need to go in the county. I think it $1 to ride all day or something like that. Carpooling with other families is also a good idea. Have you looked into a local hs group, other than the co-op? Maybe there is a Yahoo Group for your area.
I'm gonna answer all the questions in one group.

About the HS Co-op. It is a once a week get together for about an hour and a half(we can only afford one class right now, if that). We are putting her in the Waldorf playgroup. Basically you pay half next week and then the other half in the middle of the term. The class itself runs about 120, which wouldn't be bad, but we have to pay a 30 dollar registration fee upfront. So our first payment is close to $100. Those extra $30bucks is a lot to us. We are going to the open house, and if we are that taken away with it we will just pay the money and hope for the best. Hopefully money will fall from the sky.

The only other HS group I have found on yahoo is based about 30 minutes away from us. The two groups kind of overlap, but not much. 30 minutes is just to far for us to go, to much money for gas and I haven't met anyone to really know to car pool with. There are other HS groups but they are religious and while I honestly don't care about that, a lot of their material is faith based and well, that isn't our faith really.

The idea about posting in the library is a wonderful idea. I am going to take that up. We live in between two great libraries(although not within walking distance. Unless you wanted to die of heat exhaustion). Yesterday we went to the library for about 45 minutes before I went to work and there was kids there and she had a blast. Got upset when I had to take her away.

We don't get outside much, and that has a lot to be attributed to this oppressive heat. We live in Florida and right now is just nasty outside. It's buggy and hot and humid and blarg. We have a rather big backyard and some toys out there, but I am just so damn tired of fighting back the spiders, WASPS(we are in the height of wasp season here) and mosquito. The next county over they are spraying at night(nice and toxic) to get the mosquito's out. Yuck. But I am trying to find ways of dealing with it and still going outside. There is a small creek down at the end of our street, but it's not something we can play in. People throw trash in it, there are all sorts of interesting creatures in it(in Fl any waterway is ripe for gators, crocs and water snakes!). OMG I sound like I am just making excuses. I just wish it wasn't so darn hot. I grew up in Vegas and Vegas was nothing compared to this!

I am alone with her most days(4 days out of the week), so I am trying to figure out things to do with her. Yesterday before work I sat down with her and we did a shell counting game(with shells we got at the beach). She loved it and had a great time and we even learned something.

I guess more than anything this is going to be a lesson for me to. Which is why I really want to homeschool. Thanks for all your replies!

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#13 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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For DD (also an only, for the time being at least), that social yen has been met by a combination of an enrichment program, getting out with me to SCA activities (which is mostly for MY social opportunities), occasional get-togethers with friends of mine with kids, and me babysitting off and on a couple of kids fairly close to her in age. But it really only got satisfied once she started getting out and playing with neighbor kids, which started when she was 5 after a block party served as an ice-breaker.

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#14 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 03:35 PM
 
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I don't think you are making excuses in regards to the heat. I wouldn't be hanging out in your backyard or the creek, either

Just wondering if you have any options for public transportation. A weekly trip to the library in addition to the co-op might make all the difference for your DD.
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#15 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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Mama, not sure where you are in FL (we live here too) but there are a lot of homeschooling families in our local LLL group. Maybe you can try through them and see if you might be able to hook up with someone?

We are on the suncoast, if you are nearby pm me and I can give you some names.

 "Now bid me run, and I will strive with things impossible." (William Shakespeare -- Julius Caesar)

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#16 of 20 Old 08-20-2010, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't think you are making excuses in regards to the heat. I wouldn't be hanging out in your backyard or the creek, either

Just wondering if you have any options for public transportation. A weekly trip to the library in addition to the co-op might make all the difference for your DD.
Public transport SUUUUUUUCKS down here! The nearest bus stop to me is about 2 miles away!

I am seriously getting better about driving. If I have another adult with me, I'm fine. It helps keep me focused.

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#17 of 20 Old 08-21-2010, 12:22 PM
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Had to chime in to say that I think it will work out fine. I agree with the others to try to swing that payment to the coop. Not only will your dd have a social opportunity, it will give you a chance to find a "tribe" for yourself. From there, you may meet someone to carpool with for other things.

Also, if she 'clicks' with someone at the coop, play dates can break up a week and provide stimulation too.

Someone mentioned Girl Scouts. I wanted to second that idea. She would be in Daisy's (which my girls have loved). If there isn't a troop nearby, maybe you and someone you meet at the coop could start a troop together. Doing it with someone else makes it less daunting. Also, if you are in charge, you decide where it is held so you won't have to travel far. Girl Scouts is $10/year, but they won't turn anyone down because of money. Our troop has monthly dues ($5), but if a family is stuggling we don't charge them as long as they make an effort during the cookie sale in March. We also don't require them to buy the full uniform, though most girls do have a vest or sash and the troop buys the pins. (You need to wear at least the pin during cookie sales to identify yourself). But, I remember seeing a pattern on the girl scout website to make your own daisy smock.

Finally, I don't live in Florida--but it seems to me that this time of year for you guys is kinda like our January. You will be mostly inside! So, after you 'get through' the wasp season, you will be able to enjoy the outdoors a bit more. Until then, look up threads about all of us that suffered from the winter blues last year and get ideas for indoor activities.

Good luck!

Amy

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#18 of 20 Old 08-21-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I am seriously getting better about driving. If I have another adult with me, I'm fine. It helps keep me focused.

You have my sympathy. I only started driving when I was pregnant with ds2. I had two kids (12 and 2) and a baby on the way, and dh doesn't drive. Despite the fact that we do have good public transit here, I felt it was necessary to drive. I hate it, and have always hated it. However, it has gotten better, and I'll be driving about 180 miles on Monday. It's fallen from "absolutely terrifying nightmare from hell" status, down to something more like cleaning the toilet bowl or changing messy dirty diapers - one of those necessary, but unpleasant chores that just have to be done. It really does improve (although all those people who thought I'd love it were out to lunch).


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#19 of 20 Old 08-21-2010, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mama, not sure where you are in FL (we live here too) but there are a lot of homeschooling families in our local LLL group. Maybe you can try through them and see if you might be able to hook up with someone?

We are on the suncoast, if you are nearby pm me and I can give you some names.
we are in st pete.

Where is the suncoast?

lady Mummy to Smoosh, 8-2005. Waldorf inspired homeschooler and crazy knitter!
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#20 of 20 Old 08-21-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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It would help to know what's within walking distance and how often and how far you are comfortable driving.

If there's a McDonald's or other fast food place with an indoor play area nearby, go on a Saturday, buy a beverage to share and let her play on the play structure. That's a dollar or so for an hour of fun.

I'd also make a point of going back to the library at least weekly (preferably 2-3 times a week if you can manage). Make friends with the children's librarian. Find out when story time is. You'll start bumping into the same families over and over again.

((Good luck))
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