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#1 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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here we go again. I have some questions. I could also use some good resources, my google search was near useless.

Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? I imagine that would get pricey. How does standardized testing work? What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? How do you manage the things you don't know? I'm not very good at math and I know no other languages.

Does anyone cyber charter? I graduated from pa cyber but there are a lot more out there than when I enrolled and so I wonder how good they are.

If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Cyber charter is paid for by the district and there are teachers that know a lot more than me so it appeals to me.

I haven't actually decided what to do about school yet. Every time I see these kids whose parents just suck and then I think my daughter is going to have to go to school with them I just get terrified. I'm not in a bad school district, but it's not the best in town. I can't really afford private school and I don't know if I can even afford homeschooling. I just found out that my school district has full day kindergarten and I was really hoping for half day. I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? Will the differences cause a rift at home? I guess I'll also post this in the school forum...
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#2 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? We do, with some help from the grandparents. Our family is in our sixth year of homeschooling, and we've averaged $500/year on school supplies and curriculum. Right now, I am homeschooling three children and still only spent $500 for the year.

How does standardized testing work? That would vary depending on what's required where you live and what you want to do. In NY, we have the option to take a standardized test through the school system. Last year was the first time we tried it and the kids scored really well.

What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? None. I can't say that I want help from them though.

How do you manage the things you don't know? Different things. I may find a class for the kids to take nearby, or a curriculum with a good teacher's guide, or even lessons on DVD. Sometimes, I've learned aling with them.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#3 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 06:48 PM
 
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We get no help from our school board and that is the way we like it. We're in Ontario, Canada and we have the option of homeschooling through the schoolboard, from what I've heard. I personally do not want them involved at all, we have the choice to report and register as a homeschooler or not to- we choose not to. We buy all our supplies ourselves and have found that homeschooling can be as cheap or expensive as you want it, you just have to be more creative the cheaper you go- by searching the free things out or developing them yourself. I didn't spend hardly anything curriculum wise until my ds was in grade 3, before that I just printed stuff out online, read lots of books for ideas of what he needed to know, read scope and sequence sheets from different curriculum companies to get ideas of things I might be missing (or deliberately skip or delay), etc. If you join a homeschool group other moms in the group can be a great resource for you for ideas on topics you don't know, and even borrowing, swapping, or buying used curriculum. My ds loves math and I have him in Teaching Textbooks which we both just LOVE!! It is very interactive and does all the teaching for me- my friend from the HS group lent it to me for the year! Dh and I save up over the year and then buy everything we need (aside from craft supplies and pencils/paper type stuff) at the local Homeschool Convention (I research everything I want to look at ahead of time, then I can compare and when I get there and make the final decision, save on shipping). Seriously, if you can find a homeschool convention to go to with your dh it would so beneficial!! I LOVED it! There are seminars and so many booths chock full of options and ideas and catalogues. I could see and touch everything, flip through it, ask questions, drag another mother (or 3!) over to look at it with me and get her opinion, etc. Plus just being in the same room with hundreds of homeschoolers made me feel good knowing there were so many other people out there kinda like me!

We don't do standardized testing, but that would depend on where you live. I personally don't care for cyber schooling for MY kids, it just doesn't fit for our family and my educational preferences especially for the early years. I've taken a relaxed and creative approach to hs for the early years yet both my kids are at or above grade level.

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#4 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies?


Yes, we do. We always look to our library system before purchasing books though, and we have gotten some great stuff from Freecycle and yard sales. There is sooo much information on the internet, for free, that I can't imagine hsing without it. We also use Netflix (not free, but cheap!) and utilize hsing discounts at museums and other events.

How does standardized testing work? What,if any, help do you get from your local school district?

We don't do testing and receive no help from the school district. If "help" would require oversight or reporting then I'm happy to not get any help!

How do you manage the things you don't know?

We learn it together and/or utilize books, the internet, contact someone who DOES know, or sign up for a class.


If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Cyber charter is paid for by the district and there are teachers that know a lot more than me so it appeals to me.

We prefer to do our own thing, in our own way, so a cyber charter doesn't appeal to us.

I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? Will the differences cause a rift at home?

For all our reasons to not use school, exposure to kids who are not like us is not one of them. Actually, by hsing, they've been exposed to a wider variety of people than if they were in our local school.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#5 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies?
Yes, but we don't need to spend much. We don't use any packaged curriculum. A lot of the things we buy are things we'd get even if the kids were in school - books, art supplies, containers to keep insects in, ski passes.

How does standardized testing work?
It's not required in my state.

What,if any, help do you get from your local school district?
We haven't gotten, or wanted, any. In my state, homeschooled kids can arrange to attend their local school for art, music, P.E., etc. (as long at least 60% of instruction takes place at home.) Academic classes, too, though that probably would only work well in high school when there is a set schedule for each class. In elementary school, I think it all blends together more and varies from day to day. We haven't bothered to take advantage of that so far. I don't think it would be valuable enough to make it worth the hassle of working around the school schedule.

How do you manage the things you don't know?
I look things up. For instance, my DD is very interested in insects, so I've learned a lot about insects. And she's had some difficulty becoming fluent with reading, so I've done some research on reading problems and teaching strategies that can be helpful for kids with the type of difficulty my DD has.

And I learn along with DD. She's interested in art, and I know nothing about it, but we have a book called Drawing with Children, and I've been doing some of the exercises in it and working through them with DD. I already know some Spanish and German (though I've forgotten a lot), but if she wanted to learn some other language, I'd just learn it right along with her.

And I can give her chances to learn from people who know more than I do. She's taken a couple of art classes, and my sister (who has artistic talent and interest) will also be able to work with her. She's taken swimming lessons, and hopefully we'll be able to afford riding lessons. If she wants to learn an instrument, I can arrange for those lessons, too. And as she gets older, if she gets interested in some difficult academic subject that I don't want to get into in depth, she can take classes at the local high school or college.

If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason?
I wouldn't be interested in a cyber charter, because it would have a lot of the disadvantages of school. I don't want my kids to have a whole set of work they're required to do even if they don't find it interesting or aren't learning much from it, and I don't want them to focus on grades or test scores or whether their work meets a teacher's expectations.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 10:29 PM
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? Yes of course we do. Who else would be paying for our homeschooling supplies? Not trying to sound snarky but this question always surprises me.

How does standardized testing work?
In GA the law requires testing every 3 years beginning in 3rd grade. I order the PASS from Hewitt. http://hewitthomeschooling.com/test/tmain.asp


What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? None and I like it that way.

How do you manage the things you don't know? Various ways, but usually by learning right along side them. I've purchased curricula with scripted teacher's guides in the past but I really don't care for them. We recently started using Teaching Textbooks for Math because I have a hard time explaining math concepts to DD in a way that works for her.

If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Homeschooling. I'm not interest in being tied to the public school system. We left for a reason and I see no point in returning my kids to a broken system.
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#7 of 11 Old 10-06-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HikeMama View Post
Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? I imagine that would get pricey. How does standardized testing work? What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? How do you manage the things you don't know? I'm not very good at math and I know no other languages.
Yes we pay for it all ourselves. I don't want to have any connection at all to the school district. There is a tax exemption in our state for consumable workbooks and tuition for classes that homeschooled students are enrolled in, but I have not tried to take it. Standardized testing is not required for homeschoolers here. If I ever decide I want one of them tested, I'll arrange it privately. I'm not worried about anything I don't know...because there is nothing that I can't find, learn myself, and then relate it to the kids...or just learn it along with them.

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Originally Posted by HikeMama View Post
Does anyone cyber charter? I graduated from pa cyber but there are a lot more out there than when I enrolled and so I wonder how good they are.
I am not interested in following any school's requirements at this point. I may consider it for high school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HikeMama View Post
If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Cyber charter is paid for by the district and there are teachers that know a lot more than me so it appeals to me.
I don't care for the way learning is approached in schools. I don't want our school district's version of education, period, whether it is cyber or sitting in a classroom. I don't believe that the teachers "know a lot more than me". I am sure they know more about managing 35 students and teaching to meet all the bureaucratic "learning standards" the state government hands down...but I know more about my own children, what holds their interest and attention, how much they can handle from day to day, etc. And I know enough about every single subject to locate the information I need and then relate it to my own kids. And there are quite a few areas in which I believe I know more than most teachers do because of my own education and previous career experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HikeMama View Post
.......I just don't know if I want to put my daughter in that situation, with all those other kids who aren't like the kids she knows... I wonder what she's going to think when the other girls have cinderella shoes. Will they think she's weird because she likes "boy stuff" and has no idea what a disney princess really is? Will the differences cause a rift at home? I guess I'll also post this in the school forum...
I do not like the idea of my young kids having to handle social situations with a large number of other kids, five days a week, and completely apart from me. I would not be there and could not help. This aspect of school was very stressful for me. With homeschooling, our kids get plenty of social time with other kids, and group activities, but they are never in a situation in which I'm not available if they need or want me.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#8 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? I imagine that would get pricey. How does standardized testing work? What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? How do you manage the things you don't know? I'm not very good at math and I know no other languages.

Does anyone cyber charter? I graduated from pa cyber but there are a lot more out there than when I enrolled and so I wonder how good they are.

If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Cyber charter is paid for by the district and there are teachers that know a lot more than me so it appeals to me.
We get a lot of our school supplies through the charter school we use. In my understanding, we'd still have to provide supplies, and even help provide classroom supplies, so what I do have to buy doesn't seem that much. A lot is stuff we already have. Paper and pencils are easily found at drug stores, the dollar store, and when they go on sale. I haven't found it to be that big a cost at all.


Charter schools--We're actually using PA Cyber (Hi!!!! ). I like the idea of more traditional homeschooling, but the cyber charter is working for us. My oldest started the online classes this year and I think it is very good for him. Up until 3rd grade though, I do the teaching. I did manage to pass through elementary school with all A's, so it's not like I don't know what I'm teaching them.

I wouldn't decide to homeschool out of terror, though. The social aspect is *one* reason we homeschool. I prefer not to have my children in that environment for their "socialization". But it wouldn't be the end of the world, and many people manage to raise perfectly healthy children and simultaneously send them to public school. It is that issue, combined with many other issues, that make the balances fall on the side of homeschooling for us.
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#9 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies?

No, we are allotted $1000/year per child by the registering school district. I have a hard time spending it. We don't buy much curriculum. It mostly gets spent on choir fees, music lessons, sports equipment.

How does standardized testing work?

In exchange for financial and other support we are required to participate in standardized testing every 3 years. It's low-stakes, meaning that it's just for the records and our right to homeschool doesn't hinge on the results. We do no prep, my kids write and score what they score and that's that.

What,if any, help do you get from your local school district?

Textbooks or course materials (on-line or otherwise) if we want them. Field trips. Extra-curriculars including sports. Access to the gym, the library, the computer lab, the animation lab, science lab and supplies, whatever we want, really.

How do you manage the things you don't know?

Learn along with my kids. Self-teaching resources. Mentors, classes, all sorts of possibilities.

Does anyone cyber charter?

My eldest three (now at a high school level) do some coursework through the school district in a cyber-charter-like arrangement. It works well for them, but it's entirely on their terms: only the courses they want to take, according to the time-line they prefer. We are welcome to unschool or eclectically homeschool other areas and there's no pressure to do a full curriculum via the on-line school.

If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason?

Overall we much prefer homeschooling. However, at the high school level my kids have enjoyed dabbling in a bit of school-like structure and accountability, and taking selected courses through this approach has been a nice option to have. It's only a small part of what they do, though, and that's the way we all like it.

Miranda

Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
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#10 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 06:52 AM
 
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Homeschoolers- do you pay for all your own supplies? I imagine that would get pricey. How does standardized testing work? What,if any, help do you get from your local school district? How do you manage the things you don't know? I'm not very good at math and I know no other languages.
Yup, we pay for all our supplies. I have zero personal experience with the various ways of enrolling at a local school district... I know in a neighboring state you can register for hs'ing through a specific public school and get $X for the year per child or what not, but meh, not available to me (my property taxes are lower for a reason!). But I also don't really have 2-3 sets of clothes - we just have pajamas, regular clothes, and one set of beat-up/paint clothes. Another thing I don't have to worry about because of hs'ing.

I do attempt to buy some things used (like used Sonlight curriculum and such), but other things I've bought new. I'm also starting out with my 7yo here - I've got my 4yo, 2yo and 7mo on tap to cycle all my goodies through anyway to get more bang for my buck. I also hit up the back-to-school sales in August. You don't want to know how many glue sticks or crayons or colored pencils I've got, but you bet I won't be buying any more until next year.

Math and languages... My hubby is decent at math, and I've heard good things about Teaching Textbooks and such (Life of Fred intrigues me for whomever ends up being less math-focused!). I've also heard good things about Rosetta Stone. But again, my oldest is a whopping 7yo, so I figure I have a little time to settle on those things and find the right fits for us. I'll be the first to admit geometry and calculus and Italian are not my strong suits - but I sure can balance the checkbook and grocery shop and decipher some French.


If schooling from home, do you prefer homeschooling vs. a cyber charter and for what reason? Cyber charter is paid for by the district and there are teachers that know a lot more than me so it appeals to me.
I like having my own freedom. I report to no one. Well, except for myself, hubby, and the child(ren). I don't have to justify why my 7yo isn't reading chapter books like our neighbor at 6yo, nor do I have to justify him not sitting still. Ever. Or why my 4yo doesn't count to 35 or recognize all the letters of the alphabet yet (I'm good letting them get interested in those when they're ready, then it's their idea and they have it down in no time).

I peripherally know of some folks who do the cyber charter thing, and if you get a good teacher (in a neighboring state, the hs'ing contact in the school actually hs'ed her kids!) it can work out fairly well. Depends on how invasive or demanding the accountability can be, and whether you're good with that level of it.


ETA: My state pretty much rocks with one thing here though - homeschoolers can enroll in up to two classes at middle/high school level without having to enroll full time. So if your child wants to be in choir or band or chemistry or whatever, it's totally doable. They can also enroll in the school-affiliated sports. Easy enough, and some of my friends with older kids in public school have seen some hs'ed kids in and out doing this kind of thing with little hassle, too. Not sure how common that is in other states, but could be something to look into as well.

Wife to an amazing hubby, mother hen to four chicken3.gif 
(If you're curious, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010, and yes, it's a busy house)
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#11 of 11 Old 10-07-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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i think with a 500$ budget you could do a lot. we get a lot of stuff fromt eh library, i bought our math stuff for the year (30 dollars), a reading book (10 used online) and some other various books from a hs yard sale (maybe 20 dollars?) bought paper supplies on sale with everyone else in august (40 dollars?). science stuff we get from the library or other yard sales, right now, kindy is pretty cheap. we also take a dance class, swim class, and various memberships to museums and zoo. we plan to start rock climbing so, add more money on for that, but museums, zoos, climbing and classes we wouild pay for whether or not we hs.
i wouldn't be interested in cyber schools. my goal is to get my kids to age 14 then enroll them in community college.
we do see a larg spectrum of people, but we live in a pretty diverse area, we would probably see that anyway, but i like that the social stuff is nto as serious as being locked in for 8 hours a day. i like that when we are out somewhere and something happens (an issue with another kid for example) there is another parent who can step in, i can step in, and later we can discuss it. we don't only see people that we LOVE, we see all kinds of peole that we have lots of different relationships and levels of relationships. and that we can discuss the day together and i know what happened and i can coach dd through whatever is going on. i wouldn't like to wonder what happened at school, hope she is telling me if something is botheirng her, and hope that i understand and am giving her worthwhile advice.
my goal behind hsing isn't that i will know everything that dd wants to learn. my goal is for her to love to learn, to want to learn, and to know how to learn. there is no way i can know everything, we can find a class, learn together, or find somebody who does know to teach us.
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