Am I nuts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 10-07-2010, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, the true answer is probably yes , but I'm asking something more specific here! When I was pregnant with DS I started thinking about and reading about homeschooling. Shortly after he was born DH and I decided that yes, we want to homeschool him. We even have the curriculum that we'd like to use provided it works well with DS - Charlotte Mason/classical. BUT that's not the point of this post. I'm rambling.

Anyways, I run a full-time licensed daycare out of my home. I'm currently supporting the family as my husband has just returned to school to work on prereqs for a nursing degree. So, hubby will likely be in a nursing program and I will still be running the daycare when DS is ready to start school. I considered waiting until DS is six to start, but I would really like to go ahead and start reading and math at least if DS is ready at five (in case there's an unforeseen circumstance in the future that would require me to send him to public school). SOOO...I'm working up to my question. I know there are daycare providers and full-time working moms and all sorts of homeschool families who do not have the SAHM schooling the kiddos kind of set up. How do you make it work? I'd like to think that DH could do some of it since he'll actually be in school less hours than I'm working. But school does not come easy to him and he's one of those people that needs LOTS of study time and has to work his butt off to get good grades. He's doing just lovely now by the way - sorry, a little bragging, just a really proud wife! So I really do think it's pretty much going to fall on me. Am I nuts to think that I can do all of this?

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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#2 of 9 Old 10-07-2010, 07:15 PM
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I bet you'll do it all just fine. Do the daycare kiddos all have a daily naptime? Your DS probably won't need a naptime at 5 years, so you could easily do an hour of school during that time. And honestly at 5 years old, you won't need to spend more than 30-60 minutes a day on school. That may even be too much depending on your child's personality. I don't think you're nuts at all.

Alisha, Army wife to Nathan , Homeschooling mama to Scheeli (May 2003) , Bronwynn (Nov. 2004) :, Piper (Nov. 2007) , and Wesley (January 2010)
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#3 of 9 Old 10-07-2010, 11:48 PM
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It think it will be fine. You will see that a lot of learning is just natural and modeled from you even when your not trying to teach it. If you find yourself handling a lot of little little ones then some organization might help. You could do work boxes, manipulative's, and Montessori type activities.
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#4 of 9 Old 10-08-2010, 02:34 AM
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Ah...a fellow comrade!
I also run a f/t dayhome and am homeschooling DS (now 6).
I have three 2-year-olds and one 4-year-old f/t, one 3-year-old p/t, and 2 kids before and after school as well as my own 2 kids (4 and 6).
I am supporting the family because DH can't make up his mind what to do. He was a pastor for 2.5 years and then quit, was out of work for 8 months got another position and 2 years later quit again and said he wasn't going back. Now he is directionless. He is working here and there contracting himself out, but nothing permanent or steady enough to support the family.
I am nuts to think that I can do what I WANT to do with DS, but I am pretty confident that he is getting a better education at home with me than he would be in school (grade 1).
We do reading together...we did the Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, which he didn't really like, but he is reading at a grade 2 level now and is finally starting to feel good about reading. (Most people don't like that reading book and I don't think I would recommend it). We are practicing Dolch sight words now to improve his reading so he isn't sounding EVERYTHING out, and we have some easy readers that I've picked up here and there that he is reading.
I have to do reading with him in bursts and spurts...5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. I really like the Dolch sight words for that because we can do a quick 2 minute review almost anytime. When I notice he is having a hard time with a word, I pull out the letter magnets. Like today we did "eat". I spelled "eat" on the fridge and then pulled out the B, H, M, N, S, WH, CH. Then I got him to change the first letter and say the new word. Beat, Heat, Meat...and we made up a story with those words. Stuff like that works great for him and it only takes 5 minutes tops.
I don't have much time during nap time with my kids, but the time we do have we do math (Math U See).
Then he picks something he wants to learn about. A few weeks ago we learned everything we could about lobsters. Now we are doing gorillas. We look on Youtube, check out library books and read as much as we can.
We read lots of books and instead of reading the toddler-type books to the wee ones in my dayhome, I read longer ones that my son will enjoy and get something from. And the younger kids either get bored and start to play quietly, or they just sit beside me quietly listening.
I will implement spelling as soon as the material comes in the mail (any day now!) and we still have to do sciences. We do random experiments but nothing that really makes any sense. Last week we bought white carnations and put them into colored water and watched them change color, but that was about it. I tried to be "scientific" about it...talking about absorption etc, but I was really boring so I just left it at "hey, that's neat, eh?"

We do very little compared to most homeschooling families, but I would rather have my son with me (and he would rather be with me than anywhere else) than to have him in school. He spends a lot of time playing with younger children and helps them with their play (none of the 2 year olds can play without someone engaging them in play...if they are left to their own devices they just lay on the floor and whine or cry). DS also spends time playing in his room by himself or with his brother.
Anyways, I believe he is learning at least as much as he would be if he were in a desk at school. I like that I can teach him in short bursts several times a day. That worked well for me when I was in college and I think it is working well for him.

We also do some scripture memorization with him before bed almost every night. Nothing big and fancy, just a couple short verses a week. And we read a chapter book together (currently a Magic Tree House book about gorillas) at night as well as 3-4 other picture books.

My suggestion to you would be to start with one subject at a time. Once that is going well you can add another and another etc. I didn't start anything formal until DS was 6. He still knows a ton about the world and space...he knows more about the ocean and the creatures within than I do (thank you Planet Earth!) and he knows as much about the solar system and space as I do since I have taught him everything I know and then some that we learned together.

When my kids are older (like in 3-5 years) I hope to be able to homeschool f/t.
Time will tell...

But for now, he is happy. And the kids who come before and after school to our dayhome think he is soooooo lucky!
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#5 of 9 Old 10-08-2010, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all for this. I feel much reassured. I definitely hope to be done with daycare by the time he's into his second or third year of school. So my plan is to just start with reading and math and work things in as we get a rhythm.

Thank you so much bass chick for letting me know how possible this is. I agree with what you say about not being able to do what you WANT to do, but still knowing that the education is better than public school would be. I feel this way...that even though we may delay some things and not get into some things as fully as I would like until later, it still seems so much more natural than sending him off to school for an entire day away from his family.

In looking at ambleside online's year 1 program (what I really WANT to do), I realize that if I'm still doing daycare at that time there's just no way we'll cover the entire curriculum. But at the very least I want to do the math and the reading. And then hopefully DH will be done with school and I'm sure that we'll catch up in our own time after that!

Once again - thank you all for replying. I really do feel much better. I think I just needed some reassurance. I don't know many people IRL who homeschool!

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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#6 of 9 Old 10-09-2010, 03:09 AM
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While I don't run an inhome day care, I do work full time - atleast 40hrs a week. DH is also in school for medical ultrasound, so he is studying his booty off, and currently in clinicals which is basically a FT job itself.

I get up, do school time, run DS to various activities and appts, have lunch and get ready for work. Work till the wee hours of the morning, come home and collapse. Then repeat. Even though I have way more responsibilities, I am the one who has taken on the primary role of homeschooling DS. Dh will reinforce stuff in the evenings, but mainly "just" watch a documentary together or read books together. I say "just' with the "" cuz I think that while it isn't formalized learning, it is amazing learning and quality time. Plus DH does lots of the physical activity with him in the afternoons/evenings.

It is not easy, but it is working. DS loves school time. And it doesn't take much time every day to accomplish some good quality school time - maybe an hour or two? But I have a super strong reader (he taught himself at 2.5) so we are skipping a formal reading study and just reading for fun and with our other studies - we are doing math (basic addition), language arts (nouns/verbs), life science and ancient history. We are very eclectic in our style - but basically we use lots and lots of books, cool documentaries and hands on learning....Just focusing on having fun with learning though. Him enjoying learning is my biggest goal for this year. Period.

Personally I think that reading to kids is the biggest factor in their reading success. When you read to them, they see and hear the language, vocab, grammar, etc. They start picking up the patterns. But best of all, they learn to love to read. And that will encourage them to learn to read. So if you have limited time - read to him (and the other littles) every single chance you get.

I would definitely try it if I was you. Not sure what ages the other kiddos are or the length of your work day. But maybe they nap? Or maybe there are some montessori and waldorf activities that you can adapt for all of them? Circle time, finger plays and rhymes - all of those are great and so educational. And just read read read to them all.
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#7 of 9 Old 10-10-2010, 05:57 PM
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I am also a working hs mom.

I work as a director/owner of a dance academy year round in the evenings. I also coach a high school dance team in the winter for four months (more stuff around the year but this is main busy season).

honestly.....that was part of why I homeschooled. i would never have seen my children.

Husband does none of the schooling. It is 100% my thing.

I will not lie. It is hard. But we do what we have to and make it work. We school year round. That has been HUGE for us! Then we are not trying to constantly cram and fit the PS mold.

Good luck. You can do it! If you want to talk more about it, I would love to help.

Mama to 10 so far:Mother of Joey (23), Dominick (15), Abigail (13), Angelo (10), Mylee (8), Delainey (6), Colton (4), ID girls Dahniella and Nicolette (2 in July), and Baby 10 coming sometime in July 2015.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
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#8 of 9 Old 10-10-2010, 08:25 PM
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One thing that no one has mentioned is that school does not have to happen between 8 and 3. You can do school after dinner if you need to. Also reading to all of your day care kids can be part of his learning. Relax. He's little. You can do it. My son is in third grade now and this is the first year that it takes more than an hour to get his work done. But even now we don't do school five days a week. If we get a more fun offer, we are out the door to play.


:::Mom to 5 adult children and 8 year old, Dakota "Why do they call it homeschool, we're never at home?"
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#9 of 9 Old 01-29-2011, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow. I haven't logged in forever. Thank you first trimester morning sickness and fatigue! lol  Anyways, I feel encouraged yet again. I have decided that I definitely want to do year round as opposed to a PS type schedule. It just makes sense to me personally. I'd rather not spend time reviewing after a super huge break. And I like the idea of having more smaller breaks and not needing as much time because we're using summers also. I've also thought that if we do have something that's rougher and needs lots of attention we can use part of our weekend if we need to.


As far as my daycare schedule goes, I pretty much work 7am-5pm 5 days a week. Most of my families are full-time. I intentionally set my business up to encourage full-time vs. part-time clients because that's the type of income we need right now so that I can support the family while hubby attends school. I'd be nervous about trying to tackle too much in the evenings because there's already dinner and then some nights that we have activities out of the home (not real often thankfully). But I guess now that I think about it, we kind of already are. Ayden's been really interested in his letters, so we've been working on those in the evenings. And when I say "work" it's something he wants to do right now and it's fun quality time together. But perhaps as he progresses this can eventually turn into our learning reading time. I think math could be accomplished during nap time IF I'm organized and ready to go. I'm really liking the idea of Miquon and Singapore together, but I've heard some people say that Miquon can be time-intensive as far as preparation. So I may have to weigh it out and see if it's going to work with our specific situation even though I think the program itself sounds terrific.


Once hubby is done with school I will likely continue the daycare so that we can use that income to pay off student loans and start savings, retirement, etc..., but the pressure will be off to support the family. So maybe by then I could transition into enrolling some part-timers so that I have a few days that are shorter or that I don't work at all each week. I feel confident that if we had that I could tackle even the older grades as a WAHM.


Thank you so much ladies!

Crystal (34) married to LPN DH (38) , mama to (7/07), (1/09), and (7/11) and (12/28)
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