I have 18 month old twins. I have been coming to MDC since I was pregnant, but never came to the Education forum. We made it through the pregnancy and birth. We are surviving the parenting of multiples. It now strikes me that I should start considering the future as well as the here and now. I have a couple of years before they are school age, but I am busy enough with simple survival and working part-time that researching and making decisions of such import will take me a LONG time.
So, I am curious to hear from some of you:
What did you decide? What inspired your decision?
Do you recommend any resources that might help me make an informed choice?
And, if I decide to home-school, can you recommend resources that can help me begin to establish a reasonable curriculum?
Basically, I am a total beginner at this and am not sure where to start. Any recommendations, opinions, experiences, resources, etc. would be fantastic!
I looked at what I wanted to offer them and the cost, versus what I could offer them going to public or private schools and the respective costs of that option.
I don't have twins but I have two children a year apart who both work at a very similar academic level, and find it to be very convenient.
What influenced me greatly was the availability of very high programs of instruction in arts and sports in Atlanta, that we would never have time to take advantage of if they were in a less-efficient full day school program. I like the academic benefits as well, and the ability to go year-round but with flexiblity.
I started considering when my daughter was one, as well. (Mine are also a year apart, like the previous poster.)
I guess you first have to start off with what you're wanting for the twins-- for life, education, etc. I knew I did not want my children taking standardized tests so that the school could get $$. From there, I realized that private school would not be an option for us. At the time, I originally thought maybe we'd HS for a year or two, but this has definitely turned into a lifestyle for us.
The time creeps up...really, it does. Good for you for pondering it over early...I think it gives you the time to really make a decision. Also... I totally believe in going with your gut on these things....sometimes that's the only way to stay sane when having to make so many decisions.
We are homeschooling for a ton of reasons. Better education, better socialization, desire for a better family relationship, not so many bullies (kids or teachers,) really horrible school system, terrible educational paradigm, etc. As our decision turned into fact and we are progressing down this road, another huge reason is this: I like spending time with my kids. We have a book lying around our house called "Teacher." It's about all the great things a teacher does for her class (of four kids. Where on earth are there only four kids in a class?) She's a great teacher and everything she does I consider to be MY job. I want to teach my kids their letters. I want to teach them right from wrong. I want to read them books, plant with them in gardens, etc. I don't want someone else to get all those great experiences. Until 150 years ago or so most kids and parents spent all their days together.
So I don't want to send my kids to an inferior educational setting because I don't want them to have an inferior education AND I don't want to send them away.
That said, here's a book my husband and I read to give to my MIL. It talks about the benefits of homeschooling without insulting schools. It is followed by a list of links I made up for someone about a year ago.
This is a great book on the advantages of homeschooling. (It recognizes that schools are also a valid choice for education.):
Homeschooling isn't hard. AND the way we're doing it, it will only be fun. If you want to follow a curriculum, there are tons of them out there you can buy for next to nothing to super expensive. Most cities have homeschool groups you can join for ideas, support, and social activities. We=ve been on a tour of the miniature horse farm and a regular firestation and the airport firestation. We've been to a print shop, tortilla factory, recycling center etc. And my oldest is only 4.
I'm doing a lot of reading about delayed schooling. Some European countries don't start formalized education until 7 and their kids do much better than ours.
I recently got into the http://www.sonlight.com books. Their philosophy is that you can sit a child at a desk with a textbook and very little learning will happen or you can cuddle a child on mom or dad's lap on the couch and read an award winning book and lots of learning will happen. They are a religious group so I exclude their religious stuff. I also joined a secular sonlight users group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SonlightSecular/?yguid=156716553 They've given me some great links to evolution books.
This book addresses how preschool kids learn:
Here=s an article about how play will help children get into Harvard:
Here are a bunch of links that I hope are helpful:
Homeschooling and Socialization:
Movie about problems with education system:
Do schools kill creativity? Very entertaining video with some good points to ponder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
Article on why young kids= brains aren=t ready for early reading/writing instruction:
Here=s an article that discusses how children who start academics at later ages do better in the long run:
Here=s a video on delayed academics in Sweden:
I did a search on Peter Gray on the Psychology Today website and he has lots of interesting looking articles. Here are a couple I read:
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200808/children-educate-themselves-iv-lessons-sudbury-valley (The closest we have to Sudsbury in Tucson is the Kino Learning Center.)
Homeschooling forums (mdc):
learning at home
Tons of great articles about homeschooling. http://www.besthomeschooling.org/gateway/inted16.html
ACT scoresBhomeschooled compared to general test takers:
Some homeschooling research:
Home-Education: Rationales, Practices and Outcomes
Fifteen years later: Home-Educated Canadian Adults
We've Grown Up and We're Okay
Welcome to the National Home Education Research Institute!
the average home-school test results continue to be 30-plus percentile points higher than their public school counterparts
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
For me, it was the fact that DS couldn't deal with 'school'. He has a late birthday, schools dont accommodate early entry, most people don't advocate for early entry for boys etc. He was 6 and placed in a remedial kindy class 'because thats where the school had seats'. He was clawing his eyes out. He was reading at some upper elementary school level and the class was learning to ID letters and numbers. He lasted one very long semester. I pulled him out over the winter break and went back to homeschooling! Yes I was homeschooling prior but felt pushed to try school.
We've been home ever since. He will be 11 soon and is working between jr high and high school level.
For twins you also want to consider, will they always be at the same level? If in traditional school what happens if one kid is either grade skipped, or held back type of thing? One kid is in group A for math and reading and one kid is in group B. Homeschooling there are no levels, no 'grades' no comparison. Kids just work at their own pace.
I never used lesson plans or anything. Just a library card, the teachers store for some 'edutainment' and DS took the lead. Now he is doing online classes for math/science via the university and he loves it. (early entry kids program) We are thinking about a differentiated high school program but DS goes back and forth on the idea. Honestly, I dont see him doing it. I see him becoming more involved in community programs and such but actual 'school' Nope.
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Seeking zen in 2014. Working on journaling and finding peace this year. Spending my free time taking J to swimteam
i started thinking about it when my dd was two, but it didn't seem possible. i decided it was important enough for us to try and make it work, no matter what. we recently almost sent her back to public school, but ended up deciding to keep her home again this year. i think it's definitely worth considering and researching in the toddler years, esp if you plan to do something more "formal" hs-wise for preschool.
We knew people who did it, but my husband was against it COMPLETELY for the social aspect. We moved to the suburbs to be close to a pretty good school (vs. having to drive quite a distance in the city).
DD went to preK and loved it the first year-- very loose, plenty of time to play, and an amazing teacher. The second year (different teacher) was much more structured and academic. They said they were trying to prepare the children for KG. DD did not enjoy it nearly as much. Teacher had problems with DD. Said she would talk but still be able to answer questions, but her talking distracted her friends who did not know.
KG-- DD started to change. Became more introverted, even though she had friends. Became a little too preoccupied with one girl who was mean to her-- tried to get the girl to like her. (The teacher, tsk tsk tsk for confidentiality, said that the girl was intimidated by my DD.) Complained almost daily about school. Was pulled out all yr for reading and liked that. Skipped her to 1st grade math by the end of the yr and she seemed much happier. Seemed more challenge = happier child.
NOPE! We skipped her to 2nd grade and it got even worse. Lost sense of self-- started talking about "not matching" (she is 1/2 Korean, 1/2 Irish). Could never figure out if someone was saying things to her or what. Went to observe her class. In the 3 hours I was there, almost all of it was teacher-directed w/very little time for talking or anything not "on task." No creativity. DD knew the answer to the "mystery" science assignment immediately (before even completing the work to get the answer). DD looked totally absent in math class and had to STAND for the entire lecture (no room on the rug to sit). Was called in to observe her because DD was "not keeping up" and the teachers "were out of ideas." Turns out that it meant-- no joke-- that she was not cleaning her desk fast enough and putting her papers into the right place. DD was pretty unhappy. Did not want to hs but no other options for us based on $. (The gifted school here is about $20K PER CHILD + donations.) Against my husband's wishes (he was pretty mad!) I pulled her out.
DH is still not in favor of hsing but does not argue about it. Says she is much happier. However, 2nd DD wanted to go to school. She went to one yr of KG. Loves structure, though she told me a few weeks ago, "My teacher looked pretty bored sometimes when she was teaching." Why? Well, probably because they make ALL children, regardless of level, do just about the same thing. Whether your child is just learning letter sounds or reading 4+ grade levels ahead-- they will all be completing the same darn worksheets, that are the same every single year. (They do get pulled out for reading, but even that is generic. Librarian was AMAZING, though, in how she took care of my kids and gave them more challenges.) Ditto for math. Even if your child can add double digits, they will still (at that school) be required to count 10 objects and fill out a worksheet to prove it. 2nd DD also had non-stop "illnesses" that suddenly went away when not in school.
However, the social aspect is a problem. Where are all the children? We go to parks, even in the summer, and they are empty. School friends are all in camps. I put the girls in camps this summer and they all made friends fast-- but we won't see them again. Even the hs'd kids are too busy "doing school" to come out (I guess? I do not know what they do.) OR, they are in their groups which are religious (my area) and all set. Sometimes I wish I could be that way and be in. But recently, one girl was SPANKED by her mom at a club. All of the kids knew about it since they could hear it happen. The girl was almost 11. Certainly not all Christian mamas do this . . .but it made me question if I really want to be part of groups that are OK with this sort of thing.
Classes for hsing can also be tricky. Oldest DD loves science, but the ones that are for her age are too easy. Or, they have religious content that my DD would argue with forever.
So, we are not sure what to do this coming year. When I think of the day in, day out drudgery of school, I say, NO WAY. But then I want more friends for my children-- just a small group that they can count on for the most part to hang out and play. No idea how to establish this!
Sorry for the novel, and good luck!
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11