cutting this homeschool stuff into small bites - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 01-29-2013, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have thought of homeschooling for almost 2 years. Its always seemed too hard. Too overwhelming, and I thought I'd mess up.
Dd had 2 good teachers for k & 1st grades. I was happy with public school.

Then, dd had her grade 2teacher. Long story short, we are stressed, and I end up teaching dd every night, sometimes for 2 hours.

I thought... Hey, I already AM homeschooling.

So, I started looking into hs more. Joined a group. Told people we were planning to h in the fall. Did I believe it? Ehhh... Not really. But the more I said, we are hs in the fall, well, the more I believed it!!!!

Recently, I've been really talking to dh about hs, and my dd had several days off from public school for snow. We did her scout badge work that bhad been forgotten with her school hw, and some Sunday school hw, too. I saw what hs could be, learning in an environment that suits dd, etc....

I have also broken down my curriculum into more manageable pieces. I feel OK teaching history myself, and she wants ton take violin, so that's music. We are going to also do a Spanish program. The 3 subjects I don't want to do myself are language arts, math & science. So I will be buying 3 subject programs (son light, mfw, whatever)

I feel great, a lot of my stress is gone, and I'm eager for school to be finishes so we can truly start hs!!

Has this been anyone else's journey? Very timid & unsure to finally deciding to do it?
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#2 of 6 Old 01-29-2013, 08:36 AM
 
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I came at homeschooling along a different path, but I have to point out: four months is a heck of a long time in the life of a child. Especially if it's full of stress and all that extra time and work in the evenings. If you are already discovering a groove and a plan, and are eager for the beginning of your homeschooling journey, why not make the leap now? How would your dd feel about that?

 

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#3 of 6 Old 01-29-2013, 10:24 AM
 
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Yes, there was a time when I never saw myself homeschooling (or wanting to, for that matter).  Homeschooling has a bad stigma in my family (my sister is a principal at a public school, and my father still believes that public schools are good and solid).

 

My children go to private school now (Waldorf), and we love it there.  But it is just too expensive, and the way we have been paying for it is not sustainable.  I had to ask myself some serious questions-  Work more hours, so I can afford tuition (but spend even less time in the home and with my family), send them to public school (not an option), or...... Homeschool.  Faced with these choices, I initially committed myself to working more hours and making more money, in order to keep sending them to our beloved school.

 

Then I realized something.  I MISSED my kids!  After years of working, going to school, juggling kids around daycare, then school, then after-care, babysitters, etc, I realized I missed out on A LOT.   I also became acutely aware of just how quickly their childhood goes-  my 'babies' are now 5 and 6.  My oldest is 13.  Was I seriously contemplating working more hours, spending less time with them, so I could send them away everyday and miss out on being present in their precious and fleeting childhood?

 

Okay, I knew then that I wanted to be part of their day (not just the leftovers).  I wanted to play and learn with them and just love them.  I wanted to be unhindered by 'school' and all it entails (other people's schedules, rules, etc).  But-  I'm not a teacher.  I'm certainly not a Waldorf teacher.  What could I offer at home that would even compare to what they were getting at school?-  AMAZING teachers, friends, community, awesome curriculum...  I didn't believe that I could give them those things, and so the doubt still lingered, even though the desire was there and I felt intense longing for the chance and ability to do it.

 

Then I came here, and read through the HS forums.  I read SO MANY books about HS'ing.  I thought about families I knew who homeschooled.  I studied the teachers at our school, taking in everything (how they carried themselves, how they decorated their classrooms, how they organized their day, etc).  I was filing all this away in my head, examining each piece and figuring out how to tweak it to fit into our own life at home.  Piece by piece, I began to realize that I could do it, and that I wanted to do it more than anything else.  I realized that I might not be perfect, but I loved my kids and I  would do right by them.  I realized that this was a gift to myself as much as to my children, and that I was worthy of receiving this opportunity.

 

So yes, I definitely understand your journey.  We too will be starting this fall.  I sometimes tremble with the excitement of it all, as I too can't wait to get started.  Like you, I am planning, thinking, and planning some more!  Fun isn't it?  Best of luck to you!

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#4 of 6 Old 01-29-2013, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is a good point, and definitely something to discuss w dh
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#5 of 6 Old 01-29-2013, 11:16 PM
 
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ITA with 4 months being a heck of a long time for a kid. Sounds like you're already doing it. ;)

 

Currently we are semi structured in our home schooling. Each of my children has a 'special need' for something academically. One can read and memorize a page like no ones business, yet can't handle the stress of a spelling test.

Another lacks motivation and has dyslexia so I must take a one step forward, two steps backwards approach with her...The third needs a lot of variety I'm finding...worksheets are going to be a last resort with her learning - not a first.

 

SO...Yes, in the beginning I felt very much like you did. So much so that the 'unschooling' was more for me than it was for them! I was overwhelmed because the teacher (control freak too,,,I admit lol) in me wanted to micromanage and make home school so much like public school that I set my standards so high and got burnt out.

It was a mess. :(

 

 

 

For right  now this is our daily routine and what we are working on:

(age 5, 7, 8)

Count to 100 exercises (for body and mind)

Count by 5's and 10's

Count to 100 abacus

Worksheet on grammar or penmanship -based on their level

-default lesson on whatever we are studying- (currently it is the Moon's phases)

-sometimes we watch a video about what ever we are studying

-Math worksheet- based on their level

 

And yep, that is our formal schooling.. Takes less than an hour...Now that is totally not the end of learning though!
 

8 yr old might follow a recipe and make pancakes in the AM

7 yr old might alphabetize her comic books

5 yr old might have some kind of science experiment she wants to conduct...
 

I try and teach REAL LIFE concepts. Sewing, cooking, cleaning, natural life...How to ask questions, manners...Just LIFE things, you know?

 

And every Tuesday is library day and we wind up checking out a minimum of 75 books for the week. Everything from photography books (this week I noticed a definite wild life theme. Polar bears, wild life..etc), to easy readers, to picture books....

We have plenty of books in our home, but getting books from the library is like a special gift.

They have been reading their books in bed for 2 hours now..and were reading the last hour before bed. They read or look at books at a minimum 1-2 hours a day...

 

I don't think we've turned on the tv at all..and no one has missed it.(Though we do watch plenty of you tube educational videos when we  get a chance!!)

 

Basically...home schooling is very personal..and I hope you hear this with all the love that I intend for you -

Don't make the same mistake I did by trying to mimic the public school environment at home. It added so much stress.

She wants to learn violin, awesome!

Bee keeping? Why not.

Learn how to: do Laundry, make a casserole/ home made volcano/ pioneer days, astronauts?? You betcha.

It doesn't have to fit into the "Math- Music-Grammar-Reading-PE" etc. paradigm.

 

It is ok to fly by the seat of your pants. Seriously. Have some things loosely structured, have goals you want for the day/week/month, but mostly just try and relax. You are not going to screw her up even though its going to feel like it for the first 6 months. You'll find your groove. :)

 

Tonight I am going to make some moon sand for the kids to play with tomorrow in a sensory style box, and gather the materials for a moon phase flip book.

Tomorrow we'll have our lessons, but most importantly we will be living a life that encourages LOVING to learn...So please don't stress. You can do this!

Good luck friend, and if you have any questions or need encouragement don't hesitate to PM!

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#6 of 6 Old 01-30-2013, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the encouragement and the line you won't screw them up, even though it will feel that way for the 1st 6 months :-) love love love :-) :-)

I already feel like I am going to TOTALLY screw this homeschooling up (and my kids). I needed that :-)
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