Any homeschoolers or potential homeschoolers in WashDC area? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 01-11-2002, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 19 mo. old ds and am planning to homeschool. I am looking to get in touch with any other homeschooling parents in the area regardless of their children's ages. I know only 1 other mom in the area right now who plans to homeschool her kids and that's it. We can't be the only ones out here. I would love my ds and I to have a nice support network of other homeschooling friends. Are you out there?
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#2 of 8 Old 01-16-2002, 12:21 AM
 
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Hi Opal,
I'm not in DC but we may relocate there some day. I'll let you know if we do. In the meanwhile, there are a lot of hs support groups in the greater DC area listed at home education magazine's website (I checked it out when it looked like we might be moving there this year). have fun!
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#3 of 8 Old 01-16-2002, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi erika,
thanks for responding. Do let me know if you do come to the dc area. By then hopefully I will be an expert on homeschooling here! Seems like there aren't any folks on these boards that are from wash dc though : So are you already homeschooling? How old are your kid(s)?? What has been your experience so far in discovery about homeschooling or in actually homeschooling? I am always glad to hear other's experiences because I often learn much from them, so I would be appreciative if you shared any of yours. Thanks!! Opal
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#4 of 8 Old 01-16-2002, 12:22 PM
 
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dd1 is 5y and dd2 is 5mo. We just started hs full-time in Dec (dd was in preschool before that and we did hs part-tim). I had read a lot of books, magazines, etc on hs over the years, but I wasn't sure if I could do it. Well, I can! For me, hs is an exercise in non-competitiveness (I'm very competitive by nature). I think my self-knowledge has me leaning toward unschooling, because how can you push your kids in unschooling? But that doesn't mean I shun curriculums - it just means that if dd isn't interested, I drop it and find something else that she does like. We've been using Five in a Row, which she has really enjoyed, although I haven't followed it strictly -- if she doesn't like a book (only happened twice) we switch to another. Or we'll use the FIAR approach for other books. I think we'll probably use Oak Meadow as our springboard next year, because my sense is that she'll enjoy it, and again, I think it will be difficult to push too hard using a Waldorf-like curriculum. Oh, plus I bought some cuisinaire rods, which have been worth their weight in gold for us.

my biggest challenge is that I now have to consciously arrange playdates rather than letting preschool take care of it. dd1 is a social butterfly so it has to be a priority.

these have been my - admittedly limited - experiences.
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#5 of 8 Old 01-18-2002, 03:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi again Erika,
Nice to hear that you have a direction you are going in. I am leaning to the unschooling too, although I too am not sure I can let go completely of some curiculum. It will be a mix at least at the beginning until I get the feel for the h/s way of life. The social is what I worry about at this point here, b/c I would like my ds to have other h/s friends and so I need to really work at this to find some h/s kids that he can be around. Right now I just don't know where they are and I'm sure that there must be some around here. Do you have any h/s groups/support groups out there to rely on? I've thought about starting up my own if I don't find it. Or just an intimate group of 5 or 6 moms & their kids.

What is Five In a Row? And what is FIAR? and cuisinaire rods? Please excuse my ignorance on these terms, can you clue me in?

I have heard good things about Oak Meadow. My goal this year is look into the different curriculums out there as well as the h/s orgs/support groups, and make some sense of it all. Thanks for your input.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-18-2002, 01:47 PM
 
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hi Opal,
FIAR is five in a row-sorry to drop abbreviations on you. there's actually a thread about it here - it's a comprehensive 1-year curriculum for 4-8-year olds which is based on children's literature. most books are available at most public libraries. you choose one book each week and read the book every day for five days. after you've read the story, FIAR suggests a number of different activities/discussions to do relating to the book. for instance, for Madeline, on one day we looked up France on a map (geography), another day we used our cuisinaire rods to count out 12 little girls and put them in 2 straight lines, then in groups of 3, 4, etc (math), another day we read other non-fiction books about children in France (social studies), and so on. FIAR gives more suggestions than you could use in one week, so if you don't like some you can use others. I have loved it because I don't have to plan - but if we feel like doing something different, we do. Mostly it has helped me learn how to do homeschooling - how to take dd's interest and build on it to learn about other things. there is also something called before five in a row, which is geared toward pre-schoolers. it also includes suggestions for integrating Bible studies, which may or may not be your thing. If not, you can easily skip that part, although as I mentioned in the other thread FIAR "feels" Christian to me (but not everyone agrees).

cuisinaire rods - inexpensive math manipulatives - not for children under 3 - that can be used for counting, addition, subtraction, fractions, multiplication, division, building, and who knows what else.

right now playdates aren't a problem because most of our friends are still pre-k, but in the next few years we will have to connect with more hser's.

good luck. our public library actually has fiar - you might ask yours to get it through inter-library loan so you can look before you buy (there are 3 volumes)
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#7 of 8 Old 01-19-2002, 03:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Erika,
WoW, that was a lot of info in one posting!! Thanks! I never heard of FIAR before so I really appreciate the explanation. I will look into it. I love your explanation that it helped you learn how to h/s. I will check the library too.
Well, if I can ever be of help to you out here in Wash, DC let me know. You have been great help to me!
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#8 of 8 Old 01-23-2002, 11:10 PM
 
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glad I could help! good luck!

oh, just a note of encouragement - when dd was around 3 we were having so many power struggles I thought there was no way I could possibly homeschool her - and then she became 4 and started getting more and more FUN and INTERESTING to be around and I realized that it would be great! So if you have some bumps in the road, don't think it is necessarily setting the pattern for your relationship forever.

let me know if you have any other questions.
-erika
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