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#1 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As DD is getting ready to go into formal school next school year, I am trying to figure out (1) if HSing is for us and (2) if it is, how to do it.

Obstacles:
(1) Money. I am a SAHM now and we are frugal but it is very, very tight. We are putting off a lot of things that need to be done once I go back to work (about 7 years from now). I understand I could get a part-time job in a few years-- that would help a lot-- but then I won't have any sort of retirement plan.

(2) DH's fears about socialization. Our oldest is very extroverted-- loves other people. As it is, DH doesn't think she gets enough time playing with other DC, even though she goes to school in the pm 3Xs a week. I think he thinks she should have "playdates" (hate that word for some reason) on her days off, too. I don't!

(3) DH's fears about her being different. He hasn't said this out loud, but I suspect it is true. He doesn't like to stand out in the crowd in anyway, and HSing would separate us from the majority.

(4) I don't do enough as it is! I am just not good at getting my act together to take the kids out daily, do projects with them, etc. Even simple things like reading are hard with my toddler around (and we have baby #3 on the way)-- she rips books out of our hands when we want to read! (She loves being read to, but won't often let me read to her sister even if she's on my lap.) So, I don't feel like I have any good case for this as I am failing at it right now.

(5) ETA: I don't know if I could offer what the school offers. Here they have PE every day, while I don't even like to take a walk when it is cold outside! They also have things like music and art classes . . .I do know music well but not all the instruments! Things like that-- would I be cheating her?

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#2 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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I have some similar issues, too.

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Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
(4) Even simple things like reading are hard with my toddler around (and we have baby #3 on the way)-- she rips books out of our hands when we want to read! (She loves being read to, but won't often let me read to her sister even if she's on my lap.) So, I don't feel like I have any good case for this as I am failing at it right now.
Yes, this I can understand. I also have the older one, the toddler jumping around and ripping the book and will soon also have a nursling. I have told dh that homeschooling will require his help. When he's home, if I need dedicated time with dd1, he'll entertain dd2 (or he'll work with dd1 while I entertain the toddler). And right now during nighttime reading, he sometimes does this already if dd2 gets out of hand.

How this all works with a baby, too, I just trust I'll figure it out! Plus, our kids are so young that the amount of "dedicated" school time isn't HUGE. Doesn't sound like this is an option for you, but I do plan on having dd2 in preschool so I CAN have dedicated time with dd1 (well, with baby around, but hopefully s/he will nurse or nap during some of this).

Zia+Lane+Sonora=Mi Vida Loca! :
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#3 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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How my family dealt with those obstacles (when I was growing up):

(1) Money. Mom worked at home, with an informal in-home childcare arrangement. For a few years it was one child at a time, then for another few years it was 2 or 3 at a time (never more than 3). We all helped with the kids and learned a lot about baby care, but Mom was definitely the caregiver. It was like having an extra sibling or two, and helped us through a lot of tight times. They also took out a 2nd mortgage on the house, which has since been paid.

(2) Socialization. There were children in the neighborhood and at the local playground that we played with constantly after school hours. They invited us over to their houses and vice versa. For younger kids, playgroups and LLL can be good ways of meeting lasting friends. Sports and music groups can also provide opportunities for interaction. I don't think much socialization happens in elementary detention facilities anyway.

(3) Being different. We're all different. The ways in which school can push children to look and act the same are not positive, and the ostracism of children who are "too different" and attend school is (IMO) far worse than the experience of the same child who is socialized outside school, even with the same other children. If that makes any sense.

(4) I don't do enough as it is! No one cares more about the education of children than their own parents. Combine that with the fact that the vast majority of school time is wasted transitioning 30 kids from one activity to another or passing out pencils or standing in line. Really, no one will put more thought and effort than you do into making sure your children are educated.

(5) ETA: I don't know if I could offer what the school offers. PE every day...music and art classes . . .

Many communities have sports, art, and music programs open to the public. Many times, individual schools don't have enough funding for a good arts program, so they get together to do an "extracurricular" one. You can join in on that as a homeschooler (viewed in some places as a small private school). Also, there are programs started for the summer, or for extra enrichment. We joined several sports and music programs in our area. We also got private music lessons that were not terribly expensive, run in the instructor's home.

I never attended a formal school (unless you count college and grad school), and I never felt deprived socially, academically, or artistically. We were not rich by any means.

These are all obstacles that can be overcome. But the bigger question - of whether you want to homeschool - is one that only you can answer.
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#4 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 06:34 PM
 
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I wanted to add that HS'ing does not have to be all about sitting with your child reading to him or her. While reading is of course very important, much education can also occur when you're at a playground looking at all the shapes the equipment makes, or measuring sand, or what-have-you, without a desk or paper in sight.
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#5 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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In answer to some of your obstacles...

Money: You wouldn't believe what a ridiculous amount of money public schooling was costing us. Our 11 year old went to public school this fall from homeschooling and...what a shock! We ended up withdrawing her from public school about a month ago, and in the 3 months she was in school I spent several hundred dollars that I wish I had put towards a great hs curriculum There were fees for lockers, locks, lunches, uniforms, field trips, supplies (for this they wanted money, PLUS I had to send in a bunch of actual supplies!), special colored notebooks and binders and an official agenda, fundraisers, crappy school pictures...it really just goes on and on.

Socialization: I don't know where you live of course, but I live in a small-to-medium sized city and there are at least three large homeschool groups here. The one we participate in has at least 70 families, a weekly park date, field trips for different age groups (good way to get group rates!), holiday parties for every kind of holiday (Halloween, Valentine's Day, Christmas, etc) plus a swimming date every other week in the summer, a large soccer group that is coached by an ex-professional soccer player...I'm sure there is a lot more that is not coming immediately to mind. How much of this type of thing did we do in the few months my dd was in public school? Not much! In fact most of her social activities were meeting up with the hs group even though she was not hs'ing at the time.

Fear of being different: My dh felt the same way, I think, before we started homeschooling ourselves and he started to meet other homeschooling families. DH and I don't look 'different' on the outside...we live in a newer subdivision, he works for a Fortune 500 company, we don't dress in all natural hemp fiber clothing that I wove myself, etc. HOWEVER...I am still nursing my 3-1/2 year old, we recycle everything, we subscribe to a CSA 10 months out of the year, we coslept until our kids were old enough to move in with each other ( only a few weeks ago! lol and they are 11 and 3) blablabla. What I want to ask him is, what is so great about the herd? Does he *really* want his children to be like everyone else...or does he want them to be able to think for themselves, to question authority...not that hs'ing automatically makes this happen but I think it's a good start!

for #4 and 5...you feel distracted...you don't know if you can offer everything the school does...Well, how much individual attention do you think your kids are going to get in a classroom? So much of school time is just 'busywork' to occupy the kids. Say school is from 9 to 3:30. If there is a half hour lunch, that's 6 hours of school time, probably no recess. If there are 25 kids in the classroom, the MOST individual time your child could get from the teacher is 24 minutes...and that is if the teacher spent EVERY MINUTE devoting individual attention to each child, which we know can't happen. There are walks to the library or music room or art room, class instruction, morning announcements, standing in line time...all I'm saying is that your child would be lucky to get 15 minutes a day of individual attention and that is not likely.
As for what the school offers in 'special areas'... surely you can sing a song with your child once a week, and have her glue cotton balls to a pre printed snowman once a week, or something similar. That's all they're doing in school. What your child will be missing is the peer pressure to conform, the lessons in naughty words and disrespect, and all the other BAD parts of school.

You CAN do it. I know you will hear this from a hundred other moms here who are homeschooling and are not superwomen, just like me...and you!
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#6 of 17 Old 12-12-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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Ditto much of what was said and I'm sure many of us could write a book on these issues from our own experiences.
I dealt with many of the same issues and the 3 best pieces of advice I can give are:
1. READ everything you can get your hands on about homeschooling and check out the articles at www.besthomeschooling.org
I read for more than a year before deciding hsing was best for us and learned so much thru those many different perspectives in books.
2. join a local homeschool group-hopefully you'll have a good group nearby and you can learn a lot from them and do many activities with them. I've learned so much from my group and made some very close friends that keep me sane!
3. JUST DO IT! Seriously, I wasn't sure I could do it and stood staring at the bus the first day of school thinking I should chase after it

I'm by no means "good" at homeschooling. I don't have a schedule or the perfect curriculum or perfect kids that never whine about doing lessons.
But I just decided to jump in the deep end and doggie paddle around. Some days we do laps, some days we just splash around alot and some days no one wants to get in

I encourage you to at least try it for a semester or a year. You can always start school if it doesn't work out for you but for so many it does and I wouldn't do it any other way now
good luck

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#7 of 17 Old 12-13-2006, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is all so helpful!

I think out of all the obstacles I have listed, the biggest is DH. He doesn't think I do enough of the socializing NOW (and he won't read books like Hold On to Your Kids) so I can't imagine the pressure I'd feel if she were HS'd. He sees her whole life centered around friends, I think-- that she is being deprived (even now, that she goes to preK) of not enough social activity. He is also on board with being frugal now, but I don't know if that would last indefinitely, even though I could get a PT job eventually.

The actual learning and such, YES, I have been thinking . . .how much time would DD get in the classroom? I was a teacher myself before being a SAHM, and I know how painfully difficult it is to give the attention to the children that they need. I also know how much time is wasted in the classroom-- that there is no way I'd need to do an equal amount of time at home, because it would be more meaningful time here vs. the classroom. I also know that, all along, we have already been HSing, and DD is excelling, IMO, academically. She can read quite fluently now and her writing is really coming together, too. She loves learning and I don't want anything to happen to that! And this all "happened" in the midst of daily life. I know she has been learning through play all along.

PajamaMama, believe it or not, they actually do get daily recess here, PLUS daily PE classes. Instruction of a musical instrument begins in 4th grade . . . they even have an orchestra (and band, of course) for the elementary students.

Well, I will have to do some more reading and searching for HS groups around here. We live near a city, but not close enough (20 miles) that it would be my main support for a group (I know there are several HSing groups there). This area is quite Christian (and I am not), so I want to find one that is not assoc. with a particular religion. So, I could use this time now to explore, and then maybe put DD in 1/2 day KG and go from there. Of course, this may all be for naught as DH is QUITE set against it.

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#8 of 17 Old 12-13-2006, 04:12 AM
 
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I have to say that my DH was totally set against it as well. It was the only parenting issue we couldn't compromise on. I TOLD him I had to do this for DS for at least 1 semester (1st grade) and we could talk again after that.
Well, 2 yrs later we're still hsing and while DH still has some concerns, he supports it and sees our kids growing the way way we want them to!

Full-time homeschooling mama : of a 15yo "teenager" , 12yo DIVA, 9yo builder, & 4yo treasure.
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#9 of 17 Old 12-13-2006, 05:15 AM
 
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Quote:
As for what the school offers in 'special areas'... surely you can sing a song with your child once a week, and have her glue cotton balls to a pre printed snowman once a week, or something similar. That's all they're doing in school.
As a hs'ing parent who constantly worries that I don't do enough, this made me laugh out loud.
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#10 of 17 Old 12-13-2006, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for reminding me that it can be done! That I AM doing it, although not "officially" - I do worry about dd falling behind and not getting enough time - but this thread is reminding me of all the benefits.
Someone told me: don't worry about what you will do to teach algebra when your kid is 13, just say "I'm hsing this year" - and then go from there - you don't have to get on the hs (or school) path and never change your mind.
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#11 of 17 Old 12-13-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
As a hs'ing parent who constantly worries that I don't do enough, this made me laugh out loud.
The cottonball snowman is something one of my neighbor children (who attends the public school across the street) showed me last week. Of course I admired it...and then felt MUCH better about the snowflake 'art projects' we've been doing the past couple of weeks

Mizelenius...one of the last handouts I got from my dd's public middle school before we withdrew her was a monthly newsletter for parents that included tips on HOW TO RECOGNIZE ORAL VDs in your middle school age kids. I am not kidding. Yes...they're 'socializing', all right...
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#12 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PajamaMama View Post
:Mizelenius...one of the last handouts I got from my dd's public middle school before we withdrew her was a monthly newsletter for parents that included tips on HOW TO RECOGNIZE ORAL VDs in your middle school age kids. I am not kidding. Yes...they're 'socializing', all right...
Oh, I believe you!!!

Last night I talked to DH about schooling in general and something I do not like about her preK . . .he said, "You are in charge of schooling, so do whatever you want except homeschooling." So, since we have no $ for a private school (and I don't think private schools are inherently better anyway), I told him, "I guess that means she will be going to X school or X school, then. What choice do I actually have???" NONE.

I have looked on the 'Net for HSing groups nearby that are not Christian . . .all of them are. Nothing against Christian groups, but that isn't what I am looking for! A big obstacle there!

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#13 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 12:47 AM
 
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Mizelenius, If you live in the U.S., you might find a secular group listed among these resources. You'll find slightly different lists in all three, so search them all:

Home Education Magazine

National Home Education Network

A to Z Home's Cool

You can also find groups by going to
http://groups.yahoo.com/ and searching in the homeschooling groups. You might not find one for your specific area, but you can join a statewide or regional one and ask there. - Lillian
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#14 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 01:22 AM
 
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hey miz! good to 'see' you again..... and congrats on #3!

i have many of the same concerns but espec. #4 (feel like I'm not doing enough as it is right now). my 8 month old likes to eat the game pieces, books, etc. since ds was 4 before ds2 came along we used to read or play games, or whatever for hours on end. now its during nap time or during strategically scheduled time (non-fussy hours) i *think* what we'll do is enlist the help of a mother's helper even just twice a week for a couple hours. someone that could watch ds2 while I focus on ds1. not that we would be doing bookwork for that long but even if we spent that time reading or whatever. we'd also like another baby but i worry about my ability to homeschool with a toddler and a baby in the house. it seems like lots of other moms here do it and live to tell about it though.

as far as secular groups, i have found that you do have to search them out. in fact, we finally found a secular group in our area that wasn't real active outside of field trips but my friend and I have been very pro-active in getting regular park days and weekly 'playdates' going which has been great. the homeschool group itself is quite large but really you only need a handful of interested moms who are willing/wanting to meet on a regular basis. more than likely there are other moms out there looking for exactly what you are looking for - its just that no one has 'set it up'.

good luck!
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#15 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 02:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post
Last night I talked to DH about schooling in general and something I do not like about her preK . . .he said, "You are in charge of schooling, so do whatever you want except homeschooling."
Looks as if you and DH need to sit down and discuss his concerns about hs'ing. If he really wants you to be "in charge of schooling," then he has no business adding restrictions like that. If he actually wants to be involved in making schooling decisions, then he still ought to be willing to discuss homeschooling with you.
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#16 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 02:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaylee18 View Post
Looks as if you and DH need to sit down and discuss his concerns about hs'ing.
There's a thread here in MDC that might be very helpful: DH not on board - it links to other threads that are also helpful.

And you might find some good stuff in the sticky above called "I need non-religious articles on info/defense of HSing!"

And in the National Home Education Network's section called "For Dads by Dads".

And in a book by David Guterson - very eloquent: Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense
"As a public high school English teacher, David Guterson possesses an insider glimpse into the problems of our education system. One of the core weaknesses of the education system is the restriction of learning within the four walls of the classroom.

In his book, Guterson (1993) not only justifies his decision to homeschool his children, but also explores the critical role of homeschooling in challenging the premises of public education."
And! Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, By John Taylor Gatto.
"Thirty years in New York City's public schools led John Gatto to the sad conclusion that compulsory schooling does little but teach young people to follow orders like cogs in an industrial machine. This second edition describes the wide-spread impact of the book and Gatto's "guerrilla teaching... John Gatto has been a teacher for 30 years and is a recipient of the New York State Teacher of the Year award." Lillian
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#17 of 17 Old 12-15-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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I just started a new HS resource page...I need to add a section on DH not being on board.

http://janzeiger.com/blog
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