Need your help mamas! (Homeschooling) - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-20-2008, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we're ready to head back to the d.c. metro area after being gone 4 years...it will hopefully happen by summer.

I have a question regarding homeschooling: How easy is it? What are the pros and cons.

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:54 PM
 
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I'm sure that every family has a different answer to how easy it is and to its pros and cons.

I think 'easy' depends on the people involved. For us, homeschooling is much easier than sending our eldest off to school -- since I don't expect that he'd go more than a day without needing a consultation with the teacher and/or principal. He's not a bad child, nor a behavior problem, mind you...he is just different...spirited, creative, self-determining.

I have started a list of the reasons I love homeschooling on my blog here: www.attachlings.blogspot.com it's along the right side. It's not an exhaustive list...yet...but it has some good ones from my perspective.

My ony con is that I am never away from the children. For us, without family nearby and without friends (since we just moved) it is a 24/7 gig.

Yeah, I envy mamas who get time alone while their children are off to school...but only momentarily and then I remember all the things I get to do, see and hear everyday and I'm not envious anymore.

Anyway, if you have specific questions I'll be happy to answer them.

Where in the area are you moving? DC just enacted hsing laws almost identical to Maryland's, which means registering with the local school board and submitting to oversight OR signing up with an umbrella school. We haved joined an umbrella school w/out religious requirements in MD and are quite happy with the choice.

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Old 10-20-2008, 10:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mary! Can you tell me more about the umbrella school, are you talking about the Takoma Park one? How does that work exactly?

In love with Dh since 1998. We created Ds (7.1.03), Dd (10.16.06) and Dd (3.16.09).
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Old 10-21-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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[QUOTE=mary3mama;12429372] For us, homeschooling is much easier than sending our eldest off to school -- since I don't expect that he'd go more than a day without needing a consultation with the teacher and/or principal. He's not a bad child, nor a behavior problem, mind you...he is just different...spirited, creative, self-determining.[\QUOTE]

This is exactly why I'm considering it. That is how I would describe my son. In kindergarten I have already gotten numerous phone calls, notes home, many meetings with the teachers, and one visit to the prinicpal's office. He's only 5, and has been there 2 months. The school is great, I just wonder if the setting isn't catering to his learning style so he's acting out! When I do the work at home with him, he's almost bored.

[QUOTE=mary3mama;12429372] My ony con is that I am never away from the children. For us, without family nearby and without friends (since we just moved) it is a 24/7 gig.[\QUOTE]

This is a huge con for me and one I'd have to figure out. I cant function and be a good mother (and teacher!) if I never have any down time or time alone or time to pursue my volunteer interests. I also don't have any family around. I was thinking there are probably some sort of classes or camps they can go to at times during the week, but that would probably be only an hour or two!

Anyway, I'm interested in hearing about the umbrella school. I have heard of TLC, what other ones are there?
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:07 PM
 
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We utilize the umbrella Group called Many Paths of Natural Learning. It is a state-wide group and is on the state's list of approved umbrella school (I checked.)

It is very unschooling oriented/friendly, but also very curriculum friendly. Basically, IMHO, it is very 'what works best for your family' friendly.

There is a yahoo group with the same name, but that is not the same thing. The yahoo group is used by umbrella group members and non-members alike as a networking and planning resource for homeschooling activities all over Maryland. In order to be officially registered with the umbrella school you have to fill out some paperwork and enroll. There is a one time enrollment fee for the family, and then yearly tuition for each enrolled child ($175/year for the first child, $20/year for each additional child in the same family.)

You do a pre-enrollment phone interview and then are required to go to at least one 'signing event' sometime during the year at one of the many, many field trips that are organized and posted as such. At the end of the year (if I understand this correctly, since this is our first year here in MD) you submit basic paperwork indicating some of what you/your children did during the year.

I like that Many Paths does not require any specific type of religious education...or any specific type of any educations, religious or otherwise. It is completely inclusive of all religious beliefs -- including none at all.

By enrolling with Many Paths, and making sure we fulfill the minimal requirements, we are completely fulfilling the letter of MD's homeschooling laws. For me, with not knowing whether or not a school representative would be unschooling-friendly, this takes the stress out of homeschooling here.

I am not at a computer with my links, but if you do a google search I'm sure you can find both the yahoo group and the main website for Many Paths. We had a conversation/thread with it recently too, where LotusDebi and I were talking about it and I'm pretty sure I had a link posted there. I'll go see if I can bump something up.

As for my 'con' I have found that it's quite doable. I have three children (9, 5, almost 2) I get necessary alone time during the baby's nap, during which time the boys play together on the computer or with whatever strikes their fancy. I can hear them and I know that they are basically trustworthy (well, not the 5yo, he'd jump off the balcony thinking it just seemed fun...that's why we take turns keeping an eye on him...) This has been my salvation/sanity. I get about 2 hours where I can have my own thoughts...I can work on crafts or think or journal or just veg-out without 3 million why questions and the boys get a break from my constant supervision.

I also keep connected to my inner-state and make sure that I get to go off to the grocery store or errand running alone when I am feeling depleted. DH knows that it's best not to disagree when I say I NEED some alone time.

Somehow we make it work and we are all happier because of these choices.

Once we can get out of this tiny, yard-free, apt, we'll be happier and can achieve balance more easily...but for now...this is what works.

HTH,

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Old 10-21-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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We homeschool in Baltimore City. We've always gone through the city for the portfolio reviews, which are generally twice a year. Our family has been homeschooling for four years, and we now have a "3rd grader" and a "kindergartener."

I work from home doing part-time childcare and homeschooling is much easier on my schedule than it would be to have two kids in school, two at home and me working. There are many more reasons that we homeschool as well.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:35 PM
 
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Thanks so much for explaining about many Paths and how it's worked for you. I think we would probably do something like that.

My kids are extremely needy; the older one actually I could see giving me an hour or two break to do my own stuff, but never with 2 of them- they fight constantly. I am actually considering putting the younger one in preschool so I can hs the older one- he is the one who really seems to need it, while the younger one is very gregarious and is begging to go to school.

We went on a field trip w/ my son's school today and it's just solidifying my desire to do this...not that anything wrong or bad happened, but I can see that he's such a free spirit and so different from other kids, and one teacher alone with 14 kids just can't give him the individual attention he needs.
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