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Considering Homeschooling

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I am looking into homeschooling our dd who is 6 years old and going into 1st grade. There are a few issues though that I wanted feedback on:

1. Dh and I are low income and I am concerned about the financial commitments needed for books, supplies, etc.

2. I am in nursing school so I am not home all day every day. Is it appropriate to schedule school time around when I am home?

3. I found an online school...Ohio Virtual Academy. it is structured but I am doing the teaching....has anyone used a program like this???

Thanks for any advice.
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my son is almost six and we've been homeschooling him pretty much his whole life.

to answer your questions:

1. Dh and I are low income and I am concerned about the financial commitments needed for books, supplies, etc.
~ you don't need to buy any books really; that's what libraries are for.
and as for supplies, i am consistently amazed at the value of rocks, dried beans, and cornstarch-based homemade fingerpaints.
honestly ~ it doesn't take a whole lot of supplies to well-educate a child.

2. I am in nursing school so I am not home all day every day. Is it appropriate to schedule school time around when I am home?
~ of course! that's one of the best things about homeschooling: you can set your own schedules. our family keeps a pretty "weird" schedule here too, but it works for us, and that's what matters.

3. I found an online school...Ohio Virtual Academy. it is structured but I am doing the teaching....has anyone used a program like this???
~ i have never heard of anything like this, and i would really be cautious if it's something i had to pay for. i would suggest, if you are looking for guidelines, check out, which offers some good ideas, as well as subject areas that "should" be being covered per grade level.
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I use an onilne school for my dd here in Ohio_Online schools are public schools at home .Traditional homeschool laws will not apply to your child if you sign on with a charter.

Once you go with the charter and fill out the application your child will become a part of that charter.The charter will notify your local district,because the district will get the state money first ,and then pay the charter.She will need to log 920 hours of school time per year,and be required to take any tests the charter and/or state requires.She will have to mail,fax,email any required work to the assigned teacher.Generally the testing is school asessment tests,and IOWA tests in the early years.

There are many charters in Ohio to choose from.Check them all out if you are interested.Each uses a different curriculum.

Charters are OK,but I hear there is a lot of silly busy work in the upper grades.And I do not think any online charter has good test score rationgs(if that matters to you).

Some Ohio charters:
OHDELA,OHVA,BOSS,ECOT,VCS,and OCA.There are many more.

The one you mentioned is ohva.They use the k12 curriculum. I have considered them for my younger one,but OHVA does not give laptops and they require face to face meetings(4 times a year) with the teacher. I prefer not to meet with the teacher.I hear though that you can get in this requirement by seeing the teacher at testing time.There is the OHVA elist at yahoo groups.Also go2BOSS at yahoo.They(boss) won't let non-school members join,but their archived posts are public.Ohva you could join.

If you decide to do traditional homeschooling here is a link on the laws,and notification info:

It(homeschooling) is MUCH different,and I feel much better in many ways.Everyone have different needs though,so find what works for you and your child.

My local school district just signed a contract with VCS, and they will get money from VCS if they can get kids signed on with that charter.This is fairly new I think,so be aware of the issue in case you get mailings.

Edited to add:
Whether you eschool or homeschool you can make the schooling fit your time frame needs.It really does not take 5 hours a day to school your child.In the later years with charters your child might be in online classes that does require them to be at the computer during certain hours.

Charters give you the curriculum.At most you might need to buy ink for the printer.

If you homeschool you still need not spend a lot for curriculum.You can find a lot of material at thrift stores,online,and at your library.There are free or low fee classes at parks,rec centers,and zoos geared to the homeschooler. Many homeschoolers sell or give away old curriculum material.

Be aware that some homeschool groups will not allow eschoolers to join their group.Some groups also have statement of faith requirements(letters you sign).
Take care!
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Originally Posted by alicia9178
1. Dh and I are low income and I am concerned about the financial commitments needed for books, supplies, etc.
Heh, so am I
I heartily recommend your library. We are unschoolers so I can't address the rest, but thought I'd ramble on this one a bit

We take out WAY too many books to buy them all. First from the financial point of view but second because of space. My dd loves to read. Yesterday we went to the library and by the time she went to bed she had read 10 of the books she borrowed. She read I don't know how many more before she fell asleep. She does that on a daily basis so times it by 365 and you see the problem. The library is our friend
Yeah, sometimes we get fines, but even so, it doesn't come close to what we would spend if we bought all the books she wants to read.

Having said that, I think having your own books is great. I'm not saying not to ever buy any, just don't think you need to buy *all* of them. And when you do buy, there are often less expensive ways to do so. Our local children's consignment stores has a used book section that I get the kids stuff from on a regular basis. My mom just took them to her library's book sale last week. Our library has a table set up where they sell books and videos all the time. Then there are church sale finds, garage sale finds, etc. When I really need a specific title I go to and check to see if there are any in the used section.

For other supplies it depends what your kids get into. I know there are a lot of used curricula, math manipulatives and other stuff on various boards (I've heard vegsource is good for buying things?). But there are often inexpensive ways around things, at least most of the time. Math for example. If you go for a maniupulative based curriculum you can get your own manipulatives around the house instead of buying a set (beans, pennies, marbles, etc).

Or become an unschooler and then you only have to shell out money for your kid's expensive interests

Anyway, good luck and have fun!
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There is a book you can get from the library (for free) called Homeschool Your Child for Free. It has suggestions for free ways to cover every possible school subject. You'll also want to check out Homeschooling on a Shoestring, which was a big help to me this year. Don't let being "low income" stop you from homeschooling.

As far as your financial concerns go might I suggest yard sales and thrift stores for different "homeschool" materials. Last year I spent many saturdays hunting shopping yard sales and my DH jokes that I could open up my own school lol. Really I have purchased everything ranging from craft materials ( for pennies!!! stay away from craft stores!) books, educational toys, cds, math manipulatives, different materials for science experiments etc etc. I was really shocked at the amount of stuff I found and how cheap people were ready to let it go for! Today I bought a life size skeleton model with all the appropriate bones and index cards for a $1 it is worth $35! Anyways shopping yard sales has made a huge difference in our budget and I know for a fact that compared to the other homeschool families we know we have spent pennies where they have spent hundreds of dollars.

just a suggestion!
1.) There is a book called something like Homeschooling on a Shoestring or something like that. It has tons of ideas for free and almost free curriculum. You don't have to spend a lot to create a quality education. Sometimes things can be found at yard sales, there are often used curriculum sales at curriculum fairs, the library has tons of stuff to borrow completely for free, and on-line you can get a myriad of stuff free (for example, I print out cursive handwriting pages from one site and math drill worksheets from another for my daughter and my son enjoys learning his letters and letter sounds on - all free). Some people even use public school cast-offs (if they are inclined in the textbook way). Those can often be gotten completely free since they are just being thrown away anyway.

2.) Absolutely. Homeschooling is completely flexible. There is no rule that school has to start at a certain time each day. I know a couple families that have both parents working full time and they homeschool completely in the evenings. It can mean a busy life, but homeschooling is still definitely possible.

3.) I have not done any virtual schools/academies.
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