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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dd, 11, is saying that she would like the structure of a planned curriculum, complete with the online teacher grading her assignments, and the whole package. Last year, she said she wanted more structure, so we got the Saxon math program, and she did work on it some, but said she wanted the scheduling and discipline to be external. I am OK with this, and I want to meet her needs. I even admire that she recognized and expressed these needs.

So, I don't know where to start. I am so used to flying below the radar that I am afraid to try the Connections Academy - free online option offered through the public school. I am afraid that if she doesn't work the program, we will have a hard time going back to ungoverned homeschooling. Would she be called truant?

But I hesitate to spend $1,000's on a private program that she may not finish. And I refuse to be the cop. I just don't play that role well. I'd welcome advice if anyone has experience with totally child-led programs. I don't mean I wouldn't help her or teach her. I can and will do that all the time. But I don't want to be the one to say, "You can't watch TV until you finish your writing assignment".

Or suggestions about programs that allow for self-paced work, while maintaining teacher contact. Or whatever other questions I am forgetting to ask.

Oh, I am just a happy, laid-back, aging hippie. How can my child want this structure that is so abhorant to me? Where have I gone wrong?!?


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Are you currently following the laws for your state? If not, then I can see why you'd want to avoid that route...

Would she be interested in community college courses? Some of them are online, even, and depending on the state you're in it may be easy to enroll and fairly cheap.

Does it have to be online? Are there any homeschool groups in your area that do coops and stuff? Maybe you could volunteer for a non-teaching duty, if you didn't want to do that bit, like providing snacks.

How about getting a curriculum and hiring a private tutor to keep her on track? When I tutor, I generally spend an hour a week going over what my studenst have done and then give them assignments for the coming week, which sounds like what your daughter is looking for. Again, online might be harder... I really like the ALEKS math curriculum online, and you can pay monthly (after a 48 hour free trial).

I do think part of this is a normal developmental thing... a lot of kids around 11-13 suddently seem to crave more formal structure. The kids we've know generally did the CC thing, back in California where that was easy to do, and one kid joined the school ISP for a year... then he quit, once he realized that he could do it.

dar
 

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Connections is just public school at home but its a good program. You will need to spend at least 3 hours a day or more with her on it. You will need to help her keep up as well as its 180 from unschooling and you are subject to all the regular public school rules but it sounds like what she's wanting.
 

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Does it have to be all or nothing? Would she like to try to take an individual class or two to start giving her a chance to try the structure without making an overhwhelming financial commitment in case this turns out not to be her thing? Do you live near a university and have you checked there? Some offer correspondence courses that are self paced.
 

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Does she take any supplemental classes outside the home? Perhaps that would satisfy her. Our local homeschool resource store offers a few classes like that. You could check your local resources for creative writing or foreign language classes that would give her a little more formality without giving up your own philosophies or practices.
 

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Oak Meadow has a monthly subscription service online (it's the same as the printed curriculum), and you can get different levels of teacher support. I believe you can terminate the subscription at any time during the year and get a partial refund on teacher support, but that might still be more $$ than you want to sink into it. Might be worth checking out, though: http://www.oakmeadow.com.
 

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since a lot of unschoolers/relaxed hsers use them. It might provide a good transition, and they give as much or as little guidance as is wanted. They also expect the student to do community service and give credit for that and for other "life experiences, apprenticeships, internships" and the like.

HTH,
moms222
 

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Hi-
My DS12 wanted the same thing. I could have written the same post...lol
We've been homeschooling for 5 years and I have 3 other younger boys.

We did a lot of research and yes, we spent lots of $$$, but so far its been worth it. We enrolled him in Laurel Springs. We realized that we did not want to go the public school/charter route. He does it online and really seems to enjoy it. During enrollment, I spoke with an advisor and told her about us and requested a teacher that was familiar with homeschooling (not just kids that have problems at school and need to do this as an alternative). His teacher homeschools her own children and she seems to be very helpful to him and gives great feedback.

It was expensive but it is nice that it is child led, which is something I really wanted. We travel alot so it works out great that he can grab the laptop and work wherever he is at.

And since it was my son that was wanting this, I don't have to nag him. And when he does ask for my help he is attentive and seems much more interested in grasping the information. I do read over his work before he submits it. I proofread and help him format it but as time has gone on I've helped less and less. He just needs to get down the logistical part of all of it. Oh...and I also try to help him with scheduling. There is alot of work with each lesson so his goal is to finish each subject of each lesson in one week. Having a timeframe has helped guide him.

Hope this helps and good luck! I'm sure you will find what works best for your daughter (and you!)
 

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You could get some calvert or sonlight materials on ebay for a good price. If you find the 6th grade (I assume?) lesson manual, she can have herself an ultra-structured guidebook to follow - starting with 6th grade, calvert lesson manuals are written TO the student, not the teacher, so she could really have at it. The only thing you wouldn't have is a teacher to grade her stuff, but heck, I'm sure there is some smart mama out there who would correspond with you for a few bucks and grade her work. I dunno.... I know my kid would tire of that after a few months and I wouldn't want to waste the money on a year's worth.
 

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My dd is enrolled in Florida Virtual School and though she said it was what she wanted, I have to nag her incessantly to get her to stay on pace in the 3 courses she is taking. She almost seems to LIKE the nagging. It's driving me up the wall. She is about 8 weeks into the 32 week courses so it is too late to drop them without failing, so I am in a quandary: keep nagging for SIX MONTHS or just let her fail?

She's 11, by the way, so I just want you to know that while I don't have the answer, I feel your pain!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all. I feel like we have several options to consider. I have a friend who is an elementary school teacher, not working; home with her kids these days, and I know she could use some bucks from a tutoring position. I have already started talking with her about teaching my boy with learning disabilities to read. So the idea of purchasing a curriculum and asking her to guide Dd is very workable. Due to the dynamics of our relationship, it would be better coming from someone other than me.

The Oak Meadow monthly plan sounds interesting too. I'll check into that (and other) programs that you don't have to commit to a full year and full curriculum all at once.

We haven't found any classes that interest her yet, but we are new to the area and there may well be resources we haven't discovered yet.

Once again, I so appreciate the input at MDC. Isn't it amazing how we can just throw a question out, and get a bunch of diverse, well-thought viewpoints?
 
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