need encouragement

Kathy - posted on 12/01/2008 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi! I'm homeschooling my 12 yr. old daughter for the 2nd. year. More out of necessity. We moved to the Dominican 1 1/2 yrs. ago as missionaries. I have 2 sons back in NJ. 26 and 20. I'm 50 yrs. old and have alot of years of public and private school behind me. I thought this would be a great opportunity. That it would be joyful and relaxed and I could teach what I felt was important rather than manditory. But my daughter is miserable!! I really want homeschool to be an exciting experience very different than the school system. But at the same time I'm afraid of her education resting on my shoulders and I can't relax. I'm afraid of th responsiblity. I'm told it takes a few years to adjust. My friends son does 6 hours a day of homeschool. And I've heard of some who do 2-3.

I would love to hear about different schedules and what works for different families. I need to know that we are going to be o.k. And that the experience she is getting with our new life here in the D.R. Is the best education for her right now. (i'm trying to convince myself!) My daughter is learning Spanish and most importantly, serving the Lord. She loves living here, but just hates school!

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Kathy - posted on 01/09/2009

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Thank you Beth, Dee and Amanda for sharing and encouraging. I need to remember that God has a different story for each of us, and mine doesn't have to look like anyone elses. Our lives are unique and so is our homeschooling.



The past week has actually been pretty good. My daughter seems happy with school. I decided to try chunks of time, instead of all at once. Little in the morning, and evening. I'm also concentrating on what's most important..language arts and math. Just for now. She's seems happy with that. A few times a week, I add science and History. God, of course, is a part of everyday!! I'm sure God will work it out for us, I need to stop stressing and let Him work!



Blessings to you all!



Kathy

Dee - posted on 01/08/2009

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Hi Kathy!  Greetings from Pennsylvania!  I am a mom of two boys - an 18 yr. old finishing his senior year at our local high school, and a 14 yr. old in his third year of homeschooling.  He is enrolled in the 8th grade through the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School (PAVCS).  While not a Christian school, we are a family with strong Christian beliefs who are very involved in our local church.  We started homeschooling following my sons diagnosis with ADD and our local district's inability to offer him the kind of individual help he needs to succeed.  The first year I was very apprehensive wondering how I would accomplish everything I saw being done in the bricks and mortar schools.  I then relaxed when I realized that the bricks and mortar schools really waste a lot of time and I can offer the same amount of education (sometimes more) in less time!  This was a great selling point for my son.  He learned quickly that he could get all of his daily lessons done before his older brother got home from high school.  Plus, he completed his first homeschool year two weeks before his brother was finished.



 PAVCS is an online charter school who has teamed up with K12 for curriculum.  There is no cost to us, as PAVCS is a public online charter school.  We are supplied with a computer, all the curriculum and materials at no charge.  Each of the core subjects (math, english, science, and history) has an actual teacher who oversees progress.  The teachers do teach online classes in a vitual classroom with other students around the state, however, this is a resource that is not mandatory.  My son only attends when he is having trouble with a concept and needs a little extra help.  The teachers also hold "office hours" in their virtual classrooms which students and parents may attend if they have questions or concerns.  There are also guidance counselors available.  We are responssible for logging attendance and lesson progress.  Lessons are very creative and interactive and focus on mastery of a concept before moving on to the next one.



Our days vary, dependent on his (or my) mindset.  We look at learning in many different ways, sometimes on a daily basis, sometimes weekly, but always monthly.  Our goal is to complete 10% of the curriculum for each subject per month.  Sometimes that is broken up with various subjects each day, sometimes we may concentrate on one subject for the entire day.  It really is very flexible, and if he wants a day off to volunteer at our local food pantry, he knows all we have to do is shuffle his lessons to another day.  We also mirrir his schedule to our older sons so that they have the same days off.  We do lessons inside, outside on the deck, at our local park, upstairs in his bed, downstairs in the family room, in our PJ's, at grandma's, and on the road (a laptop makes this a snap).  This makes everyday a little different.  My mother has even become involved by taking him once a week to her home and doing all of his English lessons with him for the week.  This gives me a break and a chance to recharge.  And they have a great opportunity to spend time together.



Don't give up hope!  It is clear that you are providing your daughter with life experiences that no curriculum (bricks and mortar ot home school) can offer.  Find ways to make it enjoyable for both of you - there are no rules here! 



For more information on PAVCS, visit their wesite - http://www.pavcs.org.  While this school is only for residents of PA, you can find similar models such as this in most states.



Blessings,



Dee Berger

Amanda - posted on 01/08/2009

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Hi Kathy (& Beth)!



I just want to encourage you in what you're doing.  I'm afraid my children are young, and I can't offer a lot of advice.  But I just want you to know that we are here to support each other even if our experiences are different.  I can say from my own experience being a 12 year old girl, that it's just a tough age and there are a lot of hormones and changes involved.  I pray that the Lord will carry you through these tough times and help direct you as you teach your daughter and minister to others!

Beth - posted on 01/05/2009

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Hello Kathy,
I'm a fellow home school mom over seas in Russia.I hear ya! I have a 17 yr old in the States finishing highschhool, 15 yr old and 12 yr old daughters, 6th and 9th grade. It is a challenge. We've home schooled since K, then we went to Moscow for 2 yrs and the kids attended a Christian school. They absolutely loved it! We moved from Moscow to a significantly smaller city, not other missionaries. As much as my kids get along and enjoy each others company, it was hard. I love teaching them and seeing the hurdles they jumped. We tried to get out and enjoy the history around us, took advantage of mega information on the internet. Printing off seasonal fun things like crosswords, word finds, "mad lib" printables to impliment . We moved again to another city just a little over a year ago because of visa changes. Our circumstances now are better. We have a great team of Americans we work with and they all home school too. We will be making a calendar of events, shared activities, project displays, art fair. Its a small group but still important for the kids to share their accomplishments. The curriculum our family is using now is Alpha and Omega. Each subject comes with 10 workbooks called units, and a teachers book. We tried a computer curriculum one year but it was a nightmare for us! My kids love having a book to peruse, check over, see a test coming and know how much time they can use to prepare.
-We make our own home ec. study each month a new theme.
-Fridays are fun days. I let them read in a favorite book for language or have creative writing, watch a science video or documentary of sorts for science,
-PE is 3 days a week with "Dance Revolution", an excercise DVD, or swim in the summer. On occasion they walk for 30 min if weather permits.
-They have a schedule for the week. Not every subject is an everyday subject. for example History and science are alternated, home ec. is twice a week and art is once a week for my 12 yr old, and 2 times for my 15 yr. old.
-Bible, Math, and language are everyday subjects.
-Working outside in a garden or preparing to freeze or can is something else we can do together. WEwe had to tear out most of our yard to prepare for grass. The garden was too much for us. (We rent) this is fun education out side that you can account for,

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with information. I get excited about it. Overall I'm so glad we've been able to home school our kids. Yes being overseas it becomes the only option, but we felt a little prepared for it since we were already homeschooling before coming missionaries.

I'll pray for you and for your daughter.! It has many joys. You have a beautiful family! I asked my daughter if she'd like to email (pen-pal) with your daughter. What do you think? Be encouraged. We have much freedom to adjust to our kids needs in home school.
Kindred heart,
Beth Wilson

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