We are considering homeschooling/unschooling, any advise on this life changing decision?
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Just do it and don't look back! My girls are now 10 and 11.5 and we have homeschooled all along. You don't mention your children's ages, but the same advice goes. DO IT! Don't go buying a bunch of curricula. Go to the library and check out books on topics they are interested in, then make projects about it, flapbooks (look online for visuals), unit studies (enchantedlearning.com is great), go on field trips, get an annual pass and go to science museums, bake and learn math, go to the grocery store and count, measure and compare in the produce section. You will grow with them, the children will have learning in common, and Daddy can be so much more involved too. We met him for lunch every Friday for YEARS.
Donna - posted on 03/27/2009
It will be the best decision you ever made. But you have to be very adamant about the children doing their work. The "families" who fail in the homeschooling environment are the ones who treat it as a "vacation" with no structure. And, it is an adjustment for your children to see you as their teacher. But, all in all, it is one of the most rewarding experiences a parent can have. After I pulled my children out of school I was nervous about homeschooling. However, last year, I let my 7th grade daughter go back at her request, just to see what it was like. She was only there three weeks and her teachers had a conference with me because she was sooooo far ahead of the public school students not only in academics but in maturity. And, she was bored and was very ready to homeschool again. So, she is still homeschooled and loving it. And, your life is much simplier when you homeschool. Not all the rat race. Best decision I ever made.
Kelly - posted on 03/26/2009
1. 75% self discipline -- YOU need the self-discipline to h/s most days (but not necessarily every day)
2. 15% kid discipline -- if they don't mind you, the battle is lost before its started.
3. 10% curriculum -- Curriculum can't save a homeschool, but it can make h/s really unfun if its not the right fit.
4. Curriculum is like husbands, no two are alike and what works for your best friend might not work for you.
5. I'm sure it can be done without prayer, but I don't know how!
6. Reading Writing and Arithmatic is still the standard. Its what your students will need to know for their SAT/ACT.
Jennifer - posted on 03/15/2009
We had an awful year in Kindergarten last year, in one of the nation's "best" county. We decided to home school this year and I LOVE it! I wouldn't change it for the world. I have become even closer with my 7 and 5 year old. I teach first and preschool. I use Sonlight for my curriculum; it's a christ centered and terrific! I can do so much more with my boys now. We are in school 2 to 2 1/2 hours 4 days a week. Friday are free days for fieldtrips, crafts, fun science projects, whatever! I have a friend who has home schooled both of her girls from Kindergarten to the senior year and they both have scholarships to great universities. One is actually graduating this year head of her class. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask. You are doing the right thing, somedays may be a challenge, but most are so rewarding!
Jennifer - posted on 03/12/2009
My 13-year-old has been unschooling for almost three years now (I also homeschooled my older son for a few months, but we couldn't afford to continue way back then. I will always regret that.) He is thriving. His learning is very unstructured, but he is so interested in so many things that it works for him. He's a critical thinker and very outspoken (and also very bright), so he did have struggles in school. With him home, I can help him work on his social skills without it getting in the way of his love of learning.
School can work for many kids, but if you think your kids would do better with unschooling or homeschooling, you're probably right. You know your kids better than anyone else does. There are a lot of great resources for homeschoolers and unschoolers on the Internet, and if you do it for religious reasons, you can probably find thriving local homeschool groups. (In my area, secular homeschoolers tend to do things on their own.)
Tanya, I forgot to ask if you would tell where you live...just the city or area. That might help people mention support groups for you, especially when you get started. You can either homeschool privately (go online to CHEA.com [CA only] or HSLDA.com [U.S.] and they'll have links to filling an affidavit with your state, or tell you what is needed in your state) or if you want to keep with the public school you can go through Charter. I prefer private so we have more freedom to teach what we want when we want and not have to be tied to the state regulations, certainly not to have to teach to the tests required, and as Christians, we want to include our faith in our teaching day, which is out if you do Charter, as it is public school.
I peeked in to see your kids, and with the gender differences and age spread, homeschooling could bring a new world home to your kids. They truly can learn things together. Your son can do more work than your daughter, but ask him what he wants to learn about and teach them both the same thing. He can work at his level (have him build things as a report!) and she at hers. They will have things IN COMMON, which you will not get if they are in school and they are 4 years apart. And yes, you can homeschool through high school, so they don't need to be strangers then either.
Bryony - posted on 03/09/2009
I am really just starting out, but have seen major differences between my daughter and other kids we know that are same age/grade (grade 1) both socially and level of learning. It's not the teacher's fault, the system is just flawed and they do not have the one-on-one time with the kids or enough staff to properly supervise. She is more polite, more confident, more able to converse with other age-groups. It is totally worth it even on the hard days where you need to remind yourself why you're doing it! There's so much you can do outside of the books which hardly feels like "school" for the kids and yet they are learning. I also agree with Lisa, about not buying a lot of curriculum. Because my daughter is "not old enough" to get funding, I have had to be pretty frugal about what I buy for school. She is still learning a lot more than most other kids in public school, and I can really work everything she needs to learn into the things she is interested in because everything is connected somehow. Good luck!
Melinda - posted on 03/06/2009
Choosing to keep my daughter at home has turned out to be the best decision for her. It was very hard to come to that decision. We knew we needed to do something, her grades were dropping along with her self esteem. Public school has it's place, but it's not for every kid. This is our first year. With lots of friends, church, and family support my daughter is back to grade level in math, ahead 2 grade levels in english, and is so happy. The last of the results again is the best. Best of luck with you decision. This site is great for support. You can also PM me if you want to ask any other questions. I am by no means an expert, however I am learning quickly:-}
Gail - posted on 03/06/2009
Hi Tanya... I've only been homeschooling for 7 years..so I'm not a vetran of umpteen years...but (the worst and scariest was the first) - but with God and many ladies on my side to press on and trust that it WILL get easier... it worked and I was obedient to listen. I started with a 4th grd son - now 10th, and a 7th grd girl - now freshman in a private Christian college (and loving it). Love to chat more and answer specific ?'s if like. You can do it - and pray your husband is on board with ya too! It will help a lot.
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