First Time Homeschooling (and frustrated)

Linzey - posted on 10/05/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )




My husband and I decided to start home schooling all 3 of our kids (7,5, & 4). started out a great idea but the curriculum turned out to be not so user friendly and not what I expected. then it said all kids needed to know how to read so we bought hooked on Phoenix (they have no interest). So i have them working out of work books and some computer programs but I don't feel like this is enough and they are bord. I am afraid that my kids will fall behind. I also didn't expect to be the teacher but more of a guide through schooling. I feel like im spinning in circles right now my kids are getting frustrated and starting to act out and i find myself yelling too much and not making this an enjoying experience. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks


Guest - posted on 10/06/2014




When you decide to homeschool, you DO become the teacher, not a guide. you really do have to teach them. That said, there are resources out there for homeschooling moms who struggle with certain subjects.

Connect with other local homeschooling mothers in your area. You can usually find them online or through your local library system. My area has tons of them. Many run a co-op like program where a mom who is great in Math will teach a class twice a week for all of the kids in the group, then a mom who is great in Reading will teach a class for that twice a week, and so on. The classes range in size from 4 to 8 kids, depending on how many are in the group, and all of the mothers teach a subject. Then they meet up once a week to go over curricula so that they can help their kids in the classes that they do not teach....because they do do MOST of the homeschooling at home, not in these classes, but the classes are a great resource for difficult subjects.

Also, Hooked on Phonics is really NOT a great program for reading. Try a DISTAR based program instead. Look it up online and sample some of the curricula before buying.

Lastly, one of the biggest benefits of homeschooling is getting AWAY from workbooks and worksheets! They are not conductive to learning or creativity, so they are not good resources for teaching. They do have their place as a tool for measuring how much a child knows, or practicing a difficult concept, but they should be used very, very sparingly. Instead, focus on educational activities that foster creativity. Go to the History Museum and have the write a paper on the exhibit you studies--this will incorporate History, Writing, Grammar, Reading Comprehension, and Spelling all in one assignment, while empowering them by giving them creative control over the assignment.


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Linzey - posted on 10/09/2014




When I said i didn't expect to become the "teacher" i meant i didn't think i was going to be the classic classroom teacher. I know i will have to teach my kids things but not the way of sitting down and teaching out of a workbook. We decided to homeschool for a lot of reasons. And those reasons are why I will NOT give up and just chalk this up as a fail. I have read most parents give up in the 1st year, I wont be one of those. But I am also smart enough to make the decision of putting my kids back in public school if i am not doing a good enough job. I think the most encouraging response on here was from Chet MC.... I just need to fined my groove! Thank you all for your responses I appreciate them all.

Chet - posted on 10/06/2014




I agree with Guest. You should get in touch with the homeschool community in your area. There are many different approaches to homeschooling, and connecting with other parents will help you to find an approach that fits well with your family.

Many families choose not to replicate school at home with workbooks and rigid curriculum. They just provide a rich environment for children to explore and learn by being inspired - believing that teaching yourself is the best way to learn. Also, even parents who do decide to follow a curriculum very closely sometimes find that their children need a "detox" period between leaving school and making the transition to homeschooling.

Your children are very young. At this point, I would mostly focus on enjoying books together, finding math in your every day lives and improving their general knowledge.

Read out loud to your children as much as you can. Play silly games with words, make up rhymes, sing songs that play with sounds (like Apples & Bananas or the Willoughby Wallaby Woo song), etc. Make letter shapes with your bodies. Go to the park and draw letters in the sand. Encourage your children to recognize environmental print (like stop signs and exit signs). Make labels for things. Get a couple sets of letter magnets and make words on the fridge. For your older children especially, read and re-read simple books that are favourites, leaving out words here and there that the child needs to fill in. And talk about what you read. Talk about the pictures. Talk about alternates endings. Talking about why they liked the story.

Most of the home schoolers we know (not all, but most) did not sit down and teach their children to read. They gave their kids the opportunity to learn to read by exposing them to lots of books, language, text, etc.

For math, count things out - like plates when you set the table. Put out two forks, and ask your kids to get enough forks to finish the job. Play board games like Trouble, Hi Ho Cherry Ho, and Snakes and Ladders. Take a small bag of baby carrots and figure out how to share them equally with everyone. Bake with your kids and talk about cups and 1/2 cups. Cut things into pieces for sharing.

As far as falling behind goes, this only matters if you expect home schooling to be very brief. If you expect to homeschool for years one of the advantages is that your children can follow their own natural arc rather than needing to adhere to one dictated by the school. In general, the research on home schooling suggests that home schoolers start slower, but ultimately finish ahead - although every kid unique, that is the general trend.

Anyway, get in touch with other homeschoolers. You can absolutely do this, and it can be a wonderful experience for your entire family, but there it's going to take some time to find your groove, and even then there will be bumps along the way. The best thing you can have is the support of other homeschool families to put you in touch with resources, the brainstorm ideas, to connect with for social events and co-ops...

Best of luck!

Jodi - posted on 10/06/2014




This is why teachers go to university and get a degree, because teaching your children the curriculum is NOT that simple. If you thought you could homeschool and just be a guide, not a teacher, then you are not doing your children any favours at all. Basically, what you are expecting them to do is teach themselves, and that is not any way to learn. Maybe you should consider putting them back in school.

Michelle - posted on 10/05/2014




Why did you decide to homeschool in the first place? By homeschooling you are taking the place of a teacher in school so of course you would be teaching them. Children don't just learn, they need someone to help them.
I have never homeschooled but I'm sure there are plenty of communities around that could help. Have you tried Google to find some other online curriculum's?

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