How do I get started on home schooling my 6th grader

Felicia - posted on 04/30/2012 ( 24 moms have responded )

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My sixth grader has been expelled and now either has to go to alternative school or be home schooled. The alternative school hours are from 6:40 a.m-1:36p.m which means my husband and I are responsible for taking him and picking him up M-F. We both work full-time and it would be difficult for us to do that everyday. So, home school may be our best option. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Karen - posted on 04/30/2012

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Warning, Warning, Warning. Homeschooling is not that simple. It does not mean that you can just stay home. You will also be responsible for your child's exercise and getting him involved with public parks recreation teams. Kids need physical education and exercise. If you work full time and your husband works full time, who is teaching the child during the hours while you are both at work or at college. Children need your attention. Even 11 to 18 year olds, when left home all day, though they may be able to call 911 if needed, they are not all responsible to do all their assignments and will have questions that no one has time to answer. They will watch TV and go play outside and leave the door open or eat things that you didnt plan for. It is not a good idea to leave a homeschooled child at home all day with no adult supervision so that you can give him lessons when you are all tired at the end of a days work. I am not trying to be mean, just sharing the warnings. Please take it the right way and really look into the pattern that you are setting up for your family, that the child is not unattended.

Amy - posted on 05/01/2012

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This seems like so much more than a homeschooling question. Your 11-12 year old was EXPELLED?? I work in middle school, we certainly have kids with some challenging behaviors, but we do not have the option of saying they can never come back again and it's up to the parents to homeschool. I know the alternative school covers the requirement for providing some kind of public education, but I still wonder what behaviors you are dealing with that has led to this. It seems you could be dealing with more issues than the academic/social/physical needs of parents who choose to homeschool for other reasons. What are your plans for addressing whatever problems led to the school removal? Are these things just happening at school, or are there problems with your child at home, too?

Also not understanding the transportation part of the alternative school. My district used to have an alternative program and still had to provide transportation for students attending there. Maybe that varies state to state, but I thought FAPE (free, appropriate public education) was a federal mandate, and that includes transportation if you don't live close enough to walk.

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I homeschooled 2 kids for a total of 8 years. During the homeschooling times, we lived in 3 different states. The states' laws are different but usually follow a similar line. You need to google the state law for where you live to find out what it actually is (or for a phone number to ask them for it in plain english - lol). For instance, in NC you are responsible to send in a form annually stating the name of the school (I just used our last name), the name of the administrator (me) and the intent to homeschool the child for the coming school year. They mandated a certain number of teaching days per year and recommended (not required) an annual standardized test. The standardized test history is nice to use in a variety of situations, such as choosing what subjects the child is struggling in and which ones he/she is strongest in. Also, it can help you to prove to officials that you are teaching the child if there's ever a question. I always kept a certain amount of representative work in case I ever needed it (never did). For those tests, there are some pricey choices out there, but I did find one that was low cost and very effective. PM me if you're interested in it. I'll look it up. I believe it was called the PASS test. For curriculum, I started by googling and checking prices and other important info on each one. Some are very geared toward teaching a particular worldview or lifestyle. So look closely. I used a Christian one by Alpha Omega publications. Actually I used 3 3 of theirs at different times. They have the Weaver system (designed to help teach a variety of ages at once), LifePacs (workbook system - VERY good!!), and the Switched-On Schoolhouse (computerized LifePacs). The Switched-On Schoolhouse was nice in a lot of ways, but if your child is not determined to do his work, then you have a tougher time keeping an eye on what he's doing. I know this from experience. lol I highly recommend workbook-based systems. They are easiest for the child and parent in a lot of ways.
I agree with everyone on here that says this is a HUGELY time-consuming decision. I am VERY much in favor of homeschooling, but anyone considering it should know that it takes a massive commitment. You have to teach them their subject matter, along with all of the social concepts that they'd be learning in a classroom. I had to quit working and start spending my "free" time searching for ways to do things for cheaper (coupons, etc.). I was doing school for the morning and early afternoon, then ferrying children to sports, tae kwan do, dances, the roller rink, public pool, library, etc. I had to be vigilant in putting them into social and physical situations. It is very important to do it all. I have met kids whose parents just teach them some stuff here and there and mostly just let them play at home. It's sad.
Good luck making your decision and figuring out what works best for you and your family. And good luck dealing with your son. You and your husband love him the most in this world and will do right by him. :-)
Oh! Also google homeschooling groups in your area. Another great resource for newbies!

Deb - posted on 05/02/2012

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The library is also a good place to go to. Also I've gotten great info from the teacher supply stores in my area. And of course there,s always google for more info than you may care to know! Also if he was expelled, maybe what he needs is more parent time and less unsupervised time. I know you say you have to do what you have to do. But my sis in law "did what she had to do" also and she stopped working nites and very few weekends. It did mean using a food pantry and a little church assistance but her son is now graduating and doing well.
You're right, I don't know your situation so I appolgize for sounding so judgemental but its something to think about.

Lynn - posted on 05/02/2012

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I've heard that K12 and Primavera home school programs are very good, from a friend whose kids have done both. I used AZ Distance Learning when I homeschooled my step son a few years ago. You just need to research the programs, and find which one wil work best for your family. For example, with AZDL, my step son (who was 14-16) had to ride his bike to the library to take all of his finals. He took one every other week or so, when he finished a class. I have a home preschool, so he was responsible to get himself there and back. And, he had to be back right afterwards. After a few months, the librarian started to get an attitude about him taking his tests there, but they have to be supervised by a neutral person, so that's what the school sugested. I'm just saying, look into that kind of thing before you sing up.

I also think you need to deal with why your son was expelled. That's very serious, and I'm sure the school had good reasons, and it probably wasn't a quick decision. You need to get him into therapy, ask his pediatrician for behavior suggestions and consequences, supervise him constantly, and make sure he doesn't do whatever he did to get expelled, again. I homeschooled my step son because he was flunking out, but it was a consequence of his bad choices. He was never allowed any contact with friends, I checked every assignment and project, and if he made any mistakes, he corrected them before the work was submitted. He had to do school for seven hours a day, and I set a timer. If he failed a test, he used his allowance to pay for the ($10) cost to re-take it. His "weekends off" from school were then taken away, and he had to do it seven days a week until he got a passing grade on his next test.

Homeschool isn't for everyone, because it is work for you, as the parent, and you shouldn't do it unless you're willing to put in the effort and take it seriously. Too many people use it as an excuse to do nothing with their kids all day.

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Laverne - posted on 05/15/2012

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home schooling is not as easy as it's sounds..I do not know wht your kid was expelled for but there could be a mental/personal issue (that needs to be dealt with) if he or she has been repeatld gettin into trouble and the school must be willing nd able to deal and not allowed to toss kids to the curb when trouble comes. My opinion is to speak with school board and get legal advise and medical advice to protect your kid..I live in Jeffersonville, IN and the school system here have no mercy on black and any minority kids and treat them like crap if you don't stay on them..I have my 6th grader in counclin now and school have to back -up off them...It is sad but true..Pray hard and seek out other help as the Lord leads you...it will work out...I found that sometimes (a lot) the teachers are not doin there jobs and taking the easy way out...''.GETTING RID OFTHE KIDS"...also consider private school...Good luck and God Bless you all...

Felicia - posted on 05/06/2012

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Someone on here said that k12 doesn't accept expelled children. I just can't believe that home school or alternative school is there only option.

Jessica - posted on 05/05/2012

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Can you appeal the expulsion? At least for the remainder of this school year? It just seems horribly ridiculous to expel him with less than a month to go... Even if they keep him in ISS for the rest of the year & start the expulsion next year it would be far better for him and for you. It would give you the summer to clear your schedule, arrange for someone to stay with him during the day, and find an appropriate curriculum.

Timna - posted on 05/05/2012

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There is a program out there designed for homeschooling that is free through 8th grade at least. The website is www.k12.com. It is like an online charter school. It depends on what state that you live in if the program is avalible. We have looked into the program for our children and is seems pretty good. It might help you through the first couple years of homeschooling at least. I wish you luck. that is not an easy spot to be in. Your son is lucky to have a caring mom like you. Good luck

Felicia - posted on 05/03/2012

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Deb,

I understand that you are speaking this way because you don't know our situation and it's easy to assume it must be the parent's fault that something is going on with the child when you yourself have never been in this situation. Well I spend quite a bit of time with my son, so I know his mannerisms and his behaviors. Never once have I heard anyone describe him as a bully and I have observed him in different settings with people who were not family and he was fine. He loves people and is very positive when dealing with them. His AP described him as condescending (like he thought he was better than the other children). We've never raised any of our children to look down on other people, however we don't teach them to think of themselves as less than either. Unfortunately, I don't have the option of just quitting my job and homeschooling him full-time so I have to do what is best for him and our family as a whole. People should be mindful of the things they say to others because you never know what type of situation you may find yourself in. I never would have thought I would be here at this moment doing this.

Felicia - posted on 05/03/2012

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Thanks Jamie your post was very encouraging and helpful. I appreciate your positive attitude:-)

Felicia - posted on 05/02/2012

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Thanks jenny for letting me know that. Therefore I won't waste my time with them. I think this is so unfortunate. I just don't think that expelling a child is the answer, it not only makes it hard for the child but the parents as well. Teachers and administrators don't always make the best decisions when it comes to our kids. Sometimes they do more harm than good. Ijs speaking from experience.

Christina - posted on 05/02/2012

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timeforlearning.com is a pretty good online curriculum that doesn't cost much and gives a lot of information for adding to it. I haven't used the older kids' stuff much, but I know the elementary stuff is great.

Jenny - posted on 05/02/2012

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K12 can't educate expelled children, unfortunately, I checked with the board of education an. K12 is still considered public school. I ended up resigning from my job and now I put together my sons curriculums myself. You should get involved with homeschooling moms forums and co ops and such. They are a huge help!

Felicia - posted on 05/02/2012

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Thanks to everyone who has offered their opinions regarding my situation. Please understand that my husband and I do take this VERY seriously! Also, we have raised 2 other children successfully and have never dealt with anything remotely close to this. The behaviors exhibited at school were not reflected at home. The majority of the issues that got him expelled were due to him defending himself from bullying. I am a HUGE advocate for teaching the whole child, not just academically but socially and physically as well. We are researching other alternatives as well such as christian private schools.

Candace - posted on 04/30/2012

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I absolutely agree with Karen. Your child will need to be supervised while doing school. I have to schedule everything around my childrens schooling or NOTHING will get done. You definitely must be an active participant with the homeschool. Your children need you and if you do make the decision to teach your children at home...you must be there to make sure they learn. If you can't put in the time to homeschool, then you should do the alternative schooling.

Candace - posted on 04/30/2012

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I homeschool my children and use a Christian curriculum called School of Tomorrow. It's a work at your own pace type of curriculum. They come as workbooks and they explain how to do each section of work per subject. They also sell score keys so that you can grade their work. In each Pace (book) there is a test. That way you can be sure they have read the books and learned something from them. There are 12 workbooks in each subject. I find them to be pretty easy, and what I don't understand, the score keys usually help me figure out the process of the area they are working in. If you Homeschool, you must register your child with the school board as a homeschooler. Look up the Homeschool laws of your state. It will explain exactly what you need to do. It's not difficult, just kind of confusing in the beginning. There are so many curriculums out there to use, so if your child does well with a math workbook, but wants to do History online, and maybe go to the library for English, and learn science through an encyclopedia (just examples), that's ok. You don't have to use a certain curriculum for all of the subjects required. Do what you feel is best for your child and everything will be ok. Hang in there. If you have any questions...message me. Candace

Felicia - posted on 04/30/2012

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Hi Amanda,

Thanks I will check into that. This is VERY stressful because this just happened today and it's the end of the school year and I'm ill-prepared.

Amanda - posted on 04/30/2012

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Felicia,
I work for K12. They have programs for home schooling or kids enrolled. It might be worth checking into. Also, I have heard that many states offer home schooling groups. I don't know exactly how to find one-maybe the department of education or meetup.com. There might even be a group on here.
Amanda

Felicia - posted on 04/30/2012

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Most likely I would. Did mention, I'm in school too lol? We have to do what we have to do.

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