Wondering about Homeschooling

Amber - posted on 07/14/2009 ( 51 moms have responded )

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I am thinking abt beginning to homeschool my 4 children. I have a daughter who will be repeating the first grade this yr and another beginning kindergarten, my son is preschool age, and the youngest is 2.

So far my experience with the public school system has been nothing but frustration and anger. They have decided my daughter has "issues" as they told me. She is slow to learn new concepts and too "backwards" to speak up in class. They are testing her for learning disabilities this yr..they of course waited till she failed 1st grade to initiate testing even though I asked for the testing at the end of her first semester per my MD's recommendation to rule out any problems. Her teacher actually told me that my daughter and a cpl other "slow"kids in the class were harming her averages!! The school my children go to just became a 4 star school, and apparently this means that to maintain the status u have to shut out slower children.

I have experimented this summer and have found no problem with my daughters learning ability...I have her doing multiplication and she reads just fine..according to her teacher she couldn't read fast enough.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else has started homeschooling and how it went. Is it as expensive as ppl claim? If u pulled ur child out of public school did they have social issues? I am afraid my 5 yr old is going to kill me if I do this because she is extremely excited, but my older daughter doesn't want to got back....which to me is horrible that she is already hating school when she is so young. Thanks for any advice.

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User - posted on 07/14/2009

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I don't want to repeat the great advice of others, but just want to add one thing.

We have been homeschool our 2 kids since my daughter was in 1st grade. We started homeschooling because she was not being challenged enough at school. This year my kids are going into 6th & 8th grade with the youngest never having gone to public school.

Before starting homeschooling, make sure you know what the laws are in your state. Some states require a certain number of days per year of school, yearly testing, or other things. I love TX because we are treated like a private school and do not have to submit anything to the state. Since your daughter has been in public school you may need to do the proper paperwork to withdraw her before you start homeschooling.

Here is a link to find out what your state requires: http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

Cheryl - posted on 03/31/2012

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You can homeschool for free or for as much as private school tuition! It is very flexible. There are so many free resources:



MEP is a full math curriculum you print from the internet.

Khan Academy has video lessons for more than I can keep track of.

You can check out books from the library to cover science and history.

The WorldBook Encyclopedia has a list of what kids should learn at various grade levels, you can also get a scope and sequence from the Core Knowledge Group. I love their book series "What You're....Needs to Know." Each book has literature, history, and science lessons that are age appropriate. It also lists reading and math concepts that should be mastered. Other sections give lessons for art and music. We supplemented the Kindergarten book with books from the library that were on my son's reading level.



This year, I spent a little more money to get started in curricula that we could continue through jr high or high school. I want to ensure that we don't have any "holes" in his education. I do still use the Core Knowledge book for Lit selections.



I spent less than $500 last year investing in curriculum, I have grammar and science through 5th or 6th grade in that purchase as well as next year's history. I will spend less than $100 on math and a few consumables that we need for the used curriculum I purchased. Buying used will save you a lot of money!



As far as pulling your kids out of school, that depends on the state you live in. Look at Home School Legal Defense's website. They have a great break down of laws by state. Your state will also have a homeschool group that advocates in your state government. They probably have a website and host classes and conventions for parents. They are always willing to give advice too.



We love homeschooling!

Starla - posted on 01/19/2012

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I would go for it. Sounds like she just learnes diferently or has bad teachers. I was just shy and they told me i couldn't read but i read better than most people. Homeschooling is not expensive. I know many people that say public school is more expensive. Most of the books are cheap specially for younger grades. I think the most i ever spent on books even in highschool was $175. Also their are lots of free printable worksheets online. You do need to get under a homeschool covering which means a tuition, but in my experince it isn't bad it is just enough to cover paper work and most give discounts for more children. Also it is easy to get your kids involved in groups, fildtrips, church, and local sports. Also just think you don't have to constanly send money to school for lunch and snak and other fundraisers. Your kids won't be sick as much. Their are many differnt ways homeschool actualy saves you money.

Ann - posted on 07/22/2009

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It looks like you have made your decision but there is one other option you might want to look into. It was referred to lightly in a couple of the previous posts. An "electronic" school falls in between home schooling and public school. It is in fact considered public school by the state (at least here in Ohio and many other states as well).

This means you do not have to find a curriculum and make lesson plans like traditional home schooling. The curriculum, computer, printer and all material are provided free by the school (paid for by taxes like a brick and mortar school). The lessons are set and directed by the teacher assigned to your student. Its just all done at home with the parent acting as coach - particularly in the primary grades when the kids can't read yet and need constant direction and supervision. Junior high and high school age kids can work more independently.

There are planned field trips and the students can talk (email) other students over the very secure school website that is open only to other participants. They can even talk to students in other states! Hows that for socialization?

There are live classes with the student participating over the computer that have required attendance. The student is required to be "in school" a certain numbers of hours per week but these hours can be at any time that is convenient.

There are several different ones out there so you can find one that fits your particular needs. Our 4 year old dd is going into K this fall and is very advanced and also I think ADD/ADHD. She would so have problems with a traditional school. They are not prepared for and advanced student at that level. About the only option they can give is to skip a grade (or more) and then you have a younger child in with older students that created nothing but problems.

I dealt with these same issues myself and with my two oldest dd (now grown). I am determined my Dora will not grow up bullied, ostracized or held back possibly due to behavior problems from the ADD. She is smart and loving and I will not have her ruined by school.

I was looking into home schooling when someone suggested an electronic school. The only negative I have been able to come up with was why couldn't this have been available sooner!! My dd is enrolled in Connection Academy (http://www.connectionsacademy.com) and we are now waiting for her materials to be delivered.

The students can go at their own pace. There are lots of resources if they need extra help. If they need to go faster they can (like I know my daughter will), then they are prepared to pull work from the next grade if needed. If they need to, the school is prepared to put them thru more than one grade a year. They said they have several students doing two grades a year and will have one student graduating high school next year (or was it this year?) at 12! Can you imagine what a brick and mortar school would have been like for the kid?

Anyway, I just thought is might be something you would want to look into. Their were some parents who said they only used it for a year or two to help a struggling student get back on track or caught up. Something to think about for your first grader.

Phyllis - posted on 07/18/2009

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I do want to address the curriculum issue raised by some. There are many excellent curriculums available today. There are also many different "flavors" of home schooling from unschooling to creating a very structured classroom in your home with distance learning that is fully proctored by an accredited institution.



We are very fortunate here in CT, thanks to those who have come before and to those who currently stand up to defend our right to educate our children. Today in Connecticut, homeschoolers are familiar with CGS 10-184, that portion of the law that deals with the duties of parents per the education of their children. The initial portion of this law* was originally codified as part of the Code of 1650 or Ludlow's Code. The initial wording read something like this, courtesy of Consent of the Governed:



...all parents and masters do breed and bring up their children and apprentices in some honest, lawful calling, labor, or employmnet, either in husbandry or some other trade profitable for themselves and the Commonwealth, if they will not nor cannot train them up in learning, to fit them for higher employment.



This law has made it possible for CT parents to do whatever they believe is best for their children. Our family enjoyed this benefit tremendously. We spent the first several years of our home education experience developing our own curriculum using the unt study method. By high school our young adult children chose a boxed curriculum. We did not use an accreditation or proctoring service. Both jumped through the GED hoop to satisfy the college entrance requirement. Neither has been turned away from pursuing their education because we did not have "formal" transcripts or an "expert" opinion to substantiate our home education style. We also know home schoolers from all parts of the choice spectrum who have the same experience. So please do not be discouraged by the "warnings" some raise about your child being excluded from higher education because of the style you choose to use.

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Wendy - posted on 09/19/2012

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We homeschool and enjoy the many benefits this lifestyle has to offer. The freedom and time I get with my children every day is one of my biggest joys. If you have the desire and heart for your children, you CAN homeschool... regardless of the reasons why. It takes dedication and committed parents (moms) to succeed on this journey. Please visit my site www.hearts4homeschool.com to claim my FREE e-book, "Beginner's Guide To Home Education". To read our story visit www.theblacktopaffair.com to learn more. Hope this gives you the insight needed to make a decision.

Cruzhia - posted on 04/12/2012

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Hello,
I am currently homeschooling my children ranging from the age of 11-4 (5 in total). I have been doing it for the lat 3 yr and adore it. As to support groups I still have yet to find any in my area, (but if anyone does I would love it,Tampa). There are a lot of free and paid curriculum you can follow online. It really is a choice between following a curriculum already planned out for you or making your own. You could do a little of both, (this is what I do). There are many online support groups though. Brainpop has a good group and programs for a little as 20 dollars a month and K12 is a national program which is free and provide all materials. A really good curriculum for people wanting to incorporate religion and Bible study is www.amblesideonline.org. I use this one and you can google most of the reading material and print them.

As to social issues, my children actually strive more socially with out the pressure of their peers to follow the crowd. They've become more confident in themselves. The boys are in programs and sports and the girls do girl scouts and dance.

In regards to your 5yr old, my advice with all respect is let her attend school. All children are different and learn differently. It may be a better choice for her.

Good luck in your search and God bless =)

Heather - posted on 04/09/2012

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Not sure if anyone suggested Sonlight. I would recomend a structured cirriculum in the begining to give you a feel of routine and pace. Also with that many kiddos close in age you can use the same "core" or base lessons and then add math and literature based on individual skill levels. You can get a free catolog on website with complete book list, they do a payment plan,..or you can ebay for a few things and even get a lot of the readers at the library. My children are very social and our community offers alot. Also look into your state and county for free virtual programs they are not all online but alot are FREE. We are doing this with my oldest this year.

Starla - posted on 04/05/2012

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It, is sad that your public school is more worried about their rating than their kids, but that is how everything is going these days. It seems that you are doing good with her, so yes I would homeschool. I don't know why everyone keeps saying it is expensive. Everyone i know and my self say it is cheaper. like others have said their are lots of free resources and others are not bad. Basicly you can go as low are high as you want. I think the bigest thing is you do have to buy your books and often have to pay a tuition to a school for covering and state paper work just depending on your state laws. But my childs tution is only $110 and you get discounts for more kids and years of enrollment. And the books i say i spent a little over $100 this year but it could have been cheaper. I bought an expensive math book. Look at christian book distributers for lots of book resources and good prices. I would most definatly homeschool your older one it seems like she would do much better with you, and go ahead and do some pre-schoolstuff with the youngest. As for the middle one if she realy want to go to school i would give her a 2 week trial at public school and if she didn't like it then i would bring her back home with the others. Each child is diffrent and you have to respect that, and i think that is one problem with public school because it is ren like one size fits all and that is not the case. Good luck!!

Heather - posted on 01/18/2012

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I am very supportive of HomeSchooling!! I started both of my children when they were 2-3yrs old. There are programs that you can get in to that can be expensive..especially with more than one child. The only program I've come across that I support is the K12 program. Its set up in a way that helps you help your children and be the best teacher possible. You don't have to get in to a program like that to HomeSchool though. The public library has a lot of books and tools that provide what you would need. If you choose to do it yourself without a program, the WorldBook website has an awesome set up to help you. They do have a program that you can buy but you don't have to. You can decide at any time that you want to HomeSchool and pull your children out of public school. You have 14 days to send a Letter Of Intent..which is just a short statement stating that you intend to homeschool your children..your children's information, just their names birthdates and grade. After that's done you will need to do an IHIP..a detailed plan of what you plan to teach your children. By law..you don't have to report for any child under 6yrs of age. It doesn't mean you can't teach them..you just don't have to report to anyone. If any of the children are in public school and are under 6 then you can pull them out without any issues..its just your decision. Its all actually very simple and totally worth it!!! There are lots of extracirricular things you can put your children in to keep up with socialization. The YMCA has a Homeschoolers program for activity. They have swimming and gym time designed for children that are home schooled. They also have other programs that you can put your children in to like dancing, art, gymnastics, swimming..just a lot of fun things. They have great deals for families so it doesn't cost a ton of money. There are lots of places to go that are free..like museums. I was just talking to my husband about this..becuz I do this on my cell and he was curious..lol! He said to make sure I mention that the programs available do depend on where you live. There are obviously more things available if you live in or near a city than if you live in the country. There is a home schooling group thru Yahoo that puts you with a group in your specific area. The people in that group would be able to tell you what is avaliable in your area. You can research programs yourself too. You can turn anything into a learning experience. My children did weekly trips to the store, the Farmer's Market, and the library. Any place that you see can create a fun learning experience. You don't have to be stuck at home. Home Schooling your children opens up a whole new world for them and for you. Also..most public libraries have a movie section. Documentaries are usually able to be checked out at no cost. There are a lot of learning tools you can find there. I live in watertown NY..our library has a ton of DVDs that help with teaching. My kids LOVE when they get to watch something. Just keep it fun and they'll learn. It will also allow your children to have the one on one attention they should have. I wish you all the best!! If you need me for anything just let me know. You can Facebook me or email me anytime mommys2bugs@yahoo.com =)

Kristie - posted on 08/25/2011

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I live in Canada with two awesome boys and a hubby who has always supported my decisions. As of this year, I have decided that my children will not be going back to their Catholic elementary school. My oldest was tested his final term. I was told that he might have a learning disability and so he got tested for SPEC ED. Wow was his teacher ever wrong! He scored as gifted in 3 out of 4 categories, all but math. And his math he scored only about 2 months behind where he should be. I laughed and sighed a sigh of relief as well! Institutionalized education is not for everyone, as homeschooling is not. My thought is though, if you don't try it out (homeschooling), how will you know if it works for your children or not. You also have the option of sending one and teaching the other. Be brave and bold. Do something new, maybe even eye opening and connecting for you and your little one!! GOOD LUCK and have confidence in your choices!!

Meg - posted on 08/24/2011

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I am an unschooling mama of three. My eldest daughter went to school until she was nearly finished year 5. Pulling her out was the BEST thing we ever did as a family.

Having her repeat a year in school is an extremely cruel thing, and repeating kids has NEVER been shown to improve their outcomes, in fact it's been shown time and time again to cause more harm than good.

Don't worry about the social stuff, there will undoubtedly be a local homeschool group near you, and the socialising in homeschool groups is FAR more social that what schools offer. Google Home Education Association Australia and you can find your local group.

With your other child who is heading to start school, if you take her along to the homeschool group she will meet friends there and probably prefer to stay friends with them rather than entering school!

Caroline - posted on 08/22/2011

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You don't have to homeschool them all. It sounds like you have your hands full and haven't done much/any research at all, so having them all, every day, may, truthfully, be too much for you. Let the 5 year old go to school and keep the other three.

I'm confused though. First grade is mainly trying to learn how to read and simple one-digit addition. How is it that she wasn't able to pass that, but yet, she was able to do multiplication all summer with you without a problem.

With that said, I completely agree with homeschooling. Since your oldest doesn't want to go back and because you're not impressed with them already, what do you have to lose. Teach her at home and if you're disciplined and committed to it, there's no reason why she couldn't get "caught up" and actually get ahead of "age level". I would homeschool in a heartbeat if my school was recommending that my child repeat a grade.

Don't worry about the unsubstantiated socialization thing. There's no truth to that. But regardless, your priority right now should be to make sure that their education is there and that they are learning what they need and not getting discouraged with school. Socialization is a far less priority in your situation. Put her in scouts, dance, sports, etc groups and you'll wonder why you ever doubted the whole socialization stigma in the first place.

[deleted account]

Unofrtuantly I too am considering it. My girl is going into 5th grade (so only been in school for 5 yrs) and last yr she encountered abully. In addition, I had a situation I took to her prinicpal about a lunch detention and how she gets punished for other's bad behavior. I do not agree with punishing whole class for 2 bad kids' behavior. it make sme boil and i have a tough time being polite about it. what ever happenend to "u do the crime, YOU do the time"? each yr I get more frustrated.

Charlene - posted on 07/24/2009

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This is a big decision for you to make, your decision can change your childrens lives forever! I have no problem with homeschool or with public or private schools, its your children and only you can make this choice! I was never homeschooled and did have problems in the early years with learning, no one ever tested me for any disabilties. I know that I learn different, I'm more hands on! As most people here have said every child is different and learns different and at different paces. I now have two children one is two and the other is only 2 months, I know I will not be homeschooling them, I do want them to make friends with other children and get to experience all the things that they deserve to experience, like school dances, spelling bees, track and field days, plays and school concerts, graduation, prom, sleepovers and so on and so on, too many to write. My cousins were homeschooled now they are 18 and 20 years, with no friends didn't get to do any of those things and my aunt told me she regrets it. She did love teaching them and watching and learning everything everyone here has mentioned about homeschool, Its sad that they missed out on that part of growing up, I know you can bring them to outings and social events, sports, things where they socialize with other children, its just not the same as having a best friend and group of friends, people other then your parents or family to talk to, hang out with, confide in, etc...As far as public school or private, you can get some really bad teachers who don't care and get some really great teachers who love their job and love to teach! Maybe try switching schools! As a parent our job is to raise our children the best we can and teach them as much as we can, that means sitting down with them after school to help with homework or projects, its our job no matter how long it takes each night, teachers can only do so much but the parents have to help to, they are our children and we should want to help them, even if we think that its the teachers job to teach them, really its not only their responsabilty to teach them, its ours and they do have to try to figure things out on their own too, they need to be able to think for themselves and be able to take care of themselves because they won't always have someone there to help all the time! They need to be independent, they can't always rely on other people, they have to rely on themselves sometimes and the world is not nice, they need to learn to fend for themselves as adults. Only us as parents can teach some things about life but life experiences teaches so much that we can't! I know you will make the best choice for you and your children, I wish you all the best and luck with whatever you choose to do!

Lisa - posted on 07/24/2009

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I love homeschool. I did it for years. Just get connected with a active support group. It will make a huge difference. I found the library a great place to spend one day a week. My kids are grown and I produce videos that are bought by schools, libraries, and homeschoolers to teach grades 5-7 first words in Spanish. See www.asiasi.tv/dvds.htm for helpful videos!

Candi - posted on 07/23/2009

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My son is 7 and we homeschooled him last year in 1st grade, he also went to public school for about 4 months. I prefer the homeschooling. I am not a teacher, but I enjoy watching him learn new things. And some, like Spanish, I can learn along with him. Look in your area for a Charter school. My son goes once a week to meet with a teacher and take a few classes, but the rest he does at home. If you want an online school, CAVA is a good one. There is no charge for it either.

Charlene - posted on 07/23/2009

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I, too, am looking into homeschooling this fall. I have several freinds that do it and have looked at the ciriculums they used. Which has helped alot. Go on line and see if there is a support group or co-op in your area and contact them for information. These are the places your children and you will socialize. Going to a Homeschool Expo in your area will also help-you can see all the differant cirriculums and pick what works for your child.

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I had to pull my 8 year old out of public school due to adhd, ocd, and a social delay. The teacher was not abiding by the IEP(individual education plan), even though the law says the teacher has to follow the IEP. The IEP gives a child the extra help in differents ways to allow the child to stay in a normal class. He is very bright and was not at all challenged in the school system. I considered home school but because of he already had social problems I wanted him to continue to have the interaction with kids his age. I found a local school at a chruch that taught the ABEKKA program which I like, had small classrooms, was cheaper than most, and worked with me and my son. Since entering that program he has done great and likes learning again. If you can manage homeschool I think that is a good idea too. Just make sure you use a good program and there should be homeschool groups in your area that meet like once a week for get togethers so they still get some socializations. Hope this helps.

Dawn - posted on 07/23/2009

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Go for it! We love it! My son is ahead in some areas, behind in others, and is totally excelling where he might have been branded a trouble maker at school otherwise. We have lots of fun, see lots of people, and get out of the house all the time. We spend way less time on school than he'd be away at school, and to me that means bonus time for us to do what we want, whether that's play with LEGOS or go to the library or to get together with friends or just go outside and go swimming.

Laura - posted on 07/23/2009

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Hi Amber, I am so sorry your children are going through this situation...it seems way to unfair. I don't know where you live, or what school district you are in, but where I am, they include slower paced children, down syndrome children, deaf and hard of hearing children as well as some mentally challenged children in the classrooms with the average Joe's and advanced children. The emphasis is placed on the individual to learn at their own pace with the help of the teacher, special needs teachers, counselors, paras and fellow classmates. My 7 year old met a child with Downs and now has a friend for life. The child with Downs has greatly helped my child learn to slow down, look at things differently and has helped "teach" my child how to "teach". The advantages are endless.

If the idea of homeschooling is daunting, ask around your school district for a better match to your child's needs. If you are set on homeschooling, there are wonderful web sights out there to help you get started and most school districts can point you in the right direction.

My only opinion is this, if you keep your children at home to home school them, consider week night or weekend activities with other children to keep the social skills building. We know of several families where the children home school, and while these kids are smarter than most of the kids their own age, they can't talk with, play with, pretend, goof off or act like a child their own age, so they miss out on birthday parties, skating, movies, sleepovers and social events....all the stuff you and I did as kids in school. It's a tough position you are in. I wish you success and peace with your decision.

Kathi - posted on 07/23/2009

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I am sorry to hear that the teacher's your child have worked with have so inappropriately treated you and your child. Many times it is hard to diagnose a learning difficulty prior to 1st or 2nd grade and sometimes testing too early actually hurts the child's chances of receiving special instruction more than it helps because a specific time period must pass prior to retesting.



As a public school teacher, we have had students return to our school from both homeschools and private schools. I can say that the majority of them are then behind in the public school systems. Parents who homeschool MUST know and understand the curriculum and the pace at which the curriculum in public schools is taught. Homeschools students are still required to take specific testing. We have homeschooled students come to our school for state testing required by NCLB. The blame cannot always go on the school system. I agree that many students who struggle the most are those whose parents are not involved, and also agree that no child left behind (NCLB) is a mess. However, all schools must follow this and schools are required to teach at a pace which allows them to cover all of the necessary skills PRIOR to March of each year which is when state testing occurs in the 2 states that I have taught. Any student learns better with one on one teaching, however sometimes a parent who is not familiar with grade level expectations cannot determine if their child is reading or completing math at an appropriate level.





One last note: Fluency (speed of reading) is important for comprehension, however this does vary depending on the child. If the child is spending all of the time sounding out words, they will not be able to put together all off the information in order to comprehend what was read. Many times reading too fast is also an issue that affects comprehension because the key points are missed. Good luck with your decision I am sure this is a difficult one. As a teacher I could NEVER homeschool my own children b/c eventhough I teach struggling students everyday they do not want to hear my advice!

Allison - posted on 07/23/2009

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I have homeschooled my kids all of their lives. I have a 9th grader and a 3rd grader, who is dyslexic. We have good days and bad days. I know what they are learning and I can adapt the work to fit with my 3rd grader, who by the way tested up to 5th grade in some of his work areas. I don't know what state you are in but you could contact your board of education and they can tell you of all the requirements. There are many sites out there to get good curriculum. I personally used Christian Liberty Press and it was about $480.00 for everything they need and I need to teach them this year.



Wishing you the best!

Mihstiegh - posted on 07/23/2009

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find a "Smoothing the Way" group. I wished we had had the support they offer 11 years ago, when we began homeschooling. But I am gonna start going to the meetings soon!
Keep the vision!!

Lara - posted on 07/23/2009

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Wow! I thought I was reading my daughter's experience with public school. Talk about a nightmare. My husband and I made the decision to homeschool our daughter after the first half of first grade. We have not looked back.

According to the school's assessments, they decided that she was at kindergarten level even though when she left kindergarten they said she was at 2nd grade level. We worked with her through the whole summer between the 2 grades, so there was no way she dropped that much over a summer break. They wanted to put her in speech, but they had to wait for their timeline to exhaust itself, and when we took her to a speech pathologist on our own, we were told her only problem was she didn't have a few of her sounds down and that she was still within the spectrum and had plenty of time. Oh, and not having her 2 front teeth at the time wasn't helping with the th sound. lol

Then we were told she had to be put in a special remedial reading group because she was not reading at grade level. So, they put her in there, but I had a big problem with her missing instruction time in the classroom while they ushered her out for this special group. When she came back, she had no idea where the class was at and her teacher would get upset with her not knowing what to do on assignments. I volunteered in her class at least 3 times a week and was room mom, and witnessed this first hand. I was told that my daughter was behind, that she was not going to be able to catch up in time, and that she was disruptive. In the entire time I was there, the only thing disruptive I noticed was when she would raise her hand and ask her teacher what she needed to do when she got back. Now, I'm not naive and know that she very well could be disruptive when I wasn't there, but more often than not, I was in the hall reading with the other kids, so she barely knew I was there. She was in first grade, at that age, it's still very much mom's out of sight, out of mind.

When we told her teacher that we were strongly considering homeschooling her since she was having so many issues, and we didn't want her to get anymore behind, she agreed that that might be the best option. She just didn't have the time to give her the one on one attention that was needed, and she just couldn't spare anymore of her time. Plus, she had supposedly exhausted all the avenues that she knew that were available and that just hoped that we'd wait the last four weeks out because that reading group gets funds from the state for ever student that completes the program.

That was it for us. We didn't want her in the group to begin with but were told that it was essential for our daughter's reading ability. But, when we were told that the reason that they wanted her to finish was to get paid, that was it. We started homeschooling her over the winter break, and the day that the kid's went back to school, we kept her home. The school called and wanted to know where she was, I said we were homeschooling her, and that I would be in later that week to sign her out and collect her belongings.

For the next few days, we received calls from the reading group instructor begging us to bring her back, to which we said no thank you. I started printing out things from online and used the internet entirely to unschool her and find out where she was at. I found out that she was able to do everything that her teacher told me she wasn't able to do. Her reading was fine, she had great handwriting, her spelling was on target, and the only thing she was slightly behind on was math.

For second grade, I bought a boxed curriculum, which turned out not to be conducive to her learning style at all. I was still forcing myself to homeschool in a school form. Surely we had to be sitting at the table and do one subject after another just like they are doing at the school down the street. By the middle of 2nd grade, I had thrown all those ideas out the window and truly began to figure out what would work for us. I began to learn what my daughter's learning style was. How she learns math, what curriculums teach in that method, etc.

By 3rd grade, we were all caught up. I took the time to ask my daughter what she wanted to learn, and found curriculum that taught it. For example, she is really interested in history. Most of the social studies curriculum spend most of the year learning about how to be a good citizen, what the fireman does, why do we need a hospital, etc. How many years do you have to learn that??? We found a curriculum that taught her about the history of the US. She was ecstatic, and has thrived. I dare anyone to chat with my 9 year old about the meaning of the Boston Tea Party and compare and contrast it with the Tea Parties that we've been having now. I even took her to our local tea party back in April as a field trip.

You will be amazed at the difference homeschooling can make. My daughter is a totally different kiddo. She looks forward to doing her schoolwork everyday because I have tailored it specifically to her needs. Sure, we have days where it's tough and a fight, but I'd rather her do it at home with me, than in a school setting. She doesn't bring home the bad habits that I really don't need her to have. ha ha. We are able to take time off when daddy isn't working. He works rotating shifts and his "weekend" can be a Tuesday and Wednesday. The only time my daughter misses going to school is when we drive past while kids are having recess. But then she remembers that they are only out there for 15 minutes or so and she says she's done with her work for the day, so she can play lots more. lol

I have a 2 year old son, and he loves to participate in "school" with us as well. There are all sorts of free curriculum online for all sorts of grade levels so school can be as expensive as you make it. Check out http://oldfashionededucation.com/. It's a great resource. All you need to do is get a printer, some paper, and ink. amblesideonline.org is great as well.

Hope this helps. Feel free to contact me, as I have looked at tons and tons of sites, and can point you to free curriculum, used, etc. :) the thing with the charter schools online is that while they are nice, they are still public school. You have to do things their way. We wanted to do it our way.

Lara

Sam - posted on 07/23/2009

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I'm in the same boat as Amber. I just recently decided to homeschool for similar reasons. Both my children are excited. I think if you contact your local homeschool group, you may find less expensive options. I would encourage you to do that!



Good luck homeschooling, and don't give up! It will be well worth it!



My thing: My daughter brings home so much homework, and hasn't learned anything from her teacher... I'm sitting 3-4 hours a night working on homework, and studies. The board of education only requires 4.5 hours max of homeschool. So why am I spending 3-4 hours per night teaching my child something she should have learned in school? If I'm going to be "teaching" her concepts which have been introduced in school (not taught)... then why not spend those 3-4 hours doing homeschool? Also, my daughter and another child in her class have told me that a particular teacher told them to, "figure it out." when they had questions... yet helped other children. What is up with that? If my daughter was able to "figure it out", why is she asking questions? Isn't that what the teacher is for: TO TEACH?



Good luck with the homeschool. Like I said, contact your local homeschool group!

Lara-Lyn - posted on 07/22/2009

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My oldest (16) is being home schooled due to health problems. I think its a great idea!! You may want to check into a program called k12. It is done online as well as with text books, it is a public school so it is free. They also have field trips and activities so the children are able to interact with each other. You may want to check out their web site since I am not sure when the cut off date is for enrollment. k12.com is the website.

Hope this helps some, and good luck.

Amber - posted on 07/20/2009

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After a long family talk abt the subject, my daughters have both decided they want to give public school a try. My soon to be kindergartener is extremely excited and I don't want to take the opportunity away from her and my once again 1st grader wants to try one more time, but only for the first semester...if things don't go well and I feel she isn't progressing as she should then I will begin homeschooling her.



I appreciate all the help you all have given. It was some very good advice and I took both sides of it under consideration.



Once again thank you very much:)

Phyllis - posted on 07/18/2009

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We successfully home educated our daughter and son from start to finish. They are now 21 and 18 and have had absolutely no difficulty in getting jobs or attending college. They are very well socialized-as in they can communicate wonderfully with people of any age, can speak in public about issues they care about, volunteer to help others (ESL, soup kitchen, etc).



I appreciate all the insight and recommendations so many have given on this topic. My own 2 cents would be to recommend that you connect with a support group that you and your children can be a part of for field trips, co-opting academics and for making all kinds of wonderful connections, whereby you help other parents with skills you may have and others help you with skills they may have. This is where you will get references for the best dance or karate class, a favorite piano teacher, science labs, etc. There are a good number of them in CT.



Some are strictly regional others reflect the particular interests of a group of people. Off the top of ,my head, I can think of CHOOSECT in SE CT, SCHEF, along the shoreline, there is a group in the quiet corner, one in the Hartford area. If you go to your local library, these groups may have posted a flyer about themselves or the librarian may know who to contact. Even try googling home school support groups in CT.



You may want to attend a yearly homeschool convention-locally look for TEACH in the Hartford area in April-ish and MASSHOPE in Worcester, MA soon after.



In closing there are so many more resources available than there were 20 years ago. Jump in and make the most of this wonderful opportunity. Our family believes home education was one of the best choices we have ever made!

Pat - posted on 07/15/2009

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Hi Amber,
I to was frustrated with the public school system years ago. I have 7 children (a yours, mine and ours) The older ones stayed in school but our 2 younger girls (ours) were home educated per our 6th child's request. It was a decision we have never regretted. We have completed their ed. 4 years ago. The youngest is married and raising a great family, the other one is waiting for God to send the right man, in the mean time she is using her time to serve God as her calls her.
She works at the church, teaches music, and is involved with a dance troupe,using this as a way to meet people and share Christ with them.
I would not change our decision to home ed, for any reason. It is probably less $ to HS (homeschool) than to send to school.No need for new cloths no car pools no day care no fund raisers no fades for the kids to keep up with etc. Your children are close enough in ages that you will be able to use the books more than once. Just always buy enough accompanying workbooks for the following children in case they are changed. Check with the support groups in your area they may have a library you can use, and try to buy used books. Please remember the most important book from which you can teach all other subject and that is the Bible. I'll be praying for you and your family as make this life time decision. May God bless you in all you undertake and hold you up when times get rough.

Debbie - posted on 07/15/2009

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I pulled my son out of public school last yr & home schooled him for 8th grade. They were not working with him at all when he asked fro help over & over again. So I asked him over & over again if he wanted to go to public high school & he said, he wanted to be homeschooled again so we are.

[deleted account]

A comment I completely forgot to leave. If you are committed to leaving your child's school and would be interested in your children learning together, I would suggest either a Montessori program (very popular on the East Coast) or a Waldorf School (European teaching methods, gaining popularity in the States).

[deleted account]

Wow. I really hate to be the bearer of bad news. I don't really know where to start. I have worked with children in both a faith based school setting and a public school system since 2003, with children ranging in ages from infant to senior high school students. I want to caution you before you make the home schooled decision. I believe that many parents feel one of two things when they make the decision to homeschool that one, either their child is not receiving the benefits that a school should be able to provide (especially in regards to talented/gifted/advanced students) or that the school is denying their child rights to services they need (seen in students who have developmental or emotional concerns). In my experience, which of course, is limited, is that over 80% of parents who I saw chose to homeschool had never set foot in their child's classroom more than conferences or when there was a problem. Volunteering in your child's classroom is one of the best things you can do to determine exactly what is going on. Children can exhibit night and day behaviors from home to school, for example, my daughter who easily spoke her mind at home, remained shy and removed for most of her 2nd grade year. Why? She was tested by both a psychologist and a social worker with no found problems. It wasn't until I volunteered in the classroom that I found another student was bullying a few of the girls in her class. It sounds to me like you might have just fallen into a classroom with a teacher who wasn't necessarily up to par, in this day and age, it is universally accepted that focus should not be on the speed of a child's reading ability but their comprehension. More food for thought...you have two younger children who are going to be needing your attention at the same time that you will need to provide attention to your two older children who you are teaching. Also, I must disagree with Katie's suggestion that homeschooled materials are not expensive. This is not true, the programs that will carry weight if you choose to return your child to public school or when it is time to apply for college are very expensive. Unfortunately, high schools and colleges will not accept materials that you make up on your own. This is evidenced by a child I recently worked with to have admitted to a program for gifted children. The parents had homeschooled the child for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades because they felt the school wasn't meeting his needs. However, because the parents had not used an accredited program, the child did not receive the appropriate state required testing, and the records were not kept in an organized fashion, the child was either going to "not be admitted" or would be placed in the 3rd grade (at age 11). I just hope that the comments I have left help those who consider homeschooling an option realize that it is MUCH MUCH more than just reading with your child and teaching them math facts.

[deleted account]

As a former homeschooled student I can say that kids who are homeschooled are no worse off than public school kids (usually they're better off because they don't pick up as many bad habits from public schools). My husband and I have planned to homeschool from the beginning and our oldest is now in Pre-K, just at home. We just make sure that he gets planty of time with kids in the community (the zoo, library, church, family, playing sports) and he's fine when he's around them. Homeschooling gives you the chance to teach what you want to teach as well, and how you want to do it instead of forcing something on your kids that they're not ready for.

[deleted account]

Good for you for considering the option of homeschooling! As a public school teacher, I naturally support my local school district. But I also support any parent who researches all options out there in order to provide the best education for their kids. I support homeschooling parents because they know their children best. I have had homeschooling kids return to to their local school in the past. I've seen both sides of the socialization issue. It is all dependent upon the style of homeschooling: part of a group with other children, or solo. At the middle school level where I taught for 10 years, the homeschooled kids that were instructed by themselves had a bit of a struggle. Since 7th & 8th grade is so difficult anyway, I made it a point to pair up the homeschooled kids with some positive peer role models to help introudce them to the school environment. One thing you may not know is that your homeschooled children are still eligible for enrollment in the local school in order to participate in art, PE, computers, music, and even after school sports in some states or school districts if your child still wants to participate in some of those activities. It never hurts to ask! Best of luck to you!

[deleted account]

I home schooled my two boys up until middle school which was last year.

My daughter was only home schooled for two years then started 2nd grade.

Reason being, both of my boys just wanted to go to school...

And my daughter had no friends to be around so she begged me...

I knew though, that the foundation I had given them would carry them through...

And I was RIGHT!

Both boys were honor roll last year...

And my daughter was advanced and proficient in all her subjects.

In California, I did not find that it was expensive...

I mean, what's expensive anyway? Leaving your kids in a school that are already labeling them? Screw that!

One thing I learned about home schooling... ALL kids learn differently AND at different paces...

To touch on social issues...

My kids are so FREAKIN awesome and well behaved they stick out like soar thumbs...

Think about it...

Who has the social issues...

The kids who are segregated by age in classrooms...

Or the kids at home who are being taught by their parents and more than likely interacting with people of many ages through out the day...

Sorry for the long note...

I really can go on a RANT!

YOU GO AMBER DAY!

I know you can DO IT!

[deleted account]

We took our dd out of school near the end of third grade and haven't looked back. Home schooling gives so many opportunities for the children to learn things. They can also develop at their own level and aren't being compared to other children. It can be as cheap or as expensive as you make it. We've used ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) before, however have now changed to a combination of Rod & Staff and A Beka. There are heaps of free resources online as well. Take the plunge: you won't regret it!
Veronica (Australia)

Vivian - posted on 07/15/2009

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The school has no choice but to meet your son's needs. What they are doing is illegal and against the law. I would fight them. My daughter has special needs and I fought the Board of Education. Unfortunately, you have to fight, no one wants to give you anything.

Sharon - posted on 07/15/2009

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Just a word of encouragement...the fact that you are concerned says you care about your children a great deal. I have no doubt that whatever your choice is, you will be involved one way or another.

I have three grown children (18, 22, & 24). My son was in the public school system through 2nd grade and one of my daughters went to public kindergarten. The local school had my son go to transitional first grade after kindergarten and before first grade. Then when he was in second grade, they wanted to put him in Project Ideal (for advanced students). We had been very happy with his teachers until 2nd grade. That year was very frustrating! Our daughter had a very good kindergarten teacher, but we decided to homeschool the following year. When I tested my son for placement in the curriculum, he placed into 4th grade. I homeschooled them (and my youngest daughter) all the way through high school. We were very involved in our church and in homeschool co-ops, where they took sciences and Spanish. They also took some community college classes when they were older. Two of them are in college now. One went through community college and will transfer to a state college soon, and the other has been attending a Bible college. Both are doing well. They are active with their peers and people seem to love being around them. They are very secure and not easily influenced by anyone.

Homeschooling is NOT easy! You will have to make sacrifices and learn to prioritize. You will have to learn to let some things go so you can get your schooling done. You will change your schedule constantly to find the balance you need. You may also have to go through different curricula before you find the one that suits your family.

All that said, the sacrifice will be more than worth it because of the character and values you will be teaching your children that they will carry into adulthood.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/14/2009

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HSLDA is your best source for info. My son has a language processing delay, and we are having a BETTER time with his schooling here at home than when he attended a very good private school. If you do this, be prepared for support from unexpected places, and opposition from some heartbreaking places. Another good website for kids who learn differently (homeschooled or not) is www.diannecraft.org. Sometimes a child just needs a boost to get them headed in the right direction. Also, don't be afraid of not being a "real" teacher. You can do it.

Amber - posted on 07/14/2009

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Thank you all very much for ur information and advice, I am taking everything into consideration at this point b4 I make my decision. Once again thanks:)

Lisa - posted on 07/14/2009

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I have homeschooled all three of my children, and 2 began in the public school system. I understand how frustrated you can get with the school system. Our school failed my dd. she has dyslexia but we did not find this out until she was in 6th grade. It should have been caught when she was in 1st and 2nd grade, but they continued to tell me that she was fine and reading on grade level, just read slowly.
I agree with all the other posts here and do not want to repeat all the points made.
Your children will become more social as you teach them how to interact with others responsibly and as you take them with you on outings. This is really a non issue brought up way too much by people who do not understand what homeschooling really is.
Find a homeschool support group and get involved! Homeschooling is becoming more and more popular and it is becoming easier to find other families to connect with.
Research curriculum carefully and find one that fits with your family's learning styles. If you do not want the pressure of all the teaching there are very good online and charter schools that allow you to teach at home, yet your children still have an outside teacher and curriculum. (we have had good experience with this)
You can spend as much money or as little money as you need to. You can purchase curriculum or you can use free online charter school programs.
You do not have to homeschool all your children. Many families (ours included) have children in charter or public school and homeschool only 1 or 2 for various reasons. Your children's individual education is your primary concern. Some children thrive in a classroom/school setting, others do not. I recommend you take each child as an individual case and pray over and decide what is best for each child.
One last thing, I wish I knew more about dyslexia when my daughter was in K and 1st grade. This web site does a wonderful job explaining what dyslexia is and what it isn't. Your daughter may not have it, but if you are looking for possible answers it could be worth checking in to. http://www.brightsolutions.us/

Hope that helps!

[deleted account]

Find a balance. I am not homeschooling my children, but am also not opposed to it. I was homeschooled as a child, and know that is a lot of work. Lots of schools will let homeschooled children attend some of their classes. You also don't need to homeschool all of your children if only some are having issues in school. Different kids need different learning environments.

Libby - posted on 07/14/2009

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I couldn't homeschool my children. I'm not a teacher, so I just prefer to be an active part of their learning. I volunteer in their school as much as I can. I work with all of the children, including my own. It was fun when my oldest was in Kindergarten because I would volunteer atleast two times a week for half of the day. The kids actually looked up to me like I was a teacher. And when the teacher had a sub she was always comfortable that I was there to help the day flow as it should. In fact, there was a sub once that was a little unsure of herself and I pretty much took over the activities for the afternoon. I love being hands on, but I am not trained nor experienced enough to be the only educator of my children. I know that I am their best teacher, so I try to strengthen their abilities as best as I can. I taught my oldest how to read when he was 3, but I am very glad to have the help of his teachers to help me with things that I just don't know about. So far we have been very lucky with the caliber of our teachers and I am pleased with the communication between the teachers and our family. Basically, I would suggest if anyone is afraid to take on home schooling, then just spend as much time in the schools as you can. I know exactly what goes on in my children's school day. Volunteering is the best way to help if you can't take on the full responsibility of the home schooling.

[deleted account]

I agree with Kate and Twyla. I've homeschooled my 4 kids since the beginning. This will be our 13th year! They are all doing great. Be prepared for the "socialization" argument. That seems to be what everyone gets their panties in a wad about, which is strange because that is the most ridiculous of all arguments if you understand homeschooling. As Kate said, homeschooled kids have far better social skills and far broader. Being involved with different aged kids and adults is more like "real life" than being segregated into age groups in school. Unless you intend to lock them in a closet, they'll do fine! The dirty secret is that homeschooling requires quite a lot of NOT being at home. We have music lessons, sports, library, homeschool group activities, church activities, a lot of kids do 4H and scouting. The hardest thing is staying at home long enough to get all the actual book work done.

I definitely encourage you to do this. It's not as hard as you might think and your kids will really blossom. I have a "so called" special needs child too. All she needed was to work at her own pace. She does perfectly well and learns just as quickly as other children, she was just not ready to learn things until about 1 year later than everyone else. I also had an EXTREMELY ADHD child. She would have been on drugs if she had gone to school- no question. Having her at home, I could gear everything to her way of learning and alleviate a lot of the boredom and sitting still that drives those kids nuts. Now that she's a teenager, she still has problems with the ADD part. She's not hyper anymore. Other than being a bit hard to motivate (which is more about being a teenager than being ADD) she is doing fine. :-) Find your local homeschool group and get connected. Best of luck! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

[deleted account]

I agree with Kate and Twyla. I've homeschooled my 4 kids since the beginning. This will be our 13th year! They are all doing great. Be prepared for the "socialization" argument. That seems to be what everyone gets their panties in a wad about, which is strange because that is the most ridiculous of all arguments if you understand homeschooling. As Kate said, homeschooled kids have far better social skills and far broader. Being involved with different aged kids and adults is more like "real life" than being segregated into age groups in school. Unless you intend to lock them in a closet, they'll do fine! The dirty secret is that homeschooling requires quite a lot of NOT being at home. We have music lessons, sports, library, homeschool group activities, church activities, a lot of kids do 4H and scouting. The hardest thing is staying at home long enough to get all the actual book work done.

I definitely encourage you to do this. It's not as hard as you might think and your kids will really blossom. I have a "so called" special needs child too. All she needed was to work at her own pace. She does perfectly well and learns just as quickly as other children, she was just not ready to learn things until about 1 year later than everyone else. I also had an EXTREMELY ADHD child. She would have been on drugs if she had gone to school- no question. Having her at home, I could gear everything to her way of learning and alleviate a lot of the boredom and sitting still that drives those kids nuts. Now that she's a teenager, she still has problems with the ADD part. She's not hyper anymore. Other than being a bit hard to motivate (which is more about being a teenager than being ADD) she is doing fine. :-) Find your local homeschool group and get connected. Best of luck! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

Jessica - posted on 07/14/2009

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I have some people I know that were home schooled. The most important thing to remember is to keep them active with children their age. Join library clubs, have play dates with friends, and make sure they are involved with other children. I know quite a few kids that were home schooled and have very bad social skills which are a very important part of the society we live in. It is also important to have them around other races and classes of people because that is also something they will have to do as an adult. So many home schooled children end up sheltered and once they reach adulthood they have no idea how to function in the real world. As long as your children listen to you well, stay ahead in their studies, and still have social lives you should be fine. If your one child ends up having a learning disablity you will probably have to have someone specialized with learning disablities to help you out. You can hire tutors or people to help you with this outside of the school if need be. I have 2 girls that babysit for me that are home schooled and they have great social skills and are active in sports and other activities, they also help out with kids that are hispanic and are helping them learn English. Their parents take them traveling and introduce them to new things and experiences. They are a great example of how good home schooling can be.

Laura - posted on 07/14/2009

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My son is looking at going into 4th grade and I'm seriously considering homeschooling him as well. We live in a low population county and the school doesn't want to provide what my son needs in order to learn effectively with his adhd. I have no trouble with him at home! Because the government keeps cutting back on funding and raising the standards of the schools at the same time, that no child left behind thing is bullcrap. They are trying to force all the kids to learn the same like in a factory assembly line and if a part doesn't fit....
Please. For their own good, homeschool them.

Twyla - posted on 07/14/2009

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I pulled my daughter out of public schools because she was not being challenged enough and in turn was becoming disruptive and getting in trouble. It was not any more expensive then sending her to public schools. She stayed involved in activities at church and things like that to keep up the socializing. I have enjoyed homeschooling my daughter as it has given us more time to bond and she is able to do her work at her own pace.

Kate - posted on 07/14/2009

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I think you should go for it. Children who are home schooled don't have social issues. My DH was home schooled. Just make sure to take your kids to the library, on "field trips" to museums, parks, etc. Get them out of the house a lot and learning in the real world, so they interact with people of all different ages and learning stages. Join a local home school group and get involved in their activities. Really, kids who are home schooled well are MORE socialized than they would be in public school.



Plus, it sounds like your daughter just doesn't learn like others do. Which means that being home schooled will help her to learn at HER pace and in HER way, very much better than being forced into a mold she doesn't fit in in a public school. It also doesn't have to be expensive -- borrow materials from the library or from friends, or buy used. You can also make up your own.



Good luck!

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