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Starting in the fall... scared and overwhelmed.


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#1 MiniBlondes

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:05 PM

Hello out there!

I'm Cori...I'm new here. You guys don't eat noobs for breakfast, right? :D

Me and my husband have decided to being HS in the fall to DD9 and DD7. I have been scouring the internet and devouring as much information as possible. But I can't seem to shake this feeling that I'm in WAY over my head on this. I'm terrified that I'm going to mess up and they're going to fall behind and not learn anything. I have a lot of common sense but I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, if you know what I mean. Can I really do this? Please tell me that my insecurities are normal.

I am most confused by curriculum. I want something fun and educational. But nothing that's going to be so challenging that it will scare all of us off our first year. I simply have no idea where to start.

I can't wait to dive in and learn the ropes from you all. If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I'm so nervous!

#2 Dolphin

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:14 PM

Hint 1

Start slow. Don't buy all of your curriculum at once. You need to find how your kids are going to learn best, and what type of teacher you are.

Seriously. Math.
Just research that, pick one to try, buy it and start teaching it before you dive into everything else.

Get a library card and do lots of reading.

After you see how it is going. Pick 2 more subjects. Don't even think/worry about science and history until you have handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading down.

You have time, this is a marathon not a sprint. You can do it.

ETA: Life of Fred Apples would be a fun thing to do together this summer just to give yourself a taster. $16, and you can do it as a read aloud with both kids

Edited by Northwest_Mama, 30 May 2012 - 09:16 PM.
forgot something


#3 Tasia

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:18 PM

Hi Cori. :)

I'm new to homeschooling as well, so I don't have much advice. I did have a bit of a trial run this year homeschooling my oldest, but my younger boys will be at home next year too. We're a little scared and overwhelmed here too.:grouphug:

Just wanted to say welcome and good luck!

#4 Chelli

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:19 PM

I wrote some blog posts about beginning homeschooling:

I'm a Homeschool Newbie Part 1

I'm a Homeschool Newbie Part 2

Maybe something that I wrote will give you some encouragement and direction. It is very over-whelming!

By the way, welcome to the Hive. :seeya:

#5 kalanamak

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:22 PM

You'll be fine. Spend the summer reading up a little on your topics so you can feel like you know what you are doing. Get your curriculum and pretend YOU are the student and read it, work the problems, answer the questions, write the paragraphs. This is a great confidence builder!

#6 Trilliums

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

Welcome!

You can do it!!!

I agree with taking it slowly and spending a lot Of time in the library. Enjoy your time with your kiddos. :)

Don't be afraid to take time to bake and sew and do long involved messy projects. Explore your neighborhood and home town. Read the k-8 boards, but try not to get overshelmed by all the things people are talking about. Ease your way into homeschooling--it is an ongoing process.

#7 LillyMama

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:40 PM

I've never in my life felt overwhelmed or inadequate about home-schooling. My kids have been reading since they were 7 minutes old, they wrote reports on "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" when they were three, they each speak, write and dance interpretatively to six languages and we just started quantum mechanics for first grade. All these women floundering about embarrass me on their behalfs.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Your first step is to find a local group, online or co-op, and meet some other moms. Any mom who talks like I did above is one you should avoid at all costs.

You'll get far better advice from others on this site than me. I read a lot when I was starting out and tried to find a philosophy that matched me. When I read The Well Trained Mind, it really resonated with me. And I'm drawn to curricula that follow that method, especially the ones written by the authors of TWTM. I've been lucky, so far, that my kids have responded well to this method, but I do realize that doesn't always happen and it might not stay.

I think most curricula have websites or information packets or lectures at conventions that will tell you about their philosophy and/or approach. A lot of it may sound like Greek to you now. But there's a reason, or many of them, that you've decided to do this. If any of those curricula resonate with you and your reasonings, start with that one. If you hear one and think, "Ick!" then, you know, don't pick that one. You may change your mind later, but I think it's always best to start with something you're excited about.

I would also think you could have some discussions with your daughters. Figure out what they liked about PS, what worked, where their strengths are, where their weaknesses are. All of these are clues as to which direction you could take.

Overall, though, sometimes you just have to make a decision and put on your blinders for a while. There's SO MANY ways to do this and it's so easy to get distracted. Just remember that NO education is perfect. None. Start with the knowledge that you can always change things if and when you need to, and you're not "wasting time" or "losing ground" if you do this. All facets and stages of life need constant vigilance and adjustment. So thinking you have to start home-school on a perfectly full plan will just make you disappointed and frustrated.

Oh, and welcome! It's a fun ride!

#8 OnTheBrink

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:46 PM

Hi!

Bear in mind that the first year of homeschooling, much like the first year of marriage, is often the most rough. So, don't go into it with uber-high expectations of perfection. Get to know your kids and how they think and learn. Along the way, read something. Add something. Draw something. Count something. Spell something. You get the idea. They're young enough that you won't mess them up. And, you'll be amazed at what they pick up and learn.

You might want to take a gander at www.amblesideonline.org. It's a Charlotte Mason curriculum and it's very gentle. You might get some great ideas there and if nothing else, a huge list of books that are worth reading with and to your kids.

Welcome! And, don't be afraid. It'll all be ok!

#9 happyhomemaker25

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:55 PM

Hint 1

Start slow. Don't buy all of your curriculum at once. You need to find how your kids are going to learn best, and what type of teacher you are.

Seriously. Math.
Just research that, pick one to try, buy it and start teaching it before you dive into everything else.

Get a library card and do lots of reading.

After you see how it is going. Pick 2 more subjects. Don't even think/worry about science and history until you have handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading down.

You have time, this is a marathon not a sprint. You can do it.

ETA: Life of Fred Apples would be a fun thing to do together this summer just to give yourself a taster. $16, and you can do it as a read aloud with both kids


I can not agree with this ENOUGH! Seriously! This is my 6th year homeschooling and we are just now finding a groove that works for us. I'm going to have to switch it up in January as my oldest will FINALLY be ready for some highschool work (long story!!) and I'm so nervous! Try to have fun with it the first year, books, outside/nature stuff, games just make it a time of getting to know one another in a new environment.

#10 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:00 PM

I've never in my life felt overwhelmed or inadequate about home-schooling. My kids have been reading since they were 7 minutes old, they wrote reports on "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" when they were three, they each speak, write and dance interpretatively to six languages...


Well, mine speaks, writes and dances in 6 + Klingon. So there.

#11 Trilliums

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:06 PM

Well, mine speaks, writes and dances in 6 + Klingon. So there.


Mine are learning Pirate.

Mango seriously has Pirate; the kids find it hilarious.

#12 WendyAndMilo

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:10 PM

LOL! I saw the Pirate, but haven't been brave enough to click yet. Knowing DS, he'd latch on like a fish to water :glare:

#13 Trilliums

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:17 PM

LOL! I saw the Pirate, but haven't been brave enough to click yet. Knowing DS, he'd latch on like a fish to water :glare:


It is pretty funny but they only have a couple of lessons. I cannot believe the conversational mileage my kids get out of it though.

#14 Trish

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:40 PM

In our first year I thought we were going to give up at least every other week. And some weeks, I thought that daily! But it was all part of the process of transitioning away from school and to a new routine. Things got a lot better after the first semester (although far from "perfect"), and have improved steadily since then. And even during the rough patches I felt they were getting a better education than what they had in school.

Welcome! You can do this.

:grouphug:

#15 Reflections

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:58 PM

Hint 1

Start slow. Don't buy all of your curriculum at once. You need to find how your kids are going to learn best, and what type of teacher you are.

Seriously. Math.
Just research that, pick one to try, buy it and start teaching it before you dive into everything else.

Get a library card and do lots of reading.

After you see how it is going. Pick 2 more subjects. Don't even think/worry about science and history until you have handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading down.

You have time, this is a marathon not a sprint. You can do it.

ETA: Life of Fred Apples would be a fun thing to do together this summer just to give yourself a taster. $16, and you can do it as a read aloud with both kids


:iagree: This is great advice. Oh, how I wish someone had said this to me when we first started.


The other best advice I had gotten was look at reading lists like Sonlights and read those books to the kids. You'll be amazed how much the love it and how much the retain.

Good luck! It's a great journey!! Welcome.:001_smile:

#16 wy_kid_wrangler04

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:02 PM

I didn't read past the reply that said pick math and start and get a library card! I agree with that. (sorry :blush:)


Start a little this summer to get 'used' to it. A recommendation for this summer:

Go to the library and have your kids pick 1 science book of interest, 1 history book of interest, 1 poetry book of interest, 1 how to book of interest, 1 classic of interest, 1 non fiction of interest BUT in a genre that are not used to (to broaden their horizons ;)) and 1 additional non fiction book of interest.

Now- these do not have to be 400+ pages each. They can be any size. (thick thin, lots of pictures, no pictures- whatever) Just get their interest started. Give them an appropriate time frame to have them read in (not overly demanding but so they have to stay at a steady pace) and then when they are all read go do it again. No book reviews, no book reports, just let them like to learn! (with choosing their topics, interest and love of learning should happen soon and naturally!)

You will be surprised how much they learn just that way. This will also give them time to get used to the school at home atmosphere instead of the brick and mortar school atmosphere!

Ofcourse, be working on that math curriculum. Research and figure out what you think you want to try. If you search 'math' I bet 194,363,478,947,162,490,562 helpful threads will pop up ;)

Once you are ready for your full curriculum-- for your first year atleast I would recommend getting curriculum that holds your hand (well scripted) until you get the hang of it. You can always take or leave the scripted part but if you need it, it will be there and you will not be so overwhelmed. This is our 4th year and that is my biggest regret. I got curriculum that didn't have the least bit of help which made me get COMPLETELY overwhelmed! Then after your first year (or two) when you start to get the hang of it you can start tweaking what you use and find better fits if need-be and so forth. Also, your first year, start with something simple and fun!

Also- do NOT assume levels! Always give placement tests when available just to be sure. Not sure if your kids were in public school or private school but our first year starting was the beginning of my now 8th graders 5th grade year. I assumed she was at the beginning of a 5th grade math level since she brought home all A's in math and was always on the honor roll. WRONG! :glare: It ended up I had to back her waaaay up to a middle of 3rd grade math level because the school she went to was just that far behind in math. Unfortunately I didn't realize that at first and there were many tears in the mean time. I never once gave her a placement test to begin with :sad:

I am sure you will do fine! I had so many fears of my kids falling behind and such but with all the 'catch up' I had to do with my oldest those fears were QUICKLY replaced with accomplishment! Feel free to ask whatever questions you have. There are ALOT of helpful ladies on here :001_smile:

BTW-- Welcome!!

#17 wy_kid_wrangler04

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:04 PM

Also, I would recommend you read a few books on homeschooling methods (The Well Trained Mind, a book on Charlotte Mason, etc) to see HOW you want to do this. A few methods can be interwoven (again, such as Classical via The Well Trained Mind and Charlotte Mason) This will also help you decide what kind of curriculum to look for :001_smile:

#18 Mommy22alyns

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:06 PM

Welcome! 9 and 7 are fun ages (see my siggy). ;) There are tons of experienced people here to help you with curriculum, and this forum has some of the smartest people online.

Your fears and insecurities are 100% normal. I'm not sure if those ever go away. :001_huh:

I definitely think that easing into it over the summer is a great idea - that's how I started with Rebecca when she was 5.

:)

#19 WTMCassandra

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:35 PM

Welcome!

You're getting great advice already.

I will add this: A wise woman once told me that I should start with one subject only, and do that for a week. The second week, if things are going well, add a second subject. Et cetera.

It will feel like you're "behind," but that's better than trying to do everything AT ONCE the first day, and possibly making it that far, only to crash and burn the second or third day and be reeling for weeks that you have ruined yourself, your children, your house, and possibly your pets.

I will also add: You are adding a full-time job to your plate. Something else will have to "give." Keep laundry, cleaning, meal plans, and grocery shopping/errands simple.

We instituted a family cleaning evening every Friday, and with all of us working, we can usually knock it out in 2-3 hours. I can get up and down for laundry now, but when the children were smaller, I changed the laundry during recess and lunch. Make a meal plan weekly and send DH to the store if possible. Sometimes, when the children were smaller, I would meet DH at the door when he got home from work with my keys in my hand and say firmly that I was going to the store or library BY MYSELF and he had the conn. Do what works.

#20 Paintedlady

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:11 AM

Welcome! :party:

Don't take it too seriously. Try not to pinch their little heads off when they aggravate you. Don't threaten to send them to public school. :glare: Start slow and just enjoy the time with your kids.

The curriculum will probably take some time to figure out, so just start with math and figure out what works and add slowly to that. Have fun and take 4 of these :chillpill: every morning. :D

#21 Incognito

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:25 AM

I've only got one year under my belt, but I'll second a lot of the above advice. Read about some styles - I really appreciated Cathy Duffy's 100 top picks and Lisa Rivero's Creative Homeschooling.

I used sonlight this year - I found it really nice to have a framework to build on. It gave me 36 weeks divided up, so I got an idea of how much was normal to cover in that amount of time (I'd check it off, but wasn't worried if we read ahead in some areas, mostly used it to keep us from falling behind). I only used it for the core and science (so that is history/bible/geography+science), but I think language arts is in it now for all of the new packages too (I could be wrong). You would do the same core and science stuff with both girls, and their own math and language arts.

You'll do fine. It takes a while to get into a groove, and then you'll end up off it, and you'll change stuff... but eventually you'll be at week 30 of the year and realize you have almost made it through, the kids learned a lot and so did you. :)

Tjej

#22 dalynnrmc

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:33 AM

Well, mine speaks, writes and dances in 6 + Klingon. So there.


Klingon was a fad. Teach your kids elvish for a more lasting nerd-dom. :tongue_smilie:



On another note, or the original subject I suppose, I agree:

pick a subject and add a little at a time

going with a boxed curriculum to hold your hand works for many newbies and is less intimidating; Sonlight and other literature rich boxes are fun and effective. (Winter Promise if you need more hands-on, Illuminations by Bright Ideas Press if you want study guides to go with your books.)

And now I'll add:

Don't spend money before you have to. Beg, borrow, freecycle and buy USED anything you can find. Being a visual learner, one of the best ways I was able to research curricula was getting my hands on someone else's. :D


And welcome to the Hive!

#23 Ruby Rose

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:38 AM

Welcome!

We just finished our 1st year of official HSing and lived to tell the tale. It was a great year full of highs and lows, grandiose achievements and self-doubt setbacks, perfect fit curricula, and total flops, but we made it! We live to learn another day.

There are few differences between school days and off days here. We try to make learning a lifestyle. There isn't a day that passes that we aren't learning something, nor is there a day that we don't play!

It's all very overwhelming at times, but worth every worry! Good luck and have fun!

#24 fraidycat

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:05 AM

Welcome! We just started in February, so I know the feeling well. You've already received wonderful advice so I just want to add my agreement to that. Start slow. Research one subject at a time - start with math and go from there.

Right now we rollercoaster between school-lite (math, reading, and watching Beakman's World for science exposure) and school-what's that? :D as we start, learn, hit bumps, stop to regroup, and start again. Most of the bumps are not so much the children, but myself trying to find the right routine and schedule mix (working one-on-one) so we can groove along. However, they don't seem to complain too much (at all!) when it's bed time and we haven't done school for the day. :D I'm not too worried about "getting behind" yet, because I am sort of still "de-schooling" DD as she recovers from PS (not putting any pressure on her) and DS is only in K.

My only regret so far is that I didn't homeschool from the beginning.

We will start a full school load with higher expectations in the fall after about a 3 week summer break.

#25 SunnyDays

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

We definitely do not eat newbies for breakfast. (Sometimes we have a nibble as a late night snack, is all...) :D

One thing to know is that no matter how carefully you research, plan, and organize... things will NOT go exactly as you plan. Know this, expect this, and above all, do not for a minute believe that you've failed when this happens. You'll have to adjust your schedule, your curriculum, your expectations, possibly all three the same week sometimes. It's part of the process.

Definitely start slowly. This summer, break in a system gently. Maybe have read aloud time and free reading time for a couple weeks. Then add in something fun for math... someone suggested "Life of Fred Apples" and that would be perfect. (Note: the math will be easy for your kids. It's the story that's fun and starts you down a path. There is some Christian content, just FYI, but not much.) Or something like a fun problem solving book. If you're looking for ideas... well, we can probably help you there.

Take a deep breath and enjoy your kids!! Welcome. :)

#26 kalanamak

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:43 AM

I will add this: A wise woman once told me that I should start with one subject only, and do that for a week. The second week, if things are going well, add a second subject. Et cetera.

It will feel like you're "behind," but that's better than trying to do everything AT ONCE the first day, and possibly making it that far, only to crash and burn the second or third day and be reeling for weeks that you have ruined yourself, your children, your house, and possibly your pets.



Indeed. This is truly a marathon, not a sprint. It is more productive to get a warm up walk to test out your shoes than to burst from the gait like a Derby runner.

#27 Pamela H in Texas

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:55 AM

I agree with starting slowly. However, I don't know so much about waiting for history and science. That is where all the hands on fun is. And you can incorporate reading, writing, etc there. I think I'd pick one of those as the 2nd subject (completely agree that math is first). They are a little more teacher intensive, but not too much.

So, pick a math. I suggest something that looks normal this first semester or two. You can consider "better" programs down the line. I would probably pick up Horizon Math (First 3 lessons of 2nd grade: http://media.glnsrv....mple_JMS021.pdf ). Be mindful of the level. It'd be better to do a grade or two over and have the foundation than to have your first subject be a flop.

From there, I'd use the 4yr cycle. You may be more comfy with Early Modern or Modern (year 3 or 4). I was and I was a veteran homeschooler by the time we tried it. Or you could start with a certain science and you'll add in the history that matches. For history, we use Story of the World. You might skip the encyclopedia part at first. The story and the projects would be plenty to get you started. Later, you can add in extra reading, etc. For science, we use Elemental Science because it is very much like the WTM suggests, but it tells mom what to do when :)

Anyway, then slowly add in other things and know you'll tweak it as you figure your style.

Jump on in, the water's fine :)

#28 Lizzie in Ma

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:58 AM

Klingon was a fad. Teach your kids elvish for a more lasting nerd-dom. :tongue_smilie:


:lol::lol:

#29 JFSinIL

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:12 AM

When we started, history was a big draw as my little guy loved history.

I'd go ahead and get Story of the World, year one, now, and start with some activities (mummify a chicken! build a Roman road!) this summer along with starting the book this summer. Paper mache a Grecian urn. Built a pyramid out of ? Have a feast of olde-style foods while lounging on your side like Romans. You will have more time this way to go slow and do lots of fun projects.

Also pick a good book and do a read-a-loud (YOU read to them). Hobbit?

Meanwhile, look at as many math curriculum as possible. Do YOU like math? I do not - so for me teacher-in-a can (what I call dvd or on-line lessons) worked best for this one subject. I did use Horizons for the earliest grades, but about 5th grade on used Teaching Textbooks or Chalkdust or Videotext (depending on the kid).

Make a volcano, too - messy fun.

You have to have the fun stuff, not just the pen/paper math etc stuff, for it to work.

PS - if I had small kids again I'd be buying Susan Wise Bauer's writing curriculum and using it from the get-go, in addition to her history materials.

Edited by JFSinIL, 31 May 2012 - 08:38 AM.


#30 Berta

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:22 AM

We will be going on four years of homeschooling. The one thing I learned is not to try to recreate public school at home. Our first year I had a rigid schedule but that went out the window pretty quick.

We are very relaxed homeschoolers now. We don't even start our school day until after lunch. We don't work M-F, we do five days but that could include a weekend if we have something planned during the week. We also school year round which allows for more shorter breaks during the year. We live in the south and it gets hot in the summer so we use the sweltering afternoon hours to get our school work done. When it cools off in October-November we take 3-4 weeks off to enjoy being outside in good weather.

The best advice I have ever received was to just enjoy my kids. Don't stress if things don't get done on schedule.

#31 Hockey Mom

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:24 AM

You've been given great advice here! :) I second (third?) getting Story of the World, Book 1. It is so much fun, and it's a great way to get your feet wet.

My only other piece of advice would be to research your state laws and see what your requirements are.

Good luck! :)

#32 MiniBlondes

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:08 AM

W.O.W.

You ladies are amazing! Thank you so much!! I don't feel any less nervous now, but at least I know that I'm normal. I didn't think that was possible!!

Okay, I'm off to compile a list of the resources that you all mentioned here and get started reading. Thank you SO SO much!! I'll be sure to bombard you with more questions later! :D

#33 Apryl H

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:57 AM

Welcome to the madness ;)

I have a few blog posts about starting out as well:

http://wearefollowin...chooling Advice

Good luck, and have fun :D

#34 StartingOver

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

I agree with many here that you should read, read, read, to your children and on your own. Start with the very basics, the three R's. Then add slowly.

There are 180 days in the average school year X 12 years of education = 2160 days to educate your child from 1st through 12th / 365 days in a year = 5.9 years to get it all done. You have time to figure it out ! Just Breath.

Even if your child didn't learn anything at all until age 12, which is impossible really ;-), they could still graduate by 18.

Remember to have some fun, stop to smell the roses.

#35 NanceXToo

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

Hi and welcome!
I was one of those moms who had never even thought about homeschooling. My 11 1/2 year old daughter went to public school from Kindergarten through most of third grade. Then I got sick of a bunch of stuff with the school system in general and my district in particular and started looking into homeschooling.

I read everything I could, and decided I wanted to give it a try. And I didn't even want to wait until the fall, so toward the end of March of her 3rd grade year, I pulled her out and began homeschooling instead.

In a way, I think you're more nervous when you pull your kids out. It's a big change, kind of different from knowing all along you want to homeschool. So was I nervous? Yep! I hoped I wouldn't screw them up, that I could do it, that I would like it, etc. But I also really believed there were a lot of bad things about my district/the system and that I probably couldn't do much of a worse job lol.

Honestly, it has been great. I never regretted pulling her out and never looked back (it was three years this past March). I never sent my now 6 1/2 year old son to school. I love that I get to spend more of their childhood with them, I love that they get to actually experience more of their own childhood, I love the freedom I have to do my own thing and get out in the world more.

I knew I didn't want something dry and textbookish, I'm a pretty relaxed homeschooler, and I wanted something fun, creative, and hands-on, too. I chose a curriculum called Oak Meadow which starts out slow and gentle in the early years but does eventually move on to having quite a bit of literature and writing requirements. I've used it for K with my son, and for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades with my daughter and I love that it's not dry, not textbookish, not boring. Lots of integration, living books, creative writing assignments, hands on crafts and activities (even though I'm not very crafty myself), interesting discussion, etc. We supplement with a few other things that seem interesting and fun to us, we do a lot of field trips and activities, we have a lot of free time to do our own thing, and I really enjoy it.

If you want to learn more about that, you can look up Oak Meadow's website, and/or you can click the link in my signature to check out my blog- I've been blogging about our day to day relaxed/secular days with Oak Meadow (and whatever else I feel like using) for a few years now. Daily entries with pics in the main body and lots of useful stuff on the sidebar to the left, including info about homeschooling, articles I've written about it, curriculum reviews, and so on.

Good luck and don't stress about it too much. Your kids are young, enjoy being with them and have fun! :)

Nance

P.S. I meant to add, I can see that my kids are learning and more often retaining what they learn. Here in PA we occasionally have to do standardized testing, and my daughter has scored well. We also have to have an evaluation each year, and my evaluator has always been pleased with our portfolios, and our district has always accepted them and acknowledged that an "appropriate education is being received," so I am confident I am not screwing up my kids afterall- even being as relaxed a homeschooler as I am! And my daughter is quite a few years older than yours, so, seriously, don't stress over it! You have a vested interest in your kids, you care about them, you're going to be giving them more intensive one on one time, and kids kind of can't help learning anyway. It'll be fine! :)

Edited by NanceXToo, 31 May 2012 - 08:21 AM.


#36 Dolphin

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:47 PM

If you want to learn more about that, you can look up Oak Meadow's website, and/or you can click the link in my signature to check out my blog- I've been blogging about our day to day relaxed/secular days with Oak Meadow (and whatever else I feel like using) for a few years now. Daily entries with pics in the main body and lots of useful stuff on the sidebar to the left, including info about homeschooling, articles I've written about it, curriculum reviews, and so on.

Good luck and don't stress about it too much. Your kids are young, enjoy being with them and have fun! :)

Nance

:iagree:
One of my favorite blogs. Nance not only reviews, but she updates as she goes along and so you can get a bigger picture of what the curriculum is like. She thinks I am insane, but she is my math guru:D

#37 Tammyla

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

The Well Trained Mind...

Get a copy from the library or purchase your own.

Hello out there!

I'm Cori...I'm new here. You guys don't eat noobs for breakfast, right? :D

Me and my husband have decided to being HS in the fall to DD9 and DD7. I have been scouring the internet and devouring as much information as possible. But I can't seem to shake this feeling that I'm in WAY over my head on this. I'm terrified that I'm going to mess up and they're going to fall behind and not learn anything. I have a lot of common sense but I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, if you know what I mean. Can I really do this? Please tell me that my insecurities are normal.

I am most confused by curriculum. I want something fun and educational. But nothing that's going to be so challenging that it will scare all of us off our first year. I simply have no idea where to start.

I can't wait to dive in and learn the ropes from you all. If anyone has any tips or suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I'm so nervous!



#38 Lab1

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:30 PM

Welcome! First find out your state laws! They are all different and its important to do it right from the start! Finding a local group can really help! Lots of homeschoolers do stuff during the summer too. We are in a summer science fieldtrip group.

Then research learning styles and how your teaching style and strengths will play into it. Also look into your lifestyle. I enjoyed piecing together a curriculum until my little ones came along. This last yr I bought a boxed curriculum and we loved it! I needed a no preplanning, everything outlined for me school day with the chaos of two little ones. My boys are getting less crazy, but I'm continuing with it as it was so easy for me to implement

#39 KrissiK

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:48 PM

You'll be fine. You got lots of good advice. For me, it wasn't till I read The Well-Trained Mind that things kind of jelled for me regarding how I wanted our homeschooling to look. So, I follow it, generally. Some things I don't do, but philosophically I agree with it. I think that's one thing you'd kind of want to square away first... what do you see your homeschool looking like? And then go from there.

#40 Susan in TN

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:16 PM

Hint 1

Start slow. Don't buy all of your curriculum at once. You need to find how your kids are going to learn best, and what type of teacher you are.

Seriously. Math.
Just research that, pick one to try, buy it and start teaching it before you dive into everything else.

Get a library card and do lots of reading.

After you see how it is going. Pick 2 more subjects. Don't even think/worry about science and history until you have handwriting, spelling, grammar, and reading down.

You have time, this is a marathon not a sprint. You can do it.

ETA: Life of Fred Apples would be a fun thing to do together this summer just to give yourself a taster. $16, and you can do it as a read aloud with both kids


Good advice. I'm actually planning to use Life of Fred with my youngers this next year - and really looking forward to it.

You are not alone in your anxiety and insecurity. That first day/week of the school year I'm often saying...are we really doing this? Is it enough? Do I have what I need? And the answer is always YES! Sometimes after a few weeks we make adjustments, and that's OK, but always give yourself plenty of time and take things slowly.

Here's my confession for the year - I did about 2 months of science with my elementary aged kids and then quit. Just didn't have it in me to keep up with it. But you know the great part about homeschooling? We can get some fun library science books and videos to look at over the summer, and there you have it. Now, my 10th grader HAD to finish Chemistry, but in the younger grades we can be much more flexible and find what works.

#41 kalanamak

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:14 PM

Okay, I'm off to compile a list of the resources that you all mentioned here and get started reading. Thank you SO SO much!! I'll be sure to bombard you with more questions later! :D


Don't forget to head over to K8 and ask your most obscure questions. There is a huge pack of moms and dads just ITCHING to share what they've learned over the years.


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