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Former member back again...hoping to get back into homeschooling also

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I don't know if anyone remembers me (there are a LOT of people here on these forums!!) But I LIVED on these boards last year and the year before. I was new to homeschooling and was in my second year of homeschooling my three oldest children when I had my little girl earlier then expected. Due to a month long hospital stay and the unknown of a preemie - my family (aka my parents, husband, and friends) decided for me that putting the kids back in public school would be best. I went along with it, although I wasn't ready for homeschooling to be done. :(


So update time - my oldest (7th grade now) is doing very well in school. He had a bit of an adjustment because apparently he "didn't learn anything" from me in math when we home schooled. So essentially he started mid-way 6th grade a whole year behind in math. Thankfully he's a very bright kid though, and he caught up very quickly. He does better learning from others besides me I have come to learn. ;)


My other school aged son, now in 3rd grade, has done very well also. He only went to public school for kindergarten and then was homeschooled first and half of second grade. He adjusted very well and is doing super awesome also. I'm very happy. :)


Then my fourth oldest started kindergarten this year, public school, and at first I wasn't sure he'd do well but he's adjusted and is happy and learning a lot.


However its my second oldest I am still concerned about. He is the one that brought me to homeschooling first. While he's starting to do better, he just doesn't do well in such a busy, overcrowded, and energized atmosphere. His behavior has improved, however being in 5th grade now more is expected of him. He needs more one-on-one teaching, but in middle school it tends to be a lot more "sink or swim" attitude. I can't even help him with his work since they don't have books!!!! I have never heard of math class not using books. I guess they just teach and then use worksheets. That makes it impossible for me to help him study or practice concepts, however. 99% of the work they do in class. He is two grade levels behind on reading as well. At home I have noticed he does wonderful on reading if its quiet and its just me and him reading together.

Also...he really misses home schooling. I think its mostly the homeschool co-op that we were involved in. However, he is demanding to go back to homeschooling next year.


I would love to but I would want to make sure we can be successful. I feel like a failure that my kids basically lost a year of education while homeschooling last year. We were doing work! However, I was still learning how to do things and jumping head first into homeschooling with three children and two toddlers underfoot maybe was a tough way to start. I am sure it would have eventually worked out. :/

Yet that leaves me feeling very nervous and unsure that I could ever succeed and actually homeschool my second oldest son through high school. Both my husband and I do NOT want this bouncing back and forth thing for him. We haven't moved houses ever, yet he's been in two different schools in addition to home schooled. He needs consistency. So I would want to be sure that I had things figured out to cultivate a more successful learning environment.


Whew...long winded update, sorry. ;)


Thoughts? Suggestions? Has anyone else went from homeschool to public school and then back? What did you do to make it work better. What methods/tips do you have for successful homeschooling?


I will ask the curriculum questions in the other forum. ;)



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I remember you too!


It sounds like your second child really would do better with homeschooling. I think many of us felt like our 1st year of homeschooling was a wash. It takes time to learn what you are doing and to figure out how your child learns best. I don't have any particular advice for you, but now that I'm finishing up my 4th year of homeschooling, I am feeling so much better about how my children are doing with homeschooling. I'm finally okay with the fact they aren't moving lock-step with what their peers are doing, because I can see that they are learning and progressing. And they are "truly" learning--not just cramming for a test. My 6th grader is a year behind where I want her to be in math...but she *knows* the math that she has learned. Sometimes she helps her friends with math--they may be a higher grade level in math, but they don't really know what they are doing, because they haven't had someone sitting next to them making sure that they understand each concept before jumping ahead to the next thing.

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If our homeschooling efforts were judged only by the first year or so, I too would have felt as if I had failed!!! I needed time to learn how to do this, and I am so glad for the support from friends and family who offered me grace around that season. Now we are on year four...and just yesterday one of those friends who wasn't all that certain (she was a public educator at the time) about our decision but offered her love and complete support back then, turned to me after reading some of our kids' work and said "If you EVER doubt your decision to homeschool, save these and look at them over and over again to remind yourself that you really made the right decision."


It just took time, it took research and trial and error. We finally found what works for us, and now it is easier, and we are very effectively providing the kind of education we had hoped for.


I encourage you to give it a go again, and recognize it may take a "long view" approach for you to see the succcess you will most certainly eventually have!

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I have four kids and I do believe 3 of mine would do just fine in school, but I have one child who needs to homeschool. If you feel that way about your child, trust that instinct. You don't have to start out with a through high school plan to have a goal of not flip-flopping back and forth. I would suggest making small goals at first. If he is behind in something, make a 6 month goal of where you want him to be in 6 months. That is kind of how I am with my ds10 in 4th grade. My goals are simple this year for him--learn cursive, learn keyboarding, work through his curriculum (he is below grade level in spelling and I am not stressing it) at his pace (we only have to get to 80% to promote to the next grade), and to prepare him to take a standardized test with a writing portion. I take his schooling a year at a time.

I think it took us 3 years to really get in a groove with homeschooling and feel good about the children's progress. If your other children are thriving, that is great. If this child needs to come home, make it happen and don't think 7 years down the road. Keep it simple-make a list of goals for a semester and move forward from there every 6 months.

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You sound very conscientious. I'm assuming that you taught topics that the PS didn't cover, as well and not teaching topics that they did. I think your instruction was probably DIFFERENT, rather than inferior.


Also many school have high expectations without providing the instruction to get a student to that level expected. Also some students are just not developmentally ready for some topics. Just because your child attended PS doesn't mean he would be ahead of where he is currently at.


I had one child home and one at a charter school for a couple years. When I brought the older child home, the plan was only for a year, to clean up the charter school mess and get him ready for PS high school. Life happened and he stayed home, but it was never the plan.

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Welcome back!


1) I received good advice from a more experienced homeschool mom years before my girls were born.


Some of her kids were homeschooled, and some were not. She and her husband made the best decision for each child individual child based on what the needs of that child was. In her family, on child was a little social butterfly, and it would have crushed him to be home. Of her two other kids, one was of a quieter persuasion, and the other one didn't learn any math while at school (22%ile on ITBS!)


I hope to be a humble parent as she was, and, as much as I want to homeschool, be willing to make the decisions that are right for each of our individual girls at different times in their childhoods.


It is okay to homeschool just some of your kids, and not all at once.


2) There is more to life than a test score.


I went to a very good public school. I had opportunity to take algebra a year early, and I learned things in Honors Communications that were covered in my college lit classes. Many of the questions on my ACT test were answered by things that I learned in Mr. McKay's Language Arts class....IN 7TH GRADE. I aced the mathematical facts portion of the Military Entrance test with time to spare (we were told that no one finished it) because of Mr. Craun's weekly 6th grade facts drills.


However, public school crushed my soul, and I don't mean religiously. By 3rd grade, I would lie to the teacher that I was going home for lunch, but just go out to the playground (unsupervised and in the cold) and read a book. I did this to avoid the noise and crowds and social minefield of the lunchroom. I didn't eat lunch for 8 years. In Middle School, escape was not an option, so just sat at the table and didn't eat while being mercilessly teased by a group of girls led by a former friend.


Of course, gym class was a nightmare; I played sick whenever there was a school holiday party; I did whatever I could to get out of field trips; and I dreaded the teacher's words, "Everyone pick a partner...." because of being excluded from activities (like science experiments) altogether when there were an odd number of kids in the class. I really didn't have a Senior year, and I only graduated because of the fluke of having completed all of my required classes except for Econ before 12th grade. (Econ is another story).


Even though college was a thousand times better than high school, I still didn't graduate. I have dealt with major depression for most of my adult life. This affects my work patterns, my ability to attend school, and my personal relationships. I often awaken crying in the night. My childhood public school experience shaped me, and not for the better.


My parents loved me, but they didn't understand me or how to advocate for me. For the most part, they are still clueless about my public school experience, and this has colored our relationship in a negative way.


If you are concerned that this is the road of your child, make plans to advocate for him whether in or out of the school. The only good news is that he at least feels that he can tell you he is unhappy. That would not have been tolerated in my parents' home.


3) Academics


Homeschooling only one child will be a lot less juggling than homeschooling four. There are people who do it, but I sure couldn't.


Let your son know specifically what the academic expectations are. Write a contract of how many lessons and what subjects will be expected each day. The more specific and detailed, the better. He will know your expectations for staying home to homeschool. Feel free to write in behavioral expectations if that is an issue (tantrums, whining, pouting, procrastination, lazy work.)


Enroll help to keep on track academically. In Iowa, to meet legal standards, one option is to test via ITBS in certain years. I would do this for your information. Another option in Iowa is to have a "visiting teacher" who checks on your child's progress and may make suggestions if they think your child's load is too heavy or if it is missing something. We are lucky that this is paid for by the school system, and the visiting teacher is a source of information (only if we ask for it) of what a normal Kindergartner is expected to know, what an incoming first grader must know, etc, etc. Would either of these options be available in your area, with or without the support of the school system?

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