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Why Homeschool? Why Well-Trained Mind?


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We still haven't decided whether or not to homeschool next year. We just moved to a new area and our daughter is finishing out Kindergarten in the public school here. She is an only child.

 

I am curious about what motivates you to homeschool and why the Well-Trained Mind approach appeals to you.

 

Thank you!

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I homeschool because I don't delegate well. (This is not a sarcastic answer.) My children's education is my responsibility first and foremost. I have taught in public and private schools and a classroom teacher does not have the time or resources to give the kind of individualized education at a level that I want for my children.

 

I want a Classical education for my children. I actually was homeschooling classically long before I discovered The Well-Trained Mind. This book has just made my job a bit easier, though I do not follow it to a T.

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I homeschool because my oldest was bored in private school, and I wanted him to go at his own pace AND be challenged. He was coasting like I did in school, and it's hard to break that habit later on. He also wanted to learn more history and science (he was ready to read to learn in 1st grade, and the class was still learning to read), so now he's gotten a good dose of world history and US history and is only in 3rd grade. He has more time to read about science topics of his choice (we haven't even done a science curriculum the last couple years usually... just plenty of books), so he knows a lot more science than he was learning in school. He's able to work at challenge level in math, and he's able to take a bit more time with writing (had to wait for his hand to catch up with his brain).

 

Now that I've homeschooled my oldest, I realized other benefits, which may or may not affect you:

 

1) Siblings get along sooooooooo much better now.

2) I don't have to get everyone dressed and fed and in the van by 7:30am.

3) I don't have to wake up a napping child to go do pickup at 2:20 (not that I have napping children now, but 2 years ago, this was a huge problem).

4) I don't have to worry about our schedule conflicting with school. If I have an appointment, no problem.

5) DH gets every other Friday off now, so he is able to take one or more of the kids on field trips to zoos, aquariums, etc. - out of town. Last week, they even took a trip to Boston (just DH and oldest), since we've been studying US history this year. Lots of travel opportunities and more Daddy time.

 

So I'll be homeschooling all 3 of my kids. The younger two haven't even tried school. I'm sure they'd do fine in school. They might coast a bit, at least in certain subjects. But they'd do ok. I think they're better off at home. We really enjoy homeschooling.

 

Now why WTM... I don't fully use WTM, but it is my favorite homeschooling resource... I picked it because it was very academic, yet it was also developmentally appropriate. SWB doesn't have kids writing 5 paragraph essays in early to mid elementary. She has them doing basic copywork, dictation, and oral narration (working toward written narration sometime during 4th grade). She doesn't try to cram higher level thinking into the younger years when kids just aren't ready for that. She has them working on basic skills first, then move into higher level thinking. The process just makes sense to me. I haven't followed her plan exactly, but I have enjoyed some of her curriculum (FLL, WWE, SOTW). We did our own thing for science (which was basically unschooling science). We've also not exactly done the 4-year history cycle, but have come close. We did the first 2 years of world history, then my son read the 3rd and 4th years on his own, then we did (are doing) 2 years of US history, then we'll start over the 4-year world history cycle in 5th. It's still chronological, but just straying a bit from SWB's path. :) You'll find that 99.99% of the people here don't follow WTM exactly. They take what they like and tweak it to fit them.

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Jean, I tend to agree with your mindset. I taught in public school and you are right.

 

Do you use a variety of curricula? I am reading the book again now that my daughter is a little older. I don't know what's out there as far as a comprehensive curriculum for classical education.

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I like the WTM's orderliness and logical flow. It's more structured than a lot of other homeschooling methods out there, but that's part of what I like about it. It takes in to account the stages of learning. The WTM book includes tons of book lists so that if you find something isn't working, there are always other alternatives listed you can try. It's a solid curriculum from pre-school to college prep.

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Our youngest son was bullied and outright threatened by a teacher and principal (two different schools, 3rd and 5th grade), our daughter received a death threat (in 2nd grade) that the school didn't see necessary to inform us about. Same school administered medication without our consent and ignored an IEP. Another school told us to get out of our son's school life, in 6th grade school is solely his responsibility (said child has vision and some other issues). At this school our son was told he would be expelled for cheating after his workbook was found in another student's locker (I had reported that workbook stolen, which it was, I was there when it happened) but never contacted us about it. The list goes on. All these schools were high performing schools in "great" districts with high test scores and lots of accolades.

 

In addition our children were bored and learned very little. We had good experiences with only one school and figured we have given the public system enough chances over 12 years and 4 states (we have an 18 year old as well but sent him abroad in 3rd grade rather than homeschool).

 

We do not really follow the WTM because one of our sons has an auditory processing issue, the other is a visual-spatial-kinesthetic learner at the very end of the spectrum. I try with our daughter but there is only so much time in the day that I have to adapt schedule and method.

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I homeschool because the ps had crushed my oldest ds emotionally, it left my dd crying about school in grade one and having tummy aches every morning from stress, and it's boring for my youngest ds who is academically advanced although emotionally still a little boy. I have found that since being home they are more sure of themselves in social situations. Carry on conversations well with others. Academically they are doing awesome (I am so proud of my oldest for getting where he is), and they now love doing school instead of dreading it. I want my kids to LOVE learning and to carry that love into adulthood.

I chose Well Trained Mind because it is academic and it works amazingly well for my oldest who has auditory processing problems. I don't follow it exactly and I have used numerous Charlotte Mason ideas with it with my youngest two (my oldest ds does best with a mostly classical approach).

I was affirmed in my choices just yesterday when I had a visit with one of the teachers from the primary school here and she was curious about what we were doing for school (friendly curious, not judgmental). She was shocked at where they were at, especially since she personally knew my oldest and his learning problems. According to her, my kids are all a couple grade levels beyond their peers in most of their subjects. It was awesome to hear that from someone on the outside.

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There are as many different reasons for homeschooling as there are families who homeschool. I homeschool to ensure my kids are getting a comprehensive education that is tailored to their specific strengths and weaknesses. They are great at math and reading, so I let them fly with that at "above grade level" levels. They need more help in other areas and I am able to offer that help at a much better student to teacher ratio than they would get in a PS. Also, my local PS does not offer foreign language at the elementary level. I think that is just a crying shame considering everything we know about young children's capacity to learn language.

 

As for why TWTM, I like the structure and advice that it offers, and is the best book I have yet read on home education. We don't adhere to it strictly, but I found it very enlightening. Current PS trends are to vilify things like rote memorization and drill and this book shows that it actually helps set them up for later critical thinking.

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I have many, many reasons that I homeschool. I worked in the public school system (at a "good" school) and it left me unimpressed academically and emotionally. I like the freedom of our schedule as homeschoolers, and the freedom it gives my children as they get older to pursue their interests in a quality manner. I prefer to provide a rigorous education that fits both mine and my children's lifelong learning and career goals. Our school's have a very poor gifted program, and it doesn't officially start until third grade and peters out by middle school. I want my children to have a truly secular, factual education, which frankly doesn't happen in PS because the curriculum must gloss over key points to keep everyone appeased. I want to be free of school politics, and I want my children free of classroom politics. I want them to have time to be kids and develop their own personalities and passions before peer pressure can mold them.

 

Most of all, I want the ability to say yes more than no -- yes, you can stay up late to watch the rocket launch on NASA tv. Yes, we can fly to Michigan for this tournament. Yes, you can join this club that only has meetings during the day. If they were in school, I would have to say no more often to fit things in with school schedules. In the end, for me and my family, homeschooling is synonymous with freedom.

 

I loosely follow the WTM. I like how it divides Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. I like the basic schedules -- the four year science/history rotations and when to introduce what subject. I follow some of the curriculum advice, such as narrations, timelines, and summaries. I don't really use any of the recommended curricula. They just don't work for us, and that's fine. I use WTM as a philosophy and as a roadmap, at most. Our homeschool is more math and science focused with much less history. Best of all, WTM gave me permission to mix and match, if that makes sense. In the beginning I felt like it was all or nothing -- use a curriculum for everything or build your own from scratch for everything. After I read WTM it clicked for me. I can use what ever curricula I want and discard the rest. I can come up with my own for some subjects and buy a complete curriculum for others. For some reason, I just couldn't see that on my own.

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Most of all, I want the ability to say yes more than no -- yes, you can stay up late to watch the rocket launch on NASA tv. Yes, we can fly to Michigan for this tournament. Yes, you can join this club that only has meetings during the day. If they were in school, I would have to say no more often to fit things in with school schedules. In the end, for me and my family, homeschooling is synonymous with freedom.

 

 

I really like this reasoning!!! I mean, if I could like this more than once I would. Homeschooling gives us such freedom!!!

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Two GREAT questions!!!!

 

1. Why do we Home Educate?

 

Wow - I could write an entire book on this and still keep going into a sequel if I really got down to it. I haven't sat down and articulated it lately, so perhaps, when we're having some struggles, it might be a good idea to do it now!

 

I resonate so deeply with something that Joshin said a few posts up:

I want the ability to say yes more than no -- yes, you can stay up late to watch the rocket launch on NASA tv. Yes, we can fly to Michigan for this tournament. Yes, you can join this club that only has meetings during the day.

 

I find such freedom in home education. I'm not tied down to someone else's schedule in regards to when schooling happens and where schooling happens.

 

I don't have to wait until 5th Grade History to learn about the California Missions.

 

I don't have to listen to some Public School curriculum guru that thinks my child needs to learn about x, y, or z in third grade, but she has an interest and an aptitude for it in 2nd or 5th.

 

I don't have to do standardized testing and I don't have to simply teach to the test to get the information done in time for the good ole scan-tron testing.

 

I can use a hard pencil on a test instead of a number 2 pencil.

 

She can write in purple pen and use bright orange notebook paper for her spelling test.

 

I can correct my daughter's test with a red pencil with impunity.

 

I can take Tuesday off and drive to the Hoover Dam and tour the facility to teach her about hydro-electric power.

 

I can do a unit on Italian history and watch a Rick Steve's Video as a jumping off point instead of maps and charts and a dry text book.

 

We can do school in our jammies, or at the park, or at the beach, or cuddled up in blankets on our bed.

 

Some serious issues that may or may not be anyone else's reason, but it's part of our decision:

 

I want my daughter to be taught with what works, not what is the latest or greatest fad/experiment. My child is not a test subject for the government's pet education ideas. I saw that in motion with my own nephews and niece who were "test subjects" for the whole language approach and the banning of phonics. I saw first hand the struggles.

 

I feel it's my responsibility and honor to not only be a parent to our daughter, but to be her teacher as well.

 

I want her to have a learning experience that allows God in the picture.

 

I want to teach sex education on HER timeline, not a grade or age level.

 

I want my daughter to have a well rounded education - not just being taught to the test.

 

I believe history is more than "social sciences" and how horrible the United States and rich white republican men are.

 

I believe education and content are more important than a hive mentality classroom socialization mindset.

 

2. Why did I choose "The Well Trained Mind"?

 

Short answer: I didn't. LOL

 

I was attracted to the classical form of education when I went to a home schooling convention and Laura Bernquist was lecturing on designing your own classical curriculum. My husband and I discerned long and hard and decided that we would go with a traditional Catholic provider and add in the classical techniques.

 

A few friends mentioned this board and I finally came over and started to get involved last January. I've learned a tremendous amount from these ladies - and you will find they are knowledgable, informed, and very willing to help.

 

I did finally read WTM and I really like the philosophy but I choose to stay with our provider and supplement with classical materials.

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Jean, I tend to agree with your mindset. I taught in public school and you are right.

 

Do you use a variety of curricula? I am reading the book again now that my daughter is a little older. I don't know what's out there as far as a comprehensive curriculum for classical education.

 

Yes, I use a variety of curricula. I also have found that since my son and my daughter are so very different learners that I still have had to use new curricula for her instead of reusing some things like I had intended. Dd needs very hands on materials. Ds preferred to read about things and not do them hands on. I've really liked this forum for asking about specific subjects and learning styles so that I could find what was out there.

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We homeschool for academic reasons. We tested the local B&M school waters with our eldest when she was in K5, and it confirmed for us that, despite the supportive teachers, she was not going to thrive there. She needed a program that allowed her to advance at her own pace, even if that meant that she was in 5 different grade levels in 5 different subjects.

 

I like TWTM because it's flexible, logical, and academic. I did look into unschooling, but realized that it just wouldn't work with my personality or my girls' need for structure. Happily I found TWTM and was immediately relieved and inspired. I don't follow TWTM slavishly, but have used many of the recommended approaches and PHP resources and have been very happy.

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I homeschool because they are my kids, no one else's, and I will do my darndest to make sure they get a good education. I really dislike the whole model of public education (The ringing of the bell, the textbooks, the segregating of kids by age, the having to sit in desks, the tests, etc.....). We love freedom, it is very important to us, especially since my dh works for himself. We can take 2 months and go on an rv trip if we want. We want to be the biggest influences in our kid's lives. I want to be with them since they are such amazing little human beings. The relationships between my kids is another huge reason. They are best friends and love each other to pieces and I wouldn't trade that for anything. I could go on but I think you get what I am saying.

 

I am not necessarily a classical educator. I am very eclectic.

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I don't, yet, I shall start next year. Frankly, I do not necessarily want to homeschool, but I feel like I have no other choice. Public schools we are zoned for are crowded (28 kids in my kid's class) and I am not happy with the quality of the teaching. To move to a better zone or do private would involve me continuing to work full time with a 1 hour minimum commute each way. I've been afterschooling and summer schooling forever and I realized we are just using the school for free babysitting. So I find myself in the position of quitting or going part time( if they let me)in a pretty successful and very well paid job for which I have an advanced degree, because I have to choose between the two and really it's a no brainer. Mourning the job part a little bit but really I'll get over it. I am going to use the WTM mostly because it seems to me like the most academically rigorous approach out there (if there's others, let me know!).

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I like the first edition of TWTM because it teaches how to use trade books as textbooks, and how to notebook. I also use Principle Approach and Waldorf ideas for trade books and notebooking. I don't follow the scope and sequence from any of these methods. I just use the trade book and notebooking ideas.

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Jean, I tend to agree with your mindset. I taught in public school and you are right.

 

Do you use a variety of curricula? I am reading the book again now that my daughter is a little older. I don't know what's out there as far as a comprehensive curriculum for classical education.

 

Well if you're a tweaker who likes things your way, I can't picture you staying with a "comprehensive curriculum" without changing things. :D

 

We started homeschooling because I COULD. I had worked in K5 and 1st all through college and had a pretty strong sense that I could at least do those as well as the teacher in the local cs, no matter what. Ps in our area wasn't an option, sorry. Anyways, we started because I could, and as we got into it and saw results, we realized I SHOULD. Now we're to the point where we feel we OUGHT TO/must to keep her progressing properly. That's not how I'd like it to be, but it is what it is.

 

I think it's ok to start for reasons and have those reasons *change*. You probably already realize this, but when you make decisions with a 5 yo, you're looking at them sort of generically. As they mature and you teach them longer, you're no longer making a generic statement about what you would do with "a" generic child but what is best for this *particular* dc. Besides, I think it's a real shame to let someone else have the pleasure of raising your child, teaching your child, and interacting with your child, if you have the interest, volition, etc. to do it yourself. It really is a special thing, for however long you chose to do it.

 

My dd was an only for almost 10 years, as you can tell from my sig. If that part as factored into your decision, don't let it sway you. It's NOT an issue, or at least it's not an insurmountable issue. It means she gets more attention. It means you're going to get out more and connect her to people. My dd has absolutely NO social quirks as a result (at least that I can tell) and gets along with everyone. Homeschoolers don't hole up at home and isolate themselves, or at least they don't HAVE to. Find out what's in your area and get connected. Go to the Y, take sports, music, library time, musics, nature parks, American Girls, etc. etc. Tons of ways to get connected to people. The only thing is not a big deal. And if you're very different, well then you schedule quiet time each day and have without Mom days. ;) You'll work it out. :)

 

Oh, why WTM? Well, um, for starters it's the first thing I read that sounded like something I was actually doing. When you look at WTM K5, it says to use lots of audiobooks and read to them. That was us. I don't think you should buy into ANYONE'S paradigm. You should screw your head on straight and look at your kid. Then you look at your values and you ask if you value the things that approach is telling you to do. And you look at your kid and ask whether that methodology will bring out good things in your kid or whether maybe it glosses special aspects of your dc (SN, whatever). Then you say how can I combine the values this approach inspires me to with the methodology from this other book that fits my kid better with the cool humorous twist or hands-on or practicality of this other approach till you get a BLEND that actually makes sense in your family. You don't DO WTM. You find *inspiration* in WTM. Some do more than others. I know there are some people who do WTM straight, but for many others it's more inspiration or a starting point or a frame of reference, something they go back to and say yeah, I'm still on track, we did it a different way but we're getting there. Use it to the degree that helps you. :)

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Very exciting stuff! Right now I'm definitely leaning toward homeschooling. The part that overwhelms me when I start to think about it is the planning and gathering of resources. I taught K and 1st grade in public school but this is still daunting!

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Very exciting stuff! Right now I'm definitely leaning toward homeschooling. The part that overwhelms me when I start to think about it is the planning and gathering of resources. I taught K and 1st grade in public school but this is still daunting!

 

It is overwhelming at first but you will soon be addicted to it! Those boxes of books and resources coming in the mail will give you such a thrill.

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Uh, remind me, you have a profoundly gifted dc? SN? What's making this so hard? It's KINDERGARTEN. Oh, I know, you're stilling thinking in the school mindset. Your job is NOT to sit down and create 4 hours of lesson plans that keep your dc entertained from 9 am to 2 pm with a lunch break. Your goal is to be a *facilitator* for your dc's own studies and interests. The only thing you ACTIVELY organize is the basics (math, LA, and read alouds for K5, add in some content subjects for 1st). For the first few years you plan grade + 1 for time.

 

So don't think of this as lesson plans like what you're used to. It's the wrong mindset. You do some, but a lot of it is masterful play, productive freetime, providing them with an environment that lets them explore their interests. If you have a really intense dc (because of SN, because of giftedness, whatever), that can be more challenging, yeah. But in general, this age is going to do some school work, listen to read alouds, and PLAY.

 

I LOVE K5 and I love 1st grade at home. After that, it gets harder, yes. But 1st at home feels like K5, and both are this sweet stage. You're gonna love it. Bring 'em home and enjoy. Do FIAR, read alouds, crafts, SL, anything that calls you to. As long as they learn to read, write a sentence, and do basic math, they're golden. You can basically do ANYTHING you enjoy, have fun, and be on track. It's such a fun age. :)

 

I'm planning high school with a somewhat SN plus K4/K5 with a really, really active boy. Now that's hard. I need a clone and about 300 more hp of energy. :lol: :lol: :lol: With one dc, the only thing that's sinking you is your own lack of confidence. So talk to yourself positively, and you're gonna be AWESOME. :)

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Why did we try homeschooling?

- To give us the freedom to have our own schedule. My husband's work schedule does not fit well with the school schedule.

- I like being able to tailor my child's education to his own strengths and weaknesses.

- I excelled in school, but never found what my passion was. I want my children to have the space to discover what truly interests them.

- I don't consider the school social environment very healthy. Reading the book The Well Adjusted Child: The Social Benefits of Homeschooling by Rachel Gathercole alleviated my homeschooling socialization concerns.

- A friend of mine was homeschooled and her mom told me that she enjoyed spending time with her children and really knowing them well. That resonated with me.

 

I also recommend the book The Homeschooling Option: How to Decide When it Right for Your Family by Lisa Rivero.

 

Why the WTM?

- I read a lot of books about different philosophies and the WTM and Charlotte Mason's books seemed to fit best with my philosophy.

- I was also drawn to the unit study approach, but it did not work for me or my child when I actually tried it.

- I have been drawn to a classical education since before I had children. I remember reading books by C.S. Lewis and realizing that my (public school) education in no way compared to his.

 

Feeling overwhelmed about actually planning it? I eased myself and my son into school by just doing reading, handwriting, and math for a period of time, then adding in other subjects as we felt comfortable.

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We started to homeschool by accident actually. It was never our inention but here we are. :laugh: We decided to homeschool for discipleship and relationships and to focus on character building. Academics is actually secondary but that's not to say I don't take my child's education serious. I do even more so now that it rests on my shoulders.

Even though our original intentions were not for academic reasons I now love the fact that I can taylor my child's education and meet their needs. I love the flexibility and just being apart of teaching my dd. I love my children being home with me and I can go on and on....

 

WTM is a nice guide - I wouldn't say I'd consider my philosphy fully classical as I resonate with a variety of ideas on education so I'm probably more ecclectic but I'm also new to this and still learning. We'll see as we go!

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We originally decided to homeschool because the school wasn't great. Since then we have decided to homeschool because...

 

-we get to travel more. We've gone to 11 different countries since our journey started, and nearly every one during the school year.

 

-we get to replace textbooks with actual learning. Curriculum calls for a study of water organisms/plants? Great! Let's go to the creek, the lake, and the ocean and see what we can find out. Let's go to the museum and aquarium. Let's look up videos and run experiments.

 

-we get to adjust things to our timetable. We can review a concept extensively, or skip what's already known.

 

-we get to make learning a central part of our lives and days, instead of having it tucked away in designated hours.

 

 

 

Why not to homeschool?

 

-we spend all day with our children. Yippee. There's only so many times I can be chipper about coloring in the lines before I need adult conversation. Especially in February. ESPECIALLY IN FEBRUARY. Why? Because at that point, we've been cooped up for Nov, Dec, and Jan with the rain and general nasty weather. We hit our limit by February, and take vacation the beginning of March, as soon as the warm weather hits.

 

-it's expensive. Or it can be. Not so much in the early years, but looking ahead to high school makes me shudder. Not to mention any extras thrown in there: co-ops, outside classes, organizational equipment....it adds up. We have a curriculum budget and a monthly budget for activities.

 

-the WTM can be a horrid place on down days. You have a bad week, and coming on here you see what everyone else uses and loves/hates and you start to doubt your picks. And then you start looking for the "magic" curriculum, the one that's just the right fit. And I'll tell you right now, it doesn't exist. The only magic is the one you bring to the table, the ability to adapt, to be in charge of the curriculum instead of letting it be in charge of you. It's only a guide, a tool. It's not a law book.

 

-The same goes for every method and philosophy out there. I like the WTM...and Montessori....and Waldorf....and free democratic....and I can take the elements I love and spin it to fit us.

 

-it changes the family dynamic in ways you can't imagine. You can't run away. You can't work on problems only in the evening. You can't 'wait until your father gets home!" and you have to sincerely look at how you approach difficulties.

 

-you have to grow a thick skin. And learn to pass the bean dip.

 

 

 

 

But in the end, I think the rewards are worth it. Nearly every year I make a video for my kid to remember why we do this. :) And looking back, it really has been an amazing journey.

 

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I second everything everyone else said. We homeschool for one additional reason: homeschooled kids, in my experience, are generally the only ones who look you in the eye when you are having a conversation with them. Public schooled kids, by middle school, make it very clear they aren't interested in you as an adult. I want my kids to converse well with everyone!

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I know I haven't started yet but will be this year. I am adopting four girls (should be finalzied in July) two school age and two younger. I am homeschooling them as I want the time for attachment to happen first of all. The bond is there but I feel it more with the two littles who are with me all day while the two older ones are at school.

 

And I have no idea what they are learning. Kids don't always give good answers. What did you learn today? "Nothing..." Did you really learn nothing or did you learn something. I want to know what they are learning. They are in a great school and have great teachers but this is what I feel would be best for our family.

 

I also don't like a lot of the "agendas" being pushed onto kids at school. I want them to know what is true and right; not just while my teacher said...I want to cover more than just academics as well. Character is more important to me than academics.

 

I was recommended WTM after I told some homeschool moms at church my intent to homeschool. I attend a church where I am. In the minority as my kids go to public school currently. I was recommended the book and I really found my style so to speak. It is very me! And plus, as I had been looking at curriculum and overwhelmed as to even where to start, having everything given to you was a relief. Granted, I have replaced several subjects with my preferences but it was nice to at least be given a starting place to build off.

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I homeschool because DD is a dodecahedron (that was how she described herself, at age 4 when she heard the phrase "square peg in a round hole"). Even her kindergarten TEACHER told us to homeschool. She doesn't fit into the round holes of school, and she doesn't really quite fit into WTM either. But classical ed is about the most academically solid path to homeschooling out there, so it works as a guideline, although DD jumps between ages and stages rather than progressing straight through. The best descriptor of my homeschooling methodology is "Big pile of books"-and WTM works well with that.

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We home school because one-size does not fit all with respect to education. My kids were the square pegs being stuffed into round holes at school - you can trim down the square to make it fit, but there are gaps around the edges.

 

I use the plans laid out in WTM because it is well-though-out and organized. There are many ideas and strategies I can use from the book in our schooling. School is something we get done so we have skills to enjoy the rest of our lives, so I am glad I don't have to reinvent the wheel on schooling plans.

 

(I think I am using too many cliches today!)

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I can relate to all of your posts in one way or another. My daughter's first week of school was a disappointment in that they watched 2 movies per day for the first 3 days. Yikes! I am looking forward to getting her out of that environment.

 

ETA:

 

There are many, many, many more reasons for us choosing homeschooling versus public school besides all the red flags that have come up since my daughter started at her school about a month ago.

 

In general, it seems that most people are simply happier taking the education of their children into their own hand, and are convinced they will have better results.

 

Besides reading TWTM and asking questions on the forum, where are some good places to start in terms of getting information, planning and gathering resources?

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I am homeschooling in part because my husband and I have had numerous run ins with the public schools but also because we live in an area with a lot of resources and I think I can offer my daughter so much more by educating her at home.

 

Our problems with public schools inculde:

1) undermine the ability to hold our children accountable in school areas

2) overtly pushing political philosophies or grossly unacceptable behavior from a teacher

3) general behavior issues due to whom the kids interact with

 

Number 1 and 3 may not be a big problem when kids are young, but it can get to be huge once they hit high school.

 

We almost ruined our relationship with my middle stepson over grades and homework in high school. He was the kind of kid that had A's on test but F's in homework, just because he wouldn't spend the 30 minutes to do it. He failed one of his classes because he refused to do vocabulary words. Yep, he FAILED over VOCABULARY words. The vocabulary words were his sole source of homework....and then at the end of the six weeks the teacher averaged all the vocabulary grades and gave that as a major grade. We didn't hear one word from the teacher about his progress until two days before the semester ended. On the last day of school the teacher offered for him to come by and she'd let him "make it up". He never went and made up the work.....but his grade got changed. He still failed the semester with a 55.

 

This same kid also skipped 11 times in one of his required to graduate classes. According to the state laws he should not have gotten credit due to missed days....but he passed the state exams (and they were marking him as an ethnicity he isn't for funding/testing reasons) and they didn't want the negative statistic so they graduated him.

 

As a parent, how do you enforce character and discipline when the kids know the school will let them turn it all in on the last day or even outright change their grades?

 

As for number 3, well, my youngest stepson at age 16 hooked up with a nightmare of a girlfriend who was 14, and with the help of the girl's mom, decided he was going to go off and be her live in boyfriend. We had one heck of a time, and spent a ton of money, disabusing them of that particular idea.

 

Personally, I want more for my daughter than what my husband's boys got, for her to even be exposed to those kinds of potential problems gives me nightmares. I can offer her a lot more in a home school environment. We live in an area that is only a day trip away from our state capital and other large cities that have zoos, science and art museums, botanical gardens, historical sites of importance, theatrical productions, and so much more. Additionally we also have a nice 4 year state university and presidential library locally that provide a lot of learning opportunities as well. We can get so much more out of these when we are not limited by a public school schedule and can go at our convenience.

 

As far as WTM, it makes sense to me. It is orderly and the suggested manner of educating children are in line with the kind of things I think are important in an education. So, we'll try it for a while and if it isn't a good fit for my daughter then I'll re-evaluate later.

 

Kbug

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Kbug-

Even though my daughter is not quite 6, and I know it usually gets more challenging as they get older, I have seen a slight change in her attitude since she started in public school. No surprise there but I just needed to catch my breath and get settled here. Now I have a baseline for what school is like in this area.

I do appreciate the fact that I have the option of putting my child in a formal school setting if I decide homeschooling is not for us.

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Why do I homeschool? Well, when Rebecca was turning 5, I didn't want to just do what everyone else did. I wanted to make a conscious decision about her education. Why does everyone just send their kid off to school when they turn 5? Every decision I'd made for her up to that point in her life, I'd felt 100% comfortable with that decision. So I gave it serious thought to make a deliberate choice. Someone recommended WTM to me, and I read the book avidly. WTM made me feel like, "I can do this." So I did. :) And every year we homeschool, I see more and more benefits.

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Why do I homeschool? Well, when Rebecca was turning 5, I didn't want to just do what everyone else did. I wanted to make a conscious decision about her education. Why does everyone just send their kid off to school when they turn 5? Every decision I'd made for her up to that point in her life, I'd felt 100% comfortable with that decision. So I gave it serious thought to make a deliberate choice. Someone recommended WTM to me, and I read the book avidly. WTM made me feel like, "I can do this." So I did. :) And every year we homeschool, I see more and more benefits.

 

That is very inspiring. I did read WTM a few years ago as I was starting to consider what kind of education I wanted for my daughter. 3 moves and some very serious trials and traumas of life kind of sent me into a tailspin and I have been merely surviving for a year and a half. Sending her to public school for the last 2 months of school upon moving here was just temporary and exploratory. We are not taking it very seriously. When she misses school my daughter asks, "Is the school OK with it?" and I just tell her that the school is not in charge of her life. The school is way worse than I imgagined it would be. I am becoming more inspired and excited about homeschooling! And my daughter is in favor of it, although we tell her we haven't decided yet.

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Besides reading TWTM and asking questions on the forum, where are some good places to start in terms of getting information, planning and gathering resources?

 

You can get the Rainbow Resource catalog..aka "the phone book" ;)

Looking through it...or their website...will give you a ton of ideas of what's out there.

Then come back here and look up a program and see how it's worked for people.

The abbreviation list stickies at the top of the forums will be very useful.

 

Don't overbuy the first year!

It's very very easy to go overboard.

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Just take it easy in first grade. You have time to sort it all out and have fun!

 

Thanks, sounds like good advice. I tend to overthink things, and I will probably have to fight the tendancy to put pressure on myself. I don't want to screw this up, and I want to start off on the right foot!

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