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How long are you considered a newbie?


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This has just been running around my head, wondering what you all think. How many years if HSing til you are no longer a newbie?

 

Also, do you consider HSing kindergarten a year toward that^^? Like right now I'm doing Lifepac LA and SM with my K-er, but it's not everyday, and we often take a couple weeks off at a time so I'm not sure if I can count this year, or do I start next year with official first grade stuff? I know it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things, but I'd like to know how to answer people who might someday ask me how long we've been at it.

 

So, what are your opinions on the matter?

 

 

 

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Heh.... are you around people that classify others as newbies and non-newbies? If so, you might need a new circle of friends.

 

It's all relative. I am in my fifth year, and the oldest grade I've homeschooled is 7th, so I wouldn't offer a bunch of advice on high school. Likewise, I wouldn't be able to give advice on teaching a child to read. As far as counting how many years you've been homeschooling, I'd start counting in Kindergarten. Before that, it's just parenting, you know?

 

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I agree that it is all relative.

 

One of my closest friends has only been homeschooling for 5 yrs, but even when I met her 2 yrs ago I wouldn't have considered her a homeschooling newbie. She was a professional prior to homeschooling and those underlying skills she brought to her homeschool make her an excellent teacher.....she is organized, self-disciplined, a researcher who knows how to find the resources she needs to help her teach her kids, not afraid to reject the status quo if it does not work for her, etc. Her kids are thriving. One of her children is severely dyslexic with a low IQ. The atmosphere she has been able to create in her home to encourage her dd while still slowly making progress is truly beautiful. Her home's atmosphere is joyful encouragement.

 

On the other hand, I know homeschoolers who have been homeschooling a long time whose homeschooling seems haphazard and disjointed. Academics is low on their list of priorities. Their daily focus is very different from my own.

 

I personally think finding matching values is far more relevant than "time served."

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I feel like I'll be a newbie until I graduate a kid and see him go to college because each step of the way has been somewhat new.  High school will start after next year and it's all new to me.

 

But then I have gained some skills and learned how to deal with some issues so I'm not completely clueless either.

 

 

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The way I think of it, 'newbie' is more of a feeling than an actual concretely definable thing. I am in my 6th year of home educating, and this is the first year I have considered myself an oldie (or whatever the opposite of newbie might be), because I have reached a stage where I have a certain level of confidence that I know what I'm doing, and I'm doing OK. That's not to say that I have nothing left to learn, or that I never have any doubts. Nobody becomes infallible, however many years they have been home educating. But I'm at the point where if somebody tells me I'm doing everything wrong, I can think something rude about them and then forget about it ;)

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You're considered a newbie as long as the person you're speaking to has been homeschooling longer than you have. If the person you're speaking to has been homeschooling less time than you have, then you are considered a veteran.

 

(LOL)

 

On a more serious note, I think it takes a few years to catch your stride. So, I'd say two to three years or so. And yes, I'd count the kindergarten year. I'd even count a preschool year if intentional academics were taught.

 

Haha..that seems like a fair gauge.

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Isn't the progression... 

 

newbie

expert

plodding

burnt out

veteran

 

:)   To me, I think when you've gotten over that 7 year hump where you really hit the I WANT TO STOP and you keep going, then you're veteran.  Then you really know why you're doing what you're doing and are beyond doing it merely because it's romantic.  

 

But I suppose there are also people who come in late and homeschool briefly but powerfully and get there.  I'm just saying that something happens when you stick through the hard things.  But leaving the newbie state?  Yeah, I'd say after 3 months or your first convention as a homeschooler, whichever comes first.   :D

 

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Oh, the 7 year hump. That was last year. We took a "Sabbath year," and it was exactly what we needed. My oldest two did math, Japanese, and read through most of the sections of their level of what your __ grader needs to know. My third did phonics from MFW 1st and math. They pursued interests and hobbies. I read LHOTP aloud to everyone.

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I think I stopped homeschooling just in time to lose my newb status.

Even having an education degree didn't speed up the process, because homeschooling is so different.

Having one in K and one in 9th when we started let me cover both ends of the spectrum in 5 years, but here's the thing:

You gain in confidence just in time to shift stages of your kids!

So I say, if you stay humble and realize there's always something to learn, you sort of stay Newbie the whole time, but if you remember you are an expert on your own children, you might gain in confidence quickly and not be a newbie to your own kids!

 

If that even makes sense...

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I feel like I'll be a newbie until I graduate a kid and see him go to college because each step of the way has been somewhat new. High school will start after next year and it's all new to me.

 

But then I have gained some skills and learned how to deal with some issues so I'm not completely clueless either.

I was going to say the same thing.

 

Since each year holds a different set of challenges, then each year I feel like a newbie to that year. And since my children learn differently, even when my second son goes through a year I've taught before, I'm usually using new materials so it's all new again.

 

I think when my oldest is in 11th grade, I won't feel as much like a newbie.

 

But, as Sparkly said above, I have been around the block and do know a thing or two. In fact, I'm very confident in my ability to teach the kids. While I'm confident in teaching them, I'm currently also gut-wrenchingly terrified of the whole "get into college" thing. I never went to college and have been recently discovering just how little I know about it. (PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP classes, DE, college requirements, and so on and so on forever--there's just sooo much).

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In my experience in OTHER subcultures, I always feel like a newbie. No matter what it is, no matter how long I've been doing it or how much I know, I'm always a newbie.

 

I really *am* a newbie right now, as we're only middling through our first year homeschooling, but I bet if I'd started in kindy I'd still feel like a newbie when they left high school. (And I don't intend to homeschool through high school, but if I did, I'd still feel all newbie-tastic).

 

But, isn't it funny, I almost never consider other people newbies? People who have been doing it even a few weeks more than I have (whatever it is) are always going to be more experienced in my mind.

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I don't know the answer to this. I do think it's more about your intent and knowledge than the actual amount of years. I'm not representing myself as an expert at two years in though. I do run into lots of families that have been homeschooling for 7 years and their oldest child is 7 but they don't do anything one might call structured or intentional. My 8 year old is in a very different place than their children of similar ages so I almost never find their unsolicited advice helpful. Who's the veteran in that situation?  I find that unless we have similar philosophies, how long they have been homeschooling is irrelevant. I start counting at the age my child would be legally required to attend school. Everything before that is just parenting.

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I honestly consider everyone in their first two years as "trying homeschooling out". At your third year I'll acknowledge this isn't a stage, lol. I'm just there myself and only about 10% of the families I know that started with me are still at it. So the first two years are 100 % newbie.

 

After that you are pretty much always a newbie on some level, until your oldest is graduated, but with a steadily rising bank of experience. After all, while I may not be a newbie at kindergarten or reading instruction anymore, having done it 2X, I'm certainly a newbie at all grades 2+.

 

So my progression is :

 

First two years: newbie, trying homeschooling out

 

Next 10 years: Varying balances of newbie and experienced, depending on context

 

Veteran after you've successfully graduated a kid

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I think "newbie" is all in the mind. Like, okay, your first year it's probably set, but after that I think some people continue to feel new and others get their sea legs and don't feel new.

 

This reminds me of a conversation I had a long time ago with someone about speaking a language. I had studied the language for six years but never lived in the country or anything. He had grown up with a parent fluent, lived there, studied all his young life. He asked where I felt I was on a scale of 1-10 with it. I think I said 6 or 6.5. I could carry on a conversation easily, read literature, etc. but I didn't feel I was that close to fluent. Oh, he said, I'm totally only at about a 2 or 3. Um, what the what the? I thought he would say a 9. Obviously a huge portion of this was seeing the scale differently, but I think a lot of it was mindset. Some people just feel like they're new to something longer and others feel more confident pretty quickly.

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I think tutoring is closer to homeschooling than teaching. I tell people only half jokingly that I should have practiced on other peoples' children for math, too! (I have tutored phonics for 21 years and have homeschooled for 8 years.)

 

It took a few years work to find what worked for math, but I had phonics covered from the start. I also tutored Algebra, Trig, etc. and am now starting to reach that level so experience there helps, but elementary math is very different than upper level math, it took me a few years to figure out how to teach that well.

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You're no longer a newbie when there's no new curriculum to try because you've already tried it all. (And even when something new comes out, you know it's just a new spin on xyz which you've already tried.)

 

 

 

 

(Just kidding)

But have I convinced you to try Webster's Speller yet, everything old is new again! I have used editions from the 1800s and also the 1908 edition...

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I feel the same way about homeschooling that I do about parenting. You feel like you've mastered something then everything changes and you are back to square one. Every year with my oldest I'm teaching something I haven't taught and my younger daughter is a very different learner so I have to adapt to her style to teach her. In another 2 years I will have to learn how to teach twins and I have a feeling they will be on very different academic levels. Teaching four kids instead of two is going to be a big transition for me or maybe not? I guess I'll find out when we get there. 

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You're no longer a newbie when there's no new curriculum to try because you've already tried it all.  (And even when something new comes out, you know it's just a new spin on xyz which you've already tried.)

 

 

 

 

(Just kidding)

 

 

You win!   :lol:

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I think there are various different aspects of newbie-ness. Some people always believed in the school system, and then something went wrong, and they're suddenly homeschooling their however-old child without having any familiarity with homeschooling whatsoever. Those would be as newbie as can be. Then on the other hand there are people who were homeschooled themselves, all their friends homeschool(ed), they know all the jargon and different approaches, and they've grown children who they've homeschooled to (or even through) college. Those would obviously not be newbies.

 

The point I'm trying to make is, there are a few different things in which you can measure newbie-ness. You can be an expert on homeschooling jargon, education philosophies, and homeschool styles, without even having kids. You can have lots of experience teaching your kids (and other people's kids) by afterschooling them or tutoring, so that when you switch to homeschooling you have a head start to someone who has never tried to teach anyone anything. And someone who has done the "school-at-home" approach to homeschooling for K-12 with their kids has an entirely different homeschool experience than someone who has tried a few different homeschooling approaches, even if their oldest is only 12 (or w/e). In years the former has more experience, but the latter may have more to offer in advice because they've experienced more, despite the shorter time frame.

 

I was talking to my sons' taekwondo instructor (4th dan) a few weeks ago, btw, and he said he considers everybody who doesn't have a black belt to be a newbie.

 

I'm a newbie (if anyone considers me to be homeschooling at all yet, since my oldest is in school and my youngest is 4 and would be in preK this year according to the district). I was on an unschooling email list when my oldest was a baby (heck, before he was born even), and my wife joined that list later (I left it after a little while because I just didn't quite fit in), and we got a lot of flack for putting my oldest in school when he was 3 (kid had some major developmental delays, we were below the poverty line, and I was pregnant, nauseous and exhausted all the time). They said something like "and this is why we don't consider it homeschooling/unschooling until mandatory school age - because people say they will, but then ditch their kids in the school system as soon as possible". I get that.

 

On the other hand, I do feel like we used school as a tool, rather than as the default option, whereas most people seem to be oblivious that homeschooling really *is* an option for themselves. I try to do what's best for my kids though, rather than use "homeschooling/unschooling is best in every situation for every kid" as a dogma. I almost filed an IHIP for my oldest last summer, but then a lot happened and it looked very likely we'd be moving to The Netherlands (which is not homeschool-friendly), so I didn't (plus, the kid actually likes public school). I'm planning on filing an IHIP this year for my oldest. I'll be a newbie as far as actually teaching him at home full time. I won't be new to the idea of homeschooling. I won't be new to teaching him things at home (we went through a phonics program in the past, and I taught him multiplication, and coordinate systems, etc). I'll be new to sending an IHIP to the school district, but homeschoolers in some other states don't have to tell their school district anything, so I don't see "having submitted an IHIP" as a rite of passage.

 

Not sure that made any sense to anyone.

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I think there are various different aspects of newbie-ness. Some people always believed in the school system, and then something went wrong, and they're suddenly homeschooling their however-old child without having any familiarity with homeschooling whatsoever. Those would be as newbie as can be. Then on the other hand there are people who were homeschooled themselves, all their friends homeschool(ed), they know all the jargon and different approaches, and they've grown children who they've homeschooled to (or even through) college. Those would obviously not be newbies.

 

The point I'm trying to make is, there are a few different things in which you can measure newbie-ness. You can be an expert on homeschooling jargon, education philosophies, and homeschool styles, without even having kids. You can have lots of experience teaching your kids (and other people's kids) by afterschooling them or tutoring, so that when you switch to homeschooling you have a head start to someone who has never tried to teach anyone anything. And someone who has done the "school-at-home" approach to homeschooling for K-12 with their kids has an entirely different homeschool experience than someone who has tried a few different homeschooling approaches, even if their oldest is only 12 (or w/e). In years the former has more experience, but the latter may have more to offer in advice because they've experienced more, despite the shorter time frame.

 

I was talking to my sons' taekwondo instructor (4th dan) a few weeks ago, btw, and he said he considers everybody who doesn't have a black belt to be a newbie.

 

I'm a newbie (if anyone considers me to be homeschooling at all yet, since my oldest is in school and my youngest is 4 and would be in preK this year according to the district). I was on an unschooling email list when my oldest was a baby (heck, before he was born even), and my wife joined that list later (I left it after a little while because I just didn't quite fit in), and we got a lot of flack for putting my oldest in school when he was 3 (kid had some major developmental delays, we were below the poverty line, and I was pregnant, nauseous and exhausted all the time). They said something like "and this is why we don't consider it homeschooling/unschooling until mandatory school age - because people say they will, but then ditch their kids in the school system as soon as possible". I get that.

 

On the other hand, I do feel like we used school as a tool, rather than as the default option, whereas most people seem to be oblivious that homeschooling really *is* an option for themselves. I try to do what's best for my kids though, rather than use "homeschooling/unschooling is best in every situation for every kid" as a dogma. I almost filed an IHIP for my oldest last summer, but then a lot happened and it looked very likely we'd be moving to The Netherlands (which is not homeschool-friendly), so I didn't (plus, the kid actually likes public school). I'm planning on filing an IHIP this year for my oldest. I'll be a newbie as far as actually teaching him at home full time. I won't be new to the idea of homeschooling. I won't be new to teaching him things at home (we went through a phonics program in the past, and I taught him multiplication, and coordinate systems, etc). I'll be new to sending an IHIP to the school district, but homeschoolers in some other states don't have to tell their school district anything, so I don't see "having submitted an IHIP" as a rite of passage.

 

Not sure that made any sense to anyone.

I've met quite a few people who know how to parent because they've read books and have watch kids and maybe even have a degree in early childhood education but honestly until you have a kid you don't know what its like. I would say the same thing about homeschooling.

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I've met quite a few people who know how to parent because they've read books and have watch kids and maybe even have a degree in early childhood education but honestly until you have a kid you don't know what its like. I would say the same thing about homeschooling.

 

I'm not disagreeing with that - I was just saying that not all newbies are new in the same way. For the parenting comparison, there are people who call their pediatrician every 5 minutes because their baby's poop looks a different color or w/e, when if they'd read a baby book they'd know that poop changes depending on how old the baby is, whether the baby is formula-fed or breastfed, has started eating new foods, etc. That doesn't mean that having read every parenting book in the library turns you into a veteran parent if you don't have kids. It does mean that you might find yourself telling a friend with an older baby (who's freaking out because her other friend's kid is talking in sentences at 12mo) that it's perfectly normal for a 12mo to say only a few words, etc. That you're both a newbie, but not a completely clueless newbie. Does that make sense?

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You're considered a newbie as long as the person you're speaking to has been homeschooling longer than you have. If the person you're speaking to has been homeschooling less time than you have, then you are considered a veteran.

 

(LOL)

Haha! Snarky me was going to say you're considered a newbie as long as there is someone around trying to put you in your place. :tongue_smilie:

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Omigosh people! As luck would have it, I have discovered The One True Answer to this question today, just this afternoon!

You stop being a newbie when a close family member, who generally thinks you're completely nuts but kindly ignores the issue, says or does something supportive with the implied recognition that, yes, indeed, this is who you are and that you are going to be continuing.

(AKA My Mom bought me a graphing calculator today, people!!!!! The one I have coveted for two years! And this time around, I actually have a prayer of understanding the numbers I put in and the answers it spits out! :tongue_smilie: )

;)

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I feel like I'll be a newbie until I graduate a kid and see him go to college because each step of the way has been somewhat new.  High school will start after next year and it's all new to me.

 

But then I have gained some skills and learned how to deal with some issues so I'm not completely clueless either.

 

This is sort of where I am with this as well.

 

I think at around five years, I started to feel like I had some kind of a clue what was going on, and certainly at 10 years I was well seasoned.  But I have to say that having that first kid graduate and not only actually be accepted to his first choice school but also be thriving socially and otherwise this year while living independently far from home during his gap year has caused a big shift in my thinking about the legitimacy of my choice to homeschool as well as my ability to do it well.  I'm finding that I'm being a bit more vocal about homeschooling as a solid schooling option in more general public forums such as Facebook because of it.  

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I think if you're doing regular academic instruction in any subject then you're homeschooling.

 

I think of people who are homeschooling in the first couple of years as newbies.

 

I wouldn't use the term "veteran" until they had at least 10 years under their belts.

 

I would only take advice from someone who had already homeschooled the same stages I was interested in hearing about.  I only took high school advice from people who had graduated a child. I'll hear anyone out who wants to talk about education, but I put experienced people above inexperienced people when I'm considering implementing things. Sometimes that has to come from books because the number of CM and/or Trivium homeschoolers I know isn't a large number.

 

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I don't know.  I prefer to think of it in terms of experienced and inexperienced.   I never considered myself a newbie (as a PP stated: I was homeschooled, mostly all my friends homeschool, I homeschooled other kids before my own, etc).  All of us have different ways we do school and a lot of us were homeschooled in different ways.  I didn't feel awkward adding my own thoughts to discussions early on because I was relying on my POV as a homeschool student.  And now I don't feel awkward because I can add my thoughts as a homeschool mom.  We are only in year 4, so I wouldn't think of trying to contribute to a high school discussion unless I had very specific resources or ideas that might be helpful.  On the other hand, even someone a few months in can be helpful to someone a few months behind in similar situations.

 

It's more of a continuum than stages, IMO.

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I don't know. I prefer to think of it in terms of experienced and inexperienced. I never considered myself a newbie (as a PP stated: I was homeschooled, mostly all my friends homeschool, I homeschooled other kids before my own, etc). All of us have different ways we do school and a lot of us were homeschooled in different ways. I didn't feel awkward adding my own thoughts to discussions early on because I was relying on my POV as a homeschool student. And now I don't feel awkward because I can add my thoughts as a homeschool mom. We are only in year 4, so I wouldn't think of trying to contribute to a high school discussion unless I had very specific resources or ideas that might be helpful. On the other hand, even someone a few months in can be helpful to someone a few months behind in similar situations.

 

It's more of a continuum than stages, IMO.

I think this is a good way to think about it. Thanks :)

 

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more like:

 

expert

plodding

burnt out

humbled

newbie

coming to terms and calming down

finally got this thing down (after they graduated) 

 

Isn't the progression... 

 

newbie

expert

plodding

burnt out

veteran

 

:)   To me, I think when you've gotten over that 7 year hump where you really hit the I WANT TO STOP and you keep going, then you're veteran.  Then you really know why you're doing what you're doing and are beyond doing it merely because it's romantic.  

 

But I suppose there are also people who come in late and homeschool briefly but powerfully and get there.  I'm just saying that something happens when you stick through the hard things.  But leaving the newbie state?  Yeah, I'd say after 3 months or your first convention as a homeschooler, whichever comes first.   :D

 

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I would only take advice from someone who had already homeschooled the same stages I was interested in hearing about.  

 

Yes--and even better, someone who has seen the *results* of whatever they did during that stage.

 

I think this is one of the problems with traditional schools.  Most teachers only see a kid for one year and never find out how their teaching helped or didn't help in the years that followed.

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Well, as a take-it-all-in-and-dismiss-what-doesn't-jibe kind of gal, I double-down on the notion to only take advice from someone who has been there already. I want advice from someone who has been there already and has kids like mine, strengths and weaknesses similar to mine, parental values that line up with mine, and an educational vision that reflects mine. Which is to say...most of the time I just need to be happy if I can get advice that is well suited to me from anyone, regardless of where they are currently are along the path. 

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Yes--and even better, someone who has seen the *results* of whatever they did during that stage.

 

I think this is one of the problems with traditional schools.  Most teachers only see a kid for one year and never find out how their teaching helped or didn't help in the years that followed.

 

Skeptical me says: You won't know what works and what doesn't if you don't have an experimental group and a control group, both of which need to be big enough to give you statistically valid results. And even then, you only know what works or doesn't, on average. And none of us tend to have the average kid. What works for one kid may or may not work for another kid.

 

For example... most kids don't need special instruction to learn to speak. They tend to combine words by the time they're 2. My oldest didn't. His speech development was stagnant from about 16mo to abut 34mo. He started making progress from about 34mo onward. That happened to coincide with us buying a TV and always having the subtitles on when we watched TV. Maybe that made a difference. Maybe his brain just happened to mature at that same time. Who knows. He started public school at 36mo. His speech development continued. Would it have continued without public school? Maybe. Maybe faster, maybe slower, maybe at the same rate. He doesn't have an identical twin, so I have no clue. Even if I'd kept him at home the entire time I wouldn't know to what degree any progress or lack thereof is due to brain development vs my teaching. I know that without me teaching him multiplication in K, he likely wouldn't have learned it. But that doesn't mean I can guarantee that I can get (almost) every other kindergartner to learn multiplication.

 

A related thought I had, somewhat related to the parenting analogy earlier: My maternal grandmother once told my mom that my mom had a bigger struggle with her two kids (my brother and I) than she'd had with her seven (my mom and her 6 siblings). As in, the two of us had more problems than her seven had had (she was not criticizing my mom, just saying that some kids/situations are harder than others). I agree with some PP that I would put more stock in the advice of someone who has successfully done something than someone who is just theorizing... but being a veteran doesn't mean you know all the answers... it just means you figured out what worked for your kids in your situation.

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Just starting our ninth year now. I think I felt less like a total newbie after the first four years. But like someone else said, I feel that it's a continuum. I was in a very interesting situation this year where I had four families, all with kids older than mine asking me for advice because it so happens that due to our unique situation, we have btdt experience with something that they weren't ready for when their kids were the same age. And then I felt like a somewhat newbie myself when this same year I had to turn around and ask a veteran mom for advice for my own child. So I felt like I was in two places at once...experienced homeschool/ guidance counselor on one hand and almost complete newbie on the other.

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Many classroom teachers will tell you it took three years to really get the hang of the job (That was my experience.) Maybe the same would be true for hs'ers. For me, I have been hs'ing three years, but I never felt like a newbie because I already had a well-developed philosophy and methodology. Homeschooling is different from teaching in schools, sure, but I taught in very good Christian schools, so there is a lot of carry-over for me. Ultimately, every parent brings different experiences to the table, and I wouldn't write someone off just because they haven't done it long. (Though, I don't prefer books and blogs and conferences presented by moms with only young kids, unless they have proven expertice from other educational experiences. Yuck, too many people setting themselves up as experts these days. Really, really irks me to see sweeping generalizations made on the basis of one's own three kids, especially when they contradict the experience of those who've taught 1000 unrelated kids.)

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 I start counting at the age my child would be legally required to attend school. Everything before that is just parenting.

 

That might work in some places.  If I counted that way, most people (of all schooling methods) would consider me neglectful.  PA's legal age is 8, lol.

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That might work in some places.  If I counted that way, most people (of all schooling methods) would consider me neglectful.  PA's legal age is 8, lol.

 

Or historically, before mandatory schooling, people wouldn't ever have homeschooled, because there was no mandatory school age.

 

Here mandatory schooling starts in 1st grade. But pretty much *everybody* puts their kids in full-time kindergarten the year before that. People look weird if you don't put your kid in preK the year before that even. I've been asked so many times what school my 4yo is in (for preK). So I answer that I'm "homeschooling" him. It shows the different intent. I'm not keeping him home because I think he's not ready for preK, or because I can't stand the thought of him not being with me at all times (I love sending him to sleepovers at the Y etc). And I do do academic stuff with him, and he's in homeschool swim&gym so he knows other homeschooled kids. I feel a little silly at times saying I'm homeschooling my 4yo, but sometimes it's easier to have a label than to not have a label.

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I don't do any formal work with my current 4yo, but he considers himself a student because he attends a 55 minute Circle Time in our co-op once a week.  :D

 

My two year old tells everyone (friends, family, people in line behind us at the grocery store) that he "do's homeschool".  

 

He sits on my lap during morning time, insists on narrating every book anyone else gets to narrate, scribbles on paper during at-table time (if its an old worksheet, even better!), and yells random numbers as loud as he can during all oral math....

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I'm glad I'm not the only one with a 2-year-old that needs in on the action. My 2-year-old will insist that I sit and listen to her "read" to me (just like her siblings do) and she'll bring me the Beast Academy guide and ask me to read it to her "for school." It doesn't help that my Ker is pretty sure that I should start to teach the 2-year-old to read. :huh:

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I think you're a newbie until you stop feeling like one.  I know some people who have been homeschooling for longer than I have, but they still feel confused and overwhelmed.  Conversely, I know people who have started after I did and are ready to teach classes on homeschooling to others - I'm not doing that!  

 

I don't feel like a newbie anymore, I'd say for me it was the first year when I felt all weird not having my child in school and didn't really know people in the area that HSed.

 

I also think that having a social support network has something to do with losing newbie status - either having one that is fulfilling or coming to the place where you don't feel like you need one to be at peace.

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I've homeschooled 3 years (1 kid for only 1 year several years ago in order to hold him back a year, and now 2 years with 3 of my younger children 'for real,' as in, as a lifestyle choice).  Last year we were only giving it a trial run; this year it's been the real deal and we've made the decision to homeschool through elementary and possibly some of middle school.   

 

I still feel like a newbie because I am not entirely confident in what we are doing.   Am I doing it right? and what happens if I'm not?  and especially, am I doing enough?  And, although I have a vision for where I want us to be, we are not there yet.  I know I still have a lot to learn; every day it seems I find something that makes a lightbulb go off and I think, "Why didn't I already know or understand that? And what else don't I know that I should?"    

 

So, yeah, still a newbie. :)  

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You guys are making me paranoid about the seventh year now. I'm planning our sixth, and our seventh will be 9th grade... high school! :scared: :leaving:

Me too...are there any more bumps to worry about ;)

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