Skip to comments.Home Schooling
Posted on 04/27/2014 2:34:24 AM PDT by newb2012
Planning to homeschool some children in the family who are into middle and high school grades. I dont have anybody around who are doing this. Id appreciate any information about the initiation of the process, thoughts and experiences shared.
Where do you live?
Try the Seton Home Study program.
My daughter was home schooled, but that was 20 years ago when we lived in the country, east of Memphis.
Look online, or ask around for current home school organizations and groups in your area. They are great for materials, ideas, and support, including field trips and other group activities.
20 years ago when I homeschooled here in TN you had to have a 4 year college degree..
I had a friend who was an RN who had completed a 3 year program and was disqualified from teaching her children because of that rule..
I remember I had to fill in forms each year giving a schedule and list of all subjects I was going to teach ...
other states had different rules...
some states did not allow homeschooling at all in those days..
You will need to check with your own state school system..
Get (my appologies, I don’t know how to insert italics) The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. It is a fantastic guide. They have all the info that you will need. If I remember correctly they are young Earth creationists, so their history and science program reflects that, but I think they do offer more realistic alternatives. I haven’t read the book in a few years.
Home School Legal Defense Association
Look up your state here:
There are over versions over the years, too, with other tips and tricks. FR Search - HTML or HTML Sandbox.
Unless you are very isolated, there will be home schoolers in your area. Immense information is on the internet.
Do not fail to join HSLDA.
Most important: Trust yourself and do this for your children. You will never regret it.
Try the link: www.hslda.org. This will link you to State laws & organizations, http://www.k12.com/
In FL, we also have www.flvs.net
Let me know if I can help you further
P.S. ebay has GREAT discounts on used homeschool stuff :D
Metmom, please pick up the courtesy phone.
Thanks for tipping me off.
Or so you may think.
Once you start, you will be amazed at how many people around you are home-schooling.
Do a web-search on "home-school co-ops" or "home-school groups" - Christian or secular, many of both.
Find good curriculum. We use Seton. It will provide the structure you and they will need to succeed.
A lot depends on the state you’re in as far as what to do to begin so you don’t raise any red flags with social services.
The above advice of joining HSLDA before notifying the school of your intent is very good. Do not fail to do it.
Look for homeschool support groups in your area. You will probably be surprised at the number of homeschoolers who live around you that you were unaware of. Check with the local library.
The biggest thing I had to grapple with was choosing the curriculum. I was so afraid of getting the *wrong* stuff. There is no wrong. When you send your children to public school, they get what the school is given, and these days, it’s Common Core. ANYTHING is better than that garbage.
Saxon Math is the best Math curriculum around.
I’ve heard the later soft cover editions are not as good as the older hard cover editions. Try to find them used somewhere.
My kids cut their teeth on Saxon Math and all three of them entered their respective universities in the honors programs and qualified to take calculus in their freshman year without the remedial math courses virtually every other student ended up needing.
Forget Abeka history. It’s ridiculously hard. Their science is pretty good although there is newer stuff that I’ve heard is excellent. My daughter liked Alpha Omega for history.
Also, if you’re near a community college, look into having them take a couple classes there.
Goodwithagun—actually Bauer and Wise are not young earth creationists at all and have taken a lot of fire from the young-earthers in the home school movement, like Ken Ham, because of it. Bauer teaches at the College of William & Mary in VA, btw.
Ron Paul is working with various homeschooling leaders and providing an excellent homeschooling program which teaches students to learn on their own. Put aside whatever feelings you have for Ron Paul as a politician; in lending his name to this program, his curriculum staff are organizing a great, inexpensive course of study which a strong emphasis on liberty. And yes, Gary North is involved, too. However, while North misjudged about the year 2000 - he does know how to educate children, especially at high school and college level. We didn’t agree with his other activities, but I have always benefited from his suggestions in education.
BTW, I homeschooled three children - all went to private colleges with scholarships.
Join Homeschool Legal Defense Association: ~$100 (the legal help you may need and feared by the NEA). In any event, go to their website and checkout what is available through various state organizations.
Get into co-op through Google or MACHE.org (MN association) might know.
You might still be able to attend a HS’ing conference someplace. This is a great way to see the various curricula being offered and the different pedagogical methods.
Learn what your children learn best through. Try different approaches and dump what doesn’t work - forget about the costs for your materials (sell them later). Keep trying different things.
Read lots and lots of good books together.
Dedicate yourself to the fact that this is now your work and your values and beliefs are on the line - live up to them.
Get you husband involved since the point of HS’ing to to unify the family - it is NOT one parents job.
Cathy Duffy has written a book about the top methods - you can probably find this used on Amazon.
In some states, homeschoolers are entitled to textbook money.
If some of your kids are high school aged (especially 16-18), look into “dual enrollment” at your community college or a nearby college. This allows them to take a college level course in the area of their interest and get both high school credit and college credit. I don’t recommend more than one dual enrollment class per semester. Pick a subject that they are most interested in and you feel unqualified to teach.
On-line college classes are also available for dual enrollment, but I wouldn’t recommend them unless you have a near straight A student. I also wouldn’t recommend them for the first year of home schooling. They tend to be very intense and require initiative and excellent study skills.
Once a year, sign up for a standarized test. Although the SAT and ACT are designed for high school juniors, its not a bad idea to take one of them toward the end of the freshman and sophomore years for practice and to look for weak spots. Other tests are available for lower grade levels.
First thing I would do is get catalogs from homeschooling publishers such as ABeka, BJUP, Saxon, and others, also homeschooling forums were a great source back when I was homeschooling.
Church is also a great place to find people who have homeschooling families.
I hate when there are so many restrictions!
I was blessed to be able to live in AZ where we were left alone and we had school choice!
Second that. My daughter was very well prepared for college.
Regardless of the program that you choose, your child will more than likely improve academically.
The most important reasons to homeschool are religious and moral. Homeschooling parents have control over these aspects of their children's education.
Our decision to homeschool was one of the best that we have made as a family. We have no regrets whatsoever. And don't worry. It's not hard! Daily tutoring can take as little as one hour. The kids will work independently for a total of about 5-6 hours/day at this age. So there is plenty of time for other enjoyable group activities. Don't forget to enjoy their company. You can have a lot of fun.
Bless you for doing this for your family members!
Home School Legal Defense Association will know all the laws for your area. You must join. Find an ‘umbrella school’ / preferably connected with a bookstore, that will guide you - much better than declaring yourself a school, which some do here in CA. Better than buying a whole curriculum, imho, is to get books on subjects your kids want to study and read. Else you’ll be tangled in someone else’s vision.
You say you are planning to homeschool some children in the family. Are these your own children or a relatives children? Im not sure about the laws in every state but in some that might make a difference. If they are not your own children, I think it depends on if you are being compensated or not. But you will have to check your local laws and the requirements as they vary. There are a lot of homeschoolers here on FR who have great resources and can share their experiences. You also might be surprised to find a network of homeschoolers in your area.
You next say that they are in middle and high school grades. What is the reason you have for pulling them out of school now to homeschool?
I am not suggesting that you need a reason other than believing that this provides them with a better education but I am curious. Are they doing poorly in their present school, do you disagree with the curriculum, is it for religious reasons, are there issues with bullying or violence, drugs or do these kids have discipline or learning problems themselves?
I would next ask since the kids are in middle and high school, do they want to be homeschooled? Are they on board with this? I ask because if they dont want to leave their school and their school friends, teachers they may like, you are going to have to deal with that and ensure that this ends up being a very positive experience for them and not for them to think of it as being yanked out of school, isolated from their friends and or being punished in some manner. I would definitely talk it over with them, if for anything else just to get a good sense of what you are getting into. These are not little kids after all, while they are still kids and ultimately it is not their decision, if they are very resistant to the idea that might present additional challenges.
Are they currently active in extracurricular school activities like athletics, music, arts, theater, or other special interest clubs, and if so how are you going to ensure they can still participate in activities they may currently enjoy? Many homeschoolers have clubs and do things like group field trips and have special interest clubs, science fairs, art clubs, industrial arts, i.e. shop classes and such, and of course there are many recreation leagues that allow homeschoolers to participate, even some public and private schools that allow homeschooled kids to participate in afterschool athletics, so that shouldnt be an issue but it is something to consider.
I would also ask what is your educational background; did you graduate from high school, do you have any college or a college degree, did you enjoy and do well in school, do you presently like to read and continue to educate yourself? Im not suggesting that a homeschooler has to have a college degree or even a teaching degree in order to be successful at it, but if you have a negative attitude about learning, if you dont enjoy reading and learning about a wide variety of topics yourself, you might not be cut out for it. Thats not to say that you cant teach a subject that isnt your strong suit, say math for instance but you will have to be willing to make sure you dont let that cloud how you approach the subject with them especially if it is a subject they really like or perhaps even more so if it is one, like you, that they dont.
Are these kids who want to go on to college? If so you need to make sure you network with or join some homeschooling networks and orgs to avail them of any scholarship opportunities. If they are going to take the SATs or ACTs make sure the curriculum you choose will enable them to pass them. Also consider that they will also most likely have to take some sort of standardized test, based on where you are located in order to get their HS diploma. I would think it preferable for them to get a diploma rather than them getting a GED.
You need to understand that this is a huge and very important commitment. While there are many on-line courses and curriculums, it is not a matter of setting the kid in front of a computer or just giving them self study books, especially if they are not kids who are self disciplined, self motivated or good at self study. You also need to honestly ask yourself how organized and self disciplined you are; if you are someone who tends to start a project with great enthusiasm but soon loses interest, you need to make sure you are up to this commitment for the long haul.
I think homeschooling is great idea and a great alternative to public and even many private schools. I know some people who do it or have done it and their kids are doing great, many of them have gone on to top colleges. OTOH, I honestly dont necessarily think every parent is cut out for it, it all depends on their commitment to doing it right. It is not something for the lazy; it takes a lot of time and commitment and enthusiasm. Make sure you are up to it and dont go into it before you are sure and you have all your resources lined up.
Best wishes to you and let us know how you proceed and keep us updated on your progress.
Also check community resources. Your parks program may have activities to fulfill a PE requirement. Network with your church. If you don’t go to church, start. What programs does the library offer? How about boy scouts, girl scouts, 4-H?
Thank you for the clarification! I posted that I couldn’t remember, as I’ve read several books on homeschooling. My cousin uses the book as her homeschooling guide and she’s a young Earth creationist. That’s probably where my mixup occurred!
Move to Illinois. They regulate and tax every area of life, but the statists forgot to regulate home schooling and we won’t let them take that liberty away. The only requirement in Ill-Annoy is that you teach a curriculum found in the government school system. There is a standard form letter that has won the day against many a school bureaucrat, such that they don’t even bother with us.
1. We use the old editions of Saxon math curriculum.
2. Once you get into some “hard” math try: https://mathway.com/
3. Combine history and reading: http://www.mainlesson.com/main/displayarticle.php?article=feature
4. Other sites we’ve used over the years:
Our kids love learning and read stuff like the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Stop worrying and get home schooling. It’s a myth that teaching is hard. Let your kids learn to love learning and it gets easier and easier. Keep high standards, demand excellence and love your kids without judging them.
The greatest thing about home schooling is you can teach to mastery. No need to simply move along to keep the class going. When things get hard slow down, introduce materials from other methods, books, videos (try Khan Academy and even a YouTube search on that exact topic - many college, HS and other teachers have already posted explanations), etc.
Home schooling is the best decision a parent can make. Ping me if you have more questions.
Ditto the college enrollment at a community college. It will give your kids a leg up and a well education 14-15 y.o. can easily handle the “college” work.
Our kids finished HS at around that age.
Like others have said, the first thing you should do is join HSLDA.
Then, find out who runs your state’s homeschool convention and make arrangements to attend it. Those are usually held in the spring, after school is out for the year. Here in Idaho it’s held the first weekend in June.
At the convention you will be exposed to homeschool organizations, curricula, and just plain ordinary folks like you who are having the exact same challenges you are. It helps you believe that you’re not alone, and you can do it.
Join HSLDA. Look up The Calvert School online. They have had a homeschooling program in place since 1908. Check out www.sonlight.com. And then, just trust yourself.
Whatever you do be sure to join the Home School Legal Defense
Association (HSLDA). They are the the team that will represent you in case of any legal problems. Worth every penny-for the peace of mind.
We home schooled our three sons, and loved every minute.
Great info on this page: http://www.homeschoolcollegeusa.com/high-school-studies.html
Don’t be intimidated. You can do it! :)
Home school curricula are as different as schools, so some may fit your child’s learning style and some may not
Before committing to an expensive one, it is good to take one summer course and try it out
In JR and SR high the courses and credits start to count and some courses are pre-requisites for other courses, so make sure you can document learning and meet your state’s standards if you expect a diploma at the end
We use K12 International Academy with online teacher support because my autistic son loves online learning, they keep track of hours of attendance, document all the grades, have teachers online and on call, and provide a transcript. The online interaction between students is truly international, my sons American history class, for example,
has him communicating with kids from Japan, Fiji, Russia and the Middle East and all over the USA
The lack of books in some K12 subjects (Math, English) is a drawback so we augment with purchased books and workbooks and other online material and follow the same lesson material
The social studies and science books K12 provides do suck, so we augment with purchased texts and work books and other material. Cicero is excellent for teaching history and PLATO has good courses for science and math. We use IXL math (GREAT) to practice and reinforce math skills and track progress yet another way. We use Discovery Education Streaming to watch videos on social studies, history, English and science
Homeschool Buyers Coop site has group discounts on a lot of learning materials and curricula
Enroll your child in music lessons and a sport or gym classes to get those credits, community theater workshops for kids/teens is also an excellent way for them to get exposure to other kids, public speaking and the arts
We keep the kids (teens now) active in Girl Scouts and Venture Scouts, too, for lots of social and leadership and community service on weekend
Thank you all!
My reason for planning to homeschool is to give them better quality education in less time than it takes by school curriculum and the staff. Im into educating children myself, through which my children are getting benefited anyways - for some subjects. I feel and have seen that the amount of (academic) learning achieved in 6-7 hours spent at school can be achieved in 2-3 hours spent at home. My children are part of at least two after school extracurricular activities at any given time - one art based and one physical activity. Though my experience with their elementary education in public schools hasnt been bad, middle school education concerns me quite a bit, for many reasons than one that most parents here are aware of.
I have a four year college degree and had been working with children for quite a while now. For the subjects I cant ( probably) teach myself- like other than Science and Math I need to know what other resources I have. (Other than hiring a tutor)
One of my children is entering middle school and the high schooler is a child of one of the family members who are planning to take my help provided I start homeschooling my own.
MDExpatIn PA, you raised some very important questions to ask myself. Thank you! My child entering middle school- initially wasnt very accepting to the idea. After I explained to her about the benefits and advantages without losing her time with her friends and her other activities, she is very much into it now.
Though the idea and the benefits are very luring for me, I want to be resourceful and very sure before I get into homeschooling my kids. So Im in the process of getting well equipped for the job - with resources and knowledge.
(1) For Math we used the venerable Saxon Math by John Saxon. These are orderly, incremental, comprehensive. I believe this builds orderly mental habits and will not frutrate youir child by being too hard, or bore him by being too easy. You can take it at the pspeed you judg best. You can make quite sure your kid "gets it" before going on to the next lesson.
For Language Arts, a.k.a. English, we --- like many FR homeschoolers --- used Seton, plus everything, everything, everything else. The way to do reading is: do a lot of it. Read stuff that engages the imagination, including the moral imagination and the historical imagination. We liked OLD books. We favored stuff written before 1960: immensely richer, more sophisticated vocabulary, and little or no PC crap.
Provide plenty of time for kids to explore and discover on their own. To assist them in this endeavor: have anothe rkid or two.
“concurrent”. Yes, we homeskoolers are grate wit teh sspeling....
Forget boy scouts and girl scouts. Find Trail Life USA and American Heritage Girls.
I’ve raised two with homeschooling. One is now in college and the other is finishing 11th grade. We tried abeka curriculum early on but switched to Bob Jones. We supplemented this with Florida virtual school, a free online school from the state/county. The online helped with the tougher subjects and taught them to work with different teachers.
My older one was accepted to all three schools he applied for and is now in his 3rd year of pre-med.
We chose not to push them to graduate early as we wanted them to enjoy their childhood and didn’t want them going to college at 16 yrs old.
For all you folks recommending HSLDA, I second (or forty fourth) that!
But don’t neglect to look into Heritage Defense!
They cover conservative family issues that fall outside the homeschooling realm. Basically, it’s the
ANTI-”busybody 25 year old social worker that never had kids but knows better how you should raise yours”
legal protection association.
I realize I am late to the party, but one thing you find out as you homeschool - you have the flexibility and freedom (and sometimes the fear!) to do what you want and drop what doesn’t work. I abandoned most of the structured curriculum we had. They are designed to be used by one teacher trying to teach 20 kids in a classroom and are one-size-fits-all and unnecessarily repetitive.
Get your kids to read, give them plenty of time to explore their interests, and find meaningful, real work for them to do. If you live on a farm or run a family business, getting your children involved will provide the best learning experiences of all. We found that computer games (not the stupid ones that are really just electronic flash cards) that give kids a task to do or a puzzle to solve are great resources. Playing a game about being captain of one’s own trading ship gave our sons an incredible knowledge of world geography. Allowing our daughter to experiment with home repair and design in our home gave her an ability to fix or renovate just about anything. She is not afraid to tackle most DIY challenges.
Even though he was an old, hippie-lib, John Holt’s books, especially How Children Fail, give one a new perspective on what real education is, how children learn, and how bad most schools are.
Don’t be afraid to be different. Formal education hasn’t changed much in 100 years, and it’s a dinosaur. If you are concerned about doing a good job teaching your children, I can pretty much guarantee you ARE doing a good job teaching your children.
I have all of John Holt’s books: he is the one that convinced me to homeschool.
I’m really thinking of a structured curriculum for a year or two; then we may switch to the “unschooling” approach.
Even though I am a college-educated professional, 95% of the things I have learned in my lifetime, that have been of real value to me, have been those things I learned on my own when I NEEDED to in order to further some goal of my own.
My kids read a minimum of an hour per day, and I often find them reading outside of “reading time”.
I have no doubt that my two kids will be “homeschooling success stories”.
Good for you! I’m sure your children will do well. One of the best things about homeschooling is the ability to change and make adjustments as you go along.
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