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New to homeschooling, recommendations from the pros?
Vanity | Self

Posted on 05/14/2011 9:04:03 AM PDT by sc2_ct

My wife and I had initially been planning on sending our two boys aged 1 and 2-1/2 to private school. We decided to examine all of our options and that is when we first decided to give homeschooling a fair consideration and started researching it. In the two weeks since we have become sold on the merits of homeschooling.

First some background on our family:

Me: Socially and political conservative with vigerous libertarian leanings 31 year old. I work full time and then some as a paramedic and volunteer locally as a firefighter/EMT. Believe firmly in the concept of independence, liberty and self-sufficiency (borderline survivalist as some of my friends say lol). I had horrible experiences with both public and private education, got poor grades and in retrospect I suspect that I was just bored and with the exception of two memorable teachers, none ever managed to hook my interest. I am agnostic in the truest sense of the word.

Wife: Socially and politically liberal but fiscally conservative 25 years old (becoming more conservative as the days go by), also a believer in indepence and self-sufficiency. She has flexible hours working with her family at their deli and farm market, and we have playroom set aside upstairs so that she can bring the kids to work with her. She also had a miserable experience with school, however for her she was always a high achiever and felt that the schools held her back from her real potential. She recieved full scholarships to private boarding schools which she declined in order to stay with an vocational agriculture program she was in focusing on veterinary science. She is spiritual in what I call a new-age neo-hippy kind of way (don't tell her I said that lol)

We live together in a single family home in a nice neighborhood leading an average lower-middle class lifestyle while we work on becoming debt free. As you can probably imagine, we have a somewhat maleable schedule and are one of those families that only knows what a weekend is by reading about them lol. We have examined the options for education packages and have pretty much decided on the Sonolight program because of how it is structured and how we can selected additional modules as we go.

We have a room in the finished basement that is currently a playroom but that we are intending to split in half in order to build half of it as a home classroom, however we have heard that a lot of homeschool families end up never using the playroom and instead gravitate toward the diningroom table.

We have a pretty good grasp of what is involved in the process, but I figured I would come here and ask people if they have any tricks to share based on their experience? We are interested in reading even simple things like how ways you have found to simplify curriculum planning, network with other homeschool families, etc.

Any input would be appreciated :)

Matt and Melissa


TOPICS: Education; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: education; frhf; homeschool

1 posted on 05/14/2011 9:04:06 AM PDT by sc2_ct
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To: sc2_ct

Not a pro but I’ve learned a lot of history from the primary source documents (500 BC to 1800). Many of the links are dead but further searching for the titles can find nearly everything.

http://www.constitution.org/primarysources/primarysources.html

another good source of homeschool materials.

http://homeschoolbuzz.com/reviewBlog.html


2 posted on 05/14/2011 9:12:46 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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To: sc2_ct

The great news is you are thinking about this early so you can plan. One thing I think is very important is you take an honest assessment of your knowledge and skills. Fill in these gaps by networking with other homeschool families. Some private schools may also allow homeschool kids to take a class or two if it is a subject you aren’t comfortable teaching.

I would also take advantage of networking with other local homeschool families for social experience. The kids need peer support as much as you’ll need support from other parents.

For extra curricular, look for things like music lessons, community theater companies, community sports teams, etc.

Finally, keep your standards and expectations high. Children will rise to your expectations.

*Disclaimer, we aren’t homeschool parents but I’m in the educational development business and my wife is a private music teacher so we work with a lot of homeschool families.


3 posted on 05/14/2011 9:15:26 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: metmom

Ping (do you still have the ping list for homeschoolers?)


4 posted on 05/14/2011 9:18:19 AM PDT by mnehring
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To: mnehring

Personally I think the old one room schoolhouse method will shake out to be the ideal. Multiple families picking someone to do the bulk of the teaching of all the kids together.


5 posted on 05/14/2011 9:22:23 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin! (look it up))
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6 posted on 05/14/2011 9:29:10 AM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: sc2_ct

Have your wife check out Vegsource.com. Great homeschooling chat/blog site with lots of resources. Also contact some local homeschool groups to get a feel for what is going on in your area.


7 posted on 05/14/2011 9:29:53 AM PDT by happyhomemaker (That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children)
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To: sc2_ct
The very best and most successful homeschoolers do NOT try to imitate the public school setting. Don't require your kids to sit for hours and listen to you lecture - don't necessarily require lots of paperwork/homework - don't think that every single day has to follow a public school schedule or even that you have to cover every single subject in a concrete way each day. A trip to the museum can incorporate history, geography, reading, vocabulary, even art. Cooking, gardening, a trip to the grocery store - all can incorporate math. Reading things the kids are interested in can generate more interest instead of forcing them to read the same things their contemporaries are covering in school, which can lead to boredom in some kids.

Don't start out in Kindergarten worrying that you won't be able to teach chemistry or calculus in high school - worry about today. The longer you are involved in homeschooling the more people you will meet and sources will open to you for those later years. The best thing about homeschooling is you are doing it for your children and can teach them based on their strengths and interests.

It can be frustrating at times, and rewarding at others. But I am so proud of my son, who I homeschooled through out middle and high school. He is now in college and kicking azz! He recently had a professor who, upon accepting some homework from my son, laughed and said, "I don't need to grade this...." and gave him 100. He knew from the participation and attitude that my son had done the work. That is a rewarding reaction for a parent.

8 posted on 05/14/2011 9:30:40 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (OBL's death is President Bush's fault! ..... thanks GWB!)
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To: sc2_ct
You might want to read up on the homeschool laws in Connectuct - they might sound daunting but usually aren't as bad as you might think. HSLDA is a nationwide legal defense group that offers help in case you are ever questioned by local school officials. You can access their site for more information.

Connecticut requires you to file a notice of intent to homeschool so you would probably say "I intend to teach blah blah, and each year up it by saying "grade level" math or spelling or whatever". You also are required to keep a portfolio of the work your children do, and turn it into the school district each year. I did that in Pennsylvania - never had them question anything. For the most part is is just a formality

9 posted on 05/14/2011 9:38:17 AM PDT by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (OBL's death is President Bush's fault! ..... thanks GWB!)
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To: sc2_ct

A great decision. You have plenty of time. Kids under 7 don’t need any formal schooling anyway: play with them, read to them constantly, go for exploring walks, draw, make stuff, cook, etc. The best preschool in the world is to go about life with mama. Talk about everything. Do the chores. Visit stores, doctors, watch people fix things. Follow the child’s natural interests. If they ask a question, research it. Find books or stories about it. Have stations in the house with open ended toys and art supplies (art supplies out of reach til they are a little older). But now of course you can have huge baskets or bins of duplos, largish safe play people, dollhouse, safe cars, etc.

Check out all classes for kids, sports, etc. And by age 4 start trying various things for your kids. See what they like. Hobbies and sports are essential. Swimming, gymnastics, martial arts, dance, chess, team sports, try everything.

Get the hugest catalog for homeschooling and peruse it. http://www.rainbowresource.com/index.php
It’s mostly Christian but has a lot of non religious things too. I love it and we are not Christian. It gives you ideas, and you can still google a product for other online reviews before you buy.

Good luck. You will not regret your decision to be there 24/7 with and for your kids. It’s a beautiful symbiosis. I can’t believe how many schooled parents flip out when they have to spend weekends or summers with their kids. We HS parents love being with our kids and we are so natural together. We do not feel a desperate need to entertain our children!


10 posted on 05/14/2011 9:51:00 AM PDT by Yaelle
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To: sc2_ct

I’m 63 yrs old. Hated school, structure, and was a poor student. I love working hard, and learn best by “doing.”
So, I homeschooled our three sons.
We learned everything together, and I ended up with a good education.

My philosophy of education is best demonstrated by a visit to “global buckets.com Disclaimer: I am not a greeny, or a globalist. I am a Christian, patriotic American, and politically conservative.
My point is, aside from developing a passion for reading in your children, and basic math, they will learn tons from being allowed to really play (you’ll begin to see where their interests and talent develop). They learn tons about math, logic, creativity, and investigation by working with you and doing useful projects.

Avoid loading them with book stuff that’s boring and not useful. (We were bored in school because we were being fed stuff that was disconnected from usefulness or relevance to our life experience.) Sheer volume of information is not education.
Learning from other homeschoolers is good. Remember: You are training your children to be adults, at some point. You want them to emulate worthy adult hero’s. Don’t get too drawn into the socialization thing. Don’t compare your child’s talents or abilities.
Life is a whole lot more than books and “school.” Look at what early Americans accomplished when their only school, and textbook was the Bible.
And please, if some family wants to brag that their children are doing college level work by the 6th grade, let them.... Please don’t do that to your kids.


11 posted on 05/14/2011 9:51:30 AM PDT by WestwardHo (Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: sc2_ct

One more thing: A GREAT history text is “History of the World” by Karen Bauer. She teaches it in three parts...very good for young kids and even adults who want a story-telling perspective on the subject.


12 posted on 05/14/2011 10:05:56 AM PDT by Recovering_Democrat
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To: sc2_ct

Ping SLB, he and his wife homeschooled thru high school.


13 posted on 05/14/2011 10:21:58 AM PDT by FreeMaine
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To: sc2_ct

The homeschooling community is growing by leaps and bounds! The first thing I would recommend to you is to find a local homeschool group. Some are religious and some are secular. Either way, homeschool groups will have loads of advice for you and can steer you in the right direction. They will also know what you need to do, if anything, to satisfy state requirements. Homeschool groups are also a great way to find friends for your children who have something in common with them (i.e. homeschooling).

Your children are a bit young to be too concerned about curriculum yet, but there is preschool curricula out there. Be carefu!!! You can spend a lot of money needlessly on curriculum. A great website to visit is DonnaYoung.org - this website helps get homeschoolers organized as well as giving a few tips along the way. There are a few books I recommend reading for you and your wife : The Well Trained Mind by Susan Bauer, Cultural Literacy by E. D. Hirsch, and A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille... and anything by John Taylor Gatto.

Congratulations on your decision and welcome! If you have more specific questions, there is a strong homeschooling presence here in FR. I have faith your questions will be answered (ad nauseum) ;o)


14 posted on 05/14/2011 10:36:37 AM PDT by Peanut Gallery
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To: sc2_ct

I started homeschooling in 1986, when my son turned two.

In those days, we kept out of sight for fear of being reported to CPS. Those fears should be gone.

1. Join a church with homeschoolers, or find the closest network.

2. Go to a homeschool book fair if you can find one near you.

3. As the kids get older, if you want more structure/help with math/science etc., see if there is a local University Model School near you(website NAUMS).


15 posted on 05/14/2011 10:38:17 AM PDT by Mrs.Z
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To: sc2_ct

I’ve been homeschooling since (mumble, mumble, carry the ten ...) 1995. Had some brilliant successes, made a lot of mistakes. The mistakes mostly just cost money, and you can sell them used.

Your children are so young. Read to them. Take them outside to play. Let them color; crayons are nontoxic and come out in the end.

I assume you want them to read. If they turn out to like pictures, you can get “Blue’s Clues ABC Time” or “SuperWhy!” Five of my sons taught themselves to read by 4 (and one at just-turned-3, which is actually a bit of a problem). If they like text, get “Alpha-Phonics.” Then get them library cards and a few math worksheets.

Schoolhouse Technologies Worksheet Factory, best $14.95 we ever spent. We’ve had it since (mumble, mumble, borrow the ten ...) 1998, and it still works like a charm. Everything from counting through algebra.


16 posted on 05/14/2011 10:42:36 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Obama's "Gutsy Decision": Who's gonna tell the fool that he ain't cool?)
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To: cripplecreek
Personally I think the old one room schoolhouse method will shake out to be the ideal. Multiple families picking someone to do the bulk of the teaching of all the kids together.

This is how my wife ended up running a school. She and her late husband started home-schooling. Other people asked if they would take in their kids as well. They ended up with over 30 students, and several teachers who taught specific subjects part-time. She eventually closed the school when all her children had graduated and were in college.

Two of her daughters are now home-schooling their children.

17 posted on 05/14/2011 11:03:03 AM PDT by JoeFromSidney (New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. A primer on armed revolt. Available form Amazon.)
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To: sc2_ct

Things to keep in mind

1. Homeschooling is a tutorial model of education, not a factory model (which is the model of the traditional school). You want to help your children become independent learners.

2. You have a “socialization” problem, not your children. Find a support group, coop, etc. so that experienced homeschoolers can help resocialize you (for homeschooling).

3. Phonics is the only intelligent way to teach a child to read a phonetic language such as English. Consequently, get a good, conservative phonics program and use it (anything that uses words like “balanced” is to be avoided). The New England Primer might be fun to take a look at (so you can see how the Founding generation was taught to read).

4. Once your child can read the material in the phonics program, get a set of McGuffey’s readers (1836 edition, and no other). Once your child can read through the Second Reader, he can read just about anything. If you are interested, I’ll let you know how to use McGuffey’s.

5. Make or buy some flash cards and teach math facts as a game. Once your child can do math facts for all operations of arithmetic as fast as you can move your hand, you can go straight into Saxon 5/4. You will find that your child will be able to do most of each of the lessons in his head.

6. The public library is not your friend. Children’s books have become highly politicized, and the ALA is as left wing as the NEA. Apart from the politics, most recent children’s books are filled with colors and pictures. For young readers these are distractions that make text seem “boring”. I suggest getting a basic Ebook reader and downloading fairy tales, etc. for free. The content is better; there are fewer visual distractions; and, it saves gas. In addition, an Ebook reader will pay for itself many times over, helps you avoid book clutter, and travels easily.

7. Join HSLDA AND your state homeschool organization. The cost is minimal, but the benefits are significant.

8. Eventually, you might want to try a course or two from Switched-On Schoolhouse.

9. No television. There is no worse example than for parents to be sitting around watching the drivel coming over the box. And, no, the History Channel is not an excuse to keep cable (it isn’t “history” most of the time, either)A basic Netflix subscription can be beneficial (all of Shakespeare’s plays, operas, classic movies (e.g. The Picture of Dorian Gray) are available).

10. If you have your child learn an instrument (piano is recommended), you must be serious or it is wasted time. “Serious” means that you are involved from the beginning. Before starting lessons, get a set of flash cards that teaches notes and tempo and dynamic markings and teach them to your child (and yourself if you don’t know them). YouTube has free introductions to some instruments, especially piano. Let’s take piano as an example (are you getting the hint ;-). Before starting lessons the child should know know the flash cards cold, know the keys on the piano that the cards correspond to, know how to play a simple scale (hands apart), and understand finger numbers (i.e. each finger has a number from 1 to 5). This will save a lot of money on lessons and will get your child off to a fast start. Early on it is important to practice as much as possible - 1-2 hours every day (best to break it into 2 sessions). Moreover, you need to be with the child to count, correct note errors, and provide structure to the practice. An intense effort over the first 18 months or so will dramatically reduce (not eliminate) the need for parental involvement.

Does this work? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-WvF6Nhsng

10. If you want you child to learn a foreign language, he needs immersion for two or three hours a day. If you have a spare bedroom, you might be able to find an exchange student who will trade some language time for room and board. Alternatively, you might know or be able to find a native speaker of the language you want that you can trade “services” with. Young children will pick the language up very quickly.


18 posted on 05/14/2011 11:31:04 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: sc2_ct

Forgot one thing. If your church isn’t supportive of homeschooling, find another church. And don’t take any crap from government school parents or pastors. To know to respond to such people, The Harsh Truth About Public Schools is a great resource. It covers everything definitively - they will not be able to answer your arguments.


19 posted on 05/14/2011 11:34:19 AM PDT by achilles2000 ("I'll agree to save the whales as long as we can deport the liberals")
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To: sc2_ct

We homeschooled 10 years, and I enjoyed most of it. There were days, however, I thought I was insane for embarking on the journey. It is a long and, sometimes, arduous task but well worth the effort.

The rewards of seeing your child grasp something and make it their own and even seeing your child struggle and then eventually “get” a topic, makes up for the daily grind.

It allowed me to hone a love of God and country into my child. It also allowed me to understand what type of learner my daughter was and change the lessons to fit her. It also allowed me to find out what her interests were. I made the discovery she loves mythology (which I hate) and her love of Shakespeare, newly found in middle school, would later became the inspiration for her choice for a minor in college.

When we were in the elementary years, we did a lot of unit studies and incorporated reading, writing, math, art, music, history, science into whatever we were studying, such as the American Girls series, Texas state history, bears, native Americans, undersea animals, planets and space, mythology, etc.

What basic subjects I incoporated into the unit studies depended on what the unit was covering. Some units obviously were more history based while others were more science based, so our daily work would be based on the topic. Math was usually a given no matter what we were studying.

With each unit the dining room would be transformed into the subject matter. At various times we had bears, teepees, the wild west, Roman/Greek mythology, the human body, the solar system, and various other scenes covering our walls and table. We built and tore down Rome. We built the solar system. We created a jungle, and we set up Civil War scenes. We made our own branding irons and went “Go Western” to the rodeo.

To follow-up on each unit, we had field trips that would be a reward or enhancement to the study. So the zoo, children’s museum, art museum, the Alamo, various festivals, rodeo, NASA, Bush Library, Colonial Williamsburg, Blue Bell Ice Cream factory, a sugar mill, miniature horse farm, etc. were the virtual reality settings for what we were learning. That time was definitely the fun part of homeschooling.

Fortunately, I took pictures along the way, and when she graduated from high school, we took the albums out and looked at the things she had made and the field trips we took. It was a great way to remember our journey. So be sure to take lots of pictures!

As we entered middle school and high school, of course, the workload got heavier and we had less time for the “creative” fun times. We worked with curriculum rather than unit studies to make sure we were covering basics for college. We usually used a combination of Apologia Science (creation based), Abeka, Bob Jones (great history and government curriculum), Easy Grammar (which was fantastic for learning the parts of sentences) and writing curriculums.

We also used outside classes that offered band, theater, choir, sports, etc. that were available to homeschoolers offered by other homeschooling parents or homeschooling venues. These tended to be our “fun” classes.

We also joined a support group for that all important “socialization” issue non-homeschoolers worry about. :) Through the support group, we had social events which included dances, field trips, movie nights, games days etc.

One other thing we heavily incorporated was service projects. Starting in early elementary and going through high school we were constantly involved in service projects. I wanted to teach that service to others should be second nature and not a once in a while feel good experience.

Some homeschoolers don’t test. I ALWAYS tested over whatever we were studying for two reasons: First, when she had outside classes or when she went to college she was going to have to know how to complete assigned work in a specific amount of time and under stressful situations. Second, she would also need to know how to study in order to prepare for tests so testing at home would teach her how to study on her own.

My daughter has made the Dean’s List in college several times and has just completed her sophomore year.

She also has received unsolicited offers of letters of recommendations from 6 of her professors, all of whom are liberal, but they learned to respect my daughter’s opposing viewpoints and her ability to coherently and logically argue for conservative Christian values. One of the 6 professors told her that even though she didn’t agree with my daughter, she was impressed that my daughter not only knew what she believed but knew how to defend it.

Homeschooling works.


20 posted on 05/14/2011 11:40:01 AM PDT by Texas56
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To: sc2_ct
We homeschooled our daughters until high school, depending on our Lord for guidance and provision throughout. Now, the eldest is a happy and wonderful stay-at-home mother who assists her husband in running their business by handling its administration, while the other has her masters and is a high school biology teacher--also happily married. Both serve their Lord.

The point is, we were depending on our Lord for guidance and provision throughout. Are you?

21 posted on 05/14/2011 12:27:02 PM PDT by Hebrews 11:6 (Do you REALLY believe that (1) God is, and (2) God is good?)
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To: sc2_ct

I spoke to a woman on the phone who was experienced with homeschooling and strongly encouraged it for others.

What she said, and others here on FR have said...

~ Don’t feel like you are obligated to `duplicate’ / ‘copy-cat’ what they do in the govt. schools. ~

There are plenty of people and resources available for advice and help. Your life, your family, your children, your future, - YOUR decisions. Your schedule, etc.

Many homeschooling parents want to get their kids away from the ‘govt. sckool’ mess.

And or - You want to have the time with your kids, and the responsibility and experience of being with them and teaching them yourself.


22 posted on 05/14/2011 1:59:53 PM PDT by Golden Gate
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To: sc2_ct; 2Jedismom; 6amgelsmama; AAABEST; aberaussie; adopt4Christ; Aggie Mama; agrace; ...

HOMESCHOOL PING

This ping list is for articles of interest to homeschoolers. I hold both the Homeschool Ping List and the Another Reason to Homeschool Ping List. Please freepmail me to let me know if you would like to be added or removed from either list, or both.

The keyword for the FREE REPUBLIC HOMESCHOOLERS’ FORUM is frhf.

23 posted on 05/14/2011 6:11:17 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: All

You CAN Homeschool!

If anyone wants to homeschool and thinks it’s too hard-

Don’t fret - there are plenty of resources and help is easy to get.

You think you don’t have the time?

Do you have the time it will take to unravel all the complications that public school will bring?

YOU CAN HOMESCHOOL!

It could be the most significant thing you do in your life: You will leave a legacy that could last for multiple generations to come.

(I hope I used proper grammer here...)
1. tell ‘em what you/re gonna tell ‘em.
2. tell ‘em.
3. tell ‘e what you told ‘em.

check.
check.
check.


24 posted on 05/14/2011 6:37:29 PM PDT by kinsman redeemer (The real enemy seeks to devour what is good.)
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To: sc2_ct

I hs’d k-12, drop a private note if you want to chat. First, remember — you know more than any 1st grader — or 8th — or 12th. There, you are qualified. We did not buy curriculum packages because we were doing it to chart our own path. Plus, a kid can be really ahead in math but not a strong reader. OR he can want to read what he wants to read and not what the curriculum selects for him. Or he can be a strong reader and pass up the grade level almost immediately.

You can buy DK paperbacks, workbooks and etc., and never have to buy a textbook ever. Spectrum has good workbooks. Read, do math, do science experiments. You don’t need a whole lot more til Jr Hi. We did most of our History traveling in off-months. It is $200 RT to Paris in February!! You can do hs on a shoestring. Lots of great info out there. Do not fret — your kids will thrive.


25 posted on 05/14/2011 7:33:23 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: sc2_ct

I hs’d k-12, drop a private note if you want to chat. First, remember — you know more than any 1st grader — or 8th — or 12th. There, you are qualified. We did not buy curriculum packages because we were doing it to chart our own path. Plus, a kid can be really ahead in math but not a strong reader. OR he can want to read what he wants to read and not what the curriculum selects for him. Or he can be a strong reader and pass up the grade level almost immediately.

You can buy DK paperbacks, workbooks and etc., and never have to buy a textbook ever. Spectrum has good workbooks. Read, do math, do science experiments. You don’t need a whole lot more til Jr Hi. We did most of our History traveling in off-months. It is $200 RT to Paris in February!! You can do hs on a shoestring. Lots of great info out there. Do not fret — your kids will thrive.


26 posted on 05/14/2011 7:35:52 PM PDT by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: sc2_ct

Start here: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Positive-Parenting-Wonderful-Children/dp/1567131751

Your wife will love this positive approach to child rearing. No matter what you decide to do you’ll want your children close. That gets harder and harder as your children age and even in a private school the government school values, curriculum and mandates rule and become the paradigm. Having a close-knit family is what keeps children away from the nuttiness.

Children’s learning at this age is play, but it doesn’t have to be purposeless. Reading is the number one goal and this book is the best: http://www.amazon.com/Phonics-Pathways-Reading-Perfect-Spelling/dp/1118022432/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1305426333&sr=1-1

You simply read it in order and don’t be in a hurry. It works. There’s no evidence that pre-school makes any difference in the long run, but reading does. It will open your child’s world and don’t get junk books. Get the McGuffey Readers once your kids can read.

Fundamentally, a loving husband and wife who love their children can overcome a lot of the natural evil in this world.

Best of luck (though it really isn’t luck) and ping me for any other advice you’d like. Get those two books asap!


27 posted on 05/14/2011 7:38:08 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: WestwardHo

Outstanding advice and well done.


28 posted on 05/14/2011 7:42:47 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: sc2_ct

I just remembered another thing. We got a lot of books on CDs - Treasure Island, Star Wars (radio play), Susan Wise-Bauers entire history of the world, etc.

If you travel in the car with kids, why not let them listen to the best, most interesting stories instead of pop music or chatter? FYI, my spouse and I learned a ton of stuff we’d never learned in nearly two decades of “education”.

Our kids had listened to Kipling, Swift, Conrad, London, etc. before they read them and in reading them several years later loved them even more.

Learning is fun and once they love learning you cannot lose.


29 posted on 05/14/2011 7:56:46 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD

Thank you!


30 posted on 05/14/2011 8:23:14 PM PDT by WestwardHo (Whom the gods would destroy, they first drive mad.)
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To: Trillian

PING


31 posted on 05/14/2011 9:11:51 PM PDT by Conservative4Life (Those who don't learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. Elections have consequences.)
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To: sc2_ct
A friend of mine "wrote the book" on the socialization issue. You can download a free summary of his master's thesis on the subject HERE.

See also his libertarian-themed article Home Schooling for Liberty.

You can teach a ready child to read in 30 hours, using Samuel Blumenfeld's book Alphaphonics. Or, you can teach English as though it were cuneiform hierglyphics, and turn kids into dyslexic or alexic serfs in six years.

32 posted on 05/14/2011 9:14:43 PM PDT by it_rr (kervan yürür)
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To: Recovering_Democrat

Do you mean History of the World by Susan Bauer? We used that as well - it is excellent!


33 posted on 05/14/2011 9:31:04 PM PDT by aberaussie
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To: sc2_ct

I don’t have much to add since we are also new to homeschooling. We have 4 y.o. twins and so are only doing a little “schooling” and a lot of hanging out with Mama & Daddy and reading and doing and playing. :)

We are doing one thing I’ll share as useful. We have joined our local h/s network, which has an email list. Through that we found an Argentinian woman (native Spanish speaker) who wanted someone to teach her daughter writing. We are now doing a swap where we get together at our house twice a week. She plays with our boys and teaches them as much Spanish as they can absorb at their age, and I tutor her 8 y.o. daughter in English and writing. It’s working out quite well so far.


34 posted on 05/14/2011 10:54:44 PM PDT by Hetty_Fauxvert ("And I'm actually happy to be, for us to be the moat with alligators party." -- Mark Steyn)
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To: sc2_ct
As a home school mom of 22 years; I would say good for you for thinking about this early. I would skip the whole classroom thing. All you really need is a space to hold the bookshelves that will hold your supplies. Your kids will do their school work all over the house. I've taught six kids, none of them have been keen on doing their work in one place. The kitchen table is good in the early years when you have to keep an eye on what they're doing and as you need to do hands on teaching; the rest of the time, as long as the TV and computer is off, any space will work, up to and including under the kitchen table.

As most, but not all, of home school materials are Christian/Catholic, you'll have to spend some time doing research for books that will support your worldview. An aside, you do know that agnostic comes from the Greek and means no knowledge, right? At this point I would recommend as soon as your kids can read, you get English From the Roots Up. It is a great vocabulary builder because it teaches the roots of most of our English words. A vast vocabulary is an important resource for both written and oral communication.

You and your wife should sit down and discuss/decide what exactly your worldview is and which parts of it you want to instill in your children. Your kids will 'catch' things you do and don't intend to teach them; an organized front (you and your wife) will go a long way to making sure they understand what your family unit believes and why.

35 posted on 05/15/2011 5:28:24 AM PDT by Vor Lady
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To: FreeMaine; SLB
Ping SLB, he and his wife homeschooled thru high school.

36 posted on 05/15/2011 10:48:13 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: sc2_ct

I love homeschooling. We’ve always homeschooled and are now finishing our seventh year.

The best years we’ve had were when I made homeschooling my Number One priority. I ran a home-based business and on days when that interfered, we struggled.

We used Switched On Schoolhouse this year and hated every minute of it. It’s nothing more than textbooks on a computer screen and poorly written software. My son ended up hating math after just a couple of months because SOS required him to place the cursor in every individual box in a math problem. That slowed his progress down so much, and with 30+ computation problems per lesson, well, you can imagine how long it took him to complete just one lesson. Also, if there was a space before the numeral he typed in, he received an F. My kids never even knew what an F was until we started using this miserable curriculum. There were many times when *I* couldn’t even get the right answer.

We stuck with SOS for a couple of reasons. One, I figured that sooner or later my kids will have to learn using the public school model of reading text material, answering questions, and then taking quizzes and tests. Second, I was writing a book and SOS was something the kids could do on their own, until they got frustrated, which was often. They suffered through it and are pretty much finished with the assigned units.

We enjoyed using KONOS when my kids were younger, although the prep work can be burdensome. I’m also not convinced that it adequately addresses every curricular area as it claims, but it’s very hands-on and fun.

Check out Ambleside Online, a free curriculum that uses very high quality literature and texts. It’s based on educational theory and practices developed by Charlotte Mason, a British teacher whose schools were based on what she believed were best practices. As a teacher myself, I’m in complete agreement with most or all of her methods.

We used My Father’s World curriculum for two years. We might still be using it except that we got bogged down one year in a horrifically boring study of world geography. What could have been taught in less than a month was dragged out over nine. I probably should have just quit and purchased the next year’s curriculum but didn’t. Also, it was very workbook heavy.

I don’t believe there are any disadvantages to homeschooling. However, it’s all too easy to just quit something your kids aren’t crazy about. I’ve seen families take drama for a couple of months, then enroll their kids in guitar lessons for two or three months, then join an archery team but miss a lot of practices. It’s almost like having a box of candy (fun learning opportunities) and trying out one after the other, never finishing anything. I think kids need to learn how to stick it out even when they aren’t thrilled with something. That’s one reason I made my kids finish the year with Switched on Schoolhouse.


37 posted on 05/15/2011 11:20:13 AM PDT by ChocChipCookie (Jonah is my patron saint.)
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To: ChocChipCookie

If you liked the idea of SOS math but not the program you may want to take a look at Teaching Textbooks. My kids enjoy it.


38 posted on 05/18/2011 8:00:23 AM PDT by christianhomeschoolmommaof3
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To: sc2_ct

First off keep in mind that for a family like yours, the flexibleness of homeschooling is going to be awesome!

Anything and everything is negotiable with homeschooling. Hours spent per day? Which days you teach? What subjects in what order? Go with what works for you.

For kindergarten/first grade, an hour or so of work a day will cover all the stuff a kid needs to know. Until middle school, three hours is probably enough depending on how hard the kid works. That 7 hours a kid spends at school? Figure out how much is wasted with class changes, stupid overhead, and busywork.

If a curriculumn or piece of curriculumn isn’t working, throw it out. If a boxed set is good but you don’t like the science, throw out the science and find something else. If Kid A is a math whiz and wants to do two math lessons a day, let him. If Kid B loves to read about dinosaurs, find a way to incorporate that.

I was homeschooled and plan to homeschool my own daughter who is two. It’s the best thing you can do for a kid. Just - whatever you do, don’t try to recreate “school” at home. The institutional school model is no good. I’m not saying throw out the idea of textbooks and set lessons; I’m no unschooler. But do throw out the traditional calendar - schooling year round and taking breaks when it fits your needs is best.

Oh, and HSLDA membership is a wonderful safety net once your kids are school age. Check out state laws, follow them, and have HSLDA programmed into your phones just in case.


39 posted on 05/18/2011 8:11:51 AM PDT by JenB
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