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Topic: hi yall :)

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Subject: hi yall :)
Date Posted: 5/16/2011 8:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 627
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ok.. so i am an Unschooler and Eclectic mama... my kids are 4,3 and 1 and im 26 weeks preg.. I am wondering what other unschoolers do.. do yall have a cirriculum and workbooks? i am thinking of going to dollar tree and getting some disney workbooks pre-k/k for the girls because i need a bit of help.. but im also looking at cirriculums.. maybe not to completely use but to have around.. however i dont have a lot of money.. i do have a TON of books here though and am thinking of doing lapbooks and all kinds of different things.. my girls are still very young but they are super excited to start school.. right now i use books ,games, tv, their vtech ereaders, and their mobigo's plus i teach them when we go places and outside and coloring , etc.. also i use their little writing things that u just erase after (the thing with the pend type thing then erase after) but i know i need math and english workbooks to start getting them to learn to write etc.. lol.. but does anyone have any ideas for me or am i doing ok? im gonna start school up seriously again next month for them and make zachary a lapbook so i can read it to him so he is learning as well.. but he also learns a lot too.. however he is only 13 months so he is harder lol.. im gonna start school next month so we have a couple of months into schooll before the baby is born so that if i need a break for a few weeks after the baby is born then pick back up.. also im gonna do some arts and crafts soon too which is also schooling them.. and im gonna start teaching them music soon.. well how to read it bcause i dont have a piano :*( anywho any ideas or critiques is fine.. and please praise is good too.. my mom dissaproves of our homeschooling and thinks the girls should be in pre-k already.. so thank God my husband is supportive and is gonna help also but besides him i dont have a  lot of support from my family

Date Posted: 5/16/2011 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2011
Posts: 30
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Hi Kaila!

You are very smart to homeschool. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! My children are grown now, but I've never regretted homeschooling for an instant. At your children's age, I would do what you are already doing-Make as many books available to them as you can-read,read,read, to them,-go on fieldtrips, encourage them to learn. Make a game of it! That's why YOU are schooling them. You WANT them to be excited about learning. You don't want to cram it down their throat if it's an off day and they don't feel like learning. Make cooking a math lesson. Walks become a science lesson. Reading becomes their English lesson.

They are at a wonderful age where they want to learn (just as you wrote). So give them crayons, paper, and glue and turn them loose. Just remember to document it. That way you can prove what you have been teaching. You will be fine. You are already motivated, and not afraid of teaching. Go for it and have fun!

I'm sure other mothers will be here for you also, but if you have questions, feel free to ask me.

Date Posted: 5/16/2011 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 627
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lol thanks.. my mom is against it because she thinks they wont be socialized. im like they will be plenty socialized.. im not looking to make my kids only friends be each other. i am looking to put analiese into dance next year and MaKenzie into gymnastics.. I am looking at homeschooler organizations around here that have a lot of different things.. also the american heritage girls and for the boys boy scouts... all kinds of things ya know..i havent started documenting because from what ive been told i dont have to until next year. analiese will be 5 in Jan so technically she wouldnt have started K until sept, 2012 so im not worried about documenting right now but if you think i should i def will. I am hoping to do pre-k/k at one time now.. so that next year both the girls will be 4 and 5 and in 1st grade.. does that sound stupid? my 3 yr old im 99% certain is a genius status... we might get her tested later but for now I am going to do my best to have her do good with school and see what she likes etc

Date Posted: 5/17/2011 2:29 AM ET
Member Since: 5/7/2011
Posts: 30
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Nahhh.  It sounds like you have everything in hand. You're right. I wouldn't worry so much about the documenting until next year. I used to document everything, from the time they got up until they went to bed. If my son read his sister a nursery story I would grab for my book and write down headings for Communication and English. Then if we had free time when the school board thought they should have been learning, I would stick the segment in.

You won't have any problem finding places to socialize your children. Do be careful though. One year I allowed them to take part in everything they wanted to participate in. We didn't know if we were coming or going. Between 4-H, dance lessons. horseback riding lessons, meeting with other homeschoolers...  It got crazy!  One big thing I had to remember as we met with other children was not to try to force them into situations. I started meetings at our library one year so they could meet with other homeschoolers. The idea was that I could talk to the parents, and they could interact with the other kids. Wrong! They were miserable. "They all act so stupid!" they would complain. "They don't know anything and they're dumb." To be fair, the other children did act rude, and they also seemed to be below their learning brackets, though the same age. But it sure was awkward.

I'm sure alot has changed since I homeschooled my kids, as far as laws and such. It also changes by state, as I'm sure you know. When I started, Kentucky refused to make curriculums available to homeschoolers. They were really coming down on us hard to try and discourage us from it. I finally used a plan from Texas. They also asked that we hold school at the same time as public school, and would send truant officers around to see if they could catch us. That's when I got so jumpy about keeping my books in order. I joined a state group, as well as a national group that provided attorneys if needed, and started a homeschooling advocacy group in my area, and that pretty much put a stop to the harassment. But remember, this was years ago! They're 24 and 22 now. Homeschooling is much more common.

But, next year, I would suggest that you have your curriculum ready and be familiar with it, and when the school year first begins, have it ready for your school board. (If that's expected of you in your area that is). Do report that you are homeschooling, and DO find out what is required of homeschoolers. Also have a weekly lesson plan to show on request. You don't necessary have to do it all the time. You can be creative with your books. If you stuck to the same ole, same ole all the time, your children might as well be in public school. I pretty much introduced subjects to my kids, and then waited to see which direction they wanted to take with it. I then tailored their learning around that. As they got older, they would go over what they were supposed to be learning, and create the plans themselves, depending on what they wanted to spend more time on.

I'll just bet your three year old is a little genius! Smart kids thrive in this kind of environment. It was really embarrassing when we first started to homeschool. My son was supposed to be third grade, and my daughter would be in kindergarten. She would listen in on his classes, and when he had trouble with something, she would call out the answer!  It took him awhile to catch up to where he needed to be. I would say, "But son, you should have covered this in first grade," he would say, "But Mom, we never covered that!" And my daughter would sit over waving her hand. "I know! I know!" My poor son missed so much by starting out in public school. I just wish I'd wised up sooner.

We Unschooled. So we only tested when we had to, maybe every 3-4 months. The idea behind this is to let them learn intrinsically, for the love of learning. Not for treats or because they have to. And it DOES work. The first few years are so scary. especially when others tell you how wrong you are. And there will be days you want to scream. That's when you  ALL take off on a field trip and get away from it.

I hope some of this has helped, and that I haven't come across too preachy. You sound like a wonderful person and parent, and I have no doubt you will succeed beautifully! I'm here and lots and lots of others are here for you also.You and yours will bw fine.

                                                                                                                                                                Jeanne

 

Date Posted: 5/18/2011 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 11/6/2008
Posts: 627
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my 3 yr old seems to catch on to soo much more quickly then her 4 yr old sister.. she also has a very very bad temper.. so we are trying to figure it all out plus control her temper at the same time..i went to the dollar tree and got them 5 workbooks this past weekend.. im ecited.. got reading comprehension, spelling, math, numbers, alphabet, etc.. mainly because even though i am teaching them i think they will enjoy these because they get to start learning to write.. once she can write im gonna get her a journal to write in and encourage her to write everything she feels.. to try to control her temper.. im hoping that helps a bit ya know.. but for now im doing the best i can.. but its just hard because im not used to my mom not agreeing on me about something important like this.. but im adopted.. and she woul never have thought to homeschool me.. im 28 and she got me when i was 5.. now there is so much more homeschooler things.. including actual homeschool classes lol.. i am gonna work on getting better organized and im gonna strat documenting in jan,2012  think that way i am used to it before the next school year lol. i wanna unschool so that if i choose to take my kids to the aquarium to do schoolwork i am able to do so. i dont want a strict schedule to follow everyday.. i wanna say ok we need to cover such and such this month and find ways to have fun doing so. lol  thank you for all the advice and encouragement im sure ill come to yall a lot during this.. especialy the beginning years lol.. because my husband will be supportive and helping a bit but he is working nonstop (FT job and just started his own business) so its gonna be hard on me.. but i know i can do it. lol