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Topic: How Do You Start Homeschooling ?

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Subject: How Do You Start Homeschooling ?
Date Posted: 6/26/2008 9:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 433
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Some of you may know from CMT that my 16 year old bipolar schizoeffective daughter ranaway for 39 days a few months ago... she left her public school here in TX and was eventually found in  CA. 

I do not feel safe with her going to a public school anymore -  they did not even notify me that she skipped school at lunch and hadn't been in class the remainder of the day until 9pm that night after we were already in a full panic -- and that was a recording to boot. 

I have been looking at all the options out there, and can't afford a private school... when she does go back to school she will have to repeat 10th grade due to her running away...

How do you start homeschooling? How do you decide what courses? From reading some of the posts here I'm absolutely terrified because it is homeschooling a high schooler...

Any advice, links, help?? Please, and thank you !

Date Posted: 6/26/2008 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2007
Posts: 109
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It's really easy to homeschool in Texas -- there are virtually no requirements for paperwork and whatnot.

But it sounds in your situation like you might want a program with some accountablity, esp. to see that she gradutates.  Maybe a online charter school porgram if they have them in Texas.

Here is a link for Texas specific information



You might want to look at the "Teenage liberation handbook", by Grace Lleweyln but  I don't know how well it applies in special needs situations.

At her age she could also start taking one or two classes at the community college level; through "dual enrollment" they can count for high school and toward college.


good luck

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 12:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I read every single book on HS'ing in our library.  That was 6-7 years ago and there are even more of them now!

One of the first steps is to figure out your DD's learning style so you can choose a curriculum based on that style.

Most high school programs are either self-taught (read the text, do the practice, etc.) but there are sone online schools where the classes are teacher-led.  They are more expensive.

You need to plan out the entire sequence of high school and what is required for college admission (if applicable).  Then plan courses with the sequence in mind.

There are a lot of Christian curricula on the market if that's what you're looking for.  If not, there are plenty of secular materials also.  If you let us know which you prefer, we can give input on what we've used.

As Rebecca mentioned, you can also do CC classes for dual credit.  Some CC classes are "remedial" meaning no college credit, but they are still relatively inexpensive to use.  Our CC's remedial math classes start around the 7th grade level.

Don't be scared off by the teaching.  Much of you you can learn or re-learn along with your child.  If you're not strong in say, math, there are plenty of curricula to help with that.  You can also find tutors, or a HS'ing co-op to help fill in some of the weak gaps.  Our co-op is doing a high school biology lab this year which helps spread the cost among other families.

As for grade level, I wouldn't say she'd automatically have to repeat 10th grade.  You would give her the placement tests for the curriculum (one or more) you choose.

To choose the courses, you work from that high school sequence.  If she's going to attend college, you look at the requirements they have - 3 or 4 years of science, 4 years of math, 1 foreign language, etc.

I would try to connect with a local HS'ing group and attend some activities.  Ours has a "welcome to HS'ing" orientation meeting every August.  Many groups have used curriculum sales also, where you can try ones out without as much money spent.

There are online private schools which are nice.  You would just act as a mentor or a coach and keep her on task.  Here are some of the most popular:



Florida Virtual School:

NorthStar Academy:

UNL Independent Study High School:

Center for Distance and Independent Study:

Keystone High School:

The Potter's School:

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 433
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Thanks you guys, my main worry has been choosing the curriculum and I never even thought of using the school districts requirements as a guide.  She was formerly in an accelerated program at high school so I can look up the guidelines and follow it. 

I'm not worried about teaching so much, me and the kids have always done extra assignments at home to help them with things they were learning in school I just don't want to homeschool her and make her lose her chances of going to college because I did something wrong.

I have already researched homeschooling in Texas and it does seem to be a simple process of sending a letter to the school since in Texas homeschooling is considered a private school.

As for christian or secular either one is fine with me.

Thanks again for your help!


Date Posted: 6/27/2008 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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I'm using two high school curricula this year.  One I have been using for a year, and another I'm starting.  My son has been doing Teaching Textbooks' Algebra I which we all love.  My husband teaches it - as I have no desire, or brain power, at nearly 40 to re-learn it!  DH is an engineer so he loves it!  Sometime this year, DS will transition into TT's Geometry.


We are also starting Apologia's Exploring Creation with Biology.  When Apologia only had their 1st edition, it wasn't a good fit for either DS or me.  Now that it's been revised, and has several methods of accessing the text, it's a much better fit.  I'm very happy with it so far.  We haven't started it yet, but I've been putting lesson plans into Homeschool Tracker Plus and from that, I can see it's wonderful depth.  DS is excited to start it.


Since DS is now doing high school courses, I've decided to keep more "formal" records with Homeschool Tracker Plus.  For the past 5+ yrs, I've just been using Excel with some self-designed spreadsheets.  I'm also moving to a more eclectic style, so this can help me stay on track.  I'm a datahead, too.  Neither state I've lived in requires records, but it's a whole 'nuther ball game with high school - transcripts, portfolios, testing, etc.


This is a great place to get a catalog from, although seriously overwhelming!  :-)  I purchase a LOT from RRC:


I typically enjoy shopping online but not with RRC.  I much prefer their catalog - which is the size of the Dallas yellow pages, I'm sure.  It is very fine print, so I have to have my reading glasses, but it has SO much information!

I'd also recommend attending any homeschool conventions in your area.  You can shop in the vendor hall and attend seminars.

Best wishes as you embark on this journey!


Date Posted: 6/28/2008 10:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
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Last Edited on: 1/19/09 8:25 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: resource
Date Posted: 7/2/2008 9:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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http://fosteringandadoptingolderchildren.yuku.com/forums/education This forum in this website has a lot of information  (and some Texas homeschoolers).  Many resources, discussions about repeating grades, curricula, how to issue transcripts for colleges, high school issues, gifted students, and because the primary focus on the entire website is fostering and adopting older children, much info on educating children with assorted diagnoses including BPD.

Oh and how to start.

A lot of additional info on bipolar as well in other forums.

I am prejudiced in its favor because I chair this discussion board/village.

Date Posted: 7/10/2008 1:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 433
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Thanks all of you, I am begining to lose my fear and think that thisis actually do able! You all have provided great resources!



Subject: Service hours & more
Date Posted: 7/10/2008 11:30 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 74
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Homeschooled kids sometimes have a better chance to get into college. Make sure you include service projects. Colleges look at volunteering. The local animal shelter, hospital, women's shelter, library, historical society, or nature center are all places to consider. (these are all available in my relatively small city)

Consider, too, to let her direct her studies somewhat. Don't move on from something that interests her. Let her delve into topics that hold her interest.

If you're worried about gaps in learning just take a trip down your own memory lane: how long did you remember your history lessons? Until the test? Make learning memorable.

Enjoy your time together.

Check out http://www.cindyrushton.com

That's just my 2 cents worth.

Last Edited on: 7/10/08 11:31 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/11/2008 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2008
Posts: 219
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We live in Ohio and use Ohio Virtual Academy (OHVA), a public school on-line.  I believe there's one in TX also.  We LOVE OHVA because of being able to school at home plus we're held accountable by a cerified teacher that contacts us (my children and I) monthly.  They also provide all the testing that is required for our state.  Just thought you might want to check into this for your area. 

Good Luck!