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Topic: New mom looking for answers and direction

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Subject: New mom looking for answers and direction
Date Posted: 8/20/2007 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2007
Posts: 225
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Hi Everyone,

I am expecting our first child this November and plan on homeschooling.  I'm totally new to the game and love reading the homeschool threads here.  Everyone seems to have a common view that homeschool is best, but you all have different reasons why and  how it should happen.  Such diversity is wonderful!!! 

Would any of you be so kind to share your thoughts and experiences with some of the following questions:

1.  What type of structure do you require in your home, ie, how, if any, do you seperate home life from school life?

2.  At what age did you really start 'schooling' and not just learning from mommy or daddy? 

3.  What difficulties did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them? 

I have begun the collection of books on homeschooling and the schools of thought seem to vary.  I hope you moms and dads out there can get me started in the right direction!!!  Thank you all for any input you care to share!!

 

Date Posted: 8/20/2007 10:57 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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Amanda, congratulations on your impending motherhood!!!!!!  Very exciting!!!

1.  What type of structure do you require in your home, ie, how, if any, do you seperate home life from school life?

I'm what my hubby likes to call a "box checker".....I like a relatively structured homeschool.  I like knowing that we've covered all the main subjects and after that we can fit in all the extras that our son loves.  We don't really separate home life from school life, but we have an only child so it's not really necessary.  I'm guessing some of the people with larger families probably have to, to maintain their sanity.  :)

2.  At what age did you really start 'schooling' and not just learning from mommy or daddy? 

I didn't start homeschooling until midway though my son's kindergarten year, so I'm not the best one for this question.  I do know that we did a lot of play learning for many, many years, even after formal schooling started.

3.  What difficulties did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them? 

My family was VERY supportive, but my DH's family took awhile to come around.  I wouldn't say they were a difficulty, but it was definitely a stressor for ME to perform well as DS's teacher.  I don't think they really became positive about it until his first set of standardized testing placed him 3-8 grades ahead of his age/grade level.  :)

Another issue for me was finding the right curriculum for my DS.  He's very much a visual learner and it took me what seemed like forever to figure that out and find appropriate curriculum.  I was learning HOW to teach him along the way.  But it's been 5 years how and we're still going strong, so I think we're doing something right.

Good luck with everything and my best advice is to keep asking any and all questions you have.  No such thing as a stupid question when it comes to the education of your child. 

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
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Congratulations, Mommy!

 

1.  What type of structure do you require in your home, ie, how, if any, do you seperate home life from school life?

 

I require the kids to be dressed all the way, hair done, teeth and hair brushed, and ready for the day. You'll find, though, that education doesn't stop once you've done the formal schooling of the day.

 

2.  At what age did you really start 'schooling' and not just learning from mommy or daddy? 

I don't recommend starting any earlier than six years old. Your child will tell you when he or she is ready.

 

3.  What difficulties did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them? 

Finding your niche is the tricky part. It can take years. Just go with the flow.

Feel free to bring more questions! And may I offer one small piece of advice?

READ every single day to your child, right from the time you're nursing him or her in the rocking chair. It's one of the best things you can do.

 

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 10:36 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2007
Posts: 225
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thank you both for sharing and for your advice! 

Date Posted: 8/21/2007 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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1.  What type of structure do you require in your home, ie, how, if any, do you seperate home life from school life?

We don't require much structure, as I'm not trying to recreate "school at home".  My son wears his boxer shorts as his "school uniform".  The only structure we have is our curriculum and scedule (but even that is flexible).  We're sort of a mix of "school in box (purchased curriculum)" and "unschooling".  My son takes 2-3 hrs/day for his curriculum work and the rest of the day is self-directed learning.

2.  At what age did you really start 'schooling' and not just learning from mommy or daddy? 

Well, we were teaching him from birth.  More formal instrucation started in toddlerhood.  We mostly just went where our son led us, as he's profoundly gifted (#1 reason he's HS'ed).  If we let him, he'd be a classic unschooler and would still learn more than what he would in a B&M school.

3.  What difficulties did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them? 

I was scared when we found out this was the road we would have to take.  I hadn't planned on it....and I'm a huge planner!  It was a busy time at first, doing research on curricula, finding out all the support available, connecting to other HS'ers, figuring out all the HS activities he could do, etc.  We're starting our fifth year now and things run quite a bit smoother!



Last Edited on: 8/21/07 12:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/22/2007 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2007
Posts: 158
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1.  We don't separate the two.  If we're breathing we're learning, some education is just more valuable. 

2.  My almost 7 y.o. has a few subjects that require writing in a workbook.  Most of the other topics are taught conversationally, so there isn't much "we're doing school now."  We may spend and hour a day or less on what he thinks is "school" with the remainder of the day spent on whatever we want to do while taking advantage of any learning opportunities along the way.

 

3.  I really haven't had any problems other than deciding when and how to use all the resources I've acquired.  If you look at my LibraryThing shelf you'll get a pretty good idea of the materials we are or plan to use for learning. ;-)