Discussion Forums - Homeschoolers' Corner Homeschoolers' Corner

Topic: My Plan for Homeschooling --down on paper --any advice appreciated :)

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: My Plan for Homeschooling --down on paper --any advice appreciated :)
Date Posted: 12/6/2007 6:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 51
Back To Top

A little about me.  I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys, ages 7 and 20 months.  I also work from home part time for an oil and gas company.  Now, I am learning here and there on the homeschooling subject about how things are going to work around here with it.  I have read place after place that when it boils down to it, you homeschool YOUR kids the best way for YOU.  Now, I have tried the "scheduling" way, and got so into the scheduling that that was all I got done during the day...trying to schedule time to be organized, schedule time to schedule, schedule time to work, schedule time to play, schedule schedule schedule....to where NO WAY would it work!  A good friend on here told me that  it sounded like I was so busy PLANNING what to do that I never had time left to actually DO, which was sooo true!  I basically work best by doing what ever comes before me that needs to be done worst at the moment.  And and the moment, I kinda have a cycle in mind here.  (One thing I do know, is that I am going back to my crafting business which I had let slide for a few years while trying to help a so-called friend in trouble....actually my whole life as I knew it got put on hold!)  Now, my cycle comes to where I get the crafting business up and running pretty good so that thereby I can fund our homeschooling here at home, as with having 2 little ones there is NEVER enough money to go around...no matter what you may do.  With hubby's work being tight right now, my crafting is about the only way we can get extra money. 

Now, my plan here is to set up the extra room in the house as my shipping/crafting room.  Then get some inventory made up to sell, get it all listed up on ebay....possibly offer custom colored order items (I make doilies right now...btw), then let it go from there.  I may even get my extra books on there in a section of my store to see if they go anywhere.

Now once all this gets going, I can FINALLY have some money/resources free and clear to get books/supplies needed/wanted for homeschooling :)  I know there are laxes in time here whereby my son does not have materials needed to homeschool effectively in the way I want to do it...(i.e. we need a microscope, science supplies, etc. as he is VERY into science).  I do realize I can find free stuff as far as worksheets go on the net, but he is more into hands on stuff, and while kitchen experiments are great, they don't include everything.  Also, trips to the library are currently out, as he walked in....he came, he saw, he left unimpressed.  So, that will be another area where we will go back to and visit again. 

I guess I am looking for reassurance here to say YES you can do all this....YES it is ok to lax now and then on schoolwork.....I used to have a CAN DO attitude about everything and never let it enter my head that I couldn't do something.  But after soured friendship (who by the way I still have to work with EVERY day) I need all the reassurance I can get....... (The so-called friend was a real down-type person, who was/is always into seeing me fail......I feel like if she saw me succeeding at ANYTHING she would automatically go into the routine of "Remember...you are but one".....This from a woman who got divorced from a good man all because when it came down to it...she stayed mad at him when he was working because he was not there at home with her to help with things that tore up (God knows she wouldn't lift a finger to fix anything, as I tried time and again to show her how to fix stuff) then when he was home, she was mad because he was not out working more, making extra money so that they could build a house.....Oh PULEASE :)

Just reassure me here friends....please :)

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 8:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
Back To Top

I'm on the run, so I wanted to let you know that you have been heard and make a few comments before I run,

I think schedules and lesson plans are great as long as you consider them goals. You know, best case scenario of a day and it all get done. But it's a goal and it might not all get done and that's OK. As long as it doesn't rule you. What you have planned to make this work sounds good and doable (is that a word). Your child is young and you can have relaxed schooling, making sure the basics get done. I think you need to put some boundaries on this friend. Say "I need support from you, not dredging up the past negativity. Please don't say anything about our homeschooling unless it is supportive". And when she starts up with the "usual" comments, cut her off and remind her. If she still continue in the negative vein, tell her nicely, "look, I'm really swamped, I need to go" and do it consistantly.

Most libraries do have interlibray loan. So possibly you could order some books you know he would go gaga over. Maybe relatives could give that type of gifts for birthdays and Christmas( or whatever winter holiday you observe). Hand them catalogues when they ask what to get him. My son (also science oriented) loved flipping through this company's catalogue. http://www.hometrainingtools.com/  now my daughter (animal science oriented) is the same.

My son is a senior and just got his acceptance letter to the college of his choice. You can do it.

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
Back To Top

First of all you can do this.  Homeschooling looks different for each family.  I have one son, 10, and we've been homeschooling for 4 years.  We decided to start homeschooling in the afternoon this year.  My son focuses better after lunch and so far it is working out great. 

Your life sounds busy, with crafting, working and wanting to do school.  It can be done, but you need to prioritize your time, that doesn't mean you have to plan down to the minute.  If you are not currently homeschooling you need to check with your state to determine what laws you do have to follow. you can check those out at www.hslda.org

I would also encourage you to check out some books on the process of homeschooling so you have the information to make informed choices.  You can homeschool on a tight budget.  There are places to buy used books, check to see if there is a homeschool bookstore in your area.  Those are a real joy to just spend time looking through. 

 

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 9:30 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 51
Back To Top

Thanks guys!  The problem with prioritizing my time at this point is as far as work goes....they believe I am on call 24/7....and as far as working part time.....perhaps I was a little amiss in that description ....I get PAID to work 20 hrs a week, but I work more like 80...and yes...forget about asking for a raise, because...thanks to former friend, more often than not my boss is being lead to believe that I don't do much of anything, and if I do do something, it doesn't take NEAR as long to do it as I say it does (this opinion from one who would rather spend 2 hours looking up a part for a printer in a book than to take 5 minutes and look it up on the internet.....this is so she can "look" busy so they won't ask her to do anything else...... I see these things...unfortunately boss doesn't...let's just say a little flattery goes a looooong way :) )  Anyways...do kinda prioritize right now in my head and would love to make crafting business kick off to point that I could possibly quit current job :) ***wouldn't that be a dream???? :)  My budget is sooo tight right now, I can't even afford to buy credits on here to trade books with :)  One good thing about my crafting and if I can ever get it up and going again, it gives me that boost of self-confidence I need to do all these things....  All these other things that I do are rewarding too, but as most of you all know...a lot of days being mommy/wife is a thankless job :)  Those little smiles I get or the excitement in the eyes I see from something I have gotten/done for them is all the payment I need :)

PS Already have son enrolled in homeschooling...have went down the venue of checking out all the legal stuff.  Right now...today...just need MONEY for Xmas and books :)

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2007
Posts: 10,401
Back To Top

Be careful with Ebay. It can get expensive & hard to make a buck.

Also, be careful not to spend too much on curricula. There's no need, no matter which route you choose. Buy used and resell as often as you can. Oh~ and your son might find a set of binoculars and a magnifying glass more exciting than a microscope (you really need a high-powered one to actually see much)...and they are cheaper.

What method, or combination of methods, are you striving for?

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 51
Back To Top

Right now we are mainly going the delight-directed method, as he was so burnt out from all the paperwork in public school over the past 2 years.  We pick a subject we want to study about then I try to incorporate all areas of the 3 Rs into that subject.  Other than that, I guess just an eclectic mix of things.  I guess I do mainly go delight-directed as he learns more that way than any other I have tried.  I have sold on ebay in the past and once upon a time had a thriving craft business on there (as a matter of fact, starting getting more orders than I could handle!)  So time off from it to step back and take another look at it, as well as moving to a new house which has more room all helps me to get more organized and straighter in my head EXACTLY how to do this.  I have mostly gotten over being so STRESSED that we are not having regular "sit-down" type school every day, since he learns something every day of the week (even Sat & Sunday :))  He does have a set of binoculars and a magnifying glass and we have used them both.  Now I would like to move on to using a microscope.  We have a friend who goes "flea-marketing" a lot and is going to be on the look out for one for me.  (He found one a while back that was a real high-powered that had been used by a high school......got it for $20!)  We are on a mission for another deal like that one :)  I just needed to get this stuff out and down somewhere and get some good feedback going to give myself more confidence that YES it can be done and YES whatever you set your head to do you can do :)  I do buy used books as often as I can and resell what we have not been able to use (haven't actually "used up" anything yet...lol).  We finally found a math that we both like and that I think will work well for him.  I just gotta get $$$ rolling in to help on Xmas and some of this other stuff because right now, like I said before there is $0 in the budget right now for Xmas or schooling (overspent AGAIN last month).....Hopefully, once I get my head more together, things will settle better.  Right now it feels like a lot of stuff still goes in a whirlwind inside my head, but am noticing that as my youngest gets older (he is 20 months right now), that seems to be settling down quite a bit.  I think I listened to so many people telling me that I had had a nervous breakdown (when in reality I had just HAD IT with everyone around me giving me grief all the time and just blew one day .....oops!) that I have been pushing myself too hard at stuff trying to find "happiness" somewhere when it is here with me all day every day in my 2 boys :)  I guess a lot of new things in a short time has some to do with that too (new house, new baby, new way of schooling...all in less than 2 years...WHEW!!)  I have other goals I set here and there, but now I have figured to not start really working on them until the new year...and if I fail at some that month, that's ok...there's always the next :)  I think as far as schooling goes, my son is almost finished with 2nd grade, as he can read on a 6th grade level, can spell on a 4th grade, comprehends like nobody's business (he read his lines for his Xmas play twice and now has them down cold!), knows nouns, verbs, homonyms, homophones, synonyms (he loves to play "What's a Synonym/Antonym/homophone For....")  We are going to start studying birds as soon as I get all the stuff in here to get started with...I will use that to get more familiar with continents and countries, and introduce history thru the history of the state bird of our state.

We need to work on building his confidence in handwriting so that he can take off as a young author (he loves to make me books), and I have abook on the way to do just that with.... He can already do his 1x in multiplication and his 2x just from skip counting.......needs small amount of practice on regrouping in addition then it is on to subtraction :), has been working with money because he has started "earning his own money" (His idea) for his own toys by doing extra chores around the house (although, right now he considers himself "rich" because he has earned and saved $20, so he doesn't think he needs to work any more right now).  I let him take his own money to the store and buy it himself at the counter......So WHY was I stressing again?  DUH...I dunno!!! LOL

One quick thing though.....Is there any type of "general" assessment tool that I can use out there to assess him overall by grade level?  I would like to do that for my own benefit....as well as I think it might look good on transcripts for college if he were to have standardized proof of exactly when and what grades were completed where.  I do realize there is a California Achievement Test he can take then I can send off and grade, but i would like something for myself (us) first to make good and sure that he is ready to do that.  Now that he is at home with me, he does not freeze on tests, and doesn't mind doing a worksheet now and then...cause I don't overload him with paperwork......Maybe I should start that ?? in another link though,huh?

 

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2007
Posts: 17
Back To Top

I am the mom of 6 who are all homeschooling.  My oldest is a Junior at age of 16, Next child is 15 and a freshman in COLLEGE, 7year old is in 3rd grade, 5year old in K, 4 year old in preschool,and 1 year old hanging on my shirttail. My advice is to relax and enjoy the time with your children. Also you did not mention a support group??? They can be a wonderful asset to your teaching.  And even better place for some mom time.  HAve you loked into doing unit studies??? They can be wonderful when you have a child interested in certain topics(science).  What area are you in? Email me and I would love to talk to you....kristygriggs@hughes.net

Date Posted: 12/6/2007 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 10/5/2007
Posts: 17
Back To Top

 

 



Last Edited on: 12/6/07 4:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/6/2007 6:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
Back To Top

RE: testing.

Well in my state, the prior years Achievment tests are on the state website. Maybe google for your state's education agency and the test they administer. Here is a link for the Texas TAKS tests.

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment/resources/release/taks/index.html

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2007
Posts: 1,640
Back To Top

I would google "homeschool freebies" or "educator freebies".  There are many things online,  there are also many companies that will mail you free information to use. 

You can also check out youtube  for some educational videos.  I would preview them first to make sure they are age and content appropriate. 

I would also scour thrift stores for books.  You can always find some good titles.  I have also found several homeschool books that were age appropriate.  Our Goodwill is .39 for paperbacks and .89 for hardbacks. 

Date Posted: 12/7/2007 9:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
Back To Top

Okay I am usually long winded but what I feel needs to be said the most is

R-E-L-A-X

Please, relax.

My boys are 10 and 7. So I know what it is like to homeschool boys of age 7.

It sounds like he is doing great with spelling and math and reading. Reassure him that penmanship is a fine motor skill development thing and that it will take effort and practice to improve. Period.

I would suggest frequenting library book sales for books that are 25-50 cents or $1. Also hook in to local HS groups and see if some have used curriculum sales. Network and ask who you can buy used stuff from. I also have a hard time believing that some decent unit studies cannot be made up from library books.

A lot can be learned by doing read aloud's of books from the library, books above his level, chapter books for ages 9-12 that are appropriate content.

Stressing over not having a microscope? He is 7. Ask around and see if you can get one used. Ask relatives to give money you can pool to buy one for Christmas if you want. I was lucky to score a used Sonlight microscope for $20 from a local HSer.

I have never heard of a college application that accepts all standardized test scores going back to elementary school! If you want him proven to be gifted check out the JOhns Hopkins gifted program. They require that you pay for your own standarized test and he must score at a certain level to qualify. That might be something that someday goes onto his college application.

Please smile and relax and enjoy your boys!

Date Posted: 12/8/2007 6:53 AM ET
Member Since: 9/6/2007
Posts: 51
Back To Top

Thanks ChristineMM!  You're just what I needed!  I WANT to just enjoy him...like I used to before he ever went to public school.  Then, I never stressed because he didn't know his ABC's by age 2, or he didn't know how to tie a shoe (can do it now, but we still get the velcros.....cause little boys' feet just go too fast to be troubled with laceups :))  I don't know...I think I have let too many in my family and a "friend" influence me to the point that I stress over EVERYTHING!  We used to spend hours sometimes playing video games!  We would get started on one and sometimes wouldn't quit until we had defeated that bad boy!  (I know, some may lecture that that's not a good thing....but it was for us because we bonded A LOT during that time....) even when he went to school, we would still play in the evenings at first and he would tell me all about his day at school....at first that is.  He kinda had a bad kindergarten teacher to start out with.  She needed to quit, but hadn't and I think she was pretty mean to the kids just cause she was sooo stressed out.  He got to where he wouldn't tell me anythng then, and if he finally did, he made me solemnly vow not to tell her that he had told, because he would get in bad trouble if he told.  I was soooo glad when she left :)  He got a great kindergarten teacher after that, who by the end of the year, had let him go into the 2nd grade for reading time!  Then, in 1st grade he had another great one!  They were both sooo sweet and nice, and he also had a woman there who had taught/taken care of me when I was in school who taught him a lot.  As a matter of fact, while I was trying to show him how to regroup...he finally just did it one day and said she had taught him how to do that last year!! LOL  I said"Why didn't you tell me???"  He said "I just like to aggravate you sometimes :)"  He is so rotten! LOL 

I looked at the John Hopkins gifted program, but haven't really checked into it deep enough.  Right now what I am doing is just using our state standards list and checking off things he can do just from my own assessment of being with him.  And I think I read somewhere (might have even been in this post) that colleges don't really care how, when, where your child learned such & such, they just look more at the main I guess structure of your program and see that it is consistent and that is good enough.  I do realize they must pass ACT/SAT for college...so...guess there would be the BIG EXAM I am looking for to prove to colleges that he has learned what I say he has, huh?? LOL  um...DUH again Cindy!!  You all are right!  I do need to relax! 

And someone had mentioned here about unit studies.  Well, we are going to start one of those very soon...on Birds.  I found a unit study for sale on the 'net, but it listed out all the areas that it covered on the web, so I just used that list to make up my own and added some other things to it.   Have found a lot of internet links to use in our studies, and am after a few good books to fill the "void" so that he can have some "live" material when we go somewhere to be able to read along our trips.  I also want to take him on a field trip to a local children's museum.

And as far as my craft business goes, I was feeling really guilty when I first started writing this cause I had had so many people who told me that I just HAD to have neglected him in order to be able to do all that I did when he was young...but you know what, I didn't!  Maybe that is why before he ever went to kindergarten that he could pretty much to anything on the computer just by listening to instruction I gave him while doing dishes in the kitchen!  Cause he sat on my lap or took naps on my shoulder while I worked.  Those that attacked before are quick now to come to my defense btw cause they saw how wrong they were!  Anyways, back to my guilt.  I started crocheting some the other day, and got to noticing how relaxed I was while doing it..Then I remembered, I started out crocheting cause i had to have something for my hands to do while we were watching Blue's Clues!  And then I asked my oldest Do you like it better when Mama crochets?  And he said Yeah it was great!  And since I have been doing more of that, they are soooo much happier!  Granted the whole house may never get really clean, but frankly who cares!  :P on the mile long cleaning list that I had......I can SEE dirt and know what needs to be cleaned!!!  Granted I may forget to do it right then, but I still know it needs to be cleaned!  And dingo dango to the Excel spreadsheet that was over 500 lines long for each day of the week scheduled out down to when we brushed teeth, took baths, etc.!!  It was good for it's purpose, to get us into some sort of a good routine, but now don't need that!  I think I have been doing a lot of the stuff on here naturally without even realizing it.  Like using the state guidelines as a checklist for when he has "completed" 2nd grade.  I may, just for my own benefit, to be satisfied that i haven't left anything out here or there that was really crucial, get those practice tests that i have seen on some sites, just to see what's on them and can possibly even check off myself on there without him having to do, to see for sure that he has finished 2nd grade.   But, am not gonna try my best not to stress anymore, cause I have stressed so much that I couldn't actually teach him!  When I just "Let go and let God", things go a LOT better :) 

A lot has come to me since I started back crocheting, and I am so thankful for it!  I have a dream one day of just owning my own crafting business, not having to work for anyone else, so I can set my own schedule, instead of the place I work for now setting a schedule of working 60+ hours a week and getting paid for 20!  That used to be ok, cause used to be if I had to work like that a week or 2 out of the month,  I would get an extra paycheck, a new computer, things like that.  But now, I have done work after work after work, and nope, no extra paycheck, no much of nothing except the usual Thanksgiving turkey a day before Thanksgiving....lol.  Don't get me wrong, I  am thankful that I do have that job that I can work from home and still be with my kids, and God knows we need the money, so I don't quit.  And on that 60 hour week business.....ole cookie here has just enough brains left about her to set up a few more databases/programs here and there that can knock that down to size!! LOL  And if it takes months or years to do it, who cares??? If you never try, you always fail! 

I think I have been trying too hard too fast to get back to my "own life" (the one I had before helping friend out) and haven't taken time to enjoy the ride along the way!  I want everything back TODAY!  But it took time to get to where I was before, and will take time again to get back :)  A little work and effort here and there, and playtime the rest of the time with my kids! LOL

Thanks guys!