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Hi i have been thinking about homeschooling my 5 year old son. I have a 13 year old who has been in school since he was 3. I am just not sure and i was wondering how others have reached their decision to homeschool. I have a lot of questions and i don't really know where to start. The first one is how hard is it to keep your child interested and attentive while you are teaching. Also how hard are the education requirements and the paperwork you need to submit to the board of ed concerning your homeschool child. Any help is appreciated.
The difficulty of keeping records, etc. will depend on the specific requirements of your state. You might want to take a look at the post on that topic here in the forum. There's also a post (it may be down on the list a bit) about why many of us chose to homeschool, but of course those aren't the only reasons. Each person makes the decision for their own personal reasons, and you will too. ;-)
My oldest is almost 7. I have been "teaching" him since he was born. We are a household that incorporates learning into life. I found very good tips on getting started in Ruth Beechick's "The Three R's" (You can buy this set of 3 booklets new for@ $9, so don't get ripped off by paying too much for them used.) I also liked the learning tips found in the Before Five in a Row manual and the Five in a Row manual.
There are tons of websites that offer free information and resources and your state probably has state and local organizations that you can get guidance from as well.
My child has difficulty paying attention, that's one of the reasons I prefer to have him home. He does learn quite quickly, he just doesn't sit still (EVER LOL!). So we have our own rhythm. It is nothing like what he would experience in a "real" school setting, but it gets the job done.
I have lots of sites listed below (links for schooling) unless I've indicated otherwise, the sites are free and my site is free to access. (I do have a separate site that I make a little money off now and then, but I try to keep it separate from the homeschool helps so people feel free to browse.)
Everything falls into place after a while. It takes commitment to do. Education is important. How you educate is very personal to each family. Everyone has their own style.
Why do I homeschool? LOL see my ranting post down the page a ways. I started last February. My daughter has gone from a D student in public school to an A student at home. Personal, undivided (well, mostly anyway) attention, structured to suit her needs and mine. I can stay at her level. We can spend less or more time as needed on any subject. I don't have to worry about poor peer influences surrounding her unchecked. I can better arm her against the world. And, I can instill my religeous beliefs in her every day. I LOVE not having to be "politically correct"!!! I don't worry about her learning things I don't approve. And I love spending all that extra time with her. It has strengthened our relationship in many ways.
The laws vary from state to state. If you go to www.hslda.org, and find your state, you can view their laws and requirements for homeschoolers.
May I ask you what is leading you in this direction? Good luck!
Agree with the others. Check out the hslda.org site. You might also try to find some support groups from the website. I'm not in NY, but my understanding is that they some specific laws that fellow NY's would be best to speak to.
I would also rec you check out some books at your library on the different methods and styles of homeschooling. My first year I was so confused. These are some of the more common types of homeschooling traditional, eclectic, classical, charlotte mason, unschooling.
Another thing to look as do you want a christian curriculum or secular? That decision will help determine what publisher(s) you want to use.
There is tons of info out there. Just take in small bites. But I think having a clear idea of your state laws would be the first step.
Another one of my favorite sites is homeschoolreviews.com. It's free to join and you could leave a message on the homeschooling forum. It is a very active board with homeschoolers from all over. I've found them to be a wealth of information, and I believe there was a discussion about NY laws not too long ago.
We have been homeschooling for four years and started truly because we couldn't afford private school tuition anymore. Our reasons for continuing to homeschool are way more than that now.
My oldest is 8th grade this year and all we have ever done is homeschool our kids. When our kids were around your son's age (5 yo) we used Five in a Row - it is a literature based unit study in which you read a book and then talk about various subjects. It's a VERY gentle approach! Doesn't feel like "school" at all but they learn a TON! I believe that helped to keep things interesting for our kids in the younger years. www.fiveinarow.com
I really liked something that I heard many years ago - schooling needs to be interesting and relevant to their lives. There was a 3rd part which I can't remember at the moment! ha! ha!
I agree with the others that HSLDA is a great place to start. Also, talking to your local librarian and asking about homeschoolers in the area will most likely provide you with some names of people to meet and talk to.
The Elijah Company (try and online search) used to have free articles that discussed the different methods of homeschooling. You find your own rhythm and what works best for your child and you.
I've never had any major problems with my kids wanting to do their school. Some days they just don't "feel" like it (and neither do I) but they are generally eager to learn, respectful and interested. Scout leaders, music teachers, etc. enjoy working with them because they are interested in learning.
Good luck on your journey!
What everyone said is great. If you use a good program and a style or method that is best suited to your child you will not have a problem with 'attentiveness'. An active child or one who needs to move can move and listen while being read aloud to. A child who does better doing their reading on a couch or in bed should be allowed to do so (versus you forcing them to sit still at a desk and do it). Homeschooling is flexible.
Choosing a boring curriculum, a dry textbook or other boring stuff then getting mad at your child for not being 'attentive' is setting them up for failure, please don't go down that path, please! There are so many interesting ways to learn, great books to read, unit studies, and so much more than the method of dry textbooks, read the chapter and do the questions at the end then take a test, type of school 'teaching'.
If you need more info on learning styles, a great book is "Discover Your Cyhild's Learning Style" and it has a test in it to take. HTH.