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Topic: What Would You Have Done Differently When You 1st Started To Homeschool?

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Subject: What Would You Have Done Differently When You 1st Started To Homeschool?
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 12:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/25/2007
Posts: 3,220
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I would like to know:

#1 How long have you been homeschooling?

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?

 

I have been thinking a lot about Mary C.'s post, "I May Put My Daughter Back In Public School"

II am hopeful that this survey will be of some assistance to those readers just starting out on the homeschool venture.

 



Last Edited on: 10/31/08 10:19 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 2:45 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2005
Posts: 5,499
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#1 How long have you been homeschooling? 6 years

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?  1, he's now 11 years old and in 6th grade

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?  RELAXED!  I'm a "box checker" by nature and felt the need to do everything perfectly when we started....looking back, he was in kindergarten and I should have just let him follow his interests for a couple of years.  

Date Posted: 9/20/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2007
Posts: 931
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#1 How long have you been homeschooling?  This is our sixth year.

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?  One; the other is in public school on an IEP

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?  I would have kept a better log of our activities.  I have some, in photos and projects, but a nice journal would be neat.  I do have grade reports, but not day-by-day "fun" stuff.  Both states I've HS'ed in do not require any reporting - the grade data was just for me.  But it doesn't say a lot like great journaling can.  Blogs weren't around when I started, but I think that's a super way to record what you and your kids have done.

Subject: Excellent question!
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 3:45 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 335
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#1: How long have you been homeschooling?  This is our 12th year.  DD would be a senior in h.s., she has been homeschooling since 1st grade.

#2: How many children have you homeschooled? All 4 children.

#3:  what would you have done differently?  From the beginning, I would have trusted my children more.  Rather than getting nervous about when they would master something, I'd have had more faith that they would learn everything they need to know at exactly the righ time.  Because that is exactly what has happened.  Each time I became anxious about something, reading instruction or memorization of multiplication tables for instance, the child has picked it up in moments flat exactly when they needed to know it.  And no amount of "instruction" could force it a moment earlier.

Also, I'd have made sure to enjoy every single stage.  I tried to do that, and thoroughly appreciated each age but I would have focused on it more because it all goes by so fast. What is really important is the relationship we have with each other.

 

Subject: what I would do differently
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 9:52 PM ET
Member Since: 9/9/2008
Posts: 9
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I have been homeschooling for 11 years.  I am homeschooling all 3 of my children.  My oldest child has moderate to severe autism, and she is really thriving at home.  The few years she went to public school were absolutely terrible!  My 11 year old and 5 year old have been homeschooled from the beginning. 

If I could start over, I would try to focus first on teaching the children to love and serve God and others.  If they don't do these two things, I don't think it matters how much academic knowledge they have.    In the beginning years, I thought academics should come first.  I did teach them about God and do Bible reading/prayer time, but I didn't make sure this came first.   Now, I spend much more time on Bible reading and prayer and on developing Godly character qualities.

The second thing I would do is to focus more on developing a good relationship with each child.  In this area too, I often let academics get in the way.  I was too strict and rigid and didn't spend enough time just loving my children and letting us really get to know each other. 

Third, I would try to allow school to be a little more fun and enjoyable.  The first few years I tried to run my homeschool too much like a classroom because that was the only way I knew to do it.  I didn't realize that the children could learn just as much (if not more!) in an environment that was relaxed and fun.  I would go back and allow them to do more activities and projects along with the academics.  I would have them read more good books to go along with subjects like Bible, history, and science.  I would focus more on digging deeper into their own interests.

I have done more of these things with my 5 year old, and I can really tell a difference in how she is enjoying school and how the older two didn't enjoy it nearly as much!  (The 5 year old is in 1st grade this year, so she has already completed one year of school.  Even in just one year of schooling her, I can really tell that she has enjoyed school so much more than the other two, and hopefully she will continue enjoying it and love to learn.)

Wendy

Subject: for what it's worth . . .
Date Posted: 9/21/2008 12:08 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2007
Posts: 699
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#1 How long have you been homeschooling?  3 weeks

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?  Two boys, both HS juniors (16-years-old)

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?   I would have made the decision months ago instead of waiting until five weeks ago.   I feel like we're doing well, but I would be much more organized and more sure of what I'm doing if I was better prepared.   We're still making adjustments almost daily.   I wish I had spent the summer preparing the boys for homeschooling.  (It was their choice, by the way.  They talked me into it, but they are still adjusting their attitudes and expectations, as is only to be expected.)

One thing I think I did well was to check out some algebra books from our public library.  It helped us decide what kind of book to use.  We used one from the library until I ordered it from Amazon.  (It wasn't listed here anywhere.)  We found one that is a bit untraditional, but is published by a text-book company that I've heard of (which inspires confidence in the grandparents), and is made for self-instruction.  I was surprised at the variety of algebra books available at our library.   I knew our library would be an important resource for me, but was pleasantly surprised at this find.

 

Date Posted: 9/21/2008 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2008
Posts: 28
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I'm posting first and reading the other replies.

 

#1 How long have you been homeschooling? 6  very long years

#2 How many children have you homeschooled? 2 so far One ADD one ADD ODD Compulsivity and Conduct Disorders

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know? Can the work books and the "school" mentality. We're doing much better now with living History, Structured science (science really begs for structure), Grammar and Arithmetic. We're using vintage textbooks for the last two. Harvey's Grammar etc Ray's Arithmetic etc. I tried to teach my oldest the way I learned and unfortunately she lost alot of her spark for learning because of that.

 

Date Posted: 9/21/2008 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/6/2006
Posts: 184
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#1 How long have you been homeschooling?

4 years

 

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?

1

 

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?

 Not been so competitive about it - IE Not been so pressured to feel i had to do better than public schools were doing; that my child had to do better than his public schooled peers. 

And just not worried SO much, period.

Date Posted: 9/21/2008 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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We've been homeschooling 9 years.

I currently homeschool two children, our third child was enrolled in public school, but only served at home because of her severe disabilites until her death three years ago.

Changes?  I think that I would have kept more structure in place for my gifted son.  He has drifted and lost ground.  It's a lot harder to biuld tructure back in than it would have been to relax.

Date Posted: 9/21/2008 10:55 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2006
Posts: 333
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I have been homeschooling for 7 years and have four kids.  11, 9, 7 and 5. 

I feel a lot like Wendy H.  I wish I had known that we don't have do all of those workbook pages and struggle to learn to read while they are so little.  When my older two were in the younger grades I should have been more relaxed, like I am now.  I too had the "school" mentality and I think things could have been so much easier and more fun! 

I would have spent more time being outside and doing nature studies.  Thankfully we had such fun snuggle times reading together!!  Like on a sunny day in the hammock or while they climbed in the bushes in their secret spot.   

Last year was so difficult.  My ds seemed to hate school and we had lots of tears. This year he finally figured out that if just does the seatwork quickly, the rest of our day can be used for the more fun school things!!   Thank the Lord, this year we have had the most fun ever!  They have been zipping through their bookwork and we have reading and project time in the afternoon.  They are doing so well, that we have been able to take one day a week and do a field trip or have a game day.  At the beginning of the year I  told them we were going to have the most fun school year ever and we are!  I know I have a better attitude too, maybe that has made the most difference. :)  Carrie

Date Posted: 9/22/2008 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 422
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1 How long have you been homeschooling? Going on 11 years

#2 How many children have you homeschooled?

2, my son 18 is a freshman in college. I stil have my dd at home

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool,

now that you know what you know? I agree with just about of the above posters.

Date Posted: 9/23/2008 11:23 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2007
Posts: 73
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I am starting the sixth year of homeschool with my son. My 2 daughters will be starting in the next couple of years.

I wish I would have relaxed when we started homeschool. I was so worried my son would not succeed that I pushed too hard. I wrote more in depth about that here:

http://lifenurturingeducation.com/2008/08/13/i-did-not-teach-my-children-the-alphabet/

Date Posted: 9/24/2008 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2008
Posts: 27
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I  have been homeschooling for 6 years.  I have three children ages 10, 8, & 6.  I wish that I would have relaxed a whole lot more, which is what several of you have also wished you would have done.  I wish I would have done more hands on, reading books, and just enjoying nature especially with my 10 yr old son.  He looks up to his father so much now.  Though I am not jealous of their relationship at all, and am very happy for both of them, I know that we could have bonded during the elementary years, and I feel like I missed the boat.  I am tyring to do that with my daughters, and I do see a big difference w/ my baby.  It's weird, because really every child is different.  I feel the more relaxed style would have helped my son more, though he is doing a great job in our schooling.  Though my youngest daughter is more of a free spirit, and seems to benefit better from a bit more structured environment, not too much though.  :)  My older daughter seems to do well with whatever we are doing, but does like the more structured style better.  I have made up my mind though, because of our weekend.  We went to a nearby mountain, that I had yet to explore since we moved to AZ in May.  We had a fantastic time!  As girly as my daughters seem to be, including whining when a bug so much as looks at them, they absolutely loved being outdoors in the midst of creation.  So we will have our weekly trip to the mountain, and 'school' will have to wait!  Bottom line:  It's never too late!  Be a bit more relaxed where you can fit it in or start being structured - whatever suits your fancy.  Of course it won't be as easy as when your kids were younger, but most of us have had to either de-school ourselves, our children, or both.  Anyway, thats all I have to say about that.  Best wishes to all!

Date Posted: 9/25/2008 7:54 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2006
Posts: 181
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#1 How long have you been homeschooling? Since birth (oldest child is in 6th grade now).

#2 How many children have you homeschooled? 2

3# What would you have done differently when you first started to homeschool, now that you know what you know?

Try to live in the moment and not worry. The first years I was enjoying my kids but my head was also preoccupied with 'learning the next thing I needed to know". I used to read HS supply catalogs before bed, always thinking that something else better must exist and what I had on hand and using might not be good enough and probably all that was a waste of time. And while I was happy with our HS method I did always worry that maybe another method was better and was second-guessing myself.