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Old November 12th, 2015, 09:44 PM   #1
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Who Are the Other Homeschool Parents on this Site


Just curious who else here homeschools their kids. :-)

While you're at it, if you feel comfortable sharing, what grades are your kids in and what curriculum do you use to teach History?

My homschooled son is in 1st grade (have two other kids in public school), and I'm using Story of the World.
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Old November 13th, 2015, 03:52 AM   #2

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Hi ecarian, why do you home school your child(ren)?
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Old December 4th, 2015, 06:46 AM   #3
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Hi ecarian, why do you home school your child(ren)?
I actually don't homeschool all three of my boys, just my youngest. He cried--and by cried, I mean wailing, screaming "I don't want to go" with real tears--nearly every day the whole school year before school, and came home crying. This in spite of liking his teacher (I looked into it and didn't think it was her). He had been attempting writing and drawing at home but from school just brought home scribbles. He was making very little progress and falling behind.

Somewhere mid-year I stumbled on an article by a Kindergarden teacher who had just recently retired early. It was about changes in Kindergarten...how what used to be 1st grade material was now pushed into Kindergarten, how there was so much pressure to get kids to achieve academically earlier that kids were being pushed into work that most weren't developmentally ready for at that age. It talked about how learning through play (which is very necessary at this age) was being pushed out of kindergarten for sit down work. It told how research showed that all this pressure, all this early academic push, was harmful and keeping kids from the natural type of hands on learning through play that they needed in these early years. Research shows that while too much academic pressure in Kindergarden can lead to early burn out and worse academic results several years down the line, various programs which do not even began formally teaching reading and math until later (including how they teach Kindergarten in Finland, which is known internationally for their high academic achievement later) show equal or better academic results several grades up.

I always thought if homeschooling was really what my kids need, I would do it...but with my older kids I saw no need. They were precocious early (reading before they went to kindergarten, without a lot of pressure put on them), so I never noticed this thing with the pressure in kindergarten before. And they enjoyed school and thrived there, so I saw no need to do anything but send them.

But my youngest was different...he was being crushed under that academic pressure. We were deciding between homeschool, repeating a grade, or private school for him when we had our last meeting with his teacher during Kindergarten. I rememberd that at back to school night they had said that they wouldn't be teaching "shapes and colors" but would have a focus on reading that year, so I wondered if the things I had read about in that article (and several others after) were happening in our school. She said she and the other kindergarten teachers were hoping under a new administrator that was coming in next year that they would be allowed to incorporate more play-based learning, which they were discouraged from this year. That confirmed my fears.

Over the summer we researched private schools (which were all expensive and didn't seem to be the gentle alternative I was looking for), and meanwhile I tried to "catch him up" at home. Working on reading simple beginning readers with words I knew he could read (cause he'd done them before) involved sitting with him for 20 minutes of him crying and saying he couldn't do it while we tried to comfort him and gently encourage him that he could and that even if he made a mistake it was ok--and that just to get him started (actually reading took about 10 minutes). Over the summer the time it took to get him to look at a page and try took less and less time as we built up his confidence. But I realized, no teacher with 20+ students had time for this...not even the best teacher. He needed one on one teaching, with someone sitting with him at his own pace, letting him take serious long breaks as needed, etc. During our first year of homeschool (we're on our second) while I had academic goals my main and primary goal was to make learning fun again, and help him overcome his fear of learning. I discovered pretending helped, so not only did stuffed animals sit by the side and help encourage him (in my best doggy voice), but eventually we moved almost all school activities into "play school." Even though he hated school, he liked playing school, and I learned I could teach him much more easily pretending to be a toy dinosaur teacher (while he pretended to be the students...a mix of toy lions, bears, cars, and superheroes). If the "lion" was reading, or answering questions I asked, my son wasn't brought down so much by mistakes he made (hey...it was the "lion" that missed that word, not him).

He's still a grade behind after a year and a half...but he was nearly a grade behind when we started...so he's progressing at the same rate he would have if he had repeated a year in public school, without the tears and stress. We accomplish this in just a couple hours a day, plus another hour of "PE" at the park, weather permitting, and this year a day of co-op (one day a week classes with other homeschool kids, taught by homeschool moms)...though we did do some work in summer too.

My middle child has asked if he can try homeschooling next year, so next year I will let him give it a shot. After trying it, I see where one-on-one teaching beats out so many of the other factors that were a draw at regular school. Teachers are great...I used to be one (middle school, not elementary...so no, I wasn't trained to teach what I'm teaching now...plus, I only lasted 5 weeks as a public school teacher before I burned out and quit. But self-training and a good curriculum are really enough if you have one student and time. I don't think you would have to have the training I had as a teacher to do this, though of course some of it helps. With more time and less stress and a small number of students to focus on, homeschooling is less demanding ).

Anyways...probably a longer answer than you were looking for...but that's why.

Last edited by ecarian; December 4th, 2015 at 07:02 AM.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 08:41 PM   #4
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In general we use CLE but for history I use Sonlight.

As to why we homeschool it's for two main reasons. The first is the academic standards at most public schools don't match what can be taught by homeschool. One (sometimes two) teachers for one (soon to be two) students is much better then what you will receive at public school, not to mention the tailor made curriculum for each student and their needs.
The second reason is the moral degradation that seems to be permeating the public school systems through varying sources. I have learned from different mediums and have seen, listened, talked with people on this issue and this was also a major deciding factor in homeschooling.
Other reasons were shift changes, LOA, and traveling. These alone were not much weight in the issue, but they are a nice perk.
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Old December 20th, 2015, 03:48 PM   #5
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Hi Frostwulf. What's CLE? I thought Sonlight used Story of the World for history...but that would only be in the lower grades. Do they have other materials too for history? My second oldest may be homeschooling too. He'll be in 6th. I'll be teaching them History together but will be looking for things to supplement Story of the world for my 6th grader. Love to hear more about what you're using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostwulf View Post
In general we use CLE but for history I use Sonlight.

As to why we homeschool it's for two main reasons. The first is the academic standards at most public schools don't match what can be taught by homeschool. One (sometimes two) teachers for one (soon to be two) students is much better then what you will receive at public school, not to mention the tailor made curriculum for each student and their needs.
The second reason is the moral degradation that seems to be permeating the public school systems through varying sources. I have learned from different mediums and have seen, listened, talked with people on this issue and this was also a major deciding factor in homeschooling.
Other reasons were shift changes, LOA, and traveling. These alone were not much weight in the issue, but they are a nice perk.
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Old December 20th, 2015, 05:35 PM   #6

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Trying to squeeze everyone into a single size-fits-all, is never going to work. Humans are doubtless more alike than different, but the range of differences can be very wide. Most of us go through the same developmental phases, but some mature faster than others. Some seem born to have special capabilities in math, while others are more oriented to language. Visually gifted children might see the world quite differently than the "norm".

It seems that forms of Autism are increasing among the very young, and we wonder why. My youngest grandson is autistic. His language skills and behavior are those of children four or five years younger. His behavioral and emotional problems set him apart, and being different in the human herd is never easy. Most of my life, I have been "different". Sometimes that has worked in my favor, because outfits were willing to pay handsomely for my views and analysis of problems. I'm an education geek whose appetite for learning still retains a few burning embers. For me, knowing that one of my grandchildren may never enjoy the wonder of finding the new, hearing the novel story of how things happened, and what drove people to do those things is ... disappointing. Oh well, he is different and deserves the best education he is capable of building for himself.
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Old December 31st, 2015, 06:34 AM   #7

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My wife and I homeschooled our daughter (only child), from start to finish. We couldn't afford a private school, and had been hearing too many disturbing things about public schools from parents and teachers, so homeschooling it was.

Right from the start we signed up with a local group called The Learning Community, which is an accredited school designed to serve as a laison between homeschoolers and the county school systems, provide curricula if desired, and give high school diplomas at a real graduation ceremony. It is even run by one of my own former high school teachers!

Well, our daughter turned out to be brilliant, no big surprise, but my wife also noticed what seemed to be a writing disability at some point. We started going through a number of tutors, teachers, friends, etc., none of whom succeeded in cracking what was beginning to turn into a Problem. Finally around age 15 she was diagnosed as having Asperger's, with some other assorted issues.

That was a real eye-opener (kinda like realizing you've just jumped out of an airplane), and finding out about Asperger's taught me and especially my wife all kinds of things we hadn't realized about our own childhoods! I'm not sure I would have been diagnosed with it as a kid, but I had certainly never been the type to fit in and make friends easily. But my wife, wow, her whole large family is practically a showcase of Aspergers and other modern labels that simply didn't exist back then! Much was explained. It was REALLY SCARY.

Well, homeschooling continued unabated, with our daughter being mostly self-taught. She started doing Japanese with Rosetta Stone, and when she finished that we got her a tutor, who said that our daughter spoke Japanese without an accent! I was the teacher for Latin and History, and also helped with general science, physics, and a few other things. I don't remember the books we used for history, but of course growing up with reenactor parents gave her an unfair advantage! And I learned a lot, too, especially about eras I hadn't studied much before.

Along the way we've gone through a number of counselors and therapists, but we finally succeeded in finding one or two who can work with our daughter. And she is now working slowly through a community college, only 2 courses per semester but it's "real" school and we're always impressed with how she is mastering the "real world", however slowly and painfully and reluctantly it is going. Her problems are really emotional rather than intellectual, but we decided on home schooling long before any of them became aparent, so they were not really a factor. Just something to be dealt with. Oooff...

Most of the kids we know seem to have been diagnosed as Aspergers or ADD or something else. Some of them clearly have significant "issues", but I can't help thinking that much of the "rise" in these problems are more a matter of diagnosis and labelling. Back when I was a kid, kids were just hyper, not "hyperactive". Misbehaving in class was seen as a disciplinary issue, not an emotional disorder. Maybe it's my German heritage, ha! Put the little buggers in some nice uniforms and boots, and half your problems will be solved. But it is nice to know that our daughter and other kids who really need help can get it, especially since we could not, at her age.

And therapy for the parents helps, too, lemme tell ya...

My turn to write too much!

Matthew
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Old December 31st, 2015, 07:14 AM   #8

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I've been a parent for decades. I was homeschooling myself long before that, and I've never stopped...
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