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Getting back to homeschooling


happysmileylady

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This will probably be a bit rambly. Or a lot rambly lol.

 

I just don't know what to do.

 

What I DO know is that I don't feel this school is working for Raeanna at this time. I know I don't like the way they are teaching reading, I don't like the math curriculum, I don't like how there's so little time for the other subjects. I know she could be learning more. I know her report card had all S grades except for one, and I know why the reading grade was a U. I know I don't like ALL the testing they are doing. What I also know is that Raeanna likes school. I also know that Dani Lee is doing very well right now.

 

What I don't know is if I have the patience or self discipline to do everything. I sometimes get some grandiose ideas, and then come up short. Sometimes i read over a couple of posts in a homeschool blog or download and save some printables and I get all inspired and starting thinking about how I could X or Y or Z. Then other times I see things and recognize that there are a lot of supplies and space that I just don't have. And, right now, I hate to buy if I haven't made a decision. I also don't know how I would get started with her if I did pull her in the middle of the year. I don't know how she would react to leaving school, and I don't know how she would react to leaving if I left Dani Lee in school.

 

I don't want to screw up enough that she can't go back in where she should. Like, if I pull her now, and we get to the end of the year and I realize that it's not working out, I don't want her to have to go back to first grade all over again. For one thing, she's already one of the oldest in her class.

 

I have been reading websites and going through the state standards and looking over stuff in Ohio (since we will be moving there in 2018) and looking at online schools and am now officially overwhelmed. *sigh* One thing I have noticed is that it seems that there aren't any homeschool groups out here. Or if there are, they are small. The

 

I don't know that I am really looking for advice...really more just thinking "out loud" here.

 

I think tomorrow, a trip to the library is in order. I will see if I can get a hold of a hard copy of the state standards (easier to read than online) and see what other books i can find.

 

 

My 3 biggest gripes are the reading, the amount of homework, and the testing. I think the way they teach reading works for some kids, I don't think it's working for my kid. I think if we could get past the reading, the homework would be easier to deal with. I think the amount of testing is stupid and I think it's not an accurate measure of real knowledge.

 

I could deal with the math curriculum because I can see that even though I don't LIKE how it works, and I think it's making things overly complicated, she IS learning. And, I can deal with the lack in other subjects because if we don't have much homework, I can supplement around school.

 

*sigh*

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Can you just help her with reading at home rather than taking over her entire education?

This is certainly an option that I am looking at, if we can get a handle on the homework situation.

 

The thing is though, if I am supplementing reading, supplementing science, supplementing social studies and more or less supplementing spelling...I start to wonder what am I sending her to school for.  

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What state standards, exactly, are you looking for? 

I will say if you have the patience to parent, you have the patience to teach.  They're the same thing.  As a parent, you teach manners, behavior, skills, and a lot of other things.  Teaching reading, math, science, and art is no different.  It does not have to take on a form of School, but simply be an extension of parenting.  This is possible.

Scratch any Pinterest ideas that use things you don't have.  We follow an online art curriculum where I sometimes cannot get the book or do the craft.  So what?  I pick a different book.  We find a different craft. I wasn't doing apple prints - AGAIN - with children who weren't interested. We made apple muffins and apple scented playdough instead.  That I *could* do.  I made that rule a long time ago when it seemed like blue jello ______ was all the rage. Rivers. Oceans. Cells.  Whatever.  I couldn't get my hands on any, my kids didn't like jello, and the idea was just frustrating every time I couldn't follow the "plan".  Now it's my plan.  Only mine.

We homeschooled in a 900sq ft apartment for a while with only a cubby and dresser for storage.  We did as much as possible not being confined to our small space.  I'll never have room for a schoolroom (nor do I think I want one at this point), but I'll always have a bookshelf, rubbermaid bin, and a couch.

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When your at the library ask the children's librarian about others that homeschool in your community. I get your dilemma as I was in your shoes when my son was in 1st grade. I pulled him at spring break and homeschooled through 2nd. He is back in public school for 3rd grade and so far he seems to be at our above grade level.

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I'm going with the assumption that you are overwhelming yourself with stuff (which is easy to do... especially when bucking the norm), rather than looking for reasons NOT to homeschool.  If the latter is the case, just skip down to the bottom!  =0)
 

Small homeschool groups are great, IF they fit your child and you.  It can be as small as a couple of families that get together once a week (or two) and do nothing more than play and "socialize".  It's called PE.

 
Try here....https://www.home-school.com/groups/OH.html... for homeschool groups in Ohio (there are about 50), or search "homeschool groups Ohio" on google.  But that's still a year plus away.  Worry about that circumstance when it happens.  You might try homeschooling and decide that you don't like it by then.  =0)
 
There doesn't have to be a lot of supplies.  Or at least not many you buy.  Borrowing books from the library is great.  The supplies/curriculum you DO buy doesn't have to be new.  Used book sales or websites are wonderful, especially for those who don't know what they want or how their child learns best. And if something doesn't work for you (like not being able to get everything for it) do something else.   You can usually sell them again, for what you paid for them used.   There are "free" options through the state (K-12) for your schooling, though I don't know how much different they would be than the regular public school.... they also (I understand) have many field trips and opportunities to "socialize".  (Kind of like a homeschool group, but not exactly!)
 
I would recommend that you look for a book called "Homeschooling:  A Patchwork of Days"  You can get it on Amazon for a penny, or maybe from the library.  Another one would be "Homeschool Open House".... that one is $2.98.  Those two books will give you a fly on the wall peek into how "other people" do it.  They are "reading" books not curriculum.
 
My question for you is "Does Raeanna like LEARNING?"  It's a different question than if she likes going to "school". 
 
"Grandiose" is great for ideas.... a little much for Kindergarten, but hey, if it works for you....  "If you shoot for the moon and fall short, etc..."  Where to begin?  Where she's at.  If that's with her class great, if she has to unlearn bad habits in order to learn good ones, then start there.  She will tell you, by how fast she flies through the program that it's too easy or hard.  There are various assessments on-line for discovering where to start, and with some curriculums you want to start at the beginning (even if it's "easy") to get a feel for the curriculum and what to expect from it.
 
There are folks who have a child in school and a child homeschooled for a variety of reasons.  I would be more concerned about how Dani Lee will feel about being left in school.  =0)  
 
Does your school "age pass" children on even if they haven't learned what they need to to succeed in the next grade?  So that even if she doesn't learn anything she's "passed on" to the next grade?  Could she remain in 1st, even if she stayed in public school?  What is your goal?  With one child we worked on multiplication for 4 months.  It was a long time, I was beginning to get concerned, when one day it "clicked" for him and he was off.  He finished that year's math on-time, but he wouldn't have had he not learned the multiplication tables first.
 
It many times boils down to this..... If you care, she will be fine.  You will find a program that works for you both.  She will learn.  You will have fun... she will have fun.  But if you expect her to sit and "do school" for as many hours as she's at school, you will both be miserable.  Mine were in high school before they used nearly as much time as the public schools.  When the work is done, it's done.... no reason to just sit there, filling out busy work, and waiting for the bus.
 
I guess I "lucked out".  I started with my first, and when he was 4yo.  Not required to actually BE in public school yet.  If I screwed it all up, he could start with Kindergarten the next year.  I didn't, and the school district did not get better, so he was homeschooled throughout, and it didn't "screw him up", nor has it had a negative impact on any of the children that I can tell.  One in the military (another considering it), one the youngest person ever hired by his USPS office, still another in college full time, and one in college for CNA.... I think they are fine and not "screwed up".  Socially.... that's a bit harder for me.  They don't fit the social "norms".  They don't dress like everyone else, they don't talk like everyone else, they aren't "boy crazy" like many of their friends..... unfortunately, I think all those things are wonderful, so I'm not sure that I would count that as negative.  They have not learned all the social nuances that develop when you have a group of same aged individuals.... but again, I'm not sure that that is a bad thing.  They socialize with a varied group of people without difficulty, including children their same age, it's only when they are in a group of unknown kids ONLY their same age that they have difficulty.... mostly because I don't think that they understand the unwritten "rules" of that setting.
 
It's a tough decision.  Many simply can not homeschool.... they are wired differently.  Some kids will not flourish being homeschooled, they too are wired differently.  It's ok.  It's what makes the world a wondrous place.  
 
If you want to homeschool, there is a way.  Can't find a local group?  Look on-line.  There are plenty of groups there, for everything from particular styles of learning to special needs, to large families, and many other variations.  Can't spend hundreds on curriculum?  Buy used, or find one of the "lending libraries" that has what you are looking for.  Utilize the local library.  Find other ways.  It can be done ("Homeschooling on a Shoestring") and is by many.
 
One last question..... Is there anything you LIKE about the school?
 
Good luck!
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Well, I have come to a decision of sorts.  By that I mean, I have decided I am not ready to make a decision yet lol.  I need more information and I need I time to sort it all out.  Pulling her out of school is a big decision that I can't turn around and undo right away (obviously I can put her in school again the next year.  I only mean that if I pull her say next week, I can't turn around and put her back in two weeks later.)  However, if I leave her in, I can pull her at any time.  So, for now at least, she's staying.

 

DH and I had a big old talk about it last night after I posted here.  He's very confident in my ability to do it, he's not as confident in my having the TIME to do it.  And if I do it, I want him to be 100% confident and comfortable with the decision too.

 

I am going to do some more research.  I am going to do some more supplementing at home, and see how it goes.  I am going to see if I can find a sitter for CJ a couple of different days over the next week or so and see if I can get into the classroom and observe exactly what's going on in the room.  I am a "begin with the end in mind" kind of person and I am going to do some more thinking on just exactly what my goals ARE and make sure that I know what is or isn't being met by the school.  And I am going to give myself a soft deadline of Christmas break.  At that time, I will evaluate her progress towards my goals, and my progress with supplementing, as well as making sure DH is comfortable, and then make my decision from that. 

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Someone earlier asked if Raeanna likes *learning*..

 

LOL.

 

So, I found out that the Orionid meteor shower is tonight.  I knew when the Perseids are in August and I was going to take them out for that, but Raeanna had been sick that week and had not gotten much sleep, so I decided that the sleep was more important.  Well, she was sick again over the weekend, but she was fine yesterday and today and since there's no school, it's ok if she sleeps in a bit tomorrow.  I mentioned that I think we should go see them and she was SO excited.  I was going to explain what a meteor shower was and I mentioned the Perseids and she already knew!  lol.  She gleaned it from Curious George.  And then, I mentioned the constellation, and she told me all about that too.  Dinosaur Train lol.  But she wants to go and look at all the constellations, wants to know about other showers etc etc.  And then, on top of all that, she's watching the clock and counting the time until we go out lol.

 

Yeah, I would say she likes learning.  lol.  She's about to vibrate off the floor lol.  I wish I had grabbed a constellation book at the library.  We might need to go back tomorrow lol.

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