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Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 12:36am
KS mom's picture
Joined: 03/02/2006 - 09:00

We are into our second year of homeschooling. DD was in public school until the middle of fifth grade. I had enough of the worry and frustration! Homeschooling for us has been very positive. I also HS my 7 yo ds. He doesn't have any allergies but I gave him the option of HSing with his sister or continuing on in PS and he chose HSing. I would be happy to talk about our experiences off the board (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 3:00am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

KS mom.... is there [i]ugly[/i]?? LOL!!!
(Some days more than others... where [i]IS[/i] that cooking sherry??? )
My daughter (7.5 yo) has never been to "school." (At least not since she was 2.)
The trick is to not open your mouth when the only thing in your head is [i]"WHY, oh WHY can't you just be someone else's problem for a few minutes right now?????!!!"[/i] I've learned to say, "Go to your room and read or play quietly for a few minutes so I can think."
If you like, I can try to find a few threads in the Schools forum that deal with HSing.
Don't let anyone judge your decision-- sometimes retreat is the better part of valour. HSing [i]as a lifestyle[/i] works incredibly well for us. We are able to school when we like... and take our vacations, run errands, visit doctors/hairdressers/family where and when it isn't crowded-- which reduces risk. I can't imagine having to do things with everyone else in the world now. My DD has trouble enough allergy-wise without us trying to fit things into peak usage/times. Christmas shopping, for example. We have gone out [i]ONCE[/i] this year during "traditional" evening/weekend hours. And DD had a reaction.
HSing also gives my daughter time to read and play that her B+M schooled peers do not have.
The down side is that if you have a kid that [i]really[/i] needs a lot of social peer interaction, it can be hard on them (and you). Church/synagogue activities can help fill the gap, but only to a point. You also have to fundamentally [i]like[/i] your children as people to HS for long. I [i]never[/i] get a break from her. I am away from her for perhaps 6-12 hours each week. But you find ways of generating the personal space that you all need, too.
If you have a child that has multiple unmet/special needs within the school system, this [i]can[/i] make homeschooling either that much more obvious a choice.... or that much harder to do well, depending upon what those needs are. (But your SD is still obligated to provide associated services to you if they are needed under an IEP-- even if you are HSing.)
There are a LOT of different philosophies regarding HSing... as many as there are people doing it, probably. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] They can probably be broadly broken up into three categories:
1. School at home. (This most resembles "regular" school and is what most parents are comfortable with, at least initially.) Prepackaged curriculum is available for each grade level from a variety of suppliers, both secular and religious.
2. Unschooling. This approach is the "way out there" homeschooling that most people think of... the child is in charge and directs their own learning. You simply provide a rich environment for it to happen in and answer (or help research) what they are interested in. NO 'instruction' is initiated by the parent.
3. Philosophies in between. This includes Charlotte Mason, Montessori, Waldorf, and "eclectic" methods.
Do your homework. Check out the resources that your local library has. Don't be too quick to jump into a set curriculum unless it [i]really[/i] feels right for you and your child. I would even issue the same caution about HS support groups. They tend to fall into one of the two extremes above (1 or 2, that is) and can be dismissive of other philosophies.
Your heart has led you this far, in other words-- don't turn your back on it now!

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 6:19am
KS mom's picture
Joined: 03/02/2006 - 09:00

lol...Yes Corvallis mom, we have the odd "ugly" day where public school sounds like a dream to me. But honestly, there have only been a couple of those. Most of the time, especially my dd is very cooperative. She really appreciates my efforts and is grateful that I am giving her this option. She was so stressed out at school, partly because of pa and partly because of her personality.
I have to say that I love my kids, I love hs'ing but I do find that I need a little time for me. At the end of the afternoon, before it is time to start supper, I have a little bit of quiet time in my room. I get a good book and the children know that this is MY time (I tell my 7 yo that if he continually interrupts my quiet time that I will interrupt his x-box time...works well...lol). They are not to disturb me for one hour unless it is something important of course. It recharges me and allows me to unwind from the day.
When we first began I was very regimented and close to the school at home way of hs'ing. Now we have chilled out a little and have become a little more flexible. My goal from the beginning has been to keep the children ahead of where they should be (according to the SB) and once and a while I stop to make sure we are covering all of the bases. I am very proud of my childrens progress. It is amazing what they can accomplish with the one-on-one attention.
We use a variety of curriculum. I think it is great that I have been able to choose different approaches that work for each child. For instance, my dd works best with the Saxon Math program and my son works best with the Singapore math program. In PS, they don't have the choice.
Then we have the hot topic of "socialization". I won't go there at the moment...lol.

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 8:14am
lalow's picture
Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

i am homeschooling my 5 year old. we also have a 4 year old with food allergies. we are very laid back in our approach and i probably lean more toward unschooling at this age than anything else. that doesnt mean i will always do this but i see my son learning so much from everything we do that i havnt seen a need to follow anything structured. he has lots of interests and seems to soak up so much information and knowledge. he is learning all the "kindergaren-first grade" stuff without alot of effort on my part except providing him with a stimulating environment and a chance to play with other kids. we take a few classes like art and gymnastics. he is in choir at church and goes to sunday school. we go to library story times sometimes and our local homeschooling group has some classes and a monthly show and tell/arts and crafts time. they are also thinking about starting a monthly pe time to play group games and we go on field trips as a group. i love homeschooling so far and we have alot of fun. I dont try to "teach" alot but i do initiate alot of activities where the kids do learn.
James 4 yrs, NKA
Ben 3 yrs, PA and MA and SA

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 8:37am
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

We are homeschooling too.
Our five year old is nka and our three year old is mfa. We love the homeschool lifestyle!
Good luck to you on this new journey.

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 2:40pm
TinaM's picture
Joined: 08/25/2004 - 09:00

Thank you all so much for sharing with me!
KS mom- I understand about the worry and frustration, we've been there for 5 months now, it's stress city.
Corvallis mom- thanks for all the tips! I have read alot about H.S. and I have decided to go the traditional approach for now. I am a certified teacher still and that way only comes natural to me! We will be flexible though, I'm sure. I'm going to start talking to groups after Christmas, I'll proceed with caution!
lalow-I know what you mean about kids just naturally learning! My son seems to be teaching himself how to tell time lately, it's amazing! This age is fun to watch.
2BusyBoys- OOOOhh! the lifestyle. The flexiblity for vacations, and etc. is one thing I will certainly enjoy.
I've got one thing to ask all of you. How hard is it to work with the allergy through HS groups??? I'm sure different people (and regions) are not alike, but just in general??
I'm nervous, but looking forward to the adventure!

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 7:44pm
gw_mom3's picture
Joined: 02/14/2000 - 09:00

We are homeschooling as well, for a variety of reasons. My 7 yo and my 9 yo are both in 3rd grade. I don't think that public schools would let a 7 yo (he just turned 7 in April) in 3rd grade. My 9 yo is very immature for her age and somewhat slow and has a pronounced stutter (we are getting ready to take her to a speech therapist for that) so I'm not really sure how she would fare in public school. She often needs extra help with her lessons, which I'm not sure she would get in a public school. My just-turned 11 yo (pa/tna) is in 5th grade. All three are doing very well at home but they still complain every day when they have to do their lessons. They've never been to public school so they don't realize how good they have it. lol.

Posted on: Tue, 12/19/2006 - 10:17pm
2BusyBoys's picture
Joined: 09/03/2004 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by TinaM:
I've got one thing to ask all of you. How hard is it to work with the allergy through HS groups??? I'm sure different people (and regions) are not alike, but just in general??
I'm nervous, but looking forward to the adventure! [/b]
Our main hs group is small (about 15 families) and has been so understanding and careful! It truly has been amazing for us. It helps that another family in our group is also dealing with pa. Of course there are times when an activity just seems too risky and we skip it. Those have been few and far between. We joined a group that was just getting started. I think that helped vs. jumping into an established group with established habits.

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2006 - 12:18am
Corvallis Mom's picture
Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

...I don't think that public schools would let a 7 yo (he just turned 7 in April) in 3rd grade.....
All three are doing very well at home but they still complain every day when they have to do their lessons. They've never been to public school so they don't realize how good they have it. lol.
Isn't THAT the truth!!! This is our situation as well. There are times that my um, "little princess" doesn't think much of homeschooling, or of Mom, for that matter. She pines for a "real" school and a "real teacher" which makes Dad and I grit our teeth... We're both ex-educators.
Anyway-- we eventually went to a cyberschool so that she has an "official" school record. It was important to us so that people would stop diminishing her capability and accomplishments with a dismissive "Oh, but she's homeschooled." So what. She's homeschooled so we're making it up? Is that it? Unfortunately, you do end up needing to "prove it" to a fair number of people and this allows her to be involved in ability-appropriate activities that her age makes her too young for. (She's 7 and entering 5th grade in Feb.)
Homeschool groups. We have not found an inclusive HS group that we were comfortable hanging around with. Locally we have two groups of people-- those who HS because they are afraid of what PS is teaching their kids, and those who HS because they believe that kids should be free to follow their every impulse. Neither philosophy is very compatible with ours... and the second can be a dangerous group from a FA standpoint.
We have met some great homeschooling families in the places they hang out during the day, however. The library... swimming lessons. (Lessons and practices for school-aged kids that occur during the regular school day are great places to find them.) School supply stores!
I also wanted to plug Singapore math. Both from our experience and also from a pedagogical standpoint-- this one is a real standout. It gives kids critical thinking skills about problem solving. That is the foundation for all higher math and all science, too. We mourn its loss each day with Calvert math. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/frown.gif[/img] (Which is what our cyberschool supplies.)
Personally, we found that Charlotte Mason worked GREAT for us. My DD is quite the reader and quite the talker. But we used Montessori methods for preK/K.
We definitely started out homeschooling with MFA as a huge part of the picture... but it soon became apparent that a profoundly gifted child was also going to have a great deal of difficulty in getting FAPE out of a school as well. Even without her MFA, we would be reluctant to enroll her in a B+M school now. Of course, our cybercharter means that finally my tax dollars are doing [i]something for ME.[/i]

Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2006 - 4:22am
lalow's picture
Joined: 03/24/2004 - 09:00

our homeschool group has been ok with it all but it depends on the people. we have a small group and they range some are VERY accomidating and others frankly just forget or dont care. for the most part it isnt a great issue cause we typically dont eat together but sometimes on park days there is an occasional incident. I have had to ask people to have their kids wash their hands which they did very willingly. (one 9 year old was just covered with PB) we do alot at the library where eating isnt allowed and i bring his own food or skip some other activities where it is there. There are several homeschool groups in this area and I chose a small one cause we are pretty compatable and i figured the fewer people to explain it all to the better. Different groups seem to have their own personalities and sometimes can be very judgemental. We dont do school at home or anything close but I like our group cause many there that do and they dont care that we dont... as long as you dont call them in the mornings [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img] They are deffinately more accepting of what ever works for you family.
James 4 yrs, NKA
Ben 3 yrs, PA and MA and SA


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