Advice for a soon-to-be homeschooler?

halfdecafMay 4, 2007

I realize that there's an education forum on here, but it gets a lot less traffic than this site does, so I'm thinking I'll start here. Here's a synopsis of my situation:

I have 2 kids - one preschool aged (but currently at home), and one in 1st grade at a private school. Due to some budget "issues" that have impacted our family for 2007, the private school may not be an option for us next year, and, unfortunately, the public schools in my district are pretty bad (unexpected announcements of school closings/rearrangements come nearly every year, the school board is weak, schools are overcrowded, academics are mediocre, budgets keep getting slashed yada yada yada). Thus, my husband and I are seriously considering homeschooling our son next year.

Ever since our son was born the idea of educating him at home has meandered through my mind with some regularity. My husband and I aren't concerned at this point about whether we have the background (we've both been long term substitute teachers and private tutors in the past and have a good amount of education between the two of us), nor are we concerned about the issue of socialization (both kids are really well connected with good friends beyond school circles). We also realize that because of our particular career situation, homeschooling will give us some much-needed family time during the week that a regular school schedule is inhibiting. So it's looking like this is going to be a reality for us come September...

My questions, then, are along these lines:

1) If you do homeschool/have homeschooled in the past, what are/have been the pros & cons of your experience?

2) What, in your opinion, are the most important things for a family making the school-to-homeschool transition to consider?

3) How do you keep time for yourself - sans children?

My husband and I are both feeling quite positive about the prospects of homeschooling, but there are a couple of "start-up" questions that we'd love to hear input on. Thanks MUCH in advance!

Halfdecaf

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mitchdesj

I know nothing about this subject but this is a previous discussion on the subject.

Here is a link that might be useful: previous discussion

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 5:52AM
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eandhl

I can't answer your exact questions but have you googled "Homeschool" your children? There is a hugh network of parents with groups all over the US. You may be able to get some really good answers as well as helpful contacts. I wish you the best in your decision.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 9:09AM
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halfdecaf

Well, yes, I've got some great sources elsewhere, but just thought I'd check in here, too... Thanks, mitchdesj, for the link!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 2:13PM
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cupofkindness

As one who homeschool most of my seven children until I could no longer handle the pressure, my advice would be to think of a long term plan for educating your child. If you are homeschooling for budget reasons and only plan to homeschool for a year or two, then homeschooling will be manageable. Have you talked to your private school about moving your child back into school when it's more affordable? How does your child feel about this?

If you are looking at homeschooling through the elementary years, then what you need to do is find a local homeschool support group and figure out what is legal in your district/state, and what cirriculums work the best for your child's learning style. I would also recommend that you find a homeschooling forum where you will get comprehensive homeschooling advice. Good luck with your decision, it will change your life and your marriage too. For the better, I"m sure.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2007 at 5:05PM
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halfdecaf

Thanks, Cup - good sound words, and good things to be thinking about.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 2:27AM
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smoothtalker

Hi all,
I've read on here for many months but never posted. I've homeschooled my kids for I think 15 years now. I started with my oldest daughter in kindergarten. She is now a Junior in college. BTW, she's made the dean's list every semester. Our baby just turned 4 this month so I still have many years to go. I still wouldn't call myself an expert but I have learned alot of things through the years. I think the most important thing to realize as a HS parent is that you are not in competition with the PS. Once many parents get over that they enjoy HSing and so do their kids. I really think that pressure to perform and "show the world" is one of the main cons you were asking about. It's hard to talk about the pros b/c there are so many. Just the fact that my kids love to spend time with their Mom & Dad is worth it to me. My oldest daughter and her Dad race cars. They leave on Fridays and come home on Sunday. (Maybe twice a year) She loves it and it's good bonding time with dad. When our boys turn 10 they go to work and my husband's company. They work an hour everyday. They start out by taking out the trash, sweeping the shop, counting bolts, etc. I really think this has helped them to develop into men. I'm not trying to say a PS kid can't do these things but we do have more time since they finish school by about lunch. As far as socialization goes, we take harp lessons, piano lessons, play rec baseball, 4-H, active with church youth group, go to summer camps. There is plenty of places for socializataion. And yes sometimes I think they have too Much socialization. There are times when I am really tired and worn out and would love to quit. I've even asked my kids about it sometimes and they have a fit and can't believe that I would even think about it.
As of last year we start schooling with videos. Teacher teaching the class and the students taking notes and doing homework. I LOVE IT and SO DO THE KIDS. My oldest daughter was watching her younger sister doing school last year and said she wishes she would have done that when she was in high school. Well, I guess you're tired of hearing from me so I'll shut up. If I can help anyone please ask but I can't promise to respond immediately. We will start school in 2 weeks.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2007 at 9:35PM
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halfdecaf

Smoothtalker, I'm not at all tired of reading what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to share your experience - it's really helpful. It sounds like your family has a great thing going!

Halfdecaf

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 2:21AM
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smoothtalker

I'm glad I can help. I know that HSing can be a challenge but it can be alot of fun especially getting to know your kids and their strengths and weaknesses. I'm not sure how this year is going to go. We just started building a new house. (We build 15 years ago or as I like to say we built for 3 kids and not 7)

Have you decided what about HSing? Feel free to ask me questions if I can help.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 6:33PM
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halfdecaf

We're going to give a nearby private school a test-run this year, and evaluate by the winter break how things are going. There are some good things about it, but if it's not a good fit for our kids, we'll go the homeschooling route. I think that's where our hearts really are...

Should we go that route, I may indeed ask you for advice. I appreciate your offer! Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 4:45PM
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smoothtalker

Only you can decide that. I live in southwest La. and their aren't any really good private schools here that I would send my kids to. However, I know many parents up north (Ohio in particular) who have really good private schools. That works for them. In the end, it's between you and your husband and not anyone else (which includes parents, brothers, sisters, etc.)

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:11PM
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halfdecaf

That's another great word, smoothtalker. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2007 at 12:03AM
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