Needing help in Gilchrist County - Should I homeschool?
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  1. #1
    Psst... Over here Guest

    Exclamation Needing help in Gilchrist County - Should I homeschool?

    CHAPTER 1: I've got a lot to say...

    My son is in second grade in the public school system and it looks as though he will be repeating 2nd grade.

    His grades range from 0 to 100 in both math and reading. He is stubborn and when he sets his mind against something he will hold his ground. I have spent some nights doing homework with him for 3 hours (should be about 30 minutes if he reads for 20 minutes to me).

    In the state tests (I think they are SAT10), he scored 50/51 in math and a 5 in reading (yes, I said 5 - I think a poke and hope bubble test would produce a better score than that).

    We have made a lot of progress over the last year in homework time (once he finally decides he's not going to win the fight, he makes a 180 and does his work. While doing his homework (in the cooperative mood), I can see that he knows what he's doing. He can do the work and tell me how/why he got there. I really don't think his test scores are reflecting his ability and I would like to somehow have him retested for placement.

    Do I have to switch schools or start homeschooling him to get this done?

    I've got an appointment with his pedi to talk to her about the behavioral part of this issue.

    What do I do? Who do I talk to? How can I help him?

    His teacher and guidance counselor have never given suggestions no matter how many times I've asked what I could do. I simply leave any teacher conference with the attitude that I'll be tougher on him. He's never been sent to the 'Focus Room' or the office but there have been comments on his attitude/behavior. I've finally learned about the existence of IEP programs and I'm wondering if they shouldn't have been implemented. The teacher/counselor have never even recommended this...

    I've got so much more to say but I would like some thoughts from those who've seen things like this. I am very willing to work with him through the summer (there are no summer study programs here for 2nd graders - starts in 3 rd grade) to get him caught up and ready for 3rd grade but the teacher/counselor tell me there is nothing I can do (I'm sorry, but I have a hard time thinking that there is NOTHING I CAN DO to help him.

    They can't do a portfolio for him because his average grade for reading (and all the sections within that subject - comprehension, vocabulary, etc) is a 66 and they won't do it unless he is at least a C avg. Even with a D average - that doesn't equate to a 5 on the state test. I don't want to push him past his abilities and I truly think he is a much better student than his tests reflect.

    Again.... What do I do? Who do I talk to? How can I help him?

    I feel lost because I don't know what resources are available or how to search them out... ANY HELP and advice would be greatly treasured and considered.

    I am a work at home mom and can do what I need with my schedule to make this work for him.

    CHAPTER 2: I'VE GOT A LOT TO DO... (a chapter in the planning stages)

  2. #2
    lovehmschlg's Avatar
    lovehmschlg is offline Forum Moderator
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    Hello, mom in Gilchrist County.
    I've been homschooling for 12 years, so of course, my recommendation would be to homeschool. We've had our good days and our bad, but I am so thankful that we can homeschool. It is the most natural thing for us. Having said that, what do you think is best for your son? Only you and your husband can make this choice. I can encourage you by saying: you CAN do it. It's evident in how you show initiative and determination. But don't be surprised if doctors and others try to sway you away from homeschooling. I've found that unless people are personally familiar with homeschooling, they are very negative about it.
    I have a daughter with special needs. She attended pre-school and then kindergarten in a public school for a few months before I pulled her out. Because of her special needs, we had to have an IEP for her and attended several meetings. As I hear the stories from my friends, and the short personal experience I had with IEPs and the school system, I am so glad that we decided to bring her home and homeschool her like we were already doing with her brother and sister.
    It may be that your son is bored with a classroom setting, or there may be too many distractions. It may also be that your son just doesn't test well. As a homeschooler of 12 years, I can tell you that for the elementary years most parents have their children orally evaluated rather than tested. We started "testing" in middle school to get our kids comfortable with the method. We've always told them that testing just helps us to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses....where we need further study. To determine where your son is academically, you may want to have him evaluated by a certified teacher who does evaluations with homeschooled children. You can find one by contacting FPEA (Florida Parent-Educators Association.) I've attached the link for your convenience. Some evaluators will also give you some counsel on how to work with your child or what to use.
    We homeschool all year round, taking several short breaks throughout the year. This schedule works best for us because we can take breaks when we are feeling overwhelmed, when we need to take time to address behavioral/character issues, or to celebrate birthdays or special family events. We also take a break from Thanksgiving to the new year. Our schooling is a little lighter throughout the summer. We mainly work on math, so they don't fall behind. Regular math practice is essential. And we do lots of reading and some writing throughout the summer. Summer would be a good time to try Time4Learning for your son and work with him as if you are starting to homeschool. I would also find ways to do some fun learning like visits to the museum or park where you can learn about plants, bugs or birds.
    As for you, mom, get some books from the library on homeschooling. If you look over to the right on this page, you can see a free Homeschooling Guide. And remember, this doesn't have to be a permanent choice. You can try it for a year. Just like curriculum you choose doesn't have to be permanent. Over the years, we have tried many until finally finding just the right fit....like time4learning is for my daughter. Not every curriculum is perfect for every child.

    Lastly, even before you make a final decision, try to connect with some homeschoolers. I have quite a few at my church, but you can also find some homeschool support groups through that FPEA site. Here is the link where you can find your district at FPEA and connect with a support group.

    I look forward to hearing back from you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!!
    Last edited by lovehmschlg; 05-29-2013 at 12:23 PM.
    Janet
    enjoying homeschooling and learning with my kids, using T4L and T4W
    blogging our homeschool experiences at The Learning Hourglass


  3. #3
    Psst Over Here is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Wow Janet!
    Thank you - that's encouraging and gives me a place to start!! EXACTLY what I needed right now!
    I've spent the last few hours going through the T4L site, trying to get familiar with it's use and presentation. This has led me to another question...
    Is T4L enough on it's own or is it a supplement? (I'm thinking in the state's eyes for educational value as to whether it's complete in the state's requirements.)
    Without any background in homeschooling, I'm not sure how to make everything work (yet).
    Oddly enough, I just bookmarked FPEA this morning - now I know it's a good find and I'm going there now to poke around.
    Thanks again!! The excitement and hunger is growing - I MAY JUST BE A HOMESCHOOLING MOM!!

  4. #4
    lovehmschlg's Avatar
    lovehmschlg is offline Forum Moderator
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    Hi again. I'm so excited for you.
    My first recommendation, if homeschooling is the road you'll be taking, is to get connected with a homeschool support group in your area. Contact them and ask them for a referral to a local evaluator where you can take your son and have him evaluated to determine where he's at academically. If he would be starting 3rd grade next year, you could start him at 3rd grade on time4learning. You get a grade level above and a grade level below. So if you find it's too difficult, then you can move right into 2nd grade and see how he does there. Again, summer is the perfect time to get a better feel for whether homeschooling is a good fit for your family.

    I also want to share this link for more information right at the T4L site for Florida homeschooling. Lastly, Time4Learning site is very easy to navigate, but here is a link to Hints and Helps in using tools within T4L.

    If you choose to homeschool, the first thing you need to do before the next school year begins is to send a Letter of Intent to your county school board. You can get a template for a Letter of Intent from the FPEA (I used that one), or from the link I shared above on T4L.

    To answer your question about T4L being used as sole curriculum, we have used it as sole curriculum and have also supplemented. The Language Arts and Math exceed Florida standards. You may want to supplement for science and social studies. Schools also use time4learning, but it's called CompassLearning Odyssey. I hope that answers your questions.
    Last edited by lovehmschlg; 05-31-2013 at 08:23 PM.
    Janet
    enjoying homeschooling and learning with my kids, using T4L and T4W
    blogging our homeschool experiences at The Learning Hourglass


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