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Thread: Homeschoolers - Would you share your stories please?

  1. #11
    Syele's Avatar
    Syele is offline Member
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    I always wanted to homeschool my kids so I'm not an "accidental" but I have discovered this year that I really have no choice, even if I wanted one, so we homeschool by "necessity".

    My daughter decided to learn handwriting at age 2 when the public librarian rudely informed her she couldn't write her own name. My dd is one of those people that is content with life till you tell her she CAN'T do something! So she spent her every free moment from then on not playing, but practicing handwriting. I knew motor skills would not be good for that at two so I discouraged it. She snuck pencils and paper to her room until she had learned to write her name so we could read it. She was copying her name off the wall posters in her room. At that point, I noticed she made an S by picking up her pencil about 10 times (Basically she sketched the S.) I thought I'd better start helping her before she got in too many bad habits I'd have to unteach later. So that is how I began Homeschooling my two year old and how she was reading and writing at age 3. I believe she is less a "gifted" student than she is an extremely determined and stubborn one.

    I'm a single mom and this year has been especially tough. My home daycare closed for lack of kids to watch and my family began encouraging me to put my dd in a school for a year (She is 5 now) so I could work outside the home full time. I was working part time and going back to college full time and didn't have time to make lesson plans and Keep her on track too. The public school said they would not test her for a higher grade since she was 5 she would have to attend Kindergarten. No way I'll kill her drive to learn by making her go back and learn her ABCs over again. The private school tested her to see if she could skip K and said they'd put her in 1st grade because they only tested her on K materials. If I wanted them to test for 2nd grade I'd have to pay a fee I simply couldn't afford. I considered putting her in the 1st grade because starting 2nd grade would be a big age difference already but when I looked into it more they were using the exact same curriculum I used last year! So not only would she get the same level over again, she'd have to do the exact same workbook pages and activities too. Not to mention that the math curriculum and my Daughter did NOT go well together. She begged me not to make her go and there was no way I could pay for it anyhow.

    Then in the midst of looking at schools I signed her up for time4Learning. She wanted to be doing lessons and I just didn't have time. My kid, who already liked to study and has a strong drive to learn, suddenly started begging me to let her do MORE work and MORE. I had to start saying stuff like "You can't do time4learning until you've cleaned your room up!" and "No more lessons today! You have been on there too long!" Then when I really looked into it more I saw it was the answer to my problems. It was affordable (that private school is $4,000+ a year), it did the lesson plans for me, and my daughter was learning and happy. None of the schools could offer this, they all had to make her fit to them rather than fitting lessons to the child.

    Now, when I tell someone about Time 4 Learning my daughter begins to hop up and down, clapping and chanting "Har-ry! Har-ry! Har-ry!" I am so much less stressed out and I know she is getting the education she needs. I sure hope time4learning has high school by the time she gets there!

  2. #12
    sonjavon is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Our journey to Homeschooling

    My son and I recently signed up for time4learning.com. I couldn't be more pleased! I am really impressed with the comprehensive amount of information that the curriculum covers.

    We are a new homeschooling family. Hunter in going into the 4th grade and has attended the Public School since Kindergarten. School has been a miserable experience for him so far. Hunter is dyslexic, has a very slow processing speed and poor working memory. We had him evaluated within the school district and again last year independently. We had the IEP, the
    Special Education resources, the ongoing meetings with the teacher - and the fact remained, the school was not willing and not capable of helping Hunter succeed.

    I'm a fighter. I will fight for my son and my family. However, toward the end of the schoolyear last year, I had to come to the conclusion that I could fight for many years to come and the only one that was going to be hurt was my son. The longer we fought, the more introverted, the more angry, the more frustrated and the further behind he fell. We called the Private Schools in our area and basically learned that they are not equipped to help a kid who is "outside of the norm" either. Through it all - I kept hearing the word, "Homeschool".

    Working one night with Hunter on our 4th hour of homework, he looked at me in tears and said, "Can't you just homeschool me?" That was the night that we began to make plans... we'd look into homeschooling. However, we are still trying to sell an old house, so until that sold - I could not quit my job to stay home. Quite simply - my income is what pays for the mortgage on the house that we no longer live in and with the housing market in a lull - it could be awhile before it sells. We said our prayers, crossed our
    fingers and did everything we could to sell our old house. But, as August rolled around we became more and more concerned. My husband works from a home office - but he can't work and teach Hunter at the same time!

    One afternoon I decided to Google, "Online Homeschool". Time4learning was one of the first options that popped up. Are you kidding? This could be perfect! I could log in periodically and see what he's doing and then we can review in the evenings and on the weekends! I searched for reviews and found glowing statements. With that, our choice was made. We would
    homeschool Hunter and find a way to make it work. In the meantime, I would try to find a position that would allow me to be home more.

    I have since reduced my hours to 3 days a week. We use Time4learning as a core curriculum. Hunter loves the lessons on the computer but really felt that he needed something to "hold" as proof that he's studied something... so we've begun lapbooking. We do lessons on Time4learning and then supplement those with books and more in depth exporation of areas which he finds interesting. Time4learning made what seemed like the "impossible" a much easier adventure to pursue.
    Thank you!

    Sonja

  3. #13
    vjones is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Why I chose homeschool

    Homeschool was always on the back of my mind since I had my first child, 10 years ago. He did attend public school from K-4th grade, and my youngest son attended K. My reasons for deciding to homeschool for the first time this year are: I was tired of fighting with my 4th grader with his homework every day. He had some difficulty in math, and would bring home an assignment everyday with 20 to 25 problems. (I don't understand why a child should have this big of an assignment everyday, what did the class do for math in school? ) If he didn't understand how to do the problem, but I explained it to him my way, he became very upset that I wasn't teaching him the way his teacher was. When I talked to his teacher, he just kind of blew me off. Basically, my son had 2 hours homework on average every night. Besides that, my son always tried to be a good kid and do what the teacher said, which led him to believe that whatever the teacher said was law, and if it was different than what my husband or I said, we were wrong. I did not want my child to put his teachers' rules above our home rules! The public school my sons go to is a good school, the same one I attended, but I can see changes to where children are supposed to think that spending time in school, at after hours programs and extra curricular activities is more important that family life. I also like a challenge, and love to teach my children!

  4. #14
    momto2bears is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Why we homeschool

    I have a son who is 5 and doing K work and my daughter is 3, she sits in and watches. From the day we had children we knew homeschooling was the only option. We just do not trust the public school system to educate our children and we don't want them in the "system". I didnt have children just to ship them off from 8-3 everyday. I am able to stay at home so why would I send them off to school when I, with help from time4learning, can teach them in the comfort of their own home at their own pace? I feel very fortunate to be able to stay home with them and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Comparing my son and his cousin, who is in the public school in another state, my son is so far ahead of her in all areas and I can only attribute that to the way they are being taught.

  5. #15
    mississippimom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I've wanted to homeschool since the day I had my first child 9yrs ago, but circumstances prevented actually doing it until this year. So I'm not sure if you would call it accidental or just taking advantage of the situation. I have always thought that my children were academically gifted, but the rest of my family just thought I was being a mom. Just after school started this year I had to move in with my parents, who lived out of our school district, to take care of my dad. My 4th grade daughter came undone. She was not going back to school without my presence in our home. The decision to homeschool her was easy for me, but not for anyone else. When I was able to come home, my son wanted to homeschool too. Fine with me. I believe his teacher was more than a little burned out and he was miserable. My husband finally gave in and let me pull him out as well so that they would both be learning on the same level. And, guess what, they are both very gifted just like I knew all along. Keeping up with them is hard, so I was so glad when I came across Time4Learning. My kids beat me to it most of the time because they love it! I have always searched for a curriculum that would be interactive and fun. I sure hope T4L extends to high school before mine reach that age! What's really great is hearing them telling friends and family that were so against homeschooling all about what they have learned. I could never get them to talk about what they were learning in PS.

  6. #16
    JohnEdelson's Avatar
    JohnEdelson is offline Super Moderator
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    Jill sent me her story awhile ago. I thought I would share it...

    - Why I Homeschool & How I Homeschool

    I have three children, the oldest is Andy (age 8). He has a younger sister (7) and brother (4).

    Andy went to school for kindergarten and first grade at a small Christian school where I worked. The class size was only 10. There were problems from the start.

    He had trouble focusing, sitting still, with basic organization. and paying attention. He was very sensitive to noise and had emotional melt-downs. The only reason that he succeeded at the school was the fact that I was there and could intervene when necessary to calm him down or at least, to care for him when he overwhelmed the other staff. We called them "Mommy Breaks". He was considered to be ADHD.

    After first grade, I needed to cut back my work schedule and financially, we could not keep him in the private school so he was switched to public school (with his younger sister).

    September started badly for him. As we read more about ADHD, we found an article that said that there is a condition called Aspergers which is frequently misdiagnosed, particularly in preschool and early elementary, to be an attention issue. The descriptions of asperger children were the best descriptions of my child that I had ever read. They described him exactly. In fact, my husband is an "off the chart" ADHD but once we started reading about aspergers, we wonder whether that is a more accurate description of him. Aspergers frequently runs in families so it would make sense.

    One day in late September, the school situation became a disaster. Afterschool, my husband and I talked and agreed that we should homeschool him. The first two days, I let him play on his learning game CDs (Magic Schoolbus) which he loves. I kept thinking about how he was such a visual and auditory learner and how much he loved the computer, why couldn't he study that way.

    I spend alot of time those first two days looking for answers on my laptop computer and then I found the Time4Learning site. The demos were highly interactive, the learning solid, the reports for exactly what we wanted, and I was pretty sure that my son would like it. After I put my children to bed, I showed it to my husband. He liked it and saw the 14 trial-back offer and said that we should at least give it a try.

    We signed up that night and started the next morning. Andy LOVED IT. And he started studying and learning really fast. For instance, despite struggling in school, he is working through the second grade math curriculum at a rapid pace. He is doing all the work and learning the material (we can tell from the tests). He will finish the whole year's math work in the first semester!

    We are building most of his homeschool education around Time4Learning although we also believe in the Charlotte Mason approach and try to have learning natually become part of every day. We take alot of field trips, we journal alot, and we read classics (usually abridged) out loud as a family. We don't require the children to pay attention but even if they are playing, it seems that they do. Since our children range from 4-8, the books are sometimes above or below some of the children's level but that seems to work fine anyway. While it might seem that Time4Learning's online curriculum is the opposite of the Charlotte Mason approach, we find that it works for us. Both are home and family oriented. Both give the child a way to explore and to independently pursue learning at their own pace.
    John Edelson, Founder
    It's Time 4 Learning. And Fun!

    Time4Learning: Automated Online PreK-12th Curriculum for Math, Language Arts & More.
    Time4Writing provides eight week writing courses for students, 2nd-12th grade. Teachers included!
    Time4MathFacts: Automated Game-Based math facts practice, a foundation for future math success.
    Time4Languages: Ten of Rosetta-Stone's legendary language learning programs provided at reduced costs to T4L members

  7. #17
    DavePrime is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default Why we homeschool.

    We have and are currently raised 6 bio-kids and 3 others that we "informally adopted". (This just means they were wards of the state andwe took a special interest in them and made them members of our family. No lawyers, just lots of love and patience. We feel that SOMEONE should show some of these kids what a loving, Christian home is supposed to be like....)

    WE have had three of our kids drop out of school and go on to get their GED's, so we are no strangers to the shortfalls of Public Ed. We are VERY hands on with our kids' learning. Until they are twelve or so, we prescreen anything they read and almost all of the movies they watch. This may sound like a daunting task, but both my wife and I are avid readers and like movies, so it has been no major hassle.

    You might say we are the classic example of "accidental homeschoolers." Our youngest Daughter, 9, began having problems in scholl in the second grade. Afraid it was just a teacher/student mismatch, we asked for her class to be switched. We sere told that was "against policy". It seems we would hear that phrase over and over again over the next two and a half years.

    Even though she came out of K reading full bore, her scores were always lagging. She had difficulty maintaining friendship and complying with basic instruction. Smart as a whip. she always asked WHY she had to do something. Most teachers didn't feel it was necessary to explain why. She was just told to "comply". She tried. She failed.

    This year she was placed in a "high discipline" class. We knew right away that problems would ensue. She test at a 9th grade reading level, but it was like pulling teeth to have books at her level made available to her for reading. Again and again we were told "Against Policy." Finally, they allowed us to send books from home as long as she ALSO read the current reading the class was doing and tested on BOTH. The books she chose were often 300 to 400 pages in length.

    She was then required to have completed book testing weekly. Not a problem if she was only reading the "see Dick and Jane run" books, but tough to do on a Harry Potter book, or some other tome. If she didn't have the testing complete, she would lose recesses and be held after school until she caught up. She never did.

    After 8 wks of "restrictions", we had had enough. We were recieving almost daily calls about behavior problems. Multiple meetings with principal, counselor, and teacher solved nothing. (It didn't help that the teacher was so strict that the kids are not allowed to tell her 'good morning' until they have sat down and raised their hands.) Not a warm lady, that.

    We decidedthat even though I am wracked with constant pain, and have difficulties arising from that, that I would be the one to HS our Daughter. I braced myself for major problems.

    We were turned on to T4L by my homeschooling eldest daughter. She had wanted to use the site, but didn't have the wherewithal. I took the plunge and signed up. I bought notebooks and pencils. (The school kept the large box of school supplies we were required to furnish for the chool year since they went into a common pool and they couldn't 'know' what was ours. (sigh)

    I started the first day and was amazed! Here I expected constant resistance and disruption, but NOTHING. NADA. ZILCH! She tore into the lessons like they were her favorite author! She LOVES Language Arts and we found out why she was tanking in math. (She never properly learned how to put her number values in columns. Move the column, move the value!

    Now SHE comes down to the table, climbs into an armchair puched up to the table (her'cockpit') and takes off into learning! SHE pushes ME to do her lessons. I've tried once or twice to have a "free" day, but she won't hear of it! LOL

    Needless to say, we are wondering why we didn't do this with our older kids BEFORE I got hurt and we actually had MONEY!!! What we could have done; the places we could have gone; the stuff we could have LEARNED TOGETHER!! Ah well.

    That's our story, I guess. Good Learning and God Bless all of your efforts with your kids!

    -Daveprime-
    "As always I do what is necessary...."

  8. #18
    sisymay is offline Member
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    Please use this in its entirety and use my name.

    My daughter was in public school from K-2nd grade. She had always had problems with almost all subjects. The teachers did all they could to help her and were very cooperative.

    In 2nd grade I asked the school to do testing to see if she could qualify for special ed services. At this time, everything stopped. No more help from the teachers. From that point on, I did not know what my child was having problems with in school. Teacher would not reply to my questions concerning this.

    Her graded papers stopped coming home because she scored almost 30 and below on everything. Also, the schools website that recorded grades had changed her bad grades to good.

    Later on I found out the school was doing this so there would be no proof she had problems because they did not want to help her thru special ed.

    The school fought horribly with me at every turn, all the while I was following the special ed laws and following the legal process correctly in getting help for my child.

    They were causing way too much stress on me and my child was crying all the time and giving up in school (teacher told me this many times) so during the last week of school in 2nd grade, we started homeschool.

    When I informed the teacher of this, she said 'I am so sorry, the administrators just would not let me help your child.'

    Sherry Hollis
    Zebulon, Georgia

  9. #19
    sisymay is offline Member
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    I just wanted to say that most of the stories here are about bad public schools. As I read thru the stories here I expected it very much.
    I have much experience with public schools and have heard from parents all over the country who have to fight and have horrible times with schools.
    Most parents dont' know that is it this way and it is a shame.

  10. #20
    ranchgirl is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    My son, Hadley, is 10 years old and in the 5th grade. We live in Western South Dakota and are in a small town. K-12 has approximately 285 students. We don't socialize much, either. We live in a remote area and ranch for a living. In the summer, I do lifeguard and teach swim lessons at our local pool, so he gets lots of play time with kids there.

    He has always attended public school. This year, I noticed that he had upper 90%, 100%, or even above with the extra credit questions. He had also told me that he completes his work before everyone else and gets "free time". He also doesn't have alot of close friends in his class. He is considered a geek and not very athletic either. After doing some reviewing of the system, I found many things I didn't like.
    1. His grades are high and he has "free time". Maybe he's not being challenged.
    2. The teacher wasn't in the classroom alot. There were subs in there. She is the athletic director, volleyball and basketball coach. I questioned her when I heard the whole class had to retake a test because most of them failed it. My son, got a high B and he had to retake it. Her answer was that she didn't think she had taught it very well, while she was laughing about it.
    3. The administration is not very strong in discipline. A kid with "free time" could get himself into trouble.
    4. Alot of time was spent on Math and Language Arts. Not much in Science and Social Studies. Half the year had gone by and only 1 chapter was covered in Science. This is something my son loves and learns alot from.
    5. They didn't require that kids memorize the multiplication tables. They have been taping it to their desk and copying it for 2.5 years.

    They don't have gt courses, because they have so many that have qualified for Special Education. No money left over. I take him to the engineering university, in a bigger town 30 miles away, for children's science classes in the summer and classes thru 4-H. So, I feel the public school capped my son. Basically, you've learned all that we are teaching for today, so you can do what you'd like. I didn't like this concept. How can you tell a kid they can't learn more, when they want to?

    Hadley is one who can read and remember everything. It's almost scary. After reviewing homeschooling options during Christmas break at school, we decided to go with T4L. It offers flexibility and helped me adjust to "homeschool land". Now, after starting this program, there are other things I have noticed about our public school system.
    1. The teacher was teaching alot about writing in school. Tons of paper on this! But, Hadley didn't know the basics of writing a sentence. Different kinds of verbs, adjectives, prepostional phrases, etc. We have backed up a grade level, so he can learn these things.
    2. The kids didn't know how to take notes. This led to me teaching him how to read and summarize. T4L helped with the summarizing.
    3. They used a math curriculum I didn't care for at all in the public school. Once again, he didn't know the basics. We backed up to 4th grade level in T4L.
    4. It seems as if the "No Child Left Behind" program lowers the bar. Let's not teach them too much, but let's teach them all in the same manner.
    5. Our state does allow homeschoolers to participate in public school extra-curricular activities, but they let the school districts make the ultimate choice. Our superintendent told me that the board felt if people were going to homeschool they need to keep them at home. I went to a school board meeting over this and they refused to change the policy. My son, plays trombone and piano and wanted to participate in band. He is still taking private lessons thru the music teacher though. My son wanted to homeshool, take music lessons and work on changing the school's homeschool policy. Being that we live remotely, there are no other choices for band, except thru the school.

    The public school system is like a little factory, turning out little robots, that only know the basics, or below the basics, according to my philosophy. Let's not give them any music, art, science or social studies. Only fill their head with math and language arts, because that is what they are tested on. My opinion is that they can learn alot from the other subjects, why not use them. So, I do.

    My child may be considered "gifted", but I first have to catch him up to the curriculum's that are out there. All curriculum's I looked at I would have to drop his level in Math and Language Arts. He's learning quickly though and can't wait to get to Algebra! I know he'll love it!

    The first few weeks were an adjustment, or transitional time. My son, got some bad grades and was frustrated. (He's a perfectionist.) I think I overloaded him, using T4l and workbooks and handouts. We've adapted. Now, he cruises thru his 6-8 lessons per day in a flash. And pretty well. I vary T4L, workbooks and handouts with what he mastered the day before. So, I mix it up a bit. It seems to be working. He does all his work in about 2-3 hours per day and then has the rest of the day to do as he pleases. Some days, he choses to study more in the science or social studies sections. He will also read alot. He's into the solar system and the Greek gods and goddesses right now The cows are about to start having calves, so that will be lesson in itself! He's been helping to clean the barn and learning lots of "manly" stuff from his dad. Our family is closer and we all learn something new everyday. We do drive into town, every Friday, to have play time with a home school group. He looks so forward to Friday and has made friends.

    It's been a great experience and I wouldn't have it any other way. We were just going to experiment with this semester, but why send him back to a system that won't "let" him learn?

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