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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Smile New to T4L...

    Hello. My name is Nora. I am a full time RN with two girls, ages 8 & 10 (2nd and 4th grades). We live in Naples, Florida, which is down in the swampiest part of the swamp state (aka: The Sunshine State).

    I was a teacher before I changed professions. I always believed in the public school system and supported it whole-heartedly for many years, but this year things changed. In Florida the schools are given a "grade" (A, B, C, D, F) based strictly on student performance on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). And we live in the second best county school district in the state. Most of our schools are graded as a A-C...with the majority of them being a B. Well, up until this year we lived in a lower-income school zone, and most of the children had a language barrier at home (with Spanish being the predominent language spoken at home). The children mostly passed the FCAT, but the school has been consistently graded at a C since the grading began in 2001. We enjoyed that school though. All of the teachers were very invested in their students well-being. They were all willing to work with the parents on what works best for the student both in and out of the classroom. We have had amazing luck with wonderful teachers and our girls being able to overcome different challenges along the way. And then last summer we moved. We moved to a nicer area of town and the kids moved into an A school zone. We were very excited that they offered so many new and exciting opportunities to our girls. Things were going well with our 2nd grader. We didn't really have any issues with her once she got settled in. I did feel that the teacher could have done a little more educating and a little less "classroom management", but hey, it wasn't the worst I have seen. Our 4th grader...well, that was a different story. This school used "team teaching". She had a primary homeroom teacher who was responsible for her reading and writing, then she had a teacher for math and science, and another teacher for social studies. I was ok with this. This is how things will be for her in Middle School, so this is a nice way to get an early start on being flexible. We met with all the teachers and explained to them that she is a chatter box and over the past four years we had discovered that segregating her in the classroom and allowing her focus to be on the teacher and not on other members of her group or pod was what worked best for her. They all told me that they would keep an eye on her and if she needed to be moved out of the group they would. Well, I knew that they would soon see it was necessary and she would be moved. I asked her and asked her if she was at a single desk yet and she said she was with the group. She told me that it was hard for her to focus on the teacher because the group was distracting. So, I called the teachers and went in for a conference. They said that it would not be appropriate at this time to segregate her and that she was doing fine. Ok. I encouraged her at home and told her to keep trying. And then the first group of papers came home...with several C's, D's, and even an F. We were three weeks into the school year and I had already had two meetings with the teachers. So, I started my e-mailing. I got no satisfactory response from any of them, other than she is "fine". Umm, I'm her mother and I am telling you she isn't fine. She does NOT bring home these kind of grades. Then I got the "4th is a lot more difficult than 3rd and she will adjust." Yeah, no. I raged. My husband told me to chill out and see what happens. I was ok for two more weeks...and then the next batch of papers came home. I was a few A's, B's, mostly C's, and another F! I was done. I told my husband I wanted to homeschool. Six weeks in a "better" school and I couldn't get anyone to work with me. I had even been to see the VP and Dean...they chose not to interfere in the educators "classroom management". Well, that's ok...I will do what I need to do for my girls.

    And so we talked, and talked, and talked. I had ALWAYS wanted to homeschool, but I went back to college to become an RN, and we lived with family during this time, so there was no way my husband was willing to budge on it. No homeschool. They loved their school (the old one) and they were both doing very well. I was ok with accepting his "no" answer then because it was ok for them. Yes, they would come home from school and have homework, but it was always clear instructions, and the teachers were very approachable to the parents if they had any questions. Not at the new school. We moved, it was just the four of us, and my husband (who lost his job when the economy took a hit) was willing to be the primary HS parent for them as long as I would plan everything out. So, October 1, 2012...we pulled them out of public school and here we are.

    We have tried several methods of HS, but none of them felt as "structured" as we wanted it. We have been doing a lot of "unschooling" I guess. I wasn't sure what that would look like in practice, but a friend of mine pointed out that we have in fact been doing it all this time. LOL! And so, here we are. I am tired of preparing endless worksheets and TV programs for them. They think most of it is boring and approach their schooling with a lazy "I don't want to do this" attitude. I pulled up T4L the other night and I was playing through some of the demo lessons and my 4th grader said "I want to play that game." I told her it was not a game, that it was school work I was thinking about having them try. You should have seen the smile on her face.

    And so here we are...

    Nice to meet you all!
    Nora

  2. #2
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    TN
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    Welcome to homeschooling and welcome to T4L.
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  3. #3
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Nora. It is so nice to meet you. My little guy has never been to school. For us it has been time4learning since day one. I'm so happy to hear that your child is liking the idea of school again. Often one bad experience in school can turn a child off learning for good. You might want to check out the Florida Parent Forum. You'll find a lot of state specific help there. You can go to the drop down menu at the top of this page where it says State Forums. Click on that and then click on Florida. Feel free to come back here or to the state forum if youhave any questions.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    1

    Red face Homeschooler with four children and a night job

    hey there. I started homeschooling my son as soon as he turned 5 and was ready for school. I have always believed that the public school system is a very harsh one with no "God". I wanted my children to have the absolute best so I knew from the beginning that I would homeschooling. When my daughter turned 5, however, it became much more difficult for me to homeschool 2 children only 1 grade apart, as well as raising a 3 year old and a baby. I have never really been into school, mainly because my attention span is very short, but like I said, I truly wanted the very best for my kids. So, just in the last few months or so, I have been looking into online schooling that keeps my records for me and helps me to get them excited for school each day. I stumbled across this website and had my daughter, who is exactly like me (hates school), try their sample lesson. She not only loved it, but seemed to really catch on mch quicker than I wouldve expected. Now, I am a little old fashioned in that I still believe they need real books and writing so I have decided to do this website as their main curriculum and use some supplemental materials for them to get those things. I'm hoping my chilldren and I really enjoy this and grow closer as a result.

  5. #5
    fairylover's Avatar
    fairylover is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Hsterling25. It's nice to meet you. I find that getting to know your children's librarian is the most helpful thing you can do. Most of us spend many many hours at the library. We also have used Handwriting Without Tears to help with writing issues.
    Kathi Homeschooling Mama to Twelve year old Dakota

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