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  1. #1
    gina zingaro is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default New user/Intro

    Hi,
    My name is Gina. My husband and I have three grown sons ages 26, 24, and 22, all homeschooled and we also have three young daughters ages 8, 71/2, and 6 that have joined our family through adoption. The two oldest girls have been with us for six years and the youngest one just came home last September. All three girls were adopted from China.

    We have been doing a relaxed, a very relaxed style of homeschooling for over a year now using a curriculum and I put together myself from all the wonderful resources that are available these days via the internet as well as books I have accumulated over the years. Our three girls are very close in age but, at different points in their learning adventure. Our youngest daughter(6) is still getting a handle on English so she is moving along through Pre-K and Kindergarten work while the other two are working their way through first grade-second grade work, depending on the subject.


    I found myself being pulled in too many different directions and decided to start using T4L for my oldest daughter so that she could move on in her learning while I worked with the other two girls a little bit more. I plan to use T4L for all three girls as soon as I can figure out how to use all this wonderful learning material that is available in T4L .


    I am still reading through all the FAQ's, helpful tips and parent forums. I am sure I will have questions on how to streamline managing three kids with this curriculum. For now, I will just be quietly overwhelmed and hope that I am just over thinking it all. One would think that homeschooling the second time around, as an older and wiser mom, it would be a little simpler but, it is just as overwhelming as the first time, with all the new resources and approaches that are available to us to teach our kids at home. Wonderful and overwhelming.

    Coming around again...


    Gina

  2. #2
    Car
    Car is offline Junior Member
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    Default Feeling the same

    Hi, Gina...I'm new to Homeschooling and am feeling very overwhelmed. I'm what one might call an "Accidental Homeschooler" in that I just don't find the schools..Public, Charter or otherwise...that good here in AZ, also...my child was written up for not completing an activity ontime...He's a perfectionist and is afraid to put down the wrong answer...He's such a good child...even the Principal who wrote him up said so...and admitted he didn't do anything wrong..and that they only did it in hopes he'd move along more quickly...but it left him feeling really bad about himself...He used to love learning and I can see that joy he had disappearing right before my eyes...I never want him to lose his love for learning...It was Heartbreaking and I know my youngest...3rd grade...is not learning anything even though his grades say otherwise....I'm having a hard time finding a Support Group. I guess feeling Overwhelmed is normal..at least...I hope it is and that it gets easier with time....Car

  3. #3
    gina zingaro is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Hi Car,

    It is a great undertaking when one decides to homeschoool ones children so, being overwhelmed goes with the territory...at first. Once you settle on what method works best and what materials work best for your child it becomes more comfortable and you become more confident. Once you see your child start to master new things and move on, you become sure that you are doing as good of a job, if not better, than any school ever could. There isn't any the "extra" stuff that wears and tears on some kids and extinguishes their sparkle. Homeschooling has been the hardest thing I have ever done and one of the most rewarding things. The results have been worth every moment I spent worrying about it and every minute I put into making it work.

    The one thing that helped me to know we were on the right path was how other adults we came in contact with in our daily lives would interact with my sons. The professionals, coaches, other parents at gatherings or sport activities, the encounters always ended with the same question. My sons would inevitably be asked, "So, where do you go to school?" and they would answer that they were homeschooled. People would always remark on what wonderful boys they were and what a pleasure it was to talk with them. This has continued into their adult life. They are not talkers or chatty in any way either. They are just good, decent hard working young men and it does not take people very long to see a quality in them that is missing in most young people today. They are confident and take charge, and informed. They know there is nothing they can't master given a reasonable amount of time. People always want to know where that comes from. I think it comes from being homeschooled. I too saw the life and sparkle being sucked out of my "good, quiet, hardly know they are there" children in the school system. I was very active in the school even with three kids there at once I manage to help out in each classroom at one time or another. I saw first hand what my kids were dealing with while trying to learn. The public school system might work fine for other kids and that is all well and good but, my kids as I knew them, were disappearing before my eyes. I took all three out of school and bought a boxed curriculum and started to school them at home. They hated their boxed curriculum but, they did it and learned and moved on. As I became more confident and aware of the many other way one could put together a curriculum I started to do it myself. Since Arizona is a very homeschool friendly state, there is no yearly testing or records to keep to submit anywhere. The proof is in the pudding so to speak. We managed to get through it all and it was a wonderful experience. It is amazing how much faster the material gets covered without all the other stuff that goes with actually leaving the house and going to school. I always keep a copy of the Scope and Sequence (I printed mine off of World Book, online) as a guide to be sure we are covering what is thought to be necessary at each grade level. Sometimes, they didn't learn WHEN things they were suppose to learn them but, they learned it eventually. When someone asked them something they didn't know I told them, do not reply, "I don't know." rather reply, "I have yet to learn that." because you can always learn more tomorrow if the desire and curiosity to learn more things has not been sucked out of you.

    All that rambling was to be shorter, sorry about that. I wanted to encourage you first and foremost but, secondly, I wanted to give you this link to the many different, some better than others, homeschool groups.

    Arizona Homeschool Groups, Events, & Activities

    I do not know where you live in AZ. I am in Northeast Phoenix. I have not been active in any H.S. groups for over 12 years so I am sure there have been many changes. There certainly are many , many more groups out there now that 12 years ago. This will give you a starting point at least to see if there is a group in your area. We belonged to several groups in the beginning of our homeschooling adventure. It takes time to find a group that is a good fit to age and interests of your child(ren). This is its own adventure ;o) . We did the group thing for a few years and the group trips and group rates for activities we a nice thing. I don't think we would have done half the things we did without the group because of the cost of things and the size of our family. Eventually,we just started doing our own thing as our boys got older. They had each other for company and we liked to up and go on our own time line. I will try a group with my girls some day. We are still recovering from our adoption adventures at the moment. We did three adoptions and three trips to China and back over the last five years and we're TIRED! Our girls are settling into our family and learning at an amazing rate. They each have a special need but that has not stopped them in any way. I get starting to get the same reactions from people when they speak to my girls. "Where do you go to school?" they will say. The same pleasantly surprised expression followed by, "Well, it was a pleasure talking to you!" and because they are all still little peanuts, "They are so cute and so BRIGHT!" Exactly! And I aim to keep them that way!

    So, I am 50 and tired but, home schooling is my first priority. It is the most important thing I do. I wish more people could or would do it. I am glad you are doing it and some day you will look back and be thankful that you stepped in and saved you child's sparkle. It will serve him well in the future when he is walking among all the dullards that come out of a school system that is more broken than not.

    Gina

  4. #4
    Car
    Car is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for replying back, Gina...I appreciate it very much...I'm in North Phx near Happy Valley and the I-17..I've contacted many Support groups and I've either not heard back (two to three weeks ago) or they just are no longer in existence so I guess we'll go it alone for now (which is why I really appreciated hearing from you).

    I'm nearing 50 years old, also, and have adult children who, unfortunately, went thru the Public School system..and what were deemed "Excelling" schools...and they always got good grades...but I realized something was really wrong when they were unable to help their fifth grade younger brother with homework.

    Not much longer after that..I found out from a teacher that basically all they are doing is Teaching to the Test and there is hardly, if any, actual retention of material...which I witnessed first hand when my Older, straight A's, Publicly and Chartered educated High School Graduate children were lost on the 5th grade homework...I'm determined not to make that mistake with my remaining younger son.

    Now were over two weeks into it and my younger son..who used to LOVE School, does not want to go back, and the best thing for me is thatI can see for myself and make sure he knows and understands and is retaining what is being taught..that and the smile on his face..I just really regret I didn't do this 20 years ago with my older children...but I do realize back then...it was barely heard of....I had never heard of it..If I could do it over again with them I would never have them step foot in a school...Charter or Public (two went thru "Excelling"..and I use that term loosely...Charter Schools with the same results).

    The Spark is back in my youngest child's eyes and his love of learning is back...Full Force

  5. #5
    Lena's Avatar
    Lena is offline Member
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    Just wanted to pop in and say hi to my fellow Arizonans. I'm in the northwest valley. I know of 2 groups-on is in Surprise-called Home Educators of Surprise and the other is up at Christ Church of the Valley which may be closer to you. I'm sure if you google them both you can find info. I'm a newbie too and loving it, so far! I've never been so busy and overwhelmed, but am finding it worth it too.

  6. #6
    Messanayah is offline Junior Member
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    I am feeling the exact same way! Wow! I home schooled last year but my baby is in the 7 th grade an she is special needs. Its so overwelming I want her to receive the best education she can get but wow...I cant seem to get this together! I am so grateful for the support groups you have here...the worksheets and downloadable content make it so much easier. But we are struggling still Does any one know of any online tutoring programs that arent super exspensive?

  7. #7
    Car
    Car is offline Junior Member
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    Hi, Lena...and thanks...I replied back but i guess it didn't get posted.

    How many children are you homeschooling and at what age...My 11 year old is in a College Prep school, which is extremely difficult...but he loves it and wants to stay. My 8 yr old..whom I am Home Schooling...never wants to go back to regular school...He learns differently..so for him..this is the best option.....I'm still suffering from anxiety...but I know he's better off with me teaching him than being left behind or just "Teaching to the Test" and then forgetting everything....I have School teachers in my family..so of course...they think I'm making the biggest mistake...But looking at how far my son has come in 3 short weeks...I know I'm not.

  8. #8
    Lena's Avatar
    Lena is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car View Post
    Hi, Lena...and thanks...I replied back but i guess it didn't get posted.

    How many children are you homeschooling and at what age...My 11 year old is in a College Prep school, which is extremely difficult...but he loves it and wants to stay. My 8 yr old..whom I am Home Schooling...never wants to go back to regular school...He learns differently..so for him..this is the best option.....I'm still suffering from anxiety...but I know he's better off with me teaching him than being left behind or just "Teaching to the Test" and then forgetting everything....I have School teachers in my family..so of course...they think I'm making the biggest mistake...But looking at how far my son has come in 3 short weeks...I know I'm not.
    My kids are 7 (8 later this month) and 4. I'm brand new to this....we started this school year in Sept. I'm loving it. I do worry about "am I doing enough" or "am I failing my kids" but I know this is the right way for us, for now. We'll see what develops next, but for now, it's one day at a time.

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