New to homeschool
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  1. #1
    AJ's Mom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Mar 2014
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    Default New to homeschool

    We are new to homeschool and I'm a little nervous. Any suggestionson how to make things run smoothly?

  2. #2
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
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    TN
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    Default

    Make sure everyone gets enough sleep, appropriate food intake, and adequate exercise. Kids (and parents) who are tired, hungry, and/ or bottled-up-with-energy seldom do their best work.

    Allow yourself and your children time to become acclimated to homeschooling. There are new routines and new roles for both parent and child. Realize that whatever and however you begin homeschooling may not, actually probably won't, be how it looks 6 months from now. This is how it should be, because right now you are exploring and figuring things out. It would be odd if you didn't learn anything new that alters your views and homeschool experience.

    Give you child a chance to detox from the traditional classroom. The length of time often depends on how long the child was in a classroom and the age of the child, but, if you are just starting now, perhaps it is a good time to take a couple of weeks as spring break and just hang out in the local homeschool community. Then, realize that, just like switching schools this time of year, the rest of this year may be more about accomplishing a new relationship and routine than about accomplishing academic things.

    Think about why you are homeschooling, think about reasonable personal and academic goals, and think about how the why and the goals merge together and the different possibilities for how that can look in your home. Then, realize that it isn't going to be that day everyday and that is fine. Some days are like that even in Australia. OTOH- if you find that no day is ever like that, then it isn't a failure. It was a learning experience. You learned one way homeschooling does not work in your home. Go back to the drawing board. Think about why it didn't work. Have you shifted your thinking regarding why you are at home? Were your personal goals out of synch with your personality or your child's? Were your academic goals too light causing disinterest or dawdling, were they too high causing frustration, or were they totally in the wrong ballpark? Relax. Rethink. Kids grow and, even if what you were doing worked at first, it may need to change just to meet the needs of your growing child.

    HTH-
    Mandy
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  3. #3
    mns473k is offline Junior Member
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    Apr 2014
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    IL
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    I started homeschooling very recently. I started with a well planned out "self made" curriculum with a lot of textbooks. It didn't take long to change that up. I wanted to adjust slowly from the institutionalized setting to the home setting. I adjusted as my children showed interest and acceptance to adjustments. Now we do about 75% textbook and 25% hands-on and local field trips. Every week I take a bit of the "formal" away to add a bit more "home."

    This doesn't mean it will work for you. It is working for us, for now. That too, may change.
    We still have our areas to work on, especially math. I am horrible with numbers and it seems to be inherited.

  4. #4
    Alexklaschools is offline Junior Member
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    May 2014
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    Fl
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    Default

    hi,
    I think you should take it easy and get updated yourself on T4L, that will help you in homeschooling, and things will go smoothly.

  5. #5
    HerefordHGS is offline Junior Member
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    Jun 2014
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    IL
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    This will be our first year, and I keep telling myself that patience will be key, and that we'll need time to properly establish a routine that works for us. At this point I'm going to be as flexible as I can while maintaining some sort of rythm so that my negotiation prone second grader won't try and gain too much control over what when where and how we do things.

  6. #6
    vinnys_mom is offline Junior Member
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    May 2014
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    IL
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    We are in our 3rd month of homeschooling and are now starting to establish a format and program. These first months have been review of grades K-5 to make sure we picked up any foundations that were missed while our son was struggling in public school. August 4th we are doing a home assessment to determine if we are going to get him the 5th grade curriculum or the 6th grade curriculum. After cleaning up some foundations in all courses, he's at least at one grade level across the board, which is better than when we started. Now it's just a matter of which to start him on.
    We have decided on the Timberdoodle curriculum with the America the Beautiful Package and then getting LifePac Science and Mavid Beacon Keyboarding Kidz separately. "Tucson Academy" (what we named our homeschool) will officially begin on September 1. It's on the calendar. Our son knows it's coming and what curriculum to expect. Piece by piece we are putting a classroom environment together for him.
    For now it will be the livingroom and his room and the kitchen. We hope to have the basement redone before the end of the year with some ideas we found on Pinterest (gutters for book racks, cube wall with built in table and whiteboard, school supplies organized in an over the door shoe holder).
    One day at a time! That's what we live by!

    ~Laurie

  7. #7
    mns473k is offline Junior Member
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    Apr 2014
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    IL
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    Default We are new at this also

    I recently took two of my girls out of public school (ages 12 and 8). That's when I realized that a complete curriculum set up to work all subjects at their supposed grade wasn't going to work. There was so much they had never covered and many things they were simply not picking up on in the public setting.

    I created our homeschool curriculum out of a variety of text and hands-on sources.

    So far what I have found out is...

    1. Nothing is set in stone.
    2. Patience. Have a lot of it.
    3. Try and don't be afraid to fail... it's not really a failure. It's simply a discovery of what will not work for you, your child(ren), and/or your situation.
    4. Find support. This, for me, is the hardest part. I have yet to find a support group in my area that is not religious based study.
    5. Just because your child is in X grade does NOT mean that's the material that is appropriate for that child. They may not have the previous grade material down to even start at that level or they may be bored out of their mind with that material. I've ran into both. Both of my girls are two grade levels behind on math. My oldest is three grades ahead in literature. My youngest is two grades ahead in geography.
    6.Plan everything. Now change it. Now change it again. Be flexible and plan ahead if your child needs additional time on something or in case your child picks up on it quickly.
    7. Break up harder subjects with something fun. You may not need to do this but I found it extremely helpful. Art now separates Math and Science.
    8. Be creative. Learning can be fun now. If your child has a hard time with something, make a game out of it. Soon you will find your child wanting to learn and they are clueless that the game they love so much is a teaching tool.
    9. Learn with your child. We chose to learn Japanese as a foreign language. I hadn't even seen Japanese characters before this. My girls love that mom is learning with them.
    10. Incorporate subjects when you can. When we study Japanese we can also make it into an Art project. When my youngest studies Math, we take a trip and try to calculate how much our trip has cost. Just the grocery store can be a learning experience.
    11. Include fun time and exercise daily. Don't let them get bored or frustrated or get full of energy with no outlet.
    12. Utilize your local library. This is one of the most important ones I have discovered. It can be a life saver. More information than you could imagine and it's free or at least cheap. Reference books and audio-books are great!
    13. A membership to a museum is advisable. It's a field trip, a learning experience, and time away from textbooks. It also lets your child(ren) explore what he/she is interested in. This can also help you plan future exercises and topics of study.

    Some, all, or none of this may work for you. It's trial and error. Use several methods to see what works best. A blend may work better.

    Hope this was helpful.

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