New to T4L...from SW Florida.
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Thread: New to T4L...from SW Florida.

  1. #1
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    Feb 2013
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    Smile New to T4L...from SW Florida.

    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
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  2. #2
    stayhomemom is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Welcome! We are new as well. I just started my son yesterday and he LOVES it.

    Glad to meet you!
    Christy
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  3. #3
    katshu2's Avatar
    katshu2 is offline Administrator
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    Hello and welcome, Nora! Glad you and your daughters are enjoying T4L so far! There are so many methods and different ways to homeschool...it's cool to see how T4L fits into so many of those methods, lol. We are almost unschoolers, using T4L in between their projects and experiments. I love feeling comfortable that they are getting their core subjects taken care of, and they actually enjoy using the program. My oldest is in 8th grade right now, and we all are mourning the transition away from Time4Learning lol.

    Christy...hello and thanks for chiming in! Glad you found us.

    Here are a couple of links I'd like to suggest to you both...they are really good resources for new homeschoolers and for those wanting to learn more about the T4L program/site:

    Welcome to Homeschooling Guide by Time4Learning
    Hints & Help - How to Use Time4Learning

    I'd also like to invite each of you to join your state homeschool forum, where you should be able to keep up with homeschool happenings around your state, as well as try and meet other members who are local to you!

    Good luck to you both, and I look forward to hearing how things are going with you guys...
    Katie
    Coffee drinker, gadget addict, proud geek.
    Accidentally homeschooling since 2005!



  4. #4
    lovehmschlg's Avatar
    lovehmschlg is offline Forum Moderator
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    Hi, Nora and Christy.
    I just wanted to chime in and say hello. We're near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
    We've been using T4L a little over 4 years with our dd. She loves it!

    Unschooling with T4L, like Katie says, ensures our kids are getting their core subjects, while still helping our children to explore their own individual interests. I wish T4L went all the way up to 12th grade.

    Hope to see you both around the forums more.

    Janet
    having fun learning with our 3 children (2 high school & 1 elementary, using T4L and T4W)
    Last edited by lovehmschlg; 02-25-2013 at 05:54 PM.

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