New Family with questions.....
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    myjordash is offline Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default New Family with questions.....

    Hi, I have actually been reading this forum for a while, several months, but didn't know I could actually post before joining. I am waiting till August to officially join and start homeschooling my children.

    It has been a very tough decision for me. I have 3 children that I love very much, and I hate to see them upset and frustrated. We have had alot of that the past few years at public school. My daughter is 8 yrs old, she is a VERY social little girl, and she cried when school ended two days ago, so upset that she would miss all her friends. That totally broke my heart. I am committed to taking her to the public school for after-school extra curricular activities such as Violin, Physical Fitness, Art Club, and Sign Language, so that she will continue to be able to interact with her friends. She is also going to take 3 hrs of dance per week, and Karate. These are all things I don't believe she would be able to do in Public School due to the amount of home work they are assigned, and the hours spent studying. I also have a son who is 6 yrs old and entering 1st Grade. He is a very sensitive and shy child. He had a horrible first 1/2 of year and public school. He was Verbally Abused by his teacher who told him he was "BAD", broke his crayons, screamed in his face, and refused to send him to the office when he started with Asthma this year and was having trouble breathing. I took my concerns to the Principal, and they were ignored until I threatened to withdraw him from school. They then agreed to put him in a new class, which he LOVED the last 3 months of school. The previous 6 months was pure hell. I have been struggling with my decision to homeschool for a long time. Each year I have given Public School, one more chance, and each year I have regretted it. This year I am taking the plunge, and praying that it turns out to be the right decision for our family. Right now I am full of anxiety and nerves.....it is such a big change, and not familiar territory for me or anyone else I know. I have convinced most of my family that were once skeptical, that it IS the right decision for us. I also have a very active 2 yr old boy, and would like to have another child in the future. So, I know I have my hands full, but after reading on here, it seems that alot of people that homeschool have multiple children of different ages.....right?

    So here are some of my questions:

    Do I have to have a computer for each child? I know I read that you don't have to, but we are going to use this as our curriculum, and it IS computer based, and I would like my children to both do their school between 8 and 1, so would that mean that they WOULD each need their own computer?

    Where do you have your children work? I originally was going to have both children working in one room, and I was going to stay in there to oversee, help, and make sure they are on track. BUT, would it be better to have them each set up workstations in their own rooms? That way the sound from one, isn't distracting the other child? And having the 2 yr old? I did read where it was suggested to use headphones, but can that sometimes damage the children's hearing? To be wearing headphones every day? Please help, as this is weighing heavy on my mind.

    How quickly do you move through lessons. I saw in a recent post that *I* should decide what level they should be on, is that referring to GRADE level? How often should we be doing Social Studies? Science? Math? Reading? Should we complete a lesson a day in each subject per day?
    Do the lesson plans guide you through what you need to do each day? Does it work in writing skills, printing vs. cursive at an age appopriate time, or is this something *I* need to teach them, at an age I feel is appropritate?

    I would really like everything to be laid out, so that I don't have to worry about letting something slip thru the cracks. I am afraid that I will forget to teach my children something they need, like my daughter is in 4th grade and doesn't know how to write in cursive yet. Do they ever do reports, like book reports? Are these things *I* need to have them do on my own, or do they get worked into the lesson plans at appropritate ages.

    When my youngest is ready for Kindergarten, will this system teach him how to read? Or is that something I need to teach on my own?

    These are all things that worry me, have been keeping me up at night. I wish i could just start now, because I am sure once I get involved, all my questions will be answered, but I want my children to have their much deserved break from school. I want them to be excited to start our new program in August, and I am afraid if I start now, they will lose that excitement.

    Any help is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to being a very active member in the near future!

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    6,892
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    Welcome to the forum. Choosing to homeschool is a big decision, but it sounds as though you have made the decision. When problems arise in your home school, remember that there were also problems in public school. If your children decide that they don't like homeschooling, remember that there were times they didn't like public school either. Since you have made the decision, proceed with confidence. This will give your children confidence, too.

    Homeschooling takes far less time than public or private school. This is mostly because of "crowd contorl" issues (no waiting in line to wash hands before lunch, no waiting for other children to finish before proceeding to the next activity, etc.) At your children's ages, the "computer" part of their school work may only take a couple of hours (or less, for your six-year-old) per day. Many families share one computer.

    Many families homeschool with several children of various ages. Studies show the average homeschooling family is 2 1/2 times as large as the average American family. Where to do school, how to deal with your two-year-old, and how close to stay to their work area are all logistical matters that will work themselves out once you start . . . I promise! You can spend all summer planning and see those plans evaporate the first day. Don't expect for everything to go smoothly and on schedule from Day One. In fact, expect to spend the first few months exploring options. Your children will still learn . . . and even if they didn't, they have many years to catch up.

    Time4Learning does not teach penmanship. There are many good, inexpensive programs out there. At http://www.learningpage.com , you can find free penmanship practice pages. You have to register, but the site is free. My personal favorite penmanship program is Handwriting Without Tears.

    Time4Learning does teach about book reports in the language arts extensions at several grade levels.

    Many children have learned to read using Time4Learning as their core reading curriculum. I would hesitate to guarantee that "this system will teach him how to read", because no textbook or computer program will do the job all by itself. Children will always require a teacher or tutor to provide extra practice and to clarify things they find confusing. Time4Learning provides excellent phonics and reading instruction that your child can mainly do independently. Do have him read aloud to you and spend non-school time practicing reading concepts in a casual way. Have you read about the Reading Skills Pyramid?

    How often to do each subject and how much to do each day depends a lot on the grade level your child is working at. Generally, you divide the total number of lesson activities by the number of school days in your school year and do about that many per day. I and others on this board will be happy to give you more specific guidance in scheduling once you begin.

    Yes, you decide which level to start your child. The levels do correspond to grade levels, but many children are working at levels over or under what might be expected for their age. This is true in public schools, too. A fifth grader may be working at a third grade level in math and a sixth grade level in language. This variation is normal and children usually learn more effectively when they are allowed to proceed at their own pace. (I'm talking about the pace they are ABLE to proceed at . . . not necessarily the snail pace some would LIKE to proceed at. )

    No child will ever finish any educational program knowing everything there is to know. Each school focuses on different things. Some teach music, some don't. Some have a terrific art program and some hand out coloring pages once a week. Some teach geography in fourth grade and others don't teach it in any detail until high school. You really can make these kinds of decisions without feeling like you are adversely affecting your students. You might not teach the exact same things as the public school, but that doesn't make your program inferior . . . just different.

    We are here to answer your questions. Also, spend some time reading the Welcome to Homeschooling Guide and this thread about how others supplement Time4Learning lessons.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    myjordash is offline Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    THANK YOU! I will check out those links. Do you mind if I ask where you have your kids set up? Do you use the headphones? Do you see any negatives/positives to having them set up in the same room vs. different rooms? I tend to be an over-thinker, and I am sure once we get into a groove, all my questions will be answered, it is just so hard to sit and wait for the summer to be over so we can start. Usually I am DREADING the Summer coming to an end because that is when the problems begin, the children bombarded with work, the running around from one activity to another, and being up all hours of the night to try and finish the assignments that my children don't even know how to do. I KNOW we will not have these issues going forward. I am just so anxious to get started on our NEW program!

    You suggested that I take all the lesson plans for the year, divide them, by the number of days of school, and start from there.....I cannot access these plans before joining, is that correct?

  4. #4
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    OR
    Posts
    6,892
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    The new, information-rich lesson plans can only be accessed by logging in as a parent after you have signed up. You can get a general idea by clicking on the Lesson Plans link at the top of this page and then selecting the subject and grade level from the menu on the left. In many cases, new activities were added to these "old" lesson plans without updating the activity count, so you will need to count the activities yourself.

    Our "set-up" is not typical. The computers in our home outnumber our family members. My children work on their Time4Learning lessons in their own rooms. I go in and sit with them during some subjects. My children have been homeschooled from the start and are accustomed to working independently. I have had to have one or two of them right under my nose to keep them on track occasionally.

    Your children may find each other's presence motivating, or they might distract each other. This could even change from day to day. As you can see, I am encouraging you to be very flexible. Homeschooling doesn't resemble "school at home", although most new homeschoolers try to start out that way. The ability to change depending on your child's needs is one reason homeschooling works so well.

    Many families share one computer. One child works at the computer while the others work on penmanship, practice music lessons, do parent-required reading, write in a journal, and so forth. Then, they switch off.

    I'm looking forward to hearing about your journey! Many users are very eager to get started. I might suggest that you sign up a couple of weeks in advance (take advantage of the free trial) and spend quite a bit of time exploring the lessons yourself. If you do not complete the lessons, they will not affect your student's reports. Here is information on how to avoid completing lessons.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  5. #5
    MamaMary's Avatar
    MamaMary is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Fl
    Posts
    1,336
    Blog Entries
    8

    Default

    Dear Myjordash,

    Welcome! I want to encourage you that homeschooling is the BEST thing EVER! We are beginning our 11th year. What state are you in? I encourage you to find your state homeschool support group.

    Here in Florida we have the Florida Parent Educators Association. They are a state support group that has links for all our local and county support groups. I belong to a homeschool co-op with 200 homeschoolers. We meet on Friday's from 8:15-21:30 for 11 weeks in the fall and 11 weeks in the spring.

    We purchased Noise Canceling headphones from SONY and they really help my boys.
    Mary, Child of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! Wife to best friend and Mama to her four boys 91, 96, 00, 02, Homeschooling since 1998! Come visit us on our blog! http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

  6. #6
    adelenpaul is offline Member Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Des Moines, Iowa
    Posts
    88

    Default

    First off, welcome and a friendly wave! I completely relate to that feeling of trepidation when starting homeschooling. However after eight years now, I feel incredibly blessed. Having said that, give yourself some grace and listen to your children. If it's not working, don't be afraid to switch things up or adjust so it works for you (both student AND teacher).

    My daughter does her schoolwork in the living areas. The computer is in between the living room and kitchen. She sits at the dining room table usually doing any seatwork. I am normally in one of the three rooms to address any questions. Dd is almost 11yo, if that helps at all. She does not typically use headphones but I think they'd be a good idea for her. She gets sooo distracted! I wouldn't think headphones would be a problem as long as the volume is carefully monitored and not too loud.

    Blessings as you research, plan and prepare. It's easy enough to add in handwriting practice. Be sure and do a LOT of reading together. Either you read out loud or listen to books on tape. You can cover a lot through literature naturally (history, science, arts, character building, cultures, etc.). If you do nothing else, I would encourage you to read, read, read!

    Blessings, Adele

  7. #7
    myjordash is offline Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MamaMary
    Dear Myjordash,

    Welcome! I want to encourage you that homeschooling is the BEST thing EVER! We are beginning our 11th year. What state are you in? I encourage you to find your state homeschool support group.

    Here in Florida we have the Florida Parent Educators Association. They are a state support group that has links for all our local and county support groups. I belong to a homeschool co-op with 200 homeschoolers. We meet on Friday's from 8:15-21:30 for 11 weeks in the fall and 11 weeks in the spring.

    We purchased Noise Canceling headphones from SONY and they really help my boys.
    Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I am in Florida too, in West Palm Beach, I was referred by Palm Beach County Schools to contact Parent's Education Children. PEC, is that the same organization you belong to? Where are you located? Do you have your children working in one area of your home, or in different rooms? Just wondering. My daughter says she would rather work alone, but she is also the one most easily distracted, and I wonder if that is why. I am still struggling with THAT decision....LOL! I know, this is probably the easiest of all the decisions I will be making in the upcoming months. I am still so excited to get started, but for now we are REALLY enjoying our Summer!

  8. #8
    myjordash is offline Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adelenpaul
    First off, welcome and a friendly wave! I completely relate to that feeling of trepidation when starting homeschooling. However after eight years now, I feel incredibly blessed. Having said that, give yourself some grace and listen to your children. If it's not working, don't be afraid to switch things up or adjust so it works for you (both student AND teacher).

    My daughter does her schoolwork in the living areas. The computer is in between the living room and kitchen. She sits at the dining room table usually doing any seatwork. I am normally in one of the three rooms to address any questions. Dd is almost 11yo, if that helps at all. She does not typically use headphones but I think they'd be a good idea for her. She gets sooo distracted! I wouldn't think headphones would be a problem as long as the volume is carefully monitored and not too loud.

    Blessings as you research, plan and prepare. It's easy enough to add in handwriting practice. Be sure and do a LOT of reading together. Either you read out loud or listen to books on tape. You can cover a lot through literature naturally (history, science, arts, character building, cultures, etc.). If you do nothing else, I would encourage you to read, read, read!

    Blessings, Adele
    Thank you for the welcome, and the advice! I just purchased from their local school, Reading Text Books, for each grade level, from Kindergarten to 5th Grade. They were getting new books in, and selling the old ones. I will definitely be adding a story a day from those books into our routine. I think you are right, that I NEED to be flexible, and listen to the children. I am right now so focused on staying organized and keeping the children up to par with the Public School, that if anything, I may push them to hard, and that is NOT my intention, THAT is one of the many reasons I want the homeschooling, I am just so afraid of failing my children and them falling behind, that is my biggest fear. I have so many people WATCHING me this year, judging me, that I do feel like i am under a lot of pressure to make sure I do everything RIGHT.....kwim?

    Having a 2 yr old, and wanting another baby, I think those headphones sounds like a MUST HAVE....I will start looking for some now.

    Thanks again for all the advice!

  9. #9
    myjordash is offline Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    That should have said "a story a WEEK, not a story a day...." we will work on each story for one week, and read it daily.

  10. #10
    Carylin is offline Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    17

    Default Newbies getting started ~some answers and encouragement

    I thought I would chime in here. I have advised newbies to homeschooling often and the two biggest worries seem to be socialization and keeping up with the public schools.
    I have hs'ed my 5 kids over the past 20+ yrs. starting when it was not as common and there were very little resources available. Today there is so much available- especially fine programs like T4L- and lots of internet, library, free and even "school in a box" programs that make it lots easier and the education of each child can move along thoroughly and joyously. Relax! Did I say relax!!
    Your children sound delightful and very able to signal to you what is working or not working for them. Try to be flexible in your day to day approach as others have said. All of life can be about learning. You know more than you realize - and they can and will learn what they need to. (After all parents are their children's first teachers. They teach them to eat with a spoon, tie their shoes, ride a bike etc..) Think of homeschooling as a lifestyle... like a farmer or an astronaut with goals in mind...like feeding animals or doing space experiments and don't focus on what the public schools are doing. The 'scope and sequence' of almost any curriculum will do that for you. You don't need to worry about it. Observe your kids and adapt accordingly with short term goals in mind (improve spelling, learn cursive).
    Your questions:
    >>Do I have to have a computer for each child?
    >>Where do you have your children work?
    Some families have successfully worked with everyone (including baby) around the kitchen or dining table. Because of the natures , sex and age difference of my different kids this did not work for us unless we were working together on a project- cooking, making a map, experiments. We would often snuggle up in one room for read alouds or 'show and tell'. When using online curriculum- each one having their own time at the computer and eventually their own laptops worked best. We only used headphones when traveling in the car. (Actually having extra noise helped them learn to focus and concentrate even more when needed-- think video game arcade. and they could politely request their siblings to be considerate and lower the volume)
    Using a laptop also was fun for my dyslexic/adhd child because he could work on the floor, in the backyard or under my watchful eye when needed.
    >>How quickly do you move through lessons? As fast or slow as you wish.
    >>Do the lesson plans guide you through what you need to do each day? Yes- I have found T4L's lesson plans to be well laid out. You can do them just as they are (easy for newbies) or tweak them when necessary.
    We called the T4L activities "bubbles" because they are shown on the child's main subject screen in circles that the child can follow with an arrow pointing to the next one and completed ones marked off. Very easy to follow and everything done each day is kept track of in records. (Even the minutes- so if a bubble took too long or was 20 sec. I knew that area needed more work or was skipped over.)
    >> I wish i could just start now >>but I want my children to have their much deserved break from school Here's a suggestion - have 'summer camp' at home with time for nature walks, crafts or cooking and computer time (learning) Use some online sites like brainpop.com or spellingcity with educational games,animated videos, quizzes etc. You can then observe how long it takes them to do an activity, how they interact and work with each other around, which subjects hold their interest and which need your input. That way you can ease in to the school year with your concerns answered and excitement still up. Enjoy your journey!
    My oldest child is now a doctor! just graduated from medical school. One is a financial manager and has built a Jeep from scratch into a "rock-climber" and another is a feature film director/filmmaker. My next two are still hs'ing jr.hi (T4L) and high school.
    Still learning along the way-Carylin

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •