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Old 08-05-2007, 07:55 PM   #1
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Question New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

I want to HS our 10 yrs old(5th) and our 8 yr old(3rd) kiddos this next school year. Hopefully more if it works out for us and I can balance it all. The kids are very eager to try this.

Ok, so I don't know where to begin. I am embarrassed to say, I have no idea which curriculums would work best for them. They have been in private school and are both sharp and we've never had issues with them struggling in any subjects. In the past they work on the homework the teacher assigns and get it done without any problems.

We are in NC and I know there are other HS families here, we just don't know them, yet. So, I have no idea what to start with, any suggestions?

I don't want to purchase the wrong curriculum and then have trouble with it and have to replace it. We don't have the extra money to waste on trying out different things. I have read about this Math U See program and it sounds interesting but I don't know what else to use.

How do I know that I am getting all the info my kids need to them? Is there some sort of progress test they take to be sure I am doing a good enough job getting the material across? My education isn't in Education.

Also, as long as I am going.... How do those of you with multi age groups in the home get it all done without interruptions? We have a 2.5 and 10 month old as well that are constantly underfoot and require a TON of attention.

Oh, and what is unschooling? I have seen that in a siggie or two and I am unfamiliar with that term.

Thanks Mammas!

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Old 08-05-2007, 08:02 PM   #2
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

I just posted a website I made just for people like you. It's at homeschool.mandikaake.com If you have ANY questions at all please feel free to pm me on here or use the e-mail address I have listed on the site. I want to make it very user friendly for first time homeschool mom's through seasoned homeschool mama's.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

Thank you MandiKaake, I'll check it out.

Good info. Thanks, it gives me a place to start. Wish me luck!!!
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:16 AM   #4
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

First I would check out www.hslda.org to see what the laws for homeschooling in NC are. Requirements for attendance and record keeping vary from state to state.

Also go to your local library and look for books on homeschooling and learning styles. If you can figure out how your children learn best it will be easier to put together a curriculum that will work for them. Be aware that there will be a period of time needed to "deschool" your children. I didn't buy into that much when I took my son out of PS last year in third grade, but it took him about 6 months to lose the PS mindset. He expected HSing to be mindlessly filling in workbooks and not much more since that was all that was expected of him at PS. Try not to get too frustrated if it takes a few months to get into a routine that works well for everyone.

As for testing, I personally do not like standardized testing. I am required by GA law to test my son every three years. I do not get hung up on what he needs to know for the test. There is a lot of "teaching to the test" that goes on in traditional schools, which is not necessarily the best way for kids to learn. There are sites such as http://www.coreknowledge.org/CK/resr...sons/index.htm that you can use as a guide to what they should be covering each year.

For information on unschooling, check out http://www.unschooling.com/. You will find that there are many different ways to homeschool your kids. You can choose to follow one particular path, or pull from several different ideas to make your own. Read as much as you can about as many different styles as possible and you'll find one that feels comfortable to you.

Most importantly, try not to stress too much! You mentioned that your kids are on board with homeschooling and that is the first hurdle. It will be trial and error for awhile, but just remember that the focus is to make learning enjoyable. If something doesn't work the way you want it to, tweak it a bit or just scratch it all together. Our whole family is involved with the homeschool process and now that we are past the initial obstacles, we are having a blast. My son actually enjoys learning now and my husband and I are enjoying teaching him and learning new things ourselves.

We also have a toddler (2yo) underfoot while we try to school. We basically plan our school schedule around the baby's schedule. In the mornings when the baby is happy playing by himself for a bit, Hunter and I work on subjects where he needs one-on-one attention, such as math or history. When the baby needs a bit more attention, Hunter does some independent studies. When Hunter does crafts, the baby sits at the table with us and colors. We do things such as science experiments when the baby is napping. This was also a trial and error point for us. It still changes as the baby's needs change, but we try to be flexible as much as possible.

There are tons of resources available online, make Google your friend for awhile. If you need anything, feel free to pm me.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

Thank you H&JSMOM. I appreciate your response and the links.
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:24 PM   #6
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

The free product of the week this week at homeschoolestore.com is an ebook about successful homeschooling. You have to register, but it is free and they will send you weekly emails with their current free product.

http://www.homeschoolestore.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=483

Also, try checking Yahoo groups or MSN groups to see if there is a group of homeschoolers in your area. I've gotten some awesome ideas from various Yahoo groups and have also been able to find a local homeschool support group.

I have a bunch of links saved somewhere, if I find them I'll post them here.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:14 AM   #7
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

If your kids are burnt out (because of school) you may want to spend a year deschooling them.

Here is an essay by Sandra Dodd on deschooling. She is an unschooler. Her kids are almost all grown up and have been unschooled all their lives.
http://sandradodd.com/deschooling
Here is her site
www.sandradodd.com/unschooling

Here is the wikipedia version
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deschooling

Plus many, many more. Just type deschooling into your search engine.

We are unschoolers (for 3+ years and I have tried some curriculums, always going back to unschooling because it works for my family) so if you lean toward that, let me know and I will answer questions that I am able to.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:20 AM   #8
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Re: New to HS and need some(MAJOR) direction please!

One more thing, you may want to look at the different types of homeschooling.

There is a decent list on this page
http://www.chasesc.com/types.html

Oh, and a book that might help you out immensely is The Way They Learn by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. It gave me great insight as to what type of learners my kids are and why they do some of the things that annoy me the most. Turns out it really isn't to JUST annoy me, lol!

HTH!
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