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    by Published on 10-12-2015 07:45 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    To join the discussion on this subject, head to the original post in the forum.

    You wish for it with every breath. You pray for it to whatever god, rock, or spaghetti monster will listen. You hide in the closet in hopes that you might remember what it sounds like.


    But for the homeschool parent, itís as elusive as Sasquatch or Nessie. Possibly even a figment of your imagination, since you canít remember the last time it actually made an appearance in your house.

    [cut to the inside of my house this morning]
    Iím typing furiously on my keyboard, answering one of the many emails I received since I last logged in. The hubs and my son who still lives at home have both long since left for work. The dogs (both in their twilight years) are lightly snoring on their respective beds. The only sound I hear outside of the clacking of my own fingers hitting the computer keys is the squeak of the mail truck pulling up to the curb. My heart leaps. I jump up excitedly and wave to our carrier from the window. Not because heís brought anything important, mind you, but just because heís there. A hit of the drug I didnít even know I would become addicted to - - human connection.

    Thereís just something about homeschooling, isnít there? Beyond the learning together, the frustrating battles of wills, and the spontaneous laughter. Beyond the financial sacrifices, the messy rooms, and the late night discussions. Itís that connection - - that complicated camaraderie - - that surprises you most. And when the end of it looms near, thereís only so much you can do to prepare.

    But prepare we must. Because Iím convinced there is no empty nest syndrome like Homeschool Empty Nest Syndrome. One minute you are up to your eyeballs in glue sticks, map outlines, and high school transcript drafts. And the next minute you are finding excuses to wake up your dog to have someone to talk to. Those maddening, curious, magnificent kids whoíve turned our lives upside down are going to leave us. What are we supposed to do to be ready for that?

    Trudge through those memories (and STUFF!) together
    Take some family time as their months with you wind down to pare down the homeschool paraphernalia. Going through all those old books, papers, and projects is balm for the soul, a

    by Published on 10-01-2015 01:49 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Secular Homeschooling,
    3. General Homeschooling,
    4. Parenting

    Did you know that October is Anti-Bullying Month or Bullying Prevention Month!

    I know many homeschoolers started homeschooling because of a bullying issue in public school. The boards and groups are full of kids who have had a bullying issue at school. It makes me so sad to read about them.

    My own son was no exception. We became accidental homeschoolers in Fall 2008 due to him being jumped from behind at school by 2 kids. He is a tall, big kid and at the time....only 1 teacher in the whole school was as tall as him. He defended himself, all kids were sent to the principal's office. The 2 kids who started it got off without punishment. My son was suspended for defending himself. It was the last straw and we became homeschoolers! Never looked back!

    Bullying has become such an issue, though I do think it was ALWAYS an issue. Think back to when we were growing up. There was always 1 kid who was the one to avoid, he or she was the school bully. Picking on the younger and weaker or different kids.

    Now, we have cyber bullies, physical bullies, hazing, and pretty much any kind of bullying you can imagine.
    Nobody should be bullied, EVER. ...
    by Published on 09-07-2015 12:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Homeschooling Styles,
    3. Parenting

    Click here to interact with the original forum post.

    You would think homeschooling your second-born would be a given if you are homeschooling your first, right? But even though the special needs of my oldest had necessitated him getting his education at home, I didnít really consider it for my active, happy five year old (who Iíll call ďPĒ). Yes, he was quite speech-delayed, but he had a lot of ear infection troubles as a toddler, and our ped always attributed the delay to that. So with speech therapy and a half-day kindergarten program, we felt like we were right on track with P.

    Until we werenít.

    Only three weeks into the school year, P became lost on a school field trip. He had simply wandered off from the group - - something we had dealt with multiple times in the past, and had again attributed to simple causes. Thankfully, he turned up just down the road from his group, but a couple months into the school year, the speech delays just werenít improving much, and P was getting frustrated at not being able to communicate well with his peers and teachers. And following Christmas, we were having an unexpected sit-down with the school therapist who felt at the minimum he was likely to have dyslexia, and at the maximum, well...just might be on the Autism Spectrum.

    So, upon finishing the one and only school year he ever partook in, we brought P home to be educated at home with his older bro. To boil down the rest of our homeschooling story, Iíll break it down into some major highlights. (And when you read these, do NOT interpret them in any way as advice, but rather just personal choices I/we made which felt right at the time)

    • Because we were homeschooling, I never felt the need to go through an official diagnosis protocol. As his mom, Iím 99% sure heís has ASD, but weíve never applied for special services or even acted as if there were anything he couldnít accomplish because of his unique differences
    • ASD affected just about every aspect of homeschooling P - - from curriculum choices, to schedules,
    by Published on 08-24-2015 03:02 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    To interact with Laura on the original forum post, click here.

    Have experts told you something about your child that you see differently?

    I hesitated at the heavy glass doors of my sonís school. Iíd cheerfully walked in these doors many times. I volunteered here, served on the PTA board, joked with the principal and teachers, even helped start an annual all-school tradition called Art Day. But now I fought the urge to grab him from his first grade classroom, never to return.

    Iíd come in that morning hoping to discuss the angry outbursts my sonís teacher directed at several students, including my little boy. But I entered no ordinary meeting. It was an ambush. Sides had clearly been chosen. The principal, guidance counselor, and my sonís teacher sat in a clump together along one side of the table. Feeling oddly hollow, I pulled out a chair and sat down. Since I led conflict resolution workshops in my working life, I was confident that we could talk over any issues and come to an understanding.

    I was wrong.

    The counselor read aloud from a list of ADHD behavioral symptoms my sonís teacher had been tracking over the past few weeks. My little boyís major transgressions were messy work, lack of organization, and distractibility. The teacher nodded with satisfaction and crossed her arms.

    No one who spent time with him had ever mentioned ADHD before. I breathed deeply to calm myself. I knew it was best to repeat what I was hearing in order to clarify, but the counselor barreled ahead, saying they had a significant ďADHD populationĒ in the school system who showed excellent results with medication.

    After giving the teacher kudos for dealing with a classroom full of children and acknowledging the difficulty of meeting all their needs, I tried to stand up for my child (although I felt like a mother bear defending her cub from nicely dressed predators). I said the behaviors she noted actually seemed normal for a six-year-old boy, after all, children are in the process of maturing and are not naturally inclined to do paperwork. The teacher shook her head and whispered to the principal. The counselor said first grade children have had ample time to adapt to classroom standards.

    I asked if any of my sonís behaviors had ever disrupted the class. The teacher didnít answer the question. Instead she sighed and said, looking at the principal, ďIíve been teaching for 15 years. This doesnít get better on its own. Iím telling you this child can be helped by medication.Ē

    When I asked about alternatives such as modifying his diet the teacher actually rolled her eyes, saying, ďPlenty of parents believe there are all sorts of things they can do on their own. But students on restricted diets donít fit in too well in the lunchroom.Ē

    Published on 08-04-2015 02:47 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. General Homeschooling,
    3. Parenting

    The following webinar excerpt is from the Time4Learning Live webinar series, and the folks at Time4Learning were kind enough to share this organization-related clip with our members. You'll find our own admin Topsy leading the discussion in this one, as she has helped Time4Learning lead their past webinars on topics related to homeschooling and using the Time4Learning curriculum - - both subjects she has a lot of expertise with!

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