View Full Version : Well, we are starting 6th grade today. EEK!

09-05-2012, 12:29 PM
I have no idea what I am doing!! Okay, that is my freakout. Because she has been in school for the past 7 years (pre-K-5th) she is still in rigid school paradigm mode. I plan to start with Math and Science since I have those curriculums ready to go. History will be arriving in the next few days and I have not chosen a LA curriculum. Will be doing vocab and spelling out of the science and history books since I am using Joy Hakim for both and she already includes those. After we get used to doing these core subjects, I will introduce the rest required by the state. The unknown is making itself known today.:confused:

09-05-2012, 06:12 PM
Just chiming in to say I FEEL YOUR FREAKOUT! While not technically a middle schooler yet, we started 5th grade this past month after attending K-4 in PS. My child is still completely in public school mode and I'm anticipating a long transition. Good luck with everything!

Stella M
09-05-2012, 06:49 PM
The thing to remember is that homeschooling older children has its own rewards :) In a lot of ways, it's easier!

Jennifer, have you considered a period of deschooling ? I know you've just had the summer break, but I seem to remember that deschooling was considered seperate to normal school breaks.

09-05-2012, 09:54 PM
I agree with deschooling. It helps to give time to change gears. It can take awhile.

ETA: My now 7th grader was so excited and happy to not being going to school that he jumped right into homeschooling with little effort. My now 4th grader took quite some time to deschool.

09-06-2012, 01:57 PM
Wow! good luck I'm sure you will do great. I will be starting with my ds13 soon and I'm very scared of the math this year!!!

09-06-2012, 02:03 PM
Help! What is deschooling? I am so ready to cry right now. She is being so stubborn and doesn't want to do this now. She wants to go back to her old school, which I refuse to do or the public school. Our MS is ranked pretty low in the state and I think it might be too late to get a variance for the other district. I really want to HS her. I have been preparing all summer and have purchased fun curriculum and I am excited to learn right along with her.

09-06-2012, 02:30 PM
More info: She told me this morning that she wants the structure of school and a "stranger" aka teacher telling her what to do. I did a google search and read a couple of articles on deschooling. I am just not sure how to go about that. My hubs is pressuring me to make sure she "doesn't fall behind" (his words). He is supportive of my choice to HS but he is also in the school mindset.

09-06-2012, 05:21 PM
Hi Jennifer - I've got a sixth grader, too - we're three weeks into our school year. I started homeschooling DD last year for fifth grade. We took the summer off (not sure if that counts as "deschooling", though) - then plunged into our 5th grade curriculum. It really took us over a month to start getting some semblance of a "groove" and to feel more at home as homeschoolers.

DD was not unhappy to be home, but really had a hard time adjusting from the PS mindset.I was just as uptight about things, BTW. :o These kids have spent many, many years learning the rules and regulations of a classroom, and I do think it takes some time to understand they are learning for THEMSELVES - not to please or placate a teacher, or to keep in lockstep with everyone else in the classroom. I can tell you that this new school year has been much easier, and we've both relaxed considerably in our daily and weekly tasks. I think it will be easier as you both grow more comfortable with long-term learning goals and aspirations. Hopefully, your husband will grow more comfortable, as well.

Best of luck with 6th grade!

09-06-2012, 05:42 PM
Thanks for the reassurance Cafdog. It really helps.

It doesn't help that my dad is a retired high school teacher and is expecting me to follow my education training and teach her like I would if she was in a classroom.

Stella M
09-06-2012, 08:16 PM
More info: She told me this morning that she wants the structure of school and a "stranger" aka teacher telling her what to do. I did a google search and read a couple of articles on deschooling. I am just not sure how to go about that. My hubs is pressuring me to make sure she "doesn't fall behind" (his words). He is supportive of my choice to HS but he is also in the school mindset.

Oh Jennifer, that's tough.

If you need to get started, you can just introduce one or two main subject at a time. And make plenty of time for long walks or bike rides or whatever will help your dd settle. Maybe you can explain it to dh as homeschool orientation.

Even schools take a while at the beginning of the year to find out about their students and to settle them in.

Hugs. give it time.

09-06-2012, 09:01 PM
We pulled our DD from PS after the first marking period of 6th grade. We took a few weeks off, but it took a while for her to start to ease out of the rigidity of school. I don't think she really started to feel fully in sync with her new learning environment until the end of the year. There will be growing pains--for you both--and it's ok. It's totally worth those moments of panic when you wonder if you're "doing it right." :) The best moment is when you see that light bulb of understanding go off, their eyes get bright and smiles get huge and it leaves you feeling fantastic because you know you helped them achieve that.

As for your hubs "falling behind" concerns, he might be more comfortable when you start to get into the swing of things and he realizes that you are able to cover a LOT more material (at least that's what our experience has been). If you're like me, you tend to judge how much you will be able to cover in a span of time by how long it took you to get through it in school (or by your child's previous pace in school). Being one-on-one changes the whole paradigm though, believe me!

Maybe you could help create a little of the structure your DD is asking for by sitting down and creating a school schedule that you will follow with her? My DD has adhd and aspergers and has a rough time transitioning from one activity to the next without fair (ok...lots) of warning, so we lay out blocks of time that she's going to work on specific subjects. I know some kids' schedules are a lot more loosey-goosey than ours, but my DD feels more comfortable with a certain amount of structure. Maybe yours will too?

09-13-2012, 10:51 AM
Oh hang in there!

It's been easier for us as we left California to be expats in India. We tried the schools here but they weren't working for my dd. She would never have left her friends in school back at home to homeschool.

Don't worry about falling behind. You've only just started. I've been talking to several homeschoolers from the states out here in India and everyone tells me you can school in about 3-4 hours a day and still finish the year ahead. One mom had to take 4 months off from homeschooling to deal with a family crisis and her kids still finished on time. I hope that eases some of the pressure.

We've been homeschooling for a month now. It's been great so far. I have found the following:

1) It's so much easier to teach in the mornings than getting them to do their homework after a long day at school.
2) Everyone is getting a full night's sleep which is also great.
3) We start off with some light exercise in the morning to wake up brains (but mostly put everyone in a good mood before starting school. They hate it but when we're done they're all happy).
4) We are moving through the materials pretty fast now. We keep doing review to make sure they still have it and so far so good.
5) I allowed my dd to choose some subjects for herself. She is horse crazy so for one of her science units she is studying about horses. She also likes to write but is very disorganized about it. I found a book called Making Revision Matter and I love the idea of it. One of the approaches is to teach the student how to study other authors so they can use similar techniques. She adored the Series of Unfortunate Events so she is very excited to learn how to study how he writes so she can try the same.
6) My enthusiasm to homeschool goes a loooong way.
7) When the school buses arrive where we live bringing back all the other kids who went to a traditional school I tell them they can go and play. That's one of the perks of homeschooling. Before they had to come in to do homework. Now they can run around and play all they want until dinnertime. Oh and we finish about 1pm everyday. (you've got to find the perks and use them!)
8) I couldn't wait to start homeschooling so over the summer we "dabbled". I'd do one thing a day and not everyday. Maybe that was our unschooling but it eased us all into it. (I had to buy everything in the U.S. when we were home on a visit as I can't get any of it here. So I had to figure out what curriculum we were going to use all in advance.)

Ok, I'm very long winded today. I hope that was helpful.

09-13-2012, 04:04 PM
Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is very helpful.

We have had some issues in the past couple of days and I have been doing a lot of crying. My hubs stated yesterday that he wants to put her back in the Christian School because she hasn't been cooperating and getting anything done. Even though she has been doing some math, some warm-up creative writing and we have the first 2 chapters done in Science. So, hubs and I are at odds right now and I am feeling really alone with the decision to HS. DD wants to go back because she misses her friends as well as missing the structure etc. She and I have been talking and she doesn't want to hurt me or her dad with her choices. I feel like we haven't even given it a chance to work yet. I think she has told me she wants to give it a go for 6th and then re-evaluate, but she keeps changing what she wants. I just don't know what to do anymore. :-(

Amanda Mills
09-16-2012, 05:33 PM
we're tackling sixth starting tomorrow, i completely understand :-)
just remember- dont panic
Mom to six- three girls, 3 boys (all boys have asd). 3 in public elementary, 2 home (preschool and sixth) and one senior in public highschool, (was homeschooled 8 years, now possible valedictorian)
(first year homeschooling one sixth grader after a 2 year hiatus - homeschooler all total for 9 years)

Amanda Mills
09-16-2012, 05:35 PM
oh my,
i would suggest, going slowly, starting with her interests and building on

09-17-2012, 04:30 PM
UPDATE: Well, my daughter started back at her school today. She is happy, which is a good thing. I am still not pleased with my hubs, but we will get through that. (yes, he does know. :-D )

Thanks to all of you for your ideas and support.