PDA

View Full Version : New here and new to homeschooling - need some advice and support!



inishmuse
07-01-2010, 01:08 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm thrilled to find this site. I've been thinking about homeschooling my 6 year old daughter for quite a while and am about 95% sure I'll take the plunge this fall. My older son is going into 4th and he thrives at school and has been lucky to have some great teachers.

But my daughter is a mix of very bright and curious (and perhaps gifted - in the creative/insightful/unconventional sort of way - but on the young side emotionally. She also has epilepsy and possibly has some sensory issues that are never bad enough to warrant intervention. To sum up, she's the kind of kid that doesn't fit too well into a traditional classroom. We are in a 'good' school district in CA - however, the emphasis on performance on standards and testing as well as a terrible budget crisis has brought me to the brink with her education. 30 kids in 2nd grade in the fall -- no way she will survive let alone thrive. At the minimum, the classroom space issues will be an issue for her (she has space issues of her own - getting bumped, people to close, etc.).

She's also very extroverted and social. I'm worried that I won't be able to find enough ways to keep her socially stimulated. I have a Ph.D. in Human Development - my husband has a Ph.D. from Stanford - we are not worried about the academics - but it's the social outlet and my sanity that I'm concerned about. OH - and I don't want to be surrounded by Born-Agains at homeschool events!

I only hear great things about HS from HSers - but I would love some authentic feedback. What's the REAL story? Have your run into any problems with homeschooling?

Glad to be here and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone!

Karen in CA

StartingOver
07-01-2010, 03:15 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm thrilled to find this site. I've been thinking about homeschooling my 6 year old daughter for quite a while and am about 95% sure I'll take the plunge this fall. My older son is going into 4th and he thrives at school and has been lucky to have some great teachers.

But my daughter is a mix of very bright and curious (and perhaps gifted - in the creative/insightful/unconventional sort of way - but on the young side emotionally. She also has epilepsy and possibly has some sensory issues that are never bad enough to warrant intervention. To sum up, she's the kind of kid that doesn't fit too well into a traditional classroom. We are in a 'good' school district in CA - however, the emphasis on performance on standards and testing as well as a terrible budget crisis has brought me to the brink with her education. 30 kids in 2nd grade in the fall -- no way she will survive let alone thrive. At the minimum, the classroom space issues will be an issue for her (she has space issues of her own - getting bumped, people to close, etc.).

She's also very extroverted and social. I'm worried that I won't be able to find enough ways to keep her socially stimulated. I have a Ph.D. in Human Development - my husband has a Ph.D. from Stanford - we are not worried about the academics - but it's the social outlet and my sanity that I'm concerned about. OH - and I don't want to be surrounded by Born-Agains at homeschool events!

I only hear great things about HS from HSers - but I would love some authentic feedback. What's the REAL story? Have your run into any problems with homeschooling?

Glad to be here and I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone!

Karen in CA

There will be days when you consider quitting, and some even do.
Days when you play hookie just to go see a new museum exhibit, get a pedicure, or go to the beach.
Days that you will love every moment.
Days you wish there were less outside activities, and days you will wish for more.
But what ever happens odds are that you will look back on the experience fondly.
The time we spend with our children brings a closeness that is unbelievable, in most cases.
Watching those light bulbs switch on, or the wow moments make it worth it.

I am starting on this journey for a second time, and no matter what ups, downs, struggles, toddlers, or teens, I would and am doing it all over again !!! My home is not my own, my life is not my own, everything is educational now. My husband and I struggle to get time alone. But it is the right choice for our family. Not all families are exactly like ours, your homeschooling may look totally different. And it really does get easier as the children get older !

Homeschooling is not for everyone, I will never claim that. But I think it is worth it for most, who have really thought it out, and believe it is best for their family. On good days come here and rave, then rant on the bad days.

pandahoneybee
07-01-2010, 04:10 PM
Welcome to the group Karen! I think that she will do great at home with you, and not to worry about socialization, we don't have a problem finding other homeschoolers or even kids in school to play and socialize with. My oldest had those issues when he was little and I took some classes with him where I was there to pull him out if need be and he slowly stayed for longer and longer. (than we had the other problem, he didn't want to leave) I wish that i had homeschooled him since the beginning I think that we would have been in a totally different level had i took that plunge then!
Keep us updated and make sure to check out the resource page (http://www.secularhomeschool.com/content/192-resources) for any info that might help you get to the 100%!

And I am with Jana~ some days I say to myself what was I thinking! but then again I am so happy we are doing this;) (my neighbor has a son the same age who goes to PS and he doesn't talk to her as much as mine comes to me! (thats a plus in my book)

MamaB2C
07-01-2010, 04:45 PM
but it's the social outlet and my sanity that I'm concerned about. OH - and I don't want to be surrounded by Born-Agains at homeschool events!

As you have an advanced degree in the field, maybe you can tell me if I am off base with my little theory here, and if I am not off base, then I suggest something along these lines for you, LOL.

DS is only 4, but I am running with this so far and would appreciate your input:

Shared interests seem, to me, to be a stronger base for relationships than age, neighborhood, or type of education. With that in mind, I am counting on DS's activities like TaeKwonDo, swimming, and next year 4H, for his social outlets. We will add team sports, and as of last night maybe dance (he expressed an interest in tap dancing), or other activities of interest as opportunities, money and time allow.

He has been in TKD for over a year, and developed his own special friendships. Hiis closest friend from class is a girl that is almost a year older, shy and quiet with most people and on her way to public school....I would never have predicted that or arranged for it, you know? They shared time doing something they both love and built a friendship on their own. That's how I hope it continues to work.

hjdong
07-01-2010, 06:47 PM
I'm in the Inland Empire in CA, which is pretty religious, yet I have still found a good mix of homeschoolers. So, my guess would be that would hold pretty much anywhere in CA (although it may be that better school districts have less of a mix?).

My son is an extroverted only, and we vacillate between overscheduled, too much, having to pull back because I'm worn out and not having nearly enough in the schedule. Honestlly, the social mix has been the hardest part for me in homeschooling - not that he doesn't get any, but the enormous amount of effort I have to put forth to bring everything about. There is no dropping him off, letting him play with 30 kids for a day, and picking him up (exaggerating, but you get the point). It's also very rewarding - I know his friends, the families of his friends, and I am there to help him/watch him navigate the skills of "socialization."

He has found friends at homeschool groups, and we meet them outside of the groups, because honestly, the group is not my thing. Another group we have started attending irregularly; it seems to be a better fit and more open to "come when you can." He also has friends who are ps'ed. You find your way.

I also have my own friends, which sounds obvious, but for me, it's important to have my own, 'I'm a person not just a homeschooler' life and nuture that.

Good luck in your decision making process.

inishmuse
07-01-2010, 07:13 PM
Thank you for all of the feedback.

MamaB2C - to answer your question about the socialization: Perhaps kids in PS's learn better to behave in big groups? But, regarding friendships - I'm not so sure. Looking back on my childhood my closest friend was my cousin who I saw both in and out of school. I think it's also artificial to be in a group of 30 kids 'your age' and have that be considered the best thing for one's socialization. One thing I think we're missing these days is ALL AGES together - learning from the elderly or older kids - like in the days of the one room school house. Is that not also worthwhile socialization.

But, it will be more effort on my part. My son, for example, thrives on the built in social opportunities in school. However, my daughter finds recess overwhelming - over a 100 kids on the playground, one yard duty person and it's up to you to find someone to play with? For her, I think she would do better developing friendships with kids on a one-on-one, small group level.

Thanks again, everyone.

Topsy
07-01-2010, 08:56 PM
Welcome inishmuse!! Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself and share your situation. I wish you the absolute best in your adventure...because that's exactly what it is...an adventure of the highest caliber!! We have a great mix of new homeschoolers and old hats around here, so please don't hesitate to ask any and all questions that you are curious about...you will get some great answers from this crew!! Of course, the final decision has to come down to you, but because you know your daughter better than anyone, I am 100% positive you will make the right one!

It was great to meet you...come hang out with us anytime!

BeverlyM
07-01-2010, 11:21 PM
I am on my second year with my 6 year old daughter. We spent the first year really finding our niche in our area. I knew I would not be able to make this journey without the support of some local folks. I searched and found them. We have absolutely no problem with socialization! As a matter of fact, if I didn't stop myself, I would be doing something every single day with hs groups. I am in Alabama in the middle of the bible belt so I had to set up my own secular yahoo group because there was none, just so I could find others like myself.
I wish you the best of luck!

MamaB2C
07-02-2010, 01:09 AM
Where in Alabama?

Shoe
08-03-2010, 11:30 PM
Karen, welcome to the site, even if I'm very late saying so.


I only hear great things about HS from HSers - but I would love some authentic feedback. What's the REAL story? Have your run into any problems with homeschooling?I'm still new to it, but I haven't had any real problems. That said, there have been a few days when nothing seemed to work, and learning just wasn't happening. But since they don't happen often, I just backed off and took it easy for the day, which seemed to recharge my son's batteries and get things back on track the next day.

Cheers.

InstinctiveMom
08-04-2010, 12:07 AM
Welcome, Karen!

One of the things we were actually pleased with is the adjustment of the social aspect. My boys are only 19 months apart, and have always been close - yet the artificially segregated peer groups at school made it 'wrong' for him to want to play with his little brother. My friend's girls are slightly older and younger than my two, and the problem is more evident. We're not sure if that's a 'girl' thing or a 'length of time in school and subsequent indoctrination into that mindset' thing, but I'm glad we decided to homeschool when we did.

We maintain close peer relationships with a couple of homeschooling friends and the boys' cousins. Their 'peer group' is made up of kids of all ages though, which I think is more indicative of real life. As for opportunities, we've met several homeschooling families at the library (during school hours, any kids there are pretty sure to be homeschooled) and other family-friendly locales during school hours.

I pretty much second everything Jana said - especially this:

My home is not my own, my life is not my own, everything is educational now. My husband and I struggle to get time alone. But it is the right choice for our family. Not all families are exactly like ours, your homeschooling may look totally different. <snip> Homeschooling is not for everyone, I will never claim that. But I think it is worth it for most, who have really thought it out, and believe it is best for their family. On good days come here and rave, then rant on the bad days.

I find that since I am quite literally with the children 99% of the time, it is essential for me to carve out time for myself and develop my own interests outside of the children/house/role of teacher. Though I enjoy my time with my kids - I really, really do - there are definitely days where I'd gladly box them up and send them far, far away if only someone would pay shipping, lol.

Welcome again :)
~h