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  1. #1

    Default Pulling 6th grader out of public to start homeschooling in March (?)

    Hi all,

    I'm new around here and new to homeschooling. So new that we haven't even started yet! My 6th grade daughter is miserable in public school. She has ADHD and really struggles. Up until recently she was clearly working hard to do well, even though she was miserable, but now she doesn't even care. My wife and I were thinking of waiting to start homeschooling her after 6th grade ended and start fresh with 7th at home, but we're now thinking that it might be best to pull her sooner than later. My question is how do start homeschooling after 2/3 of public 6th grade has been completed? Do you somehow figure out where she left off and try to pick things up from there? Do you purchase a 6th grade curriculum and start 2/3 of the way through? I'm sort of freaking out over this (as you can probably tell) and I'm sure there will be quite a learning curve for us both but any suggestions and/or cautionary tales would be helpful and appreciated. Thanks.

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  3. #2

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    Welcome, and hugs again.

    Im guessing youre waiting until March to end her misery because of child care or some project?

    Taking her out now, even if you dont do anything planned for homeschooling, may make her life a little happier. You can justify the downtime as emotional recovery time, deschooling time, or taking some of your summer break early.

    As far as what to teach, if she wants to continue with some of the same schoolwork shes been doing, her teacher(s) may be willing to help you source that - or give you alternate suffestions.

    Dont panic, though.

    If you get no love from the teachers, you may just need to take the time to dabble with unit studies... like mini curriculums that can last from a week to a few months.

    Ask if youre still stuck!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Welcome, and hugs again.

    Im guessing youre waiting until March to end her misery because of child care or some project?

    Taking her out now, even if you dont do anything planned for homeschooling, may make her life a little happier. You can justify the downtime as emotional recovery time, deschooling time, or taking some of your summer break early.

    As far as what to teach, if she wants to continue with some of the same schoolwork shes been doing, her teacher(s) may be willing to help you source that - or give you alternate suffestions.

    Dont panic, though.

    If you get no love from the teachers, you may just need to take the time to dabble with unit studies... like mini curriculums that can last from a week to a few months.

    Ask if youre still stuck!
    Thanks. We're thinking March because we only just decided we want to homeschool, after a couple of months of wondering if it would be a good idea, and I need a little time to get some big things done and out of the way. On top of that we just got a puppy and drowning in training. So we're all going to Disneyland at the end of February and then we hope to begin just after that.

    I'll check in with my daughter's teachers and see if they have any advice on where to start at home. Math in particular is a tough subject for my youngest, and for me as well actually. So far we're thinking of going with Thinkwell or Teaching Textbooks.

  5. #4

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    We started homeschooling half way through a school year (year 3 in NZ system). First we did a term of online school, which I do not recommend. Then we did a term of mainly unit study type stuff and testing out free samples and doing placement tests of various curricula to get ourselves sorted for the next year. For math we did some Khan Academy focusing on the areas that DD was struggling with understanding, and work on math facts that she had not picked up in school so she had a stronger basis to start the next year.

    Personally I found it nice to have that time together that was quite relaxed to figure out the next year and I think I would have found it more stressful to start at the beginning of a school year.

    We have a dog, an older rehome (he is now 10 years old and we got him when he was 6 years old). But he is my DDs best homeschool friend. They love reading to him and he will sit with them while they do work. I have found it is good therapy for my oldest who gets quite anxious and stressed to be able to go have time with the dog during the day. So hopefully when the puppy stage calms down a bit, your DD will really benefit from being at home with an animal friend. Maybe she can help with some of the puppy training too.

    Good luck with it all.
    New Zealand-based freelance science copyeditor. Homeschooling DD 11 (year 7) and DD 6 (year 2).

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_Mama View Post
    We started homeschooling half way through a school year (year 3 in NZ system). First we did a term of online school, which I do not recommend. Then we did a term of mainly unit study type stuff and testing out free samples and doing placement tests of various curricula to get ourselves sorted for the next year. For math we did some Khan Academy focusing on the areas that DD was struggling with understanding, and work on math facts that she had not picked up in school so she had a stronger basis to start the next year.

    Personally I found it nice to have that time together that was quite relaxed to figure out the next year and I think I would have found it more stressful to start at the beginning of a school year.

    We have a dog, an older rehome (he is now 10 years old and we got him when he was 6 years old). But he is my DDs best homeschool friend. They love reading to him and he will sit with them while they do work. I have found it is good therapy for my oldest who gets quite anxious and stressed to be able to go have time with the dog during the day. So hopefully when the puppy stage calms down a bit, your DD will really benefit from being at home with an animal friend. Maybe she can help with some of the puppy training too.

    Good luck with it all.
    Thank you! I like the idea of my daughter and I both to have some time to figure what will work for her, and myself. I've been looking at Thinkwell and Teaching Textbooks for math, which is where she struggles the most.

    We already have two cats and another dog, a four year old lab. The puppy is a corgi and a wonderful addition to our family. I just want to at least get her solid on potty training so we won't have to keep an eagle eye on her at every moment, which has been stressful for everyone.

  7. #6

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    I would not worry about what she needs to get done for the rest of the year. Give her time to adjust. She's not going to get truly behind in math if you wait a while to start up again. You might have to review, but really, it's not that bad. What is behind anyway? And this really is with all curriculums. For a few years, we really didn't use a curriculum consistently. We did a variety of things that related to learning, but nothing formal.

    For example, I have a 6th grader and this year we just started doing math again after not using a curriculum for a long time. We use Khan Academy. The videos are good and there are short quizzes. It's free and students can move at whatever pace they want. Since we didn't do much math, we started at the beginning. We moved through 4 grade-levels of math this year, filling in gaps and reinforcing ideas.

    But before you do any formal schooling, take a break. Let her read, learn in a more casual way for a little bit and then pick it up later. Watch documentaries, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, go to the library, and read for fun. You could start back up during the summer or wait until August. It would probably be better for you and her that way. She can decompress from the stress of school and you can work to come up with a plan. See what works best for her. I can't emphasize this enough.

    I used to worry about making sure we had all of our ducks in a row. We now have honey badgers and they are at a rave. What I have learned is that these standards are fairly artificial. I teach at a college and the more I homeschool and the more I teach at the college level, the more I realize it all comes down to we get out of what we put into it and the kids turn out fine or not depending on their own internal motivation.

    This may be not what you wanted to hear, as I have not provided any specific guidelines, but I think that we as parents tend to worry about it much more than we need to.
    A mama who teaches college writing, as well as help her 12-year-old in
    choosing his own life adventure. Using Global Village School to support our desire to develop a sense of social justice and global awareness.

  8. #7

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    Mariam is exactly right, although its not the advice “Plan it before you do it” people want to hear.

    Homeschooling is more of a “ready, fire, aim!” endeavor than a “ready, aim, fire” undertaking. You arent really going to know what is going to work until you try it, and even then it often doesnt go how you expect it.

    Giving yourselves (both of you) time to decompress and get to know each other’s learning and teaching styles and habits is better than jumping straight into “lets do school at home”.
    If shes coming from a stressful public school experience, and you throw her into a tumultuous “Im trying to figure out how to do this homeschool thing!”, shes not going to see it as positively as if she comes at it from a position of comfidence.
    The best thing would be to set up your days with some structure, play those “edutainment” games, watch some documentaries on topics that interest her, set aside time each day to read, and go from there. Not just games “in between the book learning”. (Thats fine for when youve hit your homeschooling stride.)

    You will save yourself a lot of happiness and money if you start slowly! But yah, thats not advice most PS refugee parents want to hear. It doesnt help the “I need to prove I can do this”, and “What if she falls behind” worries.

    Dont panic. And if each day at school makes her more miserable, take her out now.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  9. #8

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    Mariam & Alexsmom, I greatly appreciate your input. The more I research homeschooling and try to figure out what we're going to do the more I hear the same sort of advice, which is great because I've already started to relax about it a bit. My DD doesn't even know that we'll be taking her out of public yet. Once my wife gets back into town we'll sit down and figure out if we want to do it in March (just after our family trip to Disneyland!) or sooner.

    As far as starting with a curriculum or not, I do still hold onto a fear of getting behind, if only because here in Oregon homeschool students need to take a state assessment every few years to make sure they are "on track". She'll need to take the test at 8th grade. So for the remainder of this school year at least I do want to do some math on a weekly basis, if only for review. With other subjects I'd like to get her input as to what exactly she wants to learn. Maybe we'll do a casual unit study on climate change for science. She's not a big fan of history so I was thinking perhaps I'll get an Ancestry.com subscription, which I've always wanted to do anyway, and see if it sparks an interest in her. Aside from that she'll stay in the local school choir which she loves, if she wants to do that. I'll want her to do something physical so maybe I'll get her into a local parkour gym which she has previously enjoyed. I think that should work well while we figure out the rest along the way.
    Again, your input is very meaningful and appreciated.

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Pulling 6th grader out of public to start homeschooling in March (?)