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  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie hbingman's Avatar
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    Question From Public School Teacher to Homeschooling Mama...Where to start??

    Hello all!

    My name is Heath, I and I have a degree in secondary education. I was home schooled in my youth, but my parents did a rather poor job in regards to curriculum, as neither was particularly educated or structured.

    However, I loved the freedom it gave me in regards to movement, as I am an active individual and prone to anxiety if I am forced to sit in place for long periods. I adore a kid being able to take a week off if they are ill, or if someone is visiting, but I do like enough structure to stay on track.

    I am currently looking for a program to help me out, without emptying my pockets! I am also unclear as to how I prove my child's education to the state when college/scholarship etc... time arrives.

    In other words... I have plenty or technical knowledge, but am clueless about where to start!! What curriculum, how do I keep them up to test standards (do I need to??) etc...

    Help? I feel like I am starting my education all over again!!
    Heath J. Bingman
    The Modern Theater | Spokane Box Office Manager | Homeschooling Mama

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  3. #2

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    Welcome to the group, Heath! I am also a former secondary school teacher--physics and math.

    I can't help you with a curriculum package as we are/were eclectic homeschoolers. During the elementary and middle school years we did a lot of reading, some math, field trips, crafts, etc.

    For high school, we took advantage of a few online classes (think FREE MOOCs), dual credit courses at the local university, and "home taught" classes. I make my kids transcripts which look very similar to any other transcript out there. Lee Binz's books were a great help with that, as long as one can wade through the religious references. My daughter is headed away for college next year and they had no problem with her transcript, nor are any of the universities my son is visiting right now. They'll also want to look at SAT/ACTs as well.

    Feel free to ask questions! As you already know, homeschooling offers all kinds of flexibility!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

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    Hi.

    In terms of meeting requirements, the first are statutory obligations that are specific to the state or district. In our state, we are required to inform the district in writing during the academic year that the child turns 7. Since DD completed all of Grade 1 while age 6, we didn't inform anyone yet. We are required to administer a standardized test of our choosing on an annual basis and agree to implement an unspecified remediation plan if the child falls below the 3rd (!) percentile.

    Of course, your state will have different requirements.

    Then there's the issue of outcomes that you've raised. Although others may disagree, I do look at the state standards and use them as an informal benchmark. I object to high-stakes routine standardized testing early on; but out of obligation, we'll do ours next year. (DD is 6 still, just "finished" Grade 1)

    As for long-term outcomes and how to ensure success, we're not there yet; so I have very little productive to add. But I'll share my thinking (subject to change at a moment's notice, though!): I've decided to avoid thinking *specifically* about preparedness for college admission. I'm sure it will become a more important issue later; but right now we know too little about what DD will eventually do to think through all ends. By the time DD is looking for post-secondary options, HS will be even more accepted.

    Where to start? I suppose I'd look at the applicable state and local statutes and understand those. Our next step was to think a lot of the goals or our family vis-a-vis HS. Then I spent the next months reading about approaches to curricula and collecting implementation ideas. "Home Learning Year by Year" by Rebecca Rupp was a favorite.
    DD age 9, Grade 4ish

    Eclectic. We do music, math English, history/geography/culture, Russian and science. Lots and lots of reading. I blog at suzukiexperience.com

    WARNING: Unwittingly, I may occasionally say things to which you take offence.

  5. #4
    Junior Member Newbie hbingman's Avatar
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    Excellent!
    I am still learning all of the terms, and am not familiar with what an eclectic is! I am leaning towards an Unschooling or child lead elementary ed, then loosely structured, but still student lead middle/secondary set up.
    I will look at the book you mentioned; perhaps can just find the relevant info on a website
    Heath J. Bingman
    The Modern Theater | Spokane Box Office Manager | Homeschooling Mama

  6. #5
    Junior Member Newbie hbingman's Avatar
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    I will check out that book! I feel so silly; I have a degree in education, but it really does not prepare you at all!
    I do want to keep state expectations in mind, just so that my kids have every opportunity based on how they learn and grow. I have been using the "what your ____ needs to know" series. My parents used it with me, and I still recall them, obviously.
    Heath J. Bingman
    The Modern Theater | Spokane Box Office Manager | Homeschooling Mama

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by hbingman View Post
    I have a degree in education, but it really does not prepare you at all!
    That is so totally true!

    Another book that might be helpful is Rebecca Rupp's Home Learning Year by Year http://www.amazon.com/Home-Learning-.../dp/0609805851
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter -- a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son -- a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  8. #7

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    I'd first look at your state laws, then decide what you wanted kiddo to learn that year. I've done much better feeling successful with a list of clear (reasonable) goals for each child. It helps me stay focused. I tried to keep my goals pretty specific, and I'm working on my new goals for next year, keeping them in mind while picking out curriculum. I am not really following the regular PS course 100%, and I haven't read the "What your XX Needs to Know" series. I did get some copies on what the local school is grading younger kids on, but I didn't follow it. I used it as sort of a guide, then decided some of it just wasn't going to work for us this year. One other thought, part of this is going to depend on your specific child. So many times I see people say "We only did --------------- and my child turned out wonderful!" and while that worked fine for that child, your child may not do well with it at all. I've got 5 kids, and they learn in various ways at various speeds. I am trying to keep them in mind while picking, too. Best of luck!
    Mom to 5 great kids~

  9. #8

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    Welcome!
    Theres a contingent of former teachers, and of 2nd generation homeschoolers here.
    Heres a link to the Gem State's homeschooling law - but there are other Idaho parents here, they could tell you how it really is.
    Idaho Home School: Idaho Law

    And Rupp's book is great - and not full of bullarky and unrealistic goals like one of the popular homeschool books is.
    For Kindergarten and 1st grade, I looked at common core standards (I used the app, but they have a website too) as a guide to make sure my son was learning what he needed to know. Now I dont worry, and just follow along with a continuation of what we did from the previous year.
    And most of the people here piece together their different subjects based on their philosophy, interests, and kids learning tendancies. (Eclectic.) Unschooling, done right, with the right kid, seems an awesome way to learn. (By right, I mean parental support and involvement, and right kid, I mean mine has no interest in anything other than video games and pokemon. Which leads to a few educational projects, but not a lot of measurable learning.)

    Welcome again!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Arrived Elly's Avatar
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    Hi, welcome!

    You don't say how old your kiddo is, which might have some impact - I'm sure people have loads of ideas to share! I started by reading all the homeschooling books in our library to see the kinds of ideas out there. Some 'biggie' homeschooling approaches are classical, Charlotte Mason and unschooling, so some terms to get you started. Many people are eclectic, which means they pick and choose what works for them. I second what was said about the Home learning year by year. I don't 'follow' it but I check in for ideas sometimes. I also have the 'What your x grader needs to know' and the same: I sometimes look at it, but don't follow, although I know some people use as a spine. TBH, it's comforting because I look at them and know we're more or less on track (FWIW) as we do cover a lot of ground with our lifestyle

    Elly
    4th year of homeschooling DS, now 9!

  11. #10
    IEF
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    Hi Heath,

    I frequently hesitate to self-identify as a second generation homeschooler because things were so different for me in the "golden age" of the '90s and early '00s with weekly park days and GWS and HEM in my mailbox every two months with pen pal registries in the back and friends telling me about their exciting new discovery of something called "AOL chatrooms" than they were for my poor mother in the '70s when she felt she had nowhere to turn until we saw John Holt on the Phil Donahue show, the postman rang the doorbell and handed her a box of books from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's correspondence program, and we set out on what would become an amazing, life changing journey.

    Since you mentioned concerns about finances, I wanted to reassure you that eBay and used book sellers are a great place to shop for curricula. I longed for the latest and the greatest homeschooling curricula for my millenials and poured over catalogues and reviews, but had to stick to a budget. Now I am able to pick and choose the cream of the cream for my digital native and frequently find pristine and unused consumables for $1-$5.

    If you haven't already read it, you would probably enjoy Family Matters, by David Guterson, which is by a schoolteacher who homeschools his own kids.

    ETA: Homeschool Choice Packet

    It looks like a very nice place to live.
    Last edited by IEF; 06-10-2015 at 06:31 PM.

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From Public School Teacher to Homeschooling Mama...Where to start??