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Thread: Hi from Maine!

  1. #1
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    Default Hi from Maine!

    Hi! My name is Beth and I have a 10 year old daughter and 2 sons 17 and 19. I will be as of next week, homeschooling my daughter. She has a slight learning disability as well as some fine and gross motor issues. At this point we feel taking her out of school is best as she has been dealing with extreme low self esteem and bullying. I'm not even sure where to begin, but any advice is welcome!

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  3. #2

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    Alexsmom, another member on here, is really great about advice regarding getting started, particularly with younger students. I'm sure she'll pop in here soon. My only advice is to start slow...it's called deschooling. Give her (and you) time to decompress from typical "school think." You'll find once you get started, education at home (I hesitate to call it school at home...sounds like you just moved all the work home) takes far less time and can be far more interesting. Take time now to explore outside (as weather permits!!), go to museums, etc.

    BTW, I absolutely love Maine. DH and I have seriously thought about retiring there.
    Carol

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


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  4. #3

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    Welcome! Even if you dont know what to do, taking your daughter (DD) out of a miserable environment is the loving thing to do, especially if you doubt things would improve. You can justify to yourself, and anybody else (because we think everyone will be nosy and judgmental) that time you take off now to figure things out and to deschool, that you can make up over the summer.
    Ive learned more pedagogy from my youngest’s OT and Speech therapists than I have in the other years of being a parent and homeschooler. Will your DD be receiving services still through the school, or through private insurance? If so, I would suggest working with them to figure out what she needs to work on “next”, and what an ideal learning environment would be for her. (Because they know her, and know the path she is on, and what her challenges are.)
    She is at a delightful age for homeschooling - assuming that she reads well enough, and has some attention span to her. When you get to it, that part will be a lot of fun!
    But before that, yes, as Inmom says, let her have some time to recover from being bullied and feeling unsuccessful. Spend time with her, where she will feel loved and accepted. Do informal education-related activities with her - visit museums, state parks, take a poetry book she likes to a tea shop and spend a couple hours having a poetry tea. (This week I belatedly decided goin to a Himalayan restaurant qualified as a “Social Studies” activity - and my older did correctly identify the Nepalese flag.) Watch Lord of the Rings, play LotR Trivial Pursuit, call it Language Arts. Watch Studio Ghibli films, read about Japanese shinto beliefs, discuss (or write, if she is up to it) how those come across in it. We are approaching Lunar New Year, Googleschool up some fun activities and visit restaurants observing the holiday week. Learn to use chopsticks. (My 6yo with severe apraxia will NOT eat asian food with a fork. Anything is possible with motivation!) Play card games that involve numbers and strategy, chinese checkers and chess, Rummy and solitaire.
    Those are just some deschooling ideas, not meant as a literal assignment list! Try things you think she will like, before you start thinking about what you need to buy to “do school”. You will know her better, and know what kinds of programs will be up her alley. Then, start adding in one subject at a time. Or not, and evolve your own project/interest based learning program.
    We can help you pick curriculum too, but it takes more knowledge about her than just her age.
    And if you have any questions that you need answers for, for you or busybodies, there are a few “best answer” ones that we rely on.
    Hugs, and this will be not as challenging as you might worry. She will be happier, that is worth a lot!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #4
    Junior Member Newbie
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    Thank you both! I'm pretty excited and I think she will thrive. I am worried a bit about time management as I'm a full time student myself. I'm doing online courses through the University Of Maine, going for my degree in Information and Library Science. I guess I need to find a balance.

  6. #5

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    You will find that homeschooling takes a lot less time than she would spend at public school. Getting the idea on when she learns best, and if she does better doing all her school all at once, or spaced through the day, or needs unstructured breaks, or is a disaster after them.... those factors will play a bigger role in your daily routine than finding the actual time to do the schoolwork out of your day. (That is part of the deschooling learning you do.) You probably realise how little priority is given to your older sons through their schooling - school scheduled at the convenience of others, classes ordered through the day with no regard to the individual.
    Estimate about twenty minutes per activity you do with her, and if you can sit with her (I often read on my ipad) while she is otherwise working / reading / doing math problems / coloring a map / watching a video, she will be a lot more likely to stay on task. (There is a inverse geometric relation between distance apart and independent work achieved.)
    My youngest can take breaks doing whatever he wants, and come back and attend to hus schoolwork. If my oldest has free time, he cant seem to get back on track, so his rule is no playtime until his work is done (and work is done in the morning). (Break is a game like Trouble or Chinese Checkers.) You need to find what works best for the two of you, and stay flexible. And forgiving of yourself. You might have an exam, or need to spend time on a project (or have a plumbing emergency), and that days school might be a triple helping of “read your literature book” (my favorite), watch a couple relevant documentaries (there are documentaries on Amazon / Netflix / Youtube for EVERYTHING), or just put it off for a day.

    When youre thoughtful, flexible, and self-forgiving, the time part of homeschooling works out pretty well.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

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Hi from Maine!