Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default Another Newbie. Hi!

    Hi Everyone!

    My name is Shannon. Iím a single mom to 11 year old twin girls. Luckily for us, my mom lives with us and helps us out a lot.

    I first found this board about 10 years ago when I was considering homeschooling my then infant twins. For a lot of reasons, even though I loved the idea of homeschooling, it didnít sound practical for our situation.

    Then along came COVID, and mid March we were suddenly cast into chaos. The distance learning from our school didnít work for us. The kids just tuned it out.

    With the rising numbers in many states, including mine, thereís no way my kids are going to school this year. I was going to do the online option from the school district, but I know my kids. If I donít stay on them, theyíll sit in front of the computer and play Roblox or Minecraft or something. They definitely wonít pay attention to the lessons. The rigid schedule doesnít work for us, either.

    So Iím back to the homeschool option. And Iím starting to think I might really like it. I love the flexibility of being able to do it around my work schedule (12 hr night shifts three days a week) especially since weíre all night owls anyway.

    My concerns are:

    Daughter #1 is very intelligent, and tests well above grade level in everything but math. She was in the gifted class. She loves to read and draw. Sheís into the Warrior Cats book series, and she writes fan fiction and illustrates scenes. The problem is that sheís not motivated if the topic isnít interesting to her. She gets bored easily, and tends to daydream.
    Sheís great with language arts and social studies but needs prodding to do math.

    Daughter #2 is also very intelligent, but has high functioning autism, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sheís spent the last two and a half years in a self-contained autism class. She needed it for the social and behavioral skills, but, by necessity, she didnít get as much focus on academics. She tests at the bottom of the range for grade level. She needs to be in school for the socialization and therapies, but at this time socialization is the exact reason she canít go.

    She also likes to read, but unfortunately we havenít been able to get her to read appropriate materials. She will always choose grade 1 readers, although testing shows her to be capable of reading at a higher level. I donít know whether I should just let her read what she wants and be happy sheís reading, even though sheís not progressing, or if I should force her to read more age-appropriate books, at the risk of squashing her love of reading. I asked at her last IEP meeting and got no answer.

    The curriculum that looks like it would work best for us is Moving Beyond the Page 11-13. The science and social studies are the ones being taught in 6th grade in Nevada so if they go back to public school for 7th grade, they should be on target. Iím a little concerned that the level of reading and writing may be above one of them, but I think I can work with her and get her caught up. I love this curriculum and Iím kind of excited to get started.

    If we do well and everyone enjoys it, we may not return to public schools. Weíll just have to see how it goes. My mind is open.

    Sorry to write a book!

    Looking forward to getting to know everyone.
    Single mom of wonderful twins
    Anna & Erin b.12/10/08

  2. Thank You Leaderboard
  3. #2


    It seems like the time has come for you to homeschool, and I hope MBTP works for you. Start slowly, and be willing to adapt however you need it. If it comes with a schedule laid out for you, please just use it as a table of contents, sort of the order you do it in, at your pace.
    Im also so glad you dont think homeschooling is what the schools tried throwing together last March. Schools had no contingency for how they were going to function in case of a pandemic, and were doing the best they could. (Not saying its going to be any better in the fall!)

    Ill speak about your ASD daughter. Can you work with the school to continue the therapies, and handle the academics yourself? Under normal circumstances they only get paid if your daughters butt is in their seat, but with any grace, they will acknowledge their limitations, and see that ďFair and Appropriate EducationĒ in this case means letting go of some of their controls. Maybe there are other ASD groups dealing with this situation?
    (My youngest has been in speech and OT since he was two, and Ive seen a backslide since March when in person therapies stopped (and went to zoom)... but its got to be better than nothing!)
    He also has language delays... long streams of words just overwhelm him. We often did his reading work with magazine articles (Ranger Rick!), and right now he is managing his first chapter book being read TO him.

    Experiment to see if you can pinpoint and dissect where her reading is falling down, and if it is that at all, or some other language processing difference.

    Dabble with mbtp over the summer, when you feel more comfortable stopping nad regrouping. Start gently, as a way to satisfy yourself that theyre doing something other than playing minecraft and roblox for their whole lives.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    Thanks for the welcome😁

    I hadnít considered seeing if they can do the speech therapy over Zoom. Iíll check with the school.

  5. #4


    Welcome Shannon!

    I am also new here but not new to homeschooling. I was homeschooled all the way through high school and I've homeschooled my kids since they were born. They are now 9,10, and 13.

    The beauty of homeschooling is you can adapt to fit any learning style. With having two girls the same age but being very different people (who sound quite amazing!) I would encourage you to at least look into the Unschooling model. Even if you just did it for a year you might find that your girls grow a lot when truly allowed the freedom to explore the topics that interest them most.

    We have to remember that children are people. Just like you and me... we don't love every topic. We aren't proficient at a broad spectrum of topics. We have our strengths and our weaknesses and if we come up on something we need in life we look it up or ask for help.

    I'm 35... I love to read books for middle schoolers. I CAN read books for my "age level" but I love the ease and the flow of a good junior fiction book. I've also gotten quite wrapped up in picture books I've read my kids and learned a lot through them. I wouldn't be concerned about pushing for "grade level" books.

    I would let Daughter #1 follow her interests. Let her dive fully in to what she loves. She is on a path to be a great writer/illustrator. She will be more interested in math when she needs it (typically when kids start to take more interest in money they become more interested in math). I've always approached math in a daily, conversational way with my kids. You could have her look into how much a writer/illustrator gets paid. Let her shop for her own tools online. Give her a budget and say "what would you buy if I gave you $50?" and let her "shop". There are a lot of ways to reinforce solid number sense in kids reluctant to "do math".

    Something you might see in Daughter #2 is a lessening of anxiety if she is able to stay at home and work with less pressure. One of my children is working to navigate anxiety/ptsd/high functioning ASD and while COVID has been hard in a lot of ways it's also been good for him. We do have to work a little more on social cues at home but he has a therapist that specializes in Play Therapy and she helps us out a lot. As parents we are far more capable to help our children with challenges, we just need the tools and support. I would let her read what she enjoys. Especially if she loves to read. Something may come along that sparks her interest but until then... remember that she is facing an uphill battle every day just to manage OCD, Anxiety, and ASD. I think of it like this... Imagine a tough day at work. One of those days where everything is going wrong. You get home at the end of the day and you think "I've juggled so many things I simply can't handle anything else" and you reach for a magazine to unwind a little. Instead, somebody hands you a copy of Lord of the Rings and says you need to read that. It's more appropriate for your age. Your brain is on fire. You simply can't process one more thing on top of all you've already done. Even if you did try to read the words, you wouldn't remember them because you're mentally taxed by your day. This is the every day for our atypical kids.

    Sorry to get wordy. I just want to encourage you to embrace your daughter's individuality, right where they are, and run with it. See where it takes them. They sound like lovely, amazing, creative people. Continue to encourage that and don't allow the public system to define them by grade level or "should be's". That can squelch that creativity and passion incredibly fast.

    If you have any more questions about Unschooling or Self Directed Education please feel free to ask. I could talk all day about those philosophies and principles.

    Best of luck in the start of your homeschooling journey!

  6. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Shannonsto View Post
    So I’m back to the homeschool option. And I’m starting to think I might really like it. I love the flexibility of being able to do it around my work schedule (12 hr night shifts three days a week) especially since we’re all night owls anyway.

    I’m a little concerned that the level of reading and writing may be above one of them, but I think I can work with her and get her caught up. I love this curriculum and I’m kind of excited to get started.

    If we do well and everyone enjoys it, we may not return to public schools. We’ll just have to see how it goes. My mind is open.
    I don't think you have to worry, for the two points you mentioned above. You can decide whatever schedule works for your family.

    Also, you can work with them one-on-one, which kids rarely get in school. Even if learning a concepts takes longer than it is "supposed" to, who cares. In school, the class moves on, whether or not all students understand. You can make sure the the learning takes place at the pace needed for your daughters.

    One piece of advice: at 12, your daughters can have some input on what they learn as well. Regulars here have heard me say this often--getting the students' opinion gives them ownership of their education, and they will be more likely to put in the work.

    Best of luck!

    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 graduate: BS in Computer Science, minor in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  7. #6
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    Thank you for the replies. Youíve all given me a lot of food for thought. I ordered the first unit to see how we like it 🙂

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
About us was created to provide information, resources, and a place to share and connect with secular homeschoolers across the world. aims to be your one-stop shop for all things homeschool! We will be highlighting information about wonderful secular homeschool resources, and keeping you up to date with what is going on in the world of secular homeschooling. But that is only the beginning. SHS is your playground. A place to share the things that are important to you. A place to create and join groups that share your interests. A place to give and get advice. There are no limits to what you can do at Secular Homeschool, so join today and help build the community you have always wanted. is a community and information source where secular homeschoolers ARE the majority. It is the home for non-religious homeschoolers, eclectic homeschoolers, freethinking homeschoolers AND anyone interested in homeschooling irrespective of religion. This site is an INCLUSIVE community that recognizes that homeschoolers choose secular homeschool materials and resources for a variety of reasons and to accomplish a variety of personal and educational goals. Although, and its members, have worked hard to compile a comprehensive directory of secular curricula, it does not attest that all materials advertised on our site, in our newsletters, or on our social media profiles are 100% secular. Rather, respects the aptitude of each individual homeschool parent to fully research any curriculum before acquiring it, to ensure that it holistically meets the educational, personal, and philosophical goals of each homeschooler.

Join us
Another Newbie. Hi!