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  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    PA
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    Default New to home schooling

    Hello everyone! My name is Fae and I have decided to take the plunge and homeschool my 10 year old son, Lakota for this year. We live in Ephrata, PA.

    I just officially withdrew him yesterday from our school district and filed all the necessary paperwork to start officially home schooling. My son is going into the 5th grade.

    When Covid happened back in March and shut our schools down, it was a complete disaster trying to get my son to want to do much school work here at home. My son is ADHD and struggles with the attention span and I had to put him on medication to help with that. But once the schools closed, he basically had the mentality that because he was at home, he was on vacation. It was rough! So I had this mentality that I would NEVER be able to home school my child.

    But then when the district announced this week that the kids are going back to the class room in person fully 5 days a week, I was not comfortable with that. I am at a higher risk because I take a medication that suppresses my immune system so I definitely was not comfortable with the risks involved sending him back to a classroom of 20+ kids. They are offering an online virtual academy, but I work full time from home at the moment and I could not commit to the 5 hours a day to help him.

    So I started doing some research into home schooling and chatted on FB with some other home schooling parents in my area and made the decision that I CAN do this!

    So here I am! I am nervous, but excited. I know it's not going to be an easy road..my son and I butt heads a lot as he is very strong willed and does not like school, but I am hoping that with the freedom we have to be able to choose more of what he gets to learn, that I can change that and help to make it more fun so that he learns to enjoy it more.

    I appreciate any advice anyone may have as we begin this journey

    Fae

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  3. #2

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    Welcome and hugs!
    My advice for all the covid accidental refugees is to not try replicating the torture you all seemed to go through in the spring. Virtual schooling isnt really a thing, and 5 hours a day seems a huge commitment on your part for trying to enforce a computer programs rules and lessons is a recipe for miserableness!
    Imagine how you want your days to feel, the most perfect way they could possibly go (complete with his shining, happy face as he willingly completes schoolwork and chores, and doesnt give you any resistance to whatever you ask of him). (Ive never seen a situation where that happens, but its a nice dream!) How do you imagine teaching him, sharing learning? Are you both working your way through a “learn to draw” book? Are you sitting at the dining room table, reading poetry aloud, being amazed at the clever haiku he just came up with? (Poetry Teas are a thing!) Are you chit chatting in the car about what he was learning about in his social studies lesson?
    Youre probably not imagining him in tears, chained to his desk, struggling through his mathwork, or forced to endure pointless online computer-programmed educational material.
    Just sayin.

    When you look for curriculum, look for pieces that will make your perfect vision more a reality.
    Homeschooling is great for making closeness with your kids, for making happy memories together.

    Because he seems suspicious of any work you want him to do, try getting some of his buy-in and involvement in selecting it. “Oooh, look at this astronomy course, does that sound interesting to you? No, how about this biology or chemistry one?” “Hey, son, here is a social studies curriculum that has you read a book every two weeks, that covers your literature stuff too. Would you like to try something like that, or keep them separate? I know you wanted to read the Harry Potter books, we could try making our own Hogwarts at Home!”

    Your involvement and his lessons wont take more than a couple hours of your day. My two boys are 6 years apart, with no lesson overlap, and I am done homeschooling them, and make a full meal for lunch, and have my housekeeping done by midday.

    You can do it, and it can be a happy occassion!
    Let us know more about what his personality and learning style are like, and we can help guide you towards curriculum that will suit you.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    Hi Fae (lovely name, btw)

    My kiddo's also a rising 5th grader with ADHD. We're in New Jersey, and we're homeschooling because of coronavirus as well - this was not our original plan. But we're making the best of it!

    Distance learning was a miserable experience for my son. He also struggles with attention/focus, and just couldn't bring enough focus to retain any of what was being taught in that format. He was so unhappy, and started saying he hated school from home. He's normally a very curious kid, loves to learn, loves school. When I realized just how miserable he was, I knew I had to make a change for the upcoming school year - which will not be "normal" by any measure.

    I definitely agree that you can let your son have a say in the topics he learns this year, which might help him feel more invested, and interested, in everything. That might help make you two butt heads a bit less often... or so we can hope! My son picked several science topics that he wants to learn, requested fantasy novels for ELA, and didn't really have a preference for Social Studies, so we're following the topics his school will be teaching this year, which *I* happen to find interesting - and I've even taught before! (I'm a former middle school teacher.) In Math, I'm keeping him on target with his public school peers, just because our intention - for now - is to return him to school in the future, and I'd like to make that transition as smooth as possible for him.

    My son has serious struggles with transitions. So we've actually already started our new homeschooling journey. Thanks to advice here (from alexsmom, among others), I began easing in with a single subject - science, my son's favorite. We're adding in math next week - wish me luck! And we'll add Social Studies and ELA work in, and have the core subjects set by the time we reach the start of our local public schools. Doing it this way gives my son a chance to get used to the new routine a bit at a time, instead of jumping in to the whole new process the second week of September. If your kiddo's like mine with transitions, it might be worth considering for him, as well...?

    I'd definitely say you can think about what you know of how your son learns best. Is he a reader? Is he better off listening to audio books, or read alouds? Does he love drawing? Or performing? Does he enjoy storytelling? Writing? Etc etc etc. You can play to his strengths with the topics you choose and the methods you use to teach. For example, my son hates to do anything that even has a whiff of art about it. I'll keep art-ish work to a bare minimum for him, skip activities that are too arty, etc. Why fight? He does like to tell and write stories, and to do hands-on experiments and activities. So that's where we'll be focusing our energy this year. There are a lot of ways to set your kiddo up for success. Good luck!

  5. #4

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    Welcome Fae. I hope you enjoy having your son alongside you learning at home. I work from home (only part-time) and my best advice is being rather relaxed about what gets achieved in a day. It is easier to be happy with "he got math done" than feel you are behind because "he did not finish the 5 pages that I wanted him to". Have learning material arranged and a general plan of what subjects to do when around breaks and lunch. Also see yourself more as a learning facilitator or partner who is there to help problem solve when needed or to discuss interesting questions, rather than a teacher there to give a lesson.
    NZ homeschoolers (school year runs start Feb to mid Dec).
    DD 12 (year 7) and DD 7 (year 2).
    Fourth year homeschooling.
    Part-time freelance science copyeditor.

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