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  1. #11

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    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and time with me (as well as your schedule!). I just don't know anyone here who homeschools for middle school and I'm just nervous that I'll do something wrong or miss something vital to my son getting a diploma or getting into college. I'm so glad I've discovered this site with others to discuss this with, especially others who are not just pushing bible-based curriculum. Thanks again!

  2. T4L In Forum Aug19
  3. #12

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    While in school, how much did you have to convince/cajole your middle schooler to do homework? If your answer is a lot, then it may take more of your time than you like. However, if he did homework fairly independently, he should be able to do most of his schooling independently. This typically improves as the child ages as well. When my kids were in high school, I mostly sat down with them to plan things, grade a bit, and help when concepts got tricky for them.

    Also, depending on your finances, if you don't want to do online for math, ask around for a math tutor. I work with a lot of homeschoolers whose parents are uncomfortable with the subject, but the student can't get it on his own either. Once a week for an hour usually does it, but that also assumes your son will work independently in between sessions.

    Regarding needing time to get chores done--your son can help. He won't be doing school work ALL.DAY.LONG. Teach him some that will make everyone in the household's life easier. Put away dishes. Do laundry. Run a vacuum. Cook a bit. Clean a bathroom. These are all skills kids should learn anyway. You would not believe the number of college friends my kids have that can't do these things when they rent their first apartment. Involve your daughter as well, with age-appropriate chores--especially so your son doesn't feel overly burdened, or it's not fair.

    Keep asking questions. As you can see, you'll find a lot of viewpoints and advice. Something will work for you.

    ETA: To find tutors, school guidance offices and public libraries are a couple of places to ask. I've even had parents take out newspaper ads that I came across, but that's rare. If you are on social media, ask friends.
    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. #13
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    I'm confident that we all can successfully homeschool our own kiddos. There is a little bit of a learning curve, don't be afraid of the bumps in the road, they are just part of the journey. If something is not working (curriculum / schedule / classes), don't be afraid to put it aside and try something else. NZ mentioned - start with the basics and add on over time - don't get hung up on on how you are going to teach one of the more obscure subject now, that will come in time. You don't have to know it all, you just have to be willing to learn and demonstrate your willingness to learn alongside your kiddo.

    I think online classes / resources can be used with success as part of your education plan. For example we use Khan as part of our math curriculum. However, that does not mean the kids plop down and do math in a void - even though it is online, it still involves checking-in, helping with concepts that they don't understand, and supplemental activities to boost any weak areas or challenge them. Similar to your child being in a brick and mortar school, you still are ultimately responsible for their education - you stay involved, help with homework etc. That said, I would not recommend a leveled all-in-one online curriculum.

    I've had both my kids in school full time, just one at home, and both at home. Obviously, I had more me time when they both were in school. But the time I had with them when they were both in school was actually pretty minimal (when I think back) and characterized by nagging - let's go, do your homework, get dressed, eat, clean, go to bed, get up, shower. It was in the car and out of the car. It was go, go, go. Putting my foot down and saying "no" to that life, has opened the door to a much richer, and more fulfilling relationship with my children. So yes, I have less free time than I did, but not profoundly less. It was a good trade. Make sure chores are part of your kiddo's homeschool day, to ease your burden.

    Our schedule is fairly consistent. My kids get up at different times, but everyone has to be up by 8. We all do independent work or chores until 9:30. At 9:30 we meet to do our together stuff. After, lunch it is back to independent work. In the afternoon I meet with each kid to do a status check, help with any problems, answer questions, or focus on specific assignments. Usually they are done around 2 or 2:30.

    Keep asking questions.
    Rebecca
    DS 14, DD 12
    Year 8

  5. #14

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    Thank you, Rebecca! I really appreciate your shared thoughts and schedule!

  6. #15

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    Well, depending on the work you do now (the career you'd have to be putting on hold), homeschooling can be very expensive. If you are home instead of working, there goes your salary—as well as work experience for a few years (unless you are in Education). Supplies can also add up quickly—especially if you don't budget (few people I meet do that very well). I cannot stress how important it is to learn to budget...most of the families we started with in K have either had to dump their kids in public (with little or no transition) or are on the way to a divorce, because they don't budget, buy the most expensive curricula, and don't do things to save $$$ like thrift.

    I'm not trying to scare you off but it's important to understand cost of homeschooling compared to private should not be your main drive to homeschool. At the end of the day, they easily end up coming out the same—except both parents can keep their careers when they send their kids to private.

    All that said, if you enjoy spending time with your child, homeschooling can be the most rewarding thing ever. I know a few people who do/did it for middle school, too, and it works/worked well for them.

    First, if you go through with it, don't join a COOP your first year. Get a feel for your teaching style and your kid's learning needs first.

    Second, try to find a social homeschool group in your area....something laid back that meets once a week or so. In fact, if you are curious, it'd be good to join one before you decide whether or not to homeschool. You'll get a feel if it is something you and your son would like.

    Third, make sure to do stuff outside the house a couple times a week. Middle school years are super important for kids to interact with one another. It's great to look into museums, the county park & rec, nature centers, libraries, drama/art centers, colleges, afterschool sports and clubs for outside classes. They are usually affordable (some are even offered by those institutions for homeschoolers), and if you can get things that are in the afternoon it's wonderful because you can get core schoolwork done in the AM.

  7. #16

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    I'm also a newbie, but I'll put my 2 cents in since I have a child about the same age; we've been homeschooling for 1.5 years and am planning on putting her back into school next Fall(public), not because we don't like it, but for many of the reasons others have put forth. Homeschooling is fulfilling - I've experienced that. Having to do it for yourself grounds you like nothing else as far as what they are learning and how they learn. I feel like it was a gift for me to have spent this time together. And,for us, homeschooling was less expensive, as we had her in private school from grade 1-3. I work from home, and found it very difficult - even when I was commuting to school with her (3 hours in total a day), I would have 5 hours to do errands and work.

    Most important advice I've heard: Know your kid. What I didn't know about mine was that she is not a self organizer, and coming from a regular school environment - there are alot of formal checks (whether homework is done or not - how day is regularized for them). I had to provide that, and it wasn't easy - on top of my own work. Also, we joined a co-op the first year; I thought it'd make it easier, but it didn't because I assumed that it would fulfill our Language Arts stuff, but it turned out that I was still responsible for the three R's, reading, writing, arithmetic.

    Also, depending on what your family's life is like, there is the socialization issue. Find some situations where the kids can be with other kids doing stuff. We still do co-ops but alot less than is ideal. We are sad that when we left school, because it was so far away, we found it impossible to keep up with her friends from school, except for bday parties. Since we are Secular, we don't have a church or something where there is alot of socialization - so co-ops or even after school groups are good for that. And we have a single child, so she's alone alot.

    None of this is meant to dissuade, but hoping that some things I wished I knew!

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Considering homeschooling for middle school.  Completely overwhelmed by options!