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Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

Last post 04-03-2012 4:20 PM by gayla50. 7 replies.
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  • 02-21-2012 1:50 AM

    • Toughmama2
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    • Joined on 11-08-2011
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    Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    For those of you who might not follow the prayer circle posts, let me introduce myself. My SO and I work full time, get no government assistance and have started working on a plan to clear our $7,000 in medical debt. Our only child is a wonderfully intelligent little boy of 7.5 years old. The issue is though our son has severe behavioral problems we are stuggling with as a family to figure out, deal with, and eliminate/lessen. We have been going to therapy for over a year, which we pay for out of pocket, had multiple sessions with his school, teachers/counselor/principal, even the district psychologist. We have taken him to our family doctor who has checked him for several illnesses (diabetes, thryroid problems) and has refered us to a child psychologist, neurologist and for a possible sleep study. We are looking into information on diet and behavior as well. The school has been both cooperative and not and due to an incident last week, we finally made the decision to pull him from public school and home school him from now on, while we continue to work on helping our son. Our hope is to one day allow him to the chance/choice to return to school after we have dealt with the issues at hand.

    This is where we are in a quandry, we truly feel we are doing what is best for all those involved, our son, the other adults and children, but we have not had a lot of time to prepare for this change. The other issue is our son was tested and recognized as twice gifted by his school district. We were trying to keep him in school because we figured this was coming and thought the school would have more practice at and better resources for dealing with a gifted 7 year old then us. The other reason is also because it took until Jan for the school to finally get us the results and ALP (Accelerated Learning Plan) for him, though the testing was supposed to be done since Sept. We have gotten some very good advice about legal recourse and where to find answers in dealing with the legalities of homeschooling (to make sure we are adhering to the laws of our state) but are lost when it comes to actual resources/curriculums/ & other sources to/for a first grader with beyond first grade capabilities. In the test his school district gave him his Cognitive Abilities Test Scores identified him as gifted in the Verbal and Non-Verbal areas and above average in Quantitative. He is a very kinetic learner as well, just sitting and listening to something (such as a lecture) is mostly impossible for him. He has an amazing vocabulary and memory but is having trouble with fluency in reading. He is good (not exceptional) at math but I can see him getting even stronger in this area, as his mind is analytical. I know I might be providing too much information but hope by giving you a picture of him you guys might be able to assist us with info/products/etc that could work for us.

    My grandma is a retired school teacher (83 years old and still fiesty), who owns a bookstore and she has volunteered to do his schooling during the day, while I work about two blocks away. I also will be supplementing her teachings with family learning time at home and if the move (my SO wants us to move to his family's ranch in Idaho) happens will be taking over his schooling full time. My son will have regular access to our home computer for anything needed or used online, as my grandma doesn't have one. My grandma's approach to learning is very old fashioned, while I am very modern, I think it is and will be a nice balance for him.

    Where would you suggest I start? What curriculums? What costs should I know about? We just got our tax return and I have earmarked about $900 of it for any costs in this, but would like to keep this reasonable as this money should also be going towards paying my grandma a bit for this help and supplementing her food income (she insists on making him and feeding him all lunches and snacks). He spent Friday with her and today (no school anyways as it was President's Day) and we would like to get him on a regular "school" schedule asap.

    `Aut inveniam viam aut faciam-

    I will either find a way or I will make one.

    Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
  • 02-21-2012 8:57 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    I have shared my opinion on the laws and assistance for homeschoolers. You can get idea of what you might deal with if you look for your state in the site I shared in prayer circle. By all means though do not take one source as the be all end all. Become your child's advocate and arm yourself with knowledge on the laws of your area, what his issues and needs are, what his learning style is. Whatever you choose to go after, just make it the right choices for his specific needs.

    Many parents who pull their child from school after some trouble like to take a little down time.  A term term associated with this is deschooling. Homeschooling can be a whole new world and some children require a period of adjustment. Some parents have to take time to determine what to use and how to go about it all.

    You can read more about deschooling at these sites:

    Living Joyfully

    Deschooling for parents

    The good news is that you can combine old and new methods for education. There are so many choices out there. What does your state require you to do? Do you need to keep specific records, test, meet certain criteria? For homeschoolers who must meet requirements like these, it may be easier to work with a curriculum that makes record keeping easy or does it for you. For those who are more free to choose then putting together a combination of books and methods is possible.

    Are you interested in workbooks, real books, text books, curriculum on the computer? There are multiple options to meet the different preferences for these as well.

    Here are just some of the popular choices. I am sure we can all give you other things to look at as well.

    http://www.abeka.com/HomeSchool/

    http://www.bjupresshomeschool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/home___

    http://www.aophomeschooling.com/

    http://www.sonlight.com/

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 02-27-2012 10:36 AM In reply to

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    You are in luck! Most of the really good homeschool curriculums are written for people that want a Christ centered education- and relies at least somewhat on the classical model that your grandmother would be familiar with.  If your son is really truly bright- he will be able to supply his own gifted enrichment with books and free time- your job will be to teach him learning skills, foundation knowledge , and how to behave in a kind, respectful, obedient, and functional way.

    It takes awhile for a kid to adjust to not going into a classroom to learn. The first year of homeschooling after public schools is hard. 

    For a bright child with behavior problems I would suggest that you start down a grade level and work on the skills needed to succeed at school.  At this age 15 minutes of focused effort/concentration is huge, and you can get everything you need to get done in a subject in that time daily. Start with an all in one complete workbook (not the best academically, but you are training him to behave while doing school) I like this one http://www.amazon.com/Comprehensive-Curriculum-Basic-Skills-Grade/dp/1561893692/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1330352373&sr=8-4#_  and have him do as much as he can get done in each section in 15 minutes- then give him a break to work on something he wants to learn for a ½ hour; with the following conditions, it must be quiet, it must not create a mess, it must be self-directed, and it must be something he works on daily (e.g. Lego’s, or reading about and building models of world structures, or reading, or colouring, listening to audio books or watching the secret millionaires club with Warren Buffet- get noise reducing headphones, for everybody you live with).  The trick here is to get him to learn that he has to do things he doesn’t want to do- and that sustained effort at anything positive brings good results. Also- if you have a hard time getting him back from the breaks- assign him a worksheet in each section let him know that he cannot get up, talk, eat, flop around in the chair etc. until all work is done (give him tickets for bathroom breaks here, each one worth 5 minutes- and feed and water him every 2 hours- no sugar)- and then he can have self-directed learning time.

    Ambleside online http://www.amblesideonline.org/  has a curriculum and that can be obtained mostly for free (especially if you have a kindle- the cheapest version tends to be the best for small children as it is sturdy, it’s hard to shop from, and it doesn’t do anything else)- I find myself using them as a resource for reading and ideas often.  Ambleside/ Charlotte Manson would be my recommendation to you once your son has adjusted to not being in a classroom- it is flexible, cheap, and allows him to run ahead.  There is no need for an ALP in homeschool- he just moves ahead when he is ready.

    We use curriculum outlined The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  My husband really liked the suggested schedule outlined in it- and we are secular homeschoolers so it allows us to substitute teaching our values/ civics for the religious portions. I like the Ambleside materials- so we use the materials from Ambleside and The Well Trained Mind- and the library.

     

    $900 is more than enough for a year- actually you could use the Robinson Curriculum http://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/  (not my favorite, although his methods are what we are working towards this year) which costs $195 for k-12 curriculum minus math, and substitute the recommended Saxon math with MEP maths http://www.cimt.plymouth.ac.uk/projects/mepres/primary/default.htm  (which is free, but can be difficult to work with) and have your curriculum through high school. 

     

     

  • 02-27-2012 12:24 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    tiredfromcoffee:
    We use curriculum outlined The Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer

    I use it as a guide myself.

    Do you use the books they publish for history and grammar? What are you using for math and science? I am just curious since we have a similar core.

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 02-27-2012 1:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

     History- SOTW storybooks, using the tests open-book, we add our own maps, coloring, and activities

    Science- Spectrum Workbooks (to make sure we have something documentable, and to make sure we have the basics covered) Nature Journals and zoo and science museum memberships

    Spelling-Spelling Workout

    Grammar: First Language lessons (started with copywork)

    Writing: Started using the Writing With Ease workbook after doing years of  copywork.

    Reading: I keep a book list . I figure laughter, tears, and re-enactments with dolls= comprehension.  Here is where I use Ambleside as a resource.  We also listen to audiobooks obsessively as a family so that we have an in-family book group,

    Math: Just scored Saxon 54 and 65 complete with tests and solutions manuals for $27.  I like it! Was using MEP

    Good Citizenship/ Civics: The Complete book of United States History, community hours, and various manners books

    Latin: Getting Started With Latin- I won’t be slavish about becoming fluent in Latin- but it is the homeschooled kid secret language in my area.

    The Arts: Guitar, lots of art supplies and how to books, Art Museum membership- art history, dance classes

    P.E.- ice-skating, dance, gymnastics, community hours, walks, soccer, etc.

    Life skills (Otherwise known as learning to do Mom’s chores well enough that you can do them on your own)

    Add an encyclopedia set and a giant dictionary for any questions I am too busy to answer….

    What are you using?

     

  • 02-27-2012 3:04 PM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-28-2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    tiredfromcoffee:
    What are you using?

    Ray's Arithmetic
    Story of the World and real books
    First Language Lessons
    Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading
    Mcguffey's readers
    The ABCs and All Their Tricks
    Prima Latina/Latina Christiana
    I use Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia as a core to outline studies and use real books and websites for each

    I have a vintage book for later grammar but I don't remember the name.

    I am going to start a new discussion on Writing With Ease. I am considering buying it but I am not sure what I need.


     


     

    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager



  • 04-03-2012 2:56 PM In reply to

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    Hi,

     You or grandma might check out the Unit Study curriculums.  You can use the unit study method across the board, or for just one subject. 

     Weaver, Konos, and Trisims are three that come to mind, although Trisims is for older kids.   I think most of the "set" curriculums do depend mostly on reading, so a hands on type of learning might work well for your son. And that's what you really need to know - how does he learn best?  Let him learn most things that way but do work to develop his weaker areas.

     My background, homeschooled two,  grades 1-12, both now in college.  I would encourage you to join a hs group where he can make friends and play.  Feel free to join more than one, whatever works for you, can fit in your schedule.  Search the internet for what is available in your area.

    starbrite

  • 04-03-2012 4:20 PM In reply to

    • gayla50
    • Top 10 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on 09-24-2007
    • Western North Carolina
    • Posts 8,491

    Re: Home schooling just getting started. PLEASE HELP!

    check for a homeschooling group in your area usually can get the information from the library.

    Gayla

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Frugal Food and Cooking and in Slow Cooker Foods



    Purpose is what gives life a meaning
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