Homeschooling Chat Thread
I can't find the old one lol starting a new one here
, Mar 15 2011 10:01 PM
71 replies to this topic
Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:01 PM
Hi to all of the old Homeschooling Chat Thread members. I couldn't find the old one and I assume there is a new one somewhere but I couldn't find it. So I am starting up a new one.
Hope everyone is having a good week so far.
We are all doing great, we have decided to stay put now after all of the moving talk. We are happy with the decision and all is good.
The girls are going to a homeschooling meet up tomorrow so that should be lots of fun. Hope it stays fine for the morning.
Posted 15 March 2011 - 10:16 PM
Posted 19 March 2011 - 11:49 PM
The meet up went great! All the kids enjoyed themselves.
Hope everyone is having a nice weekend.
Posted 20 March 2011 - 06:19 AM
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:54 PM
Posted 21 March 2011 - 06:17 PM
Well, the wheels have fallen off the wagon here because the IL's have decided that we should be going to the US with them in October. Of course, that means that I need to go back to work, pretty much full-time between three jobs and a business in order to make their wish come true.
(I hope they stopped stalking me here years ago!
Anyway, DS1 is enrolled to start school from Term Two until the end of the year. We will revisit home schooling then. I feel so manipulated into this that I could hit something!
Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:26 AM
Posted 22 March 2011 - 08:33 AM
we are off to another meet up, at the beach this time. We are all going to be drawing by the beach, should be a good morning out.
Hope everyone has a nice week.
Posted 24 March 2011 - 06:27 PM
Sorry, I should sound more positive about these things! I am sure the kids will love a week at Disneyland (but I cannot think of anywhere worse even without knowing that I will spend my day perpetually behind a stroller or pram). I do look forward to the break away but I also don't like the idea of having to keep up all three jobs and my business to finance it. I am almost sure it will kill me.
That said, the break means that I can gear up for next year and focus on getting DS2's behavioural issues under control so that even he may be able to home school again in 2012. Lots going on, and of course, we are still home schoolers at heart so will definitely be around!
Posted 24 March 2011 - 11:46 PM
Good to hear
Posted 31 March 2011 - 08:53 AM
Hi my name is cathy and i am thinking of homeschooling my kids.
currently i have a 8yr old in year 3 and a 5yr old in kindy. i have 2 other children not ready for school yet. they are 4 and 2. i guess my 4yr old can do some pre school stuff. im also due to have #5 in july/aug this year.
the kids are in the public system at the moment and im really struggling with it. both kids were at private before we moved. i loved it but know we cant afford private and i really want to be involved in my kids learning.
one of my close friends home schools all 6 of her kids. she went through alot of it with me last night. i loved it. its a great program she is using.
my big fear i guess is the social side and whether i can cope and how the rest of the family will react. i thought i will give it a go for the rest of the year and if its not working then i will just put them back into school next year.
what do you think? any advice would be great.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 12:48 PM
From your other thread:
im just wondering if any of you home school and how you cope with it. i am thinking of home schooling my 2 oldest and when the others are ready them as well. just not sure if i will cope espeially pregnant and with a newborn later this year.
The great thing about home schooling is that you can have it work around the needs of your family. I am not sure about 'coping' as for me home schooling is just an extension of being a good Mum. As parents we choose what we feel is the best educational choice for our children (and often review it at different points in their lives) and home schooling is just one of several options that some of us choose to undertake. Research has clearly shown that academic success is largely influenced by the level of parental involvement irrespective of the schooling mode chosen so I figured that home educators automatically have a hidden advantage!
Having home schooled all through last year with a newborn baby there are a few things I know you may have in mind. So here are my tips.
* Consider whether you want your 4yo at pre-school and decide what is best for you. We chose to take advantage of it because it gave each of our children a chance to have some autonomy away from their siblings.
* Plan to sleep at some point in the day, even if you don't then planned downtime can be good for everyone. I would get tired in the afternoon, especially with hormone changes when DD started dropping feeds, so if you plan for it then you can get sleep in. If you have a home school group that has afternoon activities then get to some now even if you don't have your older ones home schooling yet just to get to know parents and their families. Maybe there are a couple that you can have your children hang out with and get to know that may be willing when you really need it to pick up your kids for particular activities that interest them so that you can take advantage of having 1 or 2 less in the house for some rest also.
* If you don't sleep then it is a good time for read-aloud books. Either books that your children read to you, each other or that you read to them. Last year I would read one book, or one story from a compilation to them first then my eldest would read to me and DS2 until I fell asleep. Once I was asleep, in Winter, he was allowed to put a DVD on quietly for the two of them to watch either until I woke or until DS3 or DD woke (which usually meant that I would be woken also). In Summer, my sleeping meant backyard play so long as they did not waste water. (I would fill one bucket with water in anticipation of them wanting to fill their Super Soakers and spray bottles in really hot days). Breastfeeding is a great time for reading together also or for more noisy activities like instrument practise.
* Foster your children's independence (starting now)! If they are not already given independence then consider some of the things they can do to make your life a little easier. You can have your 4yo make his own breakfast if you present milk and cereal in a way that allows them to do so without making too much mess. You can have a family fruit bowl for morning and afternoon snacks and put yoghurt into smaller 'self-serve' sizes. Older ones can also help the younger ones.
* Your pre-schooler may swing between wanting to join in any book-based learning (depending on how you decide to go about your learning) and independent play. Just having something that they can work on when it suits them is a good idea. I have activity sheets that focus on one letter. There are pictures to colour in, then they cut them out and stick them down on coloured paper to make their own letter pages. I try to think back to songs and rhymes about the things in the pictures so that we can add more fun in. e.g C page has a picture of a clock so we sing Hickory Dickory Dock whilst he colours it in.
* The most challenging part, IMO, is the stage of teaching them to read and write independently. Once they can do this everything else seems to become easier because they can read instructions for activities and can become very independent very quickly. You will probably need to spend more time focussed on any child that is in this stage to coach them through their learning. Once your get through letter sounds and start getting through phonograms such as 'ch', 'wh', 'th', '-ing' and '-ed' life will suddenly become a whole lot easier (at least until the next one comes through).
- Make time for natural learning. No matter what learning philosophy you choose to follow make time for just 'exploring'. Only this last week I had a picture shown on the weather segment of the ABC News of a caterpillar on one of my boys fingers. They found it in the yard and spent a good half hour looking at it, talking about it and it's life and taking photos for themselves before I took a few pictures myself and then they put it back in the garden. We have done lots of 'macroinvertebrate' investigations this way as well as stopped when out to look at strange architecture, watch road works (including water pipe repairs) being done, as well as 'emergency vehicle' spotting. Some of the best learning happens when you stop to notice what is going on around you and cannot be replicated in book. Walking to the car from the Clipsal 500 there was a car accident (a very silly one someone had missed a corner and hit a bollard in front of pub). Once we worked out that there was nothing horrific but the person needed to be cut out because the door was stuck we stood several hundred metres back just for a minute to show the kids the fire'ies using the jaws of life to cut the vehicle open and pointed out the ambulance officers standing by waiting for their turn (leaving before it got to that point). Sometimes we are so busy getting from A to B we miss lots along the journey.
- Believe in your children - they are full of potential. With encouragement they can do anything they set their mind to. Here is just one inspiring example from this last year here
. You being their greatest supporter through their educational years is the best thing you can do!
- Worry less about socialisation! If I am right in guessing you are in Canberra then I am sure you will have no worries linking into their local home school groups. I met a few families there at the 2007 conference before we 'officially' started and know they are a top bunch. Believe me, it won't take long for your kids to book you solid and you will be tearing your hair out trying to make time to be at home! If you have major concerns or family have issues then consider having your kids join Scouts/Guides, Girls or Boys Brigade, Sporting Clubs or other groups for like-minded children. There are lots of options out there and a whole world of opportunities come up when you can have the whole school day up your sleeve and don't have to worry about things going too late because they can sleep in!
- As for family, they are just a reflection of the people they allow to influence them. There can be nay-sayers and the best thing you can do is be confident about issues as they are raised. Simply being able to confidently say, ' Yes, I am very mindful that [insert topic of discussion here] is an issue and [either] we have plans to address this by doing [A, B and/or C or] we are helping them adjust first and then we will definitely looking into options such as [A, B or C] just to diffuse the topic until you have a chance to work it out for yourself. Starting home schooling is a bit like having a new born baby. No matter how many books you read there are some things you just have to learn for yourself as new things crop up! The best thing you can do is choose to spend time with friends and family who will encourage you and help you out when you need it (especially when No.5. happens along). Just listening to a child read or coaching them through a page of math can make a huge difference.
Now, I have some questions for you! Have you thought about how you will approach learning with your children? You mentioned a friend showing you what they do. Is your friends children alike yours in demeanour and personality or do you think you will need to tinker around the edges to make it work for your family? Is there anything else that you are wondering about that we can give you perspective on?
Most of us hang out here to just 'touch base'. We all have our own approaches and, if you catch us when we are online, then you will get up to 8 responses from different perspectives to things. The good thing with home schooling is that there is no 'best way' but rather lots of 'best way for my family' or 'best way for my child' responses and then you can take all these and work out what will likely work best for you.
I am home schooling one at the moment with one at school (who has some 'unique' needs). The one who is home schooling will be enrolled and attending school from next term though, I guess you can say we are 'regrouping' this year as I have taken on extra work to make up for both the damage done by termites to our house that we found a few months ago (so we can start repairs as soon as soon as we have a green light that the baits have gotten rid of them completely) and to afford our trip to the USA later this year.
I myself am going to be taking some time whilst I am not home schooling to get our house in order to get straight back into it next year. I am already looking forward to starting again next year with a fresh slate.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 01:41 PM
Kris thanks so much. that was amazing to read.
I have ds1 is 8 dd1 is 5 dd2 4 and ds2 is 2. so i think i will be doing a grade 3 to start with ds1, kindy with dd and preschool with dd2. im going to have to think of some ways to keep ds2 occupied or involved.Have you thought about how you will approach learning with your children? You mentioned a friend showing you what they do. Is your friends children alike yours in demeanour and personality or do you think you will need to tinker around the edges to make it work for your family? Is there anything else that you are wondering about that we can give you perspective on?
both my kids have very different learning styles as all kids do. i guess it will be slightly easier now that my son can read and write and can work independently. he does like to rush through stuff so i need to keep him focused. my daugther is very quick at picking up stuff but is at the very begining so big focus on reading and writing. my son is very practical where dd is more umm dont know how to put ot really.
its going to be a challenge to make sure i dont compare and try not to push them to hard.
my friend has kids like mine. i am sure i will have to twick the program abit to suit us. there is things that she is strict on but im not.
like you said it has to work for your family. i do like her morning routine though so many use that
all the supplies you can get are very overwhelming. im not sure where to begin. i have found a good handwriting curriculum which i will use but everything else is just so overwhelming.
home schooling has nagged at me for years. ever since my friend started and i have always said i couldnt do it. but know i think is a great time to have a go.
im going to have to go and get my kids from school lol
will be back to finsh my post later
Posted 31 March 2011 - 02:45 PM
I caught up with a new homeschooler in January who I coached before she pulled her kids out of school last year. She told me the best advice that she got from each of us was not to rush yourself into buying set curriculum for the first year. Taste and see to start with, check out what others are using, use materials from the internet, and just see what your kids like before you decide. I have made some expensive mistakes before with some things that simply did not suit my children. What curriculum were you considering?
As for philosophies there are a few that people chose to follow dependent on the nature of their children, their learning styles and their family values. Some that come to mind are:
* Rudolf Steiner
* Charlotte Mason (living books)
* Montessori (independence and living skills)
* Natural Learning
all in addition to 'School at Home' which is like school reflected in the home environment. Of course, then there are 'eclectics' like me who take a bit of everything to make something that works for us.
Do you know much about these philosophies?
I hope I am not overloading you too much! Maybe, this is a better place to start:http://organiclearning.com.au/so-you-have-...school-now-what
Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:54 PM
haha no you are not over loading me.
i have never thought of a philosophy. i guess being a christian i will have it christian based but will pick stuff that suits my kids.
it is hard to know what is best. can you get like sample books to see if they work before spending stacks of money? that would be easier.
i have choosen a handwriting one and i think i have a maths one but will check with my bil as he is a maths teacher.
my mil is a kindy teacher at a christian school so i will get her to help me out with some good english stuff.
i really like the reading eggs so might start off with that and see how we go. just until i find out what level me kids are on.
do you have to get the kids tested before you start?
thanks for all your help
Posted 02 April 2011 - 06:06 PM
Socialisation - Try to make contact with organised home-schooling groups in your area. It not only provides great socialisation for the children but also can provide curriculum ideas and personal support for you. Try searching on google and maybe make a new thread here on 'essential baby' for other home-schoolers in your area.
Posted 02 April 2011 - 10:03 PM
I homeschool my 5. I find it ten times easier than sending them to school (mostly as we always had issues at school with their behaviours and SN's!) where as at home they are much calmer and no bullying going on!
You are welcome to ask me any questions you like also.
I an in WA and I try to organise (this year!) outings, at least two a month to museums etc so the boys get the usual outings that schools have (and more!) and they also get to play and meet other children. In WA as other states we have homeschool get togethers, usually there are several groups that meet on different days all round, so it will be the same in every state I imagine.
Curriculum you design your own from the many net resources or school or homeschool books available, or you can use the preplanned stuff that many distance ed or Christian/or other religion centres/schools have available (I'm speculating there as Ive never used it it!!)
I use all books as I simply dont have time to design my own daily plans and curriculum, maybe when I only have 1-2 to homeschool then I might but for now I use almost all preplanned (purchased) lessons, then all I have to do is deliver them - they tell me what to say, what to do. Such as MUS (Math-U-see) it has one lesson per day per page, comes with a DVD and you can get blocks to cement the learning, the child simply does one lesson (if need be the can watch the DVD to learn a new skill) then you just need to be by to assist them if they get confused etc....easy to have 3-4 lined up all doing maths and then walk between them to assist who ever needs it!
I have jsut started using "Learning Science through literature" with my younger ones, and the same with History, so that they dont get overloaded with boring info etc.
Oh and as to the test, no theres no tests before or after, the ED dept jsut like to see that you are making progress (varies state to state) but here we just need to show what books etc we use and some samples of work/photos or what ever, jsut to show we are mking progress of some sort!
Edited by macska™, 02 April 2011 - 10:05 PM.
Posted 04 April 2011 - 12:23 PM
I guess one of the things I found helpful when thinking about my personal 'homeschool philosophy' was to expound it a little. We wrote down things like:
* to have children who are bold in faith and confidently speak God's truth
* to have a heart for those in need.
Using these as part of our philosophy helped us design what we would do with our kids. For example, the first meant that we wanted to show that our society has many perspectives on issues (creation/big bang, evolution, sexuality & relationships and more) and that we would look at the good, the bad and the plain incorrect of these issues so that he can see not just why we believe what we do but can also speak out with confidence when someone suggests an alternate viewpoint. (Which also can help develop critical thinking skills).
The second places importance of role modelling love to others. This means that our children are expected to contribute to the housework so that we are all free to serve others. This can mean making a meal for someone in need, having coffee with a friend whilst my children entertain their young ones, or even writing cards and letters of encouragement to their friends.
Does that make sense?
I could talk to death about curriculum which is probably why it is best that I don't, well at least not right now.
Posted 08 April 2011 - 12:40 AM
I hope you all have been having a good week so far!!
Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:52 AM
Approx 18 months ago I asked a lot of questions in here as I was moving to WA and as I was unsure where we would settle and we were originally going to be staying with my MIL and FIL, I thought homeschooling would be the best option.
Well, we managed to get settled into a home before the school year started last year and ended up sending our kids to the local public school. It's a generally fantastic school and DD (10yo, year5) is thriving. DS (8yo, year3) is struggling big time!
He is currently in the midst of an aspergers diagnosis and has a confirmed auditory memory problem. No matter how often I talk to his teacher (last year and this), they don't seem to understand that he needs some adjustments in the way they talk to him. He is a bright little boy and ahead of his peers in nearly all areas but is constantly in trouble because they don't know how to handle him. He is a gentle, kind and sweet boy with the disposition of a labrador puppy which the teacher and his classmates seem to find confronting ...
Anyway, he has been coming home telling us that he has spent most of his day in isolation/resolution room/year 7 class as punishment for "not listening to instructions" etc. He has also come home recently with black eyes, scratches and bruises from other kids. We hear straight away from the school if DS even shouts at another child, but never hear when another child hurts him!
We've had a session with the school psych, his teacher and the teacher on office duty that day, who happened to be DD's teacher. His teacher insisted that all of his problems were purely behavioural and she had a plan to continue to punish and shame him into compliance. The psych disagreed and said that is issues were social and cognitive and that she needed to adapt how she approached work with him. His teacher continued to insist that he was just "a very naughty boy" and that he "obviously got away with murder at home and had no boundaries or discipline"
DD's teacher piped up at this point and stated that she had DD in her class and DD was a well behaved, disciplined and motivated child and there is no way that DS would have had any less boundaries, encouragement or time spent with him than she had.
Anyway, if you are still reading, I congratulate you!
We have decided that next Tuesday will be his last day of school. We are going to take a letter into the school, go to his classroom and gather all of his books/text books etc and leave. I will spend the holidays getting ready to homeschool him.
He is a beautiful, curious and compliant child when in a calm atmosphere. I keep our house quiet during the day and if he spends a day at home with me, he learns so much through reading, researching and talking with me. He is happy to sit at an activity for a while, so I think that homeschooling will be good for him. We just need to hook up with a local group to make sure that he gets to learn social skills as well.
His main social problems are ... not knowing when someone isn't interested in what he is talking about, not aware of others personal space, over enthusiasm at times, taking what others say literally, not reading emotion in peoples faces/voices/actions etc
He has, in the past 4 weeks become incredibly angry and has had outbursts at school. He has only once had an outburst at home and we were shocked by how angry he was and how he was unable to control himself! He was literaly seething and lashing out physically - neither of which we have ever witnessed before. This has only happened since he has been with his current teacher and we believe that he has been put down, shamed and punished unnecessarily too often and is now reacting.
So ... that's our story. I'm a homeschooling newbie and may well take a while to truly get into the swing of it but I believe that it will be worth it to see my DS settle back into his normal, happy self. He is looking forward to it as he comes home every day saying that he hated school. DD is happy to continue to attend school and as she is settled and happy there, we will leave her there.
Edited by ~ky~, 12 April 2011 - 01:56 AM.
Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:14 PM
Hi Ky! I will take the congratulations because I read every word.
We were already homeschooling DS1 when we had similar issues with DS2 at a local public school but for a sensory integration problem which is possibly caused by something more sinister which we are still trying to get to the bottom of. *sigh* So I know how tired you could possibly be and how much energy it probably took just to get all of that out of your head and somewhere where someone else can access it. I also know how emotionally exhausting it is when you are advocating for your child and the adversary is a teacher. I hope that you will be encouraged by the end of my post, if you get there, to keep going because you know your child best and know his needs better than anyone.
First, assuming he has support in the form of a psych/OT and the like, find some time to discuss your decision with them and get their advice on both the learning side of things and the development side of things (social development as opposed to the stupid term of 'social interaction'). Clearly, as a parent you want him to become a competent and capable adult and he will have some social challenges to overcome that you will need to plan for, however, as you now control most of the environments he goes into you are in a better position to set him up for success.
At his worst DS2 had meltdowns almost every school day within an hour of leaving school (a half hour after getting home) because the teacher did not to his sensory needs. The bill of damage to our house and possessions over the 7 weeks he lasted at that school was over $2,000. Home for us, although lacking the structure that he really needed, was the best option for him at least whilst we explored our options and kept working on the management of situation. I know the decision to pull him out was a hard one but it is one that will give you greater insight to his specific needs and be able to respond to them in the best way possible.
If you are looking for groups then the HEA is a good place to start. WA Support Groups
some may also operate on a mailing list and Yahoo! groups are common. This is probably a starting point: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HBLNPerth/
As you build relationships you may just uncover hidden talents in either older children or their parents who may be able to help you with social development issues. I know of a homeschooling teen here who helped an Aspie boy in the city understand facial exp
ression by creating a 'book of faces'. She drew two faces, one female and one male and then added facial exp
ressions to copies of them and wrote the meaning so that he could, initially, look at the book until he memorised them. Later he learned to ask people he trusted what exp
ressions he had seen meant when he did not know. Often, he would have blank copies of the faces and would draw them himself and show someone and then mimick it whilst saying what the person was saying. (I am not sure if the last sentence makes sense other than in my head). Anyway, given some time some gems may start to shine as you get to know people a little deeper than just going to events.
For us, our son needed structure and a responsive teacher. Based on the needs of DS1 also we knew that structure would not happen for DS2 so we spent six months interviewing schools. We gave up when we got a call from a school saying that they had a place open up and, long story short, he has transitioned well and has a very supportive teacher. So, until we know what is actually going on in his little body he is in a good place.
Homeschooling was great for him too though. We found when we met the teacher that he was over a term ahead even though he started Reception/Prep a term late and lost a term at the other school. So, he was tracking at twice the learning speed (approx) of his schooled peers. If my little boy can do that in a sub-optimal home environment then I am sure you can too. Just remember to cut yourself a break sometimes too. Some days will be better than others but learning happens anyway and sometimes it is not about academics at all but instead may be just getting them to be able to work with an unwillingness to learn or plain stubbornness to indirectly learn things like self exp
ression ('I am disappointed that I could not keep playing ...', 'I would like to do math now not science', etc) and learning those small essentials of communication is as important, if not more important, than the academics anyway.
I hope that you get connected with some awesome home school families and are able to get into it with confidence. Don't worry about the fine details yet just do what gets you started so you can find the right curriculum and learning activity matches for your child. DS2 still loves activities with a finite start and finish that are not open ended. So being told that he has 'three pages' to do keeps him happy. He also loves topic based unit studies even when he is at school! Once you get into a pattern and get some runs on the board you will be fine and you will be able to just move forward confidently.
In the mean time, we are here for you so feel free to pick brains about anything and everything! (And congratulations to you too if you got through this response).
Posted 18 April 2011 - 11:44 PM
Thanks for your help and encouragement ... it's really appreciated!
Well, I did it today. I went into the school, handed over the official notice and DS will finish up there tomorrow. I went and told his teacher and now she is telling me that she thinks he has ODD or something similar because he won't work for her! She told me to bring him back in a few months when I get sick of him ... what a cow! She has basicaly said that she thinks we will fail! She also insisted that DS has always had an anger problem and that we don't know him at all. Um ... we have noticed how much he has changed and become angry this year but before that, he was a gentle, happy and pretty even tempered little guy.
He's so excited! I know we will do well ...
Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:14 AM
Haven't been on EB much lately - trying to break this computer habit!
Welcome Ky and Catherine! ky
- congratulations on your decision to bring your DS home, I hope it goes well. And what nerve that teacher has
, she knows your child better than you, the parent
, after one term? Wow, what a power trip!Catherine
- oh curriculum choosing can be sooooo overwhelming, I know! Even when you're settled it's still hard not to second guess yourself or keep eyeing off other 'perfect' curriculum! But there is no perfect curriculum
! All we can do is choose what we think will work best with our children, our time, our teaching, our finances, our goals, and get into it. We're pretty settled on our choices now - I want to say finally because I've been researching for, oh, over a year. I finally just bit the bullet and decided. And Just to add to TheGoodLife's list, there is also classical education (which is different to school at home IMO) which you can read about here
We're classical/charlotte mason/eclectic/literature based/Christian in our philosophy, clear as mud?
It's great that you have an example to get you started! I find it really helps to 'see' what others are doing so I can get an idea of what works for other people, I might not use it, or I might try it and decide it's not for us, or try it and tweak it so it works for me...
and just incase it hasn't been posted yet, there are two australian homeschooling forums you guys might be interested in: http://aussiehomeschool.com/
Have a great easter everyone!
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:25 AM
ky - how rude of that teacher!!
I hope it all works out great!
Here are some good sites that some of you might like to look at.http://www.hea.asn.au/http://www.toytheater.com/music.phphttp://www.softschools.com/ http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/in...e/literacy.html
I hope you all have a nice Easter!
Posted 22 April 2011 - 10:54 PM
As if I forgot classical!
I am loosing my touch!
I hope everyone is having a great week and has a great Easter. I have just gotten back from a week at 'the block'.
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