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Old 08-19-2005, 02:28 PM   #1
ShangriLewis
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Default What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

I'm going to make this a sticky. It's one of those things that keeps coming up.

So, what is your best advice for a new homeschooler?


Mine would be to take it easy. Sit back and enjoy your children. Learn about who they are before you start trying to "teach" them. If they are in school already then let them take a break to find their place in the family. If you find a support group try to watch some other families in action. Take advice from the families who are comfortable and their children enjoy being at home.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Don't sweat it. Kids *will* learn.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Educational approaches, learning theories, curriculum options. . . All these can easily sweep a homeschooling mama away. These are just the trimmings--the core of homeschooling is nurturing our children and building our relationships within the family and with the Lord.
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Chill out, don't try to prove anything. Kids will learn and they don't all have to be geniuses. If it doesn't work, don't keep doing it. Be willing to try new things or take long breaks. Learning doesn't only happen Mon.-Fri. during specified homeschool hours. Don't try to be a school at home.
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Old 08-20-2005, 08:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Break free of the the 'school at home' model and free yourself to homeschool.
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Old 08-21-2005, 07:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

I have seen so many people decide to homeschool, and then just pick up Abeka's curriculum because that's what the private schools use/everyone else is using. My advice would be to read books about educational theories and learning styles before you pick a curriculum. Yes, the most important job is to love and know your child and help him learn about God. But at some point you have to teach the 3 R's, and I see too many people struggling and hating homeschooling because they are a slave to some pre-packaged, school-at-home, one-size-fits-all curriculum.

So here's my advice stepped out:

1. Relax and go with the flow.

2. Read up on educational theories and pick one that you like and you think will work for your family. (For example: traditional textbook, classical, literature-based, unit study, unschooling, eclectic, etc.) Keep in mind your child's learning style: visual, auditory, kinesthetic.

3. Look at as many different curriculums as you can that fall in the educational category you picked.

4. Once your curriculum arrives at your door, go back to step 1.
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Old 08-21-2005, 07:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

This is really helpful as a "getting ready to homeschool mama". Keep it comin'!
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Old 08-22-2005, 06:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Join a local homeschool group, but don't feel like you have to go to EVERY activity offered just so your kids will be "socialized". They are there as opportunities, and it's your job as teacher to choose which ones fit your family, your child and your current studies. For instance, our homeschool group usually does a field trip to Sun Studios every year, but we have no interest in going there. But, since Kevin's calling himself an artist these days, we probably will take advantage of a trip to Paint-a Piece, if one is scheduled.
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Old 08-22-2005, 03:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Be flexible with your kids and the curriculum you chose for them. If the writing curriculum you chose doesn't work out, don't be afraid to try something else.

Let the older siblings help the younger, as long as the younger ones are receptive. Everybody wins in that situation.

Allow for some unschooling: go to the library and let them pick out a subject they would like to learn, besides where you're at with your curriculum(s). This has been fun with my 6 yo who wants to learn about all 50 states!

Don't try to imitate the public school classroom. Let it be an environment that they can learn in. If your child feels more comfortable sitting on the floor, let him/her as long as it's in a good location. (not totally in the way)

Don't beat yourself up over your mistakes. You're only human too and God does allow second chances!

Take whatever homeschool advice that you think works for you. It's like being pregnant, everybody has their own labor stories!!

BTW, I've only been homeschooling for a month. Not bad, huh?
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Old 08-22-2005, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Do NOT let anyone~ acquaintance, family, friend~ "guilt" you into thinking you "ruined" your kids. No matter what they try to tell you, not all public school kids know the stuff they think our kids are missing!

both my older kids have learning disabilities and I have been hurt many times by people telling me "they would have done so much better in public school" "teachers in public schools are trained to deal with the disabilities"

If that is the case, why am I STARTING OVER with my 9yo who has been in public school for 2 years and seems to know less now than when I first sent him????? His learning disability was over-looked and undiagnosed! So much for no child left behind. Sorry, I am slipping into vent.

My ray of hope and reassurance is my dd. Sis didn't really understand how to read till she was 12, now at 13, she reads the kids bedtime stories.
Anyway, trust yourself and your kids. They WILL learn, just at their own pace and it will be ok!
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyTay
"teachers in public schools are trained to deal with the disabilities"
This is so not true! I have a degree in art education and we maybe spent 1/2 of 1 semester going over stuff like IEP's and dealing with disabilities. I never have gone into teaching, but I can't imagine that any more "training" would have been offered (except "on the job" training, meaning trial and error!)
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Old 08-23-2005, 06:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyTay
My ray of hope and reassurance is my dd. Sis didn't really understand how to read till she was 12, now at 13, she reads the kids bedtime stories.
Anyway, trust yourself and your kids. They WILL learn, just at their own pace and it will be ok!
Tay that is wonderful that you were are able to do this. I bet she just loves to read now.
Great Advice!!!
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Old 08-29-2005, 10:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Read, The Well Trained Mind.
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Old 09-03-2005, 01:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

Heather, and other moms....
How long do you think is too long to "relax and get to know your kids"? I started my first season in January and between de-scooling and learning GBD I feel like I'm still at square one. They are still not ready to learn and I am still not ready to "teach" without making education a bootcamp. We are all still needing to learn to listen to one-another and respect one-another, among other relational issues. Keep in mind that we read together, go on nature walks, do some copy work and online math practice at aaa math. I am reading about Charlotte Mason's philosophy and methods and am interested in adding that for my oldest who is 9 years old. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-03-2005, 01:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: What is your best advice for a new homeschooler?

whisper,

I'm a "better late than early" type, so I think you are doing fine. If your oldest is 9, I would certainly start adding a little more to her day. Make sure your read alouds are not twaddle. Have a mix of science, history, and fiction. I love Charlotte Mason! How old are your others? My oldest is 6, but I do not intend to start requiring work from her until she is closer to 8 or 9. Now she does do work, but I don't require it yet. Does that make sense? We are very relaxed. I have never had to "de-school" but I think it would benefit you to take the time you need. If you get scared and jump into boot-camp mode, you won't accomplish your goals for taking your kids out of school in the first place.

We are working on lots of behavioral issues as well. And making the switch to GBD is not easy. Give yourself a little more time. I'll bet by January, you will be in a better place.
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