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Jul 01, 2008 - 20 comments

hi everyone, with my husband and I moving in the next couple of months back to TX, we are going to make it back just in time for our oldest to start school. This will be her first yr. (shes 5) and we decided to go ahead and let her attend this first yr because I will be working and my husband will be gone and everything is just crazy. BUT when he gets out of the Navy after his deployment we have decided to start homeschooling both of our girls. I love the idea of it and we are really interested in doing it. I was just wondering if there is anyone out there who does this that could give me the rundown. The cost, what you do for social interaction, what it takes to get the license, anything and everything. I am also interested in the Montessori techniques and if anyone out there knows anything about that please shed some light on how your children do with it. thanks!

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Avatar universal
by JoyRenee, Jul 01, 2008
My MIL homeschooled and I hope to homeschool when my children are older. I really want them to go to elementary school with other children and then they can decide from there if they want to continue public schooling or stay home with me. I like the idea of homeschooling.

However, I don't have any idea of the costs. My husband and his 3 siblings were homeschooled so I can give you info from their point of view. First, they are incredibly smart and they are social people. For social interaction, they had church (their dad was the pastor so they were always there) and other homeschooling kids, plus neighborhood kids they hung out with.

My MIL took them on long walks and hikes, bike riding and things like that for gym. They also took trips to museums, the zoo, historical buildings and things like that for field trips. Everything was a learning experience. School would start at a certain time in the morning, after breakfast. Their mom would do a lesson plan and they'd work on their workbooks. I believe all of them graduated early (17 years old, just one year early). They were able to work at their own pace. Their mother was able to give them specific attention and help so they were learning at the pace that suited them. She also knew which subjects were their best and worst.

My SIL (the one who was homeschooled) and I have children the same ages. So we plan on trading off school days. Science is my best subject, math is hers. My husband is a musician and could teach music and singing. My MIL could do sewing, cooking, and cleaning lessons. My FIL could do speech and debate with them. So everyone would work together to make them well-rounded and well-educated kids!

You should find a homeschooling association in your area and speak with them. You could find one that suits your needs (you like Montessori, so find a group that is designed around that technique). They would put on dances and activities and field trips and you'd also get social interaction in that way as well. Also, you could find other moms to switch days/weeks off with so you could teach the subjects that are easiest for you!

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 01, 2008
wow that just gave me a bunch of good ideas! i really need to do a lot of researching but yes, i have had friends that did it with their children and they were always so advanced. My biggest issue was just what to do about the interaction, but field trips with other moms is such a good idea i didnt even think of. Your family sounds amazing, they really will be getting a well rounded education. I know my daughter will love going to public school, my youngest wont. Taylar is VERY very very social, and loves being in a classroom, I used to do MOPS with her and she never wanted to leave. they were all her "best friends" lol. so im a little worried over that...

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by LauraB78, Jul 01, 2008
PLEASE please research this.. I was engaged to a man a few years ago who's ex lived in TX.. She decided to homeschool the kids and when she had to move again the following year and they had to go to public school b.c she had to get a job (she fell on hard times) the kids were very behind. The kids were socially inept and I just think the interaction with other children and being part of organized sports/choir/whatever is sooooooooo important. Just my opinion/experience but I wanted to share here...Hope this doesn't offend anyone..I dont believe you need a license in TX to homeschool and her new husband is a pastor and she is fairly inteligent.. The lack of interaction had an ill effect on the 2 kids, that's all I know for sure.. Good Luck !

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by chantal21, Jul 01, 2008
Well I have some info as my mother homeschooled me and my siblings. You don't need a license where I live (PA) and I have had both experiences with going to school and homeschooling. I went to school from K-4...then was homeschooled 5-8, private school in 9th, and finished out my highschool years homeschooling. I loved it because of the flexibility you have. As far as costs, I don't believe it is expensive at all. You can either do your own curriculumn or follow one. There are many options out there and doing lots of research is the best thing you can do! As far as the social aspect, I never suffered in any way, and was actually ahead of kids who attended school. There are many ways to get your children involved in social activites in your area. Where we live, the schools are very homeschool friendly and allowed me to participate in activites and sports. I also was involved in a homeschool co-op once a week where I was taught art, sign language, and physical education, to name a few, and also interacted with kids my age. It was a great experience. My husband and I plan on homeschooling our children and once they reach highschool, will give them to option to continue homeschooling or go to school. I think it's great for younger children as they are easily influenced in schools at such a young and tender age. I think the best place for them is at home and you can monitor who they interact with better than if they went to school. (just my opinion) And you can be the one to instill the values you want your child to grow up with it. There are lots of groups you can join for homeschool field trips and those are always fun and educational for the whole family. (just like Joy mentioned)
If you stay committed and do a lot of research, it can be a wonderful experience for all! =)
If you want more details, I can give you my mom's e-mail addy and I'm sure she can share lots of information and her experience with it since she has been doing this for so long now.

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by Michele, Katy, TX, Jul 01, 2008
I don't personally homeschool my kids as I work.  But my SIL does homeschool my nephew and neice.  My neice is the smartest I have ever seen.  She is 3 and reads very well.  My SIL is very smart and a wonderful mother.  I am sure she did tons of research on this before making the decision.  I can def understand why they chose that route with all of the things out there today to influence children.  I agree with chantal21.  When they are young, they are tender and easily influenced.  Yet, I think they are still the same when they are teens.  Only then, you get to worry about people going into schools and shooting innocent people for no reason.  So, public school is scary nowadays.  

That's really all I can offer but my neice amazes me.  She can read almost as good as her 5 year old brother according to my bro.  Ha ha!!  

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 01, 2008
thank you so much for all the opinions and info, and chantal i would love to hear what your mother has to share on this. Laura of course that didnt offend me and i wouldnt think anyone else, thank you for sharing. with a decision like this to make i need all the insight and experiences i can get!

Avatar universal
by JoyRenee, Jul 01, 2008
Your children will become as structured and influenced and exposed as you allow them! There are some home-schooled children who can't read or write and just play all day. And then there are some who graduate early and are incredibly smart. A lot of that depends on the parent. You'll do great!

... and now I have to say after researching since my last post on here... I can't even afford schools here (private). Not to mention that public schools here are rated 2 out of 10 in education. It's so pathetic and frustrating! The best chance my kids have here is homeschooling or private schooling. Private is WAY WAY too much (over $400 a month). So unless a out-of-district school will allow us, I'm homeschooling!

So looks like I may be homeschooling with you, luv2bmommy! We'll have to share ideas. My daughter is 3, though, and yours is 5 but I bet we can still come up with neat ideas. I've already taught my daughter quite a bit and I'm nervous with the entire, "teaching her to read and write" aspect but I know she'll be great.

Avatar universal
by JoyRenee, Jul 01, 2008
AJH84 may leave a post on here (if not she's an AWESOME source of homeschooling info). She sent me this link:

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 01, 2008
thats ok Joy, I plan on including my 3 yr old in the homeschooling as well when I begin! I guess we can start whenever we want... LOL ! I could start tomorrow if I knew enough. Thanks for the link, I'll be up late tonight getting educated on all this! Its very exiting! I was just whining the other day about sending my oldest off to school but I think this will be good for our family and kids. I'm exited to hear of some of the ideas you have also, by your blog I can already see you are a creative person with tons of projects going on all the time. Im going to try to find a community of homeschooling families too

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by AHP84, Jul 01, 2008
I was homeschooled on and off for years, and that's the only kind of schooling I ever preferred. However, taking the step to do it comes with so many stigmas, unfortunately.
The main thing you need to consider is that you, as your children's teacher, are going to have to go out of your way to learn new things, or things you forgot, and study those things BEFORE teaching them so you don't teach them wrong information or confuse them. It really takes more dedication and self-discipline on the part of the parent than for the children, because you are their enforcer and teacher. They will look to you for motivation to learn, and you have to be in tune with their learning needs.
For example, I was a very introverted, quiet, compliant child. I also was deeply emotional. So if I didn't understand something, I'd get frustrated and cry and shut down. My mom was the only "teacher" I ever had that knew how to work through or around those episodes.
On the other hand, my younger sister is very outgoing, social, headstrong, witty, and prissy. My complete opposite. My mom never homeschooled her long term, but has sent her to private schools most of her life. However, she does the equivalent of homeschooling my sister with enforcing home study and helping her with homework. And boy I'll tell ya, I've seen the two of them butt heads!
My mom only had to set schedules and lists for me to work by, and I was compliant and self-disciplined enough to follow, but my mom's approach to schooling my sister is strict enforcement and oversight, very military almost. BUT, the both of us are intellectually and academically above average and always have been because of my mom's dedication to teach us how we NEEDED to be taught, rather than us ending up in a classroom with 18-25 other kids overseen by one teacher.
Both of us are considered mature beyond our age, but again, that has to do with the effort our mom put into providing our socialization. Since my sister was never really homeschooled full time, she's always had the peer socialization that people against homeschooling freak out about, so for her this has never been an issue. With me, my mom had me enrolled in taekwondo lessons, horseback riding lessons, a season of baseball with a local public school, private music lessons, and took me places all the time that would equate to field trips. My sister and I have never in our lives had a social problem, we've never been academically behind, and we've always been able to handle situations with a level head on our shoulders.
Anyway, as far as the affordability of homeschooling, it's what you make it. The link posted above by JoyRenee has all kinds of links to methods of homeschooling and financial budgets.
I plan to homeschool my son when he starts first grade, however, I'm a single mom and my salary is fairly low. In three years, that could change, though. I may be married by that time and my salary will be higher, or, if I'm lucky, I can be a stay at home mom and homeschool him. But for now, I'm planning to homeschool him as a full-time working single parent on a low salary. I searched on that possibility and came across the above link for the state of AL, which provided info about how I can do just that.
Anything is possible for homeschooling when you're informed enough, skilled enough, and dedicated enough to do it. And the benefit of homeschooling your child depends entirely on you.

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by swampcritter, Jul 01, 2008
Swampy was formally educated in private schools, however, his father was a college professor and he had an older brother who excelled academically (and is today a physicist). Swampy credits both these people with an incredible amount of his education -- homeschooling in a sense. These two provided a high intellectual bar and an invaluable example.

From the standpoint of doing what will cause future success, your goal should be to provide a foundation that will lead to at least one four year university degree, if not more. This is almost required for employment these days.

Universities can, and do, admit homeschooled students, but they require substantial documentation, and they'll certainly require standardized tests, and AP courses. Its also helpful to have community college courses. Finally, the student should have demonstrated entrepreneurial development, and done volunteer work in the community, and belonged to social organizations.

Okay, so what does this mean for student who is four and just starting out? It turns out that many of the indicators of future success develop early in life. Not only the ability to read, but the amount of books read (by that Swampy means a broad spectrum of classic and modern works, fiction and non-fiction). Building vocabulary and spelling skills. Learning the numbers, and seeing place value and the very beginnings of addition.

Swampy would add two things -- learning to play a musical instrument and learning a second language.

Swampy thinks that you should go visit your local schools and evaluate what they are doing. They'll let you observe.

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 01, 2008
AJH84, wow! I hope to achieve the same standards as your mother reached. I believe I have the dedication, I have two very very bright little girls, now all I need is the information and skill. Thank you for all of your help. I do plan on doing lots of research, and in school I always caught on quickly to anything that was taught to me so I think I am starting off on the right foot! As you said with your sister, I also have two very different children. They are night and day. Already I have come across several things that I have had to teach them differently. So maybe when they are old enough one of them will choose to go to a public or private school, but like your mother, if that is decided I will keep a close eye and involve myself in everything they do. I also wondered if I were going to be able to work outside of the home, or take any classes. But I'm sure I can work that into my schedule if need be. I also need to associate myself with the other parents involved in homeschooling in my area, so if I ever had any questions there would be that support. Thanks for all of the information! The idea of this just popped up the other day... so my husband and I have only just started laying the ground work for it. I can use all the information I can get.

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 01, 2008
swampy, more good information! Thank you! I had always wanted to get them lessons in music/art, and teach them a second language. I suppose it wouldn't be any good if I didn't learn some of these things myself. In which case with the instrument and language we would be learning at the same time as opposed to me teaching the concept to them after I myself had grasped it. I think I will go and sit in at our elementary school a few times. I never knew they would let you do that. How fun!

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by msgorgeous, Jul 01, 2008
I think homeschooling is great . public schools today arernt doing there job in some aspects. so i say go for it like the woman said above more one on one time. you will be able to focus on there needs in learning also youll be able to spend quality time with them. what better role model then there parents :) and if there struggling you will be able to take time to help them through it. And you would also be learning new things and brushing up on the old things lol good luck i think its a wonderful idea to home school your children :)

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by agomez333, Jul 09, 2008
SO I worte you in the maternal and child forum that I homeschool my three children and love it.. The kids all lve it too... My oldest who is going into 9th gradde was in school through 5th then came home, and my younger 2 I took out after Christmas and wish I would have taken them out sooner. They just finished 4th and 5th grades. My family is closer than ever. The kids get along much better. I am also learning a great deal with them so that makes it fun for the whole family. There are so many different cirriculum choices out there there is definately something for everyone... Different comanies are better for diferent ages and different learning styles. My kids seem to be learning better sice I can customize the cirriculum to fit them not try to make them fit the cirriculum. As for those kids that go back to public school and are behind, yes it happens, but that responsibility falls on the parents. If you are diligent and "teach" the kids don't just give them work books they really learn and retain what they learn much better. There is a huge support network here with groups and co-ops and field trips. You just have to research this in your state/county...
Let me stress again that homeschooling is not for everyone... It is a HUGE commitment and sacrifice. Not everyone is able to do this, but for those who are able and willing it is amazingly rewarding...
Good luck and if you tell me the ages of the kid or kids you are interested in homeschooling I can suggest a few cirriculums for you to research....

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 09, 2008
Thank you so much! yes I have been researching quite a bit and you are right, there is so much out there so I am having a little trouble narrowing it down... lol I want to teach them EVERYTHING. If you have any suggestions in mind please, share!

Avatar universal
by JoyRenee, Jul 09, 2008
Swampy, I know your info was directed to luv2bmommy but I have to say that I'm so blessed to be married into a musical family! I, on the other hand, am musically challenged. But my husband is a singer and guitarist (so is the rest of his family), so I'm really excited about that! My kids already show a love for music and singing and dancing.

On another note, everyone else--- I think it's also important to find an extracurricular activity outside of the house. A sport, dancing, tumbling, art classes. Just something outside of the home! I'm going to let my girls decide and they'll have a minimum amount of time that they MUST spend doing the activity. If they find that it wasn't their forte, then they can choose something else, instead of just quitting.

What I love about homeschooling is that I have to go through school again, too. I LOVE learning and reading. So I'm really excited about that aspect. I learned French in school, but I'll let me kids pick a language. I think Italian would be awesome! Especially because I live in a very diverse city (it's just a meltin pot of cultures) and we have a lot of Italians around us.

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by luv2bmommy, Jul 09, 2008
OH, I forgot! My girls are ages 5 and almost 3. I do plan on starting them both out this year. I had planned on putting my daughter in public school this year, but the more I research and get to know what I am doing, the more prepared I feel to start this year with ease.

Avatar universal
by JoyRenee, Jul 09, 2008
I love school supply shopping... We went to Walmart today to get some groceries and I saw the workers putting out school supplies!!!

I've been debating on whether or not to officially start Elaina (3 yrs old) in school this year. I'm going to work with her on numbers and letter recognition and writing, but I'm not going to be grading her or submitting a grade to the state or anything like that. Or however it works. LOL! I still need to do some more research on how all of that works.

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by sweetangel7, Jul 15, 2008
The formative years of a child's education are the most important.  If a student isn't working at grade level by the third grade, there will be educational deficits for the rest of their life.  There is sooo much research out there on how the brain works, learning theories, diagnosis and remediation of learning difficulties, and effective instructional methodologies for all learners.  IF you homeschool, I would enroll in some classes at a local college to ensure that you are truly doing your child a service by homeschooling them...I'm a teacher-I have my Master's degree in Education plus an additional 15 credits working towards CAGS and or ED.D, as well as a bachelor's degree in  Elementary Education and a second bachelor's degree in English (and I had to pass all sorts of tests designed for teaching) and I feel that there is so much to know about education and I know that many people successfully homeschool their children however I would encourage you to put your faith in the public education system...sorry to hear about the schools where Joy is but public education can be done 'right' and MA is proof of it...we have high standards for our teachers and students...we consistently score top in the country on the NAEP (the only national standardized test) as well as compete internationally with countries such as Japan.  I think it is great that you want to be a part of your children's education however I just wanted to put my two cents in for the public education system and the educators who are highly educated and qualified who differentiate instruction based on individual needs and learning styles...Good luck whatever way you go!

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