Resources

rayne
By rayne on Tue, Jun 11, 2013 - 12:40am

Would anyone like to share recommendations on homeschooling resources?  I am new to this idea and my son (JET) is still only a toddler so I have a few years to read, research, and prepare.  I really don't want to be restricted with a set boxed curriculum but I also don't think radical unschooling will fit either.  We will probably go ala carte with whatever materials work best for him.  

I am reading Project Based Homeschooling by Lori Pickert right now and started "project time" with my son.  He loves it!  I cover the kitchen table with a cloth and then put out a few sheets of cardstock, some popsicle sticks, crayons, markers, colored glue sticks, and various small containers filled with buttons, pompoms, feathers, etc.  The only rule for project time is that no one leads JET into making anything.  He does whatever he wants with the materials.  I usually sit next to him and make something and only once did he try to copy my idea.  I feel like this will be a good way to transition him into self-directed homeschooling.  

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7 Comments

marky's picture
marky
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 27 2010
Posts: 33
Homeschooling

We home school our youngest daughter, who is currently in 9th grade, and it is going really well.  We've found the availability of various homeschool co-ops in our area to be very valuable and a good supplement to the home-schooled academics. They help with socialization and various elective subjects, so I would check out the availability of these resources in your area.  Having put our twk older kids through the public schools we have a basis for comparison and I would say I'm really pleased with the decision to home school our youngest.  But all kids and needs are different, of course. Good luck!

jasonw's picture
jasonw
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 17 2011
Posts: 1029
What we use

We just completed our first year of homeschooling with our daughter, age 6 -kindergarten (Song playing in the background - "Schools out for the summer") and so far it was great.

Couple of things I should mention.  We are very fortunate to have access to lots of options for both private and public schools that are charter schools and support both part time and full time homeschooling.  The charter we enrolled in is a public charter that supports us for whatever curriculum we want to go with but we have to document activities and lessons that fit within "state standards".  Not too big of a deal and we then get a curriculum and supply budget from the state..  So when looking at homeschooling options - check out your local schools to see what support they offer.  Then you have build in community to help support you.

We use the Enki Curriculum and it is a pretty flexible and open collection of lessons and methodology.  We also sprinkle in a bit of unschooling as well and just document activities that fit into the "standards".

Learning and exploration takes place all the time around here so "school" happens all the time.  For summer school - swim lessons, nature hikes, garden harvesting and planting, etc. 

My wife is also signed up with a lot of homeschooling and Enki yahoo groups and stays connected virtually also.

There are lots of resources out there and the hard part may be sifting through them to find what works best for your family. 

Good luck!

Mohave's picture
Mohave
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 16 2013
Posts: 9
No tips, but a quick story...

My sister with barely a HS diploma homeschooled all three of her kids. The oldest (daughter) has a masters in Sociology. Her second (son) just got his bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. Her third (son) graduates from HS next year and already has a year of college under his belt. He wants to study robotics, and already teaches at a summer computer camp on the subject.

Now my niece, the Sociologist, homeschools her children...

She tells me the difference between her kids and others their age in the niegborhood that go to public schools is incredible. She says the public schooled kids seem introverted compared to her kids. Of course she is biased, but she's also trained to notice such things...

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Good for you for exploring this path!

So glad you are reaching out for ideas and resources. 

My four kids have always homeschooled.  They are now 9, 10, 13, and 14. 

My best advice is to get to know other homeschoolers.  You may find some in your local area, or you may need to reach out beyond your town.  When my oldest was three, I could not imagine homeschooling, but neither could I imagine sending him to preschool.  I was lucky to meet a couple of homeschooling families and observe their kids "in action."  Although at the time I wasn't thinking I would homeschool, it helped me later feel that I really could do it, if they could.  I've also found it helpful through the years to connect with families whose kids are just a little bit older than mine.  A few of my now-close friends have homeschooled kids in full-time sleep-away college, and it's been amazing to see their kids mature and grow -- and navigate the application and admissions process as nontraditional students.

We know a number of families who have used Oak Meadow curriculum and been happy with it.

Whatever you do, remember that you are the foremost expert on your child, and trust yourself to find the solutions that meet his needs.  Don't let anyone around you bully you (or him) into defending your choice or proving yourselves with informal quizzing.  It's nobody else's business what your kid is learning and how they are progressing, except perhaps the state (depending on the laws where you live).  Trust that you'll figure out together how best to nurture his learning.

See if you can find one or more local homeschooling groups to connect with (you may need to drive up to an hour or so to find them, but it's well worth it.)  Social support from likeminded parents is priceless.

Good luck, and please post more about your journey as it unfolds.

KathyP's picture
KathyP
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 19 2008
Posts: 87
Home School Curriculum

For years, I've read mentions of the Calvert School curriculum in accounts of families who've done long distance, around the world type sailing.  While you don't want to be restricted with a "boxed" curriculum, a tried and true curriculum might provide a helpful guide.  Here's a link:  http://homeschool.calvertschool.org/

Good luck.  Sounds like you and your child are having a great time.

treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
I admire

you folks who home school, I wouldn't know where to begin.  Good for you!

rayne's picture
rayne
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 29 2012
Posts: 33
Thanks!

I am familiar with both Oak Meadow and Calvert but had not heard of Enki.  I've joined an unschooling yahoo group in my region and they seem pretty active.  I also am on www.secularhomeschool.com which has a lot of information on resources - almost too much it's overwhelming!

I'm not worried about being able to homeschool effectively (I have 8 years of college under my belt) but I don't want to push too hard and take the fun out of learning.  I feel like I could homeschool highschool no problem but elementary school is more of a mystery.  There are so many differing opinions!  

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