New here and I really need some help.

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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New here and I really need some help.

Postby tashas_heart4u » Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:52 am

Forgive me for x-posting this (that's ok, extra removed) but I don't know where to put it and I really need some help.

I know I'm new here but I'm giving serious consideration to homeschooling. I want to post my story first and I would really appreciate some honest advice.
Here is what has been going on...
My daughter goes to a public school. She has been having some very serious problems with a certian group of girls. They have been very vulgar towards her so I will try to be more polite when I explain what they've said to her.
The first incident my daughter was eating her lunch and this group of girls starting throwing milk cartons at my daughters friend. When her friend got tired of it and asked them to stop, they got up came over and punched her in the face and kicked her. Then they went over to my daughter and told her if she said anything she was going to end up like her friend, they also called her an "ugly white *b*". Okay seriously, my daughter is 12 years old! She is the sweetest thing, and I'm not just biased either. She plays the violin, she's a fantastic big sister, she's so neat and organized, and she has the BIGGEST heart. It breaks mine to peices that someone would ever talk to her like this. She's never been to the principles or ever had any discipline problems, and she gets straight A's...she always has.

She told me that they have made this "ugly white *b*" remark her nickname. That's all they call her.
The next incident was the other day, they threw a sponge at her head and then smacked her in the back of her head when they went to pick it up, basically trying to make it look like an accident so they had a right to put their hands on my daughter. Then they told her they were going to make her "black and blue" and make her look like she "had cancer".
Yesterday, they kicked her violin case shut, kicked it out of the way, and put all of their stuff where her violin was.
I have reported EVERY SINGLE incident to the principle. Every time he tells me that it qualifies under their no bullying policy and that he will definitely be taking care of it. Except, it still keeps happening! My daughter is terrified of these girls. She avoids them at all cost. They seek her out just to terrorize her. I'm so tired of this. I was literally in tears yesterday waiting for her at the bus stop because I was basically waiting to find out whether my daughter was emotionally or physically assaulted while she was at school for the day.
I am not the kind of person to sit around and do nothing. I called the police and they basically told me that it was better for me to let the school deal with it because they just don't have the laws to support arresting 12 year olds with any follow through. He said he could arrest her but she would get out in an hour and nothing would ever come of it.
So I have no support from the police and obviously the school is NOT doing enough. She tells me how scared she is every day. I feel so awful.

So here is my question...or where I need advice.
I am giving serious consideration to homeschooling her. She is incredibly smart and I am only 2 classes away from my BA in psychology so I know I can handle teaching her. I feel like I need to protect her from people like this, isn't that my job as a parent? I feel like I've run out of options with the school. What am I suppose to do now? What would you do? Is pulling my daughter out of public school the right choice in a situation like this?

My other problems are this. We are do not have a lot of extra money. I don't know if we can afford homeschooling. I also am afraid that my daughter won't take it as seriously as school. I am completely undecided on this issue. I don't even know anyone who homeschools IRL so I really feel isolated in this issue. Another problem I have is that we are not overly religious people. While I would be okay with textbooks that teach some basic christian values, I do not want textbooks that are completely overwhelmed with religious information and homeschooling really seems a very religious are there books that aren't overly religious? I feel so clueless about the whole homeschooling process. The more I've looked into this online today the more frustrated and confused I've become. Please help!

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Postby 4given » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:23 pm

I am very sorry to hear all the troubles your daughter is encountering. :cry:

I would absolutely pull her out today. Depending on your state laws, that may be as simple as a withdrawal letter so they don't count her as truant.

HSing does not have to be expensive. We survive on my husband's miniscule salary and somehow manage to have all the curricula and supplies we need. Whatever sacrifices we make are well worth it, in our opinions.

I know for certain there ARE secular choices out there. I'm not sure what they are, but someone will probably come along soon with help in that area.

Keep us posted if you will.

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Postby Lily » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:29 pm

I agree - pull her out. Look up your state's laws on a site like A to Z or HSLDA and get her out of there ASAP.

There are a lot of ways to homeschool, including doing it for cheap or free. We are not religious in the least but we do end up paying quite a bit for resources because we buy new and have a very small library. If you go with something like (Charlotte Mason style) it uses a lot of "living books" (aka regular books, not textbooks) and the student builds their own textbooks in the form of notebooking.

Check your library's education section to see what they have, and take a look at the different styles out there. You have plenty of time - if things are like this you may want to deschool for a while (take a small vacation from education as you both regain your relationship and desire to learn). During that time you can look at places like or to find some of the resources available to you. Homeschool Share is one of my favorites because they have unit studies free on there. We're doing one on the Civil War right now with library books and printables from their site.

Hang in there. There's lots of support online even if you don't have it in real life.
"The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
- M. Montessori
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Postby mandiana » Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:38 pm

Time4Learning is a cheap and easy way to get started. It's only $20/month for 4 classes (English, Math, Social Studies and Science).

What state are you in? Many states also offer free online homeschooling classes. Or, contact, as they provide the classes for many of the states that offer the free homeschooling, to see if they offer free classes in your state.
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Postby MelissaM » Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:11 pm

Oh, this brings back so many memories of my time at school, although it got much worse as the years went on, and still the school did nothing - in fact they blamed me.
I still notice the difference that bullying made to me to this day in the workforce. It's really been something I've had to consciously work through at some length.

Talk to your daughter about what she wants. Having input will make all the difference as to how she will take to homeschooling. And, don't worry that your curriculum will have to be religious. You can use any curriculum you want. You can even create your own which may or may not need to be approved, depending on your local laws. You can utilise all sorts of free resources too, such as the library, so you can keep expenses to a minimum.

Good luck, and continue to look after your daughter the best you can. She'll remember that.
Getting Started in Homeschooling is easy at

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Postby ncmom » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:46 pm

If you have the option of getting her out I would! *this is of course after you have checked your state laws* She isn't learning anything anyway if her mind is always wondering where those other girls are.

For curriculum, I would recommend asking on your local freecycle, checking craigslist (even under their free listings sometimes), goodwill, salvation army, I have loaned my materials out before to new HS parents that started mid year so you might be able to find someone to do that, there is the library, and then of course the internet. You can also check Ebay if you know what you are looking for.

I personally use Abeka for most of our classes and although it actually has separate religion classes it still does use bible quotes as sentences in English and things like that.

If you want strictly secular then personally I would recommend math u see or if you are in a pinch Saxon (I wouldn't use Saxon but it would be the cheaper option), history is just I would use the library. Pick a topic or timeline to cover and read on it. Maybe use the notebooking method for this. Science is a little harder and I don't know what to recommend except to look up the publishers of the science books used in the PS. English, I know people who use Writing Strands but again don't know what to suggest and for lit I would just pick some books that she would enjoy reading while mixing the classics in throughout the year.

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Postby homeschoolnewbie » Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:00 pm

OMG, pull her out now! Go to and order Barb Shelton's High School FormULa before purchasing any other curriculum. I say this because this happened to my daughter for 2 years. I didn't listen to her. I let the "system" handle it. My daughter came home one afternoon and told me she hated herself, school, and she wanted to die. I couldn't believe how blind I allowed myself to be. We cried together and started homeschooling. Actually, we took a couple of months off to go to the museum, do some field trips, meet some new people, and learn to build healthy friendships. She and I needed the break to learn to enjoy each other and start over. I will never regret my decision ever. She was 10 then and now she's 15, and I can't believe how she's blossomed. Listen to your heart.
Switching to Homeschooling?
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Oh my goodnesssssssssssss!!!!

Postby wrightno » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:05 pm

What is going on with the public school systems these days! I live in St.Augustine, Florida and a young girl named somer was picked up by an unknown stranger on her way home from the school bus. This happened in Orangepark, Florida a few days ago. She was only 7. They found her body in a Georgia landfill. This scares me some much because I have children (4). 18, 16, 13, and 9.
natasha w.

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Postby Jaenyd » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:21 pm

I think that it would definitely be a good idea to pull her out, and I mean as soon as you can. She is definitely in a terrible situation and you can never tell how gravely this affects her emotionally....sometimes this experience can scar her well into her adult years, and that is something we don't want to see happening.

There are a lot of Homeschooling options available today, and the good thing about it is that the internet makes them very accessible. Not all homeschooling are entirely religious, here below is a sample curriculum of a homeschooling mom for certain grades...

Third Grade
•Saxon Math 3

•ASCI Spelling 3

•Apologia Botany (Fulbright)

•A Reason for Handwriting “Tâ€
Need help with Homeschooling?

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Postby gizzy » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:49 pm

Talk to your daughter and ask her what she wants to do. If she's hesitant to leave public school, would it be possible for her to CHANGE to a new public school. Or maybe shadow a Public school group in the area. Also, check your phone book, there are a lot of little schools in my city that I never knew anything about until recently. Make sure theres no alternative learning communities hiding anywhere that you dont know about.

My library has a little section just for homeschooling. Ask to make sure you're not over looking one in your library.

Contact other parents in the PTA or the district and see if anyone is considering the same thing as you and maybe they would be interested in maybe Co-Oping the education responsibilities until the summer while you both read through some books and figure out whats best for your families. (That may be a long shot depending on what sort of community you live in)

If you're really worried about where to start or go since you're pulling her out mid year, take a moment to look through her current text books. See where she's at and more importantly where she is headed. Take the time to look at the Lesson topic of each chapter and look at the examples to see what it is. Many times they give fancy-smancy titles and names to simple things.

Talk to her teachers (without saying you're taking her out) and try to get an outline from them on what they have planned for the rest of the year. Get it in writing if you can. See what books are on the reading list for her grade level, ask them about anything you could do to make the material more appealing.

Mention that your Dear Daughter (dd) seems bored about her homework but you think the material is important. Ask them what other approaches to writing reports or researching they recommend and all the while never say a thing about withdrawing her.

And then go to your library and pick up some books that go over the Public Schools Jan-May material. They have books on grammar, science, composition, math, etc. All available for free. Find out what her weaknesses are academically (Spelling, Divison, grammar--be specific.) and focus your efforts more on those things while letting her explore the rest of the curriculum at a relaxed pace so you can both get a feel for how HS can work.

Get some one-subject notebooks and just keep moving slowly through what everyone in the PS would be doing other wise.

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