Not sure where to begin!

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

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dkm5189
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:34 pm
Location: Michigan

Not sure where to begin!

Postby dkm5189 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:45 pm

Hello! This is my first post so I guess I should introduce myself first. My name is Denise and I live in Michigan and have three amazing children, Blake (8), Avery (4), and Kyler (10 months).
I will try not to make this to long but, I have decided I am over the public school system here and I want to homeschool my children. My son Blake seemed to be the "blacksheep" in school so to speak due to his anxiety and his adhd. His teacher seemed to use him as his whooping board, he had notes and calls to home daily, and she has actually told me that Blake could not attend a field trip because he was so impulsive and she simply could not "babysit" my child :x Well, that year is over and Blake and I have toughened it out, but I am not making him nor myself or anyone in my family go through all that stress and anxiety again!

My first question is...what is the best way to notify the school? School is out, and it is summer, and honestly, this is the scariest part of this journey for me..would a letter to the school board work just fine since it is summer? How would you guys go about letting the school know? (I am in Michigan)

Second...his sister Avery, so far, has had no problems in school (preschool) and she is excited about Kindergarten, but I know she will not be too sure if she sees her brother home, and I also really do not want to go through the same problems with her...so if you were in my shoes, how would you handle that?

Third...I DO believe they can get socialization through other areas other then school BUT, when sports end in the fall, and since we have no homeschooling type clubs or chapters in our area, what would you recommend, or what has worked best for your children?

Fourth...curriculum? I have researched tons, but I simply do not have 2 grand to spend on their curriculum all at once....any help there would be great!!

Fifth...I am a working mother, and their father and I are seperated (well, for the older two, my youngest father is in the home), but he is all for it and so is my SO....can the SO also teach the children as well when I am working?

I think that is all my questions...for now, lol....but i really want to do this, and I think this will be beneficial for my children (esp my son), thank you to anyone in advance who helps!!!!!

hscoach
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Postby hscoach » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:15 am

Hi Denise,

I think I would send a simple letter to the district to let them know you'll be homeschooling.

From http://www.michigan.gov/documents/home_ ... 2555_7.pdf

"It is not required that a parent inform their local school of the decision to
home school, however, it is suggested. Failure to do so may result in the
student being marked absent and the involvement of the truancy officer.
Notification may be a phone call or a written note to the district. Keep in
mind that a written note can be placed in the student’s school record
indicating when the student has withdrawn from the school district."

I would recommend that you homeschool Avery too. She will love it.

Have you checked these sites for a homeschool support group?

http://www.localhs.com/

http://www.home-school.com/groups/

Here is an article about socialization:

http://school.familyeducation.com/home- ... 56224.html

As far as curriculum, you might want to narrow your choices by reading reviews first. Here are two sites for that:

http://www.cathyduffyreviews.com/

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/

According to your state law, you need to teach certain subjects - which are:
Reading, spelling, mathematics, science, history, civics, literature,
writing, and English grammar.

There are many free educational resources online that you can take advantage of without spending any money. You can also use your local public library.

When you are new to homeschooling, I would not recommend spending a lot of money on curriculum. If you buy anything, buy it used. Here are some sites:

http://www.usedhomeschoolbooks.com/

http://homeschoolclassifieds.com/

http://vegsource.com/homeschool/

For Avery, you could even buy her some workbooks at the dollar store. (I do that all the time to save money.)

You will be the main person who is responsible for the education of your children since you are the parent, but it would be fine for you to leave assignments for them to do and have your SO babysit them/supervise at times when you have to go to work.

I hope this helps some. I know it is all very overwhelming when you first start out. Best wishes! :)

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elliemaejune
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Location: The Fireswamp

Re: Not sure where to begin!

Postby elliemaejune » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:08 am

dkm5189 wrote:Hello! This is my first post so I guess I should introduce myself first. My name is Denise and I live in Michigan and have three amazing children, Blake (8), Avery (4), and Kyler (10 months).
I will try not to make this to long but, I have decided I am over the public school system here and I want to homeschool my children. My son Blake seemed to be the "blacksheep" in school so to speak due to his anxiety and his adhd. His teacher seemed to use him as his whooping board, he had notes and calls to home daily, and she has actually told me that Blake could not attend a field trip because he was so impulsive and she simply could not "babysit" my child :x Well, that year is over and Blake and I have toughened it out, but I am not making him nor myself or anyone in my family go through all that stress and anxiety again!

My first question is...what is the best way to notify the school? School is out, and it is summer, and honestly, this is the scariest part of this journey for me..would a letter to the school board work just fine since it is summer? How would you guys go about letting the school know? (I am in Michigan)

Second...his sister Avery, so far, has had no problems in school (preschool) and she is excited about Kindergarten, but I know she will not be too sure if she sees her brother home, and I also really do not want to go through the same problems with her...so if you were in my shoes, how would you handle that?

Third...I DO believe they can get socialization through other areas other then school BUT, when sports end in the fall, and since we have no homeschooling type clubs or chapters in our area, what would you recommend, or what has worked best for your children?

Fourth...curriculum? I have researched tons, but I simply do not have 2 grand to spend on their curriculum all at once....any help there would be great!!

Fifth...I am a working mother, and their father and I are seperated (well, for the older two, my youngest father is in the home), but he is all for it and so is my SO....can the SO also teach the children as well when I am working?

I think that is all my questions...for now, lol....but i really want to do this, and I think this will be beneficial for my children (esp my son), thank you to anyone in advance who helps!!!!!


Welcome. :-)

Although there may not be anything written down about who can homeschool the children, I feel obligated to say that your situation is tricky. Your children's father can change his mind at any time regarding homeschooling, and especially whether an adult male who is not the biological father doing any teaching, e.g., being alone with the children while you are at work. This could go ugly in a heartbeat.

My advice as far as your son's school is to officially withdraw him from his current school, and request his records. You are not required to notify anyone that you'll be homeschooling, but if you don't *withdraw* him, there could be the scenario in hs coach's quote. It is usually recommended that you put your withdrawal notice in writing, and mail it to the school with a signed receipt-return-request. That way you have proof that someone in the school did at least open the withdrawal letter.

There is no need to spend $2000 on instructional materials for children who are so young. :)

You'll want to make sure your ds's reading skills are where they should be, and begin teaching your dd to read; you can do both at the same time with Alpha Phonics.

An interesting--and free--site for arithmetic is Don Potter. You can download and print very basic but comprehensive math materials.

History, science, and the rest are easy-peasy for this age. Field trips, library books, TV (DVD, streaming video, etc.), even the badges earned as scouts, are all excellent and sufficient. (And BTW, scout programs, martial arts classes, and other similar activities can be good places for controlled socialization, whether there are homeschool groups in your community or not).

Of course, if you want more comprehensive, you could check out Peace Hill Press's Story of the World, which does history chronologically, and is designed to be read aloud.
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
Caretaker of 2 budgies

dkm5189
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Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:34 pm
Location: Michigan

Postby dkm5189 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:05 pm

thank you both so much for the replies!
I am happy to know a letter would suffice, as I thought it would, I really dont want to have to deal with them face to face :(
Their father and I actually get along so well and are on the same page with their education, esp Blakes, I cannot explain how many times I have had to deal with the school system, esp in one post. Their father, believe it or not, is still one of my best friends, and he is very supportive and looking forward to homeschooling them. I do, however, agree that him and I should be in charge of the curriculum, just in case something could arise, and we could always use the imput from both of our SO's as well :)
Avery, yes, my mothers intuition is to homeschool as well, I really do think she would enjoy it, and it will give her a chance to just be a kid :D Right now we are headed to soccer, but I wanted to say thank you for the imput! It really does help!!

lilbean05
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Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:41 am

Postby lilbean05 » Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:54 am

Welcome!! When we started homeschooling it was all a bit overwhelming, but as you wade through all the things out there, you will settle into a good groove that works for you and your family. We started by reading A Well Trained Mind, at least the beginning which addresses primary school and elementary education, which basically says to read, read, and read some more! So we did. We went to the library and read, brought books home and read, and I stumbled upon the whole idea of using living books (non textbooks) as a source of education.

I would recommend you look at www.amblesideonline.com. It is a website dedicated to creating a curriculum that revolves around living books and how to use books to teach. They have a great selection of books in Year 0 which will be great for your oldest. Read the stories aloud, talk about them, draw pictures about them, and if there is something that seems to grab your child's attention (like bridges or stars or anything) read more about those.

www.homeschoolassessment.com is a good resource for teaching about narration and how to use narration in your home to engage and teach your children from living books.

I hope this is helpful! It seems overwhelming at first, but you will settle into your own as you get comfortable with all the different ways you can homeschool.


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