Feeling Overwhelmed ~ need advice

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

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jamauk
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Feeling Overwhelmed ~ need advice

Postby jamauk » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:31 pm

Hi! I'm new here. My oldest son is in Kindergarten at our local public school. He's bored. His teacher admits that he's pretty much ahead of everyone else in his class and with 21 other students, he rarely gets any teacher time because he can do all of the work on his own. He's reading level 1 books on his own and there are still kids in his class that don't know their alphabet.

My husband is a commercial airline pilot and comes and goes a lot. He works nearly all weekends. We've talked to other airline families and a lot of them homeschool simply because Dad wants to be able to spend time with the kids.

Pretty much everything in me is pointing towards homeschooling next year, but organization is NOT my strong point and time management is fairly non existent in my brain. I KNOW hs is what's best for my children, but I'm so afraid of failing them.

Then there is curriculum choices, etc...and its all so overwhelming. HELP!! Any advice for someone just starting out and already feeling like she's drowning????
TIA!

Miss_Kristy
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Postby Miss_Kristy » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:56 pm

The feelings you are having are absolutely normal. I'm sure if you go back and read some old posts you'll find a lot of people who felt the same way you do. It's kind of funny really, how almost all "new" HS parents ask the same questions and have the same fears.

I think one common misconception about home school is that there is a "CERTIAN" way to do it. And starting out, you want to "get it right".

The truth is, home school is what you make it. You can be very formal or you can unschool or anything in between.

You are right. You DO know what's best for your children. Go with it! You will find the right type of organization that works for you eventually.

My advice would be to read as much of what's on this website as possible. There is plenty of GREAT advice here. Then get some HSing books from the library or bookstore. Great advice there too.

Mostly though, I would say to go with you gut. Don't sweat the details at first. All the little things fall into place as you go.

Best of luck to you.

Matt Conrad
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Postby Matt Conrad » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:06 pm

Yes, first advice, you don't have to figure everything out in advance, and you don't have to get everything "perfect". It's OK to learn as you go, and your ideas of what is best will change over time anyway.

Second, there are lots of different ways to homeschool. Some folks like a lot of structure and others don't. If you're not so organized, that's probably OK. Do some reading about different styles of homeschooling (examples, unschooling, Charlotte Mason, Well-Trained Mind).

In our house we don't have "a curriculum" at all. We make sure to cover the subject areas we think are important, but most of our lessons come from books or the Internet (and Mathmania magazine).

Eventually, you'll want to find some other homeschoolers in your area. You might start looking around now. Getting acquainted with some other homeschooling families will probably make HSing seem more attainable and less strange and scary.
www.HomeSchoolDayBook.com -- software for easy homeschool record keeping and time tracking

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Lorelei Sieja
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Know your philosophy

Postby Lorelei Sieja » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:43 pm

When I homeschooled my four many years ago, the first question everyone said you needed to answer was, "What's your philosophy". If you know that, then many of your other decisions will be made for you. This may take some time, and some reading, reflection, prayer. Not your philosophy of life in general, but what do you expect to happen as a result of HS?

Is your main purpose merely to education your children? Or do you want to raise super-geniuses? Do you dream of seeing your children earn total scholaraships to Harvard University, like the Colfax HS family? Or do you need to work with a special needs child, and hope to bring him up to grade level? Do you even care what grade level is? When your child is 18ish, and ready to "graduate" - what do you want him to be?

Is your main goal a religious one? Is being faithful to your beliefs more important than a grade point average? A family that leans this way will start the day with prayer, or be sure to schedule mission projects into the lesson plans.

Is your main goal to protect your children from real or perceived violence, sex, and drugs in the PS?

THere are thousands of different philosophies on homeschooling. Some want to let their kids be kids, and see the highly structured PS as robbing our children of their childhoods.

But my point is that once you decide on your philosophy, then you have a good idea of where you want to go with your homeschooling.

And as for feeling pressured, take a deep breath and let it out. I didn't get the "okay" to HS from my DH until the DAY BEFORE PS started! I had 24 hours to come up with some curriculum! But we managed. And my kids thrived. In fact, my first year of HS I'd say we more or less unschooled. I did the "KONOS" curriculum and a little math, but mostly I just made sure my gradeschool and younger children just had plenty of time to PLAY. And in the spring when they took standardized achievement tests, they all placed Three grades above where they'd been the year before! So even if you don't teach them much, they will still learn!

If you have more questions, I'd be glad to offer what help I can. My kids have all graduated and gone on to college and work. My granddaughter is now 2. So I have the time to share from my experience.

Good luck!

Oh- and read anything you can find by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. They are great for relieving stress! They wrote "Homeschool Burnout" among others.
Lorelei Sieja
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Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies

Jill
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Postby Jill » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:29 am

Miss_Kristy wrote: Don't sweat the details at first. All the little things fall into place as you go.



Well said. :) It's easy to get bogged down in the details - start with what you know you want and make changes and add stuff as you learn more.

Best wishes.
Jill

homeschoolnewbie
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Postby homeschoolnewbie » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:35 pm

I think when "experienced" homeschoolers say, don't sweat the small stuff it is well, scary. Its not a small thing to take on the education of your child, but I've come to realize what they mean is that you need to really take some time to get to "know" your child before you make big expensive decisions. When I first took my kids out of school, I tried to pick this and that curriculum, and it was all for nothing because I had no idea how my child actually "learned". Truly, take a few weeks or a couple of months to "detox" from public school and really start to analyze how your child actually learns... how does he process new information? Is he inquisitive, is he a visual person, is he more auditorial? Is he more reflective or is he a social butterfly? All of these things will help you develop a homeschool philosophy and ultimately the correct curriculum! I hope that helps and Blessings on the Journey!
Visit my blog for more transition helps!
Switching to Homeschooling?
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Miss_Kristy
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Postby Miss_Kristy » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:56 pm

homeschoolnewbie wrote:I think when "experienced" homeschoolers say, don't sweat the small stuff it is well, scary. Its not a small thing to take on the education of your child, but I've come to realize what they mean is that you need to really take some time to get to "know" your child before you make big expensive decisions. When I first took my kids out of school, I tried to pick this and that curriculum, and it was all for nothing because I had no idea how my child actually "learned". Truly, take a few weeks or a couple of months to "detox" from public school and really start to analyze how your child actually learns... how does he process new information? Is he inquisitive, is he a visual person, is he more auditorial? Is he more reflective or is he a social butterfly? All of these things will help you develop a homeschool philosophy and ultimately the correct curriculum! I hope that helps and Blessings on the Journey!
Visit my blog for more transition helps!


Okay, I did not imply that a child's education is a SMALL THING. I was talking about small details like a schedule, or time management. Or even picking curriculum. The OP is new to all of this and I don't want her to feel overwhelmed.

And since I AM 'experienced' I KNOW exactly how scary it can be at first.

homeschoolnewbie
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Postby homeschoolnewbie » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:09 pm

Miss_Kristy wrote:
homeschoolnewbie wrote:I think when "experienced" homeschoolers say, don't sweat the small stuff it is well, scary. Its not a small thing to take on the education of your child, but I've come to realize what they mean is that you need to really take some time to get to "know" your child before you make big expensive decisions. When I first took my kids out of school, I tried to pick this and that curriculum, and it was all for nothing because I had no idea how my child actually "learned". Truly, take a few weeks or a couple of months to "detox" from public school and really start to analyze how your child actually learns... how does he process new information? Is he inquisitive, is he a visual person, is he more auditorial? Is he more reflective or is he a social butterfly? All of these things will help you develop a homeschool philosophy and ultimately the correct curriculum! I hope that helps and Blessings on the Journey!
Visit my blog for more transition helps!


Okay, I did not imply that a child's education is a SMALL THING. I was talking about small details like a schedule, or time management. Or even picking curriculum. The OP is new to all of this and I don't want her to feel overwhelmed.

And since I AM 'experienced' I KNOW exactly how scary it can be at first.

Miss_Kristy I pray I did not offend you... I just meant because she is overwhelmed it doesn't seem small, but that I've been there too... I think my quotes made it seem snide or sarcastic when I meant none of that.. I only meant to add that 'experienced' homeschoolers are right and you do just need to take a deep breath and be patient. I was actually agreeing, but I guess its hard to get across sympathy and agreement on one post! I thank God for all of the experienced homeschoolers that came into my life and gave just the advice that you gave. It was just what I needed and I'm grateful for it! It just seemed at the time I could not see what they meant or what the heck I was going to do!!!
Blessings once more!
Switching to Homeschooling?

Visit my blog!

http://homeschoolnewbie.wordpress.com/

Miss_Kristy
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Postby Miss_Kristy » Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:15 am

homeschoolnewbie wrote:
Miss_Kristy wrote:
homeschoolnewbie wrote:I think when "experienced" homeschoolers say, don't sweat the small stuff it is well, scary. Its not a small thing to take on the education of your child, but I've come to realize what they mean is that you need to really take some time to get to "know" your child before you make big expensive decisions. When I first took my kids out of school, I tried to pick this and that curriculum, and it was all for nothing because I had no idea how my child actually "learned". Truly, take a few weeks or a couple of months to "detox" from public school and really start to analyze how your child actually learns... how does he process new information? Is he inquisitive, is he a visual person, is he more auditorial? Is he more reflective or is he a social butterfly? All of these things will help you develop a homeschool philosophy and ultimately the correct curriculum! I hope that helps and Blessings on the Journey!
Visit my blog for more transition helps!


Okay, I did not imply that a child's education is a SMALL THING. I was talking about small details like a schedule, or time management. Or even picking curriculum. The OP is new to all of this and I don't want her to feel overwhelmed.

And since I AM 'experienced' I KNOW exactly how scary it can be at first.

Miss_Kristy I pray I did not offend you... I just meant because she is overwhelmed it doesn't seem small, but that I've been there too... I think my quotes made it seem snide or sarcastic when I meant none of that.. I only meant to add that 'experienced' homeschoolers are right and you do just need to take a deep breath and be patient. I was actually agreeing, but I guess its hard to get across sympathy and agreement on one post! I thank God for all of the experienced homeschoolers that came into my life and gave just the advice that you gave. It was just what I needed and I'm grateful for it! It just seemed at the time I could not see what they meant or what the heck I was going to do!!!
Blessings once more!


No you didn't offend me. I see that you were agreeing. I was just pointing out to the OP that yes, it's scary at first for everyone. But we've all made it through the hard part and are here now to help the newer people.

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Postby Jazzy » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:57 am

My advice is to take it step by step. Learn about the different styles of homeschooling. Visit a homeschool curriculum fair to look at materials and see what you may want to use with your children.

Don't feel like you have to figure everything out right away. Also, realize your decisions aren't set in stone. You can always drop activities and add others. You can change curriculum, etc. You may have to experiment a bit to find something that works.

Good luck!

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Postby RodeoMom » Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:31 pm

I'm a first-time homeschooler. I have a 4 & 5 yr. old and will be starting the 5 yr. old soon. I have no local resources or support nearby. I have read many of these sites, found them somewhat helpful but I really got a lot of information from the Cathy Duffy Review site.

www.cathyduffyreviews.com

I already know what kind of learners my kids are. The site helped explain curricula that applied to styles of learning as well as what I already know/suspect about my kids. I had planned on going through Texas Tech University's program but now I'm gaining more confidence about finding my own curriculum subject by subject.

Like someone said nothing is set in stone, so you can change - it's helpful to learn as much as you can first though so you aren't going broke flittering through books and materials.

I did find visiting discussion forums has been more confusing than clarifying. I often didn't get questions answered at all or the information was not descriptive enough. The Cathy Duffy site put so much curriculum in one place I could read and make notes as I went instead of bouncing around various sites trying to compare.

Good luck. I think when you get to looking around at curriculum sites you'll gain more clarity and confidence.


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