A Little Advice Please

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

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A Little Advice Please

Postby Philip » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:27 am

We have been discusing the option of home schooling for a couple of years.

We have a girl in 5th grade and a boy in 4th.

We new years ago that our girl takes after my wife. She learns by memorization. When I was in school, she would have breezed right through. How material is presented now is quite different. For example, she will have a math paper with 5 different ways on how to add. There is no repetition and the material will not be approached again for 2 to 3 days later by which time she lost it.

The teacher she has now has stopped comminicating with us even after we formally approached the principal with the request for a week advanced notice for up coming tests with a study guide. It takes her about that long to adequately prepare.

We have all, but given up on the system.

Our questions regarding our daughter are this;

1. The state requires that parents of home schooled children present comprable information to that which is presented in school. If we were to home school, we would have to back up a couple years with her reading and math. She barely has addition and subtraction down and her grade level is entering algebra and geometry. How can we present those subjects when her basic math skills have been passed over in the first place? Her language arts have suffered as well, as they never taught her phonics in the earlier grades. We would have to back up there also.

2. What curriculum would focus on learning by repetition?

3. My wife and I both work. For years we have spent 2-3 hours every day with her trying to complete homework she does not finish in school. That is only getting worse. We cannot legally leave her home alone until she is 12 and even then we don't like that idea. We are thinking to just let the school babysit her after this and not focus on homework or grades, but to back up and get her basic skills until we can figure out a way to home school her full time. Any thoughts on how this would affect her?

Our son does not seem to have a problem getting the material presented at school. However, with all the homework they send home, he is getting very discouraged about school in general. The only reason we would keep him in school is for his speech. There is a wonderful speech teacher he has there who has done wonders with him.


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Postby Jazzy » Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:37 pm

Hi Philip, I don't think I can answer all of your questions, but I will try to give a little help.

1 & 2. You are right that you can't move into geometry and algebra until your dd has her basics down. I would definitely start there. I bet she will pick it up fairly quickly and you will be able to move on. There are a bunch of different programs you can try, depending on the skills she needs help with.

Calculadder is a program that is strictly math drill that you can use to practice certain skills.

Key Curriculum Press has a series of books that concentrates on different areas like fractions and decimals.

Mastering Mathematics is a program that focuses on mastering a specific skill before moving on. If your dd is reading on a 2-3rd grade level she should be able to do certain skills on her own.

You also have the option of using any of the popular home school math programs on the market, but working at her grade level. You can find information about choosing a math curriculum, along with math curriculum reviews here.

For phonics, you may want to try something like Explode the Code workbooks to help build her skills.

3. My only concern about having the school babysit your daughter is that she would be frustrated and discouraged by her experiences there. Do you have a family member your daughter could stay with during the day? Do you have the resources available to hire a babysitter for your dd or paying a trusted friend or family member to watch her until one of you can make arrangements to be home with her? Would either of your bosses be open to a work from home arrangement or an alternate work schedule?

If the speech teacher is the only reason you are leaving your son in school, perhaps you could ask her if she'd like to earn extra money by working with him a few hours per week outside of the classroom. That way you could still get the speech therapy, but homeschool him as well.

I hope something I said was helpful. Best wishes!

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Postby mschickie » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:54 am

I am not sure what state you are in that has those requirements for homeschooling. Most states will accept just telling them what curriculum you are using. As long as you are using a curriculum and not making up your own it should not be that difficulut.

IMO I think that homeschooling would help your daughter alot. A program like Saxon Math where they introduce topics gradually with lots of practice and repetition would probably work well for her. Having her in school just as a babysitter is going to be detrimental to her education and self esteem.

If homeschooling is not going to work because you do not have proper care for her during the day then you may want to check into a private school. Having her stay in her current school situtation may cause stress and anxiety for her because she can not get it the way other kids can. We had this with sd and I wish we had taken her out in 5th grade instead of 9th. She is great at math now but hated it for years since she just could not get the concepts then, just like your daughter. She just needed to be told what to do, one way and have a routine. Right now she is an B+ - A student in Math and will be doing Calculus next year.

Homeschooling requires sacrifice sometimes. Is there a way that one of you can switch your job hours? I know some families that Mom or Dad goes to work after the other gets home so they can homeschool. Do you have a family member that could watch her during the day? The other option is can one of you stay home and not work. That will probably mean drastically altering your spending and lifestyle but you have to weigh that against your child's needs. It is a hard decision to make. Good luck and I hope things go well.

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