HELP! My daughter wants to be homeschooled! : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

My youngest(of 5 kids) is begging to be home schooled. She is in 5th grade and is very stressed out about her school work. She is very smart and has an outgoing personality.(which means she gets in trouble for talking) She was in tears last night about a HUGE project her teacher just assigned. My problem is that I don't know if I can do it. Truthfully my kids are smarter than I am. I Barely graduated High school(public school). My math skills are about 7th grade level. I'm good in science and great at reading and vocabulary. My main problem would be my husband and relatives. I homeschooled my oldest children until my 5th was born and I just couldn't juggle that much! I'm scared that I may not be able to handle it. Self confedence is a problem with me. I have been pondering this and was thinking maybe we could finish out the year in public school and then do a trial run of home schooling during the summer to see if I can do it. Have any of you tried this?

-- Buffy in Dallas (, February 19, 2002


Maybe you could use a curriculum like Calvert School, they have the books, tests and teachers to help. That way the pressure is off you and she will be enrolled in school, just doing the work at home. I will look for their site.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 19, 2002.

Here is the site, just copy and paste to your address bar. Looks like the price ranges from $500-800 for a years curriculum. Kind of pricey, but cheaper than private school.

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, February 19, 2002.

You might also try Abeka Book, if you are interested in Christian- based curriculum. You can order just the books you want, and I would suggest you go ahead and get the teacher manual for things like math, maybe English. You probably won't need them for anything else. Social Studies and Science you can sit down and read with her if you like. Homeschool laws in Texas right now are very lenient. You are required by law to teach some minimum subjects(like SS, reading, math- -spelling and language, I think-you can get the state law off the internet). You are not required to have testing or report to anyone; you are considered a private school.

When we pulled our sons out during the year, we were advised to tell the school simply that we were withdrawing to school privately.

Younger son, being very sociable, was not ready to start homeschooling when Eldest was. One snow day, we had a practice homeschool day, and when he saw how much he could get done in a very short time and be done for the day, he was sold!(His first grade teacher, believe it or not, was keeping him in from recess and sending work home because he refused to color his papers!lol)

For me, it was a big relief to get my sons home. By third grade, Eldest was feeling a lot of stress in public school, which I felt was beginning to hinder his family relationships. All that went away the first week home.

As for her being outgoing, are there other places besides school she will see friends, maybe church or neighborhood? It probably will be important to her to keep up some friendships. Of course, her most important friendships are familial.

-- mary (, February 20, 2002.

You CAN do it! The most important ingredient in a homeschool is a caring parent who wants to do the best thing for their child. The saddest thing I've ever heard from a "child" was a number of years ago a teenager who lives up the road from us told me that she wished she had someone who loved her enough to homeschool her. I think of that statement a lot. How very sad!

-- Deena in GA (, February 20, 2002.

A Beka also has a video school; if you are not comfortable with certain subjects, you can get a video of a teacher teaching it for you. If you don't want her to look at a monitor that many hours a day, see if you can get just the subjects you need.

Are there any co-ops in your area? Try to find out. They sometimes have parents teaching a group of children a subject like lab science, algebra, etc. I have never done this, so I don't know first-hand how they work, but it's worth checking into.

Make sure your child knows she will still have to work at her studies. You will want her to do certain projects; although you will be able to tailor them to her needs, she will still have to work.

Get with other home schoolers and find out first-hand that you are not the only parent with a limited education. I know home school parents who never finished high school, just got a GED. Also, those of us who had some college still find ourselves stumped in some areas. My weaknesses are some of the finer points of grammar, as well as the higher math and sciences. I have the advantage of having a hubby who excels in math and science (went to an equivalent of ITT), but for English I enlist the aid of a teacher's manual and answer key.

-- Cathy N. (, February 20, 2002.

Believe it or not, the parent's educational background really isn't all that important. I was always a good student and did well in college and law school. However, as I work with my children (ages 9 and 12 1/2), I realize just how little I learned in school (or if I did learn it, I certainly didn't retain it).

One of my dearest friends homeschools--like you, she managed to get through high school (barely). Like you, when she first started she was filled with self-doubts. Well, the proof is in the pudding--her children are doing beautifully and my friend, like me, learns along with her children.

I know it sounds strange, but the reality truly is that you learn along with your children. If your child advances beyond your ability to keep up, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised at how much a self-motivated child learns on his/her own with support and encouragement. Moreover, you can always find resources in your community . . . a college student who is interested in tutoring is a possibility.

While a trial run during the summer may be tempting, personally I don't think I'd make that the deciding factor. At the end of the school year, your daughter will no doubt be burned out. In fact, many new homeschoolers find that a "deschooling" period is necessary before any true homeschooling can begin. This "detox" period can last several months at least.

We're in our fourth year of homeschooling and can't imagine a saner or healthier lifestyle. Our children are happy, love learning and have plenty of time to enjoy being children. We spend maybe 2 hours a day doing "formal" school work and my children are far ahead of their public school peers.

Feel free to email me directly.

Julie in NC

-- Julie Woessner (, March 16, 2002.

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