Encouragement - About to begin homeschooling! Transitions.

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
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Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by jasntas » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:05 am

JeannieC wrote:Hi, After much prayer my husband and I have decided to begin the homeschooling journey next year. I am very humbled and honored that God has chosen this path for our family. We have 2 girls, age 7 and 10, both in private Christian school. We are at peace with our decision but my head is still swirling with questions, fears, unknowns, etc.

My biggest concern is teaching my kids simultaneously. With MFW, it seems like most of the curriculum can be taught together. Is this realistic with an "immature" 7 yr old and a "mature" 10 yr old?

Many HS veterans have told me to take it easy the first year and to spend the time "unschooling" my kids. I'm told not to stress about academics during the adjustment period. Can anyone offer me practical ideas? What does this mean? Go out to lunch, go to the zoo, hang out at the park, clean the house? I'm not being sarcastic - I really don't know!!!! :) Does this mean just do basics like math, language arts, reading, and the rest will come later?

I am so thankful I found MFW and this message board.
Thanking you in advance for your replies and help! :)
Hi Jeannie,


I agree with the advice you have received. Take it easy and slow the first year. Yes, Go out to lunch, go to the zoo, hang out at the park, clean the house. Whatever works for your family.

If you can, try to get involved in a local hs group but don't try to be involved in everything they offer. Pick and choose what works best for your family.

Teaching together. Well, they will each do their LA, math and spelling at their own level separately. You would combine them for everything else but at their own pace. You may require your older to write more or do research on a particular subject and just have the younger listen in on read alouds and participate in the art/science projects, etc. The older can lead in the projects, if she so desires and even help lead the younger.

Take care and enjoy your new journey. Oh, and keep asking questions. :)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:15 am

Hi Jeannie! WELCOME to HOME SCHOOLING!!! :-)

MFW is put together to teach the children simultaneously for those students who are in-between high school and those who are not yet reading and writing well.

So for example my oldest is 7 and doing ADV. His younger brother, 5, is participating some but working much more on reading & writing. Another example would be someone with a 4th grader using ECC as the oldest child, and then the 2nd grader coming into ECC more & more once their reading and writing is at a 2nd grade level. During the 5 year cycle the students do language arts & math at their own grade level, and do the program (such as ECC - Exploring Countries and Cultures) as a family. The ECC program including Bible, geography, missions, cultures, & science. The older students have additional work in the program. The younger students have less work. It is truly amazing how home school programs set themselves up to teach to different grade levels at once. The basics of reading, writing, & math though are always taught separately to grade level.

I have heard and read many moms talk about an adjustment period coming out of school. Perhaps one of them will chime in! I can only tell you that I wish I had taken it easier my ds first 6 months of Kindergarten. I was so excited about home schooling that I went over board. I learned, and pulled back.

One book I read by Lisa Welchell, So You are Thinking About Home schooling?" talked about taking ? 2 months or 6 months (unsure about time period) to go to the zoo, hang out at the park, clean the house, take field trips, read some great books, and not dive into academics at first for parents taking their children out of school. I can only tell you that those things are how we lived life until my oldest reached K. It was a lot of fun. What I noticed when we started academics is I have had to learn to be a parent and teacher at the same time. The more I am a parent and a teacher at the same time the better home schooling goes. I also noticed that the first 1 1/2 we have had to work a lot on discipline and parenting and relationship issues that I didn't know we had. My children never went to pre-school. When I started to teach them though, and set a schedule, and structure academics it brought a new testing ground. My first born is strong-willed, and we essentially went through the toddler years again with academics. It sounds like you won't have that problem with your first born! My compliant 3rd born is always asking to do school. :) So I guess I am seconding what you have heard about taking time before diving in.

The MFW office, if you call them, should have some great advice about placing your daughters academically into their program. They also might be able to give you some ideas of when a good time to start next fall will be.

Home schooling is a great honor. I too am humbled every day that God would use me in this way.

Hopefully someone else who pulled their children out of school will come along soon....

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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by momem3 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:31 pm

Hi Jeannie,
I pulled my son out after K. It was a big adjustment for me as well since I was not a teacher before and had to learn to become that every morning for my kids. This board, prayer, prayer, DH, prayer, my weekly bible study and a little more prayer have helped immensely! I will be praying for you. My oldest DD is struggling with K and we might repeat some lessons on an abbreviated level next year. No biggie...a definite advantage to homeschooling is she CAN be struggling and we go at her pace instead of her having to keep up with everyone else.

My kids are still too young to combine their studies but we plan to do ECC in 2 years and I might even try to have my 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders do it for most of their studies and do math and LA on their own. We'll see. My DD who will be in 1st at the time is extremely advanced for her age so I think she'll do wonderful. Just not sure about maturity wise...but she is very social and I think that will be a good balance for her. Combining multiple age students was a HUGE draw to MFW.

Ok, like always, I got to rambling! Best of luck!
mom & teacher to:
DS - 8yo, ECC
DD - 7yo, ECC and activities through neurodevelopmentalist
DD - 6yo, ECC and MFW 1st
DS - 3yo, he is He-Man and he does 'have the power'!

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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by jhagberg » Fri Mar 25, 2011 5:48 pm

JeannieC wrote:Does this mean just do basics like math, language arts, reading, and the rest will come later?
My opinion is to start with the group activities, and then add math, English, and spelling gradually. When we first started MFW, we only did what was in the teacher's manual (Bible, history, science, read-alouds). After a while, I added math, later came English, and much later came spelling. Since each child works individually on those subjects, it seems appropriate to start them separately. It worked fantastically for us! My second grader went from hating school (before MFW) to loving it completely. It seemed that as I added each subject gradually, he adjusted nicely.

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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:19 pm

jhagberg wrote:My opinion is to start with the group activities, and then add math, English, and spelling gradually. When we first started MFW, we only did what was in the teacher's manual (Bible, history, science, read-alouds).
I think this is a great idea - start with all the fun/good stuff, and you can be a little less formal about it at first. This is all the "sitting on the couch together" stuff. You can have lots of great discussions and really get into a groove with everyone being home together all the time, before you start more of the seatwork stuff. I don't know how long I'd be comfortable without doing something for math, but there are a lot of games you can play, and get everyone to play together, before you start the math textbooks.


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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:45 pm

Our state has a "manual" that you can buy, and one thing they said is that it can take up to about 1 year to transition from a classroom setting to homeschooling. It takes a while for the kids to get used to mom-as-teacher-and-mom. That means some days all that happens is Bible reading and character training.

This summer I would try to do things that really focus on character: Bible reading (we have really enjoyed Missionary Stories by the Millers and Proverbs by the Millers on top of some Bible reading), and then Chores - really get a chore routine established during the summer.

The other thing I would do is to teach them to cook or sew or knit or whatever, where you are the teacher/instructor. That way it's something fun and light, but they still get you as the teacher.

Welcome to homeschooling, where your character will be challenged more than you can ever imagine!

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by terick89 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:54 pm

Hello and welcome!

I'm new this year to Homeschooling after not re-enrolling in traditional school. My kids are 11 and in 5th grade. I agree totally with Trish's last statement that "your character will be challenged like you've never imagined!" That is the absolute truth for me!!! And I used to be a teacher...but, this is very different than teaching other people's children.

The main things I've learned this year are: I was too hard on my kids and not patient enough (still a challenge), it's taken this whole year to get used to homeschooling and not being so busy (like we used to be), my kids learn very differently from each other (they are NOT the same type of learners even though they're triplets, which of course I knew that, but still I had expectations), Satan is out to attack Christians who are in the Word everyday (so be on guard), & most of all - I kept feeling we were not doing enough school work (which is one reason why I love homeschooling, but still had a battle about this issue going on with myself).

I feel like we've got our routine down now and that next year will be a smoother ride for us (prayerfully and hopefully). I have come to really embrace MFW, after I got the "busy work bugs" out of my system. The main things I would recommend are to take lots of field trips, join a homeschool group, and keep up adult (esp. other homeschool moms) relationships. I have found all those to be very helpful for our family!

Good luck and enjoy!

PS-This message board has also helped me immensely!!! :-)
DD, 13
DS, 13
DS, 13
CtG 2010-11, RtR 2011-12, Exp. to 1850 2012-13

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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by JeannieC » Sat Mar 26, 2011 6:57 am

Wow! Thanks everyone!!! This is what I needed.

Thankfully, I have several friends that have been homeschooling for years and have been a huge help...but all have homeschooled from the start. My kids, now in 1st and 4th, absolutely LOVE their school (private Christian - great academics/character education, etc). It is a great school and we've been happy with it but God has laid this on my heart, and honestly, has completely changed my heart toward my kids and their total education. I was one of those where not 6 months ago I would rather have had a root canal than HS. Until I LET God show up!!!!! My 4th grader has been excited but very recently broke down and told me she didn't want to leave school because of the whole friend thing. We are working/praying through that now.

I am also going to be attending a Homeschool Informational Tea next month in my area. I've heard that is a wonderful way to learn, meet veteran HSers, and be encouraged.

I really love hearing from you ladies....please keep it coming !!! :)

Julie in MN
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Re: Newbie....suggestions welcome!!!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:07 am

JeannieC wrote: I was one of those where not 6 months ago I would rather have had a root canal than HS. Until I LET God show up!!!!!
Hi Jennie,
I'm from that club, too :~

I agree with the others about starting slowly, but with a slight addition. I transitioned two kids from ps, during different years, at different ages. I found it helpful to start with "school hours" and, well, school boundaries? i.e. Hours when only educational things would be done. So if we wanted to clean up, it would only be schoolroom prep (which is done in group schools, too), and not laundry. It was a boundary set on myself, too, so that I wasn't trying to do other stuff like dishes during that time (unless dishes was part of school lunch or something). I found these bounds helped the transition by continuing the habit they had from group school and reducing their fears that homeschool wasn't "real school."

Then within those hours, I found it helpful to
(1) show my kids that learning could include fun stuff -- weeks of math games, Friday Fundays, field trips, etc. -- and
(2) spend a lot of time evaluating where my kids were and setting goals for them. I used a book by TEresa Moon that used to be called Evaluating For Excellence, but really the evaluating part might just be writing down my observations as they did random things like reading to me or doing a math worksheet from the internet (writing down whether it was addition of one digits without carryover, etc.). The goals could be simple things like trying different reading literature and slowly increasing the amount of reading for my child who didn't like to read, or finding where my high schooler really was in math since she had had some courses called "core math" instead of algebra etc. Making goals helped me to see whether they had made progress over the first year, because otherwise I would forget and only see how much still needed to be done (MFW notebooks also helped me see progress).

You will be blessed. Homeschooling makes me feel like I am finally parenting my children the way I always dreamed of,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by samandsawyersmom » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:59 pm

Dusenkids wrote:I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself and family as well as make sure I am on the right track. My hubby and I have four boys ages 5, 4, 2, and 1. Neither one of us were homeschooled as children so this is a new, very exciting adventure for us.

I wanted to make sure that I have a good understanding of MFW. I have spent hours reading the board so I think I’ve got this straight but advice is appreciated. I am starting Ethan (5) in the fall with MFW-K. I want Aidan (4) to tag along with the bible, history, and science. He will be 5 in November. Next year I will have him do the K phonics and math and the first grade bible, history, science. Aidan is eager to learn and be “in school.” His attention span, maturity, and speech abilities would be a hindrance if I tried to do the whole K program now. They would then be on the same page starting Ethan’s third grade year. I just got my MFW-K today (Whoo-hoo! :-) ) so I haven’t had time to read the TM yet but from what I have read on here, this should work, right?

My bigger question, I have seen a few threads on here about taking time to let a child adjust from PS to HS. Any tips on “un-schooling” a 7 year PS teacher? Granted I have just started but it seems like MFW is a great program. I don’t want to ruin this experience for my kids because I have the wrong ideas/expectations!

Thanks so much for your input!
Hello! And Welcome!

I myself am new to the MFW world and am loving it VERY MUCH!!! We are getting to the end of MFW K and have had a great yr! I think if I have gained anything from this board is don't push your kiddos thru. By that I mean just take it easy. . . no need to add onto the program it is enough. My son turned 5yrs old end of Sept. and we started K in Nov. we will be done sometime in May. His pace not mine! I would have taken it slower and I am sure we will have to slow down in 1st. But I just wanted to start him so early and was so worried about if this was really enough and if I could do it and and and. . . It is enough. You can do it. Just let the kiddos be kiddos cause they only have one time to be 5 or 6 or 7 etc. I let us go thru K so fast that now I do regret it a little so I am more than willing to take 1st VERY slow.

Sorry about the rambling just thought you might want to hear from a newbie also. And thought I would bump you a little.

God Bless you on this journey!
Wife to my wonderful husband 8yrs
Mom to 2 wonderful sons 6yrs and 4yrs
2012 pre-school and MFW 1st
2011 K

Julie in MN
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Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:59 pm

Hi! <waving>
I agree about keeping each child at their own level in language arts and math. Here's Marie Hazell's post on teaching K and preschool:
Dusenkids wrote:My bigger question, I have seen a few threads on here about taking time to let a child adjust from PS to HS. Any tips on “un-schooling” a 7 year PS teacher?
Sounds like you're doing well already. There are also a few more former ps teachers on the boards, and Marie Hazell fits that category, as well. You might enjoy reading some Ruth Beechick and other general homeschooling books at your library, to immerse yourself in the feel of it. Listen to some David Hazell CDs. Write yourself some goals after observing your kids, so you'll be able to see the progress you make. Most of all, think of yourself as a parent training your kids rather than a teacher with a job. You will be blessed,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

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Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by kacairo1 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:50 pm

Hi Martie!

I also have four kids at about the same ages and I, too, am a former public school teacher. I cannot say enough wonderful things about MFW. Each spring I begin to sweat and question if I should be doing one of the other 5,001 curriculum series that are out there. But I ALWAYS come full circle and end up right back where I started...with MFW!

I wanted to add just a few comments to your remark about "un-schooling" yourself. After teaching in a classroom for a number of years, I have had to "un-work" some of my notions on schooling. One of the biggest phrases that I have to repeat to myself is: "You are not doing public school at home, you are doing HOME school." The two are very different. My largest struggle recently is, as someone earlier mentioned...S L O W I N G down. I feel like I have to rush through everything in order to "stay on track" with my schedule--much more of a public school mentality--rushing through to complete the task, rather than savoring every moment. So I guess my encouragement to you for next year would be to savor the lessons--extend them, include all your kids in on "school time", and enjoy your schooling experience. (Now, will someone call me and remind me of those words tomorrow. LOL!)
Married to my high school sweetheart for 12 years!
Four beautiful gifts later:
Rachel (7.5)--ECC; CC; M-U-S
Joshua (6)--1st; CC; M-U-S
Luke (4.5)--MFW preschool; Liberty Press K book; ABC Bible Verses
Lydia (2.5)--dress-up queen

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Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by rjsmomma » Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:39 pm

I was never a ps teacher, but my mom is, and I grew up in and around the school system a lot:) So when I used MFW for K I kept thinking 'This is too easy, she's having too much fun, she should be working harder, ect' LOL So for 1st and 2nd we used another boxed, more workbook-y, curriculum known for it's advaced academics. Well, she started crying about school midway through 1st and we were both crying by 2nd. For 3rd grade we came back to MFW and we will never go back:) What I know now is 'slower is better'. She would have been at the point she is now (6th grade) and maybe ever further along if we had just stayed with MFW in the first place. I am sure that her attitude on school and the frustration she felt during 1st and 2nd took some time to get over, that she wouldn't have gone through if we hadn't switched curriculums. So my advice would be to remember to relax and that your children will learn, even if they seem to be having fun!!! :) As they get older the curriculum increases in intensity, so it really does 'grow along with them'.

Shannon Meyer
DD - 13 years old - 7th grade
Used MFW for K, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and now 7th:)


Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:12 am

I was never a group school teacher. But I grew up in public schools from K through 12 and watched a lot of teachers. Since I was one of the "good kids" and "gifted learners", I was left to the back of the classroom by myself and watched all of those teachers. I got my work done fast, got all A's and was bored because the rules said no talking, so I watched and observed a lot.
No wonder I became a home school mom. :) Here are things that I saw them do that I don't do as a home educator.

*I don't have to fret about the principal or school board or superintendent walking in and evaluating me on the spot for fear of job loss. I know my "boss" is God and He is filled with grace.
*I don't have to deal with teaching to the test.
*I don't have to deal with a room full of kids that I don't like. I just get to deal with children whom I love and get to try to help with something.
*They didn't get the time to stop and in calm ways help a child who was struggling. I get that opportunity.
*They didn't get to drop everything and get to cook a meal to take across town to a church member who just got home from the hospital a day early.
*They had to return to the desks and books after a morning field trip. I get to linger and savor it all and have lunch out and have a picnic.
*They were restricted by the clock. I'm not.
*They have janitors to clean up. Lunch room workers to make food. I have a family to help me. ok.
*They had to do as much as possible each year because they only had a year with the group. We, as parent teachers, get a life time with the same students.
*They rearranged desks and the room all the time. I rearrange how I teach and let the back yard change with the seasons if I want the classroom to feel different. I move from room to room. My children aren't restricted to being in a desk. handwriting practice can be with shaving cream (or other cleaning foam) on the bath tub wall, or bath tube. and then we get the tub cleaned while doing handwriting.
*I get to see everything as a learning time.

I don't know if any of that helps you to "unschool" from being a group school teacher. But think about all the things that frustrated you on the job, and let them go. Think about the things that were not effective for teaching and reaching someone who learned differently, and let it go.......


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Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:17 am

Hi and welcome!

I wasn't a school teacher, so I don't have much advice about that but I do agree with Julie:
Julie in MN wrote: Listen to some David Hazell CDs.
With the ages of your kids, I highly, highly, highly recommend the "Keeping Preschoolers Occupied while Teaching Olders" cd. (I don't think it's called that, but it's something similar.) It is so, so good, and you will get lots of ideas for your 4, 2, and 1 year olds. You should probably plan to listen to it a couple times a year for the next several years, since it seems you will have preschoolers for a while yet. :)

Sounds like you are doing great so far. I would just take your time and let your mind adjust to the differences in being at home with your own kids vs. being in a school room. You can really cater to each individual learning style/need, and the kids can get wonderful life lessons as part of school too - i.e., stopping the lesson to change the baby's diaper IS the lesson; we take care of each other.


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Re: Making sure I am on the right track and teacher question

Unread post by Dusenkids » Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:02 pm

Thanks for the advice. I do have the preschool Cd. I plan to watch that after I finish reading Children's Sake. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home and do this for my kids. Slowing down will be easier said than done, so remind me for time to time :-) .

Thanks again!

Posted Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:19 pm by Dusenkids
Despite my “first year” worrying, we found our early groove and haven’t stopped. We haven’t really come up with a “schedule.” We sit down with our school stuff 4 days a week, which 4? That depends a little on Daddy’s work schedule. Daddy days usually include some sort of outside/field trip activities. We have learned so much. I love all the “OH!” moments. We are not planning a break until the end of Nov. (Maybe even the end of Dec if I can find the energy.) We are in a groove and are happy. I don’t want to mess that up knowing that the end of this school will be a challenge for me and will probably end early for us. Between this board and our local group, I couldn’t be happier with our school year!
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

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First Day Tips?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:15 am

Jynuine wrote:I have 3 kids in elementary school and 2 in home school (7th ad 6th). Tomorrow is the first day of school... does anyone have any tips for how you start?

We have a honkin' huge whiteboard on the wall and it's all set up to be a good learning environment with a desk for the girl's to share and a sectional couch to read books on, etc. I was thinking that since this is my 6th grader's first time homeschooling I would joke around a bit and write my name on the board like her teachers would and introduce myself as "Mrs. Meyer". I was also thinking about planning on a class photos day and naming our own school and choosing a mascot, also allowing the girls to work on a yearbook throughout the year to make it feel a little more special than studying stuff at home. My 6th grader is really missing some of the things she got to do at in public school so this is a new adventure for us all.

I am also going to spend the first week going over the rules and ironing out any kinks we might have in our learning attitudes. Does anyone else have any good disciplinary tips for kids who misbehave or bicker? I'm not talking small kids- my girls are 6th and 7th grade and know better. So far Im thinking of earlier bed times, bible verse studies/ memorizing, housechores...? What works for you?
My advice? Dont try to adjust to a new school schedule and tackle disciplinary issues at the same time. Slowly and gently iron those out as you go but start with making school and home peaceful and enjoyable instead of arduous and tedious. I would approach your discipline issues as something to work on each month. So pick a character trait like encouragement and work on that for a month. Come up with creative ideas on how to be encouragers. Encourage them to rephrase their words in an encouraging way.

They say that you need a month break for every YEAR you had your kids in school. So give yourself some lea way there. 6 years in school means you have 6 months to iron out all the issues brought home. So keep that in mind for slow progressing. :) Good luck! and have a blessed year!
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

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Re: First Day Tips?

Unread post by fdjoyce » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:00 am

Hope your first day was excellent! We go back today. Your ideas about photos & your dry erase board are great- we do similar things. My kids have always been HS so I have no real experience in this BUT one thing I have heard several folks say is to take time to have fun together- to strengthen your bonds & enjoy the privileges of being homeschooled! I agree to work on character issues slowly & try to encourage one another in good character rather than eliminating bad ones (replace them with something else!) Best wishes!

Julie in MN
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Re: First Day Tips?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:32 am

There are some fun first day things here (or first week, maybe?!):

When I brought my kids home to school, it worked to stick to the "framework" of a school day, to keep up that discipline, but to allow what happened within that day to include some fun stuff like an educational video, or dd designing a cover for her notebooks, or ds playing math games, or a fun meal.

For misbehavior, my responses have been all over the board with 3 kids over many years. Some of it depends on the particular child. Having them at home means that it affects *mom* a lot more. And I think it's reasonable to help teach them that -- their bickering affects others besides themselves, and the fallout will be a less fun mom, a crankier little brother -- or future boss or whatever. As for "punishment," personally I tend to use separation for the times I need to get them away from one another or even from me! I do the actual "training" more thru discussion than consequences -- discussing self-control, and how that is something they need to master all their lives, as well as about the effects of our personal behavior on the whole planet and God Himself. Come to think of it, I think my boys shaped up just to get me to stop explaining all these things 8[] But my dd, well, she's still a work in progress at age 24. I think it's good to realize that because you have them at home, you will *see* more of their character flaws, but it doesn't mean that they weren't there before, and it doesn't mean that they will all completely go away. We each have our flaws, but family is where we are loved despite them :) It's harder sometimes, but it's *real* parenting -- really, really valuable stuff.

Blessings on your first week!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:41 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: First Day Tips?

Unread post by mlhom4him » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:38 am

I found a list of "God's Standards" that we have as our homeschooling "rules". Every morning we start our day by reviewing them. Most all problems fall under them.

(1) Fear God and keep His commandments (Ecc 12:13)

(2) Honor others above yourself (Rom. 12:10)

(3) Do your work unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24)

(4) Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Phil 2:14-15)

During the day as we have trouble I refer back to which ever standard is being crossed. We talk about what to do to correct it and expect said behavior to change as well as the heart. Granted I have a younger child but it lays the ground work for the heart issues.

Mary Lou


Plan to HS using MFW next year, need help

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:37 pm

ckd0822 wrote:OK, my children have been in public school for years. My oldest is in 7th this year, middle in 4th, and my youngest in 1st(because his birthday was a week after the cutoff). I have thought about it for months and have decided that I want to homeschool next school year. I believe that it will benefit our family as a whole.

My only concern is that my oldest is in all gifted classes in Middle school and scores over 95% in all placement tests. He is already in all the 8th grade curriculum in public school. So, should I repeat it with the ECC supplement or should I get him the high school curriculum.

Also, I am having a hard time getting my husband to understand that they will not miss out on socializing with other children. They have friends that they have made in school and I am happy with them. Plus, we belong to a large church where they also have many friends. There are homeschool associations and co-ops around our area and I would most likely join up with them for field trips and fun days. He is from a family of public educators, so it is looking to be a hard "sell"
Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed!
Welcome along!

In addition to any of our suggestions between ECC or AHL, I want to suggest calling mfw's office for their input as well. Sometimes on phones, it's better for catching small details to make it personalized. But we have this forum for customers like us... so.... here's my opinion. :)

I was "cursed" with the gifted and talented label in public schools in the 80's. You can use ECC with the jr. high research and reading packet for academically advanced children. One of the biggest advantages your child will have over "grade based" classroom social studies will be learning to follow a syllabus on his own from the lesson plans. There are plenty of writing assignments each country in ECC for the advanced child. You just expect longer paragraphs and more independent research. Add in current events. Math, language arts, science, foreign language at placement levels. Consider doing Logic from the high school electives. And have him really work on staying focused on school schedule and doing chores. Go for "gifted" enrichment with co-ops, sports, music and service projects. Let this first year of homeschooling feel successful to everyone and look to challenge in ways that aren't about grade levels on some books. That's just my opinion based on my experiences in the "gifted program" when I was in jr. high. We enriched with fun stuff like theatre, music, new arts to try, unit studies on topics not otherwise covered, home ec. I would definitely lean toward a year of that kind of enrichment that doesn't have to end up on a transcript. I'm just one opinion. Others might make the case for go to AHL and graduate early.

for your husband’s consideration:
I don't know if it's any help or not, but MFW's author has advanced degrees in education and has taught in public and private classrooms in the US and even in other parts of the world. They want top high achieving academics. They want it without forgetting who God is.

Another consideration with your dh.... homeschooling works for smart kids. We have the good stuff with socialization without the fear factor going down in the hallways or any of the other stuff that are in the mix with teens not really leading each other. Even in gifted classes we had that.

Homeschooling can be for hermits. But not all homeschoolers are hermits.

Homeschooling can be an excuse for lazy, but you aren’t like that! It’s work. and you're going to do that.

and more than that, it gives you the right ingredients for being a family, and raising them to serve the Lord. One of my dearest friends didn't start homeschooling until his 3rd child was in middle of 10th grade. He and his wife often say they wish they had done it sooner. The dad in that family was a pastor who thought "a good pastor would never homeschool his kids." but.... God had different plans.

I one time described homeschooling as everything that the best classroom teachers really want to do, but don’t have funds to do, nor the clearance from red tape to get it done. Homeschooling is one on one tutoring model. It is the best of having consistency in instructor from year to year. It’s about knowing the student. And it’s about being able to be a family while doing all of this.

Lisa M shared recently with good stuff.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 406#p80406

Here's another article on homeschooled students excel in college
perhaps your husband will enjoy reading it?


Julie in MN
Posts: 2915
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Plan to HS using MFW next year, need help

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:05 pm

Hi and welcome!

I brought my middle dd home to school in 10th grade. Two years later, I brought my youngest home in 3rd grade. I know those worries and doubts that your dh has because I had them. I wasn't like some of these wise moms around here who knew that homeschooling was best from the beginning. However, I knew well all the problems of schooling in the traditional way, and had spent enough time with my kids in the system to know that it wasn't what it used to be, and probably wasn't what I saw it as child. Now, on the other side for 9 years, I see homeschooling as just parenting, parenting the way I always wanted to, parenting without interruption from the requirements of others, and parenting with time for God each and every day of my child's life.

I like your idea of doing ECC this first year. My reasons for that choice would be (a) a year of family togetherness before the oldest goes off on his own curriculum, (b) an easier transition year, and (c) a good foundation in knowing the world and praying for the world before moving forward.

However, I know with advanced kids, ECC can on the surface seem easier than all the assignments they had in public school. So there's a risk that your oldest won't warm up to the change as quickly as a child who disliked school assignments. I think your biggest help will be knowing that MFW provides these boards with lots of folks who will give you extra ideas on how to challenge your oldest. For instance, when I had an 8th grader in ECC, I posted some of the things we delved into on the ECC Ideas board. Here's one of those posts: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... der#p61309

The good news is that your 8th grader will be in his own math and science and somewhat language arts, so he will have a chance to fly on his own, too. The family learning will be part of his day, but not all of it.

Best wishes on your new adventure!
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: Plan to HS using MFW next year, need help

Unread post by HeyChelle » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:38 am


I will just add a comment on the social question. I have to turn down so many social activities to protect our homeschool time. Between sports, church, and neighborhood friends, I simple do not have time for all the many homeschool clubs/organized field trips/activities that are available around here. If we did everything that was available socially-speaking, they would never get any school work done. Not sure what is available in your area, but you can spend some time checking into the opportunities and share those possibilities with your husband. When we started 5 years ago I had no idea all these things were available.
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Transitioning from private school to homeschool

Unread post by kw4blessings » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:24 am

FaithinHim wrote:Hi! I am looking for encouragement and prayer as we're planning to begin homeschooling in the fall. My oldest son is in first grade and has been attending very small K-8 private Christian school. They use A Beka curriculum and I just don't think it's a good fit for him. He has learned to read and is doing well in math but the seatwork and homework has been challenging. It's not that he doesn't know how to do it, he just doesn't want to. He's already asking how many pages he'll have to do in 2nd grade!

Many of our friends from church assumed I would homeschool since I was a public school teacher (mainly teaching 2nd grade) for many years before I our son was born. But I think it has to be a calling to homeschool. By the time my son was almost 4, we decided to put him in preschool because I thought it would be best for him ( and me!) I ended up teaching kindergarten there ( my son was in pre-k at the time) using A Beka for one year so I am familiar with the curriculum. It was so different than what I was used to in the public school. I was overwhelmed with it in spite of my teaching experience. I had a few students that really struggled with the pace and just weren't ready for so many worksheets! On the other hand, some of my more mature kindergarteners did so well with it. Some even learned to write in cursive! But I didn't think it was a good idea to be my son's kinder teacher there and I wasn't ready to homeschool him yet so we decided to enroll him in the school where he is now.

A few months ago a friend recommended Cathy Duffy's book and I realized he fits the profile of a "Wiggly Willy". As I started doing more research on the internet, I believe the Lord has led me to MFW and its sounds like it'd work well with my son. I've also been learning alot from reading this message board. I know the Lord has placed an undeniable desire to homeschool in my heart. He has changed my husband's heart too and He is working on my son's heart LOL! Oh, yes and we also have a one year old baby boy who so far likes to sit on my lap while I help his brother with homework. I'm hoping that he'll adjust to homeschooling too!

Also I've been very involved in helping at his school and I know it's going to be hard to leave but I know that it is time. I'm just trying to take it one step at a time but this is all new for me. Most of my closest friends are homeschooling families but none had ever started with private school. I'd appreciate anyone's insight/ encouragement on our situation. Thank you!
Welcome! I am new to homeschooling myself. We are doing K (not MFW, unfortunately, didn't find it until recently) with our oldest this year and will begin MFW 1st in July. Although I don't have any experience on transitioning from a school setting to HS, I want to encourage you that you CAN homeschool! There will be days that you feel like you can't, but you can and the experience is so rewarding. It sounds like your son will thrive with MFW.

Are you planning to start with Adventures? We're not there yet ourselves, but I've heard many say that ADV is one of their favorite years. All of the MFW programs are very hands on and fun. I love the fact that everything, including all of the fun and hands-on ideas are built into the curriculum and I don't have to come up with it myself (my brain doesn't work that way). So a big thank you to Marie Hazell!!

I've also found lots of great info and support from the ladies (and few dads!) on this forum.

Blessings and Hugs to you as you begin this wonderful journey!!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 5:45 am
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Transitioning from private school to homeschool

Unread post by s_duguid » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:58 am

My youngest attended two years of preschool, went to private, Christian school for K and 1st, and now is homeschooled. For us, when we knew that we could not financially keep 3 kids in Christian school, God was clear in directing us towards homeschooling. We started with Adventures and have been rolling right along with the cycles.

She is a "Social Sue" and MFW has been an excellent fit--although she does miss being around others especially now as she is middle school age.

I, too, wanted something different than traditional seatwork, plus a literature-rich curriculum for a child who loves to read was super appealing. So grateful that God placed MFW in our laps upon a recommendation of another! Since then, I have researched other curriculums and just keep coming back to how satisfied I am with where we are.
Sue, married 20 years and mother to 3 (only homeschooling one):
TJ (18), college sophomore
Drew (17), high school senior
Victoria (12) starting 1850-MOD in fall
  • completed Exp_1850, RtR, CtG, ECC, ADV

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