Encouragement - About to begin homeschooling! Transitions.

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Statistics on homeschooling

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jun 12, 2010 9:38 am

I thought of a book that may be helpful. I know I needed some statistics to help me when I decided to home school.

Brian D. Ray, PH.D. did a wonderful study on a large group of home schooled adults now in their 20's. I think what impressed me the most was the life choices they were making as 18 - 20 year olds and the community service they were doing. The academic performance though is astounding. Over 90% of them also said they wanted to home school their kids, or were home schooling their kids. It's a helpful book for those of us who like numbers. :)

The web site is http://www.nheri.org

The book is Home Educated and Now Adults, Their Community and Civic Involvement, Views about Homeschooling, and Other Traits. by Brian D. Ray

I hope this helps!

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:10 am

Brood-of-Blessings wrote:I'm just starting out with homeschooling this fall with my almost 6-year-old using MFW-K. (and some preschool and such with my 4-year-old...) I feel so, so blessed to have found MFW already with just starting out! I do have a couple of questions, though, as far as must-reads or must-dos are concerned while starting out. All of the information is so overwhelming! :~

1) What books do you suggest that I read before starting this journey into homeschooling, whether to inspire or for information?
2) Other than ordering MFW-K curriculum, what should I be ordering or buying?
3) What's the best way to start out this fall? Set a date for the first day of school?
4) What would be the first few must-haves for your homeschool as far as supplies and "fun" things?
5) Any really useful websites or magazines you frequent?
6) Any other advice, or do I just take a deep breath and jump in!? :-)
Welcome along!!! :-)

1) What books do you suggest that I read before starting this journey into homeschooling, whether to inspire or for information? For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay from the K Deluxe Package

2) Other than ordering MFW-K curriculum, what should I be ordering or buying? K Deluxe Package

3) What's the best way to start out this fall? Set a date for the first day of school? Whatever works for you. A lot of people start when public school starts but many start whenever it works best for them.

4) What would be the first few must-haves for your homeschool as far as supplies and "fun" things? Hmm, K Deluxe Package? (Do you see a trend here? ;) ) The MFW Pre-School package as well. (I haven't used the Pre-K stuff personally, but have heard really great things about it.) Any regular items such as crayons, markers, scissors, paper, etc.

5) Any really useful websites or magazines you frequent? You're already here. ;)

6) Any other advice, or do I just take a deep breath and jump in!? Take a deep breath and jump in. You'll add and tweak as you go.

It will all work out fine. :-)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

schoolmom2
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:50 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by schoolmom2 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:02 am

1) What books do you suggest that I read before starting this journey into homeschooling, whether to inspire or for information?
I enjoyed The Way They Learn. Can't remember the author, but it is an older book from Focus on the Family. Really helped me with understanding how to best teach each of my kids.
2) Other than ordering MFW-K curriculum, what should I be ordering or buying?
I have found that the more I try to add, the more stressed out I get (and the kids do, too!).
3) What's the best way to start out this fall? Set a date for the first day of school?
I would start when you are feeling prepared and excited. That will rub off on your children.
4) What would be the first few must-haves for your homeschool as far as supplies and "fun" things?
I couldn't live without my picnic caddy that I use for pens, pencils, crayons, glue, and scissors, or my IKEA Expedit bookcase for separating books by subject.
5) Any really useful websites or magazines you frequent?
Lots of websites, especially this one! I use the search function a lot to see if anyone else has had my same question. DLTK's Printable Crafts for Kids is a great site for craft/lesson ideas.
6) Any other advice, or do I just take a deep breath and jump in!? :-)
See if there is a support group in your area for Christian homeschoolers. It is wonderful to feel like part of a community and have some adult fellowship!

baileymom
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: South Carolina
Contact:

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by baileymom » Tue Jun 29, 2010 7:31 am

Good Morning My Dear Sweet Friend Kate!!!
So excited to "see" you here!

Book - Karen Andreola's Charlotte Mason Companion, RC Sproul Jr's When You Rise Up, and Beechick 3 Rs

Buy - As many of the K literature books that you can (esp since they will be used so many times with little siblings:)

Start Out - slow and excited...you know we do year round (very good for traveling/guest-housing military family), if not year round...1st Tues after Labor Day would be my pick

Must-haves - construction paper, lots and lots of drawing paper (computer paper), scissors, glue sticks, crayons, STICKERS, markers, etc.

Websites/Magazines - this message board...the archives are WONDERFUL (I can almost ALWAYS find the answer to my ? using the search), I've had a subscription to Homeschooling Today, I second the DLTK website (I used it a ton in K)

Advice - yes, deep breath and jump in!!! MFW's Kindergarten is so fun. I have so many sweet memories of it with Connor, and I'm so excited to be doing it again with TJ. YOU WILL DO WONDERFUL!
Kathi - graduated 1, homeschooling 6, preschooling 2, growing 1

wisdomschool
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:16 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by wisdomschool » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:00 am

Hello Kate, welcome along!
I've pretty much just stuck with recommendations from MFW, so I don't have any advice on "other" things to read/buy.....as you get started though you will learn what "works" for your family and what doesn't. We started using MFW with our oldest in Kindergarten(and we're now close to finishing "K" for the third time!), and we're about to start ECC--we love MFW and also feel blessed to have found it right away!!!!!!

Blessings,
Debbie
Momma & Teacher to my super seven:

Kanen-6th
Abia-4th
Charis-3rd
Tobias-1st
Elijah-3 y.o.
Micah-2 y.o.
Eden-3 mo.

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by Poohbee » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:03 am

Hi there, Kate! Welcome to MFW and the Message Board! I'll be using MFW K this year, too (for the second time) along with ECC. My 5 y.o. dd is so excited to start kindergarten, and I'm excited to go through MFW K again. We had such fun doing the K year! (Well, we've had so much fun with each of the years. Each year just gets better and better)! :-)

I have loved reading the replies to your question. It's fun to see what people's favorite resources are, and I couldn't resist chiming in.

Books - I really enjoyed So You're Thinking About Homeschooling, by Lisa Whelchel. It's fun to read about how other people do things, but as others have said, you'll figure out what works best for you.

Buy - I second the suggestion to purchase as many of the K books as you can. Or, even just purchase other great books you find on the topics in K. You'll find that you'll use them a lot. I used many of my K books with the 1st and ADV curricula, too, because many of the same science topics come up again. Also, many of the books suggested for K are classics.

Start Out - This is just what has worked for us. I print out a blank calendar for the year. We usually try to start one week before Labor Day, and we end right before Memorial Day. I fill in any vacations and breaks on the calendar, and then I make sure I have enough days (my state requires 175 days). That has worked well for me, because I always have an idea of my start and end dates, and then I can just figure out the rest in between. We take the traditional summer break, because that is the best time for us to be outside, since we live in ND.

Must-Haves - For us, other than the typical school supplies, I try to keep watercolors, tempera paints, and painting paper on hand. My girls love to paint now and then, and it's so nice to just be able to take that stuff out when they want to paint. Also, markers, colored pencils, and crayons. We're big into art and creativity around here. :-)

Websites and Magazines - I've subscribed to a number of different homeschooling magazines, and Home School Enrichment is my favorite! I love the Enchanted Learning website. Lot's of great resources on there!

Advice - Pray and enjoy the journey! As you said in your signature line, it is truly such a blessing to be able to be home and to be able to homeschool!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

cbollin

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:15 am

Kate,
Welcome along!

3) What's the best way to start out this fall? Set a date for the first day of school?
I don't know if it is the best way, but I enjoyed making our first days of school in those early years more like the last day of summer vacation. My friend Kelly Bell, who used to have more time on her fingertips to post over here, did this too. Here is one of the back to school Ideas threads, including some of Kelly's fun and a whole bunch of other great ideas too from many of us
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3591

But basically, it means doing a field trip, or more time in the park or library and focus on enjoying being a family. Then start lesson stuff the next day. When to do that to set a first day of school? I don't know. That first year none of it mattered in my family as from a legal point of view when our oldest was turning 5 and therefore "Kindy age", we didn't have to report anything. So, we tended to start our school year when the public library started its summer reading program. That was our "first school time" to regularly read book and go to the library. So, when the program stopped, it was time to get curriculum stuff out. it was a natural transition time.

So, that's just old mom rambling on that. You start when it makes sense in your city for this year. Some people have very hot humid summers and it's fun to have "kindy school" in the june and july months during the middle of the day when it's too miserable to be outside. then, in the fall, they adjust.

Welcome along.
-crystal

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by jasntas » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:49 am

So many great ideas. They have inspired me to add to my original post.

I think Crystal is on to something. Getting involved with your local library's summer reading program is always fun, if they offer one.

Another idea along those lines, you could start 2 to 3 days a week to get everyone into a school routine without stressing them out too much. Then go to 5 or maybe even just 4 days a week when you get the hang of it. (This would depend on your state laws and how many days are required if any for K or for year round school).

For us, last year we started 2 days a week over the summer, taking breaks here and there for summer vacations and activities. We loosely follow the ps schedule due to friends and cousins that attend ps. So we officially started school the 3rd week of August. for our 'first day of school' we went on a field trip to a small nearby zoo. The next day we did lots of other fun stuff. We went for donuts, did a fun craft, filled out a fun questionnaire. (Including child's favorites, height, weight, etc. and each child drew a picture of themselves on the first day of school.) We also took lots of pictures, just like ps. I also gave my dc backpacks full of fun, school related stuff such as books, watercolor paints, puzzles, etc. (My ds was coming from ps and wanted a new backpack thinking that was something you needed to start school.) The next week we started a full 5 days a week. (Personally, if I would have only had a K'er, I would have only had school 4 days a week.)

I forgot about the DTLK web site. They do have lots of great activities you could add to K. But remember not to add too much. MFW K is a complete program in itself.

I agree with joining a nearby support group if you have one available.

Glue sticks were mentioned. An important must have.

For art projects, I would suggest glue dots. They are great for instant gratification. No waiting for the glue to dry. ;)

Stickers were also mentioned. They are great to have, too. I would buy $1 sticker books that pertained to the subjects we would be studying when I could find them. (We mainly used these for the math page instead of always drawing x # of items.)

You might also want to get some of David Hazell's workshop cd's. You might especially like Occupying Preschoolers while Homeschooling Older Children but they are all great and encouraging. Just yesterday I listened to Exposed, Isolated or Insulated (again) and plan to listen to Being a Family of Eternal Purpose (again).
http://www.mfwbooks.com/workshops.htm

Oh yes, and the recommendation to pray.

Enjoy your year!! :-)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:52 pm

I didn't read all your great answers, but wanted to say hi and welcome!

I did see something Crystal mentioned about kellybell's First Day of School ideas. I have that printed out somewhere, about starting subjects one at a time, or something like that -- going slowly for the first few weeks. I copied her, big time.

Anyway. My best advice before starting? Pray. Then pray some more. And have peace about it in the midst of your excitement. So nice to have you here.
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

club190
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:12 am

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by club190 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:38 pm

Welcome, Kate,

I could give you lists and lists of good ideas but the thing that I most want to convey to you is for you to enjoy the journey! This is a very special time, and your children are all very young, enjoy them. Remember to stop and smell the roses. Don't plow through "school" lessons just to get the papers done. Though the days often seem to drag on endlessly, the years really do fly by very quickly ... too quickly, in fact. So savor the time you'll be spending snuggling on the sofa reading wonderful stories. Don't turn into a Marine Corp Drill Instructor. Capitalize on the teachable moments that will come up. Start the day with prayer, both your alone quiet time and prayer with your children before you get going with the day's activities. You and your husband will need to learn that homeschooling is a lifestyle and not just another way to stuff an "education" into a child's head, as if it's something you "get" and not something each person has to earn (i.e., work for). You may already agree with that statement but you have to learn what that means in the day to day and how that concept applies to your lives. But above all, remember that He who calls you to this lifestyle is faithful and just and He will give you all that you need in order to do this job. (Probably not all that you want, but certainly all that you need!)

Blessings as you go,
Chris

P.S. As far as magazines go, I really like Homeschool Digest.
Wife to Jim since '91
Mom to:
Matthew, 18, Ursinus College student
Andrew, 14, ECC 7/8 + a few extras to make it "official" for high school credit
Daniel, 5, wanting to "do school" but still not really ready

Brood-of-Blessings
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:07 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by Brood-of-Blessings » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:54 am

Wow, thanks for all of the responses so far! I'm making lots of notes and bookmarking a lot of pages! :-) Thank goodness I have this resource of you all and the archives! I feel much more at-ease now! Chris, thank you also for such a great reminder to remember what's really important through this all! :)
Kate~
Wife to my high school/present-day Army sweetheart for 7 years
Mommy to Isabella (6), Lincoln (4), Brigham (2) & Griffin (4mo)
So excited having started MFW-K and preschool and blessed to be home... homeschooling!

Lisa M
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:53 pm

Re: Newbie of Homeschooling Question and Introduction

Unread post by Lisa M » Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:41 am

Congratulations on the beginning of your homeschool journey!

1) Books- Some of my favorites: Things We Wish We'd Known; Charlotte Mason Companion; For The Children's Sake; and for help in developing your homeschool priorities and vision - Hazel's CD on Classical Education in the 21st century
2) To order or buy? - NOTHING YET! Can't tell you how much money I have spent on curriculum I didn't use, before coming to MFW! Could have saved myself a lot of time and hassle. Buy the deluxe packages always, use the library lists in the back of the lesson plans, and start a book list of purchases for those you enjoy so much you think you want them in your personal library.
3) Best way to start? - whatever works for you. We are tied to the public school system with sports and my husband's job, so we run a regular school year. But starting right now and schooling year round means you can go at a more relaxed weekly pace. You decide:-)
4) Must haves? A great personal library. I purchased so many quality books through Scholastic (you have to be picky) during my first five years, that my kids always have fantastic books to read. And they can be quite inexpensive. Give yourself a book budget and look for good book lists (I used old CBD catalogs to find books used by Sonlight and Five in a Row, searched Green Leaf press catalogs, printed lists recommended by trusted home school authors, etc.). Learn to love and identify good books. Look for them at Good Will and used book stores. I'm continually amazed at how much they have learned that I did NOT teach them, because they read it over and over in a book on our shelf. Give book lists to relatives for gift giving. Give books for birthdays and Christmas.
5) Magazines - Ummmm...I had to quit. The more I read, the more I second-guess my curriculum choices and my strengths as a mother. They actually caused me more stress than good. So I can't help you there. But for the kids? I love God's World News as a way to draw them into being aware of what is going on in current events.
6) Other advice? Take a deep breath, jump in, have fun. Remember you have at least 12 years to accomplish this education thing. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or your kids to be pushing ahead. MFW is an intensive, college-prep curriculum - keep following it and you'll get there.
DD 8 yrs homeschool; Junior in PS
DD 2017 10 years homeschool; graduated 2 of 70
DS 2015 Homeschool Graduate; Four year college tuition scholarship
DD 2013 Valedictorian of tiny PS; 10 years home school

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Getting nervous and anxious-need support/reasurrance.

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:29 pm

karen4myfamily wrote:Our first year of HOMESCHOOL starts on the 7th and I am getting VERY nervous. I'm having performance anxiety! I feel like I have so much to 'prove' and I feel like it is ALL riding on MY shoulders. (HOMESCHOOLING was MY idea-and I had to talk my husband into it...I did ALOT of praying.)

I am HS my 6yo and 8yo daughters. (They were going to private Christian school and because of learning delays on my 6 yo side we decided to bring her home to HS her...and decided as a family to go ahead and bring our other daughter home too.)

My issue is-well 2 things. I don't always get around to 'doing' what I plan AND I get discouraged easy. Anyway the other 'issue' I have is that my 8 year old is very argumentative and it drains a lot of my energy.

I pray often I am determined to make this work for my family. I want to MAKE THIS WORK. I WANT to homeschool my kids and enjoy being with them.
Hi Karen,
Congratulations on your new venture! And <hugs> on being nervous. Seems I always find something to get nervous about -- my dh says I make something up if I can't find anything else to worry about :)

I like to compare it to bringing your new baby home from the hospital. Yes, you were probably inexperienced and inadequate in some ways. However, your children needed your love more than your skills :) Homeschooling is just a continuation of that parenting that you have done from the beginning.

As for your two big fears, my own response would be:

(1) Set a schedule. Follow the schedule. Just like if you were going to work, leave your other duties behind & just go, however tired you are. A schedule will prevent slacking and it will also give you all an "ending point" so you know that however hard the day is, there is relief in sight at 3:00 (or whatever time you decide on).

(2) You will continue working on your child's behavior and attitude, just like you always have. However, now you will have more time and more control of the situation. I like to set some small goals and write them down, so you can look back and see some progress. When you get overwhelmed, look at them and choose to focus only on those things for now. Your children will not be perfect and neither will you, but homeschooling will give you the chance to really give it your best effort and make as much progress as possible.

Blessings as you begin this venture! We start school next week, as well.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

1974girl
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Getting nervous and anxious-need support/reasurrance.

Unread post by 1974girl » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:36 pm

Last year was my first year and it went much easier than I ever thought.

I did need it all planned out for me. I wanted someone to say "do this on Monday...read these pages on Tuesday...." It is great to have the hand-holding. I have a friend who lesson plans 2 hours every Sunday. I just can't do that. I don't want to do that. So first, relax, you have bought a great curriculum.

Second....remember that "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" means homeschooling, too. Sometimes women think that it means everything BUT homeschooling. When public school moms say "I could never do that!" I want to say "I could never do it either but thankfully that "all things" covers homeschooling, too." Today, I was so put out with them after science that I didn't even want to do geography. I was about to lose it and had to take a deep breath and think of that scripture. I then got a grip....sent my kids to their room for not behaving...which served as a time out for me to get my act together before I told someone where to put their coniferous forest....and taught geography! But to be more specific here are some suggestions that i have learned the hard way...

1) Never skip the Bible part. Make it the first thing you do. The devil always seemed to win the day when I skipped it. After all, we are to train up our child in the way he should go....not train them up to make a 36 on the ACT test.

2) Have rules written down. If your son does this....then he has to stick his nose in the corner or extra chore. AND STICK WITH IT!!!! Yes, he will try to wear you down those first weeks but after a while, he'll get it. When my 10 yr old didn't want to do any work the first week, I told her to go down to her room while I did school with her sister. I then sent down the work from all subjects...she had to read it on her own and got no help from me. She quickly understood that she could behave and I'd teach/read or she could do it all herself! We haven't had that again.

3) Have an hour of "alone time" after school. My kids go to their rooms. They can clean it, play with toys, read books, even play their DS but they can't come out. I then can do ME stuff. Sometimes, I can clean without distraction, watch a tv show, or check facebook. I can do whatever I want! I have one that begs for alone time because her sister can't get in. : )

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

momtogc
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2007 11:25 pm
Location: AR

Re: Getting nervous and anxious-need support/reasurrance.

Unread post by momtogc » Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:49 pm

Congratulations on your first year to homeschool! God called you to do this so He will also equip you for it. Every day will be a challenge but every day He is right there with you to help you meet each challenge.

First year jitters are normal, too. I remember being just petrified the first day of school, but it all worked out and now we are in fifth year of hs. God is faithful and like someone else said, you've picked a good homeschool curriculum. It's easy to use. You'll get used to it before you know it.

I'm like you a bit, I get discouraged easily, and I tend to be a bit on the lazy side (didn't use to be like that but now I'm old and tired and lazy), but you will find a schedule that works for you and I'm confident that you WILL make HS work. You've already said that you are determined. I believe you are going to do a GREAT job homeschooling because you have put so much effort into making sure it was God's will for your family.

Oh, and FWIW, I find that some eight year old girls are just like that - argumentative and such. I remember summer of '09 in VBS when I had the third grade girls in my class part of the time. They were so odd and so different from my precious little second grader. Then my dd turned eight, started third grade and it was like, oh my!! she started acting just like those girls in VBS. I don't know what it is about that age? I think it gets better over time (with prayer and standing your ground on not tolerating the defiant attitude) because I see improvement in my nine yo dd; still sassy at times but better than last year.

I wish you and your girls a wonderful homeschool beginning! I hope you will all enjoy MFW!

Meleasa
Mom to Gabi, a fun-loving and happy girl!
MFW 1st, Adventures, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850

jhagberg
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by jhagberg » Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:40 pm

Jynuine wrote:I couldn't find a welcome thread or forum here, so I'm just going to post it under general. :) I am new to both homeschooling and My Father's World and am practically just diving in. I have prayed for a few years on this, resolving now that homeschooling is going to have less to do with me and my capabilities than it has to do with just being faithful that God will get us through and give me what I need to help guide my kiddos. How can I teach my kids to be faithful if I was unwilling to be the example?

I do have a few questions, though. First of all- as far as I have seen, homeschooling supplies are not a tax write off, correct? So would it be advantageous to keep my receipts for items purchased? At least to get an idea I guess, as far as how much homeschooling is costing us more than anything else? I know this is a financial commitment...

Also, is there a particular planner that anyone has found is useful in cooperation with homeschooling with the MFW curriculum?

What about motivating kids during the day and coordinating chores as well? Our situation is that I have kids in school while Im homeschooling others ( As I have Abbie I also have my 5 yr old Eva Bella and 18 mo old Emmalia before Im due in 11 weeks). Im still trying to figure out how to make chores balanced and fair since Abbie is home during the day and does a majority of the helping out with domestic things.

Also: Do you give your kids vacation breaks like other kids i.e; Spring Break, Snow Days, Christmas Vacation, etc?
Wow! Congratulations and welcome! :)

My first bit of advice is to decide on your "basics" (things that must happen each day) and designate everything else as "optional". That way, if you're having one of those really crazy days, you can just focus on the basics and skip the rest. Having said that, I will admit that my list of basics was so short, at first, that I almost felt silly. BUT, it really helped me establish a pattern of success each day, and then I was able to add to my "basics" as I went along. You said that right now you just have spelling, math, and language, so I think that is the perfect place to start! Get in the habit of getting those done every day, and then you can add history and Bible when you get your ECC package.

Remember, this is a huge change for all of you, so give yourself some room to relax and settle in. Choose your battles wisely. If today seems chaotic, just take a deep breath, say a prayer, and then think of one thing, just ONE, that you might do differently tomorrow. Small, daily changes will add up over time, and before you know it, more and more things will just seem to happen by habit! :)

God bless you.
Joyce

jhagberg
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by jhagberg » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:10 pm

Jynuine wrote:Also: Do you give your kids vacation breaks like other kids i.e; Spring Break, Snow Days, Christmas Vacation, etc?
Yes, I do, when it works for us. If we have a good reason to push on (like an upcoming baby) then I might not take as many days off because I know there will be plenty of days off when the baby arrives! :)
Joyce

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:01 pm

Welcome Jyn,
It's the beginning of a wonderful journey for you.

We use a public school's calendar. We have to submit a calendar in Minnesota, so that makes it easy & pleases my son.

About taxes, schooling expenses are not a federal item. However, some states allow various deductions for teachers or students. Minnesota is one of those, so saving receipts in Minnesota is worth it. Minnesota also allows homeschools to have a tax exempt number. Your state homeschool association probably has all the info on those types of state issues.

Enjoy your Explorations,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

jhagberg
Posts: 52
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Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by jhagberg » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:01 am

Jynuine wrote:Thanks guys!
I know this is the best thing and that God just lined everything up for us. Im just hoping that this isn't going to be actually putting TOO much responsibility on Abigail and doing more harm than good. She has done more diaper changing, feeding, dishes, babysitting, helping to put on night diapers, changing of the laundry than every before. But she has also had a LOT of downtime than she ever was old enough to remember. She's been able to paint and read books and look up things online and play outside and have more time with mom over the past month. but I worry that she is paying for it in other ways.

She has had Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was an infant and it seems as though, this week alone, she has already had multiple flair up episodes between her hip and her jaw. But I have also noticed she takes MORE responsibility with taking her medications and measures to relieve the pain. When she was in school it seemed as though she thrived on the negative attention. Now the pain is a nuisance and she just wants it gone. This is a GOOD thing... but also worrysome.

I really feel as though I do too much as far as housework and chores go. This really effects my energy level as pregnant and tired my body is... Weighing out what are the REAL age appropriate chores is proving to be a little tougher than I thought. :)
Jyn, I know what you mean about the housework. Sometimes it seems like I'm the only one who actually KNOWS what to do! Anyway, like I said before, if you can implement small changes, they will add up over time. For example, in my house, my number one wish is for toys and books and clothes and couch pillows to be OFF the FLOOR! Even when there are 99 other chores left undone, if I can see my floor and walk without stepping on things, I'm in a much better mental state. Make your own personal "wish list", and then make those things happen. The kids can (and will) learn what pleases you. Each child can have at least one chore that belongs to him/her, even if it seems small. In fact, it's better to start small! Simple, basic chores will set the stage for more responsibility later.

On a more personal note, when I first switched to homeschooling, my oldest was 8 and my second was newborn. I had come out of teaching high school full time, and my oldest had been in school since he was 3. We had a very rough transition. I was used to my students listening to me and following my directions, and my son was used to having other teachers. We clashed on EVERYTHING! All the while, I was nursing my newborn and adjusting to being at home full time. When I look back, I realize that my expectations for myself and my son were too high. I was trying to get everything done every day, and losing my mind in the process. Sad to say, I gave up after 9 weeks and put him back in school. :(

The following school year I started homeschooling again, and things went much better. Over the years I have wondered if it's okay that my son knows how to clean house and change diapers and make lunches...yes, it's okay. Along the way he has also learned math and language and science and history. Somehow, it all gets covered. :)

Don't expect perfection in your daily activities, only PROGRESS. Are we moving forward? Are the children learning? Good. Success!
Last edited by jhagberg on Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Joyce

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by MelissaM » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:05 am

Jynuine wrote:I am setting things up so that I use a similar system to
http://dawnathome.typepad.com/by_sun_an ... ystem.html
<- this system which I find is absolutely beautiful!
Hi and Welcome!

I haven't read all the replies, but I just wanted to say I read Dawn's blog too, and love her file system! :) This year I used a file system for school as well, and I just numbered my files Week 1 - Week 36, without dates. (These are only for my dd who is doing ECC, I don't keep weekly files for myself, tho I know Dawn does. I'm still working on organizing myself.) Anyway, the MFW curriculum seems to lend itself perfectly to weekly files. I made a copy of the grid in the TM for each week, filled in dd's specific math and LA, etc., then filed the grid copies in the correct weekly folders. Same with the student sheets. They are numbered, and they come in the package in the order you need them, so it is extremely easy to just go ahead and file them where they go. Then, in ECC there are some copies to be made; I just went through the TM and copied and filed for each week. Initial prep time (I only prepped the first half of the year, because we started it in Jan.) prob took me 3-4 hours, but that included familiarizing myself with the TM; for instance, reading the science assignment in the weekly grid, then finding the student sheet that goes with it, and finding the science book needed for that assignment. I anticipate getting it all done in an hour or so for the second half, since we'll be well familiar with the program by then.

I like Managers of Their Homes for organizing the household/schooling, but I don't follow it exactly. I know some people feel very pressured with that kind of schedule, but I feel much freer when we have a good routine.

Erm, I can't remember what else you asked. Ha.

This forum has been a great place to ask questions and get lots of support and encouragement, so keep asking! ECC has been blessing us these last few weeks, and I know it will be a blessing to you too!

(Also, I don't think you have ADHD - you have 6.5 kids, you are busy!)

:)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by gratitude » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:22 am

Hi Jyn!! Welcome to Home Schooling!! :-)

A quick answer to the tax write off:
we have a good accountant, and he said that the home school supplies are not a tax write off. They do go into our budget though!

I read a lot of books on home schooling when my oldest turned 3. I saw the same advice over and over again for a mom taking their child out of school. The advice was to take it really slow. To not worry about the academics for 6 months. To take 6 months to 1 year to spend on the relationship, and enjoy one another, and that academics would quickly catch up once everything else was in place.

We have always home schooled, but my oldest K year was a bit rocky as I tried to establish a new routine. Some of the same advice that I read for a mother pulling a child out of school definitely applied. I jumped in with both feet, and we needed a year of slow academic adding. Adding one subject a month or two, would have been about right. It is easier to do it right initially, then go too fast - back-up - and then have to re-do it for good habits. A brief summary of K for us.

My favorite parts of home school:
Bible - studying the Bible with my children on a daily basis has been the best thing I have ever done in my life.
Reading to my children
Learning how to better organize our home & lives & finances so that school does happen.

Home schooling for us has also made glaringly obvious my parental weaknesses that I have to work on. So be gentle on yourself, and you have some great advice on taking it one day at a time with small changes. They do add up quickly.

An answer to vacations: It varies. We did take off Valentine's Da & President's Day this year. I really enjoyed the Monday field trips that we did. I usually take off 2 weeks at Christmas, and sometimes a week at Thanksgiving. We ignore spring break and the last day of school. Last year we ended around July 4th and started back up a week after Labor Day, but we also kept doing certain parts of school over the summer - just not the seat work. At this point I am leaning towards year round school, or 2 -3 mornings a week in the summer - I guess we will see when summer really comes.

Enjoy!

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:18 am

jhagberg wrote: Don't expect perfection in your daily activities, only PROGRESS. Are we moving forward? Are the children learning? Good. Success!
Great advice!
gratitude wrote:Home schooling for us has also made glaringly obvious my parental weaknesses that I have to work on. So be gentle on yourself, and you have some great advice on taking it one day at a time with small changes. They do add up quickly.
This is such a true statement. We are able to sweep all our imperfections under the rug so to speak and maybe even blame them on someone else when we are only with our dc so many hours a day. But 24/7 is a whole new issue. Be easy on yourself.

I like Caren's advice here as well.
gratitude wrote:I read a lot of books on home schooling when my oldest turned 3. I saw the same advice over and over again for a mom taking their child out of school. The advice was to take it really slow. To not worry about the academics for 6 months. To take 6 months to 1 year to spend on the relationship, and enjoy one another, and that academics would quickly catch up once everything else was in place.
MFW even suggests this to a degree in the TM's. Start one subject at a time and add as the weeks go on. We have been doing this at the beginning of each new school year after summer break. It's much easier on everyone and they don't even seem to notice that their work load is increasing.

Regarding chores. I recently got an e-newsletter from Focus on the Family that included an article about age appropriate chores. Maybe it will help you a bit.
http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenti ... hores.aspx

HTH
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

jhagberg
Posts: 52
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Location: Illinois
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Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by jhagberg » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:31 pm

Jynuine wrote:Well, so far it's gone okay!

Our main issue is dealing with Abbie's Arthritis which decided to flair up last week. Also, I havent been able to find really anyone with kids being homeschooled in Abbie's age range. She REALLY needs to be able to get out and relax a little more since she has been at home for a month.

Im trying to figure out how to manage my 19 mo old and my 5 yr old while homeschooling Abbie, also. I dont want to be neglecting them and their needs for attention but Abbie is not a self starter and needs to be micromanaged.

All we have right now is math, spelling and reading but I havent figured out the Spelling book yet. Im finding she is having a hard time on the Writing Strands understanding the instructions. They are so simple that they're complicated. She skips over things and then gives me a fight when I have to make her redo it all. Im also getting a fight on the Singapore Math 3B that we started her off with and the ways they have her do simple math in her head. It's 'baby math' she says, but when I explain that they have a better form of doing math and this 'baby math' is not only review but also a way of helping to retrain her brain how to do things differently- she fights me on it and gets into her negative mode. Im REALLY eager for the rest of the curriculum because I really need the scheduler.

Also, does anyone have any good references for morning Bible study? We havent been doing this as much as we should be, and Im at a loss for where to start.
Oh, I sympathize with you! I have had those same struggles with my oldest in writing and math! My gut feeling is that Abbie is having a very normal reaction & typical transition to homeschooling. It can be so frustrating because you are pouring your heart and soul into doing what's best for her, and she's fighting you on everything. I know! I've been there! My advice is to give her more time to adjust. Be patient with her. Maybe give her some choices in her daily routine. Could she set the order of which subject to do first, or last? Can she work at the kitchen table, or on the couch? You get the idea. Set out some minor choices that give her some sense of control, but where you both "win".

About the math: I spent years teaching in a school where we tested new students and then placed them at their own level in math. Many of them complained at first that it was "too easy". I knew better, because I had tested them, and placed them appropriately. However, the truth was that they were not used to doing math that was suited to their abilities. They had come from years of struggling to keep up with a class that was moving too quickly, so math was ALWAYS too hard! Interpretation: "If I know how to do this math, then it must be too easy." My answer to them was, "Oh, good, I'm glad this math is easy for you! It's going to get harder as you go along, so just relax and enjoy this beginning part. If you're really anxious to move ahead, it's okay with me if you want to do a few extra pages each day. No problem!"

I hope you and Abbie can find time each day to snuggle on the couch and read, or sit down with hot cocoa and just talk. These are precious times, and these days go by too quickly!
Joyce

marsha617
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:59 am

Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by marsha617 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:15 pm

Hello! Welcome to MFW! I will be praying for you as you begin your homeschooling journey.

As far as taking days off, yes to holidays, snowdays, etc. We also take some time off in the summer.

Since I started homeschooling I have had two babies. When you have your baby just do the basics for awhile. It's just too much to schedule a full school day. Take it easy and enjoy your new baby! Blessings!

Marsha
Andrew 10
Nathan 8
Ryan 5
Josh 2
Yes, we have ALL boys. Life is fun and always interesting!
MFW since 2008; CTG this coming school yr.

Jynuine
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Re: Hi! New to Homeschooling and MFW

Unread post by Jynuine » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:48 pm

jhagberg wrote:Can she work at the kitchen table, or on the couch? You get the idea. Set out some minor choices that give her some sense of control, but where you both "win".

We tend to sit at the couch to study because its quiet, comfortable and well lit. I do have a small round table if she wants to sit there and we do that sometimes too, but really it's about how her arthritis is that day.

jhagberg wrote:About the math:My answer to them was, "Oh, good, I'm glad this math is easy for you! It's going to get harder as you go along, so just relax and enjoy this beginning part. If you're really anxious to move ahead, it's okay with me if you want to do a few extra pages each day. No problem!"
[/b]
You got it! That is EXACTLY what I say! I explain that it's mostly review, that homeschooling isnt supposed to be hard starting off, that we are easing into it and it should be easy for her then allowing her to relax a little more. I also explain that they are working on methods to help her work on the math in ways that have been proven effective. I think part of it is her mentally being able to fit homeschooling in as reality and not just a vacation. She is still trying to relate to it as apples-to-apples after being in public school for 6 years, which there really isn't any comparison.

Abbie is transitioning VERY well, considering. She transferred from what I see as a very volatile environment where she had to sort of fight her way through her day. She THRIVED on negative attention.

At home- it's been a whole other world. It's just her and my 5yr old and 19 mo old all day- lots of one-on-one time, lots of quiet talking, joking around, and explaining of things. She is eager to please now and DO the right thing. Yesterday she and her brother went off the property which was NOT okay and she wrote me a letter asking for forgiveness and wrote a song too, haha! She takes constructive discipline seriously and wants to please us and get positive attention.

So, overall- her statements like, "I wish I was back in public school" are the parts of her we are weeding out and that she is getting out of her system... it's the old her struggling to find where she stands. I'm just making it MUCH more enjoyable to be the 'new' her so that she can really see how the old self is destructive and non-functional.
-Jyn Meyer: New Homeschooler
Mom to Abigail (12 & HS), Grace (11 & HS), Danny (9), Jacob (8), Eva Bella (5), Emmalia (2) Justus (Born 5/11)

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