I'm not sure if I have posted on this yet or not, so I will again. We are going to start homeschooling our oldest (kindergarten) for the 2007-2008 school year. We have a little different situation in that my husband attends UNM full time and I work full time, so our schedule will be a little different than the typical homeschooling family. If anyone has any advice for us, we would appreciate it. I'm a little nervous about doing this because I want to make sure our son gets a great education, but I don't want him to be exposed to the negative things he would be exposed to at public school. We are using the Abekka curriculum.
I have a 4 year old son(5 in March), and this april I'm registering him as a homeschooler. I don't have any advice for you, but I did want to welcome you to the group. This is a lovely and supportive group of parents and children!
I also have a 4-year-old son (5 in June) and we're also going to be homeschooling officially for kindergarten on up. As a fam, we made this decision in February of this year - so we're "beginners" too! I was VERY nervous at first . . . what if I mess up?! I kept thinking that over and over . . . and then I met a woman who homeschooled her daughter from toddler 'til college and she told me the most wonderful thing (and I REALLY needed to hear it). She said something like this:
"Homeschooling gets EASIER and more INTERESTING and more REWARDING as you go along. It's a bit boring and tedious at first (she said) when they're young in the early elementary stages . . . but then you start to recognize these big differences between the unprocessed child and the publicly-educated-child and THAT IS SO REASSURING! (she said) I witnessed other homeschooling families quit in the early stages when they were frustrated BECAUSE they were right on the cusp of a breakthrough with their homeschooling experience. Once you have those breakthroughs, it's undeniable that you've made the right choice! Please, please, Carissa, don't quit. Don't get discouraged while they're young! Just wait and see - when they're middle-school-aged and they're picking their own curriculum, wanting to know about Aristotle and Red-Eyed-Tree-Frogs, you'll know you've raised a free thinker who is LEARNING on PURPOSE!"
That pep talk is gonna carry me through the next 13 years, I just know it! This lady's daughter is at UNM now . . . she is pursuing FIVE Bachelor degrees and she ACES everything she tries. Why? Because she LOVES to learn and she's only doing things because she WANTS to. Self-motivation begets passion!
I have no advice either, really. I just wanted to pass on that wonderful stuff! I suppose we'll learn as we go. I notice that a lot of parents with younger children seem to be experimenting with a lot of freestyle/eclectic homeschooling and/or unschooling. I did notice that you selected a rather "strict" and regimented program . . . and with your schedule (very do-able but it's gonna require some flexibility and forgiveness) you may find it much more satisfying to be easier on yourself and your little one when it comes to curriculum. I have no real foundation for saying this except for what I've heard about Abeka from others . . . that it can be stressful to do all of the lessons just as they've set it up; but, it's a very successful company so they must be doing something right! Keep us posted on how this goes! Just don't want you to be so hard on yourself that it gets discouraging. It is hard enough just being a mom to kids this age, huh!? I'm constantly amazed at the patience that it demands just to get us through a day!
Our new co-op friend, I wish you the best. Let us moms hold on tight, sometimes to eachother's hands, and let's just walk forward a baby step at a time . . . We're on a great adventure! Congratulations on your decision to homeschool - I hope we meet someday.
Welcome aboard! I don't have much advice to offer either other than go with your gut. My son just turned 4 and we chose not to choose a curriculum, but rather wing it! We explore things that are of interest to him and i'm learning as much as he is. We fit things in everywhere, doing multiplication in the car and spelling in the bathtub! I got a wonderful piece of advice from one of the more "seasoned" members here, she told me not to put pressure on myself as far as reaching certain goals in certain time frames, but rather follow the lead of my child. Putting pressure on yourself will trickle down to your son and he'll feel like he's letting you down.
Relax and enjoy the process and you'll be amazed at what he learns and the questions he asks. Children don't have to be sitting at a desk for x hours a day to learn.
Maybe we can set up a playday for our boys, my son loves meeting new friends!!
What a wonderful post! How fortunate you are to have met this woman, and how fortunate we are that you passed this little pep talk down to us. I certainly heard and felt every word of it as if I were there!
carissa, thanks, i needed to hear that , too. sometimes i feel like i don't know what i am doing. but when it comes down to it, i suppose i am comfortable making things up as i go along. i always love and welcome your optimism and all of your contributions to the group.
april, i am new to all of this as well, so i don't have any advice either. however, i must say, if you weren't a little bit nervous, you wouldn't be a human mom. just keep going forward on your own terms and join in with the group whenever you can.
Thank you all for your encouraging words! They have helped tremendously. We certainly just want what's best for our son. He is a learner! He loves to learn and he is a very bright kid. He is one that needs structure however, so I know that we need to have a set schedule for him. Shari...maybe we could set up a playdate with the boys. I also have a four year old daughter.