When you decide, you register. That can be tomorrow, next year, when ever you decide. I pulled my daughter out half way thru her first year.... Even tho I have been doing this 13 years I am very new here. When we arrived here a few months ago I registered online. Don't remember where. I suggest googeling it. I've heard there is a curric. fair coming up soon. I strongly suggest you take a look at the materials. Not neccessarily purchase as you can do that later on line. It would be a great opportunity to look at the materials available. Some teacher moms go strictly free with library materials, etc. Some spend $$$$$$$ and either purchase everything and pay for either online instruction or DVD instructions. It is all up to the teacher (mom) and the student (child) if they are old enough to express properly. We have done a variety over the years as my goal is to meet each on my children's need that year, that age, that grade...... A friend recently pulled her daughter from elementary and is using her work books from school and ordered the teachers book to go with them on line. That is working for them. Another friend just told me about Time4learning on line and my 3rd grade daughter is loving it. Very affordable!!!!! We have park day every Tuesday at 1:00 almost at the end of Montano after you cross over Unser on the left. There are lots of moms sitting around very willing to share with you in a relaxed setting. Bring your paper and pencil. Hope that helps some. Terri mom of 4 daugthers (1 natural and 3 with complications)
I also have three kids (8, 6, just short of 4, and 1) and have been homeschooling my oldest for a little over a year. Registration is really easy (google New Mexico Public Education Department, click on home schools on the right of the screen, then click on online registration) and takes only a couple of minutes. As for materials, there are gobs of it everywhere--online, at the library, etc. We are currently using a program through Texas Tech University which, like all programs, whether purchased or home developed, has its issues, but it, like all programs, also has its pluses. The "younger" group of homeschoolers meet on the east side of town, but I'm not able to get there in the winter months due to our schedules. Hope to see everyone (and meet you and yours) in a few weeks when the weather warms up enough to meet in the mornings again. BTW, I've never gone to any kind of group before where I felt instantly welcomed and accepted. This group is wonderful!
I know this may sound radical, but why wait? If you pull him out now, you'll end whatever problems you're having with the school. Actually spring is a great time to pull kids out of school because they're not missing much and you have a while before summer to reconnect with them before you start "thinking school" in August.
There are many curricula to choose from, but there's not one single "best for everyone." One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to choose the materials that work best for you, your learner, and your specific situation. I'd suggest a trip to the library to check out some books on homeschooling, then a trip to Title Wave Books on Eubank where you can actually look through more homeschool materials than I've seen anywhere else. You can also read reviews online if you google "homeschool curriculum."
You can get books at the library, which I strongly recommend at first. Most people who drop a whole lot of $$ right away live to regret it. By this time of year, the schools have already done their testing and are going to coast anyway, so coast at home and see what he likes and doesn't. Do you love reading? Try a literature based curriculum. Love workbooks? Try that. Love computer-based learning? That's available too.
You might try coming to a park day and meeting some moms and kids. I go to the one on Thursdays.
I agree with everything that Diane has said. The library is a good place to start. Well, okay. It was a good place for ME to start. I'm an avid reader, so I read pretty much every introduciton to homeschooling book I could find, and it really helped me to realize that homeschooling doesn't have to mean sitting a the table for multiple hours daily working out of a boxed curriculum. As a homeschooling family, you have the wonderful opportunity to choose what you like, and if that stops working, you can choose to do something else. For now, we are using an actual mathematics curriculum, but that's it. Everything else is very eclecticly put together based on our interests at the time. I feel that this approach works wonderfully for me and my kiddo and I love that I don't have the guilt of not meeting the standards of an entire boxed curriculum. On the other hand, I know people who used only boxed curricula and they LOVE having the structure and having it all laid out in front of them, so they don't have to worry about whether or not they are touching on all the key points.
But most importantly, I'd like to re-iterate what Diane said. Don't buy anything just yet. Talk to people, ask questions, and think about your child's style of learning. Use that information to help you decide what you think might be best.
Have you ever heard of deschooling? It's the idea that after you pull your child from an organized school setting, be it private or public, your child will need time to adjust to the concept of not having to rush out the door at 7:30 am and having every minute, down to how long he has to go to the restroom, accounted for. He may feel overwhelmed at the expanse of time laid before him, or he may relish the idea of it. The most important thing to remember is that it's an adjustment period where allowing your child to just take the time he needs to get used to being around you and having the ability to get to know himself as someone independant of the school system is more important than doing actual "work". Sometimes a kid needs a couple of weeks of laid back deschooling vacation and other times they may need months. Sometimes the word deschooling is associated with the unschooling movement, but they aren't always the same thing. Here is a link that I found helpful. I haven't really explored the rest of her site, but I really liked her definition of deschooling.
We'd love to see you guys at the park sometime! Really, the number one thing that seems to help people the most (and I am including myslef in those ranks) is to sit down and actually talk with people who are actively homeschooling.
I completely agree with all said. Dannie is SO right about the deschooling. Take as much time as you all need to ease out & ease back into whatever situation is right for you all. Don't try to jump in immediately. Enjoy the large block of time you now have together!
The best thing is that you can do WHATEVER works for you in whatever time frame you want. Take breaks, work intensively on this or that, AM, PM, weekends, work from books, work from real life, like museums, etc. Change and adjust at will. Try everything. Definitely, don't buy much at first. The internet is great! Search for math sheets, phonics stuff, etc, etc... whatever. We buy lots of little workbooks. They're cheaper & easier for us to commit to.
Most of all, find like-minded families that you can lean on. It seems overwhelming at first. This group is the total best. Hope to see you at the park day sometime. I haven't been to the West side (I think it's well attended), but I know the East side is usually brimming with families.
Adam (12 y.o.) Allison, aka DD (10 y.o.) Ian (7 y.o.) Jason (5 y.o.)
Thank you again. I am one of those who might go out and spend some money that I don't have too early. Thanks for the advise. I think Elijah will love not having to leave for school every morning. He does well with change (he is a gemini) and often flourishes because of it. The only real opposition is the friend issue. Social interaction is VERY IMPORTANT for him. That was the main issue for teachers and him at public school...they were always trying to oppress him in that way. I will be at a park as soon as we can get there. I hope I can break out of my shell and meet people so he can and everyone has a positive experience with HS-ing.