Hello my name is Tiffany, and I live in Santa Fe with my fiance, Lance, my eldest daughter Jasmine, 5 and the newest addition to our family, Delilah, 3 months old. Jasmine just started Kindergarten in Santa Fe. We have her at the "best" school in Santa Fe for elementary, yet she is still falling behind horribly. She seems like she is distracted all the time, the teacher tells me. However this is NOT something I notice at home. When I teach her the same things the teacher tries to, she picks it up almost immediately. They tell me that she may be held back....seriously held back in Kindergarten. While I know for a fact, she desperately needs the child interactions involved with school, I really feel she may do better in a home-schooled environment. Not to mention the politics, poor education, and bureaucracy involved with New Mexico Schools. We are planning on moving back to Albuquerque next summer, in order to attend UNM and finish our education, so she will be taken from her school none the less. I honestly have no idea what to do.... I just feel like they are not even trying to give her the support she needs. Any ideas? I have often thought of home-schooling my children, and now it may become necessary... however if I do so.... how do I do so? How does she get the child interaction she craves? And are there programs and books out there to help guide parents along?
I think it is great you are considering homeschooling. It sounds like maybe it will be a great opportunity for Jasmine. If you are in Albuquerque next summer, check out the park days. They are a good opportunity for meeting other homeschoolers and for many kids to meet each other. There are may opportunities for homeschooled kids craving child interactions. I believe the interactions they get with other kids, and not just kids their own age, are more positive than the single age group situations they get in a school setting. Different places offer classes - for example Explora (the children's science museum in Albuquerque) offers weekly classes for just homeschoolers. If you join the Albuquerque homeschool Coop, different moms set up opportunities as well.
Online there are many resources. I know a lot of moms use the book "The Well Trained Mind" by Weiss (I think I spelled that right) for a lot of ideas for getting started. If you google homeschooling the resources are limitless. The hard part is figuring out where to start! What you are doing here, posting for ideas from other moms, is a good way to start as well.
I've started with a variety of different things and keep my eyes open for the best fit for each of my children. I like Singapore math for both of my kids, plus I think every day life is great for teaching. You can also find big books about what kids "should" need to know for each grade at bookstores. There are may homeschooling resources in a special section for homeschooling at the big bookstores too.
I'm hoping to just give you some ideas for getting started...
All the best as you start this journey!
--Emily (and Samuel) Eirik (8 ), Sigrid (6), Hanna (3), and Ada (1 - born April 2011)
Please feel welcome, for all of us were at this stage at some point. There are so many options to you, both in Santa Fe and here in Albuquerque. This homeschool group meets for park days, which is simple no-pressure social time for the kids, but we also meet for crafts, classes, outtings ("field trips"), and much more. My first recommendation would be to follow your instinct, exploring your options and joining us (or the Santa Fe Home Educators if you can't make it to Abq during the week) to meet other homeschooling children and parents. There are as many "types" and ways of homeschooling as there are homeschoolers, but we all have a passion in common: Our kids. We are all taking the extra effort to provide our kids the best environment and opportunities we can, and the resulting community is pretty phenomenal.
Obviously, I'm biased, but I've only been homeschooling for about 12 years. Even if you ultimately decide not to homeschool, kudos to you for making the extra effort for your kids. If you do decide to homeschool, there are just a couple of laws (registeration, to keep them off the truent lists, immunization choices, etc), which you can read from this site. From there, at this age, the hardest part is relaxing and remembering that most learning at the kindergarten level is through play. Join us and I'm sure the parents will all share what works for them.
Breathe. Smile, and pat yourself on the back for all the effort you're making for your kids! No matter path what you choose, they'll be richer for your caring involvement. Welcome to the throng of the thousands of homeschoolers in New Mexico. Sadly, the public school system in this state is our biggest recruiter, so you're hardly alone.
Keep in touch, and I hope we'll meet you and the kids in one of our playgroups! -Chris One left: Lynne, age 13.
So I am sooo sick of the Santa Fe School district and I have definitely decided to start homeschooling Jasmine. Unfortunately the cut off for the remainder of the school year was April 1st. I put in the request for next year. Is there any way to expedite that though? She unfortunately is failing kindergarten, and the teacher has taken to ignoring her and excluding her from activities from the remainder of the year... so it is waisting valuable time to keep her there and only a burden to her and us. Is there anyway to remove her sooner and start homeschooling now? Is kindergarten even mandatory in New Mexico?
Tiffany, You don't have to finish the remainder of the year if you don't want to. The law reads that you have to notify NM PED within 30 days of establishing a homeschool. All you would have to do is un-enroll her and send a letter saying you've pulled her out for the rest of the year, and will be homeschooling. Kindergarten registration is not required until age 6, so technically, if your daughter turned 6 this year, I don't know that you have to notify the state until next year.
The bottom line is, you're the parent, and in this state, you have the right to pull her out of school and enroll her somewhere else at any time.