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Homeschooling Do you homeschool? Thinking about it? Join the discussion and talk to other homeschooling parents!

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Old 03-07-2002, 01:39 PM
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Question How to start homeschooling

I have three boys, oldest is 3 and a half. How do you get started? We read to them and try to play the electronic phonics games with them. What age do you start the homeschooling and how do I go about it? What about kids that have short attention spans? Any help would be greatly appreciated! KLF
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Old 03-07-2002, 01:51 PM
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My ds just turned 3 and I am doing homemade thematic untis with him. We just started this back in December. Before that we were using the Before Five In A Row curriculum www.fiveinarow.com but we both became bored with it so I decided to stop for a while and try something new. For the most part he is responding very well to the thematic units. So far the themes we have done are Christmas, Winter/Snow, Shapes, Alphabet, Valentine's Day, Birthday, and now we are working on a Colors unit. I find all my ideas online - I include things like coloring pages, tracing pages, poems that we read, homemade flash cards for counting and number recognition, science activities (example: what happens when you mix blue and yellow paint), crafts, etc. I also include a Bible lesson. I fully utilize both my local library and church library - they know when they see me coming I am going to be checking out a ton of books! I think that's one of the most important things you can do at this age is read. I also let him help me with baking things like muffins, snack bars, etc. He loves to pour the ingredients into the bowl and I talk to him the whole time.... telling him what the ingredients are, how much we're putting in, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-07-2002, 06:56 PM
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Thanks for the advice. My son is only three and can't sit still , so hopefully I can work with that.
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Old 03-08-2002, 05:38 AM
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How I started ...

When my oldest was 3, I started reading all the books on homeschooling I could find at the local library. I also bought a few from the store. I spent a full year reading all I could so that I had a thorough understanding of what homeschooling entailed. When he turned 4, and my second son was 2 and I was pregnant with my third son, I joined the local homeschooling support group. I attended meetings and talked to other moms - okay, I did more than just talk to them ... I picked their brains!

After all that research, I chose to go with unit studies. I noticed that my boys were very active - they liked to DO things, and touch things. Unit studies are very hands-on, so they were exactly what I wanted to keep my boys interested and busy and learning. Our math and reading/phonics are workbooks, but everything else is units. I looked at Konos first, but then decided to go with The Weaver Curriculum instead. I hadn't grown up in a Bible-believing home, and felt Weaver would give my children a good grounding in Biblical history. That is very important to us.

There is a difference between a "curriculum" and a "unit study." For academic purposes, we wanted to have a curriculum. Again, Weaver fit the bill for this need. We've been homeschooling for 7 yrs now and still use Weaver.

Getting back to the "starting" issue ... You can easily slip into full-time homeschooling based on what you are currently doing. I would suggest getting a scope and sequence of some sort (various homeschooling companies offer theirs for free or a small fee, plus there are the books entitled "What Your __ Grader Needs to Know") and writing out your goals for the year. Start with your yearly goals, and then break them down into monthly and weekly goals. A great book for this is "How To Write A Low-Cost, No-Cost Curricululm" by Bjorg Hendrickson (not sure I spelled her name right.)

Another nice thing about Weaver, and units in general, is that there are no workbooks, so the children don't realize you're "doing school" at all. They just think mom is paying attention to them and they're having fun!

Another book I had when I first started, before we began using Weaver, was called "Mom's Big Book of Preschool Activities" by Rebecca somebody-or-other. Basically, there was one type of activity done each day. One day it focused on math, one day it was reading a story and discussing it, another day it was some sort of science, the 4th day it was some sort of writing/tracing activity, and the last day was history/geography centered.

At the younger ages, the activities are only 10-20 minutes long. As they get older, you stretch out the time they spend on each subject.

This is getting too long, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask!

Kelly H.
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Old 03-09-2002, 10:42 AM
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That's good advice, I'll try that. My boy is just very talkative and playful, lots of energy. I will taylor the learning to go along with that. We have been buying books, encyclopedia set, etc off of ebay. We also are looking at a site www.homeschools.org they are called Christian Liberty Academy Satellite Schools. We had their packet but lost it of course, so we have one on the way in the mail. It had a list of all the curriculum they offer and programs, it was really neat.
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Old 03-13-2002, 01:02 PM
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How much time do you spend with a 3 year old on homeschooling? And is it daily or so many times a week? My dd is 3 and I'm growing tired of everyone asking me "is she in preschool yet?" I don't see the need to put her in one. My other 2 kids are in a public school that I am very happy with so I am with my 3 y.o. all day. She plays well with other children and will sit quietly and play by herself. She especially loves to be read to and will even "read" books to us (ones that have been read so many times to her that she basically has them memorized). She is at a stage where she just absorbs information. Her favorite animal right now is the panda and she has sat through 2 documentaries on them. She probably knows more about them than I do.

I would like to do more of a "homeschooling preschool" situation with her but have been unsure of how to go about it. The previously mentioned suggestions are great. I especially like the thematic units. So I guess my biggest question right now is the one on how much time. I would like to spend enough to be productive but don't want to overdo it.

Carrie
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Old 03-13-2002, 01:19 PM
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I find we spend anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour (5 days a week). I don't push my ds at all. Just an example of a recent day...


We are doing a colors unit right now. We started off by reading two books (both had the word green in the title and was a focus in the book) then he did a two-sided worksheet that I found online (it involved using a green crayon to trace a curved line, coloring a green crayon picture outline, coloring the word green, and coloring a picture of a shirt green). Then we came to his easel and mixed yellow paint and blue paint to make green (our science lesson) and he painted a picture with the green paint (art lesson). We then sat down and worked on number recognition and counting from 1-30 (he can already count to 30 so I'm basically working on the recognition part - I made some circles from construction paper and wrote one number on each and then laminated them so we can keep using them). We then read a Bible story book about Esther (I have a great library at my church that I can utilize) and we were finished. Sometimes he will also color a Bible coloring page if he wants. Also, he sometimes will help me make a batch of cookies or muffins.

I hope this answers your question. I just keep it fun for him - that's the most important thing.
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Old 03-13-2002, 07:46 PM
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Carrie ...

If those "well meaning" neighbors really start to be a bother with their questions about preschool, just make up an official sounding name for your home and tell them that, "yes, she attends True Vine Academy." (That's the name of our school.)

If they ask where it is, just smile and say it's a private school, and then change the subject by asking about them, or their children.



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Old 03-14-2002, 10:03 AM
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Good idea Kelly although I haven't been bugged too much, yet. My dad has asked a couple of times about school and I keep saying he's not old enough for school. He's not for homeschooling because of the "socialization issue".

With my kids I start out with some bible reading either by me or if my voice is tired I use audiobible.com and it plays the audio of each chapter. I have also made homemade flashcards which I use in different ways. I have some Schoolhouse Rock videos which I play for them. I read them a story before bed also. I am going to be adding things as I go. Basically I am figuring out what works and what doesn't. My ds doesn't have a long attention span so I keep it short.
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:10 AM
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Oh oh I almost forgot.......

I also use some of those electronic learning gizmos which really help because the kids think it's fun. I have a learning drum which teaches alphabet, numbers and such by Leapfrog. I have a few things that teach about the alphabet/phonics and numbers that also play music.............. I also got one that is like a mini laptop ( for 19.99 at Walmart) which plays different games to teach math, phonics, alphabet, memory. The only drawback is some of these toys get a little annoying after awhile.
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