Anyone Homeschool Their Kids? Need Advice!!! Long....

Lounge By KKC Updated 19 Dec 2008 , 6:19am by SecretAgentCakeBaker

KKC Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 12:38am
post #1 of 19

Hi Everybody,

Well I'm always in need of advice when it comes to my son. Well I was thinking about home schooling him because I've noticed that he's having a bit of a problem in school. He's a quite kid but sometimes he's not all that focused. He has decent grades, he's a great reader and speller and he's pretty good in math. In the beginning of this school year, i had problems with him not writing his homework down..ok we overcame that obstacle (sp?) and now he's not bringing home the books that he needs to do his homework. Every single morning we tell him..'don't forget to bring your books home, don't forget to do this & that' and honestly its getting frustrating. So the past few weeks he hasn't been doing his spelling homework and everytime i ask him if he's suppose to do it he says that the teacher didn't give them spelling words icon_confused.gif So i had a conference with the teacher and she stated that she has been giving out the spelling words, he's just not doing it. He's been tested for ADD and the doctor says no, he's just a kid being a kid blah blah blah!

So, I'm seriously considering home schooling him. I've done some research and I'm just not sure of what to do right now. So my question is to anyone who's homeschooling their kids or do you know someone who is homeschooling...what advice can you give me. What are the pros and cons of homeschooling?? Have you seen a difference in your child's learning?? I tell my husband all the time that if our son is having trouble in 2nd grade now its only going to get worse because the work gets harder. The teacher said that sometimes he seems bored with the work and maybe its not challenging enough for him. I don't know..i'm in serious need of advice. TIA

18 replies
barbaranoel Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 1:56am
post #2 of 19

We had/have a similar situation with my son.

In first grade we questioned why he wrote certain letters backwards. we were told "don't worry about it, he will outgrow it"

In second grade we questioned why he wrote certain letters backwards. we were told "don't worry about it, he will outgrow it"

In third grade we questioned why he wrote certain letters backwards. we were told "don't worry about it, he will outgrow it"

In Fourth grade we questioned why he wrote certain letters backwards. we were told "don't worry about it, he will outgrow it"

The beginning of fifth grade - two weeks into the school year- I got a phone call from his teacher saying how she wanted to have a conference with us about his writing, and organizational skills.

All thru elementary school he would "forget" his homework or his teacher never gave it to him icon_confused.gif It was a constant battle. No matter how much we bribed, begged, threatened, and yelled it never seemed to get better.

After the conference with the teachers at the beginning of the year and them working with him on his letters and going an extra step or two to help him get organized between classes he has gotten so much better.

On all the National Tests he scores better than 97 percent of other 5th graders across the country in all subjects. He reads on the 10th grade level yet he was flunking his classes icon_cry.gif

One thing that has helped alot is on school's website they keep track of his grades on a daily basis. The teacher's update it constantly so we can see his grades immediately and we know when he's missed an assignment. We can fix problems now instead of waiting til the end of the semester. They have to write their homework in a daily journal and we sign it everyday and the teachers can leave us a note if we need it.

Short version: This problem is fixable but it will take constant attention.

KKC Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 12:18pm
post #3 of 19

Thank you! My son also rights some of his letters and numbers backwards...i figured because I am the same way. Like my "f's" i'd right backwards not because i don't know how but because its more comfortable for me because I'm left-handed. So I was thinking that maybe its more comfortable for him also because he's a lefty. I don't know. I try not to put too much pressure on him because he buckles when we are on him constantly. I've gotten some great advice on one of my previous post awhile back about him forgetting to write down his homework and him taking like 2 hours for an assignment that should take 15 minutes. The advice I was given was great because I saw a great improvement with him. He no longer takes hours to complete his homework. We incorporate a little fun into his learning..but now its something else.

I'm just going to keep trying with him...Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it!

This is insane I'm only 26yrs old and about 30% of my hair is gray icon_cry.gif

mommicakes Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 1:02pm
post #4 of 19

Let me start off by telling you THANK YOU for paying attention to your sons school habits. I totally understand the frustration with the "no spelling words" the "not bringing home books" issues you are facing.

I homeschooled my oldest daughter for her 9th grade year in school.

You should research a curriculum that would work for both you and your son. The Dept. of Ed has certain guidelines you need to follow.

Maybe before you make the decision of home schooling him, you should get involved in his class room at school. That way you can see how his classes are being taught, and discuss more with his teachers if there are other ways they can find to make it easier for him.

Home schooling takes both you and him together, and is really no easy fix. It takes a commitment to his education, and you need to be comfortable being the teacher too.

If you have more questions, I'll try to help. 2nd grade is a little easier than trying to teach Chemistry to a teenager and those other classes. But the basic concept is the same. Many hats you will wear as the home schooling mom.

Good Luck,
Donna

Doug Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 1:28pm
post #5 of 19

has he been tested for gifted and talented? could he simply be bored and needs more challenging material?

he may feel he already "knows" it so why does he have to prove it? and therefore -- "forgets"

mommicakes Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 1:35pm
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

has he been tested for gifted and talented? could he simply be bored and needs more challenging material?

he may feel he already "knows" it so why does he have to prove it? and therefore -- "forgets"





I agree with Doug, it is a good possibility. should check into it.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 1:56pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivia

He's a quite kid but sometimes he's not all that focused. He has decent grades, he's a great reader and speller and he's pretty good in math.




When I read this first part of your post I said to myself that you might have an academically gifted kid on your hands. Then at the end you said this and that makes me think so even more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kivia

The teacher said that sometimes he seems bored with the work and maybe its not challenging enough for him. I don't know..i'm in serious need of advice. TIA




I've been doing a LOT of reading and speaking with professionals about gifted kids for the past 5 years. A lot of what you said sounds just like gifted. It does not always make itself apparent. Dyslexia and organizational skills are also things that happen a lot in gifted. Actually, the higher the IQ, the more issues can present.

There are tons of books you can read, and some great email groups you can join. The people on both groups are great at helping each other. You can get a lot of advice from both. Join them and you can read the archives.
This first one is for anyone interested in gifted:
http://www.lists.us.mensa.org/mailman/listinfo/brightkids
This one is for homeschoolers, or interested in homeschooling bright kids.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homeschoolingmensans/

A lot of kids who appear to be struggling in school leap ahead when they are pulled out of their stressful school environment and homeschooled.

Anyway, I do homeschool my daughter. This is our second year. Last year we started with a fixed curriculum, but this year I am putting it together myself. Last year I was very nervous, but I now feel comfortable enough to figure this all out. Things are great! My daughter does not want to go back to a 'real' school. We do book work from 9-noon, have lunch, then do 'whatever' the rest of the day. We don't do any book work on Fridays. We do homeschooling bowling, chess, starting sign language in Jan, she also takes violin lessons and private art lessons, book club, and girl's group (similar to scouts). She also has a lot of time to do her own things, watch her favorite shows, play, etc. We do more activities than a lot of other families, but my daughter is very social and being an only child, she really likes the fun time with the other kids (she doesn't play with the neighbor kids).

My biggest piece of advice is to find a local homeschool group and join it. In our area we have a lot of groups. I belong to 2, one is religious the other is just a local Yahoo group. This is how I find out about different activities & field trips, and other people use it for support. If you cannot find any, contact me. I'm sure somebody in one of my groups will know of some in Florida. If you have a local Yahoo group, then join that even before you start homeschooling so you can get some help with your state regulations.

There are different types of homeschooling. Classical education, unschooling (I don't support this personally, but others love it), standard classroom style, religious, etc. We are going the classical education route. There is a great book that can guide you called "The Well Trained Mind" by Susan Wise Bauer. Get it from the library first as the updated version won't be out until February (there are a lot of websites listed, so you don't want to buy an outdated copy.)

Feel free to send me a personal message if you want to chat more.

Good luck and have fun! We do! icon_smile.gif
Barbaranne

-Tubbs Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 6:41pm
post #8 of 19

Firstly, you're a great mom for paying this much attention to your child's education. icon_smile.gif

I homeschooled my eldest son for 18 months a few years ago. There is good advice here - if you decide to do it, make sure he is looked after socially. My son became a little depressed because I wasn't able to get him involved in local homeschool groups. I have two other children who were both in school and it's really hard to have some in school and some not. In the end it worked out better to have him back in school by grade 3. He is now in a special needs program which addresses his problems and we are both happy.

IMHO, though, you might be over-reacting a little. There are many things that can be done to help children organize themselves better. My son now has a 4 compartment folder he brings home every night, which has his agenda, any homework, notices etc in it. This really helps with him dealing with multiple bits of paper. His teacher also helps him mentally check what he needs to do before he goes home at the end of the day.

If you talk seriously to his teacher about your concerns, and mention that you are thinking of homeschooling, they will hopefully be willing to make some provision for him. I would try this for a couple of months before reviewing whether there is any improvement, and making a decision about whether to pull him then.

Homeschooling is a BIG commitment - think seriously before you take the plunge. And if you do, good luck!

P.S. There are TONS of websites about homeschooling. See if you can find some for your area. Also Yahoo groups etc.

KKC Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 7:13pm
post #9 of 19

First let me say thanks to everyone for your responses and advice. I personally am not going to school him...I have a few school teachers in my family who are willing to help me out and my step dad is a principal (he use to teach social studies) our Pastor & his wife are retired school teachers, so I have a lot of people who are going to help if i decide to do this. So thats the up side of it. I talked to his teacher yesterday after school and she said that she has saw improvement as far as focusing since our last conference. I'm not going to jump in so quickly..i'm going to wait it out.

His last school they were suppose to test him for gifted but with all the budget crap going on in Florida they kept giving me excuses why they hadn't done it yet, so i left it alone. His dad and I try to make learning fun, we praise him every time he gets something right and we encourage him when he has a hard time with something.

As far as organization...uhh...he has Science homework in Language Arts folder and Language Arts in Spanish folder..its a big mess. I tell him every single day to put all of the papers in the correct folders because when the teacher asks for the homework he can't find it because its in the wrong folders. She suggested I get a big binder and some dividers that way he won't have to take all those different folders out. We'll keep working on it though.

Thanks everyone for your input, i really appreciate it!

mbelgard Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 7:18pm
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TubbsCookies



I homeschooled my eldest son for 18 months a few years ago. There is good advice here - if you decide to do it, make sure he is looked after socially. My son became a little depressed because I wasn't able to get him involved in local homeschool groups.




This is why I've never seriously considered homeschooling my children. They're both bright and bored in school but the only homeschool groups around us are religious ones and we just wouldn't fit in.

mocakes Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 7:21pm
post #11 of 19

I agree that homeschooling is a HUGE committment....so before you try that I would try a few more options.

Is his teacher good about working with you? I mean, she could help on her end a little by making sure that he is leaving school with what he needs for the evening...spelling words, correct books, etc...

When I taught 5th grade, I had a few students that I "checked" on every single day at 3:00 to make sure they wrote their assignments down and they showed me what they had packed in their bookbags...then I initialed their assignment notebooks so the parents knew they left me with what they needed.

Then the parents would initial the notebook every night letting me know they checked things on their end.

It really helped...and after awhile, the kids got in the routine of being organized and paying attention to what they needed and they didn't even need me to help them out anymore.

Ask if this is something his teacher could help you with until he gets into a routine and knows that there is someone on each end checking up on him and helping him.

Not sure how much time you spend working with him now, but sitting beside him, watching him, helping him and giving him immediate feedback would be beneficial as well.

Good luck!! thumbs_up.gif

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 7:40pm
post #12 of 19

I forgot to add. Children that are very bright and bored in school can suffer depression (sometimes severe), become the 'class clown', cause trouble, or become antisocial. A large number of teens that drop out of school have high IQ, but they are so bored and frustrated that they leave. I know this from personal experience, as well as research. It can almost feel like torture to be forced to stay in a classroom doing work that is too easy and having to deal with kids that cannot comprehend you. It is difficult for most people to imagine how that can feel like torture, but it really can. a lot of times they will not bother with homework or studying because they feel it is a waste of time. Not doing homework results in lower grades, so it can appear that the kid is not really bright.

Bright kids very often fall through the cracks educationally because so much effort and focus is on the kids at the lower end of the spectrum; the schools have no budget left to service these kids. Bright kids in schools need to have special programs as well so they can reach their potential. They do not learn the same way that average kids do and some of them really have trouble adapting to the standard, repetitious way of teaching. We're losing the great minds in this country that someday could be the ones to make a big difference.

If you are not going to homeschool, you may consider asking for your son to be moved to a higher grade for some or all of the day.

Another option is to find a school that has a gifted education program, a gifted school, or one where the principal & teachers are illing to let you child work at his own pace.

Just something else to keep an eye on.

dldbrou Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 8:49pm
post #13 of 19

When my son was in daycare, the teacher kept saying that he was not interested in the stories that she read and he kept asking to go sit with the older kids for reading. Well, when he was in first grade, he was bored with what they had to choose in the library and in class. I asked if he could check out books from the higher level and was told no. Finally, I insisted he get tested and it turned out he was the highest tester in the school. The next year I insisted he get books according to his level of reading and they finally gave in. In third grade he was reading on 11th grade level. I'm not saying this to brag, in fact it was more of a problem getting the teachers adapt to his level. We also had to instruct him not to correct his teacher if she was giving out the wrong information to the class, instead to tell her privately that he read different information. I also worked with dyslexic children that were extremely smart, but would read and write backwards and had trouble organizing papers. Have him tested for gifted and dyslexia. Ask the teacher if she puts homework on the school website so that you could go over it. Then as far as him remembering to bring his books home, tell him that if he forgets, then he looses a privilege like watching tv, or playing a game, etc. Good Luck

KKC Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 9:05pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by dldbrou

Have him tested for gifted and dyslexia. Ask the teacher if she puts homework on the school website so that you could go over it. Then as far as him remembering to bring his books home, tell him that if he forgets, then he looses a privilege like watching tv, or playing a game, etc. Good Luck




The teacher had the school website where she was putting all the assignments, spelling words etc on there and she stopped after awhile because she said that so many of the parents & students were depending too much on it being there and the kids were not writing down what they should because they knew they had a back up plan. The only time i visited the school site was when he forgets something, absent or to check and make sure that he had the correct assignments...but i would never do it in front of him because I didn't want him to think that he had an easy way out.

She has separated him from the rest of the group and he sits next to her. So i'm going to keep my fingers crossed!

barbaranoel Posted 13 Dec 2008 , 11:43pm
post #15 of 19

Alex was tested and definately falls into the gifted program. But like another poster said, these students don't get the attention because all the other students who need more help get it.

We were supposed to get him tested for dyslexia but since our initial conference this year he is doing much better about the letters and the organizational stuff. I think the biggest help is checking his grades on a daily basis and him knowing that we do it.

Barb

thems_my_kids Posted 17 Dec 2008 , 5:36pm
post #16 of 19

my first thought is.......could you pick him up at school everyday to make sure he has what he needs? Or maybe have the teacher sign off on sheet that she checked to make sure he has everything.

My daughter is 6 and in teh first grade. She's so terrible about getting all her stuff home everyday. Her brother brought home his school pictures a while back and I never saw hers. I went in and asked the teacher and she had checked Katie's name off her list, but didn't remember seeing the pictures herself. A month later, I still have no idea where the child's pictures are. Very frustrating!

shanzah67 Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 3:40am
post #17 of 19

I homeschooled my son from 5th through 9th grade...teachers at this particular school were no help, especially with his learning problems. He required alot of one-on-one. I could go on and on, but long story short, I bought Switched on Schoolhouse by Alpha Omega for his curriculum. I lived in MS at the time and the homeschool laws were extremely lenient. I still taught him Science, Math Social Studies and Science.

It was a good choice for me and my son at that time. He's a senior thisyear in public school.

Santa_Kitchen Posted 18 Dec 2008 , 5:54am
post #18 of 19

Let me start by saying that "special kids have special moms". I have a 14 yrs daugther after failing 1st grade was diagnose with ADD and not everyone diagnose it properly. I started to notice that she can be easily distracted, and as you said, a 15 minute homework took her forever. Then I decide to go to a Pediatric Neurologist, who specialized in this condition because they are different types. The ones that can not stay still, the almost austisims, the careless and quiet(this one is the most difficult to diagnose) and so many. I have to advise that this condition to be diagnose properly the child MUST be evaluate by 7 professionals, wich includes the following, Psicologist, Neurologist, Speech Specialist, Occupational Therapist, Audiolgist, Social Worker and Pediatrician. They will determine if the child have the proper mental age, if the child have brain movement while sleeping(electroencephalogram), any type of delay either occupational or speech, if there is no hearing disabilities, while the social worker evaluates the child enviroment and the pediatrician the health conditions. In my case the diagnose was challenge. My girl was a premature baby, that was at the age of 5 to 6 was undergoing through her parents divorce(psicologist and social worker)she have a speech of a 6 yr old but write as a 4 and a half(occupational), she have no hearing troubles, she can not follow intructions(behavior modification therapy needed)and can be easily distracted in the classroom. After failing 1st grade(although she knows the materials but fails in exams and missing homework)without mentioning a not comitted teacher that used to said that my daughter should be in a specialized school, I decided that she needed help and went through all this evaluations. Process that took me 6 months. Did I mention that my health plan did not covered non of the evaluations because ADD was not well know by that time. So I took a loan for $15,000 to covered everything. To resume, my daugther was diagnose and treated. Now she is at the gifted program, she is a pro in reading, spealing, and the best in her Math class. Did I forgot to mention that she goes under medication, because help her focus , and also needs to have medication for sleep. I know it was difficult for me in the begining, but now that she is in her teens, she is trying to work with less medication. Also I recommend reading...Dr. Russel A. Barkley, and remember that IT's A LAW, NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND, it for student that need special atention. Talk with the social worker or counselour, they have more experience. Hope this works.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 19 Dec 2008 , 6:19am
post #19 of 19

Oh, I completely forgot to mention Hoagies Gifted website. You will find a ton of articles & resources about gifted stuff.
http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/

There is a new discussion, here's the link for cross reference. http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-612746.html

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