First year and so overwhelmed! Help!

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by veechik, Sep 17, 2014.

  1. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I just started homeschooling and boy is it a lot harder than I expected. I chose to homeschool because I was volunteering at my son's school for 2 years and felt the program was very weak. Also, he plays a lot of sports and has other activities which made our schedule super hectic. I wanted to be the one to teach him, be in control of what he is learning, have more flexibility in our schedule, more time together as a family, and I thought I could do a better job than what he was learning at school. We would have more free time to do actual hands on learning, visit museums, and so on. He was doing great in school and we never had any problems. Now he is in 3rd grade and we are a month into homeschooling. We are going through a charter school and the standards/expectations are so much higher than in his public school. He didn't learn money in 2nd grade and I'm finding a lot of things that he should have learned in 2nd grade that they never covered. Everything is extremely hard for him now and I have to find a lot of supplement material and go into detail explaining each topic. The homeschool has pacing guides for each chapter and instead of doing them in 1 week it is taking us 2-3 weeks because I do not want to move on until he has a full understanding of the subject. Everything is just so frustrating that I almost want to send him to a good private school where I know he will get a great education but they are so expensive, and right now I just feel like I am going to lose my mind. Other homeschool moms make it look so easy and effortless on their blogs and pinterest and here I am barely a month into it absolutely hating it! Any advice you can offer me!
     
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  3. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    I think one of the reasons it is so stressful is that we are doing homeschool through a public charter school and have to complete things based on the pacing guide they give me which a teacher checks every 20 days. But right now financially it is not an option to homeschool by my "own private school" as it would be too expensive paying for everything out of pocket. I hate that we have to do everything by "their" rules and it is causing a lot of stress on my son and I.
     
  4. Faith3

    Faith3 New Member

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    Is it K12 or Connections? Could you try a different free one? Also, have you looked at several different curriculum websites to see if you can afford any? Rod and Staff, Christian Liberty Press, and Christian Light Education are some of the most affordable.
     
  5. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    I'm going through Visions in Education and this year everything is moving to Common Core. For math we have common core math and My Math program. For Language arts we are doing Wonders and Common Core Reading.
     
  6. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    Veechik...what state are you in?

    Reason I'm asking is that in many states, you can create the curriculum yourself if you want. I never bought a curriculum K-7. Not once. I used the library and internet resources and stuff I made up off the top of my head if I'm honest.

    Sounds like you're doing public school at home.....which is different than doing home school.

    Check the laws in your state. If you can get away from this program and design your own...I think you'll be happier.

    That said...not everyone is cut out to home school. If you're finding it to be overwhelming, you can rethink the decision. The important thing is to do school in a way that works for your family, where everyone's needs are being met......and that usually means a mom who is still sane and not pulling her hair out at the end of the day:)

    I have a great friend who loved watching me homeschool my kid....but when she tried to home school her own, she just hated it. She felt terrible about it...which is silly. Everyone's different. Just be the best mom you can be. If being a home school teacher is part of that...that's wonderful. If it's not....that's ok, too. My friend ended up sending her kiddos to a private montessori school...and they've been really happy. Mom included.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2014
  7. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    I'm in California. As far as I heard CA is not strict when it comes to homeschooling just need to file a paper with the state of intent to homeschool. But Visions is pretty much a public school at home, however their standards are pretty high. I wanted to try homeschooling first to see if I liked it and they pay for curriculum, sports, activities, etc. I pay nothing out of pocket but I need to follow their guidelines and complete everything by the pacing guide in a timely manner. I think that is where most of the stress is coming from because instead of learning at my son's pace we have to go with the school's required pace regardless of he grasped the subject or not.
     
  8. Faith3

    Faith3 New Member

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    It's pretty neat that they pay for all that stuff. How long is it taking to get through a school day?
     
  9. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Yes. My sil had the same problem when she tried to cyber-school. Her son was having trouble keeping up, and then got sick and behind. The teacher said, "NO PROBLEM! He can just double up until he catches up!" My sil kept trying to tell them that doubling up for a kid having trouble to begin with is NOT an option!!!

    That's why I'm not keen on cyber-schools, though it DOES have its place!
     
  10. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    It's been taking us 6-7 hrs with a lot of extra sheets per each lesson to help him grasp the concept. The pacing guides move too quick not giving the student enough time to learn the topic before moving on to the next week. I feel like we are cramming so much work into a day and not enjoying it due to the pace we are required to work at. I might have to stick it out this year and do homeschooling on my own the next year without relying on another school system.
     
  11. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    Why do you need to stick it out this year? Kinda sounds like you're miserable with Visions...and your son would benefit from a slower pace and less stress.

    It doesn't cost a lot to put together a curriculum. Read a lot. Write a little everyday. Pick up an age appropriate math work book at Barnes and Noble....and you're there. (we didn't use these, but I saw them at the mall recently and thought they were wonderful)

    People over-complicate elementary ed. It should be fun and stress free.

    We were unschoolers. My kid never had tests, worksheets, formal assignments...none of that. I made a loose curriculum based on reading, writing and math....and did fun stuff for history and science. Museums, science videos, experiments.....tons of books from the library...volunteer work...nature.

    Any day we could get out and go canoeing or hiking....we did. It was wonderful, and it was educational.

    Today my kid is at a top college in a very competitive science field. There's more than one way to get them there! Trust yourself. You got this.
     
  12. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    If you're frustrated, you're doing something wrong. Period. Learning is something that children do naturally, and they really WANT to do it. Pace doesn't matter. They don't all get their first tooth at 6 months or take their first steps at 12 months, so why should they all know how to do xyz at age 6 and abc at age 8? It makes no sense. What happens when your child gets fired up about a topic and really wants to explore it? "Sorry, dear, but the book says we have to do chapter 7 today." Nooooooo..... keep learning fun.

    It doesn't matter whether you unschool like CrazyMom or use textbooks and workbooks like I do. Keep it fun, keep it relevant, and keep it only one step outside their reach. What do I mean by that? Imagine teaching a toddler to walk. You keep saying "come to momma", all the while taking baby steps backwards to see how far they'll go it alone. When they start to fall, you catch them and tell them what a great job they did, then you stand them up and have them do it again. School is exactly the same. You can't stand in another room and yell at a toddler to come to you. You have to stay just "this much" out of their reach. Likewise, you can't hold their hand forever, or they'll never learn how to walk alone.

    Sounds like the program you're using isn't a good fit. There are tons of free and extremely cheap resources out there that are as good or better than what public programs are using. :) I tell my kids all the time that I want them to be "B" students. If they're only getting "A's", the material is too easy. If they're only getting "C's", it's a little too hard. If they're consistently getting "B's", it means they're consistently learning something new. (Until high school, of course, when I'll make darn sure they get all A's on their transcript.) If your child is struggling, take a step back to catch up. Don't keep pushing, or you'll only turn off that natural drive to learn.
     
  13. Faith3

    Faith3 New Member

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    That's a long time for third (?) grade. It should really take about 3-4 hours for most children in that grade (not including breaks).

    I would probably either try a different free one, or look into one of the cheap ones I told you about earlier. If you stick out the school year under bad conditions, it could ruin homeschooling for both of you.
     
  14. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I just heard of a FREE online program called Discoveryk12. It's way different from K12/Connections. NOT Common Core. http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/ Click on How It Works at the bottom of the page. You can follow their schedule or your own. You can go up or down in grade levels by subject.
     
  15. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    I like and agree with all those suggested by Faith, but all those are religiously based, and I don't know if those would be suitable for your needs. If religious is okay, those are great resources, and you can mix and match among them. And you can get even greater prices if you buy used.
     
  16. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    @CrazyMom @2littleboys I totally get what you ladies are saying! When I teach my son my way which helps him understand, he loves it. I wanted to take a leap into homeschooling 1 yr ago but my husband wasn't sure about the idea. I thought this way through a public homeschool we could test the waters but now I see that this is not going to work for us. I now see that we are basically doing public school at home and every step of the way the school dictates what we learn and at what pace. I looked into the curriculums mentioned above and they are definitely something I can afford. I should have done my research a little better. Thank you so much for all your help! I feel much better and know what we need to do now.
     
  17. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    So does your husband understand how frustrated both you and your student are? Is he willing to go along with this?
     
  18. veechik

    veechik New Member

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    The issue I'm having with my husband right is that he thinks the kids won't be accepted into a good college if they are not part of an "accredited" school which I don't believe. I have seen quite a few families whose kids went on to top universities and did a lot better than their peers. Homeschooling was my idea because I see that my son is a more hands on learner and schools don't have much creativity and hands on learning. But now we're pretty much doing exactly what he would in school, going by the book and not enjoying the process. I thought we would go out to museums, do experiments, reports on things around us, etc but we have no time for that because we're under a schedule! I'm going to take this week and really dig deep into all these other curriculums and decide what we should do. Discoverk12 sounds kind of interesting, will have to look into that a bit more too.
     
  19. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Then he you may have your hands tied if he's not on board. By that, I don't mean he has to be all gun-ho, but he has to at least be able to be willing to let you try. Believe me, homeschooling doesn't prevent a child from getting into a good school.
     
  20. CrazyMom

    CrazyMom Banned

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    Vee, my daughter's at University of Michigan in their Cellular and Molecular Biology program.

    Times Higher Education ranks my kid's college as the 18th best school on Earth...between Duke and Cornell.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2013-14/world-ranking

    I think Us News and World Report puts in in the 20's somewhere.

    My point is....my kid got into a really, really good school.

    My elementary curriculum consisted of this: Reading aloud to the kid and have the kid reading aloud to me every day. Having the kid write anything she wanted...letter, journal entry, story, whatever....everyday. Doing a few math problems that I made up off the top of my head. Five of them, usually. And weekly trips to the library to indulge whatever curiosity she wanted to indulge. That's it. That was our "formal" program.

    As far as I can tell, it doesn't matter to ANY college what kids do for K-8th grade. They don't look, they don't care...it doesn't matter.

    However....Highschool performance will matter....and the ACT will matter. So do what you have to, to get ready for those.

    For us...my daughter wanted to join public school for high school. We let her try school in 8th grade thinking she could make a complete disaster of that year, and still have half a chance of getting a good grade point average in high school. Since the kid had never had worksheets, tests, deadlines, homework....none of that craziness....I figured she'd have a rough adjustment academically.

    Wow, was I wrong. She LOVED the novelty of school. Apparently, I had inadvertently spawned a closet raging academic. Go figure! Competitive little creature that she is...she hit the gate running...and ended up getting all A's. Then she did the same thing in high school....taking a bunch of AP courses. The kid got a 34 on the Science section of her ACT on her first try....and started talking about genetics non stop....and the rest is history.

    My point in recanting this whole adventure is to illustrate: people take K-8 WAY too seriously. Yes, it should provide a good foundation for reading, writing and math. But there are a million ways to do this....and do it well....without having your kid in tears and under pressure all the time. If my kid hadn't have had the TIME and flexibility to do so...I doubt she would have fallen head over heels in love with science. On her own...and on her own terms. Her idea. That was key. No one hands you your passion in life....you find it yourself and hoard it like a magic ring.

    My home school day was so unstructured, most people thought I was a child abusing hippy who was doing untold damage to my child. LOL. And when those prune faced busy bodies ask about her now...imagine the joy it gives me to tell them what she's up to:)

    By the time 8th grade rolls around, you're going to have to do some serious thinking. It's the split in the road. Homeschool High School -VS- Rejoining Formal School for High School. You can't go back and forth at that point. You've gotta pick one path and follow it.

    Luckily, I didn't have to think about it too hard. My kid informed me what she was doing. "Mom, I need a life, I'd like to try jail school." LOL. "No! No! Don't do it, Kid! Stay with me!" (I was kinda like the witch in Ruppunzel...lol)

    and she's like...."Mom, I need a real math teacher, too." Ouch! LOL! (she wasn't wrong!)

    So...that's the story of our home school adventure.

    Have your own adventure.

    Don't let people tell you that K-8th are world ending. They're not.

    It's my belief (and a shocking number of minds in education agree with me)....that kids are pretty much complete...right out of the package. They'll either grow up to be smartypantses....or artists....or average Joes. And what's wrong with that? Nothing. Let people be happy. Let them enjoy their childhood/their kid's childhood.

    Whatever you decide to do....you're doing it right if you're happy:)

    Good Luck!
     
  21. sweetsarahbeth

    sweetsarahbeth Member

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    Veechick, I am in a similar place (in CA through a local charter hybrid and not liking the guidelines and requirements - I posted about it a couple weeks ago). My question is: do they review EVERYthing? At our charter they only require us to submit samples for each subject, not every single worksheet on the assignment calendar.

    I tend to give myself a lot of leeway with school work and just make sure we do enough of what is required to get some samples to submit. Like you, I definitely have my likes and dislikes about the program, and I totally feel where you're coming from.
     

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