First of all, I want to commend you for taking the time and effort in making a better future for your children. I use Abeka also and many people say to switch, but I see no reason why. My most precious advice would be to remove the "classroom" setting from abeka, it is geared toward a classroom setting. I do not require my children to do all problems in math, I circle the ones she is to do which is usually half and if she gets one wrong we use an unanswered one as practice and she then does another on. It rewards them for doing their work correctly by cutting the load but leaves some room for practice and review if needed. If they can do 4 problems, they can do 10. Also, you do not have to do everything that is planned for that day such as the poems in spelling, we read those periodically, but I see no reason for her to memorize them. We have plenty of scripture and historical documents to memorize. I also like to increase their independent learning as the year goes on. I will write on a board what she is to do and we go over it and I address any questions or problems when they arise. I introduce new lessons but she reads and then we review together. It is not necessary for me to lecture or stand by her all day. Now if you have a small child then you will have more teaching time than me, but let them try and learn independently. I wish you the best of luck and do not listen to anyone that tells you your kids are not socialized. My daughter was in public school for 3 years and the socialization she received was not positive in any way. She is now involved in church activities and other things. Oh, and find a local homeschool co-op or group so you can get advice, ideas and go on field trips together with other homeschool families.
awesome! that's great, just make sure that they keep their school work first before all their other activities, and just keep pressing on! good luck!
What sort of advice??
Treat this first year as your experimental year. Know that the first two years tend to be the hardest years as you try to figure out how to get everything working in a way that suits everyone. This is especially true if you've pulled the kids out of school; they have a whole lot of adapting they're going to need to do.
More importantly, your relationship with your children is more important than any academics, so don't let academics spoil the relationship! This doesn't mean to not do academics; just be careful to not be so focused on the texts and workbooks that you forget about your relationship with your kids. I've seen it happen to a couple of homeschool newbies, but certainly not everyone has that problem first year homeschooling. Just something to keep in mind.
Also, find support groups in your area if you can. If the first one you find doesn't fit well for you, keep looking. Be a part of more than one, even, if you want. The support other homeschooling parents in your area can offer you can be invaluable. Check in Yahoo Groups for _homeschool [your city]_ and in web searches. Plus, the support groups usually provide opportunities for the kids to get together and do things (while the parents are supervising on the sidelines getting their social time!).
Find a great support group with people that have kids your kids ages and older. The fellowhip is invaluable and they will need homeschooled friends to want to continue homeschooling in the long run.
God bless you!
I'm so glad you are asking.
here's my experience with A Beka (with DVDs): very big work load, but excellent!
I homeschooled my 5th grader for three years... he started going to a regular school three weeks ago. On the first day of school, the teacher did an assessment in Math and Language. He did very well in Language and is in an enrichment class for Language now ... and he scored highest in Math! The teacher who is new in this school is going to ask the enrichment class teacher for Math, if my son can join them, since he scored highest. It seems that only the ones that have been going to this school for a long time were considered. His teachers and classmates are so impressed by his penmanship, too.
I must warn you, though. be sure to be there at all times to encourage your kids to do all the work diligently, because my son did.
It is scary to face a new experience, especially one as controversial as homeschooling. I have found it much less difficult than I thought it might be at first.
I also found unschooling has worked best for my family and now after 15+ years, I have nothing but faith in the process.
Be assured that you are doing what you think is best for your family and no one knows better than you what your situation is. Have confidence in yourself and your children and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful experience.
Good Luck :)
I know how you feel. I started homeschooling two years ago. And the first two weeks were miserable. Best thing that I did was find a support group. There were parents that offered so much info and encouragement. And I found that I was not alone. I started with Abeka, but opted not to use it in the end. It is a great curriculum, but just too advance for the more relaxed style I wanted to use. Now we take a rather eclectic/unschooing approach and I have found that my dd is doing better than some of her cousins and friends who are in public school. The difference is the one on one and the variety of experiences she gets. If she doesn't understand a subject we review until she does. Also I can offer more fun ways to learn than just sitting doing classwork. For example, when I pay at a store, I tell her what my bill is and how much I give the cashier. If she can tell me the change, without writing it down, she keeps the change (not the bills). A great incentive and very real life. We can also do very untraditional classes, like Financial Peace, Jr. that teaches budgeting or cooking crazy dishes that teach fractions. The key is to understand what kind of learner your children are and homeschool to their advantage. A great book is Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling. (I think that is the name.) You can usually get it in your library.
One last word of caution: It will not be easy. Children will be children regardless of what type of school they attend. You may have to try several approaches before you find the one that truly works for you. But there are thousands of resources out there. One that I like is clickschooling.com. Each day she sends out a new homeschooling website or resource. Sometime they are fun games. Some are virtual field trips and some are just informative. But it gives me choices and many of them are free
My first few weeks of home schooling were miserable too. I tried to do everything on the curriculum and it was just overwhelming, for me and for them. Just remember you're doing this for you kids. You want them to learn. Go at their pace not the curriculum. Adjust to what your family needs. Don't sweat the small stuff. After a while, you'll find your rhythm and everything will be better. The first year is the hardest, I think. We are now on our 5th year and I'm branching out and doing things without a curriculum. You learn what's good for you and what works for your kids. The first few years are really experimental. Just remeber to take it easy and have fun! That's the most important. If your kids are crying and are unhappy, change something. Don't forget to incorporate lots of games and arts & crafts in your studies. We are actually doing 4 days of school this year, with the 5th day being a fun day.
All the best to you!
I was absolutely panic-stricken when I started homeschooling, but I found a lot of help online! Try here for some helpful links:
We are beginning our 6th year of homeschooling now (my oldest is now in his senior year), and wouldn't go back!
God bless as you begin your journey! : )
There is some good information for new homeschoolers on this site:
Hope that helps.
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