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Ayshren
Considering HomeSchooling...Some advice please
by Ayshren
March 26, 2013 at 1:38 AM

Hi Everyone! I have been seriously considering homeschooling my son when the next school year begins. He will be in 8th grade. Ive checked out my state laws on homeschooling, etc. 

I just need to know...are there any other mothers out there that started homeschooling this late in the game? Im nervous about homeschooling him through high school. I want to be sure that he is going to get a HS diploma and be able to go to college.

How do you go about choosing a curriculum? How do you know your child is learning enough, especially to be able to graduate and go on to college?


Sorry for the rambling! I know I want to homeschool him (for my own personal reasons) Im just nervous that I wont be good enough. Any and all advice/sharing your perosonal experiences with it is welcome!


Thank you!

Replies

  • jeweldragons
    March 26, 2013 at 4:23 AM

    BUMP!

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 26, 2013 at 5:58 AM

    Ayshrn, Welcome to the group.  You are going to be a great home educator.  How do I know?  Because I hear the caring in your words.  With that, everything else can be  learned. like anything, the first year is the hardest, and it gets progressively easier.

    With the older children, it is easier if they are on board with you.  So get her involved in the decision making.  They also often miss friends.  So you will want to find a home school support group where she can find home school friends. Lucky you, there are a lot in Georgia. 

    Find A Georgia Home School Group Here

    As for college:  It use to be harder for the home educated to enter college.  But for now it is actually easier, because they outperform their public school counterparts on ACT and in college. .  Colleges like enrolling homeschoolers for that reason (as long as you have done proper preparations). .  Following is a free  article that will help you with that.  Simply scroll down to the section titled Home School For High School Students.  (I know she is not technically in High School yet, but it will answer your question about college....Pay particular attention to Dual Enrollment which is a great opportunity for the children)

    How To Home School

    Grade Level Requirements (How to know if your child is learning enough)

    As for choosing curriculum, Georgia has a Home School Convention happening in May.  I would recommend you and your daughter attend.  You both will be able to touch and feel the curriculum.  The curriculum is also usually offered at a discount at these events (shipping at least).  You can also attend some of the training classes.

    Georgia Home School Convention also this article: All About Home School Conventions

    Understanding Her Learning Style will help in choosing curriculum


  • QueenCreole313
    March 26, 2013 at 6:48 AM
  • bluerooffarm
    March 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

     One of my very best friends started when her kids went into Junior High (7th grade).  She said it was a struggle in the beginning for them to see her in her new role of teacher, but that it was the best experience.  Her Oldest son is going away to college this year (with a partial scholarship!)  So it can definately be done!

    Welcome to the group! 

  • romacox
    by romacox
    March 26, 2013 at 8:18 AM

    P.S. Just a bit more about Dual Enrollment

     My grandson is taking advantage of this in Florida at one of the community colleges.  Dual Enrollment means he can attend college for free until he turns 18.  Many homeschoolers have attained a 2 year degree for free using this program.  it makes it very easy to enter college (as long as they maintain a good grade average).  My grandson is loving it . His mom is also taking some classes at the same Community College, and they ride together. 

    Georgia does offer the program on a limited bases for 9Th and 10Th graders, and more flexibility for 11th and 12Th.  Georgia Dual Credit Programs For High School Students (PDF). 

  • Ayshren
    by Ayshren
    March 26, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    Thank you so much for all the replies and advice! I will certainly start going through the resources you guys have provided right away!!

  • KickButtMama
    March 26, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Welcome! I would say at his age it is important to include him in the decisions for curriculum. Ask him what interests him, what he WANTS to learn. 

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    March 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM

     welcome ayshren!!

    like shannon suggests, what ever you choose to homeschool him , let him help choose it! that could be his first homeschool assignment!!! researching what to use!

    how does he feel about hsing?

  • kirbymom
    March 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    Hi Ayshren!  :)

    You have definitely come to the right place! You will find lots of help here from a most wonderful group of ladies. :) 

    Do you know the kind of learning style your son has? By that I mean, how he studies or how he learns something?  Here is something that may help you understand all about learning styles.......


    Learning Styles

    Understanding Your Learning Preference


    Understand different learning styles,
    with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.

    Have you ever tried to learn something fairly simple, yet failed to grasp the key ideas? Or tried to teach people and found that some were overwhelmed or confused by something quite basic?

    If so, you may have experienced a clash of learning styles: Your learning preferences and those of your instructor or audience may not have been aligned. When this occurs, not only is it frustrating for everyone, the communication process breaks down and learning fails.

    Once you know your own natural learning preference, you can work on expanding the way you learn, so that you can learn in other ways, not just in your preferred style.

    And, by understanding learning styles, you can learn to create an environment in which everyone can learn from you, not just those who use your preferred style.

    Felder and Silverman's Index of Learning Styles

    One of the most widely used models of learning styles is the Index of Learning Styles developed by Richard Felder and Linda Silverman in the late 1980s. According to this model (which Felder revised in 2002) there are four dimensions of learning styles. Think of these dimensions as a continuum with one learning preference on the far left and the other on the far right.

    Figure 1 – Learning Styles Index

    Learning Styles

    Once you know where your preferences lie on each of these dimensions, you can begin to stretch beyond those preferences and develop a more balanced approach to learning. Not only will you improve your learning effectiveness, you will open yourself up to many different ways of perceiving the world.

    Balance is key. You don't want to get too far on any one side of the learning dimensions. When you do that you limit your ability to take in new information and make sense of it quickly, accurately, and effectively.

    Tip:
    This article describes one useful approach to learning styles. Other practitioners have different approaches.

    See our article on 4MAT to find out about other useful approaches: Those of David Kolb, and of Peter Honey and Alan Mumford.

    Using the Learning Styled Index

    You can use the learning styles index to develop your own learning skills and also to help you create a rounded learning experience for other people.

    Developing Your Learning Skills

    Step One

    Identify your learning preferences for each learning dimension. Read through the explanations of each learning preference and choose the one that best reflects your style. Alternatively, use an Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire like the one athttp://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.phpl.

    Step Two

    Analyze your results and identify those dimensions where you are "out of balance," meaning you have a very strong preference for one style and dislike the other.

    Step Three

    For each out of balance area, use the information in figure 2 to improve your skills in areas where you need development.

    Figure 2: Bringing Your Learning Styles into Balance

    Sensory Learners – if you rely too much on sensing, you can tend to prefer what is familiar, and concentrate on facts you know instead of being innovative and adapting to new situations. Seek out opportunities to learn theoretical information and then bring in facts to support or negate these theories.

    Intuitive Learners – if you rely too much on intuition you risk missing important details, which can lead to poor decision-making and problem solving. Force yourself to learn facts or memorize data that will help you defend or criticize a theory or procedure you are working with. You may need to slow down and look at detail you would otherwise typically skim.

    Visual Learners – if you concentrate more on pictorial or graphical information than on words, you put yourself at a distinct disadvantage because verbal and written information is still the main preferred choice for delivery of information. Practice your note taking and seek out opportunities to explain information to others using words.

    Verbal Learners – when information is presented in diagrams, sketches, flow charts, and so on, it is designed to be understood quickly. If you can develop your skills in this area you can significantly reduce time spent learning and absorbing information. Look for opportunities to learn through audio-visual presentations (such as video and Webcasts.) When making notes, group information according to concepts and then create visual links with arrows going to and from them. Take every opportunity you can to create charts and tables and diagrams.

    Active Learners – if you act before you think you are apt to make hasty and potentially ill-informed judgments. You need to concentrate on summarizing situations, and taking time to sit by yourself to digest information you have been given before jumping in and discussing it with others.

    Reflective Learners – if you think too much you risk doing nothing. There comes a time when a decision has to be made or an action taken. Involve yourself in group decision-making whenever possible and try to apply the information you have in as practical a manner as possible.

    Sequential Learners – when you break things down into small components you are often able to dive right into problem solving. This seems to be advantageous but can often be unproductive. Force yourself to slow down and understand why you are doing something and how it is connected to the overall purpose or objective. Ask yourself how your actions are going to help you in the long run. If you can't think of a practical application for what you are doing then stop and do some more "big picture" thinking.

    Global Learners – if grasping the big picture is easy for you, then you can be at risk of wanting to run before you can walk. You see what is needed but may not take the time to learn how best to accomplish it. Take the time to ask for explanations, and force yourself to complete all problem-solving steps before coming to a conclusion or making a decision. If you can't explain what you have done and why, then you may have missed critical details.


    Creating a Rounded Learning Experience for Others

    Whenever you are training or communicating with others, you have information and ideas that you want them to understand and learn effectively and efficiently. Your audience is likely to demonstrate a wide range of learning preferences, and your challenge is to provide variety that helps them learn quickly and well.

    Your preferred teaching and communication methods may in fact be influenced by your own learning preferences. For example, if you prefer visual rather than verbal learning, you may in turn tend to provide a visual learning experience for your audience.

    Be aware of your preferences and the range of preference of your audiences. Provide a balanced learning experience by:

    • Sensory – Intuitive: Provide both hard facts and general concepts.
    • Visual – Verbal: Incorporate both visual and verbal cues.
    • Active – Reflective: Allow both experiential learning and time for evaluation and analysis.
    • Sequential – Global: Provide detail in a structured way, as well as the big picture.

    Key Points

    Learning styles and preferences vary for each of us and in different situations.

    By understanding this, and developing the skills that help you learn in a variety of ways, you make the most of your learning potential. And because you're better able to learn and gather information, you'll make better decisions and choose better courses of action.

    And by understanding that other people can have quite different learning preferences, you can learn to communicate your message effectively in a way that many more people can understand. This is fundamentally important, particularly if you're a professional for whom communication is an important part of your job.

    Take time to identify how you prefer to learn and then force yourself to break out of your comfort zone. Once you start learning in new ways you'll be amazed at how much more you catch and how much easier it is to assimilate information and make sense of what is going on.

    This is just one of hundreds of skill-building tools and resources on this site. Clickhere for more articles, subscribe to our free newsletter, or become a member for just US$1.

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    March 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM

     Welcome, the other Ladies have given great advise so I just want to give you some encouragement that you can do this & that it is so worth it to do!

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