Hi, I'm Tricia.

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brae

this is the fifth year that we have officially homeschooled, but i feel we homeschool our kids since birth. i have a 4th grader, 2nd grader and 1st grader and it has definitely been the BEST thing i have ever done!!

brae

Erin

Whether you homeschool or not you are still responsible for your child's education and should educate yourself on different methods. I think you need to determine your reasons for homeschooling such as acceleration, religous beliefs, or special needs. Once that is determined you can better sift through the options. The homeschooling community has certainly grown and the options seem to be endless. HTH

Jessi

I think that Erin makes an excellent point in saying it will help you determine HOW you want to homeschool if you first determine WHY you want to.

Personally, my reasons have a lot to do with the flexibility it affords our family, as well as the fact that I am not overly thrilled with the things that my children would be taught it public school, with the slant that it would be taught. However, I also don't want to 'hide' them from the world. Each year we re-evaluate, based on the child, what will best suit their needs as well as us as a family unit. This year we opted for a home-based charter school for 2 of the 3 we are schooling. The other does "traditional" homeschooling. We felt comfortable enough with the curriculum offered by the charter school, and I valued the structure and accountability it would provide. There are things in the curriculum, such as touching on all major world religions, that I think will actually be beneficial to my children to learn about, but with the perspective of them from the position of our own beliefs.

However, others are completely opposed to what would be offered by such a public charter school, and so opt to put together their own curriculum. But that does, exactly as Erin said, stem from your reasons for homeschooling to begin with.

I could go on forever, but since this is Tricia's blog, not mine, I won't! :) But I always love sharing the insights that I've learned over the years for anyone who needs help, as that's exactly how I navigated my own early days as a homeschool mom!

Jessi

I think that Erin makes an excellent point in saying it will help you determine HOW you want to homeschool if you first determine WHY you want to.

Personally, my reasons have a lot to do with the flexibility it affords our family, as well as the fact that I am not overly thrilled with the things that my children would be taught it public school, with the slant that it would be taught. However, I also don't want to 'hide' them from the world. Each year we re-evaluate, based on the child, what will best suit their needs as well as us as a family unit. This year we opted for a home-based charter school for 2 of the 3 we are schooling. The other does "traditional" homeschooling. We felt comfortable enough with the curriculum offered by the charter school, and I valued the structure and accountability it would provide. There are things in the curriculum, such as touching on all major world religions, that I think will actually be beneficial to my children to learn about, but with the perspective of them from the position of our own beliefs.

However, others are completely opposed to what would be offered by such a public charter school, and so opt to put together their own curriculum. But that does, exactly as Erin said, stem from your reasons for homeschooling to begin with.

I could go on forever, but since this is Tricia's blog, not mine, I won't! :) But I always love sharing the insights that I've learned over the years for anyone who needs help, as that's exactly how I navigated my own early days as a homeschool mom!

SuperNoVa Mom

Hi, just wanted to pass the word about financial aid for homeschoolers from http://www.homeschoolfoundation.org/program/rightchoice.asp:


Accepted families in the Right Choice Program receive resources to purchase curricula, a computer with printer and internet access, if needed. The family will also receive a membership with HSLDA and a copy of HSLDA Senior Counsel Chris Klicka's book, "The Right Choice." A total of 15 families from three states will be accepted into this pilot program and applying early is essential. All grant recipients will be notified by July 31, 2008. Families can contact the Home School Foundation at (540)-338-8688 or info@homeschoolfoundation.org.

Criteria:

1. Children must be new to homeschooling and no further advanced in their studies than the 6th grade. 2. All school-aged children in the family must be homeschooled. The family's household income must be less than one-and-a-half times the regional poverty level which is based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's cost of living index. (The family’s financial status will be verified.) 3. The family must participate in a homeschooling group in their area and establish a mentor relationship.

SuperNoVa Mom

Sorry, perhaps more relevant to the question: I'm homeschooling my daughter in kindergarten and use a curriculum from Calvert, a Baltimore-based homeschooling program. It's great for new homeschooling teachers because they give you all the materials and a manual that takes you through each day's lesson plan step by step. They also provide an advisory teaching service where your student gets "tested" regularly during the school year and you get feedback on their progress. They also have a great forum on their Web site as a resource for parents.

It's not cheap, but it's homeschooling-in-a-box. It was also on Fairfax County's approved list of homeschooling correspondence courses, before they changed the law and didn't list the companies anymore because they didn't want to seem like those companies were official Fairfax County homeschooling programs. Here's the Calvert link: http://www.calvert.org

Another important link is the Virginia Standards of Learning, which tells you what your child should be learning by grade and by academic subject:
http://141.104.22.210/VDOE/Superintendent/Sols/home.shtml

SuperNoVa Mom

Sorry, one more time: the Calvert URL is www.calvertschool.org

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