Homeschool Chat Part III

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Disney Mommy 3, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. StuckInKS

    StuckInKS DIS Veteran

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    We have tried Time4Learning several times, but prefer SmartTutor. It does not have social studies and science, but those subjects aren't any good through T4L anyway.

    I like ST better because:

    1. It gives students an initial assessment to see where they need to be placed throughout different strands. Math has 3 strands (number skills & algebra, geometry, and measurement) and reading has 5 strands (phenomic awareness, phonics, sight words, vocabulary and reading comprehension).

    2. The system will automatically move the student though the program based or a) their placement test and how they perform on each assignment or b) lessons the parent assigns for them. You don't have to choose just one of those options, as there is a separate section for both.

    3. You get several types of detailed reports. First, there is a report on your child's initial assessments that tell you where she placed in skill for each strand in contrast with her grade level. Then, you can pull reports on your student's progress two ways: a) completed lessons and percentage of correct answers and b) what grade level she started at on each strand and where she is now. Each grade level has "low" "mid" and "high" and you can see your student progress through the reports. There is also a lessons completed report and "time on task" report that are easily printable in case you need them to satisfy your state's requirements.

    I tried this program at first because it was a little cheaper than T4L, but stuck with it because I like it better. From what I can tell about K5 Learning, they at least use the same reading program as ST (ST also only goes up to 5th grade).

    For math fact fluency, we got Reflex Math for $59/year/3 students through the HSBC, but you can get single student subscriptions for $35 on the Reflex Math website. It is amazing at getting students to remember their facts and the kids LOVE it. It really is great and lets me easily see which facts have been mastered fluently and which have not.

    We like using BrainPOP as a supplement, but its quite expensive to just use once in a while, so our subscription is off for now. We also use Dreambox as another math supplement and Reading Eggs for additional learn-to-read and comprehension practice.

    As from those things, I am currently in the middle of buying regular school-publisher books (McGraw-Hill, Pearson and Harcourt) for my kids through Amazon. I did a TON of research before buying and am really happy with what we chose. Most utilize worktexts, so the lessons, guided practice, homework and quizzes are all in one book, which I prefer. I don't like buying the hardcover book + the practice book + the homework book + the tests + the teacher editions. Too expensive and too much stuff to keep track of with 3-4 kids all in different grades.
     
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  3. Happiest mommy

    Happiest mommy DIS Veteran

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    StuckInKS thanks for all this information, you have given me great things to look into. Since you really did'nt like T4L's Science and Social Studies and ST doesnt offer Social Studies and Science what are you using for these subjects?
     
  4. erinmomof2

    erinmomof2 Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for mentioning smart tutor. We're seriously thinking of pulling our oldest DD out of school after spring break and I've been looking for something inexpensive to use to finish out the year. I signed up for the free trial of smart tutor and my DD loves it!

    On a different note does anyone have any experience pulling a child out of school mid year in MI? I've looked at hslda and I see that MI has what appears to be easy homeschool laws, but I don't see anything about starting during the school year. Maybe I looked in the wrong place? My girls go to a charter school now and my oldest has been having a really hard time the past couple years being bullied by another student. The school isn't doing anything and my daughter is crying every day begging not to go to school. We're planning to pull oldest DD out of school now and let our younger DD finish Kindergarten. We're thinking that the next couple of months would be a good trial period to see if it's a good fit for our family and if all goes well next year we'll homeschool both girls. I'm kind of nervous about the decision, but I'm also really excited.

    Sorry this got so long!! And thanks in advance for any tips you all have. I've read through the entire thread over the past few days and you have all given me so much information already!
     
  5. steves1bear

    steves1bear Mouseketeer

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    I currently have two kids in public school, 4th and 1st grades. We have thought about homeschooling our daughter (the 4th grader) for several years, but have stayed with public school because it just wasn't the right time.

    Well, we are going to be relocating for 7 months, from Hawaii to Utah, while my DH is on sabbatical. We thought this would be a great time to try homeschooling. If it didn't work, we would be back home and could put her back in public school.

    I'm inexperienced in setting up a curriculum that would meet the standards and don't really feel comfortable doing it. What online options are available that have an already established curriculum? We've looked into the K12 program, but the options available in Utah want a year commitment and she has to be physically in Utah for state testing. By the time testing comes around, we'll be back in Hawaii and they are not willing to allow out of state testing.

    Are there any other good options for online schools?

    Thanks!
     
  6. Aidensmommy22

    Aidensmommy22 Mouseketeer

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    Hi everyone! I just found this thread & I am considering homeschool. It's all I've been able to think about for the past few weeks. I'm not sure if it's the Lord leading me in this direction or what. I have been praying for wisdom & guidance. I wouldn't be so scared to do it if I didn't know me so well. I am unorganized, distracted easily & frankly, sometimes my boys drive me crazy!My oldest son is in Kindergarten at public school. We love his school. It's in a very small town, only 140 students total in K-5. However, when they leave this school, they combine 3 schools to form a middle & high school. This is where I went to school & I am a nervous wreck about sending them there. While I do love our school now, I know if I let my boys go to 5th grade, they will not want to homeschool at that point.

    I would love to hear the top reasons that made you realize homeschooling was the right decision for you. I have done so much research on homeschooling that my head is spinning. I would just love to hear from other moms why you love homeschooling. Also, are there any moms out there that discovered it wasn't for them? Any experiences would be greatly appreciated!
     
  7. Mouseketeer67

    Mouseketeer67 Mouseketeer

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    I'm a veteran homeschool mom. The main reason that I chose to homeschool was because my oldest learned to read at 3 years old. He was advanced for his age and ultimately would have been bored to death at school.
    All these years later, I am thankful that God lead us in that direction. Homeschooling has been a blessing for my family! Good luck to your family.
     
  8. chris31997

    chris31997 Disney Kid at Heart

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    Check into a k12 program for HI. I don't know if they have it. But because it is online, you could do it in Utah and test in HI or whatever is required in HI. Talk to the school that your kids are in now. That is who you would be reporting to in HI as a homeschooler.




    Our reason started out because we were not fond of the school our DD was zoned for. But than really the TOP reason is flexiblity. Dh is in the military. We move alot. Teacher, school work and standards move with us. We lose very little time when we move. We can do school when/where/how we want. We do school around dance/holidays/family/military stuff. Our kids are exposed to so much because we can be flexible.
     
  9. MissNurse

    MissNurse Mouseketeer

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    I pulled my DD and DS out of school in their 5th and 1st grade years. They were totally on board with it! We had just moved, and the school where we live now is terrible. We had been considering it before moving though, as I had been a school nurse in the Arkansas system for 6 years. I was less than thrilled with the education system. Loved my coworkers, but public education is simply broken, in my opinion. The kids LOVE homeschooling! I am not organized either, but we work through it together. Lots of trial and error! I ask them if they want to go back to public school, and they say no faster than I can finish the question. :hippie:
     
  10. Cinderellabride

    Cinderellabride Mouseketeer

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    Hi,

    Can I join you? I have to 2 boys. One just turned 5, and the other is about to turn 4. We plan to officially start homeschooling Kindergarten in September; although, I am starting some stuff with him now. I had previously been a stay at home mom, until recently, and our goal is to get me back home starting this summer. They boys are in a preschool that we absolutely love, but starting in Kindergarten we are going to be homeschooling, which was our original plan anyway. Obviously, there is a much a longer story to why we sent them to preschool, and why I went to work, but this is the quick version. LOL
     
  11. kc10family

    kc10family <marquee><font color=cc00cc>Fly Chick</marquee><br

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    http://www.connectionsacademy.com/free-online-public-school.aspx
    http://www.aoacademy.com/info-sheets/online-private.php
    http://www.laurelsprings.com/

    A friend of mine is using connections this year but will not next, she wants to try something else.
    I use AOA and like it.
    I found Laurel Springs in a google search.
     
  12. MissNurse

    MissNurse Mouseketeer

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    A friend of mine was asking me about summer reinforcement for her son (finishing 2nd grade public school). She said he needed help in spelling and math. She's looking for something not computer based. Any ideas? My DS does well in those areas, so I don't have much to go on. Any help appreciated!
     
  13. Jessica14

    Jessica14 DIS Veteran

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    My reasons may be silly in some ways, but I'm glad we did it. A little background-I taught kindergarten for 6 years and second for 6 years, left to be a SAHM, went back to subbing when my kids got to school (in their district and building) and then pulled them out two years ago. We homeschool becacuse
    1. My daughter needed more of a challenge in reading.
    2. My son needed more help than the school could give him. He was behind by quite a bit.
    3. The school was not being run well.
    4. The previous principal was railroaded out of his position because of a vindictive superintendent and a rogue PTA member. By the way, he is fine now and supports our decision.
    5. Teachers are not allowed to teach.
    6. There is no room for creativity in the classroom.
    7. The district didn't hire me and I was tired of subbing so I brought my own kids home.
    8. From what I understand now, the district has really had some major issues in the last couple of years and I am not comfortable with some of the buildings they would go to.
    9. Its a challenge, but fun!
    10. We have met some great people and my son has more friends than he ever had in school.
    11. No rush to grow up too fast.
    12. We are able to go on trips and visit museums whenever we want and not just on weekends or school vacations.

    I hope that helps!
    Jessica
     
  14. Mommaof3

    Mommaof3 <font color=darkorchid>I have a wet noodle and I'm

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    I taught before my children were born and then I schooled at home. I had one that was stubborn, one whose attention was on everything but school, and one that needed nothing from me! I usually let the stubborn child school in every creative way possible......chalk on the driveway, long strips of newsprint and paint, spelling words with a label maker, camera with pictures in a scrapbook, a singing presentation to the family, posterboard presentation, etc. She just would not do things with pencil and paper. One day she cut out letters from magazines for her spelling words and she went through a phase where she wrote with her finger in dry jello that was on a cookie sheet. I just sat beside her and checked each one. If is was right, I let her lick her finger. My point is, think outside the box with stubborn children. One of the craziest things she did was use herself and her twin brothers to form the letters of the alphabet and we took picture of each letter. Then I printed several copies of each letter and put each letter in a ziplock and the set into a shoebox. She practiced making words using our people letters! She would do stuff like this with no problem. But give her pencil and paper and the fight was on! She had learning problems and in on the autism spectrum so she needed "creative consistency"! Some days we cried and some days were smooth sailing.

    Anyway........hope all goes well for all of you! Hang in there even when things are tough. Enjoy your children. Mine are all grown and just about finished with college. And just so you know.....they do well in college; read, write and compute well; speak well in public; love life, others and the Lord; and you would never know they were schooled at home unless they told you! It really did work for us! ::yes::
    Melissa
     
  15. Arkum

    Arkum Mouseketeer

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    Melissa, thank you so much for sharing! I appreciate you taking the time to put me more at ease.
     
  16. EnduringWone

    EnduringWone Mouseketeer

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    Wow! I never knew Dis had a homeschool thread, awesome!

    I homeschool my third grader and I co-op with Classical Conversations and just love it.

    I am thankful that my husband and myself can do this for our daughter.

    :cheer2:
     
  17. lovethattink

    lovethattink DIS Veteran

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  18. kc10family

    kc10family <marquee><font color=cc00cc>Fly Chick</marquee><br

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    I have found worksheet books, flash cards and other stuff at many stores like Dollar Tree, Walmart, Target, Costco, Sams Club. My favorite stuff was the crazy finds at the Dollar Tree :goodvibes.
     
  19. Happiest mommy

    Happiest mommy DIS Veteran

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    Any homeschool days in NYC? :)
     
  20. GusGus77

    GusGus77 DIS Veteran

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    Homeschool buyers coop has Time4Learning for half off one month for new subscribers to the program during the month of April. I know several people here have mentioned the program.
     
  21. erinmomof2

    erinmomof2 Mouseketeer

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    After spending the past two years debating the pros and cons of homeschooling, we our officially homeschooling. We pulled oldest DD out of school after spring break. So far we're only 3 days in, but it's going pretty good. This year has been really hard on her and she's been dealing with what I call emotional bullying. She went from a happy fun kid to being sad and depressed.... and she's only 8. Even though it hasn't been that long I'm already seeing her mood improve and she seems so much happier. I think just knowing she doesn't have to go back has been a huge relief for her. I'm a little nervous about this and hoping I don't screw up trying to teach her myself!

    Younger DD is still in the school. She's only in Kindergarten and wants to finish the year and go on a field trip she has coming up. So the plan is to let her finish Kindergarten and hopefully we'll homeschool both of them in the fall.

    One question, does anyone here use Calvert Virtual school? We have a tuition free virtual school in our county using Calvert Virtual but I don't know anyone who uses it. Any reviews or tips? As of now we're leaning towards using that in the fall. Thanks!
     

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