Thank you so much for stopping by to check out my homeschooling pages. If you are new to homeschooling, thinking about homeschooling or are an old hand at homeschooling, hopefully you will find something on these pages to help you. I spent many hours doing research on the pros and cons of homeschooling myself. It took me three years to finally get up the nerve to do it but as they say, "It's better late than never". I began homeschooling in September of 2000 so you can figure out for yourself how many years we've been doing it. Even though there are still times when I ask myself why am I doing this, all I have to do is look at my son and realize that HE is the reason why I am homeschooling.
I began homeschooling my kids
when my daughter was going into the 11th grade and my son was going
into 4th. Both of my kids started out in public school. I
very discouraged with the way they were being taught and what the
were teaching them, especially in Texas (Plano to be more
specific). Not only did I have to worry about the subject matter
being taught but, I
also had to worry about the violence, drugs, gangs and general lack of
being taught. While volunteering at both the high school and
levels, I heard children as young as 1st grade use curse words, and saw
At the beginning of my
10th grade, another student brought a gun into the school, went into
boys bathroom, and shot himself. The parents were not notified of
horrible event until the kids got home from school. I was lucky
I just happened to be on the PTO and found out fairly soon after it
happened. I was very upset that the parents weren't notified and
given the option of
taking their kids out of school that day. The principal didn't
to cause a panic by notifying the parents. What if this boy had
this gun on the other students instead of himself? No security
were in place to prevent this from happening, and nothing really
I was also very unhappy with
couple of my daughters teachers. She had one teacher that was
constantly putting her down and even went so far as to throw an eraser
at my daughter and ruin her leather coat. We did not know of this
event until the next
semester otherwise we would have insisted that my daughter be
transferred to another class and the teacher be disciplined for this
wasn't until another incident happened that I contacted the school and
about this teacher. After writing out everything that this
had done and said to my daughter, she was finally moved to another
I do not know if any disciplinary action was taken against this teacher
not. I do know that she was still at this school by the end of
grade. My daughter also had another teacher in 8th grade who
her stupid in front of another student. This was after my
had asked this teacher to sign a form giving my daughter permission to
Algebra I in 9th grade. Maybe my daughter did not have the skills
needed to take Algebra I but, this teacher had no right to say what she
to my daughter especially in front of another student. There were
problems with the administration and teachers at my daughters school
that was basically the reason for homeschooling her.
Now before you pooh-pooh this
being the feelings of an overly neurotic mother, my daughter was in
honors classes in Austin before transferring to Plano. She was a
who brought home mostly A's and some B's. While going to school
in Colorado Springs, she was a recipient of
Presidents Academic Achievement Award when she was in 5th grade.
went from a child who loved school, loved learning and strived to get
grades, to one who hated most of her teachers, hated school and started
home mostly C's and F's. She never had any problems with any of
teachers previous to moving to Plano, in fact all we ever heard from
her teachers were words of praise for our daughter. They just
My son had two teachers
each of his 3 years in public school - one for math and one for the
subjects. My sons 1st grade teacher had to be one of the worst
teachers I have ever had to deal with. It seems that nothing my
son did was right.
She picked on him constantly. I had other parents who had spent
in the classroom tell me that they saw nothing that my son did that
the discipline that this teacher doled out on my son. In fact I
told that he was one of the better behaved kids in the classroom.
my son is no angel but, he is a very sweet and helpful child.
of problems in 1st grade, my son was not given a clean slate when he
into 2nd grade. That teacher was a little bit better but judged
son on what his 1st grade teachers had written about him. His 3rd
teacher was so much better. She never read any of the past
comments and formed her own opinions of the kids after she had been
them a while. She was very good and my son really liked
I was almost persuaded to keep him in public school but, I had this
that he would get a 4th grade teacher who would be terrible. He'd
so much progress in 3rd grade with his reading and was actually
school, that I did not want to have him revert to how he felt about
in the 1st and 2nd grade.
Another thing that my sons
did was to suggest that we get him tested for ADD/ADHD. We knew that he
either of those things. We had researched the symptoms of
and also had friends whose child was diagnosed with it. Our son
none of these symptoms. The school was only concerned with
those "low performers" classified as handicapped or special ed kids so
those kids would be exempt from taking the TAAS test (see below).
Plano especially my sons school was determined to have the best test
scores no matter what they had to do to get them.
My son excelled at Math and
but, had a problem with his reading. He became bored with school
didn't want to go anymore and he was only in FIRST GRADE! When I
his first grade math teacher (who was also his "homeroom teacher") that
son said he was bored, she pretty much told me that my son didn't know
he was talking about because he didn't know what that meant! Give
a break. He knew exactly what that word meant and that's what he
- BORED! Since he was having a problem with his reading, they put
in a program called "Reading Recovery". It was suppose to help
kids with reading problems. Yeah, right. What helped our
was mom and dad. We purchased books that taught him phonics and
reading improved but of course the school thought they had done it.
was not a "whole language learner" which is what the school taught.
we voiced our concern to the principal, do you think she had any
on how to resolve the situation? No! She only took the
side and brushed us off. According to the law, parents have the
to receive a copy of their child's records. We took that to mean
and everything that the school had on our child, including teachers
Were we in for a big surprise when we requested a copy.
was NOTHING in that file except his grades, shot records and personal
(address, phone numbers, etc.). He continued with Reading
into the 2nd and 3rd grade but another teacher had taken over by then.
was improving some so when the school decided that he didn't need it
I went to the Reading Recovery teacher and asked her to continue
with him. My son liked her (he couldn't stand the first one he
who just happened to be the first grade team leader) and was actually
Another thing that turned me
of public school, was the TAAS
The teachers are not teaching the kids what they need to know, they are
to the TAAS test. Even the principal at my sons school told one
the teachers that she didn't care what they taught as long as those
tested really high on the TAAS tests. Texas "revamped" the
test, and changed it to the TAKS
test. Same thing though. The teachers are teaching to the
the schools are still being assessed on how well the students do on
test. If the school does well, they are rewarded for their high
money. Seems to me though that if the school does not score well, then
should be getting more money to help them attain those high scores.
After discussing all the pros
cons of homeschooling and the enormous responsibility we as parents
going to be undertaking, we decided at the end of the school year that
would pull our kids out of public school and teach them at home.
had decided on School of Tomorrow (Living Heritage Academy) and requested that our kids records be
to them. We never had any problem from the public school system.
course I didn't tell them that we were homeschooling either. My
must have told his third grade teacher that we were going to homeschool
because she asked me about it. I was so afraid that I would catch
flack from that but she surprised me. She said that when her
got older (she was pregnant at the time), she had thought about
Her only concern was socialization. I didn't have the nerve
tell her that her child would get more socialization from homeschooling
from public school. What was funny was all the next year we
getting calls and notes from the local high school concerning our
They ranged from ordering her high school ring to her annual to
child in your household has not been to school" but no threatening
or phone calls and no one showed up at my door.
So there we were homeschooling our kids, something I never thought I would have done in a million years. It took some getting use to, having the kids home all day long. The first year my daughter was missing the social life she'd had at public school. The next year however, she became more involved in activities that before she never had time for. Both kids were involved in 4H and soccer. Their school day usually began about 9 a.m. and they were usually done with their studies by at least 2 p.m. Some days they got started later and some days they finish earlier. Then there were days when they learned things that didn't involve books. The schedule could change from day to day depending on what was going on around our house. We went on field trips with our local homeschool associations and took family vacations that we normally wouldn't have been able to. The rewards of homeschooling far out weighed the disadvantages. The only disadvantages that I could see from homeschooling were the cost of supplies to homeschool (I like to buy the "extra" things) and my lack of patience (which is something I work on daily). Homeschooling meant that I was responsible for what my child learns and how they learned it. They are able to take their time with a subject they do not understand and can finish a subject ahead of schedule. Homeschooling also means that more quality time is spent with my children.
The first year we
I used the School of Tomorrow (Living Heritage Academy) curriculum for
kids. My son had to take an assessment test to see what level he
at. Then if there were any gaps in learning, he did those books
starting with the actual grade level work. All of my daughter's
from public school were transferred over and they told me what subjects
needed to take in order to graduate from their school. It was
of a correspondence course than a homeschool. She continued with
curriculum the next year too.
We decided to go with a few
types of curriculum for my son the next year. He used Alpha Omega
Math, Science and History/Geography. He used Learning Language
Through Literature (LLATL) and Wordsmith Apprentice for Language
I think the Alpha Omega is a little more advanced than the S.O.T.
was, as he seemed to be struggling a little with it. Unlike the
year when he was able to do the work on his own, the second year I had
help him a lot more. He had a hard time with his reading
(something I blame on his public school experience) so we had to work
more on that. We worked more with a phonics workbook to help him
with his reading. He did really well in Math and Science and
liked to do a lot of hands on activities.
My daughter graduated in May
She had a graduation ceremony through one of the homeschool
we belonged to. We invited all of our family and friends to it,
weren't limited to the number of people we could invite (unlike the
schools). The seniors picked out their colors, Bible Verse, theme
all the other stuff that is usually already decided for them at a
school. She got to keep her cap and gown along with her
The seniors each decorated a table with memories of their school years,
of a biography table. The seniors (and parents) picked out and
graduation announcements and they had their senior class pictures
She was really excited about her senior year and didn't miss the
that went on at the public school. The graduation ceremony was
wonderful. The parents gave a "90 second" speech about their
then presented them with their diploma. We had a great MC and
speaker. A video presentation was given during the ceremony with
of all the graduates including family photos of them growing up.
were also videos of the senior activities that they participated
After experiencing that kind of graduation ceremony and remembering how
mine was, I much prefer the homeschool graduation.
I see the progress my son makes every day and am amazed at how much he is learning even when he doesn't do book work. He enjoys watching some of the educational shows on TV, and is quite computer literate (he's even making his own web page!). Of course he would rather be playing video games or watching his favorite shows on TV but he is very responsible and is always willing to help out (despite what the public school teachers say, I think that is a very good quality!). He really likes the informality of homeschooling which allows him to take the time to really understand a subject but he does like his work to be structured. He likes having a schedule of what he is to do for that day and when it is due. If I didn't do that, nothing would get done, but we are flexible so the due date can be adjusted. He has stated that he never wants to go back to public school and I'm very happy. If he ever decides that he wants to go back, then I will explain to him the pros and cons and as a family we will make the decision that is best for him. But I fully expect to homeschool him all the way through graduation.
Well enough of that. Now you know more than you probably wanted to know about how I got started with homeschooling my kids. I have tried to categorize these links according to what area they relate to. Some of these links fit into more than one category so I only put it into the one I felt it was best suited for. I have tried to give a description of the site as best as I could. Of course as I come across other sites in my search, I will put them here. Please let me know if there is a broken link or if you come across a site that you think I might want to put here by going to my guestbook on my main page and posting it there. There are so many sites out there and they change every day.