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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Thinking Of Homeschooling DD7 - Advice Needed!
ammama 08:56 PM 02-11-2011
My DD currently goes to our local Waldorf school, which I think is going to be closing soon (LONG story). I really don't think that regular public school is right for us, so i'm thinking of homeschooling my DD, who is 7, and currently in grade 2. I know lots of people on here homeschool their kids, and do daycare. I'll also have a new baby in June, starting back FT with the daycare in September. Am I crazy for wanting to homeschool her, on top of all that? I would really appreciate any advice that anyone has about trying to homeschool an older child, while running a dayhome and keeping the house together. DH is really onboard with all of this, so I know that he will be as involved as he can be, given that he works FT outside the home.

For homeschooling families out there:
What problems have you encountered? Do you find it difficult to work homeschool activities into daily daycare life? She is only in grade 2, and in Waldorf, the academic curriculum at this age is not rigorous at all. I can't imagine sending her to public school, and have her coming home with hours of homework every night!

Please, any thoughts are welcome.
Also, if any of you are doing Waldorf homeschooling specifically, I would really love to hear about your experience with it, and what (if any) pre packaged curriculum's that you have used!!
QualiTcare 09:21 PM 02-11-2011
i would be surprised if many ppl have had experience with waldorf - i hadn't even heard of it/him until i was in college working on my education degree. i DO know that several ppl here homeschool and run a daycare.

as of now, my child goes to public school and as a "former" teacher i don't think there's anything "wrong" with public school in general. BUT as soon as i finish my own education completely (i'm working on a second degree) i will very likely take her out of public school and start homeschooling. i will also be working full time AWAY from home - and i'm not worried about it one bit. so, i think it just depends on the person. i'm NOT a stay at home mom type of person. some people are and that's great. i personally get more done at home and have a healthier family life when i work full time away from home. point being - if i can work full time away from home and homeschool (which i know i can since i've always worked/gone to school/raised children) then i would say you can def. accomplish homeschool if you work at home if that's what YOU really want! go for it.
Michael 11:47 PM 02-11-2011
Some other post on homeschooling:
countrymom 04:28 AM 02-12-2011
whats a waldolf school, (I'm from ontario and never heard of it) my kids go to public school and I have no problems, but I'm a mom who drops in alot to see whats going on.
ammama 07:21 AM 02-12-2011
Waldorf is just a different philosophy of teaching. My daughter gets stressed out and worried very easily, always has. She was in public school for a short time, and almost immediately started having anxiety problems. We pulled her out and put her in the Waldorf school, and the problems went away. Waldorf is a much slower paced learning environment for younger kids - it does get very rigorous once they hit grade 5 or so, but for the younger grades, there is no homework, they play outside ALOT, they have the same teacher from Grade 1-6, it is a very low stress environment. Anyway, I wasn't trying to dump on public school - I went to public school, but I don't think it is right for her.

Just looking for advice from those who have made homeschooling work for them I run a home daycare by the way. I don't work outside the home.
cillybean83 10:21 AM 02-12-2011
My son is 7, he'll 8 in a couple weeks. He's also in 2nd grade I he's homeschooled. He was homeschooled with a very strict curriculum (A Beka) for 1st grade, and for 2nd grade we're working with an umbrella school, where we pick our own curriculum, and I love it.

The Waldorf method sounds similar to what we do. We don't have a strict schedule of math at 9, reading at 10, etc...we have about 10 worksheets that have to be done daily, he can do them all at once, he can do the math first, the reading last, once a week there is a science project sheet, once a week we do art instead of science...we just kind of go with the flow and it works great for us.

The best thing about homeschool is the ability to customize your childs school year to fit their needs. Education isn't one size fits all, but that's how all "structured" schools make it. In 2nd grade you do 2nd grade work, regardless of the abilities, and that doesn't work for me. My son is amazing at math, he can add, subtract, multiply, divide, do fractions, you name comes to him naturally, he can see one example of how to do it, and he gets it. I've never had to teach him math, he's taught himself. His math book that he's working in now is a 4th grade math book, I refused to contain his abilities to a 2nd grade level because I believe in pushing kids to reach their full potential, 4th grade math makes him work, so that's what he does.

Now, on the other end of the spectrum, his printing workbook is pre k-1st grade, because he absolutely stinks at printing. He can write an entire story, but he mixes capital letters with lower case, it's a sloppy mess, no punctuation...we have to WORK to do a kindergarten printing paper correctly. I don't mind that he is doing work that is beneath his grade level, because he's learning how to do it properly, and that's what counts. Maybe we'll tackle handwriting in 3rd grade, maybe it will be pushed to 4th, but regardless of when he learns it, I know he WILL eventually learn it, no pressure.

Now, the down side of homeschool and daycare is using time wisely. When daycare kids nap, you don't get a break, you teach. Some days you don't have to teach, if you've already taught your child how to master a certain area of their studies, then workbooks usually reinforce what the child has been taught, so for example, say you're teaching your child to multiply by 2's, you spend math time on Monday teaching them how to do it, and they continue to practice multiplying by 2's on their Tuesday and Wednesday worksheets. They can work on that alone, you've already taught them how, now it's practice, you can get a break! lol

Another bad part of mixing homeschool and daycare, for me at least, is needing to bring in back up providers so I can take my son to homeschool group events, field trips, etc. My son NEEDS to have access to other kids his age, and other kids who are homeschooled, we are part of a great group that plans field trips, holiday parties, park days, etc. I never miss outings, and it can definately be a hassle to make sure my hubby has the day off to do daycare, or having my mom come run the daycare, etc. I've found that cub scouts/girl scouts are a great way for homeschool kids to still learn how to work in a group setting. Yeah it's only an hour a week, but it's an opportunity for them to be in a group of their peers and work towards a common goal, and that's important for social development.

Another thing about homeschool, it's a lot more expensive than you might think, it takes a lot of dedication, and a LOT of work but if you feel up to the challenge, I think it's the best method of educating children.
katie 01:05 PM 02-12-2011
I homeschool my son (4th grade) daughter (2nd) and preschooler. I also have a baby who is 1. I took in 2 ft and 1pt dcks a year ago. I am scaling back to 1 dck b/c for me it came down to putting my kids in school or not doing daycare. The one I am keeping is 4 so she does school with my preschooler and it works out great. They can go play in eyesight while I do school with the older kids. It looks like this: 9 am my 4th grader does Science/History and spelling. 9:30 my 2nd grader does her science/history and spelling/reading. Then the preschoolers do their alphabet and numbers for about 30 minutes. If there is more time before lunch my older kids do their writing or some math. Lunch at 12 until 1. At 1 I put my preschooler, baby and the 4 year old down for quiet time. We then can finish math and language arts and usually finish about 2 or 2:30.

The major downside for me with the other baby I had (8months) and the pt 2 year old was that someone was interrupting me every 30 seconds. Even with my husband here it was not happening. Something had to give. The other issue I have had is my 2nd grader wants to be doing what the other girls are doing and it is hard to get her to focus. I love homeschooling. It is the best time you will have with your child so I encourage it. Just know that your usual down time is for sure the time you will get school done. And remember, school can look like many different things and at different times. Best of luck to you!
daysofelijah 03:06 PM 02-12-2011
I homeschool my boys 6&7. It is getting very hard to do daycare and homeschool. I feel like I can't keep up with both. I told dh that if he wants me to homeschool next year I will have to scale back to only one daycare kid.

I have 5 now, plus my 3yo dd and it's just not working anymore. When the boys were just kindergarten/preschool it was fine, but now that Elijah is 2nd grade he needs a lot more attention than I can give him with 6 kids four and under running around.

So dh has a choice, I put the boys in school or we homeschool and quit daycare (or only keep one). He can decide next fall. I think he is agreeing with the quitting daycare with just one. I think still keeping one will help keep me accountable to get up in the morning, rather than sleep in!
QualiTcare 03:20 PM 02-12-2011
keep in mind you can do "school" on the weekends too when you homeschool. here, you only have to do four hours per day, 180 days per year. that's nothing.
ammama 04:10 PM 02-12-2011
Thank you so much everyone for your responses. From the sounds of it, it can be really tough to run a full daycare (I take in 4 dck's, usually preschool age 2.5-5 yrs of age), but it sounds like you all really find it worth it.

What I was planning on doing was doing much of the organized sit-down teaching time on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when there are no dck's here. DH is home on Sat/Sun to help with that as well.
I usually use naptime to relax a bit and do the dishes, but I could tweak that so that I can squeeze in an hour of one-to-one time with DD, still get a short break (30mins) and get the dishes done (or get her to do them, even better!).

I will have a new baby (due in June), and i'm a bit worried that if the baby is crying (since the baby won't be on the same nap schedule as the dck's for quite some time) during the only structured time in the day that DD has with me, she will really lose out.

I am really hoping that i'll be able to work her school activities into our daycare day - like taking a nature walk. I can pretty much do all of her environmental/biology type stuff out in the woods on our weekly nature walks.
She loves to read, so research type stuff she can probably do on her own, with a worksheet/questions to answer on her own as well.

One of the major units for grade 3 waldorf is learning about different style's of houses around the world (which ends up teaching math, social studies, science etc) and they are really supposed to build some of these houses themselves. The dck's love playing with mud and straw - we can make adobe bricks Anyway, I don't know, I really see myself using everyday moments as 'teachable moments' instead of doing a lot of sit down type stuff with her.

Maybe i'm really out to lunch as far as my expectations of what i'll be able to do are. That's my biggest fear, I think, that i'll totally screw it up and she'll be really behind, and lose her year over it.

Please, keep the stories coming
cillybean83 10:31 PM 02-12-2011
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
keep in mind you can do "school" on the weekends too when you homeschool. here, you only have to do four hours per day, 180 days per year. that's nothing.
I think it's best to keep homeschool as normal as possible. If a child is homeschooled in a manner that allows him or her to skip around and have school fit into mom's schedule, they will have a terrible time adjusting to a regular school schedule if they were to ever return to a classroom.

The kids need to know that their education is the most important part of their day, not mom making money by doing daycare, if you can't manage to do both at 100%, you have to give one up. School should be Monday-Friday, and 4 hours is the minimum and doesn't include breaks or lunch.
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