View Full Version : Thinking about homeschooling...help!

04-29-2004, 07:58 PM
Im thinking about homeschooling my 4 year old(when she turns 5). I have no clue about the qualifications, requirements or curriculums for homeschooling,or anything for that matter. Is there anyone who can help me?

04-29-2004, 10:01 PM

We all can certainly help. We need to know what state you are in so that we can assist you in complying with state laws, if any.

Also a little more about the type of curriculum you would like as far as something all laid out, partially or do you have the resources (time, enery and not too many *creatures*:D as we call them here running around the house terrorizing) to put one together.

I'm Tina and most of us have just moved here from abcteach and our new friends here at atoz have been soooo nice:D in opening this forum for us.

So a lot of us here know each other. We give each other support and otherwise listen when we just want to gripe...heehee..

Again, tell us a little more about yourself.

I have been homeschooling about 5 years and have taught Prek,K,1st(twice) 2nd(twice) and 3rd grade..I have all boys:rolleyes: and we always have lots going on.


04-30-2004, 02:40 AM
Thank you for replying. We live in Baltimore, Maryland. Im a stay at home mom with our 4 year old daughter,Cheyenne. Most of our time is free(just the usual ballet, tap and tee ball). I would probably want something that is laid out just because im not familiar with homeschooling.

04-30-2004, 06:32 AM

Are you familar with Maryland's homeschooling laws? If not, here is the website to the homeschool legal defense association. www.hslda.org Just click on your state and you are informed immediately of your legal status. I did a *quick check* and it looks like you either need to keep a portfolio or have one kept under an *umbrella* school of some sort. The local groups in your area would be able to assist you in this. Have you contacted any local groups?

As far as laid out curriculum, I always advise *newbies* to get something all laid out or at least partially since homeschooling is something new. As you get your *feet wet* using something prepared your first year, you can look around and learn about curriculum and all whats out there. There is soooo much good curriculum that you can find what works for your family.

Since you are in Maryland, my favorite put together curriculum is Calvert. I'm sure you have heard of them because they are IN Maryland:) How convenient! They run a premier day school and do prepare curriculum for homeschool. Calvert is not the cheapest but they are one of the best. They have been doing it for more than 100 years. They are traditional in approach leaning toward some of the classical approach and Charlotte Mason approach. Their teachers manuals are worth their weight in gold. They are thorough, their material is beautiful and they are a grade ahead of public school. After making an appointment, they encourage you if you live close enough to come peruse their day school often considerd a *mini harvard* and homeschool material. They also have whats called ATS (advisory teaching service). It is a grading service where they keep transcripts. However,I would not do this in the younger grades.Its only when you get to the older grades that you need assistance, starting like in 3rd or 4th grade,imho.

There are others....Abeka, K12, and Covenant Home school (HCS).

Also, remember in the younger grades.....there is not much needed in the way of academics. Some homeschoolers just do their *own thing* until about 1st grade.Then order a put together one for first grade. Just letter identification/sounds are needed along with some basic sight words and cvc(consonant vowel consonant..i.e.mat,rat,rot,pot), a little writing alos is an idea of what is needed through the end of Kindergarten. IMHO it doesn't hurt either way. Its nice having something your first year and you can add *tweak* it anyway you like it. I know I had one toddler and a newborn so it was nice having everything laid out.

I guess I wanted you to understand thatin the younger grades, you want emphasis on enjoying learning.There is so much time for heavy adacemics. Enjoy Prek and K and let them enjoy soaking up all the information you set before them.

Does any of this help?


04-30-2004, 08:05 AM
Hi, and welcome! We "unschool" for the most part, but that is another thread in and of itself, which, if you are not familiar with homeschooling might just make your eyes go crossed trying to explain :eek: But basically, it is child-led learning and each unschooler uses this method to varying degrees. Anyway, on to how I might be able to help you! :D

Someone wonderful gave me this link: www.homeschoolreviews.com

On it you will find all sorts of reviews of tons of homeschooling resources, from complete curriculum sets (Alpha Omega, Bob Jones, A Beka, etc.) to more specific courses (math, science, history) to even reviews by "grade" specific programs (preschool, K, etc.).

Hope this site helps you out. I like to have certain kinds of books on hand to meet my kids' needs and it was soooooo nice to read reviews and figure out, if nothing else, the ones that I DIDN'T want!

Visit us often. You might also find that coming to a supportive forum keeps you motivated and strong in your desire and determination to homeschool. ~ Brooke

04-30-2004, 12:53 PM
These post have been very helpful. I checked out the Calvert School website. I really like how everything is put together. I especially like how you can add enrichments. Do you know if Calvert school is a umbrella school, since you report to the ATS for grading papers and tests.

04-30-2004, 03:52 PM
Calvert may or may not be an umbrella school for your state. Its up to the State.

I have used Calvert and still use part of their writing. However in Texas we have NO NOTHING...no testing, no attedance, no records..We are left alone! Hence there is no umbrella school. So I purchase Calvert outright. Basically the state sets the requirements for which schools come under their umbrella. If I was a *betting woman* I would say as highly academic as Calvert is, and just for the fact they are located in Maryland they would be under an umbrella school.I guess I would be surprised if they weren't.

Also some states that have umbrella schools, the curriculum is FREE. Can you believe? What a deal!

I think you would be extremely happy with them. They are not necessarily pro christian, but they are not anti either. We all know especially in history we have to take a stand one way or the other. They do teach Bible characters as true opposed to myths. Some curriculums also say some *people feel like* *so and so* is a prophet. Calvert so far (through 3rd grade) doesn't do this. I wanted this from a curriculum, because I wanted to add my own Bible scriptures,ect as so many others do too.

If you have any other questions, just ask. There are quite a few using Calvert users here and there is a very active yahoo group as well. If your interested we can let you know the site.

I hope this helps.


04-30-2004, 04:01 PM
You are thinking about homeschooling your daughter when she turns 5. Hummmm What are you doing now? I had no idea that I was already homeschooling ds. We read, did arts & crafts, "workpages" as he calls them. Next thing I knew....I didn't have to do much more to *officially* be homeschooling.

I was thinking 8 hours of school - NO WAY!!!! But, when I found out it was only about 2-3 hours for the younger grades - we already were doing that. HA!

My best advice is to start now. I know that might sound lame but...you will find that your first year you are getting the swing of it and trying to figure what level they are on. Not to mention them. :) You don't need anything formal for the Pre-K and K. Just plan for some math, reading, science, arts & crafts, games. Lesson I learned is that a craft book, some McGraw Hill workbooks and a little prep time from mom....is all you really need for PreK & K.

Besides if you are working at all with her now...she could be on a level that you had no idea she was on. :D

Children aren't required to be in school until age 6 or in legal terms from the hslda website for the state of Maryland
Compulsory School Age
"5 years old or older and under 16" with one-year exemption available for 5 year-olds

Figure out what you want from your curriculum. Some want religion in it some don't. Some want the child to lead, some want to lead and sort of give the child the whip effect into the *discussion topic*.

We do use Calvert and I have been very pleased with it. Feel free to call them, they are always VERY helpful!

Keep us posted on what you decide.

04-30-2004, 06:00 PM
To SHEILA: Thank you for posting. I was just dicussing that with a parent from my daughters ballet. I really didnt know anything about legally homeschooling but I felt as if I am already "homeschooling" her. Just to prepare her for school. We were going to send her to public schools but the baltimore school system is horrible. I think homeschool is the best option.
Activities we do throughout the day are: practicing handwriting(she is really good with her writing), number games, add/sub, even spanish, each week we study a new animals, This week is kangaroos. I get printouts from learningpages for the animal were working on. We do lots of crafts, we just decorated flower pots for the marigolds we are growing. We have been doing these kinds of things since she was really little. So I guess I am homeschooling her. just not through the system.

To TINA: I would really appriciate you posting the yahoo groups site.

04-30-2004, 06:52 PM
Oh yeh! You are in the same boat as we were. Ds knew everything he was suppose to know coming out of K when he was 3.5 - how scary is that? Anyway...I knew he would be bored in school and used by the teacher to help the slower kids. I'm sorry but, that's just not fair! So...we are finishing our first *official* year of homeschooling. He started Calvert 1st a month or so ago and we are taking it easy and adding in lot's of extra fun things. Ready for this....He is eligible for ps Kindergarten in August - woo hoo! Could you imagine?

Anyway...I could ramble a lot about that but....there are a lot of people out there that don't know they are suppose to teach their child things. They send them to school and expect it all to be done for them. Well...ps is more concerned about the kids passing the standardized test that if they really get it. Our school system is well...a public school system. I don't like the stories I've heard from teachers in the area and so.....

Alrighty....here is the yahoo group for Calvert. Just send an e-mail to Calvert-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Don't hesist to call Calvert. They really are great!