OT: Homeschooling advice needed!

Dear Ones,

Well, dh and I just came back from a meeting with an educational evaluator regarding my ds who is in the 6th grade in a local waldorf school.

The long and the short of it is that he is way too intelligent to be doing as badly as he is in school and so we are taking him out of his present school and with a schedule of remedial help with an education specialist and some homeschooling time with Mom, we are hoping to bring him up to grade level and put him in a public school in the 7th grade.

OMG – what am I getting myself into??? :shrug:

Any advice on choosing a secular middle school curriculum?

Luckily, I already know many homeschoolers in my area and so I am not completely on my own here.

I’d love to hear from any of you homeschoolers on what’s working for you!


Just for your info – there will be knitting in his schooling xxx :guyknitting: That’s us having our weekly handwork session!

I’m planning on home-schooling my son; he’s only 2.5 now, but I’m getting ready. I have considered charter schools, but I don’t know if I want to get locked into a specific curriculum.

A few friends who home-school/charter school, recommended Agora (http://www.agora.org/). I’ll ask for some more recommendations, see if there is anything else that might help.

Often, when children are bored in school, not getting enough to challenge them, they end up dummying-down. I’m sure that you will be able to find creative ways to get your son interested in his school work again. Most children enjoy learning, they just need the right tools to keep them motivated.

Unfortunatley, many public schools are understaffed and have to teach to the average kids, and both bright and slow kids are uninspired and untaught.

I’m sorry to hear that you have to pull your son out of school, but hopefully you can give him that boost that he needs!

You are so right!

My mom taught in the Bronx, NY and always complained that most of the children suffered due to a lack of qualified teachers and crowding in classes, regardless to the levels of the students. This is the very reason why I decided to home-school my rascal. Our schools are very discouraging.


That Agora site looks very interesting – thanks for the link. I’ve been looking at for awhile now and have yet to figure out what they charge for their services :??

Dh and I have been talking about homeschooling since my son was born. We found Waldorf Education and thought it would be a happy alternative. It seems my son is not suited to Waldorf Education.

My biggest concern is if I can take on his education and do better. I can’t put him in a regular 6th grade class right now, he wouldn’t be able to keep up. I could keep him at the school he is going to and just add the remedial work and see how that goes but he is so unhappy there, it just doesn’t seem fair. And it ticks me off that his teacher knows he is having trouble but she hasn’t seemed to be able to help him either.

Luckily, the evaluator I took him to agrees that taking him out and homeschooling and doing remedial work is the right thing to do.

Do I sound stressed???

Maybe it’s the fact that my dh travels for a living and I am basically taking this on by my lonesome most of the time.

Oh, I can do this – I better be able to – I don’t have much choice!

Here is my son after I tell him our plan :woohoo:

With all due respect and with total understanding of your decision, before getting ticked off at the teacher it might help to understand where he/she is coming from.

Teachers are not allowed to teach anymore. Back in the day when I was in school, there was NO tolerance for misbehaving in class. Nowadays, teacher’s hands are so tied as to what they can do to try and control a class that it often ends up hijacked by kids that would have gotten a good swat in “the olden days”. They are so tied up with government paperwork, the “No Child Left Behind” baloney, etc. that they are simply unable to do the work they long to do…teach. It’s no wonder so many are opting for early retirement and it’s hard to get new people into the field. It must be frustrating as heck to not be able to help the kids who need help because you have to play policeman, government secretary, etc. instead of doing what you trained so hard for and had such lofty ideas of. JMHO. And yes, my mom was a teacher, and I also have a teaching degree…I’m one who saw the direction that society was leading our schools in and decided that maybe it wasn’t for me, since I wanted to interact with the kids, not the bureaucrats. :shrug:


You can do it!! I am a firm believer that involved parents know their children better than anyone else. If you observe your son, you’ll be able to determine what type of learner he is. For instance, some children learn by watching, some by listening and some by listening. Try to figure out what works for him and go with that.

As for Agora, if your state allows charter schools, Agora may be free. The state of PA allows charter schooling, so it would be free for us. You can send them an email, or call them. They may be able to tell you if their curicculum is free.

However, you may want to continue looking online, as if you are diligent, you can also devise your own curriculum, but your state requirements may also differ from PA.

This is an interesting topic to me. I have a 12 year old (7th grader). We just moved here and she despises it and isn’t doing so great. In CA, she was recommended for the GATE program and when we got here to NM, they tested her reading level and said she reads on a college level. Seems to me she should be doing better than C’s and D’s.

There are days she cries because she doesn’t want to go and EVERY SINGLE DAY we are like this :pray:, hoping for a good day. She keeps asking me to homeschool her and I’d love to because it absolutely breaks my heart to see her like this, but I’m just not sure if it’s the best thing. For one, I don’t know if I have the patience for it (and I DEFINITELY couldn’t help her with math). For another, I want her to learn how to deal with things that are difficult, not run from them.

I’m just not sure what to do. :verysad:

Here’s a thread that might be helpful so you can get some different prespectives.

I do understand where she’s coming from and that’s part of the problem. My son is in a Waldorf School and that’s a whole different ball game. Teachers rule the roost in a Waldorf School. When you have a child in the Waldorf School they have the same teacher from first through eighth grade. We have been dealing with this teacher since the third grade and she has not addressed the fact that he still spells on a third grade level and is in the sixth grade.

We just went through a battery of educational and psychological tests with him and he is a very intelligent child who has never been correctly taught how to spell. How he reads the way he does puzzles even the evaluator because despite the fact that he can’t spell his way out of a paper bag, his reading comprehension is on an 8th grade level.

At our last parent/teacher conference I asked the teacher if she thought he would be able to make the transition to high school and she said yes, of course. But how could he make it to high school if he can’t spell? She has no answers. I think she thinks he will get it by osmosis but I realize that time is running out for my kid and if I don’t do something now, it will be too late for him.


Thanks for the link!


I hope it helps some Susan!

This sounds somewhat like me… I grew up in CA and was in GATE until I was 12. I then moved to Virginia, and was bored out of my mind, so my grades dropped. Mom got me into lots of extracurricular music programs, so that helped me out, since that was what I wanted to do at the time. I really hated school because I didn’t fit in. School was so much different out here. I finally got into a Math/Science magnet school for high school and my grades went back up because it was interesting again.

Just for example-- I had never known anyone with a boyfriend when I moved out here in the middle of 6th grade. I was then picked on when I didn’t have a boyfriend and had never kissed a boy— at 12 years old!!! I just felt very out of place and very lonely for a while. It made it difficult to go to school, because I was always picked on.

If this sounds familiar to your daughter, and she would like to talk to someone who remembers and made it through (even though I’m 26 now!) feel free to have her email me. I went through some tough times adjusting to the new school. I also fought some pretty severe depression on my own (my mom kept telling me it was in my head-- well that was the problem!!!) and I’m willing to help out if you think it would be useful :slight_smile: