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Homeschooling younger children
Homeschooling middle schoolers & high schoolers
We are homeschooling our two sons, ages 8 and 10, after many years in public school. We don't have any friends who homeschool, and find park days where everyone already knows each other a little intimidating. I'm also aware of various events at Chabot, LHS, etc.... What would be ideal would be to meet up with homeschoolers who are also public school vets. Any advice greatly appreciated. Amy
On Monday afternoons, Homegrown Kids meets from roughly 1-5 at the following parks: Orinda, Codornices, Kennedy Grove near El Sobrante, Shorebird, and, on 5th Mondays, Arlington Park.http://www.homegrownkids.org/ The schedule is posted on line, no membership needed.
On Tuesday afternoons, the SF Bay Area Unschoolers (SFBunnies) meet at Berkeley & sometimes Oakland or Emeryville parks. SFBUN (Unschoolers) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBUN/ They do not post a public schedule for the park days. You need to ask for get into the group.
On Thursday afternoon, the Alameda-Oakland Home learners get together, alternating between Oakland & Alameda at wide variety of parks (much more variation in parks than the Mon or Tue groups). (AOHL) http://www.aohl.net/
All 3 groups do additional activities: field trips, getting together to go to plays, camping trips. The parents of AOHL also offer quite a lot of classes for kids in writing, science, debate, book club, etc. To get all the info about classes, etc for aohl, you need to become a member ($15/Sept-Aug 'year').
I wish you all the best in your homeschooling journey and all the support and resources you are hoping to find. happy homeschooling
Looking for a one day per week program for my homeschooled kids (elementary age) which will allow them to socialize and have some group-learning experience. So far I know about Hickman and Quantum Campus. Anything else out there? Any private schools or afterschool programs offering hybrid homeschool programs? HomeschoolMom
We are moving to Berkeley in the fall, and signed up to homeschool through Hickman's Charter school. We are looking for a few homeschooling classes for our seven year old, anything from science groups to game groups to theater... Any recommendations? Julia
1. There are several homeschool charter options: Hickman, Connecting Waters, Visions, Fame. Hickman offers classes one day a week and has a local resource center. The others, from what I have heard, offer more money for classes and curriculum materials. You should check to see which organizations are vendors for the different charters schools if that is what you are interested.
2. Quantum Camp is an organization that has excellent science and math classes for homeschoolers (math is for Middle and Hight Schoolers). They are located in Berkeley - google them
3. Kids 'N Dance 'N Theaters Arts offers lots of musical theater for homeschoolers [Full disclosure: I work for the Kids 'N Dance program]
-just getting the hang of what is out there
We have decided to homeschool our kindergartener in the fall and had hoped to enroll him in Connecting Waters Charter, though we have just learned that they do not serve our county, nor does Hickman Charter. I am in need of advice and direction. Most importantly, is there another Charter school option that does offer enrollment to Contra Costa County residents? Given that Kindergarten is not mandatory in CA, is it even worth the trouble to complete the necessary steps and paperwork to homeschool? (we are not sure about whether or not we will do the same after Kindergarten) I would love any advice and direction! Thank you, Kristin
Greetings, we are a black family in the east bay who are seriously considering removing our son from public school. He is bored to tears and is not being nurtured or valued for who he is and what he can bring to the classroom. It is an overcrowded school in an urban area and the teachers seem too stressed to pay attention to the individual needs of their students. The student body is nearly 100% of color and the staff does not reflect his diversity. What's more we are seeing some disturbing subtle behavior/dynamics with staff and the punitive, often antagonistic way they ''deal'' with these children.
So, we are reaching out to this community in hopes of finding an alternative vision for schooling or unschooling our boy. I know there is a vibrant homeschooling and unschooling movement in the bay area and I have been inspired by many of the groups I have met. I am wondering if there are any homeschooling networks that have a representation of children of color. Specifically african american boys/families within ages of 6-10? Additionally for all homeschooling families, how did you transition from public to home?
For private school families, does your school really practice experiential learning, really engage your child, really nurture their innate curiosity--beyond catchy slogans in glossy brochures? I thank you so much for reading this and for your reply. BTW transfering to a new public school is not an option. It is the institution of public schooling that we are trying to escape. We are not looking for a ''better'' public school. Thanks again! There must be a better way...
If you are planning on going the homeschooling route, I do know that many homeschooling Af. American families are enrolled in the Hickman Charter School. That might be a way to link up with other families. Best of Luck to You Happy Mills Family of Color
I am leaning towards homeschool, or at the least small class size for my future kindergartener. I was appalled to see that even the Montclair Elementary schools have class sizes of ~30 kindergarteners. Wow! So I'm looking at the charter schools. It seems that BPN reviews don't include 2 of the charter schools I've heard about. So I'm wondering if there are any current thoughts about some of the charter schools that folks like. Or if anyone has experience with Connecting Waters and/or Hinkman? Thanks, Ruby
I am thinking of homeschooling my son next year (for first grade) and am wondering what experience Berkeley families have had with homeschooling. We are interested in developing our own, Montessori based curriculum as we really love the method. We are currently in an incredible Montessori program for kindergarden (program is pre-school to 6 years) and are considering homeschooling in addition to our public and private school options. I am planning to attend some Homegrown Kids park-days and am devouring resources on-line but am curious to hear from experienced homeschoolers in the BPN community. Thanks! Homeschooling Curious
Are there any homeschooling families with one child out there? I would love some advice as we begin are journey. I am starting to doubt my decision because my picture of homeschooling usually involves a big family. How do you handle the challenges of having just one child at home. Anon
As we ponder preschool options for our daughter, my husband and I have started to have conversations about schools in general. One thing that keeps coming up for us is the possibility of homeschooling. We have some deep concerns about institutional learning, not to mention the Oakland public schools, and many other reasons. Homeschooling seems like a real option. But...
I have to admit that on some level I just don't seem to grasp what homeschooling would really be like. I'd love to hear from those of you who homeschool. How structured is your day? What does a typical day look like? Are there things that in hindsight you wished you'd known/thought about? Regrets? When you total in classes and activities, supplies, etc. what does it really cost? I know there are homeschooling groups out there, but are there any co-ops out there (shared teaching days, shared curriculum)?
I'm not looking for advice on whether we should homeschool or not. I'm more looking for a glimpse into what it would actually be like for us. Of course I know that each family is very different, but hoping that any homeschoolers out there could at least give me an idea. Questioning Mama
Homeschooling exists on a continuum from ''School at Home'' where parent and child sit down for several hours a day with a premade curriculum to Unschooling where parents provide an enriched environment and plenty of trips and allow the children to pursue their own interests at their own pace.
In my experience most people exist somewhere in the middle of this range, using a mixture of curricula, classes, co-ops, clubs, groups, field trips and free time.
In our family we have used online math 3 days/week for several months and then not used it for a while. We have a math tutor who does math challenges and math circle type problems once per week. We used Saxon math for a few months and Harcourt math for a few months several years ago.
We had a Latin club for half a year that turned into a co-op that lasted a year and now Latin continues as a class for the small group of kids who are still interested. We have gone in and out of co-ops over our 7 years of homeschooling.
We try to travel for 2-8 weeks every year and we don't try to do any ''school'' work during our travel.
My kids spend 1 day/week at Trackers outdoor nature clases. There is a terrific preschool class, by the way. http://trackersbay.com/youth/preschool/tots.php
We've done Kids N Clay, writing classes with Ivy Sandz, http://www.literacyaccess.com/home.html acting classes with the Berkeley Rep and Cal Shakes.
The kids all have music lessons one day/week and some of them ice skate and have Lawrence Hall of Science classes.
Many of these classes are paid for by Charter Schools like Connecting Waters and Hickman.
One way to see what it is like is by following some local homeschool blogs:
These 3 are all Oakland homeschool blogs: Wonder Farm http://patriciazaballos.com Tricia has written a great article on homeschooling that was published in Mothering http://patriciazaballos.com/finally-getting-published/ http://westvistaurbanfarmschool.blogspot.com My own blog: http://homeschoolinginthekitchen.blogspot.com/
Of course, you can always come to park days and chat with moms about what it is really like. Alameda Oakland Home Learners http://www.aohl.net/calendar.htm Home Grown Kids http://www.homegrownkids.org/parkdayschedule SF Bay Area Unschoolers http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBUN/
I guess the bottom line is that homeschooling can look like whatever you want it to!
There is an email link on my blog if you want to talk further. Susan@Homeschoolinginthekitchen
I would like to know more about homeschooling elementary school aged children in Oakland. Was it hard to get started? What other activities do you do with your kid(s) beyond the fundamentals? Was OUSD accommodating? The OUSD website states that parents and children must meet with a teacher several times a week, and I'm wondering how that works in practice. If you try it and it doesn't work out, how difficult is it to get back into a school mid year? I am considering homeschooling because I am very disappointed in our ''excellent'' public elementary school and therefore discouraged about OUSD schools in general. I'm also wondering how it works out if you have children of different ages. There is some general information about homeschooling in the archives, but it seems to relate to BUSD and/or older kids. Is Hickman an option for Oakland kids? If not, is there something similar? Thanks! anon
For more info contact alameda oakland home learners (AOHL) or Homegrown Kids and come to a park day. Susan Http://www.homeschoolinginthekitchen.blogspot.com
there are several options for homeschooling in oakland (& only going through ousd itself would require the amount of meetings you mentioned)
hickman charter school is an option http://www.hickman.k12.ca.us/charter.php (they have several ''activity days''/open houses throughout the year, always on wednesdays from about 10am-1pm at live oak park in north berkeley ~ that's the best way to get a feel for them & you can meet lots of other families)
in the state of california, you have to reside either in the county a charter school is located in or a neighboring county, other charter schools available are listed here http://www.homefires.com/support/alameda.asp
there are several different homeschool groups that offer various activities & support, most are listed here http://www.homefires.com/support/alameda.asp
*lots* of families homeschool with children of different ages, visiting some of the groups listed above will likely really help
wildcat community freeschool is a homeschool-friendly program with intimate, mixed age classes offered 3, 4 & 5 days a week ~ many families carpool from oakland. they're having an open house sunday march 21st from 10am - 2pm & also offering a summer program if you want to check it out. www.wildcatcommunityfreeschool.org from a single homeschoolin mom who's been there before *grin*
Hi there, I'm thinking about homeschooling my elementary aged kids, who are currently 2nd grade and kindergarten. Does anyone have any experience with the BUSD Independent Study program at the elementary level? All the archive comments are about the high school program. Thanks!
Hi, does anyone know an internet resource for home schooling curriculum ideas that
are free and not Christian Bible study focused?
Currently have a preschooler, but I am looking into possible future home schooling
Thanks so much!
Cheap Heathen Needs Curriculum
There are lots of choices out there for you. A great place to start is the HomeSchool Association of California: http://hsc.org/Choices.html
It gives an outline on how to homeschool legally in CA, as well as offer advice for new folks starting out on their homeschooling journey.
Another thing to do is to join a homeschool group. Two large ones in the area are HomeGrown Kids and Alameda-Oakland Home Learners (AOHL). Both groups offer ''park days,'' where we all congregate at a park for socializing and for idea-swapping. This is a great opportunity to talk with other parents who have homeschooled for years and find out how to connect with other parents of preschool-aged kids. AOHL is primarily focused in Oakland-Alameda area (duh) and HGK goes to parks in Orinda, Berkeley, and El Cerrito. My advice to you is to come to both groups' parkdays and try to hook up with other parents. It can take a while so be patient. If you are specific in your goal (i.e connecting with other parents of preschool-aged kids), you'll probably find it easier to send an e-mail through the yahoogroups of both groups. See which group you like best, or hang out with both!
Googling ''free preschool homeschool curriculum'' will get many, many hits. You will get lots of ideas.
Have fun! Feel free to e-mail if you have any questions.
Fellow Heathen laurel
The authors - a home-schooling mom and her adult daughter - provide a very detailed outline to an academically rigorous home schooling curriculum. The curriculum is based on a pretty good understanding on a child's intellectual development, and focuses on the core subjects of Language (writing, reading, spelling, grammar, literature), math, science and history. The authors provide detailed advice on materials to use in each subject (book lists, teacher guides) as well as instructions on how to approach the teaching and specific schedule suggestions.
I likely won't homeschool - but I found this book very helpful in understanding what a good academic program should look like, and may well use it to supplement my kid's school education at home.
There is also a good magazine, called 'Secular Homeschooling' that you can subscribe to online - just google it. Inspired to Homeschool
I am thinking about home schooling. I am interested in finding families who are also home schooling to begin building a network of support. Any suggestions? ms
What's the difference between homeschooling and unschooling? anon parent
This is from a mom I know who unschools her kids:
''The purpose of unschooling is to have children who grow up happy. Most unschooled kids find their path in life a lot sooner then schooled kids. Once they find what it is they would like to do they pursue it with a lot of passion and are willing to learn and do what ever it is to follow their dream.''
Unschooling is a system that doesn't force unwanted facts on children at a set rate, nor does it put them in a box. It is very free-flowing and loose. There is no pressure to learn to read, for instance. But when a child decides on her own that she is interested in a subject, it is the parents' responsibility to provide her all she needs to learn all about her interest. Also, parents are supposed to keep the materials around, but never push the subjects, as the children will show an interest when they're ready.
Homeschooling is the same thing as public school, but the parent is the teacher in all subject and there is much less peer interaction.
Hello, I have three daughters, 7, 4, and 2. We tried two years of public school for our oldest, and all my fears came true. So, finally I have convinced my husband to give homeschooling a try. I'm wondering, does anyone know if we can get gov't help to pay for things like music classes, art classes, etc? I know about a homeschooling group here in Alameda, but what about field trips, clubs, etc. for girls? Also, perhaps my biggest ??, are there any families out there where the father had been hesitant, and is now happy with the idea? Preferably younger (30), and of not great economic status? This is not my problem, just an insecurity of his, and he tends to be more open to people more like him. Anyway, thanks for any info or advice, and looking forward to meeting some of you homeschoolers!!! alison
Poke around your public schools. They may not work overall for you and your family, but you may find aspects complement your efforts. Many in the public school system may be hostile or think that you are nuts, but there are plenty who will respect and support your efforts.
Finally, before you make the switch, you need to ask yourself if the all of your fears were realized, because you were looking for them to be realized (are you blowing stuff out of proportion...) or are the problems with the public schools really that big. Maybe your husband isn't jumping on your bandwagon because he thinks that you are making a mountain out of a molehill. Just a thought... -anon
Since I don't know your personal situation, I can't tell you if it's a good decision. I have decided it will be best for my family, and many others have too. My best advice to you is to seek support from a nearby homeschool-support group. You can probably find one using google. They can offer so much information, advice, homeschool oppurtunities, and fellowship. You'd probably meet veteran homeschoolers in your area who've been through very similar situations as you have. Good luck-and remember, the right path is not always the easy path.
P.S. There is a deadline to file as a homeschooler, it's in October, just so you know. hslda.org offers information on this. d
We have 2 daughters, ages 9 and 11. They currently go to a Catholic school, and we are realizing that their current path is not at all what we envision for them. It is really important to us that we raise girls who are not only excellent students (they are), but strong and aware that the world extends beyond Limited Too and Webkinz! Our oldest is in 5th grade,a great kid but a little naive socially, and mucking through the mire of nasty girls who tear each other apart at any opportunity. What we want is to explore home-schooling her, meeting up with other home schooled kids, and supplementing what she is learning with travel to other, less fortunate, but amazing places on our planet. At the same time, we would like to have her enter high school more than well prepared for the academics ahead, as her choice of college is totally wide open. Is there any like-minded group in the Berkeley/Oakland/Lamorinda/Concord area that we can collaborate with? It is so important to us that our girls learn to be strong women who are part of the SOLUTION, not tearing other women apart in this crazy, keep-up-with-the-Joneses society. Why do we do this to each other???!!! Your input is greatly appreciated! Refusing to Play that Game ~
All three are welcoming and friendly groups. Family Village and HGK meet together at Codornices Park once/month, so if you try that day you will meet members of both groups (see their websites). Although you are welcome to just come to the park, it seems to work better for newcomers if they contact the group and let someone know they are coming. People will look out for you and make sure to greet you if they are expecting you.
Alameda Oakland Home Learners is a somewhat larger group than Home Grown Kids with more preteens/teens. HGK tends to younger kids in regular attendance. However, my experience has been that if you join a group and stick with it, kids your kids' age will show up in not too long.
I hope we see you at the park! s
I'm wondering if anyone has any experience or advice about home- schooling just one day a week. I have a son in Kindergarten who is pretty bored. We could skip him, he has a Fall birthday and is on the older end of the age spectrum, but I think that might be more stressful for him than the boredom. Neither my husband nor I have the temperament or inclination to homeschool full-time, but a friend of ours has been homeschooling her daughter one day a week in Southern California which sounds intriguing. I'd be particularly interested to hear from Albany parents about working with that school system, but any thoughts would be helpful!
As some poeple have responded, consistently taking a child out of school one day per week, for whatever reason, is a bad idea. The school and classroom is designed to build community, and constant absences would be detrimental in that regard. I don't believe the school would agree to do that anyway, because the school's funding depends on the child's presence in school. Not only that, but your child would be considered truant the days that he or she was absent under CA law, which states that ''[A]ll children between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend a public full-time day school unless otherwise exempted.''
It also states that ''Any child who will be six on or before December 2 of the school year is subject to the compulsory school requirements.'' If your child will turn 6 after the December 2 deadline, you don't even need to send your child to school. Kindergarten is not compulsory; 1st grade is. So you may have another year to decide what it is you're looking for. homeschooling parent
We are moving from the UK to Berkeley in April. My son is 5 next dec and will just miss the cut-off for K. I'm actually relieved about that as I think an extra yr will do him good, socially and emotionally, and I'd also like to have more time with him. However he's a bright kid who seeks out intellectual stimulation and also loves music, dance, arts etc. He has been in a Waldorf program for the last year and a half and has loved it. I'm really battling with deciding between finding a (part time) pre-K program for him for sept or keeping him home and following something like the Oak Meadow homeschool program for a year. I'll be home with my toddler anyway and we could certainly use not spending $ on preschool. My biggest concern is that he really thrives in having independent time away from home and connecting strongly with other adults. I'm not sure how I could provide this without school. I also am concerned about not finding friends for him of his own age or older who are not busy in school. And lastly, I'm wondering how he would adjust socially, and academically, to a BUSD K after being in Waldorf and at home. Has anyone been in a similar situation? What did you decide, and how did it work for you? Thanks for any thoughts and experiences. maya
I have an almost 4 year old and am just stepping into the murky waters of school options - public, private, montessori - and am curious about homeschooling in this area. Any people out there doing it and loving it? Tried it but hated it? I'm trying to gather information and am curious about how this would really impact our lives. Any personal stories or contact information would be appreciated. anon
A homeschooler's dirty little secret is that we can go to parks without sharing it with a mob of kids. Museums, pools, parks, libraries, zoos, etc. are quiet and open. Being able to go midweek makes a much more relaxing outing compared to the weekend, for sure. Good websites to check out are:
http://homegrownkids.org/ http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/index.htm http://www.hsc.orgEvery Monday my homeschool group, Homegrown Kids, meets at different parks in the East Bay. There are lots of 4-5 year olds for your child to play with. Come and check it out! Laurel
Pros of homeschooling: - You can tailor the education to your child's needs - It takes less time to get through a day's lessons - Kids have more time to pursue other interests or just play - No rush in the morning, no homework at night - You set your own schedule, which includes the ability to travel mid-week and off-season - No lost time driving, volunteering, or fundraising - I enjoy the satisfaction that comes with helping my kids grow Cons of homeschooling: - You may not have as much personal time - Substantial loss of my income - Sometimes it's hard to get errands done with kids in tow
My kids are 10 and 7 and have never been to regular school. They have friends who are homeschoolers and friends who go to regular school. They are very active in community groups, sports, music, and other activities. We take a lot of terrific field trips and classes. You would be welcome at any of the support groups to meet some homeschoolers and ask them questions. Most have weekly park days. If you live in Oakland or Alameda, check out aohl.net. There are also groups in Berkeley, Lamorinda, Hayward, and everywhere else. You can also find books (even at the library) which can give you a basic overview. Feel free to contact me if you have more questions! Jennifer
Children need to learn how to relate with many adults, not almost exclusively their mother. The mother relationship is so important, and so loaded, but it should never take the place of most relationships to adults. Parents are naturally not objective about their kids, and kids usual! ly behave worst (at least part of the time) for their primary caregivers. A comment I once heard from a child-development lecturer really struck me as true: ''Your child is not the child you see, she's the child other people see when you are not there. You are there to allow her to fall apart, work feelings out, and let it all hang out.'' So what if you are never not there? And how can you judge how she is doing?
Every parent comes from a limited background and education (no matter how brilliant), because she/he is only one person with one perspective. Exposure to many other adults - even a few not- so-great ones - broadens kids' understanding of personalities and cultures immeasurably, and teaches trust of the outside world, confidence in negotiating it, flexibility and resiliency. And the bonds between teachers and children are wonderful and special, and would be such a loss to miss. Think of teachers you loved or emulated. Some fine teachers really saved my bacon, when my parents could not.
The mother should help her child learn to go out into safe, nurturing places in the world, and let her go. When a parent holds on so tightly to her kids, is she doing it for them, or for her own needs? Does she have enough outside relationships of her own? (Does she just want an excuse not to have an outside job?) If the kids stay at home for so many years, won't it make it harder for them to separate when they need to? Will Mom let them go when they need to go? I can't help thinking of the psychological concepts of enmeshment and the rubber-fence family. Fresh air, fresh people and ideas are good for families.
Yes, the world is a scary place, but there ARE excellent schools, and superb teachers out there, who will only enhance your child's understanding of life and relationships and the world. The experience of being part of a group of children is wonderful for kids, so much fun and so instructive about people and life. Kids are naturally social beings, especially before they hit puberty. (As an aside, I could see where homeschooling AFTER puberty might really be beneficial to certain kids.) It seems detrimental to restrict their interactions to just mom or siblings, or occasional play with other kids at the park. They may fear or avoid large group interaction in future if they never have a chance to learn what it's like. Their social skills may not develop, and they may be shy or easy to bully. So, some ideas on how to make sure homeschoolers avoid these problems - and I know many smart, community-building homeschoolers already do these type of things: develop a big network of fellow-homeschoolers, and coordinate large-group classes or playdates. Trade kids with a mom or two several days a week, so that they get experience of other moms. Team-teach with other moms & kids. And really do these things a lot, not just one day a week or something.
You might also want to check out the alternative of enrolling your kids in parent co-operative school settings, where you can work in the classroom and contribute in other ways. My son is in a school like this (Crestmont), and I get to be in the class one day a week, and see the amazing teachers in action, and watch him making relationships and growing. I'm good, but I could never teach him all this. And I have plenty of time to have a strong relationship and have a strong positive impact at home. Remember, school does not run year-round. Anyway, some points to consider. Blessings on all parents & kids. C. D
How do you decide if homeschooling is the best for your family? Do you need a special room in your house? How do you also care for younger siblings? Do people who are homeschooling feel their children are missing out on learning how to make friends, socialize? Linda
Homeschooling groups abound and you need not worry about a lack of social opportunities for your child. We live in Fremont and have found a wonderful group in the Tri-City area. The group has park days, field trips, social events for parents as well as children. We also joined a homeschool charter school which hosts activities, occasional classes, and provides curriculum help and materials. Most homeschoolers avail themselves of a variety of classes to round out the education. Art, music, science classes at regional parks or Lawrence Hall of Science. A few moms of K-aged children in our homeschool group have formed a coop. Every Friday we gather the kids at one house, two moms have the morning off and two moms run a day centered on a theme such as dinosaurs, or apples, space, whatever. We read stories and do activities for 3 hours.
As for what to do with younger children, somehow you find a way. We have a sand and water table that I put warm soapy water in for my 3-year-old to play with. Sometimes she likes to do workbooks or color or paint while I work with my older daughter. I try to alternate between them so that the little one gets attention, too.
How do you decide if it is right for your family? That is a hard one. One thing to remember is that you can always change your mind. Give it a try! Many people worry that it will be too demanding and hard on the family. I believe that it actually removes a lot of stresses. School puts a lot of stress on families. Nightly homework, behavior issues, social concerns, negative behaviors the kids pick up at school, negative attitudes towards learning, trying to get an education that fits a kid who has learning disabilities, who is gifted, or both, or otherwise special. Also kids at school are very peer-oriented, while homeschooled kids are family-oriented.
I suggest you check out a homeschool group (or several) in your area and see if you like what you see. Here is a list of bay area homeschool groups. http://www.midnightbeach.com/hs/California.html#San%20Francisco All the best to you, susan
We are in the process of looking for a school (middle school) for our daughter who is gifted with a learning disability. The learning disability was completely overlooked by the private school she attends in Berkeley. For that as well as other reasons we are looking for a school that will really get her as a learner: be able to reach the extremely bright kid while accommodating her issues. She is very sensitive and her self esteem has really suffered so our ideal school would have a great social emotional component. We live in Oakland in a not so good school area but are willing to drive for the right place. Another option we are willing to consider is homeschool. Is there a homeschool group in the area that would be a good fit? We are considering pulling her from school for the rest of this year to focus on remediation as the homework load she is getting from school seems like too much to combine with the remediation. I don't think she would qualify for assistance in a public school setting as she is able to keep up. anon
One Room is based in Oakland and the teacher, Jade Rivera, specializes in teaching gifted kids. Her school runs three days a week (you can select 1-3 days) and has just a handful of kids aged 10-12. She focuses on social-emotional development and provides a choice-based curriculum with a lot of project-based work. She provides a wonderfully supportive, warm environment and yet is firm and keeps kids on track to meet their goals. The school is housed at Kids N' Dance in the Laurel District where there is a gym room and the chance for after school programs.
Jade has a blog that talks about her philosophy and has a tab that talks about One Room. http://jadeannrivera.com/
I'm interested in forming a coop with other parents/teachers to home school. Does anyone have any advice or information on this subject. GLM
I have a lot of homeschool co-op experience. I have 14 and 13 year olds whom I homeschool. Susan R.
Hi, We are homeschooling our 13 year old son for the first time this year and would like to hear from others about how to address the need for socialization at this age. I'd like to find a way for him to meet kids and make lasting friendships. Any suggestions BPN? Thanks Boring mom:-)
Homegrown Kids (HGK): www.homegrownkids.org
Bay Area Homeschool Outings for Teen (BAHoOTs) My new Yahoo Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BAHoOTS
San Francisco Bay Area Unschoolers (SFBUN) Yahoo Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFBUN
Alameda Oakland Homelearners (AOHL): http://www.aohl.net/
Tri-Valley explorers (TVE): http://www.trivalleyexplorers.com/ Marianne
We're looking for homeschooling options including groups, classes, or even one or two other children for our 8th grade daughter. We're especially interested in group teaching and exchanges for math, science, language (Spanish). We can do English/Grammar/Literature and History. Can you let us know what may be available in the East Bay (Alameda or Contra Costa Counties)? We're also interested in recommendations for any math or science classes/labs that may be available for 8th graders to sign up for. linda
I am interested in homeschooling my teenage son, who is 15 and has some school anxiety issues. I am interested in any advice or recommendations. For example, are there any charter schools in Alameda County that take homeschooled teens? Has anyone used tutors or started their own school? Has anyone tried online schools? We live in Berkeley. anon
A good email list to be on is High School Without Borders. We are a group of families with homeschooled teens and we help each other set up social events, classes of interest and events, and we also share ideas and resources. This summer we will have game days, swim days, computer days, hiking days and possibly a Shakespeare class and movie night, so there is a lot for your son to plug into. It's a good place to ask about online resources or other homeschooling questions you might have. Feel free to contact me offlist if you're interested. Jennifer
I need more info about starting to homeschool/unschool a 15yr old who has stopped attending his public HS two months ago. His reasons are pretty vague. We have had various recommendation from professionals (psychological testing, residential schools, tough love). I've read about homeschooling, researched a few bay area groups. How does one begin? What should the expectations be? How many high school aged kids are there in the area that homeschool/unschool? determined mom
We don't unschool, but there is an unschooling group called San Francisco Bay Unschoolers Network (SFBUN) and they have some teens. Feel free to contact me if it would be helpful to you. Jennifer
We are moving to Berkeley from Marin. We have a 12 yr old son who we have begun homeschooling (fall 2010). He went to several public schools in Marin K-6, but was often under-challenged academically. He is very creative w/ interests in theater, D&D, math and writing. Since beginning the homeschool adventure we've found it to be very isolating. In Marin ''park days'' were geared more towards younger kids and he has felt out-of-place randomly showing up at parks and trying to make friends. We are trying to figure out the best path to take once we get settled in the east bay. He is enrolled at Berkeley rep but, I would love to hear any ideas about social stuff for artistic-type boys this age. We would like to stick with homeschooling if we can, but might have to consider alternatives. MMG
For the last 21 years, the Roleplay Workshop has been providing fun, safe, and supportive programs for youth ages 10 to 18. We use Abantey, a role playing game very similar to D&D, to teach life skills in a creative setting, promoting self esteem, problem solving, and social skills. Participants work together to solve dilemmas using logic and common sense, while learning math, sciences and ethics along the way.
The program is ultimately about teaching young adults personal responsibility. Our school year programs include after school programs (Monday - Friday, 3:30 - 6:00 pm), weekend programs (Saturdays, 12 - 5 pm), school holiday programs (9 am to 5 pm) and special event programs. Enrollment opens on September 27, 2010. After school programs begin on October 4, 2010. School Holiday programming is available for most public and private school holidays. Contact: Becky Thomas Program Location: 4014 Piedmont Ave.; Oakland Ca Mailing address: 925 39th St.; Oakland, CA. 94608-3860 Phone: 510.654.3582 Email: email@example.com Web: www.roleplay-workshop.com Becky Thomas, Director
American friends have been sailing in Mexico and places south for several years, and their son, just turning 16, would like to enter a Bay Area high school. Because of his unusual education he's more than proficient in some subjects and probably behind in others. He's also spanish- english bilingual. Any ideas how to get him assessed for proper grade placement? Any ideas about high schools/programs (public or private) that would appreciate and support his self-directed in- depth knowledge of computers (he's been the consulting computer tech for all the computer owners in their marina) and other sciences?
My wife and I are looking for any good information, contacts, and experiences reguarding Homeschooling. We plan to begin with our son (7th grade) immediatly and need any help we can get.
The Homeschooling Association of California has a very informative website. They have one section devoted to new homeschoolers: http://www.hsc.org/chaos/
There is no homeschooling law in California. The California Education Code states: ''[A]ll children between the ages of 6 and 18 must attend a public full-time day school unless otherwise exempted.'' ('48200 )
Homeschooling families in California comply with the compulsory attendance law in one of five ways:
* They establish a private school in their home ('48222 exemption). * They enroll their children in a private school that offers an independent study course ('48222 exemption). * They hold, or employ a private tutor holding, a California teaching credential for the grades and subjects being taught ('48224 exemption). * They enroll their children in a public school that offers independent study (public school). * They enroll their children in a public charter school that offers independent study, distance learning, or a homeschool program (public school).
For socialization, there are several groups in the Berkeley-Oakland-Richmond area to choose from. Homegrown Kids tends to have younger kids (up to about 8 or 9). Alameda-Oakland Home Learners (AOHL) has both younger and older kids, and Family Village tends to have older kids. This is, of course, a generalization. I would recommend you try a few groups and find one you like.
This is another great resource: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/
I am a member of a homeschooling e-list, Home-Ed: http://www.twobar.com/mailman/listinfo/home-ed There are many e-lists devoted to homeschooling, some of which are associated with different homeschool organizations and some that are independent. Your task is to find groups you like :-)
Books: The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child: Your Complete Guide to Getting Off to the Right Start by Linda Dobson Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School by Rebecca Rupp The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home, Revised and Updated Edition by Susan Wise Bauer, Jessie Wise I think some of these are available at the Berkeley Library. Good luck! Laurel
Re: Troubled daughter has stopped going to school (Jan 2002)
For the parent looking for alternative to High School. We enrolled in a Homeschool program called Oak Meadow . We want a well structure program and this one is excellent. You choose your classes with their help and advise, and receive the books and planned lessons on the mail all at once. You can choose to do undependably or with them. They also offer an online school. The curriculum is the same with the difference that the child has one teacher for each subject and has to send his or hers homework every other day via email. It cost considerably more but to us is worthwhile to have the structure, advise and guidance. The children receive grades and credits for all the classes. The enrolled student has access to their library a nd their students chat room, besides being able to work on line with other students from different locations. You can find out about the school (which in California is considered a private school) on their internet site, oak meadow.com, where you can sample the lessons. Denise G.
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