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Raw Homeschooling

amysueamysue Raw Newbie

There seems to be lots of interest in this subject so here you go!! If anyone wants to share their experiences or if there are Gone Raw members who are curious about the lifestyle, there a lots of amazing homeschoolers on this site so hopefully we can help each other.

I homeschool my almost 8 year old daughter who is going into second grade. We live in a suburb of Boston where the school system is very accommodating and requests nothing other than a written plan in July and a summary in June. I started homeschooling from scratch, didn’t know a single family who homeschooled, I was clueless. But once I started reading about it I knew everything was falling into place. My daughter and I have lots of fun, some struggles too, but we seem to be finding our way.



  • Alright, so here’s the thing. My partner doesn’t believe in homeschooling at all. He has this misguided notion that it’s only for religious people that don’t want to teach evolution or that kids will be socially inept. Now, I don’t agree with him and would love to homeschool, at least in the early grades, but I’m pretty sure he will put his foot down and that won’t happen.

    So how can I best nurture my child when she goes to public school? I think that the curriculum, especially here in California, is very limited and the schools don’t pay very much attention to individual differences between children. Even though I live in the rare good school district, I worry that she won’t be learning how she wants to learn.

  • Homeschooling is great!

    Many reasons for it. The kids can really drift away in public schools, it seems. I imagine mainly with people who do not eat right. When my parents sent most the kids to public school, a few years ago, some of the teachers were complaining that a couple of the kids had ADD or something like that.

    Before I say all that I say, let me say that I love kids and I am NOT against teachers, at all. Some of them are really loving and great.

    Now, the teachers wanted to put the kids on medication. The way it works is this: Johnny will not sit still, will not listen, and will not be quiet. SO, the teacher says he has ADD….the doc checks him out and….JOHNNY HAS ADD.Or malnutrition, and constipation (lack of water) whatever you want to call it. Anyhow, Johnny gets given medication (drugs) to settle him down.

    Now, Johnny is a sleeping zombie in the back of the classroom and the TEACHER IS HAPPY.

  • Secondly, sometimes it can be a very bad environment in public schools. Bad influence on the kids. My dad has always said, and he is right, that the kids NEVER fought so much, until public schools.

    So, now, my mom home schools the kids

    They do not eat raw food, quite the opposite. But mom does try to give them salads and such.

  • Hi Justine,

    Have you looked into home schooling communities in your area? I had a friend exactly in your situation who found a “home-schooling school.” Each parent is the primary “teacher” for their own child, but families could come into the school for however many hours per week felt right for them to participate in group activities, instruction, or classes with a parent with more specific knowledge of the subject matter teaching.

    She was able to have more input in her son’s education, and her son got to participate a wider variety of learning structures. If you can’t find a community like that near you, or if your partner still isn’t satisfied, public schools can ALWAYS use actively involved parents to help in and out of the classrooms.

  • southernloversouthernlover Raw Newbie

    I was homeschooled all my life, except for 9th grade, when I attended public school. It was terrible. I absolutely hated it, but it really made me appreciate being homeschooled. Kids get so dumbed down there, and they are susceptable to treacherous amounts of uncomfortable pressure. Yeah, we’ll all have to deal with peer pressure, of course, but who needs people breathing down your neck all day and making you feel worthless… it’s a waste.

  • Hi, I have two boys, ages 13 (grade 9) and 11 (grade 6). I am a certified teacher who taught 8th grade in the public schools last year. I will be homeschooling my boys for the first time this fall. I’m excited about it, and they are, too. I was my older son’s teacher this past year, ha ha, so he knows what to expect.

    I would love to hear about any resources anyone may know. My boys are both extremely smart. They were both bored in the public school system. They also are unique and cool kids, and didn’t fit in with most of the conventional-culture kids. I live in a small, rural community. In New Mexico, all you have to do is file your homeschool with the state. You don’t need to file plans.

  • My mom uses mainly a beka books…

    She also uses some of calvary, some of bob jones.

    My brother did Switched on Schoolhouse, this is a homeschooling program for your computer which is really neat.

    Mext year, my mom is putting almost all the kids on switched on school house. What is nice about it is its teh computer and kids love that. Secondly, it does not take up as much of the parents time.

  • littlebirdie: The world wide web is your friend when it comes to research. everyone has their own personal niche in what, how and when they teach things. the best thing to do in starting out is familiarize yourself with the lingo and definitions of learning and homeschooling styles so that you can determine what your core values and goals are in this endeavor. that way, you can say, oh, “i’m a classical, charlotte mason apporoach with a kick of worldview” just an example…. then you take it from there in your curriculum and materials search. You will be shocked at the multitudes of options and curriculum out there in addition to the philosophies and approaches! There are curricula that pretty much “recreate” the public system (those shgadwa suggested are very much like those with an overt christian flow) all the way to freewheeling ‘life is a classroom’ approach. then theres unschooling – which contrary to what the name implies has produced some of the most brilliant, innovative, freethinking minds… and its actually more structured than the name implies. ; )

    My story is: we pulled my now 21 year old son (whose in university) out of the system when he finished 6 grade. i homeschooled him for 7 grade and we pretty much deproggramed every notion of what education meant previous to that out of him and worked on areas that he’d been struggling with for years and that was it. When it was time for 8 grade, he wanted to try something else – a university model school opened up in town and he was tested to enroll and tested at 9 grade level! anyway, he completed hs in that school. the others, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1 are homeschooled. my 19 year old only lived with us for a few high school years and went to the same university model school.

    The models of education i admire are annie sullivans approach as well as charlotte mason. they believed in living life, living books, and experiencing things in nature. they did not like rote memorizing or dead facts but living breathing organic learning. i also incorporate a lot of worldviews in our homeschooling. (though from a personal perspective we are believers in God and follow Jesus)

    i love curriculum in which children learn the logic behind concepts before they can perform the operations. it really addresses the ‘why’ of things. also, read read read – everything – the classics, contemporaries. look at art, listen to music from around the world. teach languages. learn and experience the world together.

    Justine – it doesnt have to be either or, it can be both. google univerisity model schools. basically its where your child goes to ‘campus’ 3 days a week and you homeschool (with their curriculum) the other 2 days. you can sometimes pick and choose which classes they do take. the positive is it is a happy medium to situations like yours, the down is you have to go with what theyre teaching. (but then again, it would be like that in pub. sys.).

    Also, you can instill your values in eating for life when you homeschool!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Justine – if you still have any hope convincing your husband you could try having him look at John Holt’s book Teach Your Own which has been updated since he first wrote it. It goes through all the common concerns and socialization is always number one. Every book I’ve read says it’s a myth myth myth, and now I can say from our experiences, I’m exhausted by my daughter’s social life. Her mornings are generally quiet for our activities which works well so she can focus, but once we’re done she’s either playing a sport or having a playdate or playing with the neighbors. On the weekends it’s sports games and birthday parties. Homeschoolers often are comfortable playing with any age kid which is great developmentally and they’re very comfortable with adults since they’re not spending their days with one age group. You don’t have to decide this right now, you can take your time and look into it, try public school if you want, there’s no need to count it out. Everyone in my family circle who were concerned are sold now. The thing about the religious aspect and the reason why people are misled is because the media focuses on the contraversial. The only news stories I’ve seen about homeschoolers were twins with a rock group who wore Hitler t-shirts, and unschoolers who let their kids stay up all night. These are not the norm. There is a large percentage of Christian homeschoolers but there are plenty of non-religious homeschoolers like ourselves. There are so many books and websites you can check out, including Home Education Magazine online. It’s kind of like raw food, once you begin researching it you’ll either get more and more passionate about it, or realize it’s not right for you.

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    littlebirdie – can I tell you about some games we’ve found recently?? We love critical thinking games and if you go to Educational Learning Games and check out the Mensa award winning games, here I’ll do it for you http://www.educationallearninggames.com/mensa-m… There are loads of options here for critical thinking, spatial reasoning, and there are two new ones that are being sold at other sites but are also Mensa winners – Spy Alley and 10 Days in the USA. We played 10 Days today and it really makes you work! Another great game not at that site is Go Mental.

    Here’s something else they might like http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html It’s NASA’s astronomy picture of the day which was shared with us by a brilliant scientist we know and he was as excited as a kid over this. You can go nuts on each picture clicking on different things for more information.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    shgadwa—not all teachers want to medicate kids. i went through an ordeal this year with a student who was on and off medications due to her parents. they would never tell me when she was on or off them and she was a wreck when they switched it. I wish i could tell parents some alternatives to the medication but honestly they don’t always care about what they feed their kids and would rather medicate them for the ease of it. As a teacher, I love really active kids, although I have seen kids who really suffer due to having wandering attention or weak executive functioning (for example, it can affect their ability to read). I think some of these kids would really benefit from being able to go at their own pace and take breaks when needed in a homeschool environment.

    For me personally as a teacher it is really hard to break out of the mold completely because you are always trying to prepare your students for the next thing. I believe as a teacher it is irresponsible to not think about standards have have the kids behind for the next year. You have to look at the system as a whole. I have only been in 2 schools that I enjoyed their overall philosophy and could really be happy. The kids thrived there. The school was more like a family than a school. That is the kind of place that I think would be wonderful for kids to be at.

    As a teacher I also see a lot of teachers who do not challenge their students enough. It is a fine line to challenging them too much but other than one teacher I have not met any other teachers who work tirelessly to keep the gifted and bright students on their toes. I can’t say I succeed at this every single lesson but overall I think it is essential. But since I make an effort, almost all the gifted kids are placed in my class versus the other teachers. I had a kid this year who is very bright and his parents said this was the first year he was challenged. Poor kid had been bored for years!

    Anyhow, I really think that homeschool is an amazing option for some families but I hope to be able to give if only some of those aspects to the average Joe. Luckily I work at a private school so i have much more freedom although our school is very rigorous so if the kid can’t take the amount of work it is very hard for him or her. It is a hard call to make what to do. I do know from being in etc that unless you are at an alternative school or school that has an amazing philosophy, most are only concerned about the 3 Rs and test scores.

  • I used to work in the public school system with children with autism. I loved the children, but the school system was a mess. I decided that year that I had to take my daughter out of public school. My plan was to do Waldorf homeschool—but by chance I got a job at a great Waldorf school instead and put her in there. She loves it. It’s expensive but worth it.

    I think homeschooling is great too though! Yay for homeschooling raw mammas!

  • Bitt,

    That is why I said….. “Before I say all that I say, let me say that I love kids and I am NOT against teachers, at all. Some of them are really loving and great.”

    Not all teachers are like that. And that is really neat, that they are not all like that, I mean.

    Also, some parents send their kids to public schools and the kids are really strong in the Lord (do with that whatever you want to do with that), and instead of them being beat up by the kids and peer pressure, they are a witness to those kids. So, I do not want to just say HOME SCHOOL ONLY. I believe it is a parental conviction.

    I mean, if a parent decides something about their kids…..then it should be respected…..right?

    That is, in normal cases. If parents decide to rape and/ or abuse their kids, that is different.

    Thats just my opinion. The internet is full of opinions.

  • Bitt, I wish we could have taught in the same school this past year, it sounds like we have similar beliefs and styles. My students loved me, and the parents did, too. When I gave my resignation at the end of the year, the entire 7th grade student body and parents came to me, en mass, after graduation and begged me to stay so that their children could have me next year. :) It was incredibly sweet. I just couldn’t do it another year.

    See, my town is extremely poor. My school is a public school, the alternative school for students who “can’t” make it in the regular public schools. The regular schools aren’t anything to write home about. This is a Catholic, Old Spanish town, and students wear uniforms in the public schools and – get this – actually learn Catholic history and theology as part of the school day. Illegal, I’m sure. But it’s rural New Mexico where the Virgin Mary reigns supreme.

    Most of my 8th graders this past year came from foster homes. Their parents were in jail down near Albuquerque for drug offenses, serious drug offenses. These kids have deep, deep problems, no sense of personal boundaries, and…. uh… interesting vocabularies to boot. It’s a tough position to be in, to be teacher to the unloved, the unwanted. I had more than one student beg me to be her foster mom and adopt her.

    I did the best I could. We created a radio station where my students interviewed folks all over the world – folks who give people hope. (See unitedworldradio.com – that’s my class and the internet radio station they started!) We got out in the field, took numerous camping trips, spent hours in art and music, discovering the world around us through picture and song. It was an incredible year. My students learned so much about themselves and most of them left school in June with a sense of pride and hope, things they have never held before.

    I’m going to homeschool now because even though my older son, who was my student this year, loved school this year because I was his teacher, my younger son hated it with a passion and came home crying every day. He had a nice teacher, but she had so many troubled kids in her class that all of her time was spent in catering to the needy. It’s how it is in New Mexico. A lot of needy kids, desperate kids. And the smart kids can go unnoticed unless you can really integrate the program to be inclusive of everyone’s needs.

    I’m excited about the future. Homeschooling gives me the excuse to put my attention on writing full time as well. I can do it! I’m a single mom and don’t receive other support, but so far so good. :)

    Big hugs, Bitt!

  • mamamilk – thanks for the tips! I’m going to take a Waldorf Conference in Boulder this October, I just signed up. I’m excited about it! I am definitely in the “unschooling” camp – as a trained Expeditionary Learning teacher (the school comes from Outward Bound), I know all about it. :) I am going to set up learning expeditions for my boys at home. We’re going to go to Space Camp together at Alamogordo in New Mexico. We’re going to take a three week camping tour of the state to learn New Mexico history (on the benchmarks and standards for 6 and 9th grade), and stop at Chaco Canyon, Fort Union, Carlsbad Caverns, etc. It will be exciting, and fun.

    I’m also going to teach writing workshops for homeschooled children at the public library, as well as a memoir-writing workshop for adults one evening a week. I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to connect with other homeschooling parents.

  • Here’s a link to the Waldorf Conference I’m taking:


    Anyone else want to go? It looks like a blast!

  • ajchanterajchanter Raw Newbie

    I wish i was raw homeschooled! :(

  • I’m with amysue on debunking the myths of homeschoolers! In all sectors and ages of society, people are always commenting on how poised, sweet, smart, sociable, etc. my kids are!

    I’ll have to check out those links amysue, they look fun!

    littlebirdie – your story of these precious children made me cry. that is great how you can make a difference in your community as well as your children. There may be even MORE opportunities for you to reach out in community efforts together with your sons. Yet another benefit.

    So everyone…, tell how some of your ‘typical’ days look like (or how you’d like them to look) as a raw homeschooler. How do you incorporate raw foods, health education, etc. into your daily routine? What are some challenges and victories you face?

    ajchanter – i read your profile. fascinating life! get some good info and talk to your family about it.

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    littlebirdie – endlessly fascinating to learn about your town, your writings, I read about your delivery of skin so soft for the flea dog last night!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By the way, I’m desperate for help in finding creative writing projects for my daughter. Even though art and writing are my background, these are the areas that I avoid for fear of being too controlling. Have you ever thought of an online writing workshop for homeschoolers. Not being even remotely computer savvy I don’t have a clue how that would work but it’s an idea. I can’t find any books to help me other than Games for Writing by Peggy Kaye which we’ve sort of exhausted.

    I live in a town at the other end of the spectrum and I can’t wait to get out of it!! I grew up in a small town in VT where you could find the poorest of poor and the richest of rich, the entire spectrum, and that was normal to me. Where we live now in a suburb of Boston is a community of the comfortable, it’s dominated by parents in high tech jobs and it terrifies me to have my daughter grow up here. The people are very nice but wow, this is not what the world is really like! I have quite a time trying to find community service projects for us because no one here needs anything! Luckily for my daughter, her aunt runs a women and children’s village in Bangladesh http://www.sreepurcards.org/sreepurcards-villag… (I couldn’t get on the village website today but it’s www.thesreepurvillage.org) We spent Christmas there in 2006 and it was an amazing education for our daughter, just the drive from the airport to the village was enough for her to understand how much of the world lives. So, we’re looking to move to a more working class fishing village that is so much more ALIVE than where we are now, where my daughter was invited to paint someone’s pick-up truck, just as littlebirdie’s garage was painted! We just can’t live in this bubble anymore.

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Sorry mamamilk, I forgot to answer your question! Our daily schedule evolves with time, the seasons, our travels. And summer is different, a free for all. So I can only guess for fall: she likes to hit the tv right off the bat, 1 hour before breakfast while we’re still in bed listening to NPR. Then she feeds her guinea pigs while I make breakfast for everyone. My husband takes breakfast with him in the car, she eats at her art desk listening to books on tape, hanging out with the pigs while I shower and then we come together at around 9 to start whatever activity comes up that day. I like to do math activities/science projects/art or writing in the morning while she’s fresh. She may run out in the garden in between. Lunch is typically a compromise and she’s getting more involved in the preparation. We eat separately, me at the computer, she at her art desk listening to stories again, if there’s time she may run outside again, for a while we were taking a walk after lunch. Then early afternoon is more quiet – reading about history, picture books, folk tales, maybe a game. We finish around 2 and then she has an hour or two free before any scheduled activity like a playdate, sports practice, lesson, etc. There are days when none of this happens and we go on a hike or to a museum. We always eat dinner together as a family and then it’s Daddy time until bed – going for a swim, playing frisbee, playing with one of his toys. Bedtime is always Mommy and daughter reading in bed time – first poetry, then a chapter book of my choice, then her own quiet reading till lights out at 9.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Hi everyone – well I’m a homeschooled sixth grader going into seventh and love it. It’s pure bliss not to be all manic and entangled with all the other kids at school. I’ve been to private schools when I did go to school. It’s a better environment and I really liked Kindergarten and First Grade but then I had to switch schools because that was just a little kids private school. The new school is awful let me just say that.

    Then we just switched to homeschooling in third grade and I really started loving it. I didn’t take much to writing, but when I signed up for Calvert in fourth grade I was taught formal grammar, was a year ahead in math, and my mother really taught me how to write good compositions with good long but clear, rich-vocabulary sentences. My grades were mostly A’s (Calvert has a system where I send in tests and a teacher grades it and sends it back), and all other subjects were easy for me and I spend the bulk of my time writing and doing really hard math problems. My mother wants to get a head start on learning SAT words, it may sound strange but it’s not. I’m going to Seventh Grade and learning hard college words and preparing now learning the Latin roots of words, etc.

    What I love is that I have my own laptop – I can type all my papers on my MacBook and print them out. It’s easier than recopying a written sheet 3 times in case there are big errors.

    And then, I go swimming at around 7 and do a lot of laps and talk with my friend who goes every day the same time as me. I stay till the pool closes at 8:45 while my mom walks around the pool and gets her exercise. I get to bed around 9 or 9:30. Swimming plays a great role in my life.

  • I’ve been homeschooked all my life and I loved it. I am going to school this year though. It’s my second year of high school.

  • Oops, I meant homeschooled.lol Wow, rawkid, that’s great. I wish I had done that.

  • beanybeeganbeanybeegan Raw Newbie

    I am 66 I have 3 living children.The first two were put into public shcools, the last we had late in life. I home schooled him all the way through every grade there is and then some. Our first two has moved away and we seldom here from them. Our son has moved near. He saw that his dad (now 79) and mom needed help around the place. I know if the time comes that I wont be driving he will take up that position, too.

    Home schooling is more that book learning. It is teaching responsibility, Homeschoolers see the time we take out of our own lives to give them a good education. It is bonding. In our every day living they see what we as parents go through. Example: One day it just got to much for me. I went outside to have a good cry. My 8year old son came around the corner.He sat down by me, touched my arm and said, “Can I help?” Here an 8 year old was showing compassion, and he wanted to take care of the problem.

    Then they are learning that they can pick up a book, programs or? and be able to learn on there owm. They learn to be problem solvers. When our son turned 12 I saw that I was holding him back. So I said o.k. I got the books he needed and he started teaching himself. I gave the tests and taught one study. All else was on his shoulders. Every yearly state test he took was always above 100%.

    I know at the time if my DH had put his foot down to home schooling, I would have just moved his foot.

  • If anyone is interested in reading an awesome book on the subject A Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer is incredible. It is homeschooling based in classical education or the trivium. A must read, even if you do not follow a classical education. They also wrote A Well Educated Mind for the adult wishing to learn how to FULLY comprehend what he/ she reads, teach yourself to teach yourself, also really great.

  • Hi all! I’ve been homeschooled all 12 years of school and I survived!!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Thanks kirsten! It sounds familiar.

    Another recommendation here if anyone is into multiple intelligences. We just got a game called Math Noodlers (we have grades 2-3) and my daughter LOVED IT! It’s a board game with four different types of questions – doodling, writing, showing with manipulatives and something else I can’t remember! It’s just the right amount of time and it includes physical activity, like solving a problem while balancing on one leg or jumping up and down. Big hit here. We also got a cool inexpensive gadget called a Martian Multiplier – it’s an alien shaped thing that magically solves any multiplication problem for you without electronics or batteries. Ours is named “Marcia.”

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    That’s great naturodude! I haven’t met many like you, do you have siblings?

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Does anybody homeschool their kids with Calvert? Just curious.

  • The variety of voices, points of view, and stages of life represented here is pretty extraordinary!! This is so cool!!! You all have great ideas. Diversity is a beautiful thing!

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