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#90 Recommendations for offsite hotels, timeshares, rentals, etc.

Posted by Robin Harrison Axelberd on 11 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

Hello friends! 


I thought I'd introduce myself - I'm Robin and I live in a suburb of Atlanta. I homeschool my four boys, ages 14 (almost 15), 9, 6, and 5. We are very excited to be making our second family trip to Disney in the Fall. :D


I am an obsessive Disney planner - complete with spreadsheets and lists. But, I'm by no means a pro and I am always so excited to learn something new. The size of our family necessitates that we stay off-site, so I can answer some questions about that. Let me just go ahead and say, I think it's the way to go if you have a family the size of ours!


I look forward to sharing the excitement over this upcoming trip with y'all!




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#854 Park Planning/Schedule Worksheet

Posted by Dianna on 26 June 2013 - 01:00 PM

Robin, I am too! I create a calendar with all the info, updated crowd predictions, classes my children are registered for, etc., and print out several copies to take with me (in case I lose one). I'd be lost without it! (Mostly because I'm over-40.) ;)

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#4374 New to homeschooling for 2014-2015. Need advice.

Posted by Beth62442 on 04 April 2014 - 01:40 PM

Welcome, Melissa G!  

I get the anxious thing!  (I'm sure I"m not alone too!)  I just pulled my oldest out of 7th grade public school in the middle of the school year and started homeschooling him in January.  It sounds like we have a similar situation.  He went from being a child who packed his own backpack full of books, crayons and paper just to sign up for preschool to a sullen, angry, disillusioned 12 year old.  He's never been happier since we pulled him out.  It hasn't been easy - we have days where we just can't stand to be in the same room as one another... but for the most part, I've gotten a lot more hugs, kisses and "I love you"s and he's beginning to love learning again.


It sounds like you already have a great setup, and you've already been homeschooling without even knowing it!  Getting started is scary, (I personally am obsessed with researching curriculum) but the thing I love most about homeshooling, is if you try something and it doesn't work, it's easy enough to switch!  Knowing how your kids like to learn is important (kinesthetic, visual, auditory, etc) and there are sooooo many choices (which is why I'm obsessive about curriculum) that it will make your head spin.  Personally, I found reading reviews to be just as confusing as helpful, because what works for one family won't necessarily work for another.


If you're already taking care of all those animals and running your own homestead, being organized must be second-nature to you, and that will help.  Keeping track of lessons, recordkeeping, etc. all takes time and organization.  And I know you're probably thinking - I'm swamped already - but when you're not having to deal with the issues public school drops on your doorstep, you'll be amazed at the extra time you get!  (Don't know what kind of schedule your son had, but mine was having between 2-3 hours of homework every night - even on weekends.  Not dealing with that every day gave me plenty of time for lesson-planning and grading papers.) 


I will also be homeschooling a kindergartener this fall (as well as a 5th grader too).  Frankly, the one that scares me the most is the kindergartener - making sure he has a good foundation and praying daily that I will be up to the task!


I know one of the hardest things my 7th grader had adjusting to was his schedule at home.  He was under the impression that he would send a set amount of time on each subject every day -- just like public school.  So, if at the end of 45 minutes, he hadn't finished an assignment - he'd just quit (even if he'd spent 15 minutes staring out his window at the bird feeders).  I explained the freedom he had now that he was at home - if he didn't have any trouble understanding the work and could finish it in 20 minutes - GREAT!  If not, we could take and hour to really get it down.. and if we were frustrated beyond belief - we could skip it til tomorrow.  Setting goals and accomplishing them has been our main focus -- not making sure he's busy for 45 minutes in each subject each day.  Some days we do math first, some days history.  Some days its a struggle to get him to do anything, other days he can't wait to read a particular history assignment or do a particular science experiment.  One day a time (or sometimes one hour at a time - LOL!) has become my mantra...


Sorry that I've rambled... I'm on a super-caffeine rush today :)

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#2931 My Son Is NOT stupid - Fed up mom needs help!

Posted by Laura Launius on 06 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

Hi Kristina;


Welcome!  I can't speak to pulling out of school but I can tell you that I had one wiggly, extremely gifted, but w/ ADD-inattentive, dyslexic and dysgraphic little guy go through the public school system.  But, we are talking about a different time - before Common Core -- and when parents were still invited into the public school classroom to help out.  The problem for my ds was that he was bored - he hated writing - knew the material presented through 4th grade as a K5er.  The schools solution was to bump him up a year, have me send in extra material, have him help tutor the other kids, send him on errands, never take away PE or recess (then they still had 2 recesses) and let him do a lot of his work orally.  Middle School and High School were different birds and we had to figure out ways for him to get the material to them.  All that to say, if public school is what you want, it can be done, but it will take a lot of work on your part.  For what it's worth the ds I'm referring to graduated high school as an honor student and went on to graduate USC-Columbia. 


Jump ahead and I made the decision to home-school the other three.  In that mix I have two more of the same along w/ one of them having major health problems. When my boys are under the age of 9 I do the majority of their school work sitting beside them helping them to stay focused.  We do short lessons, we don't do tons of review or busy work - we cover the subjects making sure that they know the material but no boring them w/ a drill and kill attitude.  They do handwriting but again we follow a quick and simple method so it's no more than maybe 5 mins and they write some of their math but other parts they simply tell me the answer.  Soc Studies/History we cover history beginning w/ Ancient bec for my boys there is nothing is great as learning about the Egyptians and mummies :)  I throw Soc Studies in by discussing monthly holidays or community helpers, people of noteworthiness , etc.  but I don't spend a ton of time on it.  For science we read and explore nature and do experiments -- bec my boys tend to be hands-on and benefit from touching, seeing and exploring.  Spelling we use magnets and I don't stress about spelling if a child doesn't have the skills until later. 


Your ds is still young - he's curious and wants to be engaged in learning not sitting in a classroom -- that's understandable.  As for your dh's concern -- look at his reasoning and then see what info you can help him to see a counter argument in favor of hsing v the traditional classroom.  It took some doing for me to convince dh, but he's seen the fruits of my labor w/ our kids.  Will it always be easy?  NO!  Do the blessings outweigh the struggles -- I can honestly say YES! 

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#847 Park Planning/Schedule Worksheet

Posted by Robin Harrison Axelberd on 26 June 2013 - 06:35 AM

Hi everyone!


I have put together a Google spreadsheet to help me with my planning, and I wanted to share it with y'all. It contains crowd calendars (both of which are currently public information) and park hours (including EMH). It is only for Saturday, Nov. 16 - Sunday, Nov. 24. In order for you to make changes, you will need to download it or save it to your Google Drive. I have provided links to the crowd calendars, etc. in case you need to add days to either side of the week. If you hover over the title cell with a little triangle in the corner, you will find the link to the specific website. 


For the crowd calendars, I have provided the overall park rating, and then for Touring Plans, I have provided the specific park crowd level in parentheses. For Josh/EasyWDW's calendar, the first park listed for "Best" is THE best, and the *last* park listed for "Worst" is THE worst. You'll notice that the two crowd calendars often disagree. I am not going to endorse one over the other, but you're likely not to go wrong using either one.


Be sure to check the websites every month and compare to what I have listed because THINGS CHANGE! In particular, when I went in 2011, I noticed that about a month out, some of the park hours changed - usually extending closing time another hour.


I am also including a link to the calendar/schedule I made in 2011, just to give you an example of how I used my schedule. You'll notice that I have already tweaked and changed somethings from then. :D


Anyway, I hope you find this helpful! Click the link or copy & paste.


New calendar:



2011 Calendar:






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#4401 New to homeschooling for 2014-2015. Need advice.

Posted by Dana on 06 April 2014 - 10:39 AM

  With my son we have faced many challenges in public school and it only keeps getting worse.  He has been described by teachers, counselors, and school psychologists as a "genius."  Maybe he is and maybe he isn't, but the public school curriculum and overworked teachers just cannot keep up with his needs.  This leads to extreme frustration for him, which causes behavioral issues. . 




I feel that our family is more than equipped to handle homeschooling, but the prospect is a little overwhelming.  Any advice on this transition would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!


The Davidson Forum may have additional suggestions for working with your son. On their main page, they also have links to a number of articles that may provide resources as well. I've also got a thread going on this board on gifted resources that may be useful as well.


Definitely plan on a period (couple of months?) of deschooling for your son.


Finding a community in your area for socialization is important. Park days have been excellent for my son.

We've been homeschooling since he was in first grade (did a private half-day kindergarten). We went through a period in 5th grade where he wasn't listening to me, so I went on strike. I was going to put him in a virtual school, but my husband chose to teach ds after getting home from work. It was a good experience for all of us and helped us change some habits. I bit my tongue a lot, ds started guitar lessons, and when I took teaching back over a couple months later, ds worked a bit better for me. So homeschool can be done while working full time - although it is tough.


Remember that you're also not limited to weekdays. You could school on the weekends and have some weekdays off.

We school year-round, taking May off. We'll be finishing 6th grade in about 10 more days, then we've got May off (yea!) and then start 7th in June.


The first year is one of the toughest (or was for us).

It's been worth it, but it's still work!


Welcome & good luck!!

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#3766 Disney FAQs - updated 2/28/14

Posted by txhsmom on 08 March 2014 - 01:07 AM

Hi Dianna,


Thanks much for the update and for your patience whilst I ask fifty million questions :D 


Have a great weekend,


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#3673 Greenville Homeschool conference?

Posted by kohlby on 05 March 2014 - 03:24 PM

I'm going this year. A key would be to go through the list beforehand. It's huge so go through, as some sessions won't be helpful to you and others will. The speakers that I'm most interested in wouldn't meet the needs of someone focusing on a kindy kid for example. So, if you want speaker suggestions, let us know the grades of the children, if you use secular or religious, and if you have a particular homeschool style and maybe people similar to you will have some ideas.
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#3651 Greenville Homeschool conference?

Posted by Dana on 05 March 2014 - 12:24 PM

We've attended two years.

Michael Clay Thompson is an EXCELLENT speaker. His vocabulary presentation is really cool.

My son enjoyed Ed Zaccaro's math lectures.

Be sure to save time for the exhibit hall. It'll be CROWDED.

Most vendors have been set up to accept credit cards, so if there are things you want to buy, have a plan of attack and a limit on your spending.

I've also enjoyed hearing Chris Perrin speak (Latin for Children)


Have fun!

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#3639 Greenville Homeschool conference?

Posted by cato on 04 March 2014 - 08:08 PM

I am going! I am a Newbie too :) This has been our first year homeschooling for 5k and can't wait to look at some curriculum ideas im thinking about for 1st grade. Looking forward to some great speakers and hope to learn a lot so Im excited!
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#3113 Removing child from PS late in the year.

Posted by Dianna on 19 February 2014 - 12:54 PM

Stephanie, I've had many registrations from families this month, so you're not alone in wanting to begin homeschooling mid-year.


The best way to do it would be to register with an association first, then wait for your your membership to be finalized. Then you can take your membership letter to the school and officially withdraw him. (If you try to withdraw him before you're legally covered to homeschool, then you may run into truancy issues.)


After you get him home, consider doing activities that would re-ignite his love for learning (reading good books together, field trips, museum and zoo visits, documentaries, experiments, etc.). All of that is learning, and all of it counts.


There's a lot more information available in my FAQs at http://www.carolinah...r.com/afaq.html  and in the messages posted here.


Let me know if you have any other questions.




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#2940 Latin curriculum recommendations

Posted by Mommaduck on 07 February 2014 - 10:56 AM

I've used Latin for Children. I don't have a background in Latin, so this was very helpful with CDs and DVDs.

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#2932 Backyard Bird Count

Posted by Laura Launius on 06 February 2014 - 01:35 PM

The Great Backyard Bird Count will be next weekend, Feb. 14 - 17.  Great opportunity for nature study, citizen science, and just fun, in as little as 15 minutes.


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#2843 Moving to Florence SC, HS a kindergartner

Posted by Meredith McKenzie on 29 January 2014 - 10:02 PM

We have 3 homeschool groups in the Florence area: PDCHEA, REACH, and Palmetto Christian Homeschoolers. I have a 7yr and 3yr old. I have been members with PDCHEA and am currently attending Palmetto Christian Homeschoolers. Reach has a maximum of 75\80 families and can be difficult to get into and You will need to put your name on a list. PDCHEA is not as large but meets once a week for classes and clubs every two weeks with planned outings. The group that is the smallest is PCH and meets in lower Florence county and meets every two weeks and has lots of outings, kindergarten graduation, and the group is almost like a family. I enjoy this group. We have currently approx 20 kids attending.approx 5 kids per group/class. You can contact me through the forum and I can introduce you to the group when we meet.Writing on phone hope everything makes sense. Hard to type everything.
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#2606 What happens after high school?

Posted by karrypj on 20 January 2014 - 05:39 PM

I agree that college is not the only choice after high school. It was most definitely my son's choice. However it doesn't look to be the path my daughter hopes to take. She is currently in 10th grade. I have begun to think about how to prepare her for life after high school. Currently she is trying to get a part time job. I think it will be very important for her to develop a resume and gain work experience while she is in high school. I also hope to be able to give her some type of aptitude test and the opportunity to shadow people in different jobs that might interest her,

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#2430 Middle/High School Math Thoughts and Ideas

Posted by Dana on 12 January 2014 - 05:29 PM

Interact Math software (currently free online http://interactmath.com/home.aspx ) is the software that is used with MyMathLab (used by some of the technical colleges here). You can pick any textbook with a title that matches what you’re studying (Basic College Math will be prealgebra and this goes to calculus and beyond). The “Help Me Solve This” feature is excellent for getting help walking through a problem.


Art of Problem Solving http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/  does seriously solid math. They’ve got an elementary program they’re getting started, Beast Academy. Their high school texts are excellent. They are large since they’re written to the student and all the explanations are in the text. Their online courses will likely move too quickly for most students, but they have free online videos that are very good (I’ve not been annoyed by anything I’ve seen on them). They also have Alcumus – online problem solving practice – also very good.


PurpleMath has good explanations. http://www.purplemath.com/ Links are in the lessons section. I don’t like the ad changes on the page, but I do like her explanations.

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#2398 Psstttt... Guess what?...

Posted by Laura Launius on 10 January 2014 - 12:12 PM

I wanna go, I wanna go, I wanna go ---- there I feel better, I had my fit!  DD will be in college so we'll have to pick a date to go back that doesn't conflict w/ her schedule.  We already went this past time without our oldest (dh keeps telling me I have to remember having kids spread out in age means that I can't always take all the kids on vacation at the same time :( ) and I can't bear to think of going w/out two of them!

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#2381 Long Story - Please Read

Posted by Dana on 09 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

I teach math part time at Midlands Tech.

I don't log on here regularly, but send me a message to remind me to check back if you have questions & I'll come back and post more promptly ;)


Depending on which college you're working with, the courses that are "developmental" (below 101) may have different requirements and course numbers (I also taught at OCTC before having my son.)


Dual credit gets interesting at the technical colleges. Midlands doesn't want students on campus who are under 16. I don't know how I'd go about doing dual credit if I had my son taking courses. I'd probably just sign him up for the classes at MTC and then give him the grade on the high school transcript with the indication (taken at xxx college).


All 16 technical colleges in SC have the same course descriptions for content courses. That's designed by the State Tech board.

MAT 101 - Beginning Algebra - basically this is roughly a high school Algebra I course (although it sounds like a high school alg I course will cover a bit more material than we do in 101). We end with factoring quadratics and solving quadratics by factoring (along the way we graph lines, solve linear equations, work with polynomial arithmetic).


MAT 102 - Intermediate Algebra - basically a high school Algebra II class. Covers systems of equations, rationals, radicals, and all quadratics and graphing.


Neither of these courses transfer to any public 4-year college. They are considered remedial for college. They don't count towards the AA or AS degree at the two-year schools either.


After MAT 102, students can take courses that DO transfer to 4 year schools.

MAT 120 (stats) // MAT 110 (college algebra) // MAT 122 (finite math)

Degree and interest determines which course should be taken.

MAT 110 will be the toughest because students can continue on from it. It's partially a precalc course but it doesn't have trig.

Trig is MAT 111.

Calculus is MAT 130 (can take from 110 - no trig included and a terminal course. This is for business students typically)

Calculus I is MAT 140 - trig is a prereq.


You can look at any 4 year college's articulation agreement and it will show what courses transfer from the tech schools.


Developmental math is prealgebra. A student shouldn't get high school credit for it.

At Midlands, the testing center gives exemption exams the first 3 days of the semester for math courses. A student takes the final exam for the course and if they pass, they can register for the next course.


I've taught at the technical college since 1996. A student should NOT skip into a later math class. The placement test used (COMPASS) is pretty accurate. It is possible sometimes for a student to retest, but a student should follow where they placed.


Typically you can give a year's high school credit for a semester's college class. Do be aware that the courses move QUICKLY and there are no excused absences or make ups. I wouldn't recommend too many courses at the college for a first attempt. Some colleges count W's as Fs when looking at transcripts for acceptance.


Summer school is a possibility for fitting in extra courses if needed.

Happy to answer questions (I'm procrastinating getting ready for my classes that start Tuesday - MAT 101 and 102!)

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#2314 New SC resident with question about school hour/day/year requirements

Posted by Laura Launius on 07 January 2014 - 04:01 PM

Keep in mind that the law to allow home-schoolers access to public school extra-curricular activities is still really new so it's a work in progress for all parties.  This is our first year to attempt to participate, our middle ds is working out with the local high school baseball team and will be trying out the end of January.  We've found the school to be open to this venture - although since we are the first to ask to participate in this particular high school it's taken a few extra calls and visits to work out the paper-work side of it and to get the coach accustomed to needing to text or call ds if he's calling a conditioning session, etc. rather than just having the school make the announcement.  I have heard from another mom who had their dc participate in a program w/ another high school and they felt that their dc ran into issues with not feeling like they "fit in".  So far we haven't experienced that, but our ds knows a lot of the kids on the team and has played summer ball with them, etc.  


We do have some local private schools that have been very open to home school kids participating in a class or two or in their extra-curricular activities.  In fact, if they had had a strong baseball program it is an option that we would have considered. 


I think you'll also find, depending upon the area that you are moving into, their are a lot of extra-curricular options for home school kids within the homeschool community itself.  There are home-school sports programs (which I still admit to hating to step away from the team we've been with, but ds is hoping to play in college so he feels he needs more), bands, orchestra's, etc. 

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#1024 Moving to Greenville

Posted by SamIam on 30 August 2013 - 01:20 PM

Greenville has a very active homeschooling community.


As far as a classical school, there is the Greenville Classical Academy.  They follow the university-model for upper levels, meaning your child goes to class 2-3 days a week, and does work at home the rest of the time.  They also offer ala-carte classes for homeschoolers, though is all for upper levels.  The elementary levels do the regular Mon-Fri schedule.


There's many co-ops too, if that is of any interest to you.  Upstate Homeschool Co-op is a big one.  HOPE co-op is another one that is pretty popular.  There are other smaller ones as well.  And of course, Classical Conversations co-op are aplenty round here.  One on every block, it seems :).


There's also a few "tutorial" type campuses...meaning they are not co-ops in the sense that parents do not have to participate..meaning it's more of a drop-off situation.  Artios Academy, and Vanguard Homeschool Academy come to mind.


Rock climbing classes, First Tee golf classes, Lego building classes, horse riding classes, Homeschool P.E., Band, Dance classes, Archery team, Rollerskating Days, Ice Skating days, Sports teams, Choir, Art classes...etc etc...all of these and more are offered  in classes that are just for homeschoolers.


There are many support groups that are just for "fun" and gathering together, that do not require co-op style participation.  FCHome is a group on Yahoo that is helpful in terms of getting information...though they don't gather together often.   Upstate Field Trip Friends is a Facebook group that is VERY active...field trips several times a month (you pick and choose the ones you want to go on), park days etc.  The sister group to that is the Upstate Playdates (for Homeschoolers), again on Facebook.


We also have TWO homeschool-oriented book stores in the area.   Lifelong Learning Resources is a homeschool store in the Lyman area.  Learning Cycle is a new store, that is based on consignment...so used curriculum.  


Let me know if you have any more questions.

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