View Full Version : New here and need advice!

05-17-2007, 01:50 PM
Hi everyone! I'm relatively new to FIAR. I found out about it after beginning homeschooling in the fall of last year, but was too insecure and unsure about using it. After much experimentation, I plan on incorporating FIAR regularly for my children next year (almost 7 and 4 year old boys), but I'm still a little insecure and unsure lol.

Here is my dilemma. We have recently moved to the state of Missouri, and apparently you have to have 1000 hrs of schooling in a given year. On a 40 week school year I would need to school 5 hours a day Mon-Fri. As of right now, I can school just my 6 year old with FIAR curriculum as a supplement to Time 4 Learning (for language arts, phonics, math and just because they love it), including Bible, Social Studies, Science, Applied Math and something just for Fun and still can not make the day last longer than 3.5-4 hours. I even throw in work sheets and booklets from enchanted learning and try to find a video from unitedstreaming (often times doing the supplemental worksheets there as well).....but I just can't stretch it out.

Is there anyone here that's from Missouri, or a similar state requiring a minimum amount of hours? How do you do it? I realize I must be doing something wrong, but I'd like to figure it out now before August :D

Thanks for reading!!

Stacey in FL
05-17-2007, 05:04 PM
I am not from your state and don't know the homeschooling laws, but keep in mind that there is more than book work to use up the hours. I am sure that there are lists out there of how to encorporate a multitude of things into an "educational experience". Just off the top of my head:

Chores= home ec, life skills
playing outdoors= P.E.
Field Trips= this is a biggie and could count for a multitude of subjects (You can even turn a trip to the grocery store into an educational event!;) )

There are also science dvds, educational computer games, and on and on.

Helping cook dinner is another great one and would consume a good 30 minutes to an hour. It could count for home ec., math (measurements, etc.), or even science. :D

Playing with Legos or blocks is another good one. (geometry, engineering, critical thinking skills, etc.)

Just think outside the box and you will have no trouble documenting the required hours. In fact, you will probably end up with much more than you need.

Oh, another one- gardening (science)!
And nature walks/journaling are lots of fun. Send the kiddos to the backyard for an hour a day and have them draw a picture of what wonderful things they found. :clap:

05-17-2007, 06:16 PM
I was raised in Missouri, now I live in Northern Illinois. I was homeschooled in eighth grade while living in Missouri. Let me tell you--I guess you could say we unschooled that year!:lol: My mom was exhausted so she let my brother and I do whatever while she focused on my 3rd grade sister's skills. Anyhoo, I'm sure she reported something. All of those hours DON'T have to be "sit down at the books formal learning!" Like a pp said, field trips, if you see them involved in some really creative and educational play on their own, watching fireflies, AWANA, co-op, etc.

ETA--by the way, I did learn a LOT that year looking back! My brother and I spent a lot of time in the woods, taking long walks, working at our neighbor's stables, reading good books, etc.

05-17-2007, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the responses. I guess I just feel like everything has to be laid out. I still struggle wondering if I am teaching him enough, even though he amazes me sometimes with the amount he does know :clap:

Thankfully here, we don't actually have to report anything. The law seems very lenient, we just have to keep a record basically. No testing, no turning in, we don't even have to notify anyone that we are homeschooling. I just want to cover my bases though, just in case ;)

Mary FL
05-17-2007, 10:10 PM
:hi: and Welcome here! Hope to see you around the boards often!:)

Rebecca G
05-17-2007, 11:18 PM
Hi Brandy,

Welcome:hi: !

We are in a state that requires 4 hrs each day and 180 days per year. I find that many of our learning activities count towards those requirements. For instance, if we are doing Soccer...I count that hour for practice and then game towards our school time as PE. We also do an art program through a local university and I count that hour per week toward my requirements. Does that help? Also, another idea might be to talk to local homeschoolers in a support group who can tell you what they do in MO to meet their requirements.

Best to you!

Lisa Schafer
05-17-2007, 11:45 PM
I haven't read the other replies, and don't know if this will even apply to you. But, many states include a little phrase in homeschooling laws that indicates you either provide those hours, or the educational equivalent. This usually means that if you provide the same amount of education and can do it in less time, you're still good. :thumb:

Check it out...see if that helps. ;) Otherwise, I also agree that there are a lot of things we call schooling that you might not have called schooling before. ;)

Jen in SC
05-17-2007, 11:48 PM
Don't know if anyone has mentioned listening to books on tape or not. You can keep something in the car all the time so your travel time is fruitful as well. Lots of educational stuff on CD...not just books! :thumb:

Alice R
05-18-2007, 11:00 AM
I homeschooled two years in New York which has some of the toughest laws. (A major reason why we moved to NJ).

SO many things count. Not just the 3 R's.

I counted choir in church-it is music class
Bible study
Homeschool phys ed.
Playground time (that is part of the PS school day so why not mine?)
House stuff is Home Ec.
Working with daddy is wood shop
Art can be done a lot
Story time at the library
A trip to the library! (again many schools have library time for the students)
Field trips

Stuff like that...


05-18-2007, 11:25 AM
we don't have to prove school hours where I am, but I consider that we "homeschool" 24/7 here! :D
as the other ladies said - it doesn't just have to be book work, if you have a week where you feel you didn't get enough of that in think of this - learning proper teeth brushing and oral hygine can be a health unit that week - seriously, I remember a health nurse coming into our school when I was in primary grades to teach us how to brush our teeth! and the school counted it as class room hours right!?

also, we find that with FIAR we read together, and do the lesson, and then usually it just seems to come up here and there again through the week (or coming weeks). Consider the time spent by your children telling Grandma/dad/the neighbour/ the librarian about what they learned from "Make way for Duckings" (or whatever book;) ) REVIEW!

so I guess what Im trying to say is :hi: welcome and :clap: I'm sure you are doing a super job!:group:

05-18-2007, 01:06 PM
Along the lines of what Stacey in FL mentioned . . . remember anything you listen to in the car counts too.

We have been doing composer studies and listening to classical music in the van whenever we go anywhere (it is very calming for the dds!) :thumb: We have also used travel time to learn Spanish with Spanish For Children cds. Library trips count too!

Anytime you go for a walk outside counts as both PE & Science.

Looking at prices on the shelves and looking for the cheapest counts as math.

Reading a bedtime story . . . any story, they do not all have to have an education objective, exposure is the key!

Playing on the computer counts as computer skills . . .

The truth is, all of us teach our children far more than 5 hours a day, it just doesn't involve 5 hours of workbooks, or seated desk work. Also, for what it is worth, the kids in school are not spending 5 hours a day in learning activities. I spoke with a 3rd grade teacher friend, and he said his classes didn't include 5 hours of teaching/learning time. There are tons of distractions, not to mention all the class parties, and half days where there isn't enough time to really get into anything, so they do fun things. Don't forget classroom management time, and travel time to and from the classroom to the library, PE, Music, and Art . . . when they have them. :eyes:

05-18-2007, 01:16 PM
Thanks so much for all the responses! It really does help to get other perspectives. I know in my heart that he is learning more than necessary, I just have to convince my head of that....and I wasn't sure how to prove it :roflol:
Looks like I just have to consider everything we do on a daily basis!

Barb ND
05-18-2007, 02:55 PM
i can't remember where i found this but i hope it helps it rounds things up
if you spend 6-20 minutes on something it counts for 1/2 hour
21-50 minutes = 1 hour
51-90 minutes = 1.5 hours
91+ minutes = 2 hours
you have to remember you have a much smaller classroom and they base those hours of what the public school provides and dock it just a little it takes a lot less time to teach one or two than it does 20 +

05-18-2007, 07:08 PM
Does it help you to know that the authors of FIAR are from Missouri? Here' my six year olds "schedule":

20 mins phonics
30 mins hands on math
10 mins writing practice
30 mins centers (educational activities that are available for him to use while I'm instructing siblings)
45 minutes FIAR and associated activities
45 minutes per day (at least and not all at once) read aloud time
45 minutes quiet reading time
60 minutes (at least) playing outside (P.E.)
60 minutes (not all at once) chores (life skills, Montessori education, home ec)
30 minutes of Reading Rainbow or Magic School Bus (they watch this at school here, why can't we?)
20 minutes educational computer time or Leapster

That's 7 hours and 35 minutes of countable time but only a little less than 2 hours of seat work. There is also nothing that says your hours have to take place M-F between the hours of 8am and 3pm. You can count weekend trips to the zoo (including the ride to and from the zoo if you engage the children in conversation, listen to audio books, practice math facts, play word finding games or other travel games....), bedtime stories, bathtime (health and hygene), free play in the backyard (most schools still do recess in the lower grades :unsure: ) errands (living math, time management, social studies (who lives and works in our neighborhood))

Basically, find a way to make your everyday activities have educational value and you'll exceed your requirement guaranteed. ;)

Lori D
05-18-2007, 07:49 PM
I am not saying that all of these would count in my book as school, but here are some of the things that "counted" as school when my adult children were doing their brief stint in the public school system-

-outdoor playtime
-unsupervised table time in classroom- no work being done- just some boy explaining the facts of life to the other kids :unsure:
-assembly- I am sure this is useful at older ages, but for little ones it does not serve much of a purpose
-full length Disney movies
-science experiment that involves throwing eggs off a roof- all 60 kindergarteners watched all of them get thrown off- long day!
-reading a book to oneself
-going to the library
-computer time- just games-no instruction

As you can see, some of these activities are more educational than others.

Don't forget that when you are with your child every day, much of what your child will be doing involves learning (i.e.- school). Baking cookies can be math, watching baby brother can be life skills, painting a picture is art, and playing with play dough, Legos and blocks could fit in to several categories. Planning is good, but at the end of the day jot down what your child did and it may surprise you that you actually go over the "allotted" time for a school day.

05-19-2007, 02:53 AM
We learn every waking hour of every day. So problem solved! :lol: Don't forget "life skills", "PE" and "home ec"

DD in IL
05-19-2007, 09:02 AM
What everyone has said is so true. You have to remember that in PS they get recess, free time, library time, computer time, in the younger grades----rest time, eating lunch, etc.

It shouldn't take more than 2 hours for actual school time (instructional academic school); so if you incorporate all the other stuff you would definitely meet the requirements. It sounds like you have covered all the academics too. We discovered FIAR in the late fall also and ended up using it as a supplemental and do it at the end of our other school work because he enjoys and it is a treat I guess you could say. It really enhances the other stuff he is learning.

Thankfully IL is not as picky about homeschoolers (at least not yet).