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Post Info TOPIC: My 14year old daughter wants to FT with us!!? Ummmm.....?


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My 14year old daughter wants to FT with us!!? Ummmm.....?


My fiance Chris and I have (had?) a 5 year plan to be FT - when my youngest, now 14, would be graduated and doing her own thing. My 18yo son graduated last year ... and is having movitational issues and is still at home too- certinally in 5 years he will find his way - right?! My daughter has been supportive and excited for our plans - jokingly making comments here and there 'we (meaning her) should just all go ... NOW'. When we're looking at TT or 5th wheels, she steers us to the two bedrooms ones.

We live in a very small town - 500 some people - she's been here since she was 5. As is with most small towns: nothing to do (truely there is NOTHING here for the kids, or adults for that matter), school system is ... shall we say ... less than educational, no possibilities of teenage jobs - or adult jobs (I drive 45 miles one way to work!), and she doesn't realy have many close friends here - of corse the teenage girl drama thing comes into play frequently. I also have a 17year old son - who has made some bad decisions and is living with his dad - unfortunately, his actions have given this small town here the impression that his sister is the same (which it isn't!)- so the typical babysitting isn't even an option for her, and her friendships have also suffered because of this. She said (actually has said for a long time) she just wants to go where nobody knows her brother - and she can be herself without all the prejudgement there is here - she doesn't even have a chance here because she's only known as 'so-n-so's sister'. Heartbreaking for a mother to say - but it's true.

Anyway (that's a whole other story)- it just never occured to me - when we made the decision to plan on FTing - to go now ... and have her with us. I guess our dream was 'our' thing, AFTER the kids. But a few nights ago, she said she wanted our 5 year plan kicked into high gear - for all of us to go - NOW!! We would love that - she's a great young lady and we spend alot of time together (guess we're not quite too old yet), but that brings up alot of issues. She's just starting her freshman year of highschool - what do we do with that? I've never done the homeschool thing - can you/should you start that at her age? How does she get a HS diploma?  What's with the 'unschool' thing I'm reading about?  She's an A student - I'm pretty confident she would be able to handel the independent study thing. The 5 year plan - time to get rid of stuff, pay off bills, sell the house (when the market is better?) and buy a trailer ... My mind is in overdrive!!!! Chris and I would love to go now - as everyone does, but can it practically be done now... or at least way sooner? Should we even be considering this? I'm a nurse and plan to do the travel nurse thing, so I'm not too concerned about that part of it.. just everything else!
o.k. I'm done venting .... any opinions, advice or words of wisdom out there? Thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


-- Edited by NurseJessica on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 08:13:53 AM

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Ok, I am new here and just getting ready to go FT, but I spent years as both a child, then as a teen, doing FT with the carnival. Honestly, if you set some kind of schedule for homeschooling, so it doesn't get blown off and set some general rules & boundaries, I honestly think it can be better for kids. Travelling like that, you get to see and experience so much more, often including some of the things you read about for school. I noticed back then that the kids who wanted to learn and/or who's parents implemented a schedule for home schooling, were often better educated, tended to continue their own educations and strangely enough had little or no social issues, except being a bit more mature & having a bit more common sense & a lot more street smarts than the "townie kids" who were roughly the same age.

Don't let it hold you back, especially if she wants it. That said, teens are hormone farms who are constantly shifting in their desires, so rent an rv for a while or borrow one & make sure she likes it first, lol. It's one thing to do something now or in a few years, it's another to jump in and have bad experiences because you didn't make sure everyone would be ok with it. I saw some of this when young too, though not nearly as much as most people think.

Bon chance!

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Remi
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The being a freshman is a non starter. We pulled our grandson from school during his freshman year because of several issues. Mainly because of his ADD and the school's absolute failure in his education. We homeschooled (and as Remi said, boundaries and schedule is paramount), and the kid took the TAKS test and did well on it. So, he was issued a HS Diploma. Social skills and maturity are much better than most of his peers.

If I had it do all over again, I would start homeschooling much earlier, but that is all.

My DW is not able to turn her "things" loose, so FT is not in our future. But, I did get her downsized and built a metal barn to park the rig in and built an apartment inside the barn. So, If I get to feeling the need, I go to the RV and sit for a spell. Almost as good.

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Jessica,

First of all, I need to mention that it has been AGES since my children were 14.  So, without a current idea of what the psyche of a 14-year-old is like, I will be speaking in some generalities.

It will be you to decide, but it sounds like your daughter is pretty mature for her age.  But, unless you are spending time where she has the opportunity to interact with others her age, she will be more likely to be "hanging out" with you and whomever your neighbors would be at the time.

So, you will need to consider whether the lack of "peer" interaction might be.  Then again, if the travel matures her faster, that can be a very positive thing.

Now, with the interaction with the "older" generation, she will gain insights into a lot of topics that can lead to an excellent education in and of itself.  You will, of course, need to prepare her for "politial and religious" nuts.  (One of whom just might be me.)

The opportunities of travel will do some wonders with several topics.  Have you ever considered the opportunity to learn history by reading roadside "points of interest"?  Seeing a brief story about the Santa Fe trail could lead to a lot of study on the internet to learn more.  I can see a wealth of educational opportunities in science (think geology here).

Now, one last disclaimer.  Both of our children were boys.  I know something about boys, but very little about the "growing up" of girls.  So, you need to take a long, hard look at your daughter and decide whether she would be ready for constant moving.  If she was in an area long enough to acquire friends, how would she react to suddenly have to move on?

I don't envy you the decision you must make, but the interaction that full-timing with your daughter could give you could very well be invaluable for you, and perhaps, even for her.

Good luck.

Terry


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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

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Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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We're not FTing yet, but I WAS once a teenage girl who grew up in a similar small town (population = 1000). Granted, I didn't have the additional issues of the brother... Anyway, here's my two cents...

I wasn't part of the "in" crowd at my local high school. I was smart and pretty shy... Didn't participate in athletics. Was in the band. So probably fairly similar to your daughter's situation. I was fortunate to be able to participate in several learning opportunities outside of my small town -- Girls State, 4-H activiites, and best a legislative seminar in Washington DC for a week. Through those activities I met great friends and learned tons of things. Even though I didn't spend a lot of time with the people I met, we stayed in touch (back then we had to do the old fashioned letter thing...) and many I still consider friends. Nowadays, with the internet, email, facebook etc it's easy to stay in touch with people all over the world.

If she's up for it, and you can figure a way to make the finances work, I say go for it. I would talk as a family about a timeframe -- "We're going to do this for 2 years and then reevaluate..." or something like that.

As far as a trailer, I would look at a 5th wheel toyhauler that has ac and pull down beds in the back. We have a Fuzion 393 and it works great when we travel with people. My 2 teenage nieces took a trip with us and it was perfect. We had our space in the front, they had theirs in the back and we met in the middle!

Good luck and keep us posted.



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Carol Kerr Welch

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I tried to talk my son into FT his freshman year and he didn't want to have any part of it.  I would have planned it then if I could have.  There are numerous online schools.  Search on the forum.  Awhile ago I think there was a family with 3 kids that were homeschooling.  Today there are many different ways to get your diploma.  Even if you don't leave now you can start homeschooling and once you are ready you can pick up and leave. 



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Dale & Bev



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I don't have any real answers for you, but I do have two cents, so here goes.

First of all, make sure the daughter really wants to do this. She has to know that she can't change her mind in 6 months, 1 year, or even two years.

She has to know that this is a very big step and will not be easy to reverse once you are on the road to full-timing.

That's about one cent's worth. Here's the other one.

Where there's a will there's a way. All of your questions can be answered and it can be done. You just have to find the right resources.

Maybe the daughter can do some of the research and thus feel like she is contributing to the adventure?

There you have it. My two cents worth. smile

Good luck,

Jim

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Shoot, Jim.

You may think two cents worth, but I'd say that is closer to a dollar.  I agree that the daughter really needs to be involved with the planning and research.

Good points!

Terry


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2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
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2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in progess....pictures taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog



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Oh wow!!!! Thank you all so much for your replies!!!!  What great advice!!! My daughter has been asking different questions about RVing - its great that she shares this love (and wants to share it WITH us!). Good advice to include her in on doing some of the research!
Just thinking it over today - seems the daughter thing isn't too big of an issue after all (the schooling is still a mystery to me), financing it sooner than we planned IS the bigger issue. I am keeping (or trying to) keep a level head about all of this. Keeping in mind what's best for the family - not just today, but in 6 months, in a year .... Jumping into this IS a big deal, not to be done without preperation ie: debt paid, research done so we don't end up wasting all kinds of money on insurance, health care or the trailer ect, ect, ect!  Selling the house ... ugh!!! None of us have a problem leaving it ... but the housing market is beyond horrible!!! Every other house in this small town is for sale - and has been for a long time!  Chris and I talked a little today about maybe renting it out, maybe that's more likely than selling right now. We could charge enough to pay the monthly mortgage and pocket a good chunk of change (or return it to the prinicpal). My parents live just up the road - so they could be 'proxy land-lords'. Just a thought.

Thanks again for the time you took and two cents you shared (worth alot to me!)

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Don't let the school issue be a problem. Check out F.E.A.S.T in San Antonio, TX for information. They have curriculum for every grade level, as well as several choices. Some Christian based, others not. In any event, they have answers to every question you can come up with. They also have resources you can access. Dunno where you are located, but Google can find'em.

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You've had plenty of input here, but we can offer a perspective of having just completed 1 1/2 years on the road with our 15 yo and 10 yo boys. We had been homeschooling before we set out, so we just had to adjust our normal school routine to taking the books with us.

Home school requirements vary from state to state, so the state you choose as residence for other purposes would govern your flexibility for your daughter's studies. With all the other complexities facing you, it might be easiest to choose one of the many online schools for a starting place.

You are welcome to contact us with any specific questions for home school, should that return as a reality for which you need to prepare!

FWIW, we wouldn't have traded the travel with our kids for anything. We'll likely make more journeys later as empty nesters for an entirely different perspective!

I know first hand how overwhelming the opportunity looming sooner than later can be. But, on the other hand - how exciting! Maybe it is possible for you!

Blessings,
Linda

-- Edited by retread on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 09:38:10 PM

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Hi... Thought I would chime in... We just began our 14th year of homeschooling.  We are some of the infamous "unschoolers", although I don't particularly care for labels of any sort.  I homeschooled my son (as a single parent) from age 8 until he began college.  My daughter is now 9 and has been homeschooled since birth.

We do not give grades, follow grade levels, test, or use any particular curriculum.  When people ask me how I know that my child is learning, my honest response is "how would I NOT know that she is learning?"

We do not have a schedule of any sort.  As I tell people, "Homeschooling is not something that we do.  It is part of who we ARE!"   This is what works for US.  You are the one who knows your daughter and your family best.  Many people are very uncomfortable operating without a schedule.  They've always been told when to do things, what to accomplish, and how to measure those accomplishments.  If you and your family thrive by being on a schedule, then by all means follow one.  One of the many beauties of homeschooling is doing what is best for YOUR family right now.  That may (and probably will!) change next year.

When I speak with potential homeschoolers (and I have counseled hundreds over the years) I tell them that the most important thing for most people to do when coming out of a public school situation is to "deschool" for a little while.  Google it... you can find a much better definition than I can give here. 

Someone made the very good point about state-of-residency.  Homeschool laws vary WIDELY state-to-state, and if you are not in a "good" state in which to homeschool, you might want to consider moving your residency.  Not sure how that would work with your nursing license, but wanted to mention it.  Go to Home School Legal Defense Association's website, HSLDA.org and look at the state in which you currently live and others in which you may be interested.  They have some awesome information, and you do not have to be a member to access their site.  I can tell you that Texas seems to be one of the best. 

Another great suggestion was getting your daughter involved... researching how homeschooling works and the various methods and how they might (or might not) work for your family, different types of curriculum if you choose to use it, how other teens handle their homeschooling responsibilities - all valuable information to have.

Many families homeschooling through high school use textbooks for the "scary" subjects (advanced mathematics, science) and then "living books", field trips and experiments for English, History, political science, government, economics, etc.  My son used a math series from ABeka (although he hated it!) but didn't use textbooks for any other subjects.  He loves to do research, is a published writer, small business owner, radio engineer, DJ, and professional photographer.  Not bad for someone about to turn 22!    My goal for both my children was for them to be lifelong learners who love gaining new information.  So far, so good.

Finally, let me say this... an online school would be OUR last option.   PM me if you would like to talk more... I would be glad to help in any way I can!

Kerri in AL  smile.gif

-- Edited by Kerri on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 08:19:46 PM

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Hi Jessica,

We are in a somewhat similar situation, with our 14 and 12 year old boys.  We had been dreaming about full-timing "someday", and one day I just woke up and thought "Why wait?"  The boys and my husband were eager to hit the road, and I was the one dragging my feet.  Last year we bought a 5th wheel toy hauler -- we did not get the motorized beds in the back, but had an amish guy build a bunk for our oldest son.  At the same time, he added a tv cabinet and we switched out the ugly garage door for a nice french door (all of the modifications can be seen in our blog -- June 2010).

We are still waiting for our home to sell, but are working on getting everything else in line.  My boys had been in catholic school, and once the oldest graduated from 8th grade this past spring, we decided to no enroll him in high school.  We also opted not to re-enroll our younger son (thinking positively, here!).  So, even though we are still at home, we are beginning our homeschool adventure.  I did a lot of reading and research, and went to a homeschooling highschool seminar last spring with one of HSLDA's high school coordinators.  I ended up choosing a variety of different options for my 9th grader -- online biology and english, with teacher support (2 different suppliers), Teaching Textbooks for Algebra I, Switched on Schoolhouse for World History (CD-ROM based), TellMeMore for spanish (similar to Rosetta Stone, but considerably cheaper), and Dave Ramsey's homeschool economics curriculum.  Check out homeschool.com and HSLDA's highschool website -- they're both great sources of information.  I bought everything through Sonlight, Christian Book Distributors or the Homeschool Co-op.

I think if your daughter is interested in travelling with you, and you can make everything come together sooner than later, you should go for it -- full-timing can be a great adventure for all of you!

Marci

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i must admit to being jealous. we would love to start fulltiming sooner but our 12 year old daughter would hate it. she loves traveling with us but enjoys the "normalacy" of the public school system. ideally we would full time starting summer of 2012. our 17 year old will graduate then, and our younger one would be finishing 8th grade. my hubby is eligible to retire this coming july but plans on continueing to work till our youngest graduates high school. if our little one said she would like to travel with us our house would go on the market tomorrow.

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Fairie, I am in the same position.  Our 15 yo son would hate full-timing.  Although, truth be told, it will probably take us 3 years to be ready to full-time, anyway.  Our house needs a lot of work before we sell, we have some debt to finish paying off, I'm not ready to leave my job, etc. 
Pinon



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pinon, we joke and say that we wish our kids were switched. our 17year old has already asked to travel with us when our 12 year old goes off to college!

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If any of you want to adopt an older kid... I'm willing to go..

Bill

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My daughter is 14 and in 8th grade and has told me she wants to go FT with me in 5 yrs. I want her to go to college or at least junior college. But at the same time I think a year with me FTing might be a good educational experience.
In no way would I take her on the road now (doing the home school). She does like to see/spend some time with her dad. So it's something I'll have to consider in 5 yrs.

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