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We need another Eclectic thread! - Page 3

post #41 of 313
We're still here. I've been trying to figure out how to fit in everything I want to do - we do really well on our "foundation" type things - reading, writing, math, spelling, handwriting/printing. But, we never get to history, science, art, foreign language ... I would love to do history 2x a week, science 1x a week, try and do some foreign language more informally, maybe art once a week (at least get out the picnic table cloth and the paints). The hardest part is that I think I'm the only one that wants some routine in our lives - if I could get the boys to bed at a consistent time, they would wake at a more consistent time and we could start our days at a more consistent time. (Notice a theme?! )

I'm also loving the feel of Tanglewood education, though I don't like the Euro-centric feel of the history and honestly we already have the resources that work well for us. But, I like some of their ideas. I think we are going to do a semi-Book of Centuries starting this year (sometimes I think we need to start all over with history at prehistory/ancient times ... we should be starting early-modern times, but we did almost no history last year and are still making our way through medieval times). I figured that each week we could do a BOC type page (I like the way Tanglewood makes their pages - I might order their PDF file), one map page from History Odyssey, and then one definition/narration/copywork page. I'd probably do the map/writing one day and the BOC page on the second day. But then I think if we actually went back to prehistory first and started the whole rotation over again, we could start at the beginning of time and have a completed BOC in 4 years. But, I probably won't even bind the history pages separately anyway, so I don't know ... I wish I could just make up my mind!

As of now, I think I'll just bind all of the year's work together - one section of writing, one section of history, one section of science, plus have each boy pick their favorite thing from those topics to put in their main lesson books as a "showcase" along with any certificates they get (they get certificates at the end of each month for PE, plus their spelling program has a certificate at the end of each level, plus we make them one when they finish a level of phonics)and the occasional "mini-book" math pages from Miquon in their main lesson book - it's like a year-long snapshot.

Sometimes being eclectic for me has its drawbacks!
post #42 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Sometimes being eclectic for me has its drawbacks!
OMG! I am SO right there with you!
post #43 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmandy View Post
Princess, I want to be your best friend. I feel like I already know you and your name made me lol!
When I first saw your username I had to OMG! Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock and Cr*p Bag. (Man, I really hope I'm talking about the right thing and Princess Consuela B isn't from something else that I'm not even thinking about!)
post #44 of 313
:
post #45 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
OMG! I am SO right there with you!
There are days I long to just have one peg on which to hang my hat, yk? Though I have wandered into that territory before with both Enki and Oak Meadow, and still come back to an eclectic, though mostly classical, way of doing things.
post #46 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
Sometimes being eclectic for me has its drawbacks!
Yeah, I hear that! I've got so many things I want to do with the kids this year, I've got to get around to more than the 3R's.(why did I buy 4 language arts books?...Each?)

Omg, I had to revise this...I just realized I went to the dollar store this week and bought 2 more LA books!
post #47 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
When I first saw your username I had to OMG! Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock and Cr*p Bag. (Man, I really hope I'm talking about the right thing and Princess Consuela B isn't from something else that I'm not even thinking about!)
No, you have it right The registration thingie wouldn't let me fit in Banana-Hammock...I couldn't get any farther than "B"
post #48 of 313
Wow, this is so great to read everyone's approach and mixed philosophy. I find it so reassuring that other families are mixing CM, Waldorf, and unschooling too. I love hearing what you do to blend it all together. I will be doing first grade for my dd and some stuff for my 3.5 yr old. BUt we also have a new baby so I am not going to hang myself on high expectations!
post #49 of 313
Man, I really need to join. This is my first year homeschooling my almost-5-yo son who is entering kindergarten. It's a bit of a weird situation. He's going to attend a classical academy for two days a week and homeschool with me for the rest of the week. It's a hybrid program, blending classroom and homeschool education, and at least for the kindy year, they do unit studies, a la FIAR.

The school is totally into classical education, but if I were doing it completely on my own, I'd probably want to do a more unschool-y or Reggio approach. There's a bunch about Waldorf that is appealing to me too (although I could seriously do without the fairies and gnomes). I really like CM's notions of short lessons and nature study. I even like a bunch of Montessori stuff. To top it all off, I'm a former public school teacher, and it is so second nature to me to want to schedule, plan, do curriculum, assess....

I guess the only place I really fit in is with the eclectic crowd.

So based on the requirements of the school and some of my own research, we're doing the following this year:

Language Arts: FIAR vol. 1

Phonics: Mostly Phonics Pathways, but I think I'll also add some Sing Write Read Spell

Handwriting: HWOT

Math: Sadlier-Oxford (I don't know much about this program, but it's required for all students. I'll probably end up supplementing with a lot of manipulative-based activities.)

Science: I really want to do a water-themed science year. In the fall, we'll cover physical properties (gas, liquid, solid, temperature, volume, density, etc.). In the winter, we'll do the water cycle and weather. For spring, we'll look at various bodies of water and the life they support. We're lucky - where we live, we can visit ponds, streams, a river, lakes, estuaries and the ocean. It sounds a bit structured, but my ds looooves science. I have a lot of ideas for projects and experiments. This will all be very play-based.

I'm not so happy with the CE approach to science, so this will be on top of whatever I'm supposed to do with their program.

Social Studies/History: I think we're just going to stick with whatever FIAR activities cover for this area. The school is also covering the ancients for all grade levels. For our supplementary reading, we're going to be doing a bunch of Greek and Roman mythology. I'll probably throw in a bunch of creation tales and myths from other cultures too.

PE: Lots of hiking, weekly aikido, swimming lessons, mastering the two-wheeler, and however else he cares to use up his energy.

Arts: This is probably my weakest area. I'm planning a very superficial study of important paintings and musical works, but I could seriously use some ideas or resources here. Mostly, I figure we'll just listen to classical/jazz in the background. I'll read a bit about the composer, the piece, or instrumentation, but that's about it. For art, I'm planning to cover mostly modern works so we can emulate some of the process or style (like Pollock or Mondrian). Ds is not at all interested in art, so I'm wanting this to be a very rich, hands-on type of study. I don't think he'll really care about the use of shadow among Renaissance painters, but he'll really dig splattering paint on a huge roll of butcher paper. :-)

Okay, I ended writing waaay more than I intended. I guess I'm just a little freaked out about jumping in with all this. I'm glad to be participating in this thread. I learn so much from reading what you mamas are up to.
post #50 of 313
Yllek, There's no such thing as a strange situation when you're ecclectic. I have a theory that we all hold the saying "doing what's best for our kids' and family" extreamly close to our heart. Otherwise why would we research endlessly, reinvent the wheel regularly and pick and choose our own ways when there's tons of great box curriculums out there that we barely have to think about?

My boys have gone to public preschool (one for almost 2 years, the other is starting his second year.) While we do this weird little hs/ps hybrid-talk about not fitting in anywhere...every group can see me as the enemy! this year I told my youngest he can do both, at least this semester. He probably won't go back in January after the baby is born.
post #51 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess ConsuelaB View Post
No, you have it right The registration thingie wouldn't let me fit in Banana-Hammock...I couldn't get any farther than "B"
When I suggested "Phoebe" for this baby's name, dh said "I"ll only be able to call her 'Pheebs'." As long as the ultrasound goes the way I think it will on Tuesday we will have our own Princess Consuela this December!
post #52 of 313
So, for all of the stuff I want to get for the beginning of the school year . . . it's over $400 . . . and I haven't bought a thing yet

That's the New Singapore Math K1 set (about $100 for the whole set)
about $150 for the Sonrisas Spanish curriculum
and about $150 or more from Lakeshore Learning in general supplies like fingerpaints, a US states puzzle, a globe and an inflatable wipe-erase globe (love that!) and so forth.
Of course in a few months I will need to buy more stuff, but nowhere near as expensive.

At least some of that stuff will be reusable over the next few years though. The Sonrisas Spanish curriculum we will probably repeat at least until DS1 is ready to start reading Spanish.

One thing that is important to me, is consistency-- picking something and sticking with it. I was homeschooled, and my mom was always switching from one system or program to another. It was very confusing and disorienting. I hated it. It's one thing to be eclectic and use different styles of learning, but switching from one math system to another math system to a completely different math program-- that's just hard on a child. So once I pick a Spanish curriculum, math curriculum, whatever, I plan to stick with it to the end. It's scary dropping the money on the math and Spanish curriculum without ever having seen it! But I have researched them a lot and I feel as comfortable as possible with my choices.

I am excited about doing all of this stuff with my boys.
post #53 of 313
Eclectic homeschoolers here.


I like the TJEd philosophy. We are super relaxed. I LOVE CM and FIAR. We just kind of blend things together and roll with what makes us all happy. That means lots of reading aloud, nature studies, narration, cooking/baking, gardening, and crafts. Ambleside looks interesting and my two oldest children might take that on next year. They are 11 and 9 and happy right now with BYFIAR and and our little mish-mash life. :
post #54 of 313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWonders View Post
There are days I long to just have one peg on which to hang my hat, yk? Though I have wandered into that territory before with both Enki and Oak Meadow, and still come back to an eclectic, though mostly classical, way of doing things.
YES! I was really looking into both Enki and OM at one point and actually almost bought OM ... but at the same time I was doing so much research (this was before we actually started homeschooling) that I kept getting this feeling that I wouldn't be happy with just OM or just Enki. We take the more classical approach too with a CM bend, and I'm sure there are some other things thrown in there as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by justmandy View Post
When I suggested "Phoebe" for this baby's name, dh said "I"ll only be able to call her 'Pheebs'." As long as the ultrasound goes the way I think it will on Tuesday we will have our own Princess Consuela this December!
This is awesome! I love the name Phoebe. I actually started liking it because of that TV show, Charmed. I like all of their names except for Pru. That would be so awesome if you got to have your own little Pheebs. Or, you can be as ditzy as Phoebe Buffay is and call everyone Pheebs.
post #55 of 313
Thread Starter 
I have been having a lot of trouble establishing a routine again. We used to have a great daily routine and the kids really thrived!

Then our family went through a huge transition and over time, our routine flew out the window as fast as it could get away! And we haven't been able to get it back. It's been like this for several years and it's been a little difficult at times. There are many reasons, including medical reasons, that I know having a routine again will help us all tremendously. If only we could have it back.

I have tried writing down a routine and trying to follow it. I have tried putting together a family notebook with schedules laid out for everyone. It seems like I've tried it all.

Lately, I've been thinking about perhaps buying some Enki material to help us establish our daily rhythm again. I just really need something that tells me exactly what to do, when to do it, how to implement it, etc. Would Enki be the way to go? I really need a lot of guidance here as I am at a loss on how to get our routine back.
post #56 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
Lately, I've been thinking about perhaps buying some Enki material to help us establish our daily rhythm again. I just really need something that tells me exactly what to do, when to do it, how to implement it, etc. Would Enki be the way to go? I really need a lot of guidance here as I am at a loss on how to get our routine back.
One idea might be to start a blog. Unlike lesson-planning or scrapbooking or journaling, it's public and your blog can potentially attract quite a following, so, if you don't keep up with it, people may notice! I do my best parenting (most involved, most fun activities) when I am blogging about it, because it gives me some level of accountability. I've been slacking since I had the baby but I'm planning to really jump back into it as we get into the new school year, and I'm excited about that, too. Keeping a blog is FUN! I have really been enjoying going back and seeing my old posts and seeing what we were doing a couple years ago.
post #57 of 313

Can I come too???

Hi. I think I belong here too! This is my first year hs'ing my 5 yo. I was really bent on Christopherus about a month or two ago, since I like the idea of drawing and painting and waldorf rhythms(I'm a musician myself). But my son is soooo concrete. He'd be so distracted by the gnomes and mythical figures. So I took to reading the Well-Trained Mind and realized that's basically what my parents did with me(I was hs'ed). But then again, it's a little intense and lacking...uh, diversity. I really dug Homer and the Romans and all, but I need a little more cultural versatility. So several hundred hours of research later...ta-da!! I'm eclectic!

So, we're doing Ordinary Parents Guide To Reading
Phonics: Explode the Code
Science: Found this really cool book on animals at the grocery store(weird, I know) but amazing pictures and divided into informative sections. So we read a section and he draws a picture, narrates what he learned to me, ("The most interesting thing I learned about earthworms is that they are a boy and a girl at the same time"), and then we file it in a notebook.
History/Culture: A book on children's lives around the world. We'll read about it and draw something, bake something, just sort of revel in it a while before we move on.
Math: Spectrum Workbooks and games, and a book with math projects you eat when you're done.
PE: Uh...jumping on the bed?
Art: He's going to a local museum for a day each month, they have a special program for kids age 3-8.
Music: Yeah, all the time!

I guess I should him teach him to play duck-duck-goose. I think they teach that in Kindergarten. No really, I don't mean to make light of anything. I think that sometimes I stress sooo much about the hs decision overall that I need to just step back, take a breath, don't compare myself with anyone else, and just...BE.

Love this thread!
post #58 of 313
Quote:
Originally Posted by mangopassion View Post
I have been having a lot of trouble establishing a routine again. We used to have a great daily routine and the kids really thrived!

Then our family went through a huge transition and over time, our routine flew out the window as fast as it could get away! And we haven't been able to get it back. It's been like this for several years and it's been a little difficult at times. There are many reasons, including medical reasons, that I know having a routine again will help us all tremendously. If only we could have it back.

I have tried writing down a routine and trying to follow it. I have tried putting together a family notebook with schedules laid out for everyone. It seems like I've tried it all.

Lately, I've been thinking about perhaps buying some Enki material to help us establish our daily rhythm again. I just really need something that tells me exactly what to do, when to do it, how to implement it, etc. Would Enki be the way to go? I really need a lot of guidance here as I am at a loss on how to get our routine back.
I'm not sure if Enki will do it for you - it definitely gives all the reasons for routine - talks about breathing in times, breathing out times, and transitions (which from the Enki POV are the most important of all). And it does give examples, but at least in my experience and from my pov, it doesn't really tell you what to do. The key, from Enki, is that you develop a routine to match your child's natural up and down times. (I found it virtually impossible to do anything like that when I had three boys, all with different temperments, needs, and up/down times.) I do know others who make it work very well even with more than one child. If you do end up buying something, the Foundation Guides are what you'd want - they are they ones that really introduce and explain the Enki philosophy, of which the rhythm of the day is a big part.

I hear you on the routine though. I desparately want to find the magic bullet, so to speak, that makes it all work - wake up time, more formal school time, learning through living time, downtime, activity time, bedtime ... plus something that automatically fits in the various chores that need to be done during the day/week, and make it all fit between the hours of 8am and 9pm! Any ideas?! :
post #59 of 313
We belong here. Eclectic is my middle name. I was actually looking around trying to find ideas on what to do with my 13 yo dd for science this year. I need FREE at the moment! And all the library books looked boring!! But here's kind of our story:

We have traveled a lot in the past with my dh's job. It's awesome but HECK on schooling! You'd think that you could just look up that city and visit museums, etc., but traveling is very hard! It's hard to just keep us all hydrated and well the whole time we are gone. But I wouldn't trade the experiences for anything! Like one year, we decided to take the train home from Detroit and it was so much fun! How many kids have ever gotten to sleep on a train? Then we stopped over in Chicago and had my dd's birthday at Bubba Gump's Restaurant and bought her a Starbuck's mug with "Chicago" on it. She's never forgotten it!

Anyway, money seems to play a part in what I do more than I'd like it to but, then again, so does 'life'. Dh works from home which is great! I love it! But we spend a lot of time throughout the day dealing with the business side of things. (interruptions) And let me tell you what happened last year... we lost our house because of a hurricane in Sept. and then the kids & I got hit by a car in March and have been in therapy for 4 1/2 months! And to add to that, we just found out we are having a "surprise" baby! UGH! We've lost so much time!!!!

The good news is that my dh is majorly supportive and doesn't stress over anything! We have a great sense of humor about things because I know it will all work out. We just laugh alot and keep moving forward! But honestly, the interruptions in the last 7 years have been so hard!!!!!!! I start off every year with such great intentions!

And forget who's methodology I prefer, I can't even keep up with it to discuss it. I did all that in the beginning. I teach with the things that I have and try to make it a fun, learning experience along the way.

I LOVE Winter Promise! I did Animals and their Worlds... didn't finish it but we loved it!! I'm doing WP's Children Around the World this year but can't start until I have the money to buy the notebooks that come with it. (I do better if I have something to follow most of the time and don't have to make it up myself.) My challenge will be teaching a 13, 11, 9, and 4 with a 2 yo tag along and pg tired mommy. A friend of mine was going to let me download her 8th grade stuff (SOS) but we found out it's not Mac compatible so I am stuck! We are at a VERY lean time and I only have her history bought and planned out! So there lies my frustration today...

We "officially" start our hsing Monday and I have NO schedule, no routine planned out yet! The kids ONLY have their chore charts they do every morning... guess that's a start... Thanks for letting me vent! Gotta go find some science and la for dd. I've never done a formal science with her so I really wanted to this year...

Ugh! I could go on and on about what we've done that hasn't worked for us but I've written a book already... thanks for listening if you got all the way thru...
post #60 of 313
We will fit into this club also We started after Christmas this past winter, so have only been at it just under a year. We are officially starting 1st grade with my 2nd and Pre-K with my 3rd son. My oldest attends public schools and my youngest is just 2 haha!

We have been just working out of cheapy workbooks, lots of reading (this is and will always be my main focus), lots of crafts, homemade science projects, and field trips so far. Working well, but I wanted to add more structure into this year. I decided to pick up Story Of The World because I realized, the only history we learned about last year (aside from some books) was a few field trips we took lol. History is really not my thing, I'm a science/nature girl. So this is our plan so far!

Jack my 1st Grader
Singapore Math
Explode The Code
Story Of The World
Spectrum Writing
TONS of reading (he is starting the Magic Tree House Series and I'll read aloud the true books that go with them)
Handwriting Practice book I picked up for cheap

Clay is PreK
Getting Ready For The Code
Lots of Montessori based activities
Cheapy Book on Writing Numbers
Lots of reading with Mama
Working with Alpha-Phonics (more for letter recognition, but he is doing beginning sounds, so this may work well)

Science is just whatever catches our interest in the library that week or whatever the kids are interested in (this has worked FANTASTIC).

Plenty of outdoor activities, learning about nature, classes at the local ecology center, field trips and so forth.

Art is just free fall, whatever works here. We keep 2 big boxes of supplies out for the kids at will.

I'd like to add in Spanish here too, but not sure when or what program to use. Also looking at getting a typing program.

We are also going to start the workbox system, because I want to ensure that at least X amount of things get done each day. Somedays we don't do anything and then I feel guilty lol!!

I plan on 9 boxes for Jack and 6 boxes for Clay. Not the 12 recommended, but I think that is plenty to make sure things are getting done. Plan on putting a few of our things from my list in the boxes, plus fun things like puzzles, word finds, craft activities, games, computer time and so forth.

We are SUPER excited to start and my kids have been asking, I just want to get things organized and cleaned up more around here. Summers are hectic and things should wind down soon.

Okay, I think I covered it all haha!
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