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I Need Some HELP figuring out next year's curric. - looking at Oak Meadow vs. WTM.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have been poring nonstop over various curriculum and trying to figure out the best approach for us. My son is currently five. He turned five last July and even though I had originally planned to wait until he was six to start school I went ahead and started at five - largely because one of my families (I run a home daycare) wanted to know if I'd homeschool her son's kindergarten year with my son. I admit that I only said yes because my hubby's currently a full-timestudent and my business is supporting the family and I really didn't want to lose a family at that point if I could help it. That being said, we both liked WTM kind of stuff (well-trained mind), so the approach ended up being very
schoolish. Even though when I first started thinking about homeschooling years ago I said I didn't want to make it overly academic in the early years somehow I
found myself doing just that. We worked on phonics, learning to read, and basic math. My son has always loved letters and numbers (he wrote letters on his ownat the age of 3 with no instruction or prompting from me), so I thought he'd LOVE learning to read. At first he did, but then he became more and more and more resistant. One thing I told myself when we made the decision to homeschool
is that I wanted to make sure that however we did things we kept our child's natural curiosity, love of learning, etc...alive, and that if we saw that zest for learning diminish it meant we were not approaching things the way he needed
us to. I definitely feel that he started to resist school more and more and more. Honestly if it hadn't have been for my agreement to homeschool the other boy we would've quit what we were doing months ago. Well, the other child's mom
ended up deciding to stay home anyways and their last day was at the end of December. While they were a fantastic family and I was sad to see them go, I wasalso a bit relieved. I quit schooling my son immediately and we've been kind of
deschooling. He's done school since then when he's wanted to. He did some of his Singapore math (which we do like by the way and may continue to have on hand as he's interested) and he's been playing nonstop with snap cubes today and using them to measure objects. So for us this is how I envision the rest of Kindy is going to go. We can't afford to buy OM at this point and we have enough stuff
here that I don't feel the need to rush and buy the Kindy curriculum. As far as learning to read we've stopped that completely. He hates the book (The Ordinary
Parent's Guide to teaching Reading) we were using. He does love spelling words with magnets though and he loves saying words he knows when I read to him atnight before bed. He can sound out short three letter CVC words. So we will
continue to do the things he loves. But I LOVE to read and I'd hate to push him now with the reading and end up having him despise reading. He loves being read to at night and that will of course continue.

Anyways, I'm rambling, but I wanted you to see where we're coming from. Abilities wise he is capable of an academic approach. He picks up on things quickly. But focus and attention wise he cannot do something that requires too
much concentration for much time at all. I realize what I'm describing sounds like a typical little boy, but I will say that his ability to focus and attend to the task at hand are less than his peers (his daddy has ADHD and it's possible that he does too). Anyways, classical approach has seemed all wrong for him, or perhaps my implementation of it has been. I fell in LOVE with the idea of the classical curriculum as explained in WTM, but it doesn't seem like it's for him at all and I want him to love what we're doing. That being said, we haven't gotten into the first grade yet. So it's possible that he'd love the history study of ancients as long as we kept it really hands on and activities oriented. But given that WTM didn't work so well for his K year I'm not sure if we should give it another go next year.

Also, I work 50+ hours a week running a home daycare. This is necessary until my hubby is done with school, after which point I WILL cut back! I know I could continue WTM and piecemeal what he needs for next year and I've looked at a lot of stuff and haveconsidered that,however, given my time constraints I like the idea of something that is all in one. This is where I'm really starting to consider Oak Meadow. Obviously, the approach would be quite different from WTM, but I'm wondering if it would be better suited to him. While I never thought I'd be one to do all in one curriculum, given my schedule and time constraints right now I'm wondering if it would make life easier and help to keep homeschooling feasible for us during this busy stage of life while hubby is in school.

I like the idea of OM as our program. I do have the common worry of it being slow for him as I said he's been writing letters since the age of three. However, my understanding is that we could take it more as exploring letters and
having fun with letters, rather than learning the letters. DS is very creative and already likes to make letters out of food, sticks, you name it. I think thiswould appeal to him. He does like to draw, although he can be resistant when he
has an instruction vs. just doing his own thing. He's already asked me to teach him how to knit. I do knit. Well, let me rephrase. I have knitting needles andprojects in various bags strewn throughout the house and if I had time in my day I might actually finish one of them. But anyways, he's been begging me to teachhim and I haven't found time to do it. So I like the idea that it's part of the program because I know that we would get it done then. Also, I do think learning the recorder would appeal to him. I think it would "force" me to do all the artsy/crafty stuff that I WANT to do with him but can't seem to find time to do. He definitely has done artsy/crafty stuff in the past with his daycare friends,
but the ones his age have all moved on and I have a very young crowd right now, so it can be really hit or miss the things that we do in the daycare right now.

So if we decide to do Oak Meadow we will just deschool the rest of this year, complete his Kindergarten Singapore math books as he's interested and then start1st grade OM in the fall.

So, for those here who use OM, any insight? Do you think this could be a good fit? Do you think the structure of OM could help us to continue homeschooling with such a busy lifestyle? For those who do WTM, do you think I just need to change up my implementation? Do you think the WTM approach is too much given my time constraints? If anyone has experience using both approaches, I'd love any insight you have to offer!

 

Also, for those that use OM, does anyone supplement? We do have Miquon and Singapore and Family Mathand I was planning on using those things on more of an interest led basis as an enrichment to the math provided in the OM curriculum if we do end up switching to it. Do you think this would work well?


Do you think this curriculum would work for a bouncy Tigger personality? Thoughts on continuing WTM approach with a bouncy bouncy boy?

Any thoughts on making homeschooling work with my schedule? We try to homeschool during daycare naptime, however, I've realized we're going to have to incorporate a
morning session if we're to get everything I want to accomplish done. Plus he's crankier early afternoon and that does not lend itself well to schooling. Also,really involved hands on projects will likely wait until the weekend.

I guess after reading my history (sorry it's so long), I really want to make sure what we do next year is a good fit as I don't have extra $ to buy something that's wrong for us and then have to buy something else for next year. I appreciate any and all input. Thank you!

 

Also, for those that use OM, does anyone supplement? We do have Miquon and Singapore and Family Mathand I was planning on using those things on more of an interest led basis as an enrichment to the math provided in the OM curriculum if we do end up switching to it. Do you think this would work well?

Do you think this curriculum would work for a bouncy Tigger personality? Thoughts on continuing WTM approach with a bouncy bouncy boy?

Any thoughts on making homeschooling work with my schedule? We try to homeschool during daycare naptime, however, I've realized we're going to have to incorporate a
morning session if we're to get everything I want to accomplish done. Plus he's crankier early afternoon and that does not lend itself well to schooling. Also,really involved hands on projects will likely wait until the weekend.

I guess after reading my history (sorry it's so long), I really want to make sure what we do next year is a good fit as I don't have extra $ to buy something that's wrong for us and then have to buy something else for next year. I appreciate any and all input. Thank you!

post #2 of 5

WTM would only have kids under 1st grade working on reading and that is all.  I like that they wean kids into more rigorous academics.  And to that end, the curriculums they recommend are pretty concise so that you are not spending tons of time on anything at young ages.  OM may be great, I wouldn't know.  But reread WTM before you toss it out.
 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassy View Post

WTM would only have kids under 1st grade working on reading and that is all.  I like that they wean kids into more rigorous academics.  And to that end, the curriculums they recommend are pretty concise so that you are not spending tons of time on anything at young ages.  OM may be great, I wouldn't know.  But reread WTM before you toss it out.
 

 

The reading is the hardest part for him. I use the WTM book The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading and my DS HATES it, which is why I'm thinking we might need a different approach. Other than reading all we're doing is math and he likes that part of school, so that's worked well. We've only just now in the last month started using a gentle approach to handwriting (he can already write letters due to his own interest, but we're working on writing them correctly now). So I guess I'm thinking WTM might be too schoolish/workbook oriented for him. First grade would have him start doing grammer, writing, continuing with learning to read, etc...and while abilities wise he's capable of all of that, developmentally I'm not sure that he will be ready for all of that. He has a workbook for math, but we use it as a guide and do a lot of learning with manipulatives. He LOVES to be read to. OM uses a lot of stories to teach, which I thought he might like. Also, I want something that's going to help me include art. Sure I could do it on my own, but left to my own devices it will be neglected. I think that's why OM appeals to me. I also like the all in one ready to go aspect. With working 50 hours a week running a home daycare, it can be hard to find time to make library trips, gather resources, etc...

 

I'm also looking at Sonlight in addition to OM. I'm thinking I will end up going with one of those. The only thing is that if we go with Sonlight I will need to find some sort of art curriculum so that we don't neglect that aspect. Either way we will continue with Singapore as that is working for him.

post #4 of 5

I love sonlight.  We have been using it for years and years for reading and SS.  WTM does have a lot of workbook type work but that works for me because of limited time.  It has all of the important stuff really well taught taking up very little time so that we have more time for all of the other stuff that I think is more important. Hey, people really like OM and I would never say anything bad about it.  Just jumping in saying how much WTM has done for my family.  But in reading it, it was truth for me.  It is an educational philosophy just like you would have a parenting philosophy.  Pick what feels right and then put your all into it!
 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tassy View Post

I love sonlight.  We have been using it for years and years for reading and SS.  WTM does have a lot of workbook type work but that works for me because of limited time.  It has all of the important stuff really well taught taking up very little time so that we have more time for all of the other stuff that I think is more important. Hey, people really like OM and I would never say anything bad about it.  Just jumping in saying how much WTM has done for my family.  But in reading it, it was truth for me.  It is an educational philosophy just like you would have a parenting philosophy.  Pick what feels right and then put your all into it!
 

 

 

Thanks for that perspective. At this point I think I'm leaning much more heavily towards Sonlight. As far as more hands on art activities that he would enjoy, I may just buy him some good quality art supplies and a good basic instruction book and maybe just let him draw/paint while he's being read his Sonlight selections. He has a lot of wiggles, so this could maybe work well?

 

The past few days I've set the workbook stuff aside and have been reading, reading, reading to him instead just to kind of get a feel for how that style of learning might work for him. So far he's been LOVING the one on one cuddle and read with mom time while the daycare kiddos are napping. So I may just continue to feel that out and see how it goes. We can't order curriculum for next year until we get our tax return anyways, so I have time to figure this out.

 

I think with WTM, the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading has been kind of a turn off. I don't think it's a bad book - I kind of liked it. But I don't think it's been right for my son. The scripted approach doesn't seem to work for him at all. So I'm trying to just use it more as a guide now. I guess that's why I'm worried about doing FLL with him next year - that was my original plan. I think he might just not be ready for it then - even though he'll be in first grade then.

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