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Old 10-16-2006, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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While my children are not of legal homeschooling age in my state, both are actually being home educated. I think of my style as child-led classical or classical hybrid; I have a plan, but as often as not it seems to go right out the window. We're getting things done on a pretty regular basis; reading, math, art, music, science, etc. It's loads of fun! I keep meaning to do history with the kids, but BeanBean is always "sidetracked" by maps, so we spend a lot more time doing geography. I can see lots of progress, particularly in BeanBean's reading and BooBah's vocabulary. BeanBean is working on reading/phonics, math (mostly geometry & patterns, some operations), geography (his current obsession), handwriting, and music (pitch & tonality); BooBah is learning the names of various animals and their habitats (i.e. springboks live in African grasslands), turning a cartwheel, using the remote (not my idea!!), handwriting, letter sounds, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Both kids are learning some Spanish, and I really need to get them going on Hebrew again. We do art whenever I remember it; Lisa has kindly uploaded some of their most recent artwork.



I'm probably going to enroll BeanBean in Agora Cyber Charter School when he's old enough (in two years) because they give you lots of free stuff and it looks like loads of fun. They're very open to accomodating special needs of all kinds, and not just with busy work, so I'm willing to give it a shot. They won't take him "early," but if he tests into a higher grade, he can do that level of work, and at any pace he chooses. He's just desperate to get his hands on more of those maps.

Anyone else homeschooling? How's it going?

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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I wish we had that cyberschooling thing here. That would be perfect for Nan. Oh well.

We're still puttering along doing our weird combo of eclectic and sort of semi-quasi-classical. Hollis is doing Latin, chemistry, and algebra formally and then other subjects as the mood strikes him. He already knows tons of history and geography so that's not an issue. We pretty much do one of those three subjects each day and then he reads a history book or whatever.

Nan seems to have skipped third grade so she's mostly been doing stuff from 4th grade materials. I find it easier to pull pages from workbooks and review the concepts with her than make up an uber-creative curriculum. Ideally I'd like an arts-based curriculum for her but that's not going to happen at the moment. She's so busy with dance (5 days/week) that sometimes it's hard to work in any "school" at all!
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:20 PM
 
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We are homeschoolers too. Other than a bit of preschool we've always homeschooled. We really like the flexibility and freedom and it is has been a good fit our family. It is hard for me to imagine what the alternative would have been.

Just like anything else in parenting, I guess what I'd say about homeschooling is that the time can go by really quickly. At this point we are transitioning to more online and university courses and that has been fun too. Prior to this we've never followed a set curriculum or program, but have rather just picked out books and resources that seem to suit us at the time.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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Roar, what online and university stuff are you doing? We are thinking of going that route in a couple of years.
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Old 10-16-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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My son is enjoying (see a previous thread that I've lost now and do not feel like finding again) his 2.5 hour kindergarten experience - it's kind of his daily playdate and rest from his classical-esque homeschooling. He loves math and science in particular, and as long as I wrap other subjects round so that they have something to do with Copernicus and/or da Vinci I find I get very little pushback from him. I'd like to fit in more time for handwriting practice but have found that doing kids' crosswords and telling him that "this one is all uppercase" or "that one is all lowercase" has been helping him in a fun way and the proof is showing up in his little three line stories.

Other than that...status quo. We've added swimming and golf into our program this year (both at his request) and he's anxious for winter baseball clinics to start. Six is a fun age, isn't it?
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Old 10-16-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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Roar, what online and university stuff are you doing? We are thinking of going that route in a couple of years.
College stuff has been in person at a local liberal arts college and university. We are fortunate to live where we have some local options. I don't know what we'd do otherwise. In addition to classes he's also worked with mentors and that has been really helpful.

Online we are trying different options and still finding what works. We've been had access to some free high school options through a state online school. He's also studied with eIMACs which is a great option for high school math and computer science. http://www.eimacs.com Also, for math inclined kids the Art of Problem Solving offers interesting courses. http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/ Right now what seems to work best here is to limit it to one online class at a time so it doesn't make for too much time on the computer. I know some kids really like being online and are happy to have that be the bulk of their education, but it isn't ideal for our child. It does fill some gaps nicely though.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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I always include the programs we're using, because I'm interested in the specifics what others are doing. If you're using or have finished something that was a great success, please share.

We do about an hour a day of "formal" lessons. We're doing a modified WTM, without literature studies or writing (composition). Those can wait a couple years. In the meantime, she reads voraciously and does composition when she see's fit. We've also put off spelling until she's doing more writing.

DD1 does:

* math (cruising through Singapore 2B; we've decided not to go back to RightStart);

* grammar, which she loves as she's into language and how it works (finished First Language Lessons, now working through Grammar Island to be followed by Growing with Grammar);

* vocabulary, as she appreciates nuance (almost done Wordly Wise 1);

* history (History Odyssey: Ancients) this is great fun;

* science (almost done R.E.A.L. Science: Life to be followed by their Earth Science/Astronomy)

* geography (Evan Moore Daily Geography, plus the physical geography I'll integrate into earth science and the geography in History Odyssey)

* handwriting (Getty Dubay Italic)

* She plays with Rosetta Stone at will and is currently working through Level 1 French. She recently asked me about ancient Greek (OMG!), but I think I've talked her into doing Latin first (at least I have some experience). I've acquired Minimus, but haven't read through the guide yet. I've also ordered So You Really Want to Learn Latin Prep. 1 , but it's shipping surface from the UK and will take awhile to get here.

* there's a philosophy series I want to start from the IAPC (?); the first book of the series is called Elfie. However, the teacher's guide is in the process of being reprinted and is a necessary part of the program.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:30 PM
 
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We unschool and just follow our dds' leads, helping them pursue their interests further when they want our help.

Our oldest (now six-and-a-half) showed an early interest in stories, books, and letter sounds and was sounding out words at age four. I hesitated to introduce the learn-to-read computer programs some of our friends were using, 'cause I thought she was too young to be that involved with the computer. More recently she's been expressing a strong desire to read fluently. She's always developed her own ways of studying it -- mainly she likes to write lists of words, or notes to people.

I decided a few months ago to see how she liked the Starfall program; she does and also enjoys a "Camp Read-a-Lot" program my husband introduced her to. I'm just careful to limit the screen-time -- she often limits it herself but we've had some cold, wet weather lately so we have to stretch our creativity to keep happy and occupied.

She loves hearing stories and being read to. Currently she's most into "The Hobbit" and the "Harry Potter" series; she also enjoys Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books and C.S. Lewis's "Chronicles of Narnia," among others. When she specially likes a book we try to get it on audio 'cause she loves hearing them over and over again as she plays and does artwork. She creates tons of her own stories through hours and hours of imaginary play.

She enjoys cooking projects and does some sewing, both of which give a good foundation for math and science. And she explores the outdoors, does mud sculpture, and excitedly observes the bugs in our yard.

Dear husband's a music lover, and exposes us all to a wide variety of music. Both girls love dancing. Our oldest is kinesthetically gifted, and our toddler seems very interested in singing and making melodies.

In our state we're not required to keep records 'till age seven; next fall I plan to just continue following the girls' lead as we have been, but I'll keep a journal of my oldest's activities, along with time spent and slap a subject category on each activity to meet the requirement. I'll also keep some of her work each year in a portfolio, just in case we need to show anyone, which isn't likely in our state.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:10 PM
 
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I love the idea of a cyber charter school!
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I love it, too; my mother says it's because I would have loved to do such a program for all the three or four years it took me to graduate. In PA, we're not required to keep records until a child is eight; for BeanBean, it will be damn near nine because his birthday is in November (rather than before September 15). If we do the cyber school thing, I'll probably enroll him the year that he turns six. I haven't decided whether or not I should press the issue about next year; it really won't matter too much if he's a grade "younger." I think that I can make a good argument for putting him into first grade if he scores at first grade level or higher on his assessments, rather than into kindergarten. So, assuming that he does, I may just ask them to let him skip kindergarten, which is unlikely to be a big deal (particularly in cyberschool).

As to skipping first grade... well, I don't know if that would be necessary for him. I do want to make sure that he's challenged, but at the same time I don't want him to be demoralized/depressed by the level of work they expect from him. The K12 program is fairly rigorous; it'll really depend on what he's up to at that point. It's all mastery based, though, so if he completes all of the first grade work in a month, they'll just ship the second grade stuff out. : So I guess there's nothing for me to worry about there. Placements are based not only on assessments, but on the parent's information, so if I think that he belongs in a different "level," I'll ask that he be placed there. It's all good.

We've got Singapore Primary Math 1A, but it's difficult for BeanBean because he doesn't write all that well, and he is very interested in doing things "correctly" (he won't use a sticker in a box instead of writing). He absolutely *loves* playing with pattern blocks, so we spend a lot of time doing that, and he will sleep with maps if you don't pull them away.

Bean's also a fan of First Language Lessons; we're about 1/3 of the way through that. He really disklikes picture narration with the pictures in the book, though, so I use other images. I can't really blame him for that, the illustrations aren't fabulous, but I thought that they could be worse. His favorite thing is memorizing poems, and I keep promising him that I'll do some more Shel Silverstein with him, but I haven't gotten around to that.

mammal_mamma-- do you find the reader of the little house books to be particularly boring, or is that just me? I could barely stay awake, and I remember thinking, "Gee, these books were so interesting to read..."

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 10-17-2006, 09:34 PM
 
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mammal_mamma-- do you find the reader of the little house books to be particularly boring, or is that just me? I could barely stay awake, and I remember thinking, "Gee, these books were so interesting to read..."
Eilonwy, we haven't got those on audio yet, but she LOVES them, and I've read some of them numerous times. Knowing the reader is boring will save us some money 'cause we won't bother to buy 'em.

Our other audio-books've really inspired me to read more dramatically and make different voices --can't have dd preferring some strange actor over me!(:

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 10-17-2006, 10:46 PM
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I am currently homeschooling my tow dd. One is doing grade 4, the other K-1. I make my own lessons, or find stuff at the library. We are very ecclectic in our approach. We belong to a distance ed alternative program which provides us with an online community and a teacher which I write a journal entry to on a weekly basis. It is a support system as well as the government's way of keeping tabs. However this program has many unschoolers involved so they are very lenient and child-led. www.selfdesign.org if you're curious.
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Old 10-18-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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We've got Singapore Primary Math 1A, but it's difficult for BeanBean because he doesn't write all that well, and he is very interested in doing things "correctly" (he won't use a sticker in a box instead of writing).
We do math orally when possible (nothing need be written in Singapore until you start adding columns of numbers in 2A). I do the writing when DD1's not up to it.
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We do math orally when possible (nothing need be written in Singapore until you start adding columns of numbers in 2A). I do the writing when DD1's not up to it.

BeanBean desperately *wants* to write, though, it really seems to bother him when he just can't write in a tiny space. : I don't want to push him, because I had a hard time with handwriting myself and I know that little boys in particular can have a rough time with it. He's a nearly-four-year old boy, and it never would have occurred to me to start teaching him to write at all if he wasn't so eager to learn. I feel like I"m walking a very fine line between pushing too hard and helping him. I'm glad that he wants to learn, but at the same time he needs to work so hard at it that I'm always ready to back off before he is. :

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:54 AM
 
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Well I have 2 older kids in public school...but I am seriously considering homeschooling my 2 younger kids and have decided this is a practice year...I am failing miserably though...I think...then when I think back through a week it does seem we school a lot..it's just more informal so I think I am more unschooling right now than anything...we are moving in 2 weeks so I am really not concentrating on the school thing.

I bought Singapore math for Sophia..just turned 3 and she whizzed through it. Guess I should buy the next book. I thought she was going to be a more verbal kid but the way she went through the math books...well....maybe her dad did contribute some genes She can print most of her letters and is very intent on writing them small...she has amazing fine motor skills for her age. She's like Bean bean in that she is very focused and wants to be able to print...

Sophia will be doing a get ready for kindergarten program offered locally..it's 8 wks and it's free for the kids...I have decided to let her try it since it's a short period of time one day per week...I may even let her go to jk and sk to see how it goes...we are moving into a new school area with a gifted program. It looks good on paper but doesnt start until grade 4.

baby just woke up...
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:26 PM
 
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He's also studied with eIMACs which is a great option for high school math and computer science. http://www.eimacs.com Also, for math inclined kids the Art of Problem Solving offers interesting courses. http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/ .

How did you like the eimacs courses? How far through the sequence did you go and at what point in his math did you start? We are finishing up the EPGY k-7 sequence and thinking about where to go next. We also really like the art of problem solving site, we might try an introductory course next summer.

For the OP, we have been homeschooling a couple of years and it has been great. We've also enjoyed a course through mentisonline.com with Wendy Conklin. It was a nice opportunity for dd to discuss some literature online with other kids.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:36 PM
 
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ignore this one.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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How did you like the eimacs courses? How far through the sequence did you go and at what point in his math did you start? We are finishing up the EPGY k-7 sequence and thinking about where to go next. We also really like the art of problem solving site, we might try an introductory course next summer.
eIMACs is really challenging and I would save it until the child is a ways into high school math. Our son studied logic and said was more challenging than the college math courses he's taken. Part of that was because it is a work at your own pace approach and he tends to work hard when given the chance. Overall we were pleased. They are very good about answering questions and giving feedback really quickly which I think makes a world of difference in an online course. Oh and as far as level prior to taking eIMACs our child had worked through geometry and most of algebra 2. They have a placement test and will advise if your child is ready for the program. I do think it is worth doing at some point for any kid who is pretty math oriented.
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