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Old 02-01-2010, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm planning on homeschooling my DD this coming school year. We'll be starting kindergarten. I was never homeschooled and feel a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out where to even start. I know kindergarten should mostly be fun- helping her to develop a love of education/learning, but there are so many different methods of homeschool! Where does one even begin? I know that as a mother I will need to follow a curriculum and have lesson plans prepared ahead of time or I won't stay motivated or organized. So... Please share your ideas with me. Which method did you decide to use and why? What books would you recommend for a mom who is just starting to plan on homeschooling? Are there any websites which describe the different methods in a compare/contrast format? What should I be doing to prepare? Thanks so much!!!

Christina, mama to A 10/05, E 09/07 and S 01/11; Spending my time as a wife, mama, teacher and student. Loving every minute of it! Life is so good!   joy.gif
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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Eclectic. I lean very much towards Montessori and unschooling, but I need a bit more structure so I love unit studies, and I'm getting into Charlotte Mason.

We use Five In A Row, which is a literature based program suitable for ages 4-8, they also have a pre-k program "Before FIAR", and a middle school program "Beyond FIAR". The only thing you need to add with this program is Math, Reading, and Writing, although it is not a prepackaged curriculum. This is our main "curriculum"(I hate that word).

For reading we're using Reading Made Easy, so far it's ok. It's Handwriting Without Tears for handwriting, which dd LOVES. And, undecided on Math for right now.

Homeschool Reviews is a great place to review all the curricula options out there.

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Old 02-01-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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We're classical homeschoolers. I follow the suggestions in the Well Trained Mind pretty closely.
Individual curricula that I use I list on my blog sidebar here: http://concordiaclassicalacademy.blogspot.com/
And why? I like the structure, but how adaptable it is. I like the ideas about mental development. I like a lot of the materials. I really like the results with my kids.

To my husband I am wife, to my kids I am mother, but for myself I am just me.
we're : with and : and
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AdalynsMama View Post
I'm planning on homeschooling my DD this coming school year. We'll be starting kindergarten. I was never homeschooled and feel a bit overwhelmed trying to figure out where to even start. I know kindergarten should mostly be fun- helping her to develop a love of education/learning, but there are so many different methods of homeschool! Where does one even begin? I know that as a mother I will need to follow a curriculum and have lesson plans prepared ahead of time or I won't stay motivated or organized. So... Please share your ideas with me. Which method did you decide to use and why? What books would you recommend for a mom who is just starting to plan on homeschooling? Are there any websites which describe the different methods in a compare/contrast format? What should I be doing to prepare? Thanks so much!!!
We use the Charlotte Mason method. It's the only one that the kids really loved. It's gentle, thorough, and very fun. We started 5 years ago putting our own stuff together and now we use the AmblesideOnline free CM curriculum. I like having a schedule to follow. And the kids actually asked to use it.

If you'd like some info on it, besides the endless websites, I liked the books by Karen Andreola, Catherine Levison, and Elizabeth Foss. Of course CM's original writings are great and many of the articles on the AmblesideOnline (sitemap) page explain so much of the method.

Angela
 
DD(20) Hair Stylist in Manhattan
DD(18) Graduate of the (real) Fame school, now a Dance Theater major at a performing arts conservatory
DS(13) Experiential Charlotte Mason homeschooler
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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we're fairly eclectic. everything we've used so far i've listed at my blog. hth.

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:32 PM
 
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We're eclectic, but mostly classical.

I first started with a very relaxed, unschoolish way, but it wasn't not for us. We dabbled in unit studies with Five in a Row (still do this sometimes). Want to get more Charlotte Mason-ish.

I have fallen in love with the classical/neoclassical method. Both my daughter and I love to learn and I've since learned not to underestimate my child. We're following The Well Trained Mind very closely now. We spend 1-2 hours a day actively learning The rest of the day we play, do read-alouds, go on hikes, etc...

Here's our Kindergarten curriculum:
http://satorismiles.com/curriculum/k...n-spring-2010/

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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Our kindergarten year was very eclectic- we did some Five in a Row, which we enjoyed,I read out loud fairy tales and lots of books, we made up fun activities to go along with what we had read, we went on field trips, we cooked and sang and danced and played. I didn't worry about reading, writing, math or spelling. Personally- I think it was the way kindergarten is meant to be.

Our first grade year we experimented with different styles and curriculums. There is a book by Lisa Weschler that I found helpful in learning about different styles- I'm sorry I can't remember the name right now....

We now are doing Charlotte Mason because it is now a good fit for dd. I think finding the "right" style has a lot to do with finding what works for both you and your child- I have liked a lot of different styles when I read about them, but they just didn't work out for my dd as we were going along, so we switched.

Laura, Mama to Mya 7/02, Ian 6/07 and Anna 8/09
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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I was in your shoes just a few years ago! I was a product of the public schools and got a degree to teach in them...homeschooling took us (and our families) by surprise! Now that we're here we wouldn't do it any other way!

Here's where I started...
1. Figure out what sort of learning style your child might have...into learning from songs? do stories engage her? does she like a strict schedule? how long does she stay engaged? This will help you so much in terms of figuring out what curriculums might work for you.

2. Check out http://www.smoothingtheway.com/stw-home... Mary was a speaker at a homeschool convention I went to my first year...I listened to her CDs and took a lot of her advice....she talks about the different way kids learn.

3. Check out "Home Learning Year by Year" by Rebecca Rupp...for me it serves as reference of what we want to make sure we've learned by the end of the year...I think put together a "master goals" list from that for each month, then do lesson planning from that. If you're interested in seeing an example...I'd be happy to email privately and send you attachments...

4. As many have said...reading books (Five in a Row is fun, though sometimes a bit watered down, in my opinion), being active together with the 'real world', checking out books and educational videos from the library, and engaging with your child in the things THEY are excited about finding out more about sets the foundation on which your child will LOVE to LEARN...which is really the goal, in my opinion! Once they LOVE to learn and know HOW to do it...they'll be set for life!

So excited for you to be beginning this journey!!!
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:24 PM
 
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So far I would describe it as "eclectic minimalist". Our DS1 is 6.5 and has a very short attention span. He is also not one to sit and listen. He learns by doing. So I use workbooks and manipulatives that allow me to hit the most important stuff as efficiently as possible while I have his attention, and that have him participating the whole time, not just listening.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:39 AM
 
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we're fairly eclectic. everything we've used so far i've listed at my blog. hth.

Holy cow. Have any of you visited Amy's website? Check out this resource page. Thank you again, elizawill!

Kelly
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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I looked at the standards on the local school district and state website so I would have some idea of what the kids her age are learning then I picked through it and chose what I wanted to teach dd based on that. Some of the standards touch on things she has known about for years and some were new things that I think it is good for her to learn. I have been going off of her interests for things like science, reading, and social studies and using more traditional worksheet type things with addition and subtraction books from the dollar store.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:15 AM
 
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I'm more "school at home" for our girls. I have one with learning challenges and 2 with developmental delays, and I found for us that having a fairly consistent and rigid order to things along with a basic worksheet based program is the best method for us at this point. I keep thinking about unschooling, but am too scared to take that jump right now while we struggle with dd1's learning challenges. We do k12 through a state-funded virtual academy, which works well for us even if some people look down on us and say we are PS'ers and not hs'ers and that we shouldn't consider ourselves hs'ers.

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

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Old 02-02-2010, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! Thanks so much mamas! This is a ton of awesome information!

Mittsy-- how are you liking FIAR? I spent a huge chunk of time looking at their website and it is really appealing. Especialy when money is a concern. Do you find the books at the library or order the package deal from their website? How often are you using HWT? I like their ideas as well, but it seems like DD might get bored?

theretohere-- thanks for the link to your blog! I'll definitely check out your ideas. I have a close friend who wants me to read The Well Trained Mind. It's top on my list.

citymom-- Charlotte Mason looks awesome. Do you incorporate any other methods?

Eliza-- Holy Batman! Your blog rocks! Thanks so much!

Dotnetdiva-- Thanks for the link. I'll be sure to check it out. Can you tell me more about why you are wanting to incorporate more Charlotte Mason into your studies. Will you continue to use FIAR?

OTmama-- I think we'll be following closely in your footsteps. I coudn't find the book by googling Lisa Wechsler. I guess my first step will be trying to figure out what her learning style is. What is appealing about CM to you?

Stacylsc-- Thank you so much for your ideas and support! They are both so helpful! Beginning, I feel as though this task is HUGE! It's nice to know that others have been in my shoes!

onegirl-- I'll definitely check out our school district and state website. I had no idea they had that information up there!

kittie-- it sounds like you have a challenging situation and that you are doing an awesome job! Tell me more about virtual academys-- I know nothing!

Thanks again everyone! I'm getting so excited!

Christina, mama to A 10/05, E 09/07 and S 01/11; Spending my time as a wife, mama, teacher and student. Loving every minute of it! Life is so good!   joy.gif
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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We are Well Trained Mind classical turned Latin Centered Curriculum classical. We started K with the oldest as classical hs'ers, and then dabbled in Enki, Oak Meadow, and unschooling before returning to classical education. It fits mine and dh's educational philosophy - a strong academic education that also nourishes their development (the reading of great works by great minds). It also has helped me slowly prioritize what is most important (those subjects get much depth) and what is more elective (those subjects are more of a survey, at least until high school). For us, that means, Latin, math, and "language arts" (direct instruction in grammar, copywork/composition, and phonics/spelling/reading) 4 days a week. Once a week, we rotate the other subjects: history (done chronologically), science, art, nature study, and literature (we read every day, but once a week, we spend time reading through a particular book/genre - we are starting with fairy/folk tales).

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Here's the book by Lisa Whelchel (I think). I read it last year about this time to expose myself to all the different methods.
So You're Thinking About Homeschooling: 15 Families Show How You Can Do It

To answer your question, the part about Charlotte Mason that I like is learning more about nature. We are surrounded by it where we live in the Rocky Mountains, and I'd love to be able to identify the fauna and creatures around us. Reading living books we already try to do.

FIAR was great to start us off with a young 4 year old. It stimulated an interest and curiosity about everything and was great exposure to many different things. I have all the books, so I'd love to continue to use this program, but now that we are doing K-1 work, there simply isn't enough time to do it all! I do plan to take each book, read it 3 times in one week (we never really did 5 in a row in a week, but certainly read it at least that many times throughout the year). I have all our FIAR rowings listed on the side of my blog.
http://satorismiles.com/

I love books and our homeschooling is also giving my daughter a love for books ("the great works by great minds" as the previous poster stated below).

Since I love books, I got every book that talked about every style, starting with unschooling. We then had fun with FIAR. Then we started being very eclectic. Now we are finding our love in classical homeschooling. Ironically, the only book I read on classical was WTM, and only now am I reading the others like Climbing Parnassus, LCC, The Trivium: The Liberal Arts of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric, Who Killed Homer?, and so on.

I am still refining about our homeschooling style, but at least I am getting it narrowed down to what works for us!

What's great about MDC is you've got homeschoolings of every style to tell you about their experiences!

- Angela
mama homeschooling Satori, dd6 in the beautiful CO Rockies
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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I highly recommend the Christopherus Kindergarten book. So much in there... and really gets you thinking. I think it's like $25 or so. http://www.christopherushomeschool.o...rs/kindie.html I used that during Pre-K and Kindy for my now 6 year old.

At first, I thought I had to have a curriculum... so I bought one of the Sonlight guides PK4/5 (I think), but didn't buy many books from them as I had them all...or my library did. While I used that a bit, I found out I really didn't need it.

I did want a good math program, so we went with Right Start Level A as DS1 was so hands-on...and not much of a writer. It was wonderful...and even his younger brother loved "playing" math.

I purchased Handwriting Without Tears as well--but we never did it very regularly. Still, when we had it, it worked.

I used Click-n-Read phonics to help DS1 learn to read and it worked like a charm. He was reading very well in two months. Cost was $29.95 though the free homeschooling co-op website.

Honestly, we ended up so laid back. Every day we had story time and outside time. We did math 3 times per week or so... but went weeks without doing it. Still, he learned a ton...and we had a great time together. When he entered public Kindy this year, he was reading well above his classmates and was well above them in math as well. All on maybe 5 hours per week MAX at home.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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Old 02-02-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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Honestly, the virtual academies are different in every state, and they vary within the state by each academy. The one we chose is the most relaxed in early grades of all the ones in our state (Ohio) and its still *fairly* structured. We log hours, teach certain subjects each day based on a lesson planner at the OLS (online school) that we can tweak to fit our situation, and have to meet requirements on the hours we teach. I also have a certified teacher supervising us, she calls us once a month or so at a scheduled time and we chat about how the kids are doing and then she gets on the computer with a live lesson session with each one to see how they are doing in a certain area (or work with them in a trouble spot that I identified in a written message to her if I want her to work with them on it a little to give me more ideas) I feel like its really not too intrusive in our home, but I know that others would feel that its smothering to have this setup. It technically IS a public school, as its funded by the state, so we have to do the state testing and we submit a portfolio piece or two in April for each kid (this year she's just asking for a writing sample from each one, I have the documents already with what the options are for each one so that we can practice it before doing it in April to mail out or scan/e-mail) I need the accountability it provides or I'd not do squat for lessons, and we're "allowed" to join the local hs support group and participate in all activities, so its kind of the best of both worlds for us. I don't have to worry about paperwork for filing notification and reporting each year, and I don't have to worry about being able to afford materials and develop the strictness with myself to be consistent, while at the same time I know that I have help if we need it (and I've sent many messages to our teacher this year asking for ideas on stuff that the kids are struggling with) We are pro-standardized testing anyway, so doing the testing with the school is NOT an issue for me. We'd be doing those tests even if we were independent most likely.

Cat- FT ministry student and Sonlight hsing momma to a wild crew of girls
Melissa 4/03, Lydia 5/04, Kimberly 1/06, and Jordan 9/07

And waiting impatiently on baby Isaiah ******* to appear around 3/12

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:40 PM
 
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when i first started to learn about HS in a really pratical way -- I found this

and saved it

I don't have the site -- it was a summary on a yahoo group

but here it is -- maybe this will help you a little:

Quote:
Homeschooling Approaches

Although every family is unique, certain homeschooling approaches have become
popular in one form or another. Most homeschoolers do not exactly follow one
style or method, but rather select ideas and methods from among different
approaches to best fit their family's needs. Many of these methods have several
common elements such as defined objectives, lesson plans, frequent library
visits, family nights, portfolios, and even tutoring and mentoring. When looking
at the differences between homeschooling approaches, it is important to see what
they have in common as well as their differences.

The first step in choosing a homeschooling approach is to gather information
about the options that exist. Ask yourself a few questions to help you decide
what homeschooling methods best fit your family. Are you a highly organized
person? Do you like your day to be predictable, or are you inclined to stay
flexible, ready to adapt to changing circumstances? Would you prefer that you
not be told what to do? Do you want your curriculum to be planned for you, with
teacher instructions and worksheets for the children? Or do you want to be able
to pick and choose which books they read and which activities to engage in?
As you study these descriptions and talk to experienced homeschoolers, you can
start to get a feel for the style that best fits you and your family.

The following are the most popular homeschooling approaches:

School-at-Home
School-at-home is the style most often portrayed in the media because it is so
easy to understand and can be accompanied by a photo of children studying around
the kitchen table. This is also the most expensive method and the style with the
highest burnout rate. Most families who follow the school-at-home approach
purchase a boxed curriculum that comes with textbooks, study schedules, grades,
and record keeping.

Unit Studies
Unit studies use your child's interest and then ties that interest into subject
areas like math, reading, spelling, science, art and history. For example, if
you have a child who is interested in ancient Egypt, you would learn the history
of Egypt, read books about Egypt, write stories about Egypt, do art projects
about pyramids, and learn about Egyptian artifacts or mapping skills to map out
a catacomb.

Unschooling
Unschooling is also known as natural, interest-led, and child-led learning.
Unschoolers learn from everyday life experiences and do not use school schedules
or formal lessons. Instead, unschooled children follow their interests and learn
in much the same way as adults do—by pursuing an interest or curiosity.
Unschooled children learn their math, science, reading and history in the same
way that children learn to walk and talk.

"Relaxed" or "Eclectic" Homeschooling
"Relaxed" or "Eclectic" homeschooling is the method used most often by
homeschoolers. Basically, eclectic homeschoolers use a little of this and a
little of that such as workbooks for math, reading, and spelling, and taking an
unschooling approach for the other subjects.

Classical Homeschooling
The "classical" method began in the Middle Ages and was the approach used by
some of the greatest minds in history. The goal of the classical approach is to
teach people how to learn for themselves. The five tools of learning, known as
the Trivium, are reason, record, research, relate, and rhetoric. Younger
children begin with the preparing stage, where they learn basic reading,
writing, and arithmetic. The grammar stage is next, which emphasizes
compositions and collections, and then the dialectic stage, where serious
reading, study, and research take place. All the tools come together in the
rhetoric stage, where communication is the primary focus.

The Charlotte Mason Method
The Charlotte Mason method has at its core the belief that children deserve
respect and that they learn best from real-life situations. According to
Charlotte Mason, children should be given time to play, create, and be involved
in real-life situations from which they can learn. Students of the Charlotte
Mason method take nature walks, visit art museums, and learn geography, history,
and literature from "living books," books that make these subjects come alive.
Students also show what they know, not by taking tests, but via narration and
discussion.

The Waldorf Method
The Waldorf method is also used by some homeschoolers. Waldorf education is
based on the work of Rudolf Steiner and stresses the importance of educating the
whole child—body, mind, and spirit. In the early grades, there is an emphasis on
arts and crafts, music and movement, and nature. Older children are taught to
develop self-awareness and how to reason things out for themselves. Children in
a Waldorf homeschool do not use standard textbooks; instead, the children create
their own books.

Montessori
Montessori materials are also popular in some households. The Montessori method
emphasizes "errorless learning," where the children learn at their own pace and
in that way develop their full potential. The Montessori homeschool emphasizes
beauty and avoids things that are confusing or cluttered. Wooden tools are
preferred over plastic tools, and learning materials are kept well-organized and
ready to use. Most homeschoolers use the Montessori method for younger children.

Multiple Intelligences
"Multiple intelligences" is an idea developed by Howard Gardner and Harvard
University's "project zero." The belief is that everyone is intelligent in his
or her own way and that learning is easiest and most effective when it uses a
person's strengths instead of their weakness. For example, most schools use a
linguistic and logical-mathematical approach when teaching, but not everyone
learns that way. Some students, the bodily kinesthetic learners for example,
learn best by touching and not by listening or reading. Most successful
homeschoolers naturally emphasize their children's strengths and automatically
tailor their teaching to match their child's learning style. Successful
homeschoolers also adjust their learning environment and schedule so that it
brings out their child's' best. The goal for the homeschooling parents is to
identify how, when, and what their child learns best and to adapt their teaching
style to their child.

Hybrid Homeschooling (part-time)
Hybrid homeschoolers work in the middle ground between a traditional type of
schooling, and homeschooling. Many hybrid homeschoolers work with their public
school system or utilize co-op classes, tutors, and even private school
programs. While hybrids work with a more traditional type of schooling, they
only do this a few days per week. Homeschoolers find this method more appealing
as children get older, because it provides a more structured environment for the
child, and can take a lot of weight off of the parents shoulders as well as free
up a good deal of your time.

Internet Homeschooling
The Internet Homeschooling method has become a widespread phenomenon that allows
homeschoolers to harness the power of the Internet by accessing virtual tutors,
virtual schools, online curriculum, and quality websites. Parents are turning to
this method because they can set their own schedule, learn online wherever there
is internet access, talk to teachers one on one whenever their child needs help,
and can study subjects that interest their child. Also, schools like iQ Academy,
let you work at your own pace, and even provide students with a laptop

Aimee + Scott = Theodore Roosevelt (11/05) and 23 months later Charles Abraham (10/07)....praying for a little sister; the search starts May 2014
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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I generally like the Charlotte Mason approach and we are using Heart of Dakota K curriculum. Ds and I both LOVE it. I was overwhelmed too and now that we found what works for us and now I am so glad we are homeschooling.

homebirth.jpg<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1! homeschool.gifmdcblog5.gif

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post
when i first started to learn about HS in a really pratical way -- I found this

and saved it

I don't have the site -- it was a summary on a yahoo group

but here it is -- maybe this will help you a little:
Nothing against you Aimee, because I know you got it from a Yahoo group who got it from a website (I think it's something like homeschooling.com or such), but their section on Classical Homeschooling isn't correct.
Quote:
The five tools of learning, known as
the Trivium, are reason, record, research, relate, and rhetoric. Younger
children begin with the preparing stage, where they learn basic reading,
writing, and arithmetic. The grammar stage is next, which emphasizes
compositions and collections, and then the dialectic stage, where serious
reading, study, and research take place.
By definition, the Trivium has 3 parts. Classical education began back in the empires of Greece and Rome, and was the way of educating chidlren (well, boys) in the West until the learly 1900's, when it fell out of favor based largely on the educational philosophy of men like John Dewey. Classical education is based on the Trivium: grammar, logic, rhetoric (not necessarily subjects but how they are taught, though some will argue that specific subjects also are what define Classical education) and the Quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. The Trivium can been seen as the study of letters and their application and the Quadrivium can been seen as the study of numbers and their application.

Sorry, I just have read that definition before and it made me chuckle, so I wanted to clear that up a little bit.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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My daughter is also 4 and will "officially" start homeschooling next fall. :-)

I found the book "The First Year of Homeschooling Your Child" by Linda Dobson really helpful. She has a chapter explaining all the different styles of homeschooling, then spotlights a "week in the life" of a family utilizing each of those methods.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:04 PM
 
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We are eclectic with a Classical and Charlotte Mason bend.

Following Classical Education, we use the Trivium and cover history in three parts. I think we lean a little more towards Charlotte Mason, though. We like to do nature studies, learn through living books (which is also Classical), learn our math through a more living / hands on way rather than textbooks, implement short lessons, set aside time for handicrafts, use narration/dictation/copywork, and spend some time on music and art.

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:33 AM
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I consider myself an eclectic homeschooler. The primary reason for that is that my dd needs different levels for each subject. So, it is tailored to her skills. A packaged curriculum would be a waste of time and money for us.

I use singapore for math
Level one physics for science (Real science 4 kids)
Spectrum Spelling
The library for US history
Easy Grammar
Various novels and other literature for reading/lit
We incorporate writing into the curriculum
We also specifically make time for "life skills" (cooking, sewing, woodworking, fixing things, budgets and organization)
We also incorporate health with a variety of resources.
etc.

We also like it because she has some say in the curriculum. For example she choose Physics for science and US history for social studies. I map out some stuff, other stuff is on the fly. I used to try to plan everything but then I felt like a failure when it didn't "go as planned".

Amy

Mom to three very active girls Anna (14), Kayla (11), Maya (8). 
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