Homeschooling "without" internet - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Can it be done? For a third grader. We use our phones and can hook them to the computer for a little bit or take the laptop to a wifi spot, but what are some good book-based or offline curriculums?
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#2 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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People were homeschooling quite successfully long before the Internet ever came along. And there have always been lots of people who homeschool successfully and easily without the use of full packaged curricula. You can find lots of very good materials made by individuals or individual companies that specialize in one subject rather than producing for a whole spectrum of subjects.

I'd first take a look through the FUN-Books website for all the various subjects you're interested in finding curricula for. It has lots of things you generally won't find elsewhere, and they're things that were chosen by the owner family to enhance the joy of learning that produces lifelong learners.

Also take a look at a book by Rebecca Rupp, the author of The Complete Home Learning Resource Book: Home Learning Year by Year: How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School. It's an enjoyable read that details the scope and sequence of the standard subjects generally covered by schools, with suggestions for good books and resources that can be used. Keep in mind that the author is not saying certain things should be studied or learned by certain ages - only that the things listed are what the average school today would consider appropriate at given times.

If you want to start with a full curriculum, keep in mind that people don't usually end up staying with what they start with, so I wouldn't advise making a commitment to one until you've had a chance to be home with your child for a while, exploring and having fun learning in a casual way noticing how she tends to learn best. Five in a Row is a literature-based unit study that could provide that kind of flexibility. There are sample lessons on their website. Any curriculum, of course, can provide flexibility if you choose to pick and choose as you go - it's just that it can be hard at first to stand back and sort out the unnecessary things that can make homeschooling stressful instead of enjoyable for your child.

Have fun! Lillian
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#3 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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We have some good friends that don't own a computer & so have no internet access at home. Their kids are preK through 5th grade, are structured kind of homeschoolers, and are smart & doing fine. And yeah, people used to hs without internet all the time just fine!

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#4 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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When we start a more structured approach in the fall, none of the teaching materials I chose require the internet. I don't think many do.

History Odyssey
Creativity Express (cd rom)
Rightstart Math
Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding K-2

The internet is a great resource if your library sucks but it's definitely not required.
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#5 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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None of my curriculum requires internet either (SOTW, Growing with Grammar, some Rod & Staff stuff, Saxon & Challenge Math..). But I'm not sure how I would have learned about each curriculum in the 1st place if I wasn't able to search on the internet.

But you know what the internet is REALLY good for?? Distraction! And getting sucked into others' blogs & comparing your home school to theirs. And constantly feeling like you could be doing things different/better because of what you see online. And getting sucked into used curriculum sites just to find a great deal on things you didn't even know you needed! And forever adding to your Amazon wish list, even though you have all the hs books you need for the year.


In total honesty, I have a serious love/hate relationship with the internet. It does come in incredibly handy for some things (I really love being able to put our books on hold on the library's website & then go pick them all up a couple days later, that's probably the thing I'd miss the most), but stoopid internet also really distracts me from what I'm doing. A perfect example is right now! I'd like to be folding my laundry mountain, but instead I just got sucked in to a thread on the WTM forum about things that other hs'ers are using to supplement their SOTW. We don't even need to supplement.... we're doing fine... I don't even know why I kept reading & following links... it was just interesting to see the options.... but BLARG! It sucked up 30 mins of my time for nothing!

Geez. I'm sorry 2lilsweetfoxes, to turn your thread into a personal vent from an insane person who needs to step away from the screen.

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#6 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 04:26 PM
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We actually rarely use the internet for actual schooling. I use it to get ideas, chat with other hs mamas, order curriculum. Sometimes, I will use it for schooling--but I don't need to. Usually it is to look something up really quick--but I could go to the library MORE quickly or buy a better basic reference source. We also use it to reinforce math facts--my kids respond better to the online "games" rather than routine drill. But, there are many ways to do that.

We use singapore for our math spine, easy grammar, a basic spelling book, history is done with the library, my younger dd does science through our real life experiences combined with library books, my older dd does have a physics textbook and lab book. But, NONE of this requires online access.

Amy

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#7 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 04:48 PM
 
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the internet is used by me mostly in regard to homeschooling (and cooking...and crafting...and knitting....and gardening, and blog surfing, lol), but my kids could do fine without it. my daughter doesn't have any curriculum that requires the internet at all (although we do incorporate united streaming and spelling city, it certainly isn't necessary, ykwim?). anyway, absolutely it can be done!!

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#8 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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we usually dont have net at home, and manage just fine. we have internet right now, and have been really enjoying it, but will get rid of it before summer hits. like you, we can go to a wifi hotspot when we need/want to. we use curriculums for certain subjects (math, spelling, grammar--none of which are online), but are mostly using an interest driven approach for ds's learning. we are avid library users, and are lucky to have a library with so many rich resources--they have a lot of cd-rom programs/dvd's/books on tape, etc that have been great for the times when ds needs to go 'beyond the book' with his learning.

there is a lot of questionable content online, so we're super choosy about the resources that we use anyways. case in point: today we were looking at cat skeletons online, and found several errors in the labelling. urgh!!

when you do find websites that you want to use for homelearning, it's possible to back them up to your harddrive with a program like backstreet browser so that you can access them when you're offline. i've seen it suggested that homeschoolers should keep a copy of online content that they're using anyways because websites crash all the time. i'm not sure about the legalities of archiving someone else's website though, so that would be something to look into.

zjande~~i totally hear ya!! this is the biggest reason that we usually DONT have internet at home!

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#9 of 22 Old 04-14-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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We will be losing homoe internet next week. We are moving to a tiny rural village, and I am not paying $500 to install a radio tower to my roof plus the monthly cost of internet. None of my current curriculum require the net. The only thing I am planning ahead for to make easier is ordering my lapbooks next week to save to my computer before we lose the internet. I know I can order them at the library but it is easier this way.

I will not be giving up my online boards entirely just reducing them a lot since I will only have access at the library and it is only open 3 afternoons a week.

Brandy Single momma to A(11), C(10), H(6) and I(2)
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#10 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 01:19 AM
 
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At this point, the internet is more for ME, lol. My kids have recently been on starfall.com,, but other than that have never even used the computer! Nothing we do requires internet. (And my library is tiny!)

caution: one-handed nak

typos likely

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#11 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAK View Post
We actually rarely use the internet for actual schooling. I use it to get ideas, chat with other hs mamas, order curriculum. Sometimes, I will use it for schooling--but I don't need to. Usually it is to look something up really quick--but I could go to the library MORE quickly or buy a better basic reference source. We also use it to reinforce math facts--my kids respond better to the online "games" rather than routine drill. But, there are many ways to do that.

We use singapore for our math spine, easy grammar, a basic spelling book, history is done with the library, my younger dd does science through our real life experiences combined with library books, my older dd does have a physics textbook and lab book. But, NONE of this requires online access.

Amy
all the families i know who homeschool -- the kids do not use the Net as a part of school untill Jr High and HS and then ONLY for reseach for projects just as a public school child might.

Unless you choose to so a virtual academcy (computer / Net based) I don't see why any homeschool child would need the Net.

all the families i know -- the Net is for the parents (like me) to research, chat with other moms and so on ....

We are only covering pre-K stuff but we intentally choose NOT to use computer or Net pased stuff for the boys .... paper, books, and STUFF not a screen ...

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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#12 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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I got to thinking about how the computer was used when my son was homeschooling, and it was only software until he was in his teens and began exploring his own interests and questions online. It was a very valuable took for him at that point.

- Lillian
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#13 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 05:16 PM
 
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None of the curricula that we use need the internet. We have a couple of "fun" things that we do that require the internet: we have a BrainPop/BrainPop Jr. subscription; we use Mark Kistler's free Imagination Station drawing lessons; and we use the free website Dance Mat Typing for our typing lessons. Everything else we do on the computer is software.

Mostly it's only me that uses the internet because I'm addicted.

I'm going to buy the Mark Kistler drawing books, so they won't be going online for that anymore. And we can certainly buy typing software if I didn't want to use that anymore. Everything else is a hands-on approach so we don't use the computer for science, history, Latin, language arts, etc.

It can be done! Easily!

loveeyes.gif Loving homeschoolin' mama to CherryPie modifiedartist.gif and KiwiBoy eat.gif::: wife-y to my high school sweetheart partners.gif
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#14 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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The library is your friend! We use Singapore math, but most of what we do is following DD's interests at the library, or reading good stories we have in the shelf. She does love time4learning, but we could do without it.

Mom of 4 aspiring midwife "Friend"ly seeker
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#15 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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The library is your friend! We use Singapore math, but most of what we do is following DD's interests at the library, or reading good stories we have in the shelf. She does love time4learning, but we could do without it.
We do the same here..I didn't purchase a curriculum for ds 3rd or 4th grade. We have a few texts from here and there that I run across from book exchanges or yard sales. We have lots of workbooks , but mostly the library. It isn't unusual for us to check out 20 books at a time.
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#16 of 22 Old 04-15-2010, 11:51 PM
 
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OP, read "The Well Trained Mind." Those ladies compare and contrast some of the leading curricula in every subject. They actually don't believe in using audiovisual media as part of the formal schoolday.
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#17 of 22 Old 04-16-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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We essentially homeschool without the internet. We don't have a working computer in the house, but dh brings his laptop home from work for me to use.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#18 of 22 Old 10-23-2013, 02:41 PM
 
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we would like to continue to homeschool but ditch the internet based virtual school we have and use actual physical texts and mail assignments,etc  but we need someone to help us set up  the curriculum and grade tests,etc.  so we stay on track thru hs.

thx, terre and kevin

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#19 of 22 Old 10-23-2013, 04:43 PM
 
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tink, just trying to clarify here: you're looking for a traditional distance learning style? With an external teacher to whom your child or children are accountable directly? Where I live this is possible through the public school system, but we're a remote rural district in BC Canada, and this style of distance education is increasingly rare. And my guess is you don't live in my school district. You could enquire with your local school district and see if there exists such an option. Or perhaps there are private schools that offer such a format.

 

If what you're asking is whether you can homeschool using resources that are based in print, and have structure to help with testing and grading, then that is definitely possible. My 7th grader isn't using any computer-based learning in her academics except as an occasional interest-driven supplement. But we prefer to stay away from resources that have tests and grading systems, and are more in the unschooling camp, so my resources probably wouldn't work for you. Probably others would have some suggestions, though.

 

It would be helpful if you could clarify whether you are wanting distance education (where the responsibility for guiding and grading lies with a "school" or administrative body of some sort) or homeschooling (where that stuff is entirely your domain). 

 

Miranda


Mountain mama to two great kids and two great grown-ups
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#20 of 22 Old 10-23-2013, 07:17 PM
 
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We started home schooling before the internet (1984). For textbooks I used McGuffey Readers, Ray's Arithmetic, AlphaPhonics, TOPS, and the library. Lots and lots of books from the library. For reading, science, history, crafts, anything and everything. Now we have the internet and still get books from the library. Only now we also get DVDs. The computer is used as a typewriter, a DVD player (and to watch U-tube and Netflix), and for research. My son uses his computer more outside of schoolwork to play games (single player and multi player) and to chat with friends around the world.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#21 of 22 Old 10-24-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lillian J View Post

I got to thinking about how the computer was used when my son was homeschooling, and it was only software until he was in his teens and began exploring his own interests and questions online. It was a very valuable took for him at that point.

- Lillian

This is what I'm thinking -- that it's more important as a way of connecting with the world as kids get older. People certainly managed just fine without it up until recently. I didn't even learn to browse the Web or send emails until I was in my late 30's.

 

That said, whether homeschooling or public schooling (our 8 year old dd is still unschooling but our 13 year old dd wanted to start public school so she did so this year), I feel like it could be kind of a handicap for a teenager today not to have any Internet access. I'm sure it could be worked around by frequent visits to the library -- and for a child who loves country living, the joys of living in a remote rural area with no Internet access could easily compensate for the loss of that connection. And I do realize that spending too much time connected to the Internet can take away from the time we spend enjoying face-to-face contact with family, friends, animals, and the great outdoors.

 

So maybe not having Internet can even be a good thing for some families. It's something each family has to weigh out for themselves. For us, being very low income and not having money to buy a lot of resources, including entertainment resources, the Internet has been priceless as a way of paying just one fee and getting to enjoy things like music and Vlogs on YouTube and also movies that are public domain now, and can be viewed for free. And finding out about giveaways on Craig's list, and so on.


Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#22 of 22 Old 03-04-2014, 05:43 PM
 
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Can you tell me what course if any that you use !!!  we will be heading out to sea and my son wants to come along to work . We wont get an internet connection .., Thanks Cory Annn

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