Kicking K12 to the curb, becoming a "real" homeschooler! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 01:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Though I've been long interested in hs-ing, I wound up sending ds1 to public school until this year (4th grade) as he was having a lot of trouble paying attention in class and actually learning things (he was diagnosed with ADD last summer). I decided to use K12 as a starting point but am about done with it -- too much work.

My tentative plan for the rest of the school year is to continue doing the fun stuff we've already lined up -- homeschool co-op once a week, hs gym at the Y, various classes at the museums, parks, etc. -- and at home just work on reading.

What are some great first steps to take here? I want to do more reading myself to figure out what direction we are going in .... I would love to hear suggestions for books and links that will help me, and any kind of basic information you think might be helpful for both of us starting out. Thank you!

 

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#2 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 05:40 PM
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First, make sure you actually "withdraw" from k12.  :)

 

Second, you mention wanting to spend your at home time focusing on reading.  Can you elaborate?  Does he read at all?  Is he dyslexic?  Are you concerned about decoding, fluency (speed), and/or comprehension?  I would love to give you some recommendations, but it depends on what is the concern.  

 

Third, if he is a "reluctant reader", I would make a list of what he is interested in.  Reading non-fiction instead of a story might be more interesting to your son than a novel -- if it was about something that interested him.  

 

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#3 of 11 Old 02-09-2012, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, thanks!

 

He's not so much a reluctant reader, but has trouble sustaining interest when he is the one doing the reading. He likes comic books and magazines a lot. He likes listening to Harry Potter on disc. He really liked reading Robinson Crusoe for K12 and I would like to find him more things that are very simply written and interesting for boys. I thought to turn him loose in the non-fiction section and just have a fair amount of free reading time at home.

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#4 of 11 Old 02-10-2012, 06:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Meli65 View Post

Yeah, thanks!

 

He's not so much a reluctant reader, but has trouble sustaining interest when he is the one doing the reading. He likes comic books and magazines a lot. He likes listening to Harry Potter on disc. He really liked reading Robinson Crusoe for K12 and I would like to find him more things that are very simply written and interesting for boys. I thought to turn him loose in the non-fiction section and just have a fair amount of free reading time at home.


Sounds like you have a Visual Spatial Learner on your hands and yes K12 would be a lot of work if your not modifying it and presenting the lessons visually (K12 is mostly an auditory program). I would start with reading these 2 books, seriously! You will find schooling soooo much easier! "Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World: Unlocking the Potential of Your ADD Child" and "Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner" Its pricey even used and worth every penny.

 

ADD is often code in schools for VSL learner we don't want to deal with or we don't know how to teach and expect them to learn using only their weak area. These children learn radically different but once you understand HOW they learn a whole new world opens up and FWIW, K12 CAN work for these kids but you have to put in the time to find the visuals to go with it. I LOVE Brainpop to go with the lessons first before going over the K12 lesson.


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#5 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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OOOh, I thought I wouldn't have anything to say on this thread, but you mentioned Robinson Crusoe and comics.  My oldest daughter just loves some of the graphic novels that are coming out for all the classics--Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Kidnapped, Treasure Island, Perseus and Medusa, and we even have one for the Hobbit we've read several times, and she will also look through it while I read the "big" Hobbit.  Right now we are reading Harry Potter and seeing the movies right afterword.

 

I know that is just one tiny part of your question, but it was the one I could relate to!  My girls are young (5 and 7) and always homeschooled and we don't use a curriculum, not even for single subjects, but they are little and this type of approach is pretty easy at their age.


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#6 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 08:43 AM
 
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This is only my second year homeschooling my 11 yo DS. Last year we did our own thing, but since i got pregnant and knew I'd have a new baby this year, we decided to enroll in K12.  I agree that it is an awful lot of work for him--and a lot of it is busy work.  The material itself is not hard for him, but it's a challenge to get it all done in a timely manner.   I liked it better when we had more free time. We don't really get a chance to get out and explore, or try new projects like baking from scratch, like we did last year, because the daily plan takes most of the school day (of course, we're also playing catch up---we kind of slacked off right after the baby was born).  However, DS is going back to school (6th grade) next year and I think it's good for him to be getting in the habit of working during "school hours." 

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#7 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meli65 View Post

Yeah, thanks!

 

He's not so much a reluctant reader, but has trouble sustaining interest when he is the one doing the reading. He likes comic books and magazines a lot. He likes listening to Harry Potter on disc. He really liked reading Robinson Crusoe for K12 and I would like to find him more things that are very simply written and interesting for boys. I thought to turn him loose in the non-fiction section and just have a fair amount of free reading time at home.



Wow, Robinson Crusoe isn't one that I would think of as "simply written."  Were they using an except or an abridgment?  

 

The 39 clues books are adventurous and simply written.  They are a bit redundant and not the "best" out there, but I do think they appeal to boys and there are a lot, so if he likes them there are more.  They aren't too long either.  It may be a good way to get him reading often.  

 

Other books that may work out would be "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George, "Hatchet" by Gary Paulson (and others by these authors).  

"Holes" by Louis Sachar is a great read that appeals to boys.  I love it personally. 

"Maniac Magee" by Jerry Spinelli is another one.  

 

All these authors have more books.  So, if your son found one that he liked, he may want to look up more by the same author.  Also, have you thought about collections of short stories?

 

Amy


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#8 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 08:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post

This is only my second year homeschooling my 11 yo DS. Last year we did our own thing, but since i got pregnant and knew I'd have a new baby this year, we decided to enroll in K12.  I agree that it is an awful lot of work for him--and a lot of it is busy work.  The material itself is not hard for him, but it's a challenge to get it all done in a timely manner.   I liked it better when we had more free time. We don't really get a chance to get out and explore, or try new projects like baking from scratch, like we did last year, because the daily plan takes most of the school day (of course, we're also playing catch up---we kind of slacked off right after the baby was born).  However, DS is going back to school (6th grade) next year and I think it's good for him to be getting in the habit of working during "school hours." 


You don't have to do all the busy work, its a mistake people new to the program often make. As soon as your kid gets it take the assessment and MOVE ON. We do most of it orally. Pretty much the only time we worry about written work is for work samples, something like handwriting practice or spelling.

 


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#9 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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Thanks for the tip, Satori. I will see what I can do to bypass some of this busy work that I feel he doesn't really need to do. Mostly the vocab, spelling, and grammar. And the art projects drive us crazy---does he really need to do every art project? My younger son who is in school has only done 2 art projects so far this year.

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#10 of 11 Old 02-11-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post

Thanks for the tip, Satori. I will see what I can do to bypass some of this busy work that I feel he doesn't really need to do. Mostly the vocab, spelling, and grammar. And the art projects drive us crazy---does he really need to do every art project? My younger son who is in school has only done 2 art projects so far this year.



I don't even teach the art except the lesson before we meet with the teacher to produce a work sample. Sub something more fun like http://www.draw3d.com has free lessons and its dirt cheap on HSBC right now. VSL kids are often great at this stuff since they process in 3D anyway. Seriously, kids don't need art history in 4th grade and your teacher won't know the difference. (I'm sure someone is probably  bristling right now but VSL kids are a different breed and teaching them HOW to draw/paint now will lead to art appreciation later. Plus K12 repeats the art year after year. My kindy kid just met Henri Matisse, I remember meeting him with my older kid in 4th last year. For spelling my dd sucks at it, I finally got around to reading the Right brained child in the left brained world this week and from what I'm seeing online his suggestion about the multicolored spelling words and seeing the picture or something works fantastic. Sorry I woke up with a head cold from hades this morning and my brain is foggy. Trust me, the book is the best $10 you will ever spend. My dd is advanced in vocab so we just do the lesson orally, if she's good on the words we move on and call it done. Grammar comes later with VSL kids (around 10-12 yrs) if he knows it for sure move on, if not try something like Mad Libs. The point is to teach to the objective not kill yourself trying to fit the materials to your child (I've also pulled stuff from Brainpop and time4learning to teach grammar). I modify the heck out of K12 to fit my VSL 5th grader and plan to start blogging what we use for every single lesson to make it not so painful for families with these kids. K12 is a great program but it needs to be heavily modified for VSL learners. I more or less use K12 as a spine and add as needed so my VSL learner "gets it" and we have a bit more fun in the process.


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#11 of 11 Old 02-12-2012, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Pickle View Post

Thanks for the tip, Satori. I will see what I can do to bypass some of this busy work that I feel he doesn't really need to do. Mostly the vocab, spelling, and grammar. And the art projects drive us crazy---does he really need to do every art project? My younger son who is in school has only done 2 art projects so far this year.



I don't even teach the art except the lesson before we meet with the teacher to produce a work sample. Sub something more fun like http://www.draw3d.com has free lessons and its dirt cheap on HSBC right now. VSL kids are often great at this stuff since they process in 3D anyway. Seriously, kids don't need art history in 4th grade and your teacher won't know the difference. (I'm sure someone is probably  bristling right now but VSL kids are a different breed and teaching them HOW to draw/paint now will lead to art appreciation later. Plus K12 repeats the art year after year. My kindy kid just met Henri Matisse, I remember meeting him with my older kid in 4th last year. For spelling my dd sucks at it, I finally got around to reading the Right brained child in the left brained world this week and from what I'm seeing online his suggestion about the multicolored spelling words and seeing the picture or something works fantastic. Sorry I woke up with a head cold from hades this morning and my brain is foggy. Trust me, the book is the best $10 you will ever spend. My dd is advanced in vocab so we just do the lesson orally, if she's good on the words we move on and call it done. Grammar comes later with VSL kids (around 10-12 yrs) if he knows it for sure move on, if not try something like Mad Libs. The point is to teach to the objective not kill yourself trying to fit the materials to your child (I've also pulled stuff from Brainpop and time4learning to teach grammar). I modify the heck out of K12 to fit my VSL 5th grader and plan to start blogging what we use for every single lesson to make it not so painful for families with these kids. K12 is a great program but it needs to be heavily modified for VSL learners. I more or less use K12 as a spine and add as needed so my VSL learner "gets it" and we have a bit more fun in the process.


 

Holy cow! I tried the spelling thing this morning with 2 of her spelling words for next week, I used "chemistry" and "architect" and checked if she could spell them before we started. Within 1 minute she was able to spell each word forward and backwards with ease and answer things like "the word has 2 sets of letters repeated twice, what are they?" She was quickly able to tell me "C & T" for "architect". Couple hours later I popped in and she got all but 1 letter right in the words and repeated the exercise. Whole thing took less then 5 minutes and was done orally except for the plain white paper where I made 1 large word per page (125pt font), bolded and colored them like this Chemistry and Architect. Got rid of all distractions and told her she had a min of 20 seconds to look at the image and burn it into her mind. Look at the colors, the shape of the word, take a picture until you can see it in your mind perfectly. We had to do it 3 times the first time and she did 20 sec, then about 10 sec the next 2 times. She got it right forwards both times on the 1st try but it was backwards that got her. Once they can recite is backwards they know it. Gotta love VSL kids, they learn FAST when taught to their strengths!:) This method does not work for auditory kids period from what I'm reading, they can't spell backwards with ease because they can't see the image in their minds according to the books.

 


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