I feel like Im not doing enough academics - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-19-2013, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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i guess I need some reassurance that im not messing this homeschool thing up.  =)


we do math regularly.  M, T, F always, and sometimes on the weekend or W or Thurs.   Wednesdays are Classical Conversation day and Thursday is 1000 activities day, all in different directions.


DD  (8 yrs) does  violin lessons once a week, ballet, gymnastics, scouts & a religious ed class at church.  Oh, and speech therapy 3x a week.


My younger child (who I feel like I have sorta ignored...) does religious ed class, and a pre school music class.


We read as a family every night.  I have been substituting this for a formal English curriculum since about week 2 of homeschooling.  My dd had a bad experience with the public schools English curriculum last year and was fighting any language arts study...  so I took it bare bones and decided to try to build up a love of reading, and then take it from there.  Its been pretty successful.


Classical Conversations has an art and science project once a week, and we do little things in history as dd is interested.  Example-  we learned about mummies and then made a  mummy out of her Barbie doll, complete with learning about where the organs went, making a sarcophagus out of a spaghetti box...


This week I made a lap book on Columbus, that she could look at when we were driving to her activities.  She also did the lapbook when her brother had his music class.   She argued with me that her old teacher told her XYZ and my lapbook said something different...  =)  That got a neat conversation going.


With reading we also talk about what's going on historically.  (Little house on the prairie)


we've made a playdough modle f the solar system, and I just finished a solar system lapbook for her.  In classical conv.  they have a historical timeline, and her tutor wants each kid to pick something from the timeline for show and tell next week to talk about...  I think we are going to keep with that and do a lapbook once a week on something on the cc timeline...


Does this sound ok, I am scared about the test my state make you do at the end of the year, and also that I am not doing enough academics.  We are out all the time, doing ballet, gymnastics, violin...

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#2 of 5 Old 10-19-2013, 06:27 AM
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I tend to find ways to incorporate some things into others. Like language arts, I try to incorporate that into reading, history, etc - by having them do lots of reading of various books, articles, websites, etc., write summaries, reports, etc. on things they've read - that stuff helps them learn grammar and punctuation much more naturally than sitting down with worksheets. I correct things that need to be corrected, of course, but it seems to help them learn it more easily than the kind of out of context worksheets and things.


However, my state allows registration with an umbrella school and so we don't have to take a test at the end of the year, so that allows me more flexibility with what we do. Personally, I tend to be of the opinion that as long as your kids are happy, healthy and learning, you can't really screw up homeschooling. lol But if you're concerned, is there a way you can get a practice copy of the test to see how they're doing right now? That might allow you to see if there's an area that they're really struggling with and that you need to work on with them.


Just remember that not everything academic has to be done in the same sit-down-do-a-worksheet-listen-to-a-lecture style that it's done in public school. If they can learn something from you through a simple conversation, watching a video online, reading a book, playing a video game, or whatever - it still counts as learning. Remember, too, that not everything has to be learned in extreme depth or in a way that they can explain it. They can also come to understand things that they don't even know they understand or can explain. My kids have come to understand a lot about physics and airplanes from making paper airplanes. They can't explain it, but I can see the knowledge is there because they make adjustments to their planes and make changes as needed to get them to fly properly, or differently, when they want them to. So I know they get it - even if they can't explain it to me. And that's good enough - for now, anyway.

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#3 of 5 Old 10-19-2013, 08:07 AM
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More than we do.


What state are you in and what are the requirements?  No one sees our test, but my daughter aced it all the same.  We had a choice of tests and this one was fairly basic (too easy, even).

"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
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#4 of 5 Old 10-19-2013, 03:05 PM
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We're in Florida. Our requirements depend on how we choose to homeschool:


1. We can register with our county and do the Home Education Program (HEP). In the HEP, we have to keep a portfolio with examples of their work for 2 years, be prepared to show said portfolio if the county requests it and do an annual evaluation once per year with a teacher or through a standardized test to show academic progress.


2. We can register with an umbrella school. If we register with an umbrella school, the state counts them as private school students and we have to follow the rules of the umbrella school. Our specific umbrella school has only one requirement, and that is that we report attendance every three months. Beyond that, it's up to us to decide what, how, when and where we want to teach.


I prefer the umbrella school option because I took my kids out of public school because I wasn't happy with the education they were receiving there. It seemed silly to me to take them out because I didn't like the education but then still allow the public school system to basically decide whether or not my kids were making progress. This allows me to determine what's progress - so I can go slower on things they struggle with, or push them harder on things that I know they can and should be challenged on.


Honestly, I don't really feel like we do all that much. lol We do some reading, they play a lot of games. The games are educational, of course, but I find they work better. My boys are tactile learners, and playing games is a good way of "doing" for most things. We do lots of projects and field trips, too. I don't feel like learning has to be a matter of them learning things to recite back to prove they've learned. I feel it should be actual learning - understanding the physics of flying a plane for example, instead of just being able to recite back a bunch of dry text about it from a book. I think they've really learned it when they can make minute changes without thinking twice to make their paper airplane fly better.

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#5 of 5 Old 10-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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Please do not undermine yourself. Homeschool is about doing life together. Sounds like you are doing just great!
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