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#121 of 134 Old 08-15-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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i have 2 questions for you seasoned homeschoolers:

1- opinions/experiences on ymca homeschool pe classes? we were at the y this afternoon and picked up a brochure about pe classes for homeschoolers. they're once a week for an hour. my son (6 in nov) would be in a group of K-4th graders. it's $50 for the fall semester. i am thinking that he would really like it, but i thought i'd see if any of you have ever done this.

2- muzzy for spanish. experiences with this?

i got the first of my enki materials and i've started reading a little bit.

We used to do a YMCA gym class when my oldest was 8 or 9 yo. It was a gym and swim format, and he enjoyed it quite a bit. Went with a friend of his. I did not continue because the price went up and it became less feasible when I had more than one wanting to do it. It was fun though and a great way to hang out with other homeschool moms.

We have Muzzy in both French and Mandarin. My kids have enjoyed these, but they do lose their appeal after awhile, just like any cartoon might. I don't think they make a good stand alone program for learning a language, but are a good supplement. Some libraries have Muzzy, maybe you can give it a trial spin.
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#122 of 134 Old 08-15-2007, 03:36 PM
 
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2- muzzy for spanish. experiences with this?
We purchased Muzzy french and I'm sending it back. I think they do a good job of being clear, the French is well-spoken, and there are some elements that seem like a fun approach to repetition. However, I didn't like the theme of the cartoon at all and found it a bit creepy. The whole stalker thing, cloning the girl, etc. really didn't sit well with me. There was also a part where one character was calling herself stupid, and another was calling herself fat. Those just aren't words/labels I want my kids becoming familar with in any language! (Not that I shelter them completely from language, but no need to 'teach' them this stuff IMO.)

As for the opinions of my kids... My 4.5 yr old liked it (but she will admittedly watch anything!) and my 2 yr old seemed to be a little freaked out by it.

Melanie
Magical Mama, joyfully home educating my three wonders: FR (12/02), EG (05/05), DK (06/09)
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#123 of 134 Old 08-15-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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I have finally commited to something I think will work for us as we transition from unschooling. This is per DS request. He actually wants to take math tests. Go figure.

We are going to use the Core Knowledge what your 4th grader needs to know as the spine. I can find living books and other activities to suppliment. Math Mammoth e-books and the Brave Writer book.

I am going to keep things simple and pull together a few weeks plans at a time and not let myself get overwhelmed so we just quit. I am not the type of person who can unschool. I agree with alot of it, but it just isn't fitting for me right now.

We are also thinking of some preschool for my little dd with down syndrome. Just a bit for a year or two. I think it will be good for all of us. Still checking into everything, but I know it will all work out.

I am really excited about getting some routines in place and getting things rolling.

Christi
DS1(12), DD(7)blessed with T21, DS2(2), and DD2 - newly arrived 1/28/11
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#124 of 134 Old 08-15-2007, 11:15 PM
 
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Eclectic hs'ers - what are your schedules like? Do you have schedules? We used to, when we were a lot more waldorf inspired, when dd was younger, but have since moved to having no schedule, which is not working for us too well anymore. We all feel we want some more of a loose schedule so I am interested in hearing all of yours (those that have schedules).
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#125 of 134 Old 08-16-2007, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Eclectic hs'ers - what are your schedules like? Do you have schedules? We used to, when we were a lot more waldorf inspired, when dd was younger, but have since moved to having no schedule, which is not working for us too well anymore. We all feel we want some more of a loose schedule so I am interested in hearing all of yours (those that have schedules).
We tried very hard last year to create a rhythm like Waldorf and Enki, but never could find the right one. This year, I feel we definitely need a good schedule/routine for us all. This summer has been very free-for-all as we have been doing home improvement and I think all of us need/crave the security of a schedule. So, I am right now working on one in my head. My goal is to actually start it tomorrow (roughly ... kind of ease into the general time-blocks for what I want to do for the school year), and I might actually start our homeschooling year on Monday. I'm just ready for it, and I think both of the older boys (6 and 3 1/2) will start responding much more positively in terms of behavior with the security of a routine/schedule. Here is what I'm thinking:

Up, make bed, dress (shower for me), and breakfast by 9am. The boys tend to both be up no later than 8:30; sometimes my oldest will sleep a bit longer. But, I hope that we can be at the table for breakfast by 9am. I also plan on this time being for our morning check-in where we discuss our day, talk about what's coming up, what we are going to do, etc.

Free play for them while I straighten up the kitchen, start a load of laundry, check email/internet, and prepare for whatever we are doing that day.

By 10am, I hope that we are back together - on the couch or at the table, depending on what we are doing in terms of lesson. I might actually start us on the couch with story/song/poems, and then move to wherever we need to finish our lessons (probably the table in the dining room as it gets great sunlight).

By 11am, the goal is for playtime. Hopefully we can spend most of it together, playing legos or blocks or Little People. The older two can play a game on the computer for about 20 minutes. I hope to also continue the laundry at this time.

By 11:45, I plan on having clean-up time for 15 minutes. We can work together to clean up whatever we were doing earlier in the morning, put away any clean laundry, etc. Then we'll have lunch.

After lunch is story time. The boys get to pick their books and I will pick a few also. My goal is to incorporate one or two Spanish picture books at this time. Other than the Spanish, though, this is just pure pleasure reading with no other objective.

Ok, I can continue now ...
After story time, I hope to do a small afternoon lesson - history, Spanish, science/nature, or arts/crafts. Then by 3pm, the goal is for down time and a chance for the boys to watch something if they want on TV. After that, it's go outside and get out some energy time before starting dinner and daddy getting home.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
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#126 of 134 Old 08-16-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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Eclectic hs'ers - what are your schedules like? Do you have schedules? We used to, when we were a lot more waldorf inspired, when dd was younger, but have since moved to having no schedule, which is not working for us too well anymore. We all feel we want some more of a loose schedule so I am interested in hearing all of yours (those that have schedules).
We totally unschooled for three years but decided we wanted more structure this year. My kids aren't morning people; DD#1 will stay up until 11 pm or later reading and sleep in until 9:30 am. So we decided that mornings will be do-whatever time, then after lunch we'll do math, reading with DD#2, art, Spanish, etc. depending on the day and our moods. In the late afternoons, the kids have organized activities like choir and play rehearsals and fencing class. In the evening, we may do things like play math games or just watch TV. So we're still pretty loose, but the kids say they feel more of a sense of purpose and accomplishment by having a bit of a routine.

Margie
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#127 of 134 Old 08-17-2007, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yesterday we had our first "ease-into-the-school-year" day. We are still finishing up the house so we aren't full swing yet. Plus dh has two more full weeks and a couple days of summer break before his school year starts (I think he returns the Tuesday after Labor day for a couple staff days). But, I wanted to get us into the groove. So, I took breaks from the house at about the same times we would normally during the school year (based on my schedule/routine I want to establish) and read some books. We also read the story of the Four Processes from OM, which ds#1 really liked. We used lacing beads to act out the four processes, and also did the first drawing in book 1 of Draw-Write-Now. (We broke these things up ... we didn't do them all at once.) It was such a nice day. Their behavior was so much better (they've been very free-for-all with the amount of home work we've been doing this summer), and it was a nice blend of time together playing, time together focused, and then time on their own to do what they wanted.

Today I got the History Odessey Ancients 1. I like the look of it. I know we won't do the lessons exactly as written, but I like that it specifies the topic, pages to read and such so I can just jot those notes down in our binder and not have to spend so much time picking and choosing the materials to use. I ordered a couple Time Warp Trio books too ... ds LOVES Magic Tree House books, and I plan on rereading the ones that deal with ancient civilizations this year, so the new books will be a nice addition. I also broke down and bought Story of the World. I was really not going to do it. But our library system does not carry a copy and I didn't want to get into inter-library loans for something I'd probably want to check out off and on throughout the year. So, I figured I'd get the first one and if I find I use it enough to justify the price, then we will look into continuing purchasing the series. I hope it's not too biased (when I have looked through it at my friend's house, it seemed extremely Western/Christian biased, but I guess I can also pick and choose what we use from it and help to alleviate the bias).

We are also going to start the kinder book of Handwriting without Tears. My thinking is that we can go through the basic upper and lower case letters before Christmas and if we like the program well enough, then we can buy the 1st grade book. I photocopied the upper case pages and am just putting them in a paper folder for ds. My plan is when we do a Draw-Write-Now page, we can pull a couple of those pages for some practice. He can write all his upper case letters, but he would benefit greatly from some gentle instruction and easy practice.

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#128 of 134 Old 08-24-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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As much as I love reading through catalogs and book lists and finding new resource, man, do I hate spending money . Buying hsing stuff off the internet always worries me because we've had a few duds already.

But I finally bit the bullet and bought the History Odyssey study guide, cause, you know, I've just been planning our year around it : . I really hope we like this program, I'm not looking forward to trying to write my own history program last minute.

My plans for the fall are finally coming together nicely, and, with the weather already taking an autumn-ish turn, I'm really starting to look forward to "starting" school again. We've been doing some math and writing stuff all summer long, so it's not really starting a new school year, but it always feels like it at this time of year. Plus all of ds's schooled friends are frantically trying to get in a last few weeks of fun and socializing before school starts for them, so I'm not going to bother really doing anything school-related until ps starts up after Labour Day.

I bought a Teaching Company set of tapes on the history of Islam off Ebay this summer, ds and I will listen to that during September. I'm also planning on doing CM-style dictation again (it worked really great for ds in elementary) for the month, just to ease him back into the habit of writing daily, before we start the intensive writing stuff in HO.

I'm totally stoked, too, to find a new science supply place to check out Ward's Homeschool. Science has been such a huge issue around here. We're not Christian, so finding something that is rigorous, useful for the home and not just the classroom, meets ds's needs, and isn't creationary science based has been really hard. There's no way I could buy everything I want from this place, but at least it'll give me some new ideas and resources to check out.

I'm also going to be soooo happy to have a daily routine back in the house. Ds has been gone for the week camping with my sister, and I can't believe how much stuff I've gotten done with him gone! It's not so much that he interferes with me doing my work, but he just procrastinates so much on his own stuff that a huge amount of my time is taken up with just keeping track of what he's done, or trying to nag him into doing his chores so I can get on with my stuff (like, doing the dishes so I can start dinner, that seems to take hours!!) Even ds recognizes that we need a schedule to follow.

So, for the moms who've already started their school years, how are things going? And for those of us who won't get started till September, what have you got planned for your first days or weeks of school?
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#129 of 134 Old 08-24-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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I'm so excited. We were doing "unschooling" but I think I'll be more eclectic. DD is so into routine and I find that my DS would spend all his day watching tv and playing on the computer if I let him. This isn't ok with me personally so I'm looking into more structure now. I've looked at all these curriculum's but they are so expensive. Anyone know where I can find second-hand curriculum to try out for the prek-k age range?
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#130 of 134 Old 08-25-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom2kbeth View Post
Eclectic hs'ers - what are your schedules like? Do you have schedules? We used to, when we were a lot more waldorf inspired, when dd was younger, but have since moved to having no schedule, which is not working for us too well anymore. We all feel we want some more of a loose schedule so I am interested in hearing all of yours (those that have schedules).
I started using www.home-school-inc.com which includes a planning/tracking feature. It is free, the site contains a store, but I just use the free planner. It helps me in several ways. I can see if we are planning a reasonable schedule for the day and move things as necessary. It is a visable reminder to dd what we decided to work on and she can decide how to go about it. She knows when she will be done if she chooses to be -often she wants to do more of something. We can pass 'notes' back and forth It keeps a record of what we've done, books read, dvd's watched, etc. That gives us both a visable sense of things accomplished and may be useful in the future for high school and such. We can't really set a time schedule because our days vary depending on my work schedule, her activities, opportunities to visit with grandparents and friends, etc. We also plan one day a week with another family for science, geography, and root words, so that also gives us some more structure.
HTH!
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#131 of 134 Old 08-25-2007, 02:36 PM
 
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Well, we have a sort of schedule that we follow. We do 15 minutes of math, phonics/letters, and handwriting each day, which for us is M-Th. We go to our homeschool group park day every F, which we do book club right before and girl scouts after every other F, so that is plenty.

We read lots of books. Every W, we go to the library to get new books and she goes to a story/song time. I get books on specific topics, science stuff (we love Magic School Bus), history, books in Spanish, etc.

She does a lot of Starfall.com right now.

Anyone else have a homeschool blog? I have one. It is in my sig. It is a family blog, but mostly about our homeschooling.

This past week, we didn't do our schedule at all. That is fine with me. I can't say we unschool, since we use curriculum that I choose, etc, but we are kind of child led. I give her choices of what we do which math we use that day (Math U See or Singapore), if she wants to do Starfall or a phonics game, etc.

DD turned 5 in July and we are doing kindergarten.
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#132 of 134 Old 08-25-2007, 02:37 PM
 
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I'm so excited. We were doing "unschooling" but I think I'll be more eclectic. DD is so into routine and I find that my DS would spend all his day watching tv and playing on the computer if I let him. This isn't ok with me personally so I'm looking into more structure now. I've looked at all these curriculum's but they are so expensive. Anyone know where I can find second-hand curriculum to try out for the prek-k age range?
We experienced the computer issue with our dd this summer. She was addicted to a virtual horse game, that she played all the time, talked about all the time, etc. She was neglecting basic things she needed to do, not even school related. We discussed banning the site altogether. However, since we started more structured learning time, she stopped her obession. She will ask toward the end of the day if she can check her horses, but not everyday and certainly not 100 times per day like before! I think she just needed some things to take up some brain space.

Might check out free curriculum for that age range. www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.org is free to join and offers a listing of free resources. www.homeschool20.com has listing of free sites. www.hoagiesgifted.org -obviously caters to gifted kids but the resources are good for anyone, check out their internet investigations. www.home-schoo-inc.com has a free planner but also has a program of financial aid for use in their store. How you qualify, I have no idea, but might be worth checking out.
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#133 of 134 Old 08-25-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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So, for the moms who've already started their school years, how are things going? And for those of us who won't get started till September, what have you got planned for your first days or weeks of school?
It is going great - two weeks into our 'year'. We are making great progress, dd and I are both happy, lots of fun time and free exploration combined with our planned learning. Some great field trips and fun with friends, so I'm really excited about a great year - our 4th for homeschooling.

By the way, thanks for the Ward science link, great stuff! Now if I could only afford all that I would like to buy.
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#134 of 134 Old 08-25-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Thanks for the links. I really appreciate it. DS spent all day today on either the computer or watching PBS. We went to the library for an hour what did he do? Listen to a book on tape! Kid is addicted to media! I guess he's a bit like me. LOL I have been picking up books more and more hoping that will inspire him. I love to read, as does his father who reads whenever he is home, but I just never seem to find the time to find a good book to read. Better get off the computer and get some reading done. LOL
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