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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so my question here is rather complicated...or, I guess the answer might be. I have been homeschooling through our local home charter school (yes, I know some people don't call this homeschooling, but that's not what this is about) since dd#1 was in first grade. This year she's in 4th and dd#2 is in 1st. I have stayed with this program because I absolutely have loved it; they are wonderful about organizing more great field trips and get togethers and workshops than we could possibly fit into our schedule and we all adore the resource teacher we work with. Even though this program is a public school and as such has certain goals, it is extremely flexible. I use textbooks as little as possible unless the kids choose to use them and the program does welcome all experiences as valid educational ones--yes, we can record our nature walk as science and PE, the letter she wrote to Grandma is a language activity, playing Monopoly is math, etc. Which is great for me because I get the benefits of the program that I like while getting to let the learning happen as it works best for the kids.<br>
But here's where my question comes in...I remember now that in school, 4th grade is a big jump, academically, from 3rd. Much more work is required, the school day is lengthened, etc. So while our research teacher did not emphasize this too much since she knows how we like to do things, I do still get the idea that they will be wanting a little more this year on the lines of what is traditionally learned at school. So finally, what I am really looking for is suggestions for how to work within the program but still do it our way. They won't care if we learned about missions (typical 4th grade requirement in CA) by visiting some, for example, but I'm sure they would prefer learning about the missions to definitely happen this year. I'm trying to come up with ways to satisfy the "state standards" for a 4th grader without having to sit in front of books for 4 hours a day. I won't do that but I also really would like to stay with our program. So, any suggestions? What kinds of creative ways do you approach subjects with the older elementary school aged kids--esp. in math? Thanks!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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O.K. My oldest is 4,but, being the fruit of a home/un schooling mother-tree,I think I have some good suggestions.<br>
1-Of course,don't stress yourself out if you don't need to.A.k.a....see if there really IS more bookwork this year,and if your child likes it or not...<br>
2-Just ask the school what exactly their plan/expectations are for the year,and if you disagree,feel free to only partially use their system, or get their requirements for every year and quit,but still use their system- with the added freedom of personalizing it to your kids needs...<br>
3-PBS has some cool ideas RE; math.I have a list of math reading,such as "How much is a million?"By David Schwartz,and about 4 others if you are interested,also a list of 10 plus reading rainbow programs that are math related.There is a whole to-do from PBS on "Math is everywhere".I'm not sure if the website would have it or not.i was exposed to it at a homeschooling support group,and a lady from PBS had a whole presentation.If you are interested,I could find out more about it for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply! In response, we are already with the program so I know that there is more work this year and she is handling it fine but without that love of learning spark--which is one of the main reasons I homeschool. I don't want them to lose that passion.<br>
As for #2, it is a public school technically so their requirements are basically that we come close to the CA state standards for each grade. It is not, as such, a program that we can take what we want from and leave the rest. We are either enrolled in the program or we are not and when we are not, we return our materials to them. Bummer sort of but up till now I've been really pleased. And I am not necessarily unhappy with it now, I just want to find more creative ways to meet those standards,kwim?<br>
As for the PBS thing, I'll check the webite. Do you know what age groups it is geared towards? If its reading rainbow type stuff, might be helpful for my 1st grader but at 4th grade I'm not sure. I'd have to see it. We are working on things like multiplying several digits and long division-stuff along that level, so anything different for that kind of work would be great!<br>
Anyway, thanks again for your suggestions!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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my kids aren't that old yet, but someone in a local group I belong to said that as the week/month progresses she looks over what the kids are doing with respect to the requirements and if they are lacking in an area she say something to the kids like "we don't have anything to turn in for science yet this month what do you suggest?" That way the kids can maybe pick something they're interested in within a given topic, plus they are also aware that some things just have to done to be done (if you know what I mean) and they can get back to the good stuff (real learning) when they get it out of the way.<br><br>
good luck
 

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I think you have already discovered the key for working with a satelite or charter school, which is to put what you do into edcational terms. It sounds like you are fairing pretty well in most areas, but when it comes to math you may have to simply go with the traditional textbook methods.<br><br>
I recommend getting Ruth Beechick's book "You Can Teach Your Child Successfully" it is geared for grades 4-8 and has a lot of wisdom, pratical ideas for teaching concepts (without textbooks) using real life and real books, as well as giving grade level guidelines for subjects such as math.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for that book suggestion barbara--I'll check that out! I got a copy of the official state standards as well as a copy of which of those standards our program wants up to really shoot for so I'll be looking at that now to see what's on the list. The math has definitely become the most difficult one to work through in non-textbook ways but our resource teacher--she's great and knows dd#1 so well now-- just dug up some fun pages with dinosaur puzzle things that you had to solve multiplication problems to complete and my daughter loves them. She's done at least 10 pages since yesterday! We just need to find more stuff like that for her math!<br>
Thanks again!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Check out these links:<br><br><a href="http://freeworksheets.com/" target="_blank">http://freeworksheets.com/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.downloadlearning.com/downloads/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.downloadlearning.com/downloads/index.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html" target="_blank">http://www.enchantedlearning.com/Home.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.pantheon.org/mythica.html" target="_blank">http://www.pantheon.org/mythica.html</a><br><br><a href="http://www.unschooling.org/" target="_blank">http://www.unschooling.org/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/" target="_blank">http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/</a>
 
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