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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think, at least at first, I'm going to need some structure. So with that in mind, I have a couple of questions:

--How exactly do you "do school?" Do you set aside a specific time, or times, each day to cover certain things? Do you sort of grab some time wherever it occurs?

--How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use? I was reading Phathui5's "What are you buying..." thread, and I've never heard of most of that stuff
: I currently have a Calvert K set, a Right-Start Math level A set, some Miquon Math books, some Singapore Math workbooks, the Earthways book, and lots of of other random resources (Mailbox mags, activity ideas books, some Story of the World stuff, one of Annettemarie's Seasons of Joy books etc.).

--And here's a big one for me: How do you persuade your kids to get the schoolwork done and out of the way? There are SO MANY things that my DD won't do for or with me that she'll happily do with other people. I've been caught by surprise many times when her pre-K teacher told me of something my DD's done that I'd tried to engage her in at home.

Any guidance is appreciated. I'm using the summer to sort of get settled in, and I need to make a really strong case to my DH for what I plan to do in order to get his full buy-in on this.

TIA!
 

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We were relaxed unschoolers for 3 years. Anything I felt they "should" know, I read to them while they were all eating or snacking. It wasn't curriculum, just "wow - isn't this interesting" kind of math stories or history. I still do it, even though they are in school now. HTH
 

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We are eclectic ... it's the easiest "label" I have found for us. I would love to completely unschool (and honestly there are times I feel us going that route), but I also know I do better with a bit of structure/backbone. So, we do the following (and this has morphed and evolved as my oldest has reached 6):
*Oak Meadow and Enki - both are holistic, *very* flexible, provide me with a good backbone without making me feel weighed down by schedules
*Supplement Singapore math - though we use this very "holistically" if it can be described as such. Basically the goal is 5-10 minutes of focused practice of math or language arts; the Singapore math will be the math portion
*"Classical" approach to history, though without the rigidity or making it our curriculum a la The Well Trained Mind. Basically we are using the 4-year cycle through history to buy tons of great books to read. This last year we did dinosaurs and just read tons of different books about dinos, which the boys love. This year we are doing ancient times ... we have a bunch of beginning chapter books, picture books, picture encyclopedia books, etc. to read aloud with the boys. But, I highly doubt we'll get into map exercises, time lines or anything other than reading, talking, and enjoying.

It sounds like a lot when I type it out, but basically for ds#1 (1st grade this fall), it will amount to probably 1 hour or maybe 1 1/2 hours of things to do together (most of which will be reading together the different stories from Enki/OM, or reading a cool book about history). The rest of the day/week will be free to read, do, create, and play basically whatever they want to do ...

In terms of what subjects we do, I will probably start this year with the sample rhythm in our Enki 1st grade materials ... it is set up where there is one focus for each month - letters on month, then the next you introduce numbers but don't work with the letters at all (it's called a sleep cycle), then the next month you bring in a new thing, sleep on the numbers, and reintroduce the original letters. The history reading will just be done whenever we feel like it (often when we read books, the boys each pick 2 and dh or I will pick one or two of our choosing ... we get good variety and dh and I can bring in something they might not have picked - like a book on Ancient Egypt - that we know they'd enjoy).

Maybe "true" unschoolers would disagree that unschooling can be done part of the time (I'm not sure if some see unschooling as all or nothing and am not meaning to open a debate ... for us, it's a piece of the bigger picture), but my goal is to have the afternoons free for them to completely unschool, unwind, and follow their interests while we maintain an hour or so in the mornings of more me-encouraged learning. I tend to not designate a definite time for "schooling" - we read whenever the boys bring us a book, or when we feel like picking one up, or before bed or ... we read a lot. We do establish a rhythm to our days though that tends to alternate between time focused together (reading books, doing art, going places together) and free time for them to stretch their wings, so to speak. So, the morning tends to have a couple focused times together - usually one will be eating breakfast/talking over our day, one will be reading something for "school" together or doing some "work" together. The afternoons also have some time focused together. And in between there is a lot of time for them to choose what they want to do (right now it's choosing to watch a Magic School Bus video).

So ... now that I've written all that I'm not even sure if I completely answered your questions.
 

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Quote:
[How exactly do you "do school?" Do you set aside a specific time, or times, each day to cover certain things? Do you sort of grab some time wherever it occurs?
We get up, eat, get dressed, and do schoolwork. That's much easier than dragging them away from things later.

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How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use?
Mainly, from TWTM. Sometimes what Amazon recommends when I search for those items looks better!

--

Quote:
And here's a big one for me: How do you persuade your kids to get the schoolwork done and out of the way?
They have to sit there until it's done.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissel View Post
I think, at least at first, I'm going to need some structure. So with that in mind, I have a couple of questions:

--How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use? I was reading Phathui5's "What are you buying..." thread, and I've never heard of most of that stuff
: I currently have a Calvert K set, a Right-Start Math level A set, some Miquon Math books, some Singapore Math workbooks, the Earthways book, and lots of of other random resources (Mailbox mags, activity ideas books, some Story of the World stuff, one of Annettemarie's Seasons of Joy books etc.).

TIA!
If you are looking to find out more information on various resources, order a free rainbow resources catalogue from the reading reasources website. It is as bigger than a phonebook and has full descriptions of many many curricula, educational games, etc. You could also borrow the catalogue from a friend.
A lot of information can also be found on TWTM message boards.
WARNING: You could become a curricula junkie!
There is almost too much information out there. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell what works for you and your child until you try it out. That said, many companies (for instance, Right Start) have great return policies.

Good luck. I am cheering you on from over here!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by melissel View Post
I think, at least at first, I'm going to need some structure. So with that in mind, I have a couple of questions:

--How exactly do you "do school?" Do you set aside a specific time, or times, each day to cover certain things? Do you sort of grab some time wherever it occurs?

The way we do it at Casa de Murry is this: in the morning, we begin with whatever needs to be done the most plus what my dd wants to do. For instance, we needed to get to history and science, but she chose science first, then history, and back to a little more science. Later in the day, we will probably do stuff that comes more easily to her, like spelling and Junior Great Books.

Quote:
--How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use? I was reading Phathui5's "What are you buying..." thread, and I've never heard of most of that stuff
: I currently have a Calvert K set, a Right-Start Math level A set, some Miquon Math books, some Singapore Math workbooks, the Earthways book, and lots of of other random resources (Mailbox mags, activity ideas books, some Story of the World stuff, one of Annettemarie's Seasons of Joy books etc.).
Mostly a combination of checking out the materials myself online and determining if they're good or bad, eliciting opinions from others about the pros and cons of a particular curriculum, reading the Rainbow Resource catalog (a genuine, CRUCIAL help!!!), and trial and error.

Quote:


--And here's a big one for me: How do you persuade your kids to get the schoolwork done and out of the way? There are SO MANY things that my DD won't do for or with me that she'll happily do with other people. I've been caught by surprise many times when her pre-K teacher told me of something my DD's done that I'd tried to engage her in at home.
I give her choices as to what she wants to do first in terms of subject matter, and then (within one given area) what book or activity she wants to do first (e.g., if we were doing history, does she want to read this book on Columbus or that different book on Ferdinand and Isabella?), and how she wants to process the information or demonstrate what she's learned (e.g., she can write and illustrate a paragraph, she can draw and label a drawing based on the reading, etc.).

Quote:


Any guidance is appreciated. I'm using the summer to sort of get settled in, and I need to make a really strong case to my DH for what I plan to do in order to get his full buy-in on this.

TIA!

I'd recommend checking out The Well-trained Mind.
 

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I don't know what label to use, but I guess we're relaxed, eclectic homeschoolers. Basically, we do what works. When it stops working, we move onto something else


Quote:

Originally Posted by melissel View Post

--How exactly do you "do school?" Do you set aside a specific time, or times, each day to cover certain things? Do you sort of grab some time wherever it occurs?
It varies over time, but I do try to do things consistently from day to day. For example, earlier in the spring we did lessons right away in the morning. But right now my kids have community sports almost every morning, so we're doing lessons after lunch. We generally start with a circle time where we all do things together, then we move to the table to do individual things.

Quote:
--How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use? I was reading Phathui5's "What are you buying..." thread, and I've never heard of most of that stuff
: I currently have a Calvert K set, a Right-Start Math level A set, some Miquon Math books, some Singapore Math workbooks, the Earthways book, and lots of of other random resources (Mailbox mags, activity ideas books, some Story of the World stuff, one of Annettemarie's Seasons of Joy books etc.).
I read a lot. I read several different homeschooling discussion boards, I've read lots of homeschool philosophy books, etc. I hear about different curriculums from the different forums.

I also make decisions about curriculum via trial and error. After reading about different curriculums, I narrow it down and try one or two out. I'm lucky that I have a budget that allows me to pick and choose and try different things that I think will work for my family. I buy used whenever possible, and I also resell curriculum when I'm done with it.

I'm a little bit of a curriculum junkie. I truly enjoy reading about different curriculums. I've tried a number of different programs over the years- some have been great, others have been truly horrible. But just like anything else in life, I take what will work for us, and leave the rest behind.

Right now, we're using bits and pieces of a bunch of things. We're using the read-alouds from Sonlight Cores K and 1, phonics instruction from My Father's World K, Miquon and Singapore Math, literature selections from 'What your X-grader Should Know', handwriting/copywork of my own creation, and we read lots of library books. In a couple of weeks, we're going to start Winter Promise's Animals and their Worlds curriculum. I'm sure I'll tweak it a bit a bit to make it fit our family, and we'll continue to do other things in addition to that.

Really, whatever you pick- if you even choose to use curriculum- you'll probably be able to make it work for your family.

Quote:
--And here's a big one for me: How do you persuade your kids to get the schoolwork done and out of the way? There are SO MANY things that my DD won't do for or with me that she'll happily do with other people. I've been caught by surprise many times when her pre-K teacher told me of something my DD's done that I'd tried to engage her in at home.
The same way I pursuade my children to do anything else around home. First of all, I try to package it in a way that is appealing to my kids. I give them choices about what we'll be learning about. But there are a few things that are non-negotiable. Just as cleaning their room isn't an option, doing lessons is required. I don't ask them to do much- usually it takes 10-15 minutes to do any seatwork (for my older kids: one page of math, one page of phonics, one page of handwriting/copywork). It's just part of the day. I will say, though, that I choose my battles. If something is a struggle for my kids or if they're truly not enjoying it, we take a break from that subject for awhile or we find another way to acomplish that task. But in general, my kids don't move onto the next activity until they've finished their lessons for the day.

I know I sound like a hard-ass. And in some ways I am- I do have expectations for my kids. But OTOH, lesson time never takes more than an hour, is always developmentally appropriate and is quite frequently FUN for all of us.
 

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--How exactly do you "do school?" Do you set aside a specific time, or times, each day to cover certain things? Do you sort of grab some time wherever it occurs?

For DD (13yo) I have a set time; from 8-10PM when the others are in bed. For my DS (8yo) he just does things whenever he has a moment. I am a lot less structured with him then I am with DD. Both have workbooks for math and LA and we do a literature based approuch to everything else. DD read her assigned books after she goes to bed and whenever else the urge strikes her, DS gets read to before bed. I don't do a *math from 9-9:30* kind of approuch.

--How do you know what kinds of resources you want to use?

We are literary based for the most part. I have a *spine* for history but we mostly use it for reference. The kids read (or get read to them) several non-fiction and historical fiction books for whatever subject we are covering. I read them books about science too. We do some hands on projects for history (Learning Through History is a great resource for that and are the SOTW activity books) and experiments for science (I like the ----- for evey kid books). I also use documentaries for history and science. Math and LA are workbooks based (we like Explode the Code for DS and Daily Language review for DD) as well as reading literature and the odd writing assignment.

--And here's a big one for me: How do you persuade your kids to get the schoolwork done and out of the way?

Basically I keep the boring stuff to a minimum and remind them how good the've got it
They only have and hour tops of *book work* a day and that's if they drag it out. Honestly they have nothing to complain about (although they sometimes still do LOL!).

-Jen
 

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i'm definitely the minority here, but i am a structured homeschooler. i have a schedule, but i am pretty flexible with it. we don't like seatwork, so we use a lot of unit studies that have hands-on learning. as far as what you should know to teach, i use a scope and sequence that gives me a guideline each month...see here: http://www.baltimorecp.org/lessons/lesson_titles.htm. i add more arts & crafts though, as my kids love them!

i mostly use free stuff from www.coreknowledge.org, which is the best curriculum i have found (according to what i was looking for). click on the "lessons" link at their website and then the grade you want. They have free lessons from preschool through 8th grade. i specifically like baltimore curriculum project there for all of my subjects except math and reading/phonics (because they don't offer them). core knowledge is the same people that author "what your --- needs to know". they also have a lot of great things for sale. for math we use saxon (but not the meeting book because it's so lame IMHO). for phonics, i love explode the code and happy phonics & they are recommended to go well together. explode the code is a workbook approach to phonics and happy phonics is a game approach that reinforces and teaches phonics. you can read curriculum reviews about them here: www.homeschoolreviews.com

i also love the free reading program from tanglewood here: http://www.tanglewoodeducation.com/ReallyReading2.pdf

hope this helps you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, everyone. I keep going back and forth on the kind of approach I want to take. I do own TWTM, and personally, I love that approach and would be so happy if I could make it work; it's very much my style, and the kind of education I wish I'd had access to growing up. Unfortunately, I think it is the wrong wrong wrong fit for my DD1--I can see her needing a more unschooling style, which does not at all mesh with my personality. So I'm scrambling a bit here, trying to find a middle ground and figure out where we should start. You all have provided me with some stuff to think about.

And as for YOU:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ack26 View Post
If you are looking to find out more information on various resources, order a free rainbow resources catalogue from the reading reasources website. It is as bigger than a phonebook and has full descriptions of many many curricula, educational games, etc. You could also borrow the catalogue from a friend.
A lot of information can also be found on TWTM message boards.
WARNING: You could become a curricula junkie!
There is almost too much information out there. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell what works for you and your child until you try it out. That said, many companies (for instance, Right Start) have great return policies.

Good luck. I am cheering you on from over here!
I think said "friend" knows that I'm already a curriculum junkie and is just trying to lure me in with more HSing porn
I am DYING to get my hands on a RR catalog, but I really, REALLY can't spend anymore money on this right now, and seeing one of those would be my downfall
:
 
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