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Curriculum for burned out mom for 3 elementary kids next year (plus a high schooler and jr higher)


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#1 happy7

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 06:58 PM

I have been homeschooling for a long time - my oldest starts high school next year. I have 5 kids who will be 9th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 1st next year. Planning high school has my head swimming. And my youngest still isn't reading well. I need to simplify next year! My plan is to have independent work for my older 2 as much as possible. Then combine the younger 3 as much as possible. We will stick with math mammoth for them. And I thought about doing IEW with them even though it's not my favorite because it will ensure that writing gets done. And I think it will be a good fit for them (especially my 4th grader). 

 
But for everything else, I am undecided.  I have never really settled on the other subjects and have changed what we use almost every year. I have used everything from BJU to Mystery of History to Tapestry of Grace and Growing with Grammar and on and on. But I think I have been trying to hard to tailor the curriculum to individual needs, which means (1) I'm tired and (2) consistency from year to year is lacking. I thought about using Sonlight for everything for the younger 3 next year (probably a US history core since my 4th grader needs California history). But I am concerned that this will actually just stress me out more because it requires so much of mom. I love the idea of it and have tried to use literature based curriculum like MFW (three different years!) but by the end of the year I end up abandoning much of it, defeating the purpose of buying it. I do still like the idea of buying it all in one shot and not using different things for each. and. every. child for each. and. every. subject. 

 

What does the hive think? Should I go with more workbooky stuff just to get school done and move on to the fun stuff in life? That is tempting also, especially since I will have a jr higher and a high schooler who want to do time consuming extra curricular activities like robotics and debate.  :scared:

 

Cost is a factor too because we take outside classes at our local PSP that cost money, so I probably can't do something like BJU DLO for each of them. Too much screen time anyway. 

 

Here are things we haven't tried:

Horizons 

CLE

Lifepac

Abeka (probably not interested because I don't agree with their perspective on history)

 

There are others I'm sure. Or I might be willing to go back to something we have used in the past but use it for ALL 3 of them and not just one kiddo. I think I got sucked in to trying to give them each an individualized education, but really what ends up happening is lots of stuff doesn't get done. Perfection is the enemy of good in my case.  :willy_nilly:

 

My kids do well with workbooks and don't seem overly bored with them, which is good. And we read lots of books in our house independently. I would love to do more field trips and just be out of the house more, which might mean I just get the "school" part done as easily and quickly as possible (which I'm guessing is not Sonlight). And our real life schedule isn't hectic, but it is full.

 

Maybe I need a counselor more than curriculum. I've been sick lately so I'm stuck on the couch spending WAY too much time reading about the a-g requirements for UC schools. It is affecting my brain. :lol:  

 

 

 

 



#2 coloradomomof5

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 08:47 PM

What about
Math TT
Writing online class for the big 3 and WWE for the littles
SOTW for the 7th on down--audible and then the older two can narrate the Kingfisher and Usborne. One day written and one day oral. Add it lit that goes with the time period choosing from the Sonlight and other lists. Do as many audio as possible.
Fixit Grammar for everyone
Mystery science

High schooler. I got the local schools requirements.m and followed that. We did a few classes at home and a few at a local Home school coop.
Math home
Biology coop
Spanish coop
Orchestra coop
English home
Geography/govt home

I hade a few hard and a few easy.

Just a thought. We school 9th, 8th, 5,3,1 and prek (SN) over here. Gotta find what works.


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#3 Meadowlark

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:15 PM

We did CLE for math and LA this year and here are my thoughts:

 

Math-LOVE that the kids can read the directions and basically get the jist of it. If not, it's fairly easy for me to jump in because the concept is so incremental and laid out so clearly (even for this non-math mom). It's painless. That's saying a lot-Singapore had me up at night. What I don't like is the correcting-it's just a lot. But I was doing it all wrong-saving it for bedtime and then having the kids correct the next day. I've wised up and am now having them do it at the table where they can ask me questions and I can correct their mistakes on the spot. No correcting for mom, yay! Overall, I'm pleased with CLE for math. I do add in Singapore CWP for a twist on things because I feel the word problems in CLE are weak(er).

 

L.A.-It IS thorough for sure. I had my both my 4th and 3rd grader do the spelling too and I'm pretty sure besides writing the word lists, they learned about next to nothing.But I was pregnant, sick and had to substitute AAS for it. Oh well-but I wouldn't do it again. Again, the correcting. It's just a lot of correcting if you're doing it after the fact. As for the writing, it's not impressive at all. You would have to add writing imo. So we'll be ditching it for next year, but again, it is thorough-just not something I want to stick with forever.


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#4 PentecostalMom

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:20 PM

Have you looked into ACE Paces? Accelerated Christian Education? I, too, have been homeschooling a long time, my oldest is 25. Youngest is three, so still quite a road ahead! I definitely would not try to do a SL Core if you feel burnt out. I have used both CLE and ACE and while I think CLE is more rigorous, rigor is not the focus of my homeschool. ACE is great at some subjects (love Word Building), adequate in all with the exception of reading. We are a reading family! I use ACE when we were stationed overseas, dh was deployed, and I had horrid morning sickness! I like it because each pace has clear boundaries of what the child is to do that day, and it asks the student to self-check. I did check after them of course, but this really helped us keep school moving along. I did read when I could from my prone position on the sofa, and sometimes I would take turns asking the olders to read so it kind of forced us to have family read-aloud, even though things were askew.

Edited by PentecostalMom, 20 April 2017 - 10:23 PM.

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#5 coastalfam

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 11:20 PM

You might go to the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula website and have a look at the Wayfarers curriculum schedule. We use it like a menu (meaning we never do ALL of it), and it coordinates things for me so I don't have to do any planning unless I feel up to going out on my own for something. It includes elementary through high school, but is no where near as complex as Tapestry, and can be pared way down compared to Sonlight.


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#6 Ellie

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:26 AM

I have been homeschooling for a long time - my oldest starts high school next year. I have 5 kids who will be 9th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 1st next year. Planning high school has my head swimming. And my youngest still isn't reading well. I need to simplify next year! My plan is to have independent work for my older 2 as much as possible. Then combine the younger 3 as much as possible. We will stick with math mammoth for them. And I thought about doing IEW with them even though it's not my favorite because it will ensure that writing gets done. And I think it will be a good fit for them (especially my 4th grader). 

 
But for everything else, I am undecided.  I have never really settled on the other subjects and have changed what we use almost every year. I have used everything from BJU to Mystery of History to Tapestry of Grace and Growing with Grammar and on and on. But I think I have been trying to hard to tailor the curriculum to individual needs, which means (1) I'm tired and (2) consistency from year to year is lacking. I thought about using Sonlight for everything for the younger 3 next year (probably a US history core since my 4th grader needs California history). But I am concerned that this will actually just stress me out more because it requires so much of mom. I love the idea of it and have tried to use literature based curriculum like MFW (three different years!) but by the end of the year I end up abandoning much of it, defeating the purpose of buying it. I do still like the idea of buying it all in one shot and not using different things for each. and. every. child for each. and. every. subject. 

 

What does the hive think? Should I go with more workbooky stuff just to get school done and move on to the fun stuff in life? That is tempting also, especially since I will have a jr higher and a high schooler who want to do time consuming extra curricular activities like robotics and debate.  :scared:

 

Cost is a factor too because we take outside classes at our local PSP that cost money, so I probably can't do something like BJU DLO for each of them. Too much screen time anyway. 

 

Here are things we haven't tried:

Horizons 

CLE

Lifepac

Abeka (probably not interested because I don't agree with their perspective on history)

 

There are others I'm sure. Or I might be willing to go back to something we have used in the past but use it for ALL 3 of them and not just one kiddo. I think I got sucked in to trying to give them each an individualized education, but really what ends up happening is lots of stuff doesn't get done. Perfection is the enemy of good in my case.  :willy_nilly:

 

My kids do well with workbooks and don't seem overly bored with them, which is good. And we read lots of books in our house independently. I would love to do more field trips and just be out of the house more, which might mean I just get the "school" part done as easily and quickly as possible (which I'm guessing is not Sonlight). And our real life schedule isn't hectic, but it is full.

 

Maybe I need a counselor more than curriculum. I've been sick lately so I'm stuck on the couch spending WAY too much time reading about the a-g requirements for UC schools. It is affecting my brain. :lol:  

 

I wouldn't recommend Alpha Omega Lifepacs. Not a fan, actually, of any of that kind of material (10-12 little booklets for each subject).

 

Your 4th grader doesn't *have* to have California history, as the Education Code does not specify when it should be taught, other than to say that it should be taught somewhere between first and seventh, and again eighth through twelfth. Or something like that, lol--it is supposed to be taught twice, even though no one ever gets to check up on you. :-)

 

But it couldn't hurt to do California history, so of course you would do it with all three littles. I love "His California Story," but you'd have to search for it. I saw it on Paperback Swap.

 

Your 9yo could do R&S's English, which is very independent, and that would be grammar and composition in one fell swoop. Your 7yo could also do it. Then they could do their English while you work with the youngest, with Phonics Pathways or Alpha Phonics. So you'd have English, history, and math. The rest would be gravy.
 


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#7 maize

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:33 AM

I'm listening in because I am in a similar situation but will have a toddler and a newborn in the mix.
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#8 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:28 AM

For ease of use I agree with up thread on the following:

 

1.  CLE math - as mentioned up thread lessons are written to the student.  Sit near them as they work on math and definitely have the TM for checking/grading (much easier with the TM).  Work on something else nearby.  Have them check their work and answer any questions.  Easy to schedule.  Lots of built in review.  If they are getting it, cut some of the review problems in the next lesson.  Lessons can be long otherwise.  They won't be missing anything.  The concepts will be reviewed again later anyway.  Flash cards can be shared (definitely get the flash cards and if you can afford it get two sets, one for the littles and one for the middles - fantastic review system that works much better if you get their cards).  This will help you since it is a do the next thing.  TM makes grading easier for quizzes and tests.  Give placement tests.  This system can run ahead of some others.  First light unit of each level is review of previous concepts so it is a good way to fill in gaps.  They are not indicative of the normal light units though so don't judge the system by the first one of each level.  

 

If you can afford it, you might get family access to CTC math (go through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op).  It could bolster what they are doing in CLE and if they are struggling and need help but you don't have time they can hop on CTC and look for specific topics.  Easy to find since all levels are organized in much the same way.  Covers math from Kindergarten through Calculus.  I think the one year subscription allows the teacher to set up accounts for multiple students with just the one price.  Video instruction.  Shows a history of what has been completed and what was started but not finished.  Easy for a teacher to track progress.  A student can repeat a lesson as many times as needed since new problems are generated every time.  If things really get bogged down then you could just have them do this each day.  Lessons are short but you can assign more than one.  Allows for printing out of the explanation and shows what was missed and why after the lesson is over.  This can be printed out, too (But has to be printed as it shows up on the screen.  Once the student has exited out only the score remains).

 

2.  IEW for writing - You can probably just get SWI-B for the the 3rd through 9th grader but you can get additional more advanced resources to use with the 7th and 9th grader if it looks like they need it.   Play the video, do the first lesson of each section on a dry erase board together then just act as facilitator for follow up lessons in each section.  Very little prep needed once everyone's notebooks are set up.  May take a bit for the kids to wrap their brains around the method but once they are comfortable it should go pretty smoothly.  Slow down whenever needed.  Gentle approach.

 

3.  Fix-it Grammar - If you buy the TM you get the Student pages in pdf form for free so low cost for a family with multiple kids.  Give the placement tests.  Set up at the beginning for the notebooks for each child may take a couple of hours total to get them all printed out and organized but the kids can help.  Once they are printed and set up then prep for each lesson is virtually nil.  :15 a day 4 days a week.  Very gentle system but it ramps up significantly over time.  It just does it in a very gentle manner.  I recommend finding a big print dictionary.  The books are not by grade but by level.  You might end up with most in the same book, which would make lessons easier.  There are 6 books in the series but the last two books are pretty advanced grammar.  Book 6 is really more for college prep as I understand it.  Easy to accelerate or slow down as needed.

 

4.  Or you might look at something like Easy Peasy.  They have a High School level, too.  Not sure how easy it is to implement with multiple kids, though...

 


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#9 bethben

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:43 AM

I would find something for the 9th and 7th graders to do completely independently.  For us, that meant that ds did online classes for most/all of his subjects.  Yes, it was not cheap, but I really needed one less thing to be in charge of.  For some reason, the high school years stressed me out more because it "counted" and I didn't have time to be the expert in all subjects in high school and I stressed about not being able to be that for ds well. The extra pressure to do high school well adds a lot of stress IMO.


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#10 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:50 AM

For ease of use I agree with up thread on the following:

 

1.  CLE math - as mentioned up thread lessons are written to the student.  Sit near them as they work on math and definitely have the TM for checking/grading (much easier with the TM).  Work on something else nearby.  Have them check their work and answer any questions.  Easy to schedule.  Lots of built in review.  If they are getting it, cut some of the review problems in the next lesson.  Lessons can be long otherwise.  They won't be missing anything.  The concepts will be reviewed again later anyway.  Flash cards can be shared (definitely get the flash cards and if you can afford it get two sets, one for the littles and one for the middles - fantastic review system that works much better if you get their cards).  This will help you since it is a do the next thing.  TM makes grading easier for quizzes and tests.  Give placement tests.  This system can run ahead of some others.  First light unit of each level is review of previous concepts so it is a good way to fill in gaps.  They are not indicative of the normal light units though so don't judge the system by the first one of each level.  

 

If you can afford it, you might get family access to CTC math (go through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op).  It could bolster what they are doing in CLE and if they are struggling and need help but you don't have time they can hop on CTC and look for specific topics.  Easy to find since all levels are organized in much the same way.  Covers math from Kindergarten through Calculus.  I think the one year subscription allows the teacher to set up accounts for multiple students with just the one price.  Video instruction.  Shows a history of what has been completed and what was started but not finished.  Easy for a teacher to track progress.  A student can repeat a lesson as many times as needed since new problems are generated every time.  If things really get bogged down then you could just have them do this each day.  Lessons are short but you can assign more than one.  Allows for printing out of the explanation and shows what was missed and why after the lesson is over.  This can be printed out, too (But has to be printed as it shows up on the screen.  Once the student has exited out only the score remains).

 

2.  IEW for writing - You can probably just get SWI-B for the the 3rd through 9th grader but you can get additional more advanced resources to use with the 7th and 9th grader if it looks like they need it.   Play the video, do the first lesson of each section on a dry erase board together then just act as facilitator for follow up lessons in each section.  Very little prep needed once everyone's notebooks are set up.  May take a bit for the kids to wrap their brains around the method but once they are comfortable it should go pretty smoothly.  Slow down whenever needed.  Gentle approach.

 

3.  Fix-it Grammar - If you buy the TM you get the Student pages in pdf form for free so low cost for a family with multiple kids.  Give the placement tests.  Set up at the beginning for the notebooks for each child may take a couple of hours total to get them all printed out and organized but the kids can help.  Once they are printed and set up then prep for each lesson is virtually nil.  :15 a day 4 days a week.  Very gentle system but it ramps up significantly over time.  It just does it in a very gentle manner.  I recommend finding a big print dictionary.  The books are not by grade but by level.  You might end up with most in the same book, which would make lessons easier.  There are 6 books in the series but the last two books are pretty advanced grammar.  Book 6 is really more for college prep as I understand it.  Easy to accelerate or slow down as needed.

 

4.  Or you might look at something like Easy Peasy.  They have a High School level, too.  Not sure how easy it is to implement with multiple kids, though...

I like all of theses suggestions a lot. Thanks!


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#11 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:54 AM

I would find something for the 9th and 7th graders to do completely independently.  For us, that meant that ds did online classes for most/all of his subjects.  Yes, it was not cheap, but I really needed one less thing to be in charge of.  For some reason, the high school years stressed me out more because it "counted" and I didn't have time to be the expert in all subjects in high school and I stressed about not being able to be that for ds well. The extra pressure to do high school well adds a lot of stress IMO.

 

This is a good point. My 9th grader will be taking Spanish and science at our co-op, but I could add their English lit analysis/comp class. He will probably do Derek Owens or Chalkdust for Alg II. That would leave Bible and History. Still deciding what to do for those. Thankfully I have lots of support at our co-op/PSP for high school. Otherwise I would be going crazy. But you are right that my 7th grader needs to be more independent, too. So far we have science at the co-op for him, but I may need to get him into at least one more online class (maybe math and writing).   


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#12 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:56 AM

You might go to the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula website and have a look at the Wayfarers curriculum schedule. We use it like a menu (meaning we never do ALL of it), and it coordinates things for me so I don't have to do any planning unless I feel up to going out on my own for something. It includes elementary through high school, but is no where near as complex as Tapestry, and can be pared way down compared to Sonlight.

 

I'll look at Wayfarers. I hadn't heard of this one before.



#13 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:02 AM

What about
Math TT
Writing online class for the big 3 and WWE for the littles
SOTW for the 7th on down--audible and then the older two can narrate the Kingfisher and Usborne. One day written and one day oral. Add it lit that goes with the time period choosing from the Sonlight and other lists. Do as many audio as possible.
Fixit Grammar for everyone
Mystery science

 

 

Can I use SOTW for just US History? I like the idea of doing the audiobook - would it be too confusing to just use the chapters on US History from vol 3 and maybe 4 if we get to it? 

I keep seeing people talk about Mystery Science in the forums recently but I haven't ever looked at it. I'll check it out. 

 

 

High schooler. I got the local schools requirements.m and followed that. We did a few classes at home and a few at a local Home school coop.
Math home
Biology coop
Spanish coop
Orchestra coop
English home
Geography/govt home

 

What did you use for English at home for high school? We have science and Spanish at co-op, and English at the co-op is an option, but we could do it at home. If we do that, he will need more explicit writing instruction than he has gotten so far. We did Lively Art of Writing this year, which has been helpful, but he might need something else to bring his writing up to high school/college prep level. 

I hade a few hard and a few easy.

Just a thought. We school 9th, 8th, 5,3,1 and prek (SN) over here. Gotta find what works.


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#14 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:05 AM

Have you looked into ACE Paces? Accelerated Christian Education? I, too, have been homeschooling a long time, my oldest is 25. Youngest is three, so still quite a road ahead! I definitely would not try to do a SL Core if you feel burnt out. I have used both CLE and ACE and while I think CLE is more rigorous, rigor is not the focus of my homeschool. ACE is great at some subjects (love Word Building), adequate in all with the exception of reading. We are a reading family! I use ACE when we were stationed overseas, dh was deployed, and I had horrid morning sickness! I like it because each pace has clear boundaries of what the child is to do that day, and it asks the student to self-check. I did check after them of course, but this really helped us keep school moving along. I did read when I could from my prone position on the sofa, and sometimes I would take turns asking the olders to read so it kind of forced us to have family read-aloud, even though things were askew.

I haven't looked at this - I'll check it out. Thanks! And I think you are right that SL would not help me, especially since I need to combine multiple children. I have always liked the idea of Sonlight, though. 



#15 ExcitedMama

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:31 AM

Since you are in CA have you looked to see if you have any virtual charters in your area? That might give you more options since the funds are about 2k per student. You can use it on curriculum and/or classes.
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#16 Vintage81

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:24 PM

Another vote for Mystery Science!  

 

For history you could look at Build Your Library. It uses SOTW as a spine. I'll be using BYL 2 for my 2nd and 4th grader next year. I don't think it would be too difficult to combine grade levels. You just choose what topic you'd like to study (grade 1 is SOTW 1, grade 2 us SOTW 2, etc., and US History is split into 2 years in 5th and 6th grade).

 

If you want something for California specifically, check this out - http://www.ourlandpu...fc558a12025c203

 

I am going to be using it for my 4th grader next year (for Texas history). I contacted the company and they said that there are 26 lessons and each lesson should take around 30 minutes. Of course, you can add to that if you want to study something more specifically.

 



#17 Evanthe

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:52 PM

I have been homeschooling for a long time - my oldest starts high school next year. I have 5 kids who will be 9th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 1st next year. Planning high school has my head swimming. And my youngest still isn't reading well. 

 

If you're seriously burned out, I have a burn-out emergency plan that we use.  I've had to use it several times myself.  I've burned us all out a couple of times.   :glare:    

 

Applying my burn-out plan to your situation...

 

7th, 4th and 3rd (daily):

Math

Writing

Reading/Read-alouds

 

1st grader (daily):

Language Arts (phonics, spelling, handwriting/copywork)

Math

Reading/Read-alouds

 

9th grader can't really not do school, unless 9th grader is also massively burned-out.  You could outsource classes.  I would consider a year of interest-led learning, too (if kid was onboard with it).

 

Good luck!


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#18 Evanthe

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:57 PM

I'm listening in because I am in a similar situation but will have a toddler and a newborn in the mix.

 

Our toddler is turning our house upside down...just like he does with his bins of toys (or any other container he gets his hands on).

 

:grouphug:

 

Someone at homeschool PE asked me how bad is it trying to teach older kids + the toddler.  It's bad, Lady.  REALLY bad.   :tongue_smilie: lol


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#19 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:57 PM

Since you are in CA have you looked to see if you have any virtual charters in your area? That might give you more options since the funds are about 2k per student. You can use it on curriculum and/or classes.

 

There are, but our co-op/PSP doesn't allow families to also register with charters.



#20 justasque

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:04 PM

For 1st, 3rd, and 4th, I would do unit studies.  

-Spelling Workout for basic language stuff.

-Math of your choice; I might take the 4th's text and try to do similar things for the 3rd and 1st at the same time, or put 4th and 3rd in a curric and do 1st on our own using similar topics.

-Pick a time period for history.  (Ancients, Colonial, Civil War - whatever.)  March through it using read-alouds, audio books, self-read books, outings, music, etc.  Ask 3rd and 4th to periodically write "reports" on what they're learning and/or present the topic to the others.  Use sub-topics to keep yourself organized, e.g. Lewis & Clark, Ben Franklin, westward expansion, early explorers, cowboys, 

-Pick two interest-led themes for science, OR have one going at any given time.  Kids of this age are often interested in animals of various kinds, so that's a good place to start.    Let the path evolve week to week.  Fish to oceans to the water cycle to the arctic to arctic animals to mammals to jungle animals to wetlands toT wetland plants to food cycles to adaptation and so on.  The various seasons can be inspirational - plants in the spring, cold-weather animals and their habitats in the winter.  Library books, videos, outings, read-alouds, etc.  Perhaps have them keep a notebook of "fast facts" they are learning, with some drawings and some paragraphs of info.  

 

This method has daily consistency (spelling/LA, math), but allows the history and science topics to evolve as you go.  The key is having a good library, where you can check out armloads of books and videos, and visiting once every other week or so.  Check out more than you think you'll use, so that you have a lot of things at various levels to work with.  



#21 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:05 PM

Our toddler is turning our house upside down...just like he does with his bins of toys (or any other container he gets his hands on).

 

:grouphug:

 

Someone at homeschool PE asked me how bad is it trying to teach older kids + the toddler.  It's bad, Lady.  REALLY bad.   :tongue_smilie: lol

 

Haha! Yes, it is. I feel your pain. This is the first year I have had all 5 in school and it's so different. But at the same time, it's not, because my younger 3 get off task when I'm not looking and spread toys all. over. the. house. when they should be doing school. It's crazy how fast it happens!   :001_rolleyes:


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#22 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:08 PM

Another vote for Mystery Science!  

 

For history you could look at Build Your Library. It uses SOTW as a spine. I'll be using BYL 2 for my 2nd and 4th grader next year. I don't think it would be too difficult to combine grade levels. You just choose what topic you'd like to study (grade 1 is SOTW 1, grade 2 us SOTW 2, etc., and US History is split into 2 years in 5th and 6th grade).

 

This is another one I've seen on the forum but know nothing about. I'll look into it. I might be able to put my 3rd grader into the 4th grade level, then just let my 1st grader glean what she can. Although I was hoping to do US history starting this next year, so if it's 5th and 6th that might not work.   

 

If you want something for California specifically, check this out - http://www.ourlandpu...fc558a12025c203

 

Thanks! I'll check it out. Looks really interesting

 

I am going to be using it for my 4th grader next year (for Texas history). I contacted the company and they said that there are 26 lessons and each lesson should take around 30 minutes. Of course, you can add to that if you want to study something more specifically.

 



#23 ktgrok

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:21 PM

When things get crazy for me I stop planning and go back to a "do some of everything" plan. What that means is, I have a planner with the subjects I want to cover written down the side, and a square for each day of the week going across. Then I try to make sure we do SOMETHING - ANYTHING in each box for as many times as I have set as my goal. 

 

So, math 4-5 days a week. I should fill in 4-5 squares each week. 

History/social studies - 3 times minimum a week. Not planned out, but I have a history book I can read from, or documentaries to watch, or whatever. Whatever we do, I write it down. 

 

Same for other subjects. 

 

So I have a goal of how many times a week, lots of materials for each subject that are open and go, and a visual (the planner) to see if I'm getting it done. 

 

So if I wake up and the kids want to make pyramids, fine, I can google how to do that, then write it in. It lets me go with the flow but having it in visual form keeps me honest so I don't skip any one subject too often. If it's wednesday and I see we haven't done any social studies I'll make sure we do a lot that day. 


Edited by ktgrok, 21 April 2017 - 01:24 PM.

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#24 Tibbie Dunbar

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 01:30 PM

Out of the box idea:

 

Is it possible you'd like your high schoolers to go to ps? Would it be easier to get through 8th grade with all of the dc, if you knew that would be the end? You know how to homeschool through 8th, it's not intimidating, no more learning curve.

 

I mention it because in my dream world, there is an affordable, classical or traditional high school and I only have to homeschool through eighth grade. (I do like to hs through eighth grade; I think it's ideal for my family.) Unfortunately, in my real world, I don't really agree with current ps methods/philosophies for high school, and we're not even in a "good" school district. The kids couldn't have calculus, or any foreign language other than Spanish, and the graduation rate is low. So I have learned how to hs through high school (two down, two to go), but it's not my first choice.

 

A lot of people only homeschool until high school, then put the kids in ps if the schools are good at all.



#25 happy7

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:13 PM

Out of the box idea:

 

Is it possible you'd like your high schoolers to go to ps? Would it be easier to get through 8th grade with all of the dc, if you knew that would be the end? You know how to homeschool through 8th, it's not intimidating, no more learning curve.

 

I mention it because in my dream world, there is an affordable, classical or traditional high school and I only have to homeschool through eighth grade. (I do like to hs through eighth grade; I think it's ideal for my family.) Unfortunately, in my real world, I don't really agree with current ps methods/philosophies for high school, and we're not even in a "good" school district. The kids couldn't have calculus, or any foreign language other than Spanish, and the graduation rate is low. So I have learned how to hs through high school (two down, two to go), but it's not my first choice.

 

A lot of people only homeschool until high school, then put the kids in ps if the schools are good at all.

 

I have the same dream, but alas, that is not my reality either.  :001_rolleyes:  Local high schools here are actually pretty good, but the kids' schedules are insane. I'd like to actually see my teen and not overwhelm him. He is connected in our PSP and has some outside classes. I did sign him up for one more last night, so he will have 3 outside classes at the PSP and we will outsource the rest online. That will take some of it off my plate at least. I'll just have to help him manage it all, which hopefully will be fine. I think he can handle it. It leaves less money for the youngers, but it will be better this way. Would love to outsource more jr high, but that's probably not in the budget at this point. I do think I will use at least some video based instruction for jr high, which will help.

 

I think I've just been cobbling together too much on my own or using things like MFW that use too many books and feel disjointed to me. Plus some of it is feeling overwhelmed by keeping them on task and having too many transitions. I think I will use some of the curriculum suggestions from this thread to streamline the younger ones next year and it will help. 


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#26 Ausmumof3

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:24 PM

I have been homeschooling for a long time - my oldest starts high school next year. I have 5 kids who will be 9th, 7th, 4th, 3rd and 1st next year. Planning high school has my head swimming. And my youngest still isn't reading well. I need to simplify next year! My plan is to have independent work for my older 2 as much as possible. Then combine the younger 3 as much as possible. We will stick with math mammoth for them. And I thought about doing IEW with them even though it's not my favorite because it will ensure that writing gets done. And I think it will be a good fit for them (especially my 4th grader).

But for everything else, I am undecided. I have never really settled on the other subjects and have changed what we use almost every year. I have used everything from BJU to Mystery of History to Tapestry of Grace and Growing with Grammar and on and on. But I think I have been trying to hard to tailor the curriculum to individual needs, which means (1) I'm tired and (2) consistency from year to year is lacking. I thought about using Sonlight for everything for the younger 3 next year (probably a US history core since my 4th grader needs California history). But I am concerned that this will actually just stress me out more because it requires so much of mom. I love the idea of it and have tried to use literature based curriculum like MFW (three different years!) but by the end of the year I end up abandoning much of it, defeating the purpose of buying it. I do still like the idea of buying it all in one shot and not using different things for each. and. every. child for each. and. every. subject.

What does the hive think? Should I go with more workbooky stuff just to get school done and move on to the fun stuff in life? That is tempting also, especially since I will have a jr higher and a high schooler who want to do time consuming extra curricular activities like robotics and debate. :scared:

Cost is a factor too because we take outside classes at our local PSP that cost money, so I probably can't do something like BJU DLO for each of them. Too much screen time anyway.

Here are things we haven't tried:
Horizons
CLE
Lifepac
Abeka (probably not interested because I don't agree with their perspective on history)

There are others I'm sure. Or I might be willing to go back to something we have used in the past but use it for ALL 3 of them and not just one kiddo. I think I got sucked in to trying to give them each an individualized education, but really what ends up happening is lots of stuff doesn't get done. Perfection is the enemy of good in my case. :willy_nilly:

My kids do well with workbooks and don't seem overly bored with them, which is good. And we read lots of books in our house independently. I would love to do more field trips and just be out of the house more, which might mean I just get the "school" part done as easily and quickly as possible (which I'm guessing is not Sonlight). And our real life schedule isn't hectic, but it is full.

Maybe I need a counselor more than curriculum. I've been sick lately so I'm stuck on the couch spending WAY too much time reading about the a-g requirements for UC schools. It is affecting my brain. :lol:


I don't think I'd go for sonlight if you are already burned out. I don't have much else to add but I found sonlight pushed us toward burnout not pulled us out.

A thought can you pair up some of the older siblings to teach the younger ones some stuff? I don't have such a big family so I don't know if it will work but I often think teaching helps reinforce in a way nothing else can and the younger kids get more than they would otherwise.

#27 Charlene

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:11 PM

You might go to the Barefoot Ragamuffin Curricula website and have a look at the Wayfarers curriculum schedule. We use it like a menu (meaning we never do ALL of it), and it coordinates things for me so I don't have to do any planning unless I feel up to going out on my own for something. It includes elementary through high school, but is no where near as complex as Tapestry, and can be pared way down compared to Sonlight.



#28 Charlene

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:14 PM

I agree. I bought wayfarers level one and it looks great. I haven't used it yet but plan to use it to some extent next year. Meaning, use some of the ideas and book lists, but not follow the schedule exactly. I have grades 2,4 6,8 and 10 plus a preschooler 😀
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#29 cintinative

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:44 PM

 

 

2.  IEW for writing - You can probably just get SWI-B for the the 3rd through 9th grader but you can get additional more advanced resources to use with the 7th and 9th grader if it looks like they need it.   Play the video, do the first lesson of each section on a dry erase board together then just act as facilitator for follow up lessons in each section.  Very little prep needed once everyone's notebooks are set up.  May take a bit for the kids to wrap their brains around the method but once they are comfortable it should go pretty smoothly.  Slow down whenever needed.  Gentle approach.

 

 

 

FYI. You can get alternate source texts for your younger child (4th) to use instead of the SWI-B materials here: http://iew.com/sites..._Paragraphs.pdf

 

From the IEW site:  "If you are using the SWI-B with an older student, just use the level B materials with him or her. The important thing is to use materials that are at or below a student's reading level. Thus, your older student can use material from any SWI level to learn to write."



#30 Another Lynn

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 07:16 AM

If you're seriously burned out, I have a burn-out emergency plan that we use.  I've had to use it several times myself.  I've burned us all out a couple of times.   :glare:    

 

Applying my burn-out plan to your situation...

 

7th, 4th and 3rd (daily):

Math

Writing

Reading/Read-alouds

 

1st grader (daily):

Language Arts (phonics, spelling, handwriting/copywork)

Math

Reading/Read-alouds

 

9th grader can't really not do school, unless 9th grader is also massively burned-out.  You could outsource classes.  I would consider a year of interest-led learning, too (if kid was onboard with it).

 

Good luck!

 

I totally agree with this, especially for 7th grade and down.  In my experience, when I felt overwhelmed or was otherwise close to burnout, guides and packages just made it so much worse and never lasted longer than about 6 weeks.  Do the above and if it gets comfortable and you want to add, then add SOTW on CD.  If you still want to add, then look for easy ways to add science casually - library books (if making the trip isn't stressful), or Let's Read and Find Out books for the younger 3 kids.  For the 7th grader, if you want to add science use the library or find a cheap used science text book and let him/her read it (maybe outline or take notes from it), but depending on how well he/she learns from textbooks either skip the tests or take them open book.  But only add these things when you see the need - when getting the basics done is comfortable and feels like too little work.  

 

Another idea is to keep the above, but if you make frequent library trips always require 1 fiction, 1 non-fiction, 1 biography and 1 poetry book.  I believe something like that was mentioned in the Well Trained Mind as something Susan's mom used to do with them.   


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