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Happens every freaking year: 6 weeks in, throw elaborate plans out window and start from scratch.


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What's with the ads?

#1 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:23 AM

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing drugs in the summer or something to make me think *xyz* is a great idea.  I mean, seriously.  I plan and it's beautiful and then within a week of starting, I know I've made a horrible mistake, and by six weeks in, I declare an unofficial school break for a week and I go back to the drawing board and totally re-do everything.  

 

This is my SEVENTH YEAR officially HSing.  Will it ever end???  


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#2 okbud

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:31 AM

For real. I think maybe for me it's because I LOVE the planning, and in the summer or whenever I don't have the constraints of the actual child to necessarily keep in mind since we're not actively schooling at the time, so I can just go big.

 

Still some of my best ideas strike when I've had that mental space to dream up the perfect homeschool, so it's not totally wasted.


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#3 perkybunch

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:27 AM

Yup.  We've discarded two different chemistry books this year thus far.  I am waiting on the third.  (Note to self:  Even if husband is willing to teach science, do not have him choose the textbook.  It never works.  How many times must we go through this before I learn?)

 

We've discarded one composition program. 

 

We completely dropped the grammar book. 

 

French III has gone bye-bye.  

 

We've stopped SAT and ACT prep because she is seriously interested in dental assisting at the local community college, and they don't require either of those.  They have a different test, the TSI, she has to take.

 

Math is only going well because I made all my mistakes last year and will never deviate from Mathusee again.  Sorry Mr. Demme.


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#4 SusanC

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 11:50 AM

I love planning. Anything is possible on paper, and it all stays organized and orderly. Reality is not nearly so loveable.

Just last week I read a tip that I should take an estimate of how long it would take me to do something and multiply it by 7 (or was it 10? A lot). That was a revelation. Perhaps my planning will benefit.


Edited by SusanC, 11 October 2017 - 12:09 PM.

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#5 Lori D.

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:01 PM

All of your posts on this thread have me  :smilielol5:


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#6 Spudater

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:12 PM

Maybe you could start thinking of your plans as a rough draft? Rough drafts are an i portant part of the process. :)

I share your frustration, but remember it’s a sign you care. :hugs:
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#7 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

Glad to see I'm not alone!



#8 Lori D.

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 12:59 PM

Glad to see I'm not alone!

 

Yes! And my giggles were ONLY because I recognized myself in all of you. It's amazing how much my kids could accomplish... on my planning paper. Real life, not so much. :laugh:

 

Most of my major switching programs and curricula happened in the first 5 years of homeschooling, as I was figuring out both of DSs' strongly individual learning styles, and DS#2's mild LDs (which necessitated very specific kinds of materials to click for him). About the time each DS hit 5th-6th grade I finally had things figured out, and DSs' learning abilities had finally settled down/kicked in, and we had far fewer curriculum dump/switches mid-semester. ;)

 

Hopefully this will be true for all of you, too -- until you hit high school planning, when all of us suddenly think our children can accomplish 2 complete sets of everything, and need to be Noble Prize winners while simultaneously doing all AP classes...  :tongue_smilie:


Edited by Lori D., 11 October 2017 - 01:04 PM.

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#9 JudoMom

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:18 PM

This is my 13th year and I finally made reasonable plans over the summer.  I had to stay laser focused.  

Also, this sounds silly, but instead of my own planner that I print, I went with Mardel's preprinted planner.  It only has room for 6 subjects, and about 2 lines/student (I'm really only planning for 3.5 students this year since ds18 is at CC for all his classes and ds17 is there PT).  When I was tempted to add more to their days, I remembered it wouldn't fit in my planner :lol:.
 


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#10 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:48 PM

This is my 13th year and I finally made reasonable plans over the summer.  I had to stay laser focused.  

Also, this sounds silly, but instead of my own planner that I print, I went with Mardel's preprinted planner.  It only has room for 6 subjects, and about 2 lines/student (I'm really only planning for 3.5 students this year since ds18 is at CC for all his classes and ds17 is there PT).  When I was tempted to add more to their days, I remembered it wouldn't fit in my planner :lol:.
 

 

 

Such a good point.  I spent most of the day fiddling around with my impossible checklist planning sheet, deleted it all, and started fresh.  

 

I put in our staples of reading, writing, 'rithmetic, then put in three additional check boxes per day for "other stuff".  I hope this will help keep me focused on what can reasonably fit in a day.   


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#11 Spudater

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:09 PM

This is my 13th year and I finally made reasonable plans over the summer. I had to stay laser focused.

Also, this sounds silly, but instead of my own planner that I print, I went with Mardel's preprinted planner. It only has room for 6 subjects, and about 2 lines/student (I'm really only planning for 3.5 students this year since ds18 is at CC for all his classes and ds17 is there PT). When I was tempted to add more to their days, I remembered it wouldn't fit in my planner :lol:.


I think you may have just blown my mind.
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#12 AimeeM

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:20 PM

I completed three sets of elaborate lesson plans for three different children (DD16, DS8, and DS5). I even re-wrote many sections of certain texts to be more accessible to my kiddos with language-based learning differences, wrote bullet-point notes like the oldest prefers, from every chapter of her history program, etc. 

 

DD16 has decided that she finally wants to do most of her curriculum online. I've tried to convince her to do just that for years, but NOW she wants to.

 

DS5 isn't happening. My only goal for him for this year is that he can sit still for five minutes, and doesn't throw himself into walls and furniture while I'm working with his older siblings. Where he was getting sticker for his reward chart for "doing school" previously, now he gets stickers for his chart if he just doesn't throw his body around the school room while I'm with the older kids.

 

DS8 just has too many (varied) learning differences to really plan anything for him outside of content subjects. I should know that by now, but...

 

Yeah. 


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#13 CPSTAnne

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 02:51 PM

We’ve already changed math twice, completely changed history (not just curriculum but focus too, from state history to ancients!), ditched two supplements entirely due to overkill, and spread another out to last two years instead of one. Yep, it’s so easy to plan big in the summer! I am just so happy all of our LA is going great, that’s been a difficult area for us to stick with anything.
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#14 scbusf

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:22 PM

Seriously. Same boat here. I love the planning part SO much. But then the reality of 3 kids with various learning disabilities hits and WHAM. Nothing I planned works.


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#15 Evanthe

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 03:57 PM

This is why I make vague, generalized plans, not specific plans.  Like I know my son is studying a subject called Military History this year, but I only have a rough idea of what I want to do.  That way, plans can morph throughout the school year and I don't feel bad about it (or didn't BUY a bunch of stuff I'm not going to use - that's the worst feeling ever!!).  

 

What you posted has happened to me almost every year for years!  

 

And coming up with a 4-year plan for high school during 8th grade...  HA!  What a waste of time!   :smilielol5:  I did that for my 10th grader several years ago.  Lol.  Her high school looks absolutely nothing like my original plans.  Heck, we're not even using the same math I planned to use.  We're not even using the same homeschooling method from one year to the next.

 

Oh, one interesting thing I notice when I plan...I err on the side of "easy".  What we end up doing turns out to be so much more advanced than what I originally planned.  Weird, right?  


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#16 Evanthe

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:03 PM

Such a good point.  I spent most of the day fiddling around with my impossible checklist planning sheet, deleted it all, and started fresh.     

 

I have to be careful that I don't get sucked into this stupid cycle of "planning more than I am actually spending time working with the kids".  Once I realize that's happening, I have to stop and tell myself that the energy I'm spending on planning needs to be rerouted into spending time with the kids.

 

I tell myself that as long as I'm doing *something* with them, it doesn't matter what it is...it's better than me planning.


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#17 Calming Tea

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:44 PM

It ended when my kids got to 8th grade. They didn’t have patience with changes and the workload is so heavy that starting over is impossible. So we just stick things out now
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#18 PeterPan

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 04:54 PM

I don't even make plans anymore. I just wake up, see what state ds is in, and we make up something brilliant on the fly.  :lol:   Not really, but sorta. He is so variable. Yesterday we did math with DH Lawrence, Keating, and Blake. We can't be doing too badly. :D


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#19 Plum Crazy

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:48 PM

This is why I make vague, generalized plans, not specific plans.  Like I know my son is studying a subject called Military History this year, but I only have a rough idea of what I want to do.  That way, plans can morph throughout the school year and I don't feel bad about it (or didn't BUY a bunch of stuff I'm not going to use - that's the worst feeling ever!!).  

 

What you posted has happened to me almost every year for years!  

 

And coming up with a 4-year plan for high school during 8th grade...  HA!  What a waste of time!   :smilielol5:  I did that for my 10th grader several years ago.  Lol.  Her high school looks absolutely nothing like my original plans.  Heck, we're not even using the same math I planned to use.  We're not even using the same homeschooling method from one year to the next.

 

Oh, one interesting thing I notice when I plan...I err on the side of "easy".  What we end up doing turns out to be so much more advanced than what I originally planned.  Weird, right?  

Same here. This year our theme is pirates and adventure. I have a big list of lit to choose from and curriculum to fit the theme. I don't make lesson plans. I always think it would be nice, but I would quickly get disappointed that we're not sticking to the plan. We're very do the next thing around here. We pick a book from the lit list that we're feeling at the time and work our way through it. We follow a lot of rabbit trails and jump on current events. We've switched from marine biology to extreme weather and that's okay because we will get back to marine biology. Just not right now. 

 

I used to plan every day. My oldest was a box checker. I loved OneNote and he would check things off. It was awesome, but time consuming. I couldn't do that with teaching two and the randomness that is our schedule these days.


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#20 JoJosMom

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 06:56 PM

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing drugs in the summer or something to make me think *xyz* is a great idea. I mean, seriously. I plan and it's beautiful and then within a week of starting, I know I've made a horrible mistake, and by six weeks in, I declare an unofficial school break for a week and I go back to the drawing board and totally re-do everything.

This is my SEVENTH YEAR officially HSing. Will it ever end???


Well, of COURSE it will end. You have to graduate them sometime!

😀
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#21 Evanthe

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:21 PM

I don't even make plans anymore. I just wake up, see what state ds is in, and we make up something brilliant on the fly.  :lol:   

 

:D   I think I'm gradually evolving into this!


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#22 Evanthe

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:36 PM

Same here. This year our theme is pirates and adventure. I have a big list of lit to choose from and curriculum to fit the theme. I don't make lesson plans. I always think it would be nice, but I would quickly get disappointed that we're not sticking to the plan. We're very do the next thing around here. We pick a book from the lit list that we're feeling at the time and work our way through it. We follow a lot of rabbit trails and jump on current events. We've switched from marine biology to extreme weather and that's okay because we will get back to marine biology. Just not right now. 

 

And you end up covering so much unexpected stuff with rabbit trails, too!  We started a US government rabbit trail last fall during the election and we ended up covering SO much material that I had to stop everything, but math.  They really got into the election.  They were surprising me with how much research they were doing on their own.  At one point, they actually took  practice tests for the US and British citizenship exams and passed (we're in Texas - Lol).  We even did this book where you read court cases and have to make the judge's rulings at the end.  That was a huge hit.  That entire semester was awesome.  Just trying to say, we really enjoy rabbit trails here!      


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#23 Sadie

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 07:46 PM

You could always do up your plans in a pdf and sell them online to other h/s mamas :)

 

I had an awesome plan for ds last term. We did about - oh, 10% ? - of the plan. Things that look wonderful on paper don't always pan out.

 

And I've been at this for 15 years, so I definitely should know better!


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#24 SamanthaCarter

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:09 PM

You could always do up your plans in a pdf and sell them online to other h/s mamas.





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#25 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:12 AM

So much fun waking up to all these responses! Thanks, virtual Overplanners Anonymous Support Group!
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#26 Monica_in_Switzerland

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:15 AM

I have to be careful that I don't get sucked into this stupid cycle of "planning more than I am actually spending time working with the kids". Once I realize that's happening, I have to stop and tell myself that the energy I'm spending on planning needs to be rerouted into spending time with the kids.

I tell myself that as long as I'm doing *something* with them, it doesn't matter what it is...it's better than me planning.


Hey! This thread is about listening to me whine, not about making really good points about how I should actually *do* stuff with my kids!!!

But seriously though, you're absolutely right!
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#27 theelfqueen

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:28 AM

I do long term planning on my laptop but only put a month at a time in my planner.... adjusting months out when you "Fall behind" is so disheartening and makes me into a crazy person.... especially when I have to do it for the same subject over and over ....
I can be a little squishy with the month "Oh this is easier than I thought we will do more per day" "Oh this takes forever, how can I fix it" all of that seems less overwhelming when I'm only looking at the next few weeks...

I shift the big plan when it is time to put it in my planner. (Adding November thru thanksgiving now). We never start a new month "behind" or "ahead" cause I shift things....this way I'm not teaching the kids who live in my head (those charming, happy people who delight in their chores lol and fit the schedule in my brain) but the ones whining at my breakfast table, who sometimes need to be harassed into brushing their teeth (and yes they are 12 and 16).

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#28 bethben

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:40 AM

This is the very reason I started buying pre-made plans. For some reason I can stick to a plan I bought but not one that I created. Also, if I do make my own plan, it usually does better if I do it on the fly during the year.


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#29 EKS

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 07:54 AM

Yup--that use to happen to me every single year.  There was usually another shift around January.


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#30 SamanthaCarter

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:05 AM

Ladies, it is such a relief to me to read this thread! So many in the hive seem to have it all together, that I sometimes feel I don't belong here. But you all are human!


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#31 Ravin

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:12 AM

This is the first year I seem to have hit on plans that we are actually following through with without having to scrap or toss out significant chunks. DD is in 8th grade and we've homeschooled since K, so...yeah. I'm actually ADDING stuff rather than backing off at this stage. I guess I've gotten better at rough drafts!


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#32 theelfqueen

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:45 AM

Well done Ravin!

 



#33 mc26

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:09 AM

Historically, what I plan for and purchase for the upcoming school year goes bye-bye by September.  I think I now have a handle on this.  I finally have accepted the fact that no matter what I like, or how I would have loved to learn, or how all the kids on this board learn, these guys are just not going to suddenly morph into read-and-write-for-fun, follow-rabbit-trails-all-the-livelong-day, scholars.  

 

Kid 1 has turned into somewhat of an unschooler.  I finally realized how much stuff he is learning "off the clock".  So once he has done my minimum (which is pretty minimal), he is free to YouTube, Food Network, Weather Channel, etc to his heart's content.  

Kid 2 is a competitive athlete and a 13 year old boy.  Oy.  I have recently simplified our lives by signing up for Time4Learning to help him become a little more independent.  We may actually get science done!  I am still going to use some of the other stuff I have (Geography, logic puzzles, mythology), and we always have a few read-alouds going. 

 

Flexibility--it's a good thing!


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#34 SusanC

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:58 AM

Well, of COURSE it will end. You have to graduate them sometime!

😀


Oh no!!! I have a plan for that!
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#35 Rose M

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:59 AM

I kind of thinking of planning my hs year like planning my garden. I always imagine all the lovely vegetables but I can never fully anticipate all the weeds or diseases that afflict the garden or the work that it will all take to maintain. Seed catalogues are hardly different than curriculum catalogues; they get you drooling. ;)


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#36 Homeschool Mom in AZ

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 11:35 AM

I plan and prep everything in the 36 hanging file folders.  Each year I have to change/adapt a thing or two. This year it was replacing grammar. But I'm not an idealistic planner, I'm a cynical one. I plan the minimum first, then I'll plan in other things I'd like to do if we have time.  I have a simple matrix chart with each subject by week, so each box has the essentials listed first, then extras under those.  We work from the top down. 

Also, when we're actually doing subjects/assignments, I know what my top priorities are for each one.  Again, I work from the top down.  If we get done very well the most important things, we can stop and let the lesser things go without any angst.


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#37 Garga

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 12:52 PM

I'm there with you.  Had a whole thread about my poor DS15's crazy schedule.  I redid a bunch of planning, particularly changing up History and English.

 

And it was working!  It was working!  But then his algebra teacher (online class) gave him extra problems to do...and then poor son apparently stopped saving a history document halfway through writing it and then logged off the computer. When he signed in today, all the work from yesterday was gone.  

 

Sigh.  

 

And DS12 has recently developed a bad habit of interrupting everyone every 1.5 minutes to tell us all the random thoughts he's having.  And I feel guilty for not paying enough attention to him.

 

Homeschooling is hard!

 

 


Edited by Garga, 13 October 2017 - 12:55 PM.

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#38 alisoncooks

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 01:38 PM

Yasssss.

We've already ditched Hakim in favor of Veritas's Self-paced online. Benefit of switching this late: I caught the sale price. Wheeee!
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#39 Meadowlark

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 02:44 PM

I always said-I was WAY better at planning that actually homeschooling. I should be a professional planner. I could plan out your whole year with the most beautiful, rich curriculum. Then YOU teach it :-)


Edited by Meadowlark, 15 November 2017 - 02:43 PM.

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#40 Another Lynn

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 01:38 PM

Hmmmm..... school plans???? ...... or children???    School plans???  or children????  It's always a tough call.   :laugh:


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#41 okbud

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 05:28 PM

Hmmmm..... school plans???? ...... or children??? School plans??? or children???? It's always a tough call. :laugh:


Lol don't over think it!
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#42 JHLWTM

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:42 PM

About 18 months ago, my mom, who didn’t homeschool us but is very supportive, gave me this advice: prayerfully and responsibly make a plan, then don’t second guess. She said she felt like she wasted a lot of time and energy in her 30s and 40s second guessing. I’m pretty type A, and she knows it, so she said to follow through with my plan at least 6-12 months before allowing myself to revisit. I never felt comfortable enough to do that before, but have been trying it this year. Are my plans perfect? No. Do I see Room to improve? Yes. But I’m not staying up late obsessing over optimization and overall I feel healthier and our school more peaceful. Part of it is letting go of the idea that things have to be optimized. Don’t get me wrong, optimization is good and needful, but, at least for me, it kind of became an idol.....

I’m not judging those who are revamping plans because you know what is best for your family! Just throwing out another perspective.... it’s kind of a grand experiment for me so we’ll see how it goes!
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#43 egao_gakari

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 06:55 PM

Haven't entirely changed things, but we dropped music appreciation from the schedule--I didn't have a plan for it, and the kids don't like classical music, and we needed a bit more time for foreign languages.

 

DD10 is struggling more with Killgallon than I anticipated, so I upped that from 2 to 3 times per week. DS12 is whipping through AofA, so I dropped that from 2 to once per week, and upped Life of Fred from 2 to 3 times per week.

 

I'm failing at making sure that they do their daily weather observation journal, independent history work, and assigned reading. Not sure whether I need to change something about the schedule, or just be more on top of them about it.


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#44 tdbates78

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:17 PM

I'm still relatively new to this homeschooling thing but I thought it was just me! My problem is that I get sucked into all of these great ideas that sound perfect. And the annoying thing is that I *know* they probably won't work for my girls but I'll give in and purchase anyways. And then its back to the drawing board a few weeks later.
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#45 TX Native

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 09:23 PM

My dd watched me put out books and TMs in my "teacher pile" in our school room the week before our official school date. I figure if I have the stack of books I intend to get to sitting right next to me, it will happen. When she saw the history program and spine I have started and ditched the past 2 years out again she seriously asked, "Mom, why are you getting that out if you will just forget to teach it to us after a couple of weeks?" Out of the mouth of babes....

Anyway, I have always been strict to getting to the basics of the 3 Rs most school days. Yeah for me! I planned for a Spanish program, a geography program, a few lit read alouds, and weekly science experiments that have all fizzled out within 6 weeks. But I was determined to read that history spine no matter what since my daughter noticed that it keeps getting ditched by me year after year. I did ditch the TM with daily lesson plans, but am holding to reading that history spine a few days/week with all my might. We may not get to mummifying a chicken or making a salt dough map of ancient Egypt like I originally planned, but so far they FINALLY know about mummies and ancient Egypt thanks to my determination to get through one history spine book this year.

Edited by TX native, 08 November 2017 - 11:51 PM.

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#46 Jungle Mama

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 05:35 AM

@TX native  I am doing the same with history for school, just hanging in there and gittin 'er done.  I am getting to the point after 4 years of trying to complete a certain time period I am just going to get it done by hook or by crook over the next 6 months.  A friend has used the same spine and she is helping me to condense it so I can just finish it once and for all.

 

Best of luck

Jen in Oz

 


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#47 Runningmom80

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:26 PM

Yep! This year I was an over achiever and ditched it all the week before we started and made new plans. I still haven’t added everything in yet and it looks like it’s getting to be November so that tells you all you need to know about how good I am at all this.
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#48 SporkUK

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:32 AM

I'm another! I make amazing certain plans...and weeks in I'm trying to get time to plan again. It's a mix of over-planning for their abilities and even more overestimating the energy I have stuff for every day. After 5-6 hours, I'm toast but I always plan for so many things as it's fine with one of them but across all four...yeah. 

 

Even my usually solid subject - maths - I'm tweaking for one of mine. The one who decided a week before the deadline to submit her name that she wants to apply for the exam-entry secondary school for next September which I'm trying not to overthink about (since even though she has to take the exam next month, results won't happen until March and things may change even if she gets in which isn't a certainty both with the exam and how oversubscribed it usually is - a few hundred applicants for 80ish spots for our part of the city) but it is making me want to tweak the literature list if this is the last year with her home but it might not be and yeah....


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#49 boscopup

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 06:38 AM

This is so me. 😂 This year, I decided to homeschool my middle two kind of last minute... Meaning, one day I decided not to do virtual school with them, and the next day we started homeschool curriculum from my curriculum closet. So I kind of expected to change some things anyway. Math was boring for my 5th grader, so I bumped him up to AoPS Prealgebra, which he is enjoying. Writing and spelling for him have continued so far. I don't plan to make changes there. His grammar, I decided to pull out R&S 4 and teach both boys together (the younger is 3rd grade but advanced across the board). We're in the middle of chapter 2, and when we remember to do English before toddler nap time, it goes really well. We've been doing it at the white board, and the white board is in the toddler's room (which was the school room until we had a surprise 4th kid). Toddler and and 8th grader will be swapping rooms before the end of the year, I hope... She needs out of her crib and can't be unsupervised in the school room with ALL the books. ;) Anyway, in R&S, I always get bored with the slowness in the beginning, and my kids know all about nouns, so we did multiple lessons at a time and will continue doing so until we get to a point where we need to slow down. I've been looking at other grammar options and I'm thinking we'll try Easy Grammar, but I've talked myself into completing R&S 4 and then starting EG 5 at that point. EG would give these two some independent work.

Part of my problem is juggling the need for independent work because I have multiple kids to educate and a toddler distraction, but also the fact that my 5th grader needs me at elbow. My 3rd grader is very independent, but I don't want him falling through the cracks by doing everything independently at an age when he really needs a teacher. And then they both just want to go play (mostly the 5th grader).

We changed science a couple times this year as well. I tried CK-12... 3rd grader likes it. 5th grader finds it boring. I tried Mystery Science. 3rd grader LOVES it. 5th grader likes the videos but hates the accompanying activity. 😂 I asked him what he wanted to study. He said astronomy. So we're giving RSO Astronomy level 2 a try and are watching Cosmos, plus other videos linked in RSO TG. I have high hopes for this one, but we'll see. I have the 3rd grader continuing with CK-12 and Mystery Science. Yesterday we did RSO, CK-12, AND a Mystery Science lesson.

History... We're doing SOTW, which we did last year also. We might finish medieval this year. 😂 I'm alternating weeks for history and science, though sometimes we go 3 weeks doing science. I think since school started in August, we've done about 3 weeks of history. :p But we did start watching Great African Civilizations on Amazon Prime last week, so that counts as history. My 3rd grader is bored by it, but my 5th grader asks to watch it.

Every year I struggle with organization and swapping curriculum and such, but every year my kids continue to learn well dispite my shortcomings. I mean, my 5th grader can write a paragraph! He has dysgraphia, and last year he couldn't write a coherent sentence. And when I put my oldest and youngest sons in virtual school last year, they both placed 3 grades ahead in reading and math on the placement tests given by the school. My 8th grader, for whom writing has always been my bugaboo, has received numerous complements on his writing from his local teachers. So again, something has gone right even when I feel like I'm floundering some years. He'll homeschool next year, and I'm actually looking forward to it. I am determined to keep his stuff the same throughout the year unless it's just absolutely completely not working at all. And if he balks at any writing, I can just threaten him with virtual school and their touchy feely writing assignments (write a narrative about an event that shaped your identity). :lol:
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#50 JHLWTM

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Posted 28 October 2017 - 12:04 PM

Updating. 

We just completed our first "term." I broke up our year into three "terms" this year (we've never been so structured in the past). I also work, and I've found that some structure helps to keep me on track when I'm exhausted from work. Here are the tweaks we are making for future terms. I consider them relatively minor.

--dropping Shakespeare in the original language in favor of a children's adaptation (Nesbit). We just couldn't get into the Bard in his own words... Kids are still young, so we'll try again in a few years... We had been reading a little bit from Midsummer Night's Dream once a week. We will scrap that and read one of Nesbit's adaptations weekly instead.

--Adding typing practice in for my DS. DD started typing this year, and apparently Typing Instructor is quite enticing, because DS decided he wants to do it, too.

--I had planned to have my DD finish Wordly Wise Book 5 this year (she'd finish around the new year), then start book 6 but she's finding it too easy / boring. I'm going to have her finish Book 5, then likely change to Vocab from Classical Roots in the new year.

 

Here are the tweaks I'm tempted to make but restraining my guilt-ridden conscience for now:

--Readalouds have gotten squeezed this year. We used to have readaloud time daily. Now it's every other day or so. I'm pretty bummed about that but have decided to try to not feel guilty about it.

--Project based learning and interest led learning. I have this ideal of doing more projects and designing our studies around my kids' interests. I still haven't figured this out. We do small projects / interest led learning, but no huge, overarching things.  This, too, I have decided to try not to feel guilty about. They are involved in a maker club, and my husband says that counts as project based learning.

--science. Science is really mom-driven in our home at this time. I'd love to have my kids take the "lead" on science learning for themselves, but....maybe down the line....

--History. History is really book-based in our house this year. Not a lot of hands on. Sigh.

 

I have a friend who was asking about how homeschooling is going for us. I was telling her that I've realized it's impossible to optimize for everything - that I had this ideal that everything would be better than what they could get elsewhere, that we'd have unlimited flexibility to iterate and iterate and iterate in this ever ascending spiral until we reached...learning nirvana!!!  You know, continuous cycles of homeschool curriculum PDSA!!!! (Ha!)  The reality is obviously different. We are limited. We don't have unlimited flexibility.  My friend was pretty incredulous and asked, "Then why do you do it?" It was a reminder that the primary reason we started homeschooling was for the family relationships. On the academic side, we are rigorous but not perfect. Quoting our wise sage, Tibbie Dunbar, I'm trying not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. 

 

I realize that this post is straying from the OP's intent. No intent to derail, just reflecting on what "re-doing" has meant for me.

 

 


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