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Everything posted by ErikaElle

  1. Putting it all out there... Last year we homeschooled through an academy that chose our curriculum for us. It left my son very behind in writing, ahead in reading & math, and deprived in both science & history. Literally every day in school last year for science & history all his books told him were that God created the earth in seven days and we should go to church and be good people. That was pretty much it. He is entering the "big boy" years in school now and we aren't learning as much through creative & free play as we did in preschool and kindy. I am actually having to make curriculum choices for him now, and I worry that I'm giving him too much work yet not enough work at the same time, IF that makes sense. I kind of feel like I have to make-up what he missed last year since I feel like I failed us both. At the end of grade 2, I don't want a repeat of last year where we end the school year with him not learning things he should have... but I don't want us to be overworked either. I guess I don't trust myself to find the "balance" between the two. After all, this is my kid's education and I'm responsible for making sure he gets a good one. Thanks for all the feedback! I'm making note of things to do differently. :)
  2. It looks like a lot but our work day usually takes around 4 hours, sometimes 3ish & sometimes 5ish depending on how my toddler cooperates that day. I don't use all of those sources now. That's what is planned for the whole year. I certainly don't -and would never- use four science resources a day... lol... Can't imagine doing that. I would have no hair left. Several subjects (Bible studies, penmanship, vocabulary, geography, poetry) take just 5-10 minutes max each. It's not that we're spending 30+ minutes on each subject. Electives (art, music, computer, poetry) aren't taught every day. Logic is done leisurely for fun. Typing is twice a week for 10-15 mins max only on weekends. Good citizenship technically isn't even a subject we make extra time for except through reading books here and there, as it is covered in living our lives. I'm just required by our state to make note that I teach it. Basically, what I'm getting at is trying to figure out if I should teach simple core subjects four days each week and taper off other subjects (science & history) to two days a week and electives only once per week. I'd like to see what other folks do. :)
  3. We've been doing every subject five days a week except for writing (because WWE only has four weekly lessons) and art & music. By the end of the day, we're all kind of burnt out and just want to flop on the couch and be vegetables. I've been thinking about transitioning to a four day work week, Monday thru Thursday. Fridays would be simple with just math, reading/literature, our weekly spelling & vocabulary tests, artist/picture & composer study. Fridays I would also add in any extra science or history I feel we need for that week. Normally, I would just power through, but insomnia has been kicking my bum for a month or two now and I'm feeling kind of bogged down and burnt out a bit, even though I love homeschooling. I go between thinking that changing our weekly schedule would be beneficial for our family and feeling that I would be doing my kiddo a disservice by somehow robbing him academically if I don't teach every subject every day. So, how do you homeschool? Do you teach every subject every day or no? What does the hive say? :)
  4. We're using Horizons for 2nd grade and there isn't much to be read in the book, except for very simple instructions that you two could go over together. :) Horizons books are bright, colorful, and fun. We enjoy them. I think I paid $18ish for book 1. Evan-Moor Basic Math Skills was fun for my son before we switched to Horizons, it was just too easy for him. Rod & Staff is also a good option for the non-reader.
  5. Following.... I'm using FLL & GWG (both level 1) with my 2nd grader. I bought GWG for him to complete a daily exercise since we haven't gotten to any written activities yet in FLL.
  6. I came across this homeschool curriculum and kind of fell in love with many of their books. Obviously our curriculum choices have been made for this school year, as we've been in school for weeks. BUT the curriculum lover that I am wants to purchase these anyway and use them to supplement where we need to. Kind of. OK, not kind of, but really, really heart-eyes wants to. So, before I make any rash decisions, has anyone used TG&TB, particularly the language arts, history, or nature journal, for the elementary years? If so, would you recommend?
  7. Thanks for all the feedback! :) BFSU should be delivered tomorrow. I'm waiting to see what Elemental Science will bring to the table, too. I didn't realize ES isn't a secular program when I ordered it. If it is worldview neutral then that should be fine, as we cover both creationism & evolution in other ways. My Mystery Science trial thingy started today. I just gave mystery #1 a looksie and I'm really liking what I see. It looks fun and engaging and I think my son would enjoy it. I'm going to have him give it a go in a few minutes to see how he feels about it. For those who use Mystery Science, how do you do it? Like, do you do one mystery a day? A week? And is this the only science program you use? In your opinion, can it stand alone or should it be more of a supplement for something like BFSU?
  8. We're using Horizons this year and loving it. The pages are nice & brightly colored and really attract the attention of the student. It is a rigorous program but works up to it slowly so it's not such a shock to the student's system. My oldest is in grade 2 so I don't have much to compare it to, except for the Ace PACE program we used last year (before I was acquainted with WTM). Every day was a struggle with that program.
  9. We're doing Horizons this year for the first time. It's colorful and bright. My son says that it is fun and he looks forward to doing a lesson every day, which is a HUGE and wonderful change from the PACE program we got stuck with for 1st grade. I'm told Horizons is a pretty rigorous program that is actually a grade level ahead, but that it builds up slowly so as not to overwhelm the student (and math hating teachers). A spiral method math is a must-have for us, though. So far so good! :)
  10. Well, now I'm feeling like quite the lazy. lol... We don't even start school until 10:30-11 a.m. 😬 We just aren't morning people and are night owls, which is likely why I'm replying to this post at nearly 3 a.m. That said, we do all of our language arts subjects (penmanship, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, writing, and reading) first thing and then move onto math, science, and history in the afternoons. Starting with math or "meatier" subjects in the mornings makes us struggle with everything the rest of the day for some reason.
  11. Thanks for the feedback, ladies! :) I decided to pick up a copy of BFSU and another program I came across called Elemental Science. I also made an account at Mystery Science to see what their program is like. :) BFSU does look a little daunting, I must admit, but if it is pretty much what I'm already doing I figure, why not? At least that way I'll have more of a "spine" to go off.
  12. My son (2nd grader) was doing the same thing. To get him out of it, I made a list of mom-approved/assigned books for him to read. He reads these books to me for 20 minutes every day as part of our reading subject. One book will be at his grade level and the next will be above. We alternate that way. For instance, right now he is reading a Frog & Toad book. He'll finish it tomorrow and then will start The Adventures of Pinocchio. After he finishes up his daily reading, I read to him from living books. We're currently midways through The Chocolate Touch. We don't do literary analysis in written form or anything like that over the material we read. We do discuss what happened in the story and characters in the story, but I think that's a normal part of sharing books you love with someone. Something about cuddling up on the couch and reading through chapter books together made him excited to want to read bigger books on his own. He still likes the cutesy kiddie books (and we read those too, especially beautiful picture books, as part of our morning time/basket) and we (husband & I) welcome him to check those out from the library and read independently on his own or aloud to us.
  13. This is our first year of doing formal spelling lessons. My son is in 2nd grade and reads fluently. Last year he did "spelling" through phonics lessons and it worked wonders.
  14. I don't think a workbook is necessary as long as he is getting in enough handwriting practice. Well-Trained Mind recommends 5 to 15 mins per day at the beginner level. I have a 2nd grader. We do 1-2 pages of copywork in HWOT five days each week and a writing lesson from WWE four days a week. Writing is an area my kiddo struggles in, so I usually have my son write both sentences in the WWE assignments just because I feel like it benefits him more than writing just one. He also gets writing practice in the other subjects we do five days a week (FLL, GWG, spelling, Draw Write Now art books, etc.)
  15. Heya! I'm new here and wanted to pop in. I'm Erika; a third year (technically fourth, if preschool counts) homeschooling mom to two little dragons. Currently I just have one student, my oldest son, age 7. My other son just turned 2 and is still in the creative play stage so I don't do any formal lessons with him. I came to realize the beauty of an eclectic & free yet classical education and am digging my way out of the pit of traditional homeschooling & busywork I somehow fallen into. Our homeschooling methods have changed so much within the past year and, while I'm over the moon about the direction we're headed, I still struggle with wondering if I'm teaching my son enough when it comes to science. And, let me tell you, I'm having a heck of a time finding a good science curriculum for my oldest son. It seems like the bulk of things out there are either for young earth creationists or mainly science experiments for the secular schoolers. Science is my kiddo's favorite subject so I want it to be rich and continue fostering a love of it in him - but I don't want to do just experiments. We're Christians but not young earthers and, while we believe in creation, we're evolutionary creationists that would rather keep our religious beliefs completely separate from our education. So, you can see why this is all very difficult. My oldest little is in grade 2 this year. I finally gave up trying to find something that would be a good fit for us and decided to make my own curriculum for science. The program is made up of living books, episodes of TV shows (Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, etc), Horrible Science books, and Kingfisher Encyclopedias (Science, Nature, Animals, Human Body). I'm also using Evan-Moor's Daily science for second grade. I guess my question is, is this sufficient? And what about next year for third grade? (I know, I know, I'm already planning ahead. I can't help it.) I realize science is basically a big repeat of itself during the grammar stage, but I feel like it should also be different somehow, if that makes sense. What science programs you use or recommend? For those of you who have used ScienceSaurus & the corresponding Daybooks, do you think the 4th grade level would be fine for a third grader or a bit too advanced? Any tips/advice/recommendations is greatly appreciated. Have a beautiful day! :)
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