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Everything posted by JoyKM

  1. (My mom remarried in this age range.) I second the join-a-club/be set up by friends suggestion. You sound like you are only really interested in meeting someone if it has the potential to be a serious relationship. You are better off putting yourself in the position to meet people who have similar interests to you at a club than just fishing around online (if you have the time for that). I met my husband online but in a different age bracket, so I’m not 100% opposed if you want to just have it going on in the background. Just quit if you get discouraged. My mom was widowed and single for
  2. I’m sorry—hopefully this is just a bit of a phase! A couple of things that have helped us move through the day a bit more comfortably (this is my first year, and there has been constant tweaking so far😅): 1. Independent checklists: My oldest is seven. Every morning she starts school with a handwritten (by me) checklist of skills to work on in a spiral. She can do these well independently, but I have to check in. The skills are: read 11min, handwriting 5+min, math facts practice online, typing practice online 7min, and a journal entry. She grabs her little kitchen timer and works her way
  3. We have one more child to teach to read. He's starting to gain some pre reading skills and will be working on that for awhile, but I'm needing to think ahead on this because my approach needs to change. My oldest learned all of this at public K which was a good fit for her but doesn't transfer to this situation. 😆 My middle child learned all of her letter sounds at a two day a week mother's day out PK4, so I began 100EZ with her midway through that year. We got to lesson 50 and made great progress, but at that point I transitioned to TGATB level K primer along with TGATB beginner books bec
  4. The beauty, art and aura of this curriculum tugs at me, too. But my kids don't seem to have the same exact feelings--they fight about doing the work and actually prefer doing stuff in a spiral sometimes. I'm starting to wonder how much the "beauty vibe" factor is directed towards me as an ad feature vs. the kids! 😂
  5. What kind of exercise do you like to do? Would it be possible for your son to start math at 6:45 so that you can still do a 6-6:30 session, or is this part of a greater daily schedule due to new needs? I am so sedentary right now it's terrible. I have a bum hip and need to work in a walk each day. It will be pushing a stroller with two kids walking with me. 😂 Honestly every time I have tried to exercise at a decent level my hip gives up at some point. So we are resigning ourselves to a mid morning stroll, and that's going to have to be better than nothing.
  6. This is going based on what I have heard about grammar: It's okay to wait for the higher level grammar instruction until your child is in 5th grade (diagramming, some of those bigger words, etc,). With that in mind, if I was in your shoes I'd focus 100% on basic editing. When I was in 4th grade my teacher would write an incorrectly capitalized and punctuated sentence on the board, then we were supposed to copy the sentence while fixing the errors. She would go over it with us after we were all done. To adapt that to homeschool, divide a page in a spiral (front and back) into however m
  7. I guess it all comes full circle. Once I get more confident in how to actually teach language arts I would love to have it be on some sort of autopilot system. For math my goals have been pretty easy to identify and incorporate, so at least one major subject doesn't have me saying, "Wow...I need to learn a LOT more about this!" 😂 Thanks for all of the feedback!
  8. I was always a good language art student but do need to do a little reading/brushing up to be ready to teach it. I have never taught LA...😅. Thanks for these! I'm hoping since my kids are so young that whatever I do will work as I dabble/read more, etc. I can see this--the fact that my children are younger is what is making me feel like I can even try this. Being able to save money doing this is appealing, too! 😂 Aww...thanks! I actually am a covid homeschooler, but I'm a teacher first and at heart! Going through this has shown me how useful it is as
  9. No Child Left Behind ended in 2015. My last school year teaching in Texas public schools was the 2014-2015 year, so I didn't get to experience what's been going on the last few years since then. Do you know what took NCLB's place? It really was a less than ideal program. I do know Texas was reducing the number of EOC tests required to graduate and mandating far fewer days devoted to district level benchmarks. I taught at a high performing public middle school, and I'll say that, while testing was important to keep up our status as high performing, students also came to school more support
  10. This is our week off of a 6 week on, 1 week off schedule hence all of the planning oriented questions...😆. Recently I discovered the book Home Learning Year by Year, and the guideposts laid out in the language arts sections of the manual made me think I could use a more DIY approach with language arts but would need to read up and learn how. Here are some questions I have: A) What resources or books are helpful to learn how to write DIY integrated language arts books studies? We are doing K and 2nd, so I'm thinking for the elementary years. I've been poking around on websites but usua
  11. That’s great! Its good to be reflective and choose from a variety of teaching techniques to teach a skill. I wasn’t really in a place where I knew what teaching techniques are even normal or effective options for ELA, though my husband and I have discussed particular goals for our children in writing and grammar since they were babies. He feels that his grammar knowledge is lacking and wants our kids to be explicitly taught, and we both feel that being able to write well is extremely valuable. Teaching language arts is intimidating to me, but it has become clear that the only way through that
  12. That’s what I’m thinking in terms of ELA. I have no background in teaching it though I was always a rather strong ELA student. “Skills” may be the wrong word for it—I have come across teaching techniques that are solid at building regular ELA skills that all children need, but I thought they were silly. In reality, they are normal and effective teaching techniques (dictation, copywork, etc.). It revealed just how little I know about teaching ELA skills. My current curriculum is designed so that parents don’t have to trouble themselves with the why which is fine for many families. For me, tho
  13. This is all great to hear! Over (a hopefully short) time I’d like to settle on workable base programs so I’m not constantly shifting the kids to something new and shelling out the startup costs for new programs. Thankfully I had selected and ordered some decent start up materials before things got on backorder. We’ve been able to start our year while I continue to learn more about subjects that intimidate me and solidify my vision for longer term. Here is what we are doing and what I am wanting to move towards: ELA: now—TGATB moving forward: something with better spelling that covers
  14. We have enjoyed homeschooling more than I thought, too—it’s a tough call, but you still have time! An established career is a valuable thing, so its good to think things through. To look at it a different way, if you had been homeschooled K-12 and went on to be an engineer your parents would probably be very proud of that. Wanting the best for our kids’ education usually comes with the hope of affording them options such as you have. It’s okay to not want to let that go loosely. I say this as someone who walked away from my career as a teacher and plan/hope to never return to full time work
  15. How long did it take to find your trusty standbys? I am starting to believe that the best curriculum is the one I feel most comfortable modifying. We are a mere 12 weeks in, and I’ve been clarifying needs, goals and expectations. I would really like to land on some standbys!
  16. We are using Levels K and 1 this year, and I used the preK one in the spring. We've gotten through 12 weeks of each, so I'm no long term expert. 😆 Thoughts so far: Pros: My children are learning. It is not hard to do time-wise with my two children. The lessons are short but a lot is included in them. We all enjoy the embedded art activities, and I make it a point not to skip them. I've gotten to a place in each level where I can see some units focus more on, say, grammar or phonics than others, so while the course is integrated it also has areas of focus. I like that so far. They come wi
  17. I’ll look more closely at Spaulding—I’ve heard it’s hard to implement but overall like the general idea around the method. I’m also dabbling with making my own materials so maybe it would work well!
  18. Thank you for all of this and for mentioning stealth dyslexia. I have a hunch that something mild is going on—she can keep up for the most part but has these little odd quirks come up (like very bad spelling, not hearing or writing all sounds in a word while she spells, jumping down two or three lines mid sentence while reading, and yesterday she told her sister to spell “of” as “uv” despite a lot of exposure—stuff like that.). We have tried the card but I will look at the colored overlays. I have seen them before but didn’t think to try them! If this stuff works and is easy to implement then
  19. She's in second grade and will be 8 soon. Last year was when I first started noticing her spelling issues--she was in public school, and her teacher would display student work on the wall. When I'd go in and help out I'd notice that most of the kids in her class would have much, much better spelling in their writing--they would take the time to write each sound in a word whereas she would just toss out a few letters even with commonly used words she should eventually know. She would have spelling tests each week involving a short list of sight words or words with the same endings, and she w
  20. What books or resources have you found helpful to teach spelling? It could be a curriculum that is very helpful or a stand alone book that is a good resource. My oldest daughter is struggling with spelling, and I'm not sure what's "normal" and what's an issue. Edit: My daughter is in second grade and will turn 8 in December.
  21. Thanks for sharing everyone! My kids are 2nd, K and toddler, and we are wrapping up the second six weeks of our first year. While the lessons are short, I was wondering if the one on one time would eventually change to create more space to balance academic and non academic life during the day. Lessons, lesson planning, field trips, projects and academic teaching are fun for me, so I have had no trouble keeping up with those. It's other responsibilities not tied to appointments, due dates or deadlines that get forgotten. I guess every phase has it's time intensive features. I'm trying to b
  22. Many of you have graduated one or more children--could you share which grades/stages/etc. you found to be most parent intensive? Could you also share what you did (or learned to do) during those times to make sure that you still felt your best or in control of non-school related aspects of your home? If you struggle to keep good habits without outer accountability how do you set things up at home to keep you on track?
  23. We have two chapter books going at a time--one I read to the kids while they are doing handwriting practice on school days, and the other is an audiobook that we listen to in the car. Even taking the book in in 10-15 minute chunks while going on short trips is fun for them, and I have been surprised at how quickly we actually work through books that way. It's nice to be able to work through two books at once. I choose super high interest books for when I read in person and have been doing classics in the car. My kids are younger and focus better on the classics when they are a captive audien
  24. Do you have the instructor text The Complete Writer: Writing with Ease? If so (and if you have been able to read through it so far) you'll notice that several weeks of each level are printed in the book (Week 1, Week 11, Week 20, Week 27, Week 36 for instance). Each provided week represents a new section of the level where the directions and difficulty change slightly, so the lesson are printed in as examples. They are the same passages as you would find in the workbook. The benefit for you is that the lessons skip chunks of each level which creates for you a set of "diagnostic" less
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