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Posts posted by Hebrews3:13

  1. We have been using Ambleside for about 5 years now, but I turned a couple of years ago to the Charlotte Mason Help site and began using many of Linda Fays lists, as well as her history rotation and liked it MUCH better.


    My daughter had some struggles since I basically dropped her into it and did not start with it when she was young. I had to drop back a couple of grade levels and narrations were like a root canal for a while. However, the several years we did AO enabled her to read anything now. She reads novel after novel on her own now, and this was a child who hated to read before that. She also has a love for poetry that surprises me!


    My second one is on year 2 still, bearing in mind he has multiple learning disabilities, Aspergers, and struggled a long while with reading. I still read aloud to him most all of the selections, but it works. The rich literature just enlivens school and even though I have looked at other curriculums here and there I cannot get on board with them. I find so much missing after having done school in this way. I spent about a year and a half doing year 1 with him.


    This year I am straying a bit in beginning AAS with my son. He still has some reading issues and I believe for him this will be helpful with any gaps he has, so it is something we are undertaking.


    I have one in K-5 this year and we are loving it. It is such a fun time with both the kids and they adore the stories. They argue over which one they loved most.


    Linda Fay provides a week by week breakdown of the books she uses, so then you can divide it up as you want for the week. We tend to leave Friday very open, as I use that day for art study, art, music, etc.


    Year 1 Pros I would say are the quality of literature. For us, the intimate time together reading and doing narrations were very endearing also. My son retains so much. I cannot believe a year later how much he recalls of all last years stories. No textbooks! :)


    Cons for us were (for my son) the difficulty of the material. I know MANY of you have children who would not struggle here, so do not let this dissuade you. My son did have a few books I had to baby him through that he just had a hard time following. It seemed like as went along I was able to add them back in and he adapted. Shakespeare, even Nesbitt stretched him. Again, I ended up taking longer with him to finish year 1 and that worked out fine.


    Good luck! I think AO and CM help are just fabulous!

  2. Where do I start with my kiddos? I have one Kindergartener- but she is already beginning basic addition via worksheets (she is an older K-5 and is already 6). I am actually questioning Rightstart for her a little since she likes workbooks (I don't) and is very efficient at them. I figured it would be a good background for her. I had considered Singapore for her, but that is another story I suppose. It is definitely not a given that she will thrive in the same thing as him. Out of the 3 of mine I have homeschooled so far all have used something different for almost everything! :tongue_smilie:


    I also have a very challenged 9-year-old. He is stuck on multiplication and has various learning disabilities and ADD big time. We have been doing CLE with him for years, but I believe he needs to really SEE the math. There are concepts we have gone over and over and he is still not getting it. Also, he hates all the writing with the workbooks and while I understand the need for review, it is beaten to death for him. He has the concept and going over and over it in subsequent lessons makes him frustrated. I have pared down the lessons and I do not make him do each problem, BUT I still think he could gain a lot from Rightstart.


    Do I start him in B? I think he needs a more solid foundation and I have no issue with backtracking him any. Neither does he. I am sure he would enjoy something being easier for a while.


    Then for little miss in K-5. Will B be too hard for her or can she do it also?


    I know I need the games and had already planned on buying the set online and an extra abacus for her. I also had planned on picking up Miquon for extra work and some c-rods (those had been on my list a while).


    I appreciate anyone's suggestions.

  3. if anyone would have suggestions on resources for looking at the history/culture of that time. Also, how hard would it be to find a map of England during that time. My DD has expressed an interest in both and looking at what was going on in the world during that time. She said she wants to make a map of England during that time so that she can picture where these places are in relation to each other.


    I did check the other mentioned threads and saved some books, but still am looking for a few more resources for her.


    Thank you for any help,


  4. I am "at elbow" all day and I grade daily work immediately after with verbal instruction and a red pen! I had trouble fitting in a couple enrichment subjects this year and had to save them for summer - Artistic Pursuits and History of Classical Music, made it 1/2way. I don't want to overplan LA, but Vocabulary is a HUGE priority for me for ongoing SAT prep - they do read challenging lit also. I keep all completed WW workbooks in a magazine file for continuous review.


    2011-2012 Schedule




    (10yo: Bible-The Most Important Thing You will Ever Study, WWE4, Wordly Wise original 2, CLP Spelling 4&5, Orbiting w/Logic)

    (12yo: Bible-The Most Important Thing You will Ever Study, WWS1, CLP Spelling 7, Wordly Wise5&6, Vocabulary from the Classical Roots A&B, Art of Argument )

    2.CLE reading/lit 1rst semester

    2nd Semester lit (9yo: Veritas Narnia Comprehension guide & 12yo: Lightning Lit7)


    9:30-10:20 CLE Math


    10:20-11:00 CLE Language Arts


    11:00-11:30 Lunch w/ read aloud


    11:30-12:30 9yo piano, 12yo Apologia General Science & CLE Geography


    12:30-1:30 12yo piano, 9yo CLE Science & CLE Geography


    1:30-2:00 First Form Latin 1 all together w/Mom


    2-3 Silent reading all together w/Mom


    Well at first glance I am wondering why Vocab from Classical Roots AND Wordly Wise. That seems like overkill to me. I would choose one or the other at this point. Honestly I take my children's vocab largely from their literature and do no lit program (roots do come in later). We have only just began to study for the SAT with my oldest.


    I have used CLE for LA in lower grades, is there still spelling in the upper grades in that? If so, I assume you are not doing that section since you already have spelling on board.


    I am assuming with so much CLE on board there is work daily and it cannot be situated such that your sons do science one day, then geography the next to shorten that time?


    I am looking for overlap and also for anything that could take less time. I am not sure what else. I approached this age with my oldest differently, so I cannot possibly advise you as to what else to drop/move/ etc.


    I do think the schedule looks "do-able", but I am not certain it will not bring with it a certain amount of misery. Ten years old is still quite young to have such a full day. Is there no way you could shorten the day somehow or leave something until another time or provide a longer break during the day?


    I totally understand having an autistic son about the need to get things done before he comes back home. We strive to do the same thing here and usually manage it.


    My last suggestion would be prayer. Have you prayed over your choices? I believe God will show you what is necessary and what is not.


    :grouphug: Laurie

  5. :iagree: with everyone else. It will be alright. If it is that miserable for you and your children then are they really absorbing that much at this point? This is NOT what homeschooling should be.


    It sounds like a terrible year. I remember the years having babies and they were like a haze. I had another year where the third week in school my Mom died suddenly having her gall bladder out. I don't think we did much until after Christmas I was so depressed. The year after that one DS was diagnosed with autism, then after Christmas I learned I was pregnant (somehow :confused:) with #4. Argh. That was not a stellar year either.


    You know what? My oldest DD is fine (she was the only one in school then). Better than fine. She is bright. I did have to play some "catch up" later on, but we were able to skip some stuff and it worked out.


    Just stop. I would stop today and put the stuff away for a solid week at least. Relax. Let them relax. After you have de-stressed some you can look at where you are and where you need to be and start figuring out what to do in order to get there. Now, that will not happen overnight, but it can happen definitely.


    FWIW, I agree with year round schooling. It was one of my better choices. So much less stress and if something comes up I just take off. I don't feel the need to make it up, I just move and adjust what I had scheduled. We do more of a 6 weeks on, 1 week off- but sometimes less. Definitely longer times off too in the summer.





  6. I have been trying to decide which of these two to do, or maybe neither for over a month. Some days I lean more one way, some days the other. Sigh. I pour over these posts and glean things, but have yet to come to a decision.


    I am set to do MFW for my oldest. Thanks to AO I know she can handle the independence and reading/writing. She has already read several of the choices and they will be re-runs. That decision was the simplest.


    For my youngest I finally decided on FIAR. She is beyond MFW K at this point, but I do not like how MFW first moves so quickly in some of the phonics/reading (we owned it at one point). I considered HOD, but I decided I would prefer a trial run of it with only one child. So I think this is a nice option with Math, etc. added in. I didn't want anything too heavy, as I have this terrible tendency to push.


    It seems youngest DD and my son are just a little too far apart. They are about 3 years and 4 months and it is like a lifetime. They love to play together and are best friends, so I really hate that in the future they will be schooled so separately. I just see no way around it. Their skill sets are not even close to similar. I did consider that they could continue to do Art, Music appreciation, and Nature study together.


    I already do most things separately with the 2 of them with my oldest working mostly alone, so using HOD seems like a viable option. I like the book choices, etc. in it more than MFW. My one reason for pause is the lack of flex. That is a sticking point and I am afraid I will get into it and feel totally claustrophobic.


    I have always pieced things together and done my own thing. Even with AO/ CM help I picked and chose. Some things I veered from their suggestions. So I am concerned I will not be able to relax and work it as written.


    My DH wanted me to get something more planned, more scripted since I end up spending a lot of time doing my planning, etc. If it were him they'd probably be doing PACES or something workbook-like for everything. He is about simplicity.


    Open and go sounds nice. I guess I just need to DECIDE and commit to do it as written for one year. How bad can it be? At least then I will have done it and will know better next time, or will I? :lol:


    I know this has helped none with your decision. I can commiserate though. This year has been the worst for making curriculum decisions EVER!


    Best of luck!



    On a side note, (I know you did not ask.) all of my kids I tried ETC with found it unbelievably frustrating trying to figure out the pictures and too writing heavy for the age. I did not see any improvement with their reading using it.


    :iagree: This was frustration nation for us. Later on it might have worked, but I was not taking any chances.


    I think FIAR with 100 EZ and Singapore are more than enough at this age. Just my 2 cents.



  8. sidenote: I think the best way kids learn vocabulary is not really from all those worksheets that I give them too. They learn best from lots and lots of reading. This can come from books they enjoy! :001_smile: Maybe instead of stressing how much you have to finish the Wordly Wise workbooks, you could quit for the year and have them read books they like over the Summer.....just a thought......


    :iagree: I am not big on the vocab via workbook. For my oldest it just was not effective no matter which one I chose. I tried them all and there was just NO retention. None. Nada.


    Now she has been turned loose on books like Pride and Prejudice, Ivanhoe, and tons of poetry in the last few years and voila- I see lots of vocabulary development and use in everyday language.


    I agree with the suggestion to put them reading, but perhaps you could alternate their choice with one of yours? Maybe there could be a reward for reading one you prefer? I would make choices from somewhere like AO.


    Just my 2 cents as always!


  9. Take a deep breath! :grouphug: Everyone has mentioned her age, she is young. My DD is 5 1/2 and we have just barely started anything. She is also very distracted. We have been down this road with her older brother so I am not new to it. I have a well worn path. :)


    Honestly, I would first pray for wisdom. Pray that God will show you what is enough, when to quit, and what is too much. Also pray for discernment if something is not meshing well with her style.


    Next back off some. I am not in favor of homework at this age. I think that strategy would be great in a few years, but not now. Please work hard to make sure she loves to learn. These are those years of read alouds and gentle instruction that you will always treasure.


    Honestly, my DS could not even concentrate enough to begin to learn to read until first grade. Then it took us two years because of his ADDish type personality. Now at second grade he is reading well and catching up well. I have learned not to worry about the year we didn't accomplish what I had hoped.


    The timer does not work for my son BTW. That idea for me backfired as then he was obsessed with how much time was left and could do nothing for worrying about that. :001_huh:


    I certainly did envision school life and where we would be right now differently. For me it has been humbling.


    Your experience with your DD will most likely be different than ours. At any rate, what you need most is peace and joy in what you are doing. It is such a lovely journey!



  10. Well we just cannot drop the math and LA for my son in the summer. He seems to magically "lose" it all. Last summer we worked hard at it since he was way behind. This summer he will just continue reading, reviewing any last phonics concepts, and we will continue with Math since he is a bit behind there. After we finish the series I will probably just do review until our new school year begins in August.


    I find my children are sometimes not developmentally able to just zoom right into the next year's material, even though I am ready for them too.


    We are planning to do a lot of science this summer. We will probably work at it double time or as much as we can since he loves it and it has been the thing to get way-laid at our house in busy times.


    I would be hesitant to drop LA and Math both. What about alternate days of some review over the summer? For us it would also be heavy having both history and science running hard over the summer. If you must do both I would try not to run it too hard. Maybe try working on a mostly 4 day week (2 days of each) with that last day of the week being art centered with some other fun added in. It is still summer after all. :)


    We have Fine Arts Friday at our house so our art, artist study, and heavier composer study are all done on that day after very brief Math and Spelling. That day is short and we like it that way. I think my children probably appreciate Art more since that day is special at our house.


    I know you'll hear lots of great ideas!


  11. Let's see if I can explain it where it's understandable and short!


    First step, decide how long you are going to do school each day not counting breaks.


    Second step, make up your daily schedule of what you want to get done. Not just the have to get done (math, LA, writing), but include all the other stuff (history, art, music, science, foreign language, etc.). You don't have to have the same schedule each day. For example, we do science twice a week, spanish twice a week, etc.


    Third step, erase from your mind (and your paper) the idea of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. and change it to Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc.


    General overview: The way looping works is you set a timer and work through your list for each day. You stop when your time that you determined in step 1 is finished. It doesn't matter where you are at, what subject you are on, how far you made it on your list...you just stop (I have to finish a subject if we have started it and it is the end of the day, so if we just have a bit left I go ahead and finish). School is over for that day. The next day, you start with fresh time and pick up where you left off on your list and work until that day's time is over and stop.


    Day to day overview: I have a 1st grader so this is how we do it at our house. We school for 45 minutes, then take a 30 minute break. We do this cycle 3 times. Our list for Day 1 looks like this: Bible, Math, Reading Comprehension, Handwriting, Spelling, Read Aloud to Mom, Writing, History, Spanish. We start on Bible...we work through our time cycle. When the timer rings at the end of the day, we are just about to start history, so we stop there. The next day we finish the things we didn't finish from day 1 (history and spanish) and then start our day 2 list. Some days we work through all our work, still have time left, and get to move on to the next lsit.


    I have found this method makes us more productive (my dd knows exactly how long she will be doing school so less whining) and we get to do all of those "fun" subjects that I would normally skip because we just didn't have time.


    This is sheer genius! I tell you I could skip and dance around the room. :grouphug: Oh thank you! I too tend to NOT get things done. Mostly the fun stuff at week's end that I have planned since we go lighter on Friday. I HATE that.


    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the part about finishing the day before stuff before starting the next day. That is perfect!


    So, do you have a set time for each subject or you just do the time blocks or does this vary?

  12. Um, yeah when I was homeschooling from the sofa with severe morning sickness with #2, when #2 had colic for 6 months and somehow I got pregnant with #3:confused:, when my Mom died suddenly 6 years ago having her gall bladder out, when I got pregnant with #4, when #3 was diagnosed with autism....and on and on.


    Ignore the feeling, it will pass. :) No seriously, it is normal and when there is lots of stress for me it is worse. I don't even seriously consider stopping. Dh lost his job, got a new job, went back to school, I was in school at the same time- we just keep on going. It has all worked out. Some seasons have been easier and some harder.


    I kept thinking as the children aged it would be easier, but so far for us that has not been true. This year was way stressful, but mostly I just put that on myself. The oldest entered high school and I was in shock and totally freaking if my bases were covered. :001_huh:


    You will start homeschooling and love it (most days) and all will be well. Look forward! :grouphug:



  13. I do love CM help. We have used it 2 years with my son and longer with my daughter. For me it is still a lot of planning. I do not/ cannot follow things exactly like Linda Fay, as my children are not academically where hers are. My son has lots of learning disabilities and my oldest did not begin with CM, so for her it has been a challenge to adjust to the level these books are working at- although it has come along.


    I am working out of a LOT of different books and so I would spend a lot of time locating them. It was like a wild goose chase for books. There are no CM help book packages, you know? :) I know many things can be found online, but neither of my children really appreciate reading online. So I nickel and dime myself to death at Amazon or spend hours at used book stores. It gets old and honestly time consuming.


    I feel like I am lacking clear writing instruction in the upper grades and I am a person who needs a lot of hand-holding there. It has left me with a disconcerted feeling with my oldest. Can she read and discuss Jane Austen or Ivanhoe? Certainly, but she cannot write about it all that well. That does not work for me. I want to feel like she is prepared all the way around.


    Also, the Bible factor again. I really want it integrated more and there are options out there that will do that for me.


    Do not get me wrong, I believe it can work well for many. Others who felt more confident about writing instruction and maybe already owned the books would be great (or had no issue just buying them all new). She has a weekly schedule, but again I would spend some time tweaking that and fitting things where I wanted and needed them. My Dh wants things to be more open and go, which I can understand. The older they get, the less time I seem to have somehow?


    I guess I love CM, but again veer a little with the LA suggestions. My son can narrate very well. He can also do dictation well and spell well, but I want all the bases covered. I am leaning toward HOD. I think it may be a better, more conveniently scheduled alternative. HOD's author seems to feel the way I do about earlier grammar, etc. so I am happy about that. Now I just have to overcome the fact that I will have to have two guides. Argh.


    Hope this answers your question!


  14. At some point in time, I will just create my own curriculum.


    That's my dream! I want to, but I don't see me getting around to it anytime soon. I have been piecing together for years. Dh is NOT a fan. Apparently it consumes too much of my time? :001_huh:;)


    He especially requested me to get something more scheduled, so I am trying desperately to oblige him.


    Have you explained to him the things that are in 'real' school that he won't like? When my son started saying he wanted to go to school (it was for the playground as well), I explained to him that if he did go, he wouldn't see mommy, or sisters all day. That he would have to sit at his desk all day, and not talk or play. That was enough for him to not want to go to 'real' school:)





    I absolutely agree with this. The few times this has come up I remind them of how the neighbor children get home barely in time for dinner, are hardly ever able to play outside, get sick every 5 minutes it seems, and do not have "Fun Art Fridays" like us. :) It does not hurt that the neighbors constantly ask for me to homeschool them and wish they were at home instead of at school.


    My oldest was in ps for 9 days. It was a nightmare and she never wanted to go back. She attended Christian school for one year, and while a better experience she was glad to come home. My youngers have never been and do not ask. My oldest DS merely wants to ride a school bus. I wish I could let him do that once. ;)


    Your son is young, so I would back off anything rigorous. Just have fun as much as you can and cover the main bases of reading and writing. Definitely read aloud to him if he loves it. You have a lot on your plate with the other little ones and not sleeping, so hang in there. This too shall pass. I remember my oldest when my boy were 1 and newborn. I thought I would lose my mind and should would be an idiot as little as we seemed to accomplish. One with colic and me overwhelmed and exhausted. Those days are 1000 miles away now.


    Maybe work to make things extra fun this week? Plan an outing (if you can) or take him on a "date" (my kids love this) just you and him if you can get a sitter. Have an art day, take him to a playground. All just suggestions of course.


    If any friends are causing these thoughts, call me mean old lady, but I would limit his time with them.


    Oh and try some melatonin for the sleeping issue. It is awesome!


    :grouphug::grouphug: Hang in there!



  16. Can I ask you all about FIAR.....did you buy all 4 volumes? Did you buy all the books? What did you do about out of print books? I see some on Amazon. I can look up some of the books on my library website, but wondered if it is just easier to buy them or what you all did. Our library system here is so-so. How long do you need each book?


    I am having trouble telling some things about it from the website. I just wondered if I could pick your brains. This might be an answer for me with DD next year and I am just trying to figure out what I need to purchase.


    Thank you,


  17. I am so past confusion. I just cannot decide. My oldest is going in 10th grade and I have NEVER had this much trouble choosing curriculum. (I have hers chosen btw). I thought I had settled on MFW, but now I am not sure.


    So I am trying to decide primarily for DS going in 3rd grade with possibly having little sis (sort of between K-5 and first by fall) as a tag-along in science/history.


    He has some learning issues and is just now reading well, so nothing too crazy rigor wise. I would place him solidly in Bigger in HOD. She would be in Little Hearts still. I had looked at MFW Adventures since he has not done a year with American History.


    I really want history integrated with Bible if possible and literature. I really want to choose my own science, math, and language arts. I probably want to make my own decision on artist and composer study also. I am happy with my choices there. I like a classical history rotation, but do not mind some American History thrown in alone for younger years. I love Charlotte Mason, but veer from her some on LA.


    I like the thought of combining some things for my younger two eventually or even now since I also have one in high school.


    I wish I could buy a package, but I have never been a package person. I want to do my own mix too much. I have thought about forcing myself to do a year package of one or the other and just see if I can hack it.


    Does anything exist like what I want outside of these options? SOTW personally does not thrill me and then I have to add in Bible. I like them to be integrated and honestly I do not do a good job of that on my own. If it isn't sort of built in, then I don't do it. I have looked at TOG and SL, but it just looks like a lot for me to get together and quite a lot of $- maybe more than I can hack right now.


    I have been reading a Bible Storybook to mine daily, but soon we will finish it, then what? Sorry, I have never been good at helping the children with Bible study. :confused:


    I like the looks of the grids with everything scheduled, but I could schedule on my own. My DH would prefer I got something already scheduled and with more leg work done. I pieced together my own stuff this year and it did take a lot of time.


    I looked at HOD too, but then will it work with my own science, math, and LA? I at least like the cost better than breaking up a MFW set. Argh!


    Is there some choice I am missing that may work?


    Hoping someone has an idea(s).

    Thank you ladies!


  18. My children all have to learn, although I waited until third grade or so. My oldest was capable and whatever I was using for handwriting didn't start it until then. With DS, he had a tough time even printing for so long we put it off until third.


    After the initial learning period (until it is mastered) I only require it for writing assignments and copywork. While they are still learning though I am fairly strict about it. My oldest seems to fluctuate back and forth. My DS has not mastered it yet.


    I feel they do still need to learn it. Call me old-fashioned. If nothing else, others will write that way and they will not be able to decipher it, right?

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