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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. Theres a thing you can get from Montessori places and ebay, a lock box.


    I think it would be worth its wait in gold, especially for wild, wiggly boys (like mine) I am very close to breaking DH into getting one :D


    Its a wooden box with all sorts of doors all over it, each door has a different kind of lock.


    I think it would keep a lot of little boys interested for hours lol.


    Even one as young as 18months may be drawn to it. Depending upon the ones you get, some have room to put items behind the doors, so they can "Rescue" their toys" :D

  2. Thats a big Uh-uh out here, you don't pick up your dog poop, you get a fine from the council.


    We're on 2 acres and the dogs mostly poop in our small backyard, its my job to go out and pick it up weekly (its winter here, i'd be picking up daily in summer) my dogs have their designated "poop" spots round the edge of the yard lol.


    But if I take our dogs out (we do that regularly when we go out in the car) I ALWAYS pick up after our dogs.


    I mean who just LEAVES their dog poop in a public or someone elses area? :001_huh: Its just wrong!

  3. We have/had seperate programs for them, but it was quite annoying trying to seperate the children for everything. We changed it now to combine all of them.


    Next year we are concentrating on my eldest and folding the younger ones in. That way they can listen and join in where they want to, and even if they are playing somewhere else, they overhear and learn.


    We'll keep the science, history, art, character, bible & life skills (as well as a few others) as group activities. The rest will be a combination of seperated & group


    Theres only one mummy, and she must stay in top shape, so don't try to stretch too far between each child :001_smile::grouphug:

  4. Bombing was the only thing that worked at one of our previous rentals.


    What we did after that was make sure we had disposable bags in our vaccuum, and cut up a flea collar and popped it inside the bag before vaccuming. Then threw the bag out straight away after you turn off the vaccuum.


    Adn yes, insanely vacuum for 4 weeks. As the ones still in egg form are impervious to bombs.

  5. Happy Phonics takes way too long to put together, lol, one day I suppose I will finish putting it together!


    We used SL LA for a while, but its too tied in with writing, as well as other things I didn't like about it.


    BUT A did retain more of the letters than what we are currently doing with OPGTR. I think I will make a few little adjustments to the scripts & songs of OPGTR, and add in the letter page we used to make for SL, as well as the Picture cards we have for ETC.


    I agree, its very confusing LOL, esp if you try one and the child doesn't "get it" but I think OPGTR is a big help and I would recommend purchasing it, and reading, even if you are planning to use another program.


    I'm going to tweak it a little like what I mentioned above, and then I think we will do quite well. :D We also use a big whiteboard instead of index cards, and I just leave the letters we've done/are using up there. We're also going to purchase All about Reading Pre-level 1. and I think I will change round ETC primers to mimic the way OPGTR does it.


    Once we are upto a certain point with OPGTR, we will start using AAS (I think its lesson 140 it says to start FLL, so we'll use that same mark as the beginning of our next curriculum year.


    Its very hard working out what will work for BOTH you and your child. I wish you the absolute best of luck lol :001_smile::grouphug:

  6. Apart from the Well Planned Day (as its dated) and Donna Youngs forms, I own nearly every digital planner out there ROFL..


    I have Pretty Planner (Aussie)

    The Master Planner

    TOS 2010-2011

    TOS 2011-2012

    Primary TOS 2011-2012

    SN TOS 2011-2012

    Homeschool Creations Planner

    Mums Toolkit/belt whatever it is

    and about 5 other ones I can't remember the name of at the moment.


    I'm a planner junkie LOL


    So if you have any speicific questions about certain planners, I can probably help :lol:

  7. Reception year is more an introduction, lots of playing etc. Yr1 starts the actual workbook topics.


    Some children pick up Maths quite quickly naturally during their first few years, so I would look at the scope and sequence, and also say 3 lessons (beginning, middle & end) to give you a good idea of whether to start with yr1 or yr2.


    Hope that helps xxx

  8. This is a very wise, adult forum. I think people come here to "suck up" the wisdom LOL.


    I originally joined as their was a wide variety of interesting topics, especially on the subject of curriculum itself.


    I think its great that people are honest even with the authors products themselves, and about who it is/isn't suitable for.


    We started out using nothing really from said author, and now, over the short time I have been here, I have purchased WTM, WEM, SOTW AG, and OPGTR. We plan to use quite a number of PHP products next year.


    So I think when a curriculum isn't "forced" upon members of its forum, and that in the forum in question, people can actually give their honest reviews, it can actually increase sales, than if you were only permitted to be apart of this forum if you already owned a piece of merchandise.


    If that makes sense....its late here, and I have cotton-ball brain LOL.


    I don't like to put myself in a given area, preferring to educate my children individually upon their needs, so no matter what curriculum's I am using I still count myself as eclectic.


    I think the way this forum is now is as near perfect as a forum can get, and the only way to make it perfect would be to add a few more sub-topics within the main headlines.



  9. hahahaha


    I thought I was the only one with that secret passtime!


    Even DH doesn't know how much I like colouring. Its very sad lol. But once I have finished a very detailed picture, and its all pretty and coloured, I sit there ooohing at it :lol: Kids think I'm mad, colouring doesn't really interest them, even DD5 just scribbles at anything to colour in, she prefers worksheets :001_huh:

  10. :grouphug:


    I have one thing I try and always make sure of, that no matter how much DH & I are fighting, we always have to make up/fix everything before we go to bed or he goes to work.


    You should never say your goodbyes for the day in a bad mood, and should never go to sleep angry. The few times I have done this I feel horribly guilty, and very worried.


    You should enjoy each and every special day.

  11. I'm actually currently working out a lesson plan for history next year.


    My DD5 will be up for "first grade" material then.


    I am usually never happy with one program, I'm fussy and like to pick and choose to exactly suit us.


    Heres our line up:


    Monday - SOTW Chapter, SOTW AG

    Tuesday - Reference Books, SOTW AG & HO Ancients Level 1

    Wednesday - Library Books & HO Ancients L1

    Thursday - Movies/Documentaries & Myths, Maps and Marvels

    Friday - Audio for Chapter, Test, Lapbook Component, MMM & any extras.


    This would NOT work for most people. As combining this many programs would be a complete overdoing scenario.


    My younger children will be following it too, so we are using the curriculums to suit our household.


    i.e. SOTW Chapter we may read all at once, or may read bits throughout the day, and at bedtime. We are very choosy with the activities we do. I'll be making up the map, and just showing the kids, they'll do colouring, and we'll do either one or maybe two (if they are smaller) "projects" from the book. Reference books are about the only books we'll actually own, and our library is honestly terrible for library books, so I will be lucky to actually get any "library books" on my list. History Odyssey we are mostly using for the notebook definitions. I do the definitions up in Wordpad, and DD will draw a picture to go along with the definition. We also use HO as a helper for history pocket pages. Myths, maps & marvels we mostly use for internet ideas (quicklinks, and optional internet activties). Then Friday we'll actually do the lapbook component (from runofthemillfamily) whilst listening to the audio for that chapter (and listen also whilst doing any oher activties) then we do the test.


    If I actually properly combined those programs, I would have a heart attack :D lol. We just use the AG, HO & MMM as jumping off points for ideas.


    There may also be days we're we don' feel like doing the activties, so we can skip them knowing we have mutiple other sources on other days.


    If we were short of money/on a budget we would just get SOTW the book, thats all. Then do some narrations, and dressup games.


    We are using SOTW for the 1st round just as an introduction to history, learning about how different people lived, that people lived waaayy before Mummy & Daddy.


    For the moment, we aren't even planning on a timeline. If we did, we'd get a premade one. I'm saving the diy timelines for round 2.


    That how spiel probably doesn't help LOL. Anyhoo, what I am saying is learning ancient history is fine from any age, theres "different" vocab to learn from present day words, theres always lovely picture books available, and it just gives your child an understanding that the world is a lot bigger and older than her backyard :D We plan to have lots of great silly fun!

  12. The Biggest age difference between my children is about 18 months :lol: so thats not much help.


    We won't be having any more.


    BUT what I wanted to add is that there is an 8 year difference in my Brother & my age.


    So I can tell you the cons. Older siblings may be awful to the child if theres a big age difference. My brother has never really been nice to me. Also I was an accident. By the time I came along, no-one had time for me. I was simply there, and ignored, or the various "uh-huhs" to anything I said.


    The really big thing is to think whether the child will have lots of love upto at least 18-20 (of course beyond that, but in planning ahead, will you always have time for the child until then). And that the siblings are happy about it, and that they will want to spend time round the child.


    Do you think you'll be fit enough to be chasing round a hyper 5yo in 6 years? Or patient enough to deal with a sullen teenager with kindness in 16 years?


    My husband has 13 years between him and his sister and 18-20 years between him and his brother. They are not close....at all. They are like strangers.


    His mother also has had problems "letting go" of him, as he was the last one to fly the nest, now she is at end about what to do, and constantly interferes in every aspect of our lives, and all from thosands of miles away lol.


    I didn't mean for this to be a sad thread lol, but hopefully it helps you out with the other point of view. If you do have another child, I am sure they will be adored and loved, and very lucky! :001_smile:

  13. Computer and internet are really a "must have" rather than an extra LOL.


    Clickn Phonics - We tried Smarty Ants. Smarty Ants you have to pay yearly, and yes, it is "all pretty" but my daughter spent most of her time re-dressing her ant, no being able to catch the right letter on the letter wall because its moving too fast, and watching movies, rather than doing the actual lessons. Clickn Phonics is a one time payment, focuses on lessons, has a clearer voice, and isn't "hurried" with trying to catch a running letter :001_huh: and still funny!


    Handle on the Arts Sonlight Supplements - Yes, I could probably have come up with these "on my own" as many people say. But it would of taken me MONTHS, plus a lot of brain sweating. I love these suppelements, they add a lot of fun.


    Social Studies - We added an extra one of those social studies books that start from about me, all the way up to my world. Lots of people say its not good to do that type of study as it then gets the child to relate everything against themselves. We use it as a supplement, so I don't thin that counts. There are simple lessons and she learned quite easily about air, wind, better than any other program would of taught.


    Insect Catchers & Nets - Anything tgo do with catching bugs etc. My kids love this sort of stuff.


    Kindle - another lifesaver here, but for mommy lol. I really want an ipad for family stuff, so thats on my wishlist.


    FileFolder/Crate System - This is the best thing since sliced bread.


    Mathtacular - We watch it for fun right now, next year we'll be ordering the manipulatives kit, and using it for extra lessons.


    Rock N Learn Phonics - Annoying, but it works lol..


    Tap n Pic - We love these (they are the corkboards with thumbtacs, hammers and shapes. Even my two year old uses them (with supervision of course)


    Musical Instruments - When mummy needs some time on the verandah (away from the noise) she places the big basket of musical instruments (rainmakers, xylohones, wooden train whistles, clackers, plus a million others)


    If using Explode the Code primer with an older child, and you have younger ones, the Wall Chart is probably a good one to have, you can then include all your children.


    We don't have many extras this year lol, but we'll have a lot next year. :D


    *off to look at other answers*

  14. To answer the original question, yes and no. I believe there are certain curriculums/areas that are getting toned down/slowed, but also a number of curriculums are starting kids off sooner on something.


    The different types of schools in general has varied quite a lot in few years, there are all sorts of schools available to the public.


    The main problem is for those that prefer a more natural learning, montessori, waldorf or similar approaches seem to live in areas that only have general public schools. And the public schools are getting worse (my general opinion) as they regulate teachers more and more on what they cannot do, the teachers tend to give up and pass out standard texts.


    Due to the large amount of homeschoolers that are looking for an "opposite the public school" approach (like the ones listed above) a lot of curriculums try to tailor for this, also to people whom have to homeschool for certain reasons, but don't want to. Hence the overload of fun, easy and more natural approach types.


    FWIW I was told to use Sonlights P4/5 as they were apparently a year ahead, I just added other Kinder programs to it (Language Lessons, Sinagpore Math, Social Studies etc) and I think it is a great introduction to the various subjects, without it being too much for a mum whom has just started homeschooling (I also think the bible for P4/5 should be in P3/4, and the 3/4 in 4/5 but thats another subject)


    Next year we are starting "real meaty subjects" including combing 3/4seperate math programs, 3 History programs, plus a number of others, I can never find curriculums that are"perfect" for us, and honestly am useless at making my own, so I just prefer to piece together curriculums to make it work for us.


    Anyway, the point is, when the government gets involved with your schooling in any way, its going to cause problems. Governments by nature like forms, dotted t's & i's, streamlining, and numbers. Which doesn't bode well for schooling in general.


    I believe the homeschool programs may be slowly (more slowly than schools) toning down there curriculum due to the fact that some people pull their kids from school, then find anything "at grade level" in the hs-ing community above their childs head. If surveys are done, its shows that most purchasers are purchasing a year under their supposed grade level, so curriculums re-overhaul, re-naming or re-tailoring their curriculum to suit this. i.e. demand equals supply.


    It is unfortunate, in that people whom start hsing from the beginning are "dumbed down" but if they have a lovely forum like this one, it could soon be set right!

  15. Hi,


    Hopefully its okay if I post this. I am planning to use Story of the Word Vol.1 & the Activity Guide, but also wanted to use History Odyssey, A Little History of the Word, A Childs History of the world and Myths, Maps & Marvels for extra ideas/stories.


    Unfortunately I couldn't find proper correlations using SOTW as the spine (usually its the opposite case)


    So I made up my own, I have posted it on my blog in the hopes it can help someone else.:001_smile:


    I haven't linked my blog in my Signature yet (I've been a bit sick) but heres the link to the post in question.




    Hopefully this helps a few people :001_smile:



  16. Little known fact - My IQ last time I was tested (about 6 years ago) and I scored 176. I never completed high school (did 1/4 way through year 9, skipped and did halway through year 10) Most of my learning was done outside school, through my parents massive library, and the fact my mother taught me to read (via phonics) before I entered school. My mum was a math whizz, so my genes obviously picked this up, and my stepfather was very science, math and History based, so anytime I asked him a simple question I got a 2 hour long lecture on the subject LOL.


    If you have ever seen Dr House, I have a similar mind to him, in the way of puzzles and reading people, which is why I can usually figure out a sequence of events that are going to happen before they do. People in my mind are quite predictable and its not many that surprise me by going outside of their designated paramaters :lol:


    That whole spiel was totally off the subject though LOL.


    P.S. I must add I have had kids since then as well as a medical condition, so my current IQ is probably more equal to 30 ROFL. But my puzzles and "reading people" abilities still remain intact, and they are the most useful in my line of work :D

  17. Hi,


    We are planning to purchase First Language Lessons, Writing with Ease & Writing Strands (all Level 1/Grade 1) later on this year.


    I am just starting to flesh out a general schedule for our curriculum, but can't find much info about day allotments for these?


    -First Language Lessons - How many lessons are there? How many days a week is it scheduled for? Is it the same as Writing with ease (1 lesson per week covered over such and such days?)


    -Writing with ease - How many days a week? I know theres one lesson a week, but not sure if its 4 or 5 days?


    - Writing Strands 1 - I don't know if we will stick to WWE or WS once we get to level 2, but since Level 1 is more of a fun activities/oral thing, I though we could use this next year. Is there any sort of schedule/lesson to it? or just ideas? Would one activity a week cover it, or is it more a 4/5 day program?


    I have gotten almost every other subject sorted out schedule wise, but have no idea how to organise these ones!


    Thanks for any replies :)

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