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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. I'm planning to use Kitchen Table Math with my son, which is more of a "more hands on" but more free-flowing version of MOTL (which I just resold. Loved it, just wasn't using it to its full potential and we have compact space).


    I'm planning to use KTM with him and Miquon for math labs with the rest of the family on Fridays.


    KTM. Is very, very concrete, you can use whatever you have on hand, and it gives you enough info to supplement or create more practice if needed, no/low/little writing.


    My only other thought if I culdn't do KTM would be to remove Miquon and do MUS (because of the manipulative similarities I really wouldn't want to do it at the same time) but I had trouble with him and MUS before. It was invisibility to him, he refused to look at the manipulatives, books, dvd or anything to do with it.


    Other than that, I would probably with go the "Arithmetic for Young Children" followed eventually by Strayer Upton. Or down the road of Moving with Math or Touchmath, or possibly Shiller Math.


    Every child is different, but after looking at every mainstream and out there thing, this is what I came up with (I also might of considered CSMP if my daughter wasn't doing it (I dont want them comparing where each other is up to). So hopefully it might give you a few ideas

  2. Do you have a brand-name on "a pack of nice block beeswax crayons"?


    Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons Pack of 8


    Cheapest price is from Oak Meadow, but I don't know the difference between postages from different places (I'm overseas), so there also available from Rainbow Resource, and Amazon.


    They last for ages, and don't break! (Amazing for me considering everything else that used to come into this household (crayons, pencils etc) would break quite easily.

  3. You could use the waldorf approach.


    Get a pack of nice block beeswax crayons (the blocks make it easier for her to manevour and the colour coming out of them is beautiful)


    and allow her to create "borders" round the edge of the page. She can decorate the borders after making them. And this would cover handwriting at this stage (of course, I'm only suggesting because she wants to do it). Her using one block to create a solid border round the edge of the page helps with wrist manipulation/turning, decorating it and slowing down and taking care instils good habits with making schoolwork and paper nice.


    I pretty much let my two youngest do that to singapore math, plus their sketchbooks etc a while ago, and it greatly lessened the need to scribble.


    In my sons case, further back than that, the scribble meant he really wasn't ready for formal lessons, so I brought it back to oral games, and silliness, that was still checking off the skills, but in a less lesson like format.

  4. Do you know what part of it that is making him turn away?


    I know my husband & I's reading voices differ greatly, consequently my kids don't want him reading certain books, and certain books they have banned me from reading because its "daddys" book. My husband has a great bedtime reading voice, because its soft, mostly monotone and soothing. My voice can vary (I was a casual voice actress long ago lol) but sometimes I read to my husband in bed when he's having trouble sleeping, as my reading voice with him is soothing. Whereas with the kids (depending upon the book) I get more into it, waving my arms, using accents/voices, really getting into it, so they love the drama from that.


    Once a child gets to a certain point, being read to by mum can become a boring, embarassing experience (which makes no sense, but never-the-less)


    There three things that could improve it. Improving your reading voice to carry more of the emotion behind the book, letting him choose all or the ocassional read aloud, or transferring to audio books that he can listen to in his own time and it becomes an assignment where he has to narrate (allowing him to choose what type of narration) back to you by a certain date.


    It all really depends on what the reason is behind him starting to not enjoy it.


    HTH xxx

  5. I would stick with Singapore. I had people advising me to stick with Singapore, and I ended up pshawing and changing currics, which slowly began the road to curriculum hopping with math. If singapore works, stick with it. Look at Math on the Levels yahoo group and 5 a days, this may help you with just using Singapore as a tool (I had problems with skipping pages, my children had to do every page and every problem, now I am able to just skip questions without freaking out, circle only the amount of problems they need to do etc (so in math mammoth, for one question I only had her answer two problems for another I skipped completely since she already knew it, the next I skipped as well after giving her a quick oral exam on the question, the next she didn't know so we did the question and most of the problems (we aren't doing mm anymore, just giving you an example)


    Dh needs me, so I better go. And sorry for the writing style. I'm quickly whacking this out on my iPad.

  6. Thank you.


    I wrote this last night, when I wasn't in the best of minds (being tired, and kind of sick of looking at math materials, and after I had to switch tracks with my son, I was a little loopy).


    I re-looked into everything and took the replies into account. McRuffy is cute, but not really what I am after (and the "Exploded paper" things listed as the manipulatives give me hives lol, my eldest is obsessed with paper craft, and there is always loose papers everywhere.


    I think whilst I like the *idea* of Saxon (the real down-to-earth playing) the reality would be too strict and require too much tweaking to use (and the things I like in the program seem to be few and far between, that or the only samples I found were not very good.


    Someone reminded me I have Kitchen Table Math in my top cupboard, so I'm going to keep that, Math Play & Family Math for Young Children, in case everything goes south.


    I would of been nice to find a nice long living learning list (one of the girls on here compiled short ones for a fair amount of subjects, but I haven't seen any long ones anywhere, and since most sites just have 1 or 2 vague ideas, it would take a while to collect up a nice long list.


    So I sat down and randomly read/scanned through CSMP K and its actually quite beautiful, and understandable. So I'm going to try going with that.


    Thank you so much for everyone who replied, I really needed thoughts from outside my own head to see things more clearly as it was pretty much like a tennis match in my head.



  7. Updated: I put this up last night (late, when I was reaching the bottom of the barrel patience-wise). With a clear head and the replies below, I re-thought about things, re-looked at everything, and decided on CSMP (and keeping a couple of math books I have for back-up incase things go south)






    My three children are doing completely separate math programs, so this is for my youngest.


    What I basically want for this year is exposure and simplistic activities (play store, do a calendar, kitchen math ideas) along with some living math books. I would prefer a math program/book/ideas guide that used natures math materials (beans, sticks etc) but all seem to use their own fancy schmancy plastic crud (like I don't have enough of that, LOL)


    I have the Mathstart books I plan to use, and can use Living Math's Early concepts reader lists. If needed I *could* download some sort of calendar book (my youngest has an obsession that ebbs and flows with worksheets, so I'd rather have none or a teensy amount, so something like a calendar and the odd non-twaddle (we love fun activity sheets, just not ones that are busywork and have no point to them) sheet.


    Mostly I want REAL-LIFE MATH EXPERIENCES/IDEAS. Like Kitchen measuring & weighing, playing store/vets, counting the pasta for dinner. I am really not good at all at coming up with those sorts of things, and don't really have time to research and put one together.


    Books I have purchased (family math, math arts, math play) are all filled with mostly weird/twaddle ideas, stuff that takes forever to set up, has too many rules etc.


    Next year she'll move on to using the Math Guide by SCM (which starts with numbers, but I would like a few counting experiences included this year) I'm mostly looking for non-academic math (LOL!) stuff that is purely real-life and fun ways to introduce basic concepts and that will just pique her interest and make her feel like she is doing math like her older siblings.


    Also in the case of informal "don't do anything" I actually need to do something I can record that doesn't look like unschooling (long story) for her. So just educationalese-ing sandpit play isn't an option.


    I've been searching for days but haven't found anything (ridiculous, why is there not a big, long list of math experiences?)


    Two programs I have looked into:


    Saxon Math K - Its Gentle, apparently includes calendar, store, and is non-worksheet based with activities coming straight from the parents guide, Only 12 new lessons a month, allowing for time/space in between, not too formal (or can be slightly tweaked to make it so).


    Math By Hand - Waldorf based math set (was planning to get the Grade 1 one for her.) Downside is its a fair amount of green without many true samples and I don't think it would be worth the money (not enough ideas/games).


    Stuff I have ruled out:


    -Singapore (workbook)

    - MUS (too workbooky/screeny)

    -Rightstart (too much stuff, I resold it. the lessons bored the kids)

    -MOTL (resold it)

    -Horizons (workbook)

    -Abeka (workbook)

    -General Waldorf/Oak Meadow (too story based, my kids lose the point by the end of the story)

    -Miquon (too advanced, I would really only be using pre-miquon and A1-A24 plus would need a lot of time with my mummy brain to understand the program properly)

    -Shiller (annoying)

    -Math Games by Peggy Kaye (too old/too many rules)

    -Math Mammoth (too old for her)

    -Critical Thinking (workbook)

    -Math Play (too confusing, each thing too much time to set-up, too many rules)

    -Math Arts (ditto)

    -Family Math saga (ditto again)

    -MEP (personal reasons)

    -CSMP - too confusing



    This is a child that needs constant practice with counting.
    Ideally something that provided stuff like: Kitchen - Weighing - Let them play around with cans and your kitchen scales OR pouring different flours onto the scales OR simply measuring out items for dinner


    Exploration, Exposure, Fun, Real & Hands-On.


    Also if its not scheduled/written in by me, it won't get done here. I have too many other things going on, and I simply need to have that one-on-one math exploration fun time with her everyday :)


    THANK YOU SO MUCH (from the bottom of my heart) to anyone who has any ideas, I am so at the end of my rope with looking and the new school year is almost beginning here~! :001_wub:

  8. Our "classroom" has a bed in it...............




    And a bookshelf full of shoes (I found the best way to get everybody to not leave their shoes everywhere was to assign a shelf to each of them for their shoes.)


    The bed was the spare bed. We don't really have a couch, the last one got destroyed at some point (went and fell on its last legs) and we didn't replace it, so I moved the spare bed to the schoolroom, push it so the length is against the wall, and this paydate plan to go out and get a lot of pillows and make it a big comfy lounging area for me to read to the kids. The kids spend most of their day bouncing on and off the bed, "reading" books, and playing on it.


    I prefer something akin to unschooling and was doing so, but with how busy things have gotten in my life, in order to streamline things, I've had to move to a more "traditional" approach (well CM, but anyway) besides when you have as many doctors as we do in our lives, constantly asking about homeschooling and having social workers on their speed dial, one can't be anything but examplary, this includes not being out of the norm, as a biased doctors view unfortunately tops a loving mothers view when it comes to government workers. So homeschooling is already out of the norm, doing non-worksheet or unschooling is likely to make them bring everything reigning down upon you (and has). The thought of fighting and explaining what I do as well as doing what I do, every single day, to every single person, well, it was just easier for my sanity to find some sort of middle ground where I can dump binders or whatever in front of someone who asks.


    :rant: *rant moment here* But why do people think that the ONLY problem you have is the one you are in there for? They assume you can just devote 150% of your time to that one drama, when in reality you actually have 500 dramas going on and they don't understand why you aren't excelling and flying high with that problem? grrr to them. Then, if they find out about the other dramas are like "wow, you have a lot on your plate" and their version of helping is not to provide something that can actually help you, but send a person who takes up more of your time, who you have to serve refreshments to, who you have to answer their rude/personal questions, who can drop in without a phone call, and whom if they don't like anything about you (including you asking if they could call before they come) can complain to the ones who said they would help and then make everything even worse. *end rant moment* :rant:  Obviously I need to take some breaths, maybe get away for a holiday (ha!). But at least I got to rant somewhere (no matter how off-topic it was, its made me feel better) so thank you! :thumbup:


    So yes, I really have unschooler tendencies, but the closest I can get right now is trying to be relaxed within a strict schedule, making sure its about the fun and happiness of my child, remebering to give a "real" intentional hug and let each child know how I feel about them each day, and CM has helped me feel more like formal unschooling without being too far off the rails for the many medical persons who constantly question everything. And encouraging their individual pursuits.


    I also use "A year of little lesson plans" which is sort of like themed weekly/daily unschooling discussions. Whilst unschooling, the one thing we did consistently was discussions, we'd have huge discussions, long debates, and philosophical queries. Now that I'm on more of a tight schedule, I didn't want to lose those talks, so I found this book, and its wonderful! It allows me to schedule in these discussions, but have a free-flow to them that can build.


    Now that I've yabbered, I should get back to work :tongue_smilie:

  9. hmmm....where to start?


    Montessori Botany Album: http://khtmontessori.com/shop/botany-teachers-manual-pdf/

    Ellen J McHenry Botany: http://store.ellenjmchenry.com/?product_cat=botany

    Ellen's Free Botany materials: http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/homeschool-freedownloads/lifesciences-games/botany.php

    Botany Adventure: http://cathyduffyreviews.com/science/botany-unit-study.htm

    TOPS Science (Radishes, Corn & Beans): http://www.topscience.org

    Nature Explorers Books: http://shiningdawnbooks.com/

    Guest Hollows Botany: http://www.guesthollow.com/homeschool/science/botany/botany_curriculum.html


    These are all varied age groups, but if you like to make your own units, them ones for older kids might also provide ideas for you to use, so thought I would include them,

  10. I was doing eclectic & montessori/unschooling. This year, I am pretty much using standard stuff, I'm still pretty much eclectic, but not tweaking anything I get.


    I was trying to put on too many hats, and with our home situation, everything simply cant be a relaxing tide, unfortunately. Our home & family, due to all the demands, has to be run like the military, rofl. With the sick days, appointments, meal planning, home therapy, wifely duties, household duties, animals, etc, I just ended up getting to a point where I was stretched too thin, and it was showing.


    Something had to give, and since my brain needs step by step as it stutters and starts, what "gave" was the curricula. I identified three problems I had:


    - Montessori homeschooling (one can not simply purchase "all of the goods" and all at once. everything was bought sporadically, and I was having to DIY stuff, taking up more time (that I loved) that I didn't have.


    -Tweaking of things, I seem to tweak things a lot, and end up taking on more than I can chew. My new rule is not to add anything that wasn't needed, and only reason I can tweak is to simply cross something off the list and not do it, not to add things or re-arrange stuff. If I must, I can write a simple "ideas list" in my book, of stuff that is simple and are just ideas, not "to do" (this allowed me to write down movies and places to go that correspond with units/themes in my curriculum, my kids watch lots of movies, so they may as well be about the curriculas subject, and we have family outing every saturday, so it gives a place to go thats connected to that theme.


    -Last was connections. Whilst I had been posting and talking on other forums related to the stuff I was doing, whilst doing Montessori there was no real "foruming" going on. No-one on the main forums (like here) had anything I wanted to read, and the Montessori places were really not chatty, in fact, the opposite. The few times I posted, I felt like I was a blight and just in the way (not a nice way to feel) I felt like we were all supposed to be meditating and just focusing on the "awe" that is Montessori, and so "speaking" had the effect of making me feel like a naughty child ROFL.


    So I decided to just package it up, and use it up. Basically stop Montessori, and go "boxed" and I even had a curricula (two actually) already in my house that fizzled before they began. So I purchased the books for that, and decided to go with the method its influenced from - CM.


    So I'm an open "boxed method". I use stuff that isn't CM, but works well or works with it. I don't go strictly into the method, because when I tried to do that with WTM, I went a little mad. lol. And for ease of our homeschool, I need to combine as much as possible. So kids are together for everything except LA (Eve & Chaos are on one level, Atlas on another) and Math (where they are on completely different programs).


    So I've Moved to CM & WP. If I ditch WP, I'll just be using a simple CM. Pick a book, call it history, read it, narrate, done.


    A year ago, this would not have worked. I am admitting that. Only my eldest had enough attention to use a literature based curriculum. Now though, they are seriously happy to be read to, in fact, insist upon it multiple times a day, lol.


    I'm also using SCM Organizer. Expensive? I suppose, but $10 a month hardly seems expensive to me if I can schedule stuff in a few seconds, can ignore it and come back to it, and pick up where we left off, and add various notes in for the day, not spill a drink all over it and have it ruined, and access it even when out with just my phone. And especially not expensive if it keeps us on track and ploughing through. Then again, I am an obsessive lesson planner, I will plan and prettify and plan, and tweak and plan. So something that is simple and won't allow me to do that, is a good idea and saves me from wasting more time playing around. In order to satisfy my planner side, I starting a clipping/notes journal which I cut and paste ideas for household/school into from Magazines etc. That way I can stare at all the pretty stuff and get ideas for things to do with school or the household/house, without feeling like I need to check it off and actually do it. My inner planner is thrilled with it, and in return has actually done a few of those things in her spare time ;)


    So my new box is WInterpromise, or books, books and more books :p

  11. Winter Promise/Spirited Autumn Hope Ebooks

    Prairie Primer (available through authors website as a pdf)

    Maximum Math/Karyn Stout Books


    Math Mammoth (if you get something that allows a pdf annotate app, this can breathe new life into doing worksheets and save the giant paper trail)

    Simply Charlotte Mason

    BeEarth Institute

    K&F Shops on Etsy/Earth*School

    Karen's (KHT Montessori) Albums

    Keys of the World/Keys of the Universe Albums

    Elizabeths Montessori Albums

    Nutrition for Learning CD/ebook

    WTM/WEM ebooks

    Penny Gardeners CM Study (both religious & secular versions)

    Bravewriter/Jot It Down

    Real Science 4 Kids Textbooks


    I like bits and pieces of all the above :P

  12. I've fallen in love with the Learn Math Fast books.


    I think math is a personal area for both the parent and child, making it hard to choose a program. The vintage books are fine, but I have limited attention spans for certain writing styles, so does my eldest. Whilst I liked MM, she didn't. Then again, I was basically introducing/explaining whatever concept it was, which she liked/understood, she just didn't like the worksheets.


    So other than the vintage texts people list here, I can offer four options, that have personally hooked me:


    Learn Math Fast: (Terrible Name, but the math is explained simply & easily, I was actually looking to get it as an extra (my eldest is doing TT) to re-inforce/explain stuck concepts (my brain can only stretch so far these days, so any reference is helpful) plus the later ones for me, to brush up on my math.


    Mathematics: An Instrument for Living Teaching by SImply Charlotte Mason. I love this book, its what I am using with my youngest. I think the way things are written just coincide with the way I think + give these amazing tips and ideas that I never thought of. This book is enabling me to be a better teacher.


    Math on the Level I didn't really mesh with the way Carlita explained stuff in the books, BUT I think her system and ideas are fantastic, I just can't use her concept explanations, but it allowed me to make my own program and feel like I was ticking all the boxes, keeping an eye on each childs math, and being able to keep up with their math through DIabetic sick days, mommies CFS drama days, and all of the medical appointments. The framework and program is brilliant. I am currently selling mine (in Aus) but would be keeping it if we weren't moving internationally. Unfortunately I need to get down to the absolute minimum in physical items and since I wasn't using the concept explanations, it didn't seem worth it to keep all the spiral books = sad panda :(


    Maximum Math by Kathryn Stout. I have her ebook and love it, its simple, to the point and gives all that you need. Plus includes checkboxes....I love checkboxes, rofl. I am not using it much right now. I will probably use it more from next year as a checklist for all the kids, to make sure I am covering all the basics since they are all doing completely separate/different programs (I gave up trying to have my kids doing the same math curricula, as they are each completely different children.) But if something happened to change our circumstances, I could definitely just use this.


    This is all stuff from my view, and I've had a number of math curricula in my posession but the above ones are ones I like for ease of use and the concept introductions.

  13. For something a bit more informal, we are using "52 weeks of family french". Its just simple phrases and beginnings/ideas for lessons.


    I use it at the breakfast/dinner table with the family. We are moving closer to France at some point so I figured I should start teaching french, and the book makes all the family included (which means anyone can converse/practice with kids) and puts it in more of an oral/conversational style, which is better for starting Foreign Language with younger kids.

  14. We use it and love it.


    When talking about traditional math, we are of the delayed formal math view. We dabble in stuff, I let the kids play with things etc and we have lots of hands on real life math. I use MOTL to keep an eye on whats happening, for ideas etc, and later on I will use it for 5-a-days and formal math in-a-roundabout way. I'll be using it to keep an eye on things, sort of like coming behind to mop things up and check on everything. Other than Real-life math, we use Montessori math for introduction to concepts.


    I think MOTL isn't that hard at all, and if I wanted to just use it and do formal math right now, I could probably be set up in a few minutes and ready to go. But I suppose it depends on the kind of person you are.


    Suffice to say, no matter what goes in or out of our house, MOTL will be our one constant.

  15. I already have the set, well one version anyway. I saw this new "version" and really disliked it.


    My version has all the same pieces (including the digital sheets) but each "gift" comes in it own box (like its supposed to, more on that in a sec), and the boxes go into a toy chest with wheels. The whole thing is B-E-A-U-tiful.


    Froebel (the creator of the "gifts") created each gift with a thought in mind. Its a very architecturally and shapes based explorative play. Most of the current toys from Zenga to marble runs all somehow revert back to Frobel and his "gifts" (which are not to be confused with "occupations" which are paper based and not included in the Spielgaben set).


    The Word Kindergarten (whether you are in the field that it means "garden of children" or "childrens garden) actually came from Frobel, and most Kindergartens today were from him, he was the creator of Kindergarten. Sadly, Kinder has become a shadow of its once former self. Froebel injected reason and theory behind everything he did, including the circle time and special movement, todays Kinders do not cover it properly. Sandboxes, and sand & water tables were a Frobel invention.


    rank Llloyd Wright is one of the more notable people (although there are a LOT of them) that went through Forbels Kindergarten. If you happen to visit the museum or his house (I can't exactly remember where, I'm in Australia not US) that was once his old house? there is a little table (childs size) Wright created that is in there, if you look closely the pattern etched into the top of the table is very froebelian.


    Froebel was pre-Montessori. Montessori was actually partially inspired by Froebel, I believe I have one or two books from around 1912 on the comparison between Froebel and Montessori and another on the possibility of combining Froebel and Montessori (which was by the same person who did a foreword in one of Montessoris books, Alan? someone or other I think.)


    I would highly suggest getting a hold of Inventing Kindergarten or reading my links I provided below.


    The difference between "gifts" & "occupations" is that the occupations were something that could be changed (used/not be able to be returned as is) and the gifts were items that are unchanged (could be returned back to the box the same way).


    The Spielgaben set I have is beautiful. The items can also be created yourself if you are crafty, one of the links I will paste will have info on each gift. The play guides are beautiful, but they are just that, play guides, not a curriculum, so I plead with you not to turn them into one. The set is gifts for self-exploration. Sometimes the child will need a nudge, but it will be a lot less than you think. So the play guides are beautiful, the digital stuff contains most you need to know (apart from looking at my links to get more of an idea about Froebel) the workbooks are 20 pages a book, and about 7-8 workbooks (I can't remember the exact amount) they are VERY coloured, so printing them would be a large pull on your printer, printing greyscale would look terrible, would wreck the usability of some pages, and its just plain better to have an ipad and something like notability or iannotate, then have the child draw on the digital workbook.


    Other notable Froebelians:


    Paul Klee

    Prince Charles

    Enid Blyton

    Georges Cusenaire

    Milton Bradley (they took over the creation of the "gifts" in America, so most of their toys from their on out were inspired by the gifts)


    So its more "do I want to do a modern Kindergarten or the original?" and one can always do Froebel without purchasing commercialised versions. Froebel was all about sticks for straight, etc. I am coming into this late and wanted to use it quickly with my SN son as a way to hopefully snag his interest, otherwise I would of just built up the supplies to create my own gifts.




    The Kindergarten (History): http://www.froebelweb.org/web7020.html

    Froebel Gifts (dimensions and info): http://www.froebelweb.org/web7010.html

    The Mothersongs (the original fingerplays and movements): http://www.froebelweb.org/web7004.html

    Origins of Nursery Education: http://www.froebelweb.org/web7009.html

    Inventing Kindergarten (Book): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0810935260/froebelweb

    Simple Version of Froebel Method: http://www.froebelgifts.com/method.htm

    Resources: http://www.froebelgifts.com/resources.htm

    Visual version of the Gifts: http://www.froebelgifts.com/gifts.htm

    Learning to use Froebel Gifts and Occupations (simplified): http://froebeleducation.com/2011/learning-to-use-froebel-gifts-occupations/

    Couple of mini articles on Froebels Occupations: http://www.froebeltoday.com/index.php/froebels-occupations


    Montessori and Froebel: A Comparison (1912 ebook): http://archive.org/details/jstor-993588

    Froebels Occupations (1896 ebook): http://archive.org/details/froebelsoccupat00smitgoog

    Froebels Gifts (1895 ebook): http://archive.org/details/froebelsgifts00wiggrich

    Froebels Letters (1893 ebook): http://archive.org/details/froebelletters01frgoog


    The Kindergarten Guide Volume 1: The Gifts (Highly recommended if you can afford it): http://www.froebelusa.com/froebel-method/kindergarten-guide-vol.-1-the-gifts/

    The Kindergarten Guide Volume 2: The Occupations (Highly Reccomended if you can afford it): http://www.froebelusa.com/froebel-method/kindergarten-guide-vol.-2-the-occupations/


    Shop here: http://www.froebelusa.com/


    This is the version I have: http://spielgaben.com.au/shop/


    HTH xxx



  16. I LOVE planning. Like, to an insane degree.

    And my planning to doing ratio is really wonky, so I have to watch it. In other words, I am capable of planning out the most amazing schedules complete with tips, hints and optional extensions. But if I miss or delay stuff (like a diabetes sick day or hubby staying home) everything gets out of whack and the entire schedule just gives me hives.

    So now I purposely move my planning fetish to another area, and tweak how I plan school. So school is not paced or micro-planned, but just "listed".


    If I want to do "that book" I will print or photocopy that books table of contents and add that to my "planning binder" and thats IT. Each book on my shelf, kindle or in another binder, basically any resource we are planning to use, I just print, type up or photocopy the TOC, then just tick off as I do each bit.


    I am also planning on writing out a resource list (1 page per subject/area with 2 pages for misc) so I have an idea of resources I have at my disposal, and adding that to my filofax (sometimes I will forget I have a certain resource or won't use it for a bit, simply because I forget about it. I have planning recording pages I created in my filofax that are more as unit study/theme ideas, and other pages that are for recording. My system is rather higgledy piggledy. I also plan out rhythms for the entire year. I plan lots of differet things but I never ACTUALLY plan. LOL.

    If you asked me what we are doing tommorrow, I might have a vague idea (taking dog for a walk, playing outside, cleaning bedroom), as you can see these are more what one would count as chores or free time, none are "academic". Academics just fall into our day. If we are up to it, we might do certain things. We also don't laze around and actually fill our days with lots of hard work and school, they are just approached in different ways.

    I found micro-planning just made me burn-out and stress for various reasons, either because I was behind or overplanned or the various curriculum that was suppose to take one day took three or the curricula that was suppose to take 20 weeks to finish only took us 3 weeks.


    Our house works in weird ways, weird hours, and each of my children are so different that putting them into one box was driving me crazy and leading them either to frustration (over their heads) or boredom (below their grade). That they (and I) changed so much with what we wanted to do and how we paced ourselves (as I am learning alongside them doing my own courses and such) that trying to schedule or plan these things was simply insanity and a waste of time. It was better to display what we had (out of sight, out of mind and all that) and to concentrate on observing and recording what did happen and being prepared for future works rather than planning what will happen that is rather like chains here, and no-one likes chains.

    Would this idea work everywhere? No, I am being honest and admitting that. Some children (and adults) would flounder without a schedule or being told they must do certain things. Its also a lot on the parent/teacher too. As a thread was about a few weeks back, the reality is it relies as much on the teacher as the child, so if the teacher cannot understand it, the child is less likely to.

    I have found I flounder with no plan myself, but dislike schedules and actual plans (even though I love making them) so what I do is like creating the foundation, the concrete slab, as the prep work. This is my plan. The children can walk all over the slab, whichever direction they want (I walk behind them, and try to figure out which directions they would like to go, and go lay paving there for them, I also lay paving in several directions I would like for them to pursue. Each of these directions/areas have the barest hint of frame work, the child can walk around and admire the framework, or as in a room of paintings that may not grab them, give a cursory glance and run through to the next section (but that room is waiting for them should they like to head back that way later on). The child may become interested in a particular frame and start climbing upwords, I then provide more framing as needed, sometimes the child will stop at a particular floor that is empty, I provide one wall to get them started, and come back to find they are completed the walls, and as I watch, are starting to furnish the room themselves.

    So I "plan" in rhythms for the year, month, week, etc which is a Steiner view. I make sure their day breathes in & out (Steiner). I display everything at the childs level and have everything available to them (Project-Based-Homeschooling & Montessori). I work in yearly cycles, provide groundwork for the child, read good literature, and make available to them the best of (Classical/WTM) homeschooling. I also provide and agree with the physical and philosophical views of CM, ones not related to academics, but more about how children should be brought up, like that children should be outside everyday, be with their parents till a certain age and use some of her and other CMers ideas about Nature Study & Shakespeare (Charlotte Mason). Because I do need to provide the faint framework and be ready to build upwards, I don't plan in days or weeks, but in Units, each unit having a theme with a list of optional ideas to follow (Unit Study/KONOS-inspired). Each of my children follow their own way through school, but ones needs a scope or some degree so I use a very child led feel one (Montessori), and I use a mixture of 3-4 different pedagogical/parenting styles (Montessori, Waldorf, Unschooling & Radical Unschooling). My daughters have medical needs (Diabetes Type 1) so I often use that to bring in other areas like science, social events, educational events, etc I love blogs like D-Mom. My son has special needs and I have my own, so I use ABA, backwards-chaining of Montessori and more verbal cues for him, as well as mixing Speech Therapy into our group classes, I also love Jennifer O'Toole and her blog & books (Asperkids) To keep myself on top of things I use Moleskines (Writer's Notebook), Todo lists (Index Cards), and Mini "Binder" (Filofax) which covers child observation/notation, remembers/to-do lists, planning lists, shopping lists, menu planners, calendars, etc. Chore charts are still being made and only images would suffice to explain those, and they are optional and its a family board of current "to-dos" that aren't everyday stuff (everyday stuff is going on a whiteboard).

    So I get the excitement of "planning" out filofax pages, making my moleskine pretty after I have finished a page, writing out ideas for themes, and generally playing with planning stuff other than rigid school or life planning. I also use my planner/ocd/ordering&organizing persona to do courses (I realized in about a week, for a period of 3 weeks I will be simultaneously enrolled in 4 courses, I have one course that goes for 2 years, another for one year, one for 2 months, and another for 1 month, so those 3 weeks will be fun, luckily I have a lot of nervous/busy energy, and my children do mostly independant stuff, so theres a 3 hour period every day where they get to be in the schoolroom (the child can divide it over 2 periods if they want, and they are allowed snacks) and I am not allowed to disturb or annoy them, so these courses help fill my need for learning + stop me from annoying the children with trying to "help" (which only interrupts their work and annoys them). Its the same as another person would sit on their hands, I use the courses as a helpful (they are actually needed and not wasted time, they just have the extra benefit) diversion. I also have a grammar/writing homeschool curricula I am currently working through myself (as its one area I obviously need to brush up on, as the grammar police on here seem to know, they have stopped me enough :p)

    Obviously one who hates to plan/teach would swing the opposite way, lol. Its the area I love, and just taking that away from me would make me a very sad panda, or as hubby says "Happy wife, happy life; Sad Wife, No life" rofl. So I use that energy into something more useful like theme ideas/lists/units and observation notes/Writer's Notebook.

    So getting back to the main subject, I don't really have a daily plan or idea, if there is a holiday, I may start a theme about 1-2 weeks before it, same if theres an event coming up (rodeo=horse unit) I use that for theme ideas. I record more than schedule, I make lists of ideas more than plan, and I generally try to have visual reminders and checklists to remind me of things that do need to be done or options we have. If I had planned, we wouldn't have done 3 days of glowstick science that turned into PE & Health, or created Rainbow Rice that led to my 4yo understanding fractions, or me actually happily sitting there playing tickles with the kids, or moving the new mattresses to the schoolroom so the kids could do mattress skiing and my eldest "deciding" math was more fun and going off to do some math. Instead I would of been staring at my perfect plans, yelling at the children and trying to get everything done because we were "behind".


    Oh, and you know what I found out? I grabbed 3 main subjects of school workbooks from my local store the other day and flicked through them. My 7yo wouldbe able to go about half way through the 1st one before getting stuck (at her grade level) (1st grade), in another subject could *just* complete the 5th grade version, and in the 3rd subject could complete the 7th grade version with 1 or 2 quick explanations. I then decided grades were absolutely ridiculous. rofl. So was being "behind". As long as my child continues to learn, has the foundation there, and is happy to learn, I'm happy. And I also found I don't like workbooks. rofl.

  17. Another option could be to get the MOTL support package. Its a digital support package from the website and is around $25. It contains a few things (I'm not on the computer its on) like 5 a day spreadsheets etc, and in one of the manual 5 a day spreadsheet sets is the concept chart, and recommended/suggested sequence chart, so if this is all you are wanting, $25 and you have it, to use how you want. If you are unaware of what a particular item is in the concept chart, then google it or just ask, and I'm sure you'd get an answer.


    I use MOTL as my go-to spine that keeps me on top of what is going on between the 3 kids. I don't do 5 a days yet (although I do make them up every now and again just for fun when the kids ask me to), I use ideas from the parts we are working on as well as living math books & Montessori Math, miquon, math games and a gazillion other things (we are really random, so I needed a spine, I have MOTL projects/adventures going on, family math projects from Family Math or out of Mathstart or MathArts, Kids might choose to do Math Mammoth or Spunky Worksheets (I just have these at their level, they choose what they want), I present Montessori Math materials, then they are available for the kids, plus other things we have going on that I really needed one program that wouldn't change, no matter what, and MOTL is that, I use ideas out of it, and later on will use parts of it more fully (individualised for each child) alongside montessori (Independant/multi-level) & living math (family math) BUT if I was just wanting to use it for the concepts/sequence, I would just get the support package, its much cheaper, and can be kept on the computer or "printed" with something like BULLPDF and turned into a PDF, put onto IAnnotate on Ipad, and concepts ticked off as done.


    I would just use the detailed Montessori math scope I have as a sequence, but Montessori can sometimes be missing certain things (like money, extra fraction work, certain clock-reading etc) that I just trust my MOTL scope more (and if one of my children stray from the Montessori path, I need something a bit more mainstream in ideas & approach to watch them).


    Another option (not sure whether its already been mentioned) might be Kathryn Stouts Math guide. It probably is a scope & sequence.


    I'm one who now likes just a flexible scope/overview for every subject, luckily Montessori provides that. So does my Waldorf Overview (Christopherus). For Mainstream overviews I would suggest getting WTM or Home Learning Year by Year by Rebecca Rupp. Rupp's one is good as you just pay a small price for a paperback then have a detailed enough overview for all subjects that you could just use the library and your wits :p I happen to have all 4. I'm wanting 1st ed of WTM in paperback (I only have current ed in Kindle, I hate reference books in kindle format. Pity SWB doesn't just sell the 1st ed in PDF format (printable) then I could just purchase it from her, she gets money and I get the 1st edition without having to sniff out an acceptable copy from a trustable seller, its driving me loopy trying to get it without wasting money and without paying a fortune.)


    Bah, I'm rambling again....

  18. I really think it is roughly the same, more just the personalities and forum have changed (not this forum, but the "life-in-general". With the current day and age, and the internet being available more and more everywhere you go, this leads to loud voices that may have been drowned out to becoming foghorn voices over the internet.


    And of course there is the fact that no matter where you turn there are purists groups in every form waiting to shake their fists and yabber on.


    Do I have an unschooling attitude? Yeah, I suppose so. But, but, do I unschool? Ummmmmmm, no*****


    And thats where the problem starts, if I am speaking to marsha next door, I will say we unschool, if I am in the park down the road, I say "life-learning", on certain forums, I say "Natural learning, Project led or delight-directed" on here I pretty much say we "idea school" we follow ideas, whether from mother or children. Sometimes I will bravely take the lead and tread down the untrodden path, then at times I will falter or stop, and Atlas (DD7) will stride out in front, take the reins, and yank us into the sky, other times we'll follow DS down the skippy-bumpy-musical road. And I really take ideas and value many methods. I am the one constantly reading and researching, but I like our road.


    So the point being, I think with the online groups, more "unschoolers" are to be found, so unschoolers can be more clique-y and break off into sections upon sub-sections etc. So rather than them being 1 group of 500 who have nothing in common, but are herding together to make people understand, they are now able to break off into more social and understanding groups for their particular personalities and styles, so now the group of 500 is now 20 groups of 25 spread out over the internet and blogs, which become like a recruiting machine for other people who then find out "hey theres a local unschoolers meet" and get sucked into becoming an unschooler (not that there is something wrong AT ALL with unschooling, quite the opposite in fact) without fully understanding it, then bemoan "unschooling" later online years down the track, when its not the method that was wrong, but rather the fact that it did not fit that particular family. So its become a fad "new" looking thing, when in fact, it is not, the numbers of unschoolers in the long term won't change significantly, but the amount of negative blogging etc that will be done by parents/homeschoolers who went into it without fully understanding it could be a case where a few years down the line the "huddled masses" of unschoolers may have to huddle in once again to educate people (lol, the irony) on unschooling.


    Oh and read John Holt, then some more diverse unschooler lit, unschoolers can use curriculum and textbooks, everything in the world is a tool you can use, including a workbook, you just have to know the theory and concept behind unschooling to understand "how to use" a textbook, curriculum or even a bottle of water to teach, and using everyday life as the teacher. Lastly, people underestimate the "gift of the gab". Conversation=unschoolers what bauer=classical ed. Think seminaring from BFSU or the discussions from Connect the thoughts. These are equal, two-way discussions. From the discussions point onwards, each family differs in the way they implement homeschooling/unschooling, but the main thing for unschooling is to *be there*. 110% Be available. Be open. Listen. Its about making quantity time, not "quality" time.


    Hasn't really been a straight answer, but hopefully round that sleepy circle it got there *yawn* night night :D

  19. Forget "cheapness" or "OMG don't print, use PDFnotation-wonder-app instead"


    I want to print, and it cost me more to just browse round the internet, than to just print lots of pages.


    Now that we have that whole kerfuffle out of the way, I haz a *weally* *weally* bad cold, and my head is completely useless, thefore, I pronounce the hive my brain for the time being.


    For the *BEST USE* (not cost) of the program (presuming one might go linearly through the books, but may end up skipping around through different books) and noting that the Currclick version is in black & white (not the pretty colour pastels of the already printed version) how would one print these workbooks (knowing that one needs 3 copies (for 3 kids) of each?


    -One to a page and put in a binder for each child

    - Two to a page and pro-click a linear workbook for each child (in other words, print and pro-click 3 copies of the orange book and give to each child

    - All of the above (for those not paying attention or caring :p)

    - Give up and purchase all the stuff again in printed format

    - Something completely different (theres always someone)


    Hmmm....maybe I'll poll this... now I should sleep. Apparently sleeping 55 hours out of the last 72 isn't enough *sigh*


    Thank you to anyone who can help, and huge apologies if I'm not making any sense!


  20. I'd look into floor beds and montessori bedrooms for kids.


    Ours started off like that (along with co-sleeping), but for some reason I let hubby do the new mattress purchasing and he came home with bases & beds galore (sigh)


    Now that our current mattresses need replacing, I'm planning to go back to floor beds & montessori styled rooms. Luckily this time DH is in agreement, so I have his help to order it.


    Basically just mattress of whatever style on the floor, if its summer you can look into mosquio tents (but really, wait till a certain age before using those, a young bub could wrap themselves up in them).


    You can create a floor base (just wooden one-slat sides) as an aesthetic "separator" from the rest of the room, or place the mattress on a larger rug to give that "bed space" effect. If its a wooden floor, I would suggest a rug or something as a buffer underneath the mattress, plus some sort of padded rug perimeter (or cheap-alternative: extra pillows) surrounding the bed.


    Thinking back to when we got the high up beds, I adapted the drop side cot, I basically took the side off (the dropping side) and rigged the slats of it onto the base of our bed, then put hte matresses down, it allowed me to "co-sleep" and feed bub of a night, but for her to have her own space, me mine, and off she rolled, she would just roll into me.


    DS is another story, he wiggled through anything with bars, so really, even cots were a dangerous place were he could get stuck, mosquito netting and mesh bed sides were a life saver then (although if DH hadn't gone out and purchased huge king bed bases, toddler beds, cots and the like, I wouldn't of had to spend extra brain power and money trying to fix the problems.


    Best bit of mattress on floor? No wiggling under it and getting half-stuck trying to get all the toys that have rolled under there (*sigh* I still have to do this every few days with two of the beds, and the other more solid base has just enough room under it (wheels) to let dust bunnies and things get under, take the wheels off and you have a huge heavy base that can't be moved and books (and pencils and tissues) are forever falling down at the headboard end and you have to pull/drag/huff puff to get the base out far enough to rescue said items and clean baseboard.


    yep, not a fan of bed bases. I'm more of a Tatami mat and fluffy padded eider sleeping bag kinda girl ;) Oh and heated asian tables, its freezing here, I would so sleep under one of those heater tables right now rofl.

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