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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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  1. I’m working on this. I tend to be very immersive with my own pursuits, so I’ve struggled to find something that I can easily drop & pick up again repeatedly. It also can’t be anything that looks even remotely interesting because, well... 😅 I can peruse forums & examine curricula on my phone, but I hate how that must look to DS. I can read nonfiction if I take notes to keep my train of thought (fiction is a no-go, because I’m a cover-to-cover reader). I’ve tried to write, but struggle with that for the same reasons as fiction reading. Perhaps if I stuck to outlining & editing.
  2. Alright, I guess this is just a me issue then. In previous years we created TONS of artwork together, worked on lots of projects, did science experiments... I enjoyed planning them out & sharing the experiences with him; he enjoyed participating in them & felt accomplished afterwards. Now it’s different. We still enjoy board games together, but I’m realizing as he gets older that we don’t have a whole lot in common & that many of his interests are more independent ventures. I don’t have much of a role. At the same time he still craves my presence & the ability to use me as a sounding board for his ideas, so I can’t really “do my own thing,“ either. I feel like I’m left just kind of... sitting there... I guess the root of it is that those projects & activities were my way of doing something special for him. I keep trying to find some way of making them happen, because that’s what *I* wanted our homeschool to look like... because they are special to ME... but maybe that’s not a good reason.
  3. After continuing to mull this over, I think I’m going to propose to DS that we keep the number of subjects I choose each month (3) & keep his ability to select the other subjects, but add a requirement the his choices be on a monthly basis (or “to completion of XYZ task”). Given the length of our current school day, which has been working well so far this year, he would have 2 elective slots. If anyone has additional thoughts, I’d be happy to hear them... I’ll check back once we’ve discussed things to share his thoughts, as well.
  4. We drastically changed our homeschooling methods this year, & I’d appreciate some insight now that we’ve been running things differently for a few months. The traditional classical schedule we homeschooled with when DS was 3-5 suited me well, however something about the combination of the length of our days, the intensity of our materials, & the number of subjects stopped working well for DS this school year. He felt worn out by our days & craved more autonomy in his learning. After some back-&-forth we arrived at our current setup: he must complete three short subjects of my choice (around an hour of work total) in any order at some point in our day, but how we spend the rest of our time is up to him. Some aspects have worked well. He’s gotten to chase rabbit trails in a manner that our previous way of doing things did not accommodate: he learned three basic sewing stitches, created a custom botany game, embarked on a month-long graphing unit study, & wrote a play script. Other aspects present problems. In-between the rabbit trails that grab his interest, weeks are spent kind of aimlessly dabbling. Very little gets done during these times, which is frustrating to me. He also loses interest in his rabbit trails fairly quickly; if I didn’t insist, he would not have followed through on the above rabbit trail projects to completion. There must be something that will suit us both. Possibly something block-schedule-ish? Unit studies where he picks the topic but I require regular work for X weeks or until Y task is accomplished? Something else that hasn’t occurred to me?
  5. Thanks! I’ve wanted to give IEW a try, so this was perfect timing. Got Fables, Myths, & Fairy Tales, All Things Fun & Fascinating, and the next level of AAS student materials for $40! 🥳
  6. The IEW book Fables, Fairy Tales & Myths has them retelling the original fable from an outline as in your later example, with the very first selection being The Lion & the Mouse - but not reinventing them. I like the concrete structure provided, so I may give that book a whirl, but we’ll also add in W&R’s reinventions to spice things up; DS loves them!
  7. Interesting; I didn’t realize IEW also involved retelling fables! From this example, at least, it appears to be structured almost identically to CAP W&R. I’ll have to take a look at it. Now that DS is comfortable writing several sentences in a sitting (one of our big goals for this school year) I want to start working with him on how to structure a paragraph. We have about half of CAP Fable remaining due to a play-writing rabbit hole & the break for NaNoWriMo, so we’ll complete that in the spring. I had planned to continue on to MCT Town next year, but with this more self-directed route we’ve been taking I’m not certain it would work as well. Hmmm... lots to think about! 💭
  8. My DS is a chameleon, as well. He is active, silly, & attention-seeking. He’s always homeschooled, so he doesn’t really grasp that his skills are different & without the forced work display / comparison of a group classroom, academics generally don’t come up. I vacillate between being frustrated & relieved. On the rare occasion that he’s displayed his abilities, most people’s reactions have been irking enough for me to be at peace with him flying under the radar. It doesn’t impact his access to appropriate learning environments, so 🤷🏻‍♀️. Unfortunately it’s a rare person who can “see” a child (or an adult, for that matter) the way you seem to be hoping for.
  9. Mine has a very erratic schedule - coming or going at all hours & more often home during the week than over the weekend. Thankfully mine wised up to this pretty quickly... he stays out of our way & has lunch ready to go at noon! Very occasionally he’ll join us for a lesson-related board game, but that still tends to be pretty distracting for DS.
  10. No, you don’t have to type. There is the option to log the number of words completed manually, & you’re also under no obligation to log anything at all - it’s just for fun! It’s really incredible to see what they can accomplish when they continue to work through a bigger project like this. This is my son’s planning work & writing (so far) this time around, to give you an idea...
  11. If you go to the NaNoWriMo site & look for YWP (Young Writer’s Program) there is a guide book that leads the child step-by-step through character development, plot outlining, goal-setting, etc. to varying levels of depth based on their grade level. Basically they spend a good chunk of October planning so they are ready to spend the month of November cranking out their story. In the past I have had DS narrate his stories while I scribed. This is his first year physically writing the story, & he should hit his 500-word goal tomorrow! CAP begins with the Fable level. It involves some basic summary narration, but also amplification, reimagining / rewriting, & targeted sentence play.
  12. My DS also enjoys writing; particularly narrative. Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Their Young Writer’s Program is fabulous! We’ve participated since DS was 4; he looks forward to it every year ☺️ He’s also really enjoyed CAP Writing & Rhetoric; you can see some examples of that on the Writing Workshop sub-forum, if you’d like. Killgallon Sentence Composing could be a good resource. My DS isn’t quite ready to emulate the styles of others as he is still building his own voice, but I have them waiting in the wings as it were. Otherwise we simply explore a variety of writing formats (narrative prose, poetry, nonfiction / instructional, play scripts, etc) & discuss various elements that authors do well from our read-aloud literature. Looking forward to everyone’s ideas in this thread!
  13. Ooh, I haven’t heard of *either* of those - yay! No free sample for me, but I’ll keep my eyes out to see if it’s offered again! We’ve previously used MCT LA (Island) & are currently using CAP Writing & Rhetoric (Fable). He absolutely loves both, so we’ll likely continue alternating them as well as adding in / rotating through anything new 😊 i do plan to teach DS keyboarding. We’re currently in limbo; just moved from overseas in July & will move again sometime next autumn/winter, but once we settle next year we’ll be buying a desktop & I’ll teach him to type!
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