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Everything posted by matrips

  1. I know some of what we're doing: Sonlight P4/5, CC as a supplement, and trying out a variety of math I picked up used (MUS, Singapore, Horizons) to see what we like. I still don't know how much time we'll actually spend schooling versus just good old playing and field trips. The kids are still only 4, so this will be my semi-structured year. as opposed to my completely unstructured past year!
  2. my kids have been color coded since they were born! in a way I feel a little bad- their favorite color is of course the one they were assigned! but it works well for so many things. :)
  3. we're signed up for the Fairfax CC! I was very impressed with their director and how it was run. I had visited another local CC and did not have a good impression. in fact, I had decided not to do CC but then a friend took me to Fairfax. The kids loved it the day we visited and so did I. we're doing it as a supplement and because I don't really do the fine arts stuff on my own, as well as for social reasons. good luck and maybe I'll meet you!
  4. we use Sonlight for our 4 yos; we did p3/4 last year and this year will move to 4/5. They have Core packages, but also sell Explode the Code and other phonics type items. what all is phonics stuff about? my kids learned some of the basics and reading at a 3rd or 4th grade level, but could they missing something? we haven't really done any phonics programs. is it necessary for all kids?
  5. we don't have a schoolroom, but my kids are still pretty young. we use the couch most of the time for reading, and then either their playroom or the dining room table for other stuff. it would be nice though! we do have lots of bookshelves, though I need to get them reinforced since they weren't built to actually hold many books apparently!
  6. sonlight.com might be a good resource. they have a lot of both read-alouds and readers listed by grade. I love almost all the books they use.
  7. his nanny sounds great! he's learning a second language and doing what little kids really love! reading and crafts with full time attention of an adult that loves him! if you still have the nanny, perhaps you can try out some vacation bible schools this summer for him and see how he enjoys them. they'd be similar to what a play based preschool would be like. a few hours each morning for a week and then the rest of the day with the nanny. then perhaps in the fall, he could do preschool a couple mornings a week to be with other kids his age if you thinks he needs that.
  8. I don't have an older one to deal with, but I let the little ones lead. I keep tons of books (I have well over 500 at this time and I keep buying) around for them, and lots of basic toys (puzzles, blocks, legos, board games, pattern blocks, dollhouses, trucks, kitchen etc) for them to use their imaginations. they don't have any electronic toys, and we don't watch tv, aside from a 10 minute dvd at night. they love to do crafts so when they were 2 and 3 I did The Learning Box Preschool with them. it only took about an hour a day, when we did it, but they really enjoyed it. I loved the fact that everything needed for the crafts was already there! they still get quiet time/naptime each day and they get to bring a few books with them. they're allowed to bring books in the car too when we go for errands. they always loved to sit on the couch, cuddle and have me read to them. so we read alot. sometimes I'd let them help me finish the sentence, and somewhere along the line between 2.5 and 4, they taught themselves to read. very well. so I keep buying lots of books- especially non-fiction- and they just learn. I've learned to listen at what interests them for that week/month and follow through more in depth for them. Their interests are all over the place, but they are having fun and learning, and that is all that matters to me at this age. I figure there is plenty of time for structure later. this is the time for play. (I think they think that reading is just another form of play!). so instead of teaching Tazzie math, just play some math type games with him. let it all seem more like play than school! he is still a Little! good luck!
  9. we're in a similar position, as ours are still young too. I had always thought I'd want to homeschool for the young ages just based on some of the bullying stuff I'd heard of (this was before I even HAD kids!). I wanted my kids to be confident and sure of themselves and able to stick up for themselves before any of that happened. And then we had triplets so the cost of preschool times three was pretty much the same as a mortgage! so I figured I'd homeschool preschool and just take it a year at a time. well, they're 4 years old and two of them are reading at least a third grade level. hard to tell exactly because they still like pictures, but they can pretty much read anything they pick up. yesterday it was a bird book at a wetlands sanctuary. I'm assuming (these are first and only kids so not really sure what four year olds 'should' know) they're ahead in math though we haven't officially taught it. They'll pick up the Singapore workbooks I have laying around and whiz through them on their own. They're quick at learning new things and absolutely LOVE to learn. However, they're still just typical 4 year olds who will whine and fight and play too! ;) So now I'm thinking they seem to be fairly advanced and maybe I better keep this up. and that while they would enjoy the social aspect of school, they would not enjoy sitting still that long and having to learn whatever the teacher planned that day. plus, chances are, they'd already know it. I don't want them to turn into a bored discipline problem. Though I own curriculum and we're doing CC next year, we seem to closer to unschoolers at this point. having tons of fun and just enjoying learning. we go on lots of fieldtrips, have lots of playdates (just got back from the pool), and I love the freedom of not being tied to a school schedule. I still officially have a year to year mentality for homeschooling, but I have an inkling we're in it for awhile. hope some of this made sense! and good luck with whatever you choose!
  10. sounds like your son loves to learn but doesn't like the 'school' approach. I would talk it over with him what learning should be like, what you envision, what he likes etc. it seems like you are trying really hard to teach him, but maybe he just wants to learn? without the structure? I've been following my 4yos lead. They love to read and learn, and seem to enjoy teaching themselves and then telling me about it! I've learned to keep lots of material around the house for them to find, especially non-fiction which they seem to like best. They will sit and read children's dictionaries, children's encyclopedias, math workbooks, biographies, and science as well as just regular stories (they still love Richard Scarry!). when they express an interest in something (this past week was the presidents, before that the Boston Tea Party), we just go with it. I just try to make sure I find the books to supplement that interest. when we do sit down to read together, I usually either let them pick the stories to read, or I pick a few books that have many stories in them and they get to pick out of that. I'm finding this approach is working well. Whatever 'curriculum' materials I've bought, I try to set it out where they'll find it and shuffle books around. They found a Science activity book recently and wanted to try some experiments, so I let them pick some and we did that one day. in between we are out and about alot. gymnastics/soccer/pool/field trips/nature centers/playdates/errands etc. so I'm not sure how much homeschooling I'm doing! but they're learning alot and more importantly, having fun learning. I figure we can get more structured as they get older, but for now, they're still just little kids. good luck! I hope it gets more fun for you two!
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