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Found 5 results

  1. I have been listening to Andrew Kern of Circe Institute speak at our homeschool conference for several years, and it is beginning to sink in. I am reconsidering everything I know about educating my children. I truly am at a loss. I have no idea where to begin, as far as curriculum is concerned. I beg of you, throw me a bone...where do I begin? If I want my children to love learning, become human, and above all other things, love the Lord, what in the world am I supposed to be teaching and how?
  2. Gosh......I have to remind myself where I hang out and get some minds out of the gutter! :tongue_smilie: I posted on a thread about tea time and got some PMs......YES, I mean actual tea parties!! :lol: (but I will get to that later) I have had several people ask me to explain what interest driven education looks like in our house and after KIN's burn-out post, I thought I'd attempt to describe it. I am a minimalist in the younger yrs. Academics is limited to math, phonics/reading, handwriting......I add in beginning grammar/mechanics via copywork for 1st and 2nd grade. Bedtime stories are typically classics like wizard of Oz, The Secret Garden, etc. alternated with historical fiction or biographies (my kids love the lives of the saints, etc) Nature study occurs but it is a free-flowing type of thing not associated with school or a schedule or specific time, etc. It is simply something we do b/c we enjoy hiking, etc Once they are in 3rd grade, I talk to them about what they want to study/read via guided discussion and limited selection. For example, this yr my 5th grader really didn't get to choose her history topic b/c last yr we did early American history through pre-Civil War, so this yr was already expected to be the rest of American history. However, the reason we got so far behind last yr was b/c of bunny trails and areas she wanted to explore more. We spent weeks learning about Roger's Rangers and the life of settlers near the Canadian border. We spent time reading about the New Orleans and Napoleon and the Louisiana Purchase from perspectives that I had never read before. We read about the animosity amongst the Founding Fathers of our country, the shenanigans of Aaron Burr, the life of John Adams overseas from Abigal's perspective, etc. We sort of went wherever an interesting topic lead her to want to pursue. It was one of the best early American history studies I have ever done and I learned tons that I had no idea about. Science is more in their hands. They can pick whatever topic they want. Then either off our shelves or on the library's website, we will investigate what titles we/they have on that topic. Then depending on the age, I will select the final title for them to read or let them. History in elementary school is a combination of my reading aloud to them for about 20-30 mins and their reading silently about the same from a different book. Science is 30-45 mins of reading. I don't use writing curricula when they are young and even when they are older, I never use canned writing assignments. Writing always follows the same pattern every yr. They write one paper per week on a topic selected by me from typically science or history when they are young and also from lit when they are older. Monday is topic and gather supporting info (or details when they are younger), Tues is organizing and outlining or first 1/2 of rough draft (depends on how much they actually accomplish on Mon), Wed is either 1st or 2nd 1/2 of rough draft, Thursday is finishing whatever they need to and meeting me for revising and improving, and Fri is final draft due. By making school interest driven, we all enjoy what we are doing. Not using a separate writing program's assignments means writing is doing double duty. We don't spend huge amts of time doing experiments, etc for science. They spend more time reading whole books on the topics instead. (and sometimes they do go overboard on a topic. One child had a fascination with bees and read every book our library, I think around 15, that were on his reading level. My 5th grader this reader spent months reading and drawing/classifying birds, etc) Academics is really limited to the basic subjects.......no artist studies, no composer studies, no Latin, etc. Not until they are much older. Fun.......something that I have to make sure I make myself schedule in our days now that I have so many older kids and outside activities. We love having tea time. It can be as simple or as complicated as we make it. Sometimes we just buy refridgerator sugar dough and roll it out and cut it into different shapes and decorate them with icing, shoe string licorice, and m&ms. Other times we might make little sandwiches or have fruit. But mostly it is a time to sit and talk and relax in a fun time during the school day. (This is not a daily activity. ;)) We also love family games. I have posted before that the value of strategy games is highly undervalued. I think they help form better critical thinking skills than any curricula. But most of all.......I think the most important decision anyone can make is decide what is really critical to their view of education. It simply can't be everything. I mean what goes to the core of your educational philosophy. Start there and work forward. Anything that isn't vital drop until you have the day you want that even has time to spare and gradually add in the bonus topics you want but aren't essential. Hope those ramblings help someone. :001_smile:
  3. I am considering dividing up the coming year's worth of lesson plans by week. To keep everything organized, I'd like to use a filing system. Does anyone have experience using such a method? What are the pros and cons? If you use such a system, do you have more than one child? If so, how do you divide among the children? What type of filing box or cabinet do you use? Any other advice? Thanks, Cindy
  4. :tongue_smilie:I am in the middle of my annual breadth vs. depth struggle. Anyone else in there with me? I read the "What is your 5th, 6th, 7th...grader doing this year?" threads and I panic. My list is extensive (in my heart, I know it's too extensive) and yet it's considerably shorter than others. Somehow I just know I am going to miss this child's "gift" if I short-change him on music, art, a third language, logic, health, or geography in addition to his existing cores of language arts, math, science, history, Spanish, Japanese, technology, and philosophy. Oh! I forgot nature studies and current events.:svengo: Then, if you can get the subject list under control, then you need to focus on covering everything within a specific topic. I mean if a mom with a second grader is asking if two writing programs is enough, by extrapolation my 7th grader needs like 5 programs, right? MCT for academic writing, Brave Writer for creative writing, something for diagramming (never mind that many of us didn't do that until high school), Editor-in-Chief or Easy Grammar for everything else I am sure I missed. No. Actually that would be adding in copywork and dictation because it's...well...it's the foundation of a classical education. Or was that Latin? Which we are not doing. Which will keep Swimmer Dude from going to Harvard Law School...I just know it. <pant, pant, pant> One of my biggest gripes with "real" school has always been this attempt to cover everything. I now know the sad truth that there are people just like me (obsessed with the "perfect" plan) who write ps texts. You know the ones. For example, the lit analysis texts that give the child four pages of information including the plot, conflict, and resolution as a pre-reading assignment. At least it's efficient because the child no longer needs or wants to read the story. They are trying so hard to cover everything that they underwhelm the student. Why the panic on my part? I just spent six hours going through my MCT materials for next year. I realized if I buckled down and really taught the material in depth, my son would receive a better language arts education than most kids his age. It would also take me a good chunk of time to teach it that way. Focus is so much more demanding than doing a little here and a little there of everything. So, will kids be bored without the breadth of subjects or are they bored with them because they don't spend enough time on topics to fully comprehend and engage in them? ETA: My apologies in advance for the writing.:tongue_smilie:My brain and attitude are fried.
  5. How many generations do you think it takes the average lower middle class family to go from their typical PS education to a grade 12 TWTM education? It seems to take many moms YEARS to figure out books like WRTR, all the while the children are getting older. Most moms abandon it, to use on grade level materials, and give up on phonics mastery. Rigorous book after book gets dropped, until by 10th grade almost everyone has switched over to a PS style curriculum and then by 12 grade abandoned that too. I seldom see anyone dig in their heels and plan on only COMPLETING the logic age curriculum (or less) by grade 12 and then wait for the next generation to go further. Yes, I have memory loss issues and brain damage to remediate...but still...as I'm working my way through some 2nd and 3rd grade texts right now, I know I never mastered some of this stuff with my "gifted" child, and he graduated having not mastered some basics that he will struggle to teach his 1st graders, if he chooses to homeschool. Yeh, he knows some Greek and calculus, but he doesn't know basic phonics and can't spell his way out of a paper bag. What do you all think about families digging in their heels and building just the foundation in the first generation, because like immigrants they are long sighted? Completing TWTM grade 8 is enough to get into a junior college. What would you think about watching a family build the foundation and then learn a trade, or enter retail management or something similar, and plan to prepare to take the next generation further. To skip all high school science and anything past 1st semester basic algebra, and all AP literature, ect, but cement the basics listed in the major classical homeschooling texts.
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