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The problem with homeschooling...


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The problem with homeschooling is that once you start, you can't stop! Let me explain...

 

I was SOO (overly) excited to hs so when my dd1 knew her letters & sounds, we started right away! I don't regret it, but now I have a 3, 2, and almost 1 yo and I am having a hard time getting everything done.

 

dd2 gets math and phonics done and dd1 gets math done while ds is asleep for morning nap. dd1 gets phonics, grammar, and spelling done from when he wakes up to lunch time (takes less concentration). We get reading (dd1 to me) and more math facts done while the littlest 2 start their naps.

 

I used to get history, science, art, Bible, even some music done at night but now that ds doesn't take an evening nap, those subjects are going by the wayside and I DO NOT want that. Esp. Bible! Ds eats books and doesn't want to sit still for long so I can't do it w/him in my lap.

 

They all still take afternoon naps so even if I dropped dd1's nap, that leaves the 2yo out of Bible (don't want that) and the other subjects (which she loves and it is good practice for her to sit still).

 

Maybe I want advice but really, I am just throwing myself a pity party:tongue_smilie:

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You sound unsure if you want advice but I'll offer it anyway. ;D I think that is too much seat work for a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Join a playgroup, go to storytime, take them to the park. All day school with the only break being naptime will likely burn them out and burn you out. They will have long school careers. Even if they are intellectually capable, it's ok to let hem be little. My eldest was reading Roald Dahl at barely 5, so I know the temptation to push.

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You sound unsure if you want advice but I'll offer it anyway. ;D I think that is too much seat work for a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Join a playgroup, go to storytime, take them to the park. All day school with the only break being naptime will likely burn them out and burn you out. They will have long school careers. Even if they are intellectually capable, it's ok to let hem be little. My eldest was reading Roald Dahl at barely 5, so I know the temptation to push.

 

:iagree:

 

In fact, I'll honestly admit I was hoping this was a humorous post. I still wonder if it is -- history and geography and Bible and music and math? Really? My FB post yesterday was about going to the library and donut store with my almost-4 year old, and then I reminisced about park days. Things like this are precious -- these young, young years are so short. Gosh, I personally would hate to lose them to so much official school. Our younger-than-sevens pretty much play and do creative things all day.

Edited by milovaný
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You sound unsure if you want advice but I'll offer it anyway. ;D I think that is too much seat work for a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Join a playgroup, go to storytime, take them to the park. All day school with the only break being naptime will likely burn them out and burn you out. They will have long school careers. Even if they are intellectually capable, it's ok to let hem be little. My eldest was reading Roald Dahl at barely 5, so I know the temptation to push.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

I don't know what your long term goals are for your kids, I don't really know anything about teaching girls, and I really have a "to each her own" philosophy, but....... I have to say that your concerns would be valid if they were 3rd grade and 2nd grade, but at 3 YEARS and 2 YEARS, I truly don't think you need to be worried about dropping subjects.

 

You mention "able to concentrate" and "learning to sit still", but these are just not things 3 and 2 yos are geared for. *IF* your toddlers are reading and doing math that is great, but that doesn't mean you need to throw yourself a pity party because they aren't doing more.

 

And, just to warn you...... school is about to get more challenging now that your 1 year old is walking. Now THAT is something I have experience with! :)

Edited by Colleen in SEVA
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Cut yourself some slacks. You don't need to homeschool at all at that age. Just play and read with them.

 

I didn't do anything to my kiddos till they're five, except picture book reading/story telling.

 

They picked up abcs from PBS.

 

But they liked looking at non-fiction picture books scattered in my home, so they kept on asking me to read those. That's how they knew science/nature stuff.

 

It was hard for me not to push my second child because she was ready intellectually at early age. But I resisted my temptation to teach her at 4 because I tried it twice and she just wouldn't want to do it. So we re-started at 5.5 using Reading Made Easy and she went through it very quickly by then ... thanks also to PBS.

 

I know many people start their kids young with reading. I just don't have the patient of teaching a 3-4 or even early 5. If I can do it quicker and without drama at 5.5, why should I start early ? My son, btw, started learning to read at 6 (Kindergarten).

 

Now, my 6 yo daughter (just turn 6) who works with 1st grade material learns for 1.5 hour max for all subjects incl religious study and content subject (we use FIAR since she's a young 6). Everything is honky dory here.

 

My second grade 8 yo (just turn 8) who is working on grade learns for 2.5 hours max, unless when he's in a bad mood.

 

My two year old plays around.

 

I indebted with the fellow hives who discourage too much school time too early and remind the newbies like me that HS is a marathon.

 

So, use this time to just play and read.

Edited by mom2moon2
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You do realize, don't you, that if you put your three-year-old in "first grade" that you'll have a 7 year old trying to logic-stage work?

 

I think you are pushing way, way, way too much. There's really no reason at all that you should be doing what you're doing with preschoolers and toddlers.

 

Tara

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WOW! What a response. That'll teach me to post!

 

I didn't get into details b/c I didn't want to post an ultralong post.

 

I'm not sure what some consider seat work but my dd1 does about 1-2 wkshts/day (at diff. times) and my dd2 does NO wkshts! We do school orally b/c they are so little (writing waay harder than reading:)). My ds take an hour & 1/2 nap so we do calendar work, then dd2 plays next to us while dd1 & I do math. dd2 & I do phonics and math (read her 1st sentence today :) and learning to count) while dd1 does her fact sheet or a wksht (only 5-10 min). Then, she watches Elmo's world while dd1 & I finish up other subjects.

 

Sorry if my original post sounded like we do school all day. We certainly don't. We eat breakfast, and play until 10am then do school until 11:30 (in increments, of course), and then dd1 and I do 30 min of reading & math facts in the afternoon before naps(around 2:30).

 

Oh, and all the other subjects are not from a curriculum - they are books that I have checked out from the library and I keep renewing them b/c we can't seem to find a chance to read them. That is my issue! All those wonderful books (we are reading leif the lucky right now) and not enough time! History, music, science, Bible, etc. are all just books that I read to them. I still read to them whenever they want me to but those were "special school" books that we would read at special times and now that time is seeming to slip away...THAT is all I was saying:glare:geez

Edited by kmacnchs
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You do realize, don't you, that if you put your three-year-old in "first grade" that you'll have a 7 year old trying to logic-stage work?

 

I think you are pushing way, way, way too much. There's really no reason at all that you should be doing what you're doing with preschoolers and toddlers.

 

Tara

 

I know:glare:

 

I am looking into what to do about that...

 

I don't want her to graduate at 15! but am I just to stop teaching her even though she wants to learn, loves to learn, and is learning (it's not over her head)?

 

ETA: that's why we are not doing SOTW and will start that later and maybe do vol 1 over 1.5 yrs or maybe even 2 so she won't be learning "modern history" too soon...

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The problem with homeschooling is that once you start, you can't stop! Let me explain...

 

I was SOO (overly) excited to hs so when my dd1 knew her letters & sounds, we started right away! I don't regret it, but now I have a 3, 2, and almost 1 yo and I am having a hard time getting everything done.

 

dd2 gets math and phonics done and dd1 gets math done while ds is asleep for morning nap. dd1 gets phonics, grammar, and spelling done from when he wakes up to lunch time (takes less concentration). We get reading (dd1 to me) and more math facts done while the littlest 2 start their naps.

 

I used to get history, science, art, Bible, even some music done at night but now that ds doesn't take an evening nap, those subjects are going by the wayside and I DO NOT want that. Esp. Bible! Ds eats books and doesn't want to sit still for long so I can't do it w/him in my lap.

 

They all still take afternoon naps so even if I dropped dd1's nap, that leaves the 2yo out of Bible (don't want that) and the other subjects (which she loves and it is good practice for her to sit still).

 

Maybe I want advice but really, I am just throwing myself a pity party:tongue_smilie:

 

 

I bought Slow and Steady and made up a lot of the tasks for my youngest, she is just now almost 2, and getting into school. We have tons of toys that she can only play with while we are doing work. She will listen in while I read. She wouldn't do that till just a few months ago.

 

Before that we just did what we could, when we could. We have time, but I do understand what you are saying.

 

Might want to post over at Accelerated next time, you won't get the same responses as here. Feel free to email me, or message me. I have links to bloggers like us, that do homeschool early.

 

* I am not pushing my children, I am being dragged along kicking and screaming *

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Gosh, I personally would hate to lose them to so much official school. Our younger-than-sevens pretty much play and do creative things all day.

 

Yes. :)

 

Not because your children aren't capable, but because play, exploration, creativity is developmentally their "job." And because these years are so precious. I love the stage we're in right now, but I would give so much to have just a few of those precious play-sing-snuggle-read days back with any of my children.

 

I, too, acknowledge that you (the OP) did not ask for advice, but as an experienced mom with formal experience and schooling in child development I've got some advice anyway. ;) Take it for what it's worth to you and your family, of course.

 

Skip formal instruction and play. Right now their brains and bodies are telling them to explore, to move, to touch, to pretend, to really truly look at things. The world is still so new!

 

Embed teaching into play. You can count, do reading activities, fine motor development, music, art, science and nature experiments in far more natural play-based activities that balance their developmental needs. Paint because it's fun and talk about color mixing while you do it. Check out Mudpies to Magnets from the library and do experiments. Sit down to color and write or do seatwork type activities when they ask, or leave those types of activities out as choices, but don't worry if they want to get up and run instead. Bake together, measure and mix. Make words out of play dough. Build things with blocks, play in the water, dance. Plant seeds in a pot and watch them grow. Take things apart and put them together. Read history-based picture books and science books and music books and art books along with regular picture books. Let them choose the books they want to read to and with you. Read the Bible to them out loud while they color and play with blocks, and read children's devotions with them.

 

They have years of sitting still ahead of them. They've got years of "have to" and schedules. They'll learn it most easily and naturally when their bodies and brains are ready.

 

Cat

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I know:glare:

 

I am looking into what to do about that...

 

I don't want her to graduate at 15! but am I just to stop teaching her even though she wants to learn, loves to learn, and is learning (it's not over her head)?

 

ETA: that's why we are not doing SOTW and will start that later and maybe do vol 1 over 1.5 yrs or maybe even 2 so she won't be learning "modern history" too soon...

 

Don't stop, just go wider and deeper. If she graduates at 15, get a heads up on college. Two of mine when to community college early.

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Holy guacamole! That's a lot, GOOD FOR YOU! :party:

 

With three at those ages, I'd be good to get 30 minutes of reading done a day :p

 

Instead of a pity party, you should be :hurray: throwing an "I'm so awesome" party.

what she said....but don't burn them out! PLAY!!!

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I bought Slow and Steady and made up a lot of the tasks for my youngest, she is just now almost 2, and getting into school. We have tons of toys that she can only play with while we are doing work. She will listen in while I read. She wouldn't do that till just a few months ago.

That's what we do - thank you Tools for Tots!

 

Before that we just did what we could, when we could. We have time, but I do understand what you are saying.

 

Might want to post over at Accelerated next time, you won't get the same responses as here. Feel free to email me, or message me. I have links to bloggers like us, that do homeschool early.

 

yeah, too late I guess...I thought since this wasn't a curriculum question, it should have been in the general board...oh well

 

* I am not pushing my children, I am being dragged along kicking and screaming *

 

NO STINKING KIDDING!!!:lol::lol::lol:

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WE PLAY PEOPLE!!! WE PLAY!!! I PROMISE WE PLAY :D

 

I counted it up - we play 6.5 hrs a day. That may not seem like a lot but that does not count eating 2.5ish hrs/day, sleeping (incl. naps) 13.5-15 hrs/day (dep. on the child)...that leaves 1 1/2 hrs of sitting still (me reading to them, them reading to me, counting, etc...like I said, it's not like we sit around doing wkshts all day!

 

We do not do as many science experiments (though we have Mudpies to Magnets) and craft projects as I would like (only about 1/week) but that wouldn't change much even if we weren't doing school during the week. That is just not my personality. It is not much of an excuse and I try to implement it more and I will continue to do so but me and prep. work do not do well. When they go down at 8pm, I pretty much crash too. Believe me, that is why we are doing OPG and Saxon (NO PREP WORK) - well, I think I would love them anyway ;)

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Don't stop, just go wider and deeper. If she graduates at 15, get a heads up on college. Two of mine when to community college early.

 

yeah, and that concept is easy for me to grasp for everything but math...how do you go wider & deeper for math? I know others do multiple curricula but if I get a 1st grade curriculum from diff. publishers, won't they basically be covering the same thing?

 

I actually AM asking for advice on this one :D

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WOW! What a response. That'll teach me to post!

 

that time is seeming to slip away...THAT is all I was saying:glare:geez

 

Nobody is attacking you personally. We are just trying to politely point out that with kids 3 & 2 years old, you shouldn't be stressed out because your school time is being eaten away by other things. Of course you should still read books to your kids, and of course you should still challenge them. Just keep your expectations of yourself realistic with all that you have on your plate!

 

FWIW, my advice would have been the same on the Accelerated board.

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I think you need to just hear what everyone is telling you: your kids are young. And while they are capable to do this work you give them, it doesn't mean you have to. You would better service your kids to let them play and do field trips and bond with each other than any kind of school right now. They are telling you that you will get burnt out. You are already frustrated with your schedule and inability to get it all done. Listen to them.

 

I taught my kids at 4.5 and 4 to read but honestly....looking back we could have waited a year or two. Now I feel like we can't get back that time. It's easy to want to push. Don't.

 

That is what everyone is telling you. Go read about the teens and college kids...the moms here are all wishing they had more time with their kids. not time to do school. Time with them. Mine are only 8 and 6 and the time is flying by. I wish we could go back a few years. It's too fast!

 

I don't know...before you defend your way of doing things...consider how many moms here have been in your position...they are all telling you to back off and put away school. If your dd can read then get her library books. But get outside and play and do the kid classes and travel...and seriously consider waiting on school.

 

It's not the first time your dd's ages caught my attention. it's ok to look at curriculum and have a plan. Just wait. Just b/c a kid can do it, doesn't mean he should. I have no regrets starting history a year after most of our friends did. If your dd's are so advanced...they will be in 2-4 years as well and able to fly through anything you throw at them. Try enjoying be a mom to your kids. School can wait in your case.

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Just b/c a kid can do it, doesn't mean he should.

 

Can you explain this to me? I have the mentality that "if a kid can do it, why not?" why hold them back just b/c that is what would happen in ps? that's part of the reason I hs! So I can go at their own pace!

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yeah, and that concept is easy for me to grasp for everything but math...how do you go wider & deeper for math? I know others do multiple curricula but if I get a 1st grade curriculum from diff. publishers, won't they basically be covering the same thing?

 

I actually AM asking for advice on this one :D

 

 

Living maths! There is the history of maths to consider, famous mathematicians to learn about and the whole world in which to apply what they've learned. You don't want them turning out like my brother:

Him: "Hey, what's geometry?"

Me: "What do you mean, what's geometry? You passed it at school!"

Him: "Yeah, I probably did. But what's geometry? What's it for?"

 

:glare:

 

Rosie

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Can you explain this to me? I have the mentality that "if a kid can do it, why not?" why hold them back just b/c that is what would happen in ps? that's part of the reason I hs! So I can go at their own pace!

Because it may not be good for them. Children develop in stages. They need to learn certain deveopmental skills before they move on to the next one. It's like learning to walk before learning to crawl; skipping this step can actually cause a child to have reading difficulties later! My daughter taught herself to read at age 4. She loved to read. But by age five, all that reading before her eyes were ready caused visual problems, resulting in expensive therapy and glasses. I wish I would have said, "Stop reading! Go outside and swing!". Just because our kids can do something, doesn't mean we should let them.

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yeah, and that concept is easy for me to grasp for everything but math...how do you go wider & deeper for math? I know others do multiple curricula but if I get a 1st grade curriculum from diff. publishers, won't they basically be covering the same thing?

 

I actually AM asking for advice on this one :D

 

 

Differnt curriculum providers will approach problems from a different perspective. I use Singapore and Saxon. Singapore it more thinking math, as Saxon is hands on, but they compliment each other well.

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WOW! What a response. That'll teach me to post!

 

I didn't get into details b/c I didn't want to post an ultralong post.

 

I'm not sure what some consider seat work but my dd1 does about 1-2 wkshts/day (at diff. times) and my dd2 does NO wkshts! We do school orally b/c they are so little (writing waay harder than reading:)). My ds take an hour & 1/2 nap so we do calendar work, then dd2 plays next to us while dd1 & I do math. dd2 & I do phonics and math (read her 1st sentence today :) and learning to count) while dd1 does her fact sheet or a wksht (only 5-10 min). Then, she watches Elmo's world while dd1 & I finish up other subjects.

 

Sorry if my original post sounded like we do school all day. We certainly don't. We eat breakfast, and play until 10am then do school until 11:30 (in increments, of course), and then dd1 and I do 30 min of reading & math facts in the afternoon before naps(around 2:30).

 

Oh, and all the other subjects are not from a curriculum - they are books that I have checked out from the library and I keep renewing them b/c we can't seem to find a chance to read them. That is my issue! All those wonderful books (we are reading leif the lucky right now) and not enough time! History, music, science, Bible, etc. are all just books that I read to them. I still read to them whenever they want me to but those were "special school" books that we would read at special times and now that time is seeming to slip away...THAT is all I was saying:glare:geez

:grouphug: I think you're doing an incredible job.

I bought Slow and Steady and made up a lot of the tasks for my youngest, she is just now almost 2, and getting into school. We have tons of toys that she can only play with while we are doing work. She will listen in while I read. She wouldn't do that till just a few months ago.

 

Before that we just did what we could, when we could. We have time, but I do understand what you are saying.

 

Might want to post over at Accelerated next time, you won't get the same responses as here. Feel free to email me, or message me. I have links to bloggers like us, that do homeschool early.

 

* I am not pushing my children, I am being dragged along kicking and screaming *

:iagree: Thank goodness you're here :grouphug:

yeah, and that concept is easy for me to grasp for everything but math...how do you go wider & deeper for math? I know others do multiple curricula but if I get a 1st grade curriculum from diff. publishers, won't they basically be covering the same thing?

 

I actually AM asking for advice on this one :D

Luke and I have been using Miquon (that's my 3yo). The orange book and (mostly) the Lab Sheet Annotations. They have TONS of good ideas in that book for teaching math. Luke loves it. It takes me awhile to get the stuff together for a "class," but he really enjoys all the props and "drawing" the numbers with his fingers and things. Get the cuisinaire rods too, he likes to use them in the book, even if he's not really sure what he's doing, they're colorful and he enjoys them.

Can you explain this to me? I have the mentality that "if a kid can do it, why not?" why hold them back just b/c that is what would happen in ps? that's part of the reason I hs! So I can go at their own pace!

I understand it for some things (like moving through stages), but a lot of the time I'm agreeing with you. I don't hold the dcs back unless I can see harm in their moving forward. For things like reading or math, I don't really see the harm. Having read the other post answering this, though, I will make sure I'm getting big, easy to read print for my youngest, once we come to that.

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Can you explain this to me? I have the mentality that "if a kid can do it, why not?" why hold them back just b/c that is what would happen in ps? that's part of the reason I hs! So I can go at their own pace!

 

I understand how you feel. In my case, I connect with my kids in a cerebral way first. Some moms are naturaly touchy-feely, snuggly moms. Other moms are the fun-type and love to take their kids to amusement parks, zoos, etc. Others like to get in the floor and play board games, cars or dolls. In my case, snuggling and zoos are something I have to remind myself my kids need...but sharing knowledge with my kids is how I show my love for them. It's how I enjoy them...it's our play. So when my oldest kids were younger, I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I wasn't teaching at least part of the day.

 

That said, problems arise when you begin to feel you 'should' be teaching them. By all means, teach them, enjoy them, challenge them...but let go of the shoulds. The shoulds are what create regrets. I think that's what we're all trying to say. Quit worrying about the extra stuff you aren't doing and focus on doing exactly what feels right every day. At the end of the day, let the rest go. You have years to fill in with content. Years and years yet.

 

Barb

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I beg to differ with the popular opinion in this POST.

 

Children at this age can and do work ahead. Some of us are not afraid to allow our children to grow. At this age majority if not all that we teach them is through play. You can't force a 2 year old to sit for 5-6 hours of seat work, and no one in their right mind would. I have a 3.5 year old doing K & 1st, he will be doing all 1st & 2nd before he is 4. I assure you he is NOT stressed.

 

(Thanks Sonlighters, I have heard this all before a million times, it is the reason I don't go over there anymore. OP did not ask for any opinions, until she asked about math. Yes I recognized two of them.)

 

I would never ever presume to tell any of you how to raise your children. It still amazes me that so many can tell OP and parents like her, how to raise theirs.

 

Stepping off my stool ! Sorry OP. Responses like this just really chap my hide.

 

See you over at the Accelerated board.

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I hesitate to engage in this conversation...it's my opinion and I am not looking for a reply.

 

Ok, so your dd knew sounds at 1. Great. Makes sense to put a book before her. Wow, she learns to read. Okay, so you put more books before her. But her reading level is high for her age. Do you know how hard it is to find appropriate books for a super young age? You start struggling to find things ok to read without having to read everything first.

 

O, the child gets numbers. Why a math curriculum? Why not practical math skills in life? If she's so savvy at this age then hit the grocery store for adding, subtracting and some %% lessons. Another poster made a good point...when you hit logic stage will the child be at logic stage mentally? Maybe, Maybe not. And now you have a child who has done curriculum and there aren't many choices to wait it out...oh those life skills come back....back to the grocery store or learning how to really know how much the loan for the first car with cost....

 

I think you could meet your dd's needs without curriculum. I think 3 year olds should be in Mommy/Me classes doing art or music. I think 3 year olds should be doing a gymnastics or dance class. Even soccer if a league is out there that young. I think 2 year olds should just enjoy being a kid.

 

My 8 year old doesn't love 'school'. He loves to read about things though. He learns through his reading, his field trips, his history related videos. But he did love to do school at age 4. He loved ETC. He loved HWT. He felt so big doing school. He was proud. Putting MUS Primer in front of him so young didn't help him love math. It may for some. But what happens when your dd hits that math fact wall so many kids do? But she's hitting it at 4 and not 6. Are you going to panic and buy another curriculum? My son loved school at 4. Doesn't so much now. We have had to really back off in some areas at times and let him be an 8 year old boy.

 

I personally think your dd will have a burn out before age 7. Maybe not in all areas. The fact you felt the need to post here and complain about not getting it all done means it bothers you. How stressed will you be when at age 8 your dd is done with K-6 curriculum but unable to move until pre-algebra?

 

I remember moms here telling us moms with 4 and 5 year olds doing too much to back off. They were right. Go enjoy museums. Go on field trips. Go let your kids be KIDS. They won't ever get this time back. They aren't old enough to ask if they prefer school to playing. They will always remember doing school. My kids can both say they remember when we just played. but barely.

 

I think there are some very wise women on this board. I rarely get into this kind of posting. But your situation just made me sad for your kids. And I say this knowing some people with really smart, able kids...but you need to consider just being mom and letting your kids be kids and all of you learn to just enjoy each other and let life teach them. Sure, if the child asks about numbers talk about it, read about it, maybe show on the fridge with number magnets the concept she's asking about. But I wouldn't do a curriculum at their age. I think a lot of moms here wish they had done ONE MORE YEAR of field trips and fun classes while they could. We were all told to wait. I bet most of us didn't.

 

Life is too short to rush school. Learning can happen in life without the text books. So can your child do it? You say she can. But it doesn't mean you have to put her in a classroom situation at home. You could instead allow her to learn in life. Learn through play. Learn while having fun in fun classes. Learn by being with you and siblings just playing all day.

 

And it would be scary to you to stop. But it would be worth the time you get with your kids. Just b/c she can doesn't mean you have to. What if you waited? And did the curriculum at the appropriate ages? Would she learn less? Nope. She would just fly through it faster ;-)

 

Whatever you decide...really make sure they are the reason you do it. Will their memories of their young childhood be of mommy playing with them? at the museum? at the park? in the kitchen making cookies(think of the math!)? It's your life. It's your picture frame of memories. Fill it as you want. But you are filling their picture frame too. Make sure it's good. And fun. I bet no kid would ever say I wish I had started school earlier....like at 2 or 3. Most want more years to play. And those that start later often catch right up.

 

So that is why I think just b/c a kid can, they don't have to. Take it for what it's worth.

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Don't stop, just go wider and deeper. If she graduates at 15, get a heads up on college. Two of mine when to community college early.

 

yeah, and that concept is easy for me to grasp for everything but math...how do you go wider & deeper for math?

Here's all I can think of at the moment:

*discuss & play with things like measurement--get a toy measuring tape; we have one like this that I got for $0.49 at a thrift store:

51db0lT0HML._SL160_AA160_.jpg

You can also "measure" things by using toys--how many toy cars/books/dolls wide is this toy box?

 

*Teach patterns. Start with the AB pattern (like red, blue, red, blue, red, blue...). Then ABC (red, blue, green, red, blue, green...). ABB (red, blue, blue, red, blue, blue...) and so on. The complexity of patterns that you teach will depend on what your child is able to grasp. For example, can she see the pattern in AABCC and repeat it? (No need to use the letter names, just use objects/toys in place of the letters.)

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I'm going to be one of the odd people out here, and tell you that I think what you're doing is just fine. I'll admit that when I read your original post it sounded like a lot, but after you clarified it didn't sound like too much. My kids are 5 and 6, and I started them on similar things when they were 2 and 3 -- about an hour to an hour and a half/day, and like you there wasn't much seat-work involved. I'm glad I did start early. DS struggles with some things and probably would be a grade behind right now otherwise. He is in his age-based grade (1st). For a kid who would be classified as "special needs" if I sent him to school, this is awesome! DD is a year ahead. She was just one of those kids who was ready. In fact, she's 10 weeks ahead of her older brother in phonics because he struggled so much with our new phonics program that I had to bump him down to K phonics at the beginning of the year so we could pin-point his weak areas and give him some more time for everything to click. I think it's great that DD is a whole year ahead! It feels like I have a buffer zone now. If she struggles at some point then we can take our time and go slowly and she won't be "behind" where she would be in public school. Another big benefit I found with my son is since I started him early, we aren't losing time with (as many) discipline issues now. I've seen it with friends who have started their similarly-tempered, energetic sons with school at 5 or 6, and they have spent a year or even 2 working out the kinks and the discipline issues. We've been doing school for so long now that my son knows what to expect & knows what will and will not be tolerated. That sounds like basic stuff, but remember -- my son would be considered "special needs" in school, so getting him to understand our expectations takes A LOT of work!!!!! I've also worked most of my kinks out and school has a good flow to it. I'm very, very happy I worked all of those things out BEFORE he was in 1st grade when I have to start reporting him to the state! An early start isn't for everyone, but is right for some people. I have no regrets about starting when we did.

 

I know it's hard not to get upset over the comments and the "let them play" advice (I used to hear it too on another board), but the ladies here truly aren't trying to be mean or hurt your feelings. Their advice is given with the best of intentions. If you can take it in the spirit it is given, you'll be less likely to get upset. The fact of the matter is, most people who start that early end up regretting their decision. Most -- not all. I don't regret it.

 

BTW, have you thought about doing file folder games with your kids? They take some work to put together, but they're great learning tools, and very portable. Since you have another little one, you'll get lots of use out of them. I used to take them with me to use with my daughter (starting at age 2) when my son had therapy. It was learning through playing, so she had fun doing them, and they kept her entertained in the waiting room. At that age we did file folder games with colors, letters, and shapes mostly. We still use them for 1st grade, but they're a little more academic now. The kids still love them, and they really reinforce the concepts they're learning in a fun and accessible way.

Edited by jujsky
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Because it may not be good for them. Children develop in stages. They need to learn certain deveopmental skills before they move on to the next one. It's like learning to walk before learning to crawl; skipping this step can actually cause a child to have reading difficulties later! My daughter taught herself to read at age 4. She loved to read. But by age five, all that reading before her eyes were ready caused visual problems, resulting in expensive therapy and glasses. I wish I would have said, "Stop reading! Go outside and swing!". Just because our kids can do something, doesn't mean we should let them.

 

:lol::lol:dd1 learned to walk b4 she learned to crawl!:lol::lol:

 

I guess we're just messed up all around!:lol:

 

As far as the eyesight thing goes, I have heard that before and that is a major concern of mine - I try to make sure everything is in large print (even her Bible)...

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Can you explain this to me? I have the mentality that "if a kid can do it, why not?" why hold them back just b/c that is what would happen in ps? that's part of the reason I hs! So I can go at their own pace!

 

I don't think the advice you've gotten is as much about holding them back as it is about honoring all of their developmental needs. Learning to sit still is a habit, but one much more easily taught when they're ready...teaching all areas at the child's pace. There are many ways to challenge a young advanced child (any level young child, really) cognitively without doing seatwork, or any formal academics. Heavens, today at the pool we had an impromptu mini-physics lesson because the kids were interested the ways the water moved and how we moved in the water.

 

That's not to say NO academics, NO seatwork, that it's not ever appropriate. If your children are getting plenty of play time (when you posted you couldn't fit all of their academic work into the day, I admit that I jumped to the conclusion that your day was filled with academics) and you all enjoy what you're doing, that's enough, kwim? There's no rush to try to fit it all in right now. You'll have more time later. Really. And if they're having trouble with the sitting still, then maybe the cognitive needs can be addressed in other ways that meet both needs.

 

It's not an academic or accelerated issue. They're only this little once. It really speaks to my heart right now because my babies are growing. I don't think "I wish I'd worked with them more." But I would love to bring back some of those days in which we just learned what we learned, got up and said, "What do we want to do today?", discovered the world around us. Every day something new. And my kids were well-grounded in music, science, math, art when we did start formal seatwork and instruction.

 

Cat

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Ok, I'll be a little nicer here and give no reprimand. :)

 

You're doing 1-1/2 hours a day of intentional activity. That's pretty much what I did at that age, so I see no problem there. You're doing more than some people's kids, most people's kids, are ready for at that age. There IS some question of development, the eyes, etc. There are books on that (Better Late Than Early, etc.), so you can just read and sort through those issues for yourself. In fact, I think it's really wise to balance yourself out with your influences. Don't just read classical homeschooling books! Go RIGHT NOW and go get yourself and unschooling book or 3. Seriously. I'm not saying you're going to become an unschooler, but I like the balance I feel, the freedom to have a lot of influences and breadth and the wisdom it brings, by reading across philosophies rather than pigeon-holing into one.

 

Now, there are some things I wish I had done differently. When you've been up the road a bit, there are things you look back and realize would have been nice or fun or engaging to do an at early age, things that would have seemed "advanced" but might have been quite fine. Grammar would not be one of them, sorry. Grammar at age 5 is cool because it's a lead-in to the latin or greek you're about to start. But at age 2 or 3 there's no PURPOSE to it. I mean seriously. No reprimand, just saying if I were picking a list of things to memorize at that age, it would be Scripture, French (or another foreign language), poetry, and science/history facts, something useful.

 

On the math, you don't need to do another 1st grade math program, mercy. Saxon is a grade behind anyway, so don't think more of this than it is. I've already started my 16 month old on his skip counting. I figure if we start now, he'll be a pro in a few years, utterly painlessly. :) Then move on to square roots and useful formulas. This is the memorization age, so it's a great time to memorize! You like the Bible, so do a Bible verse a day with them. Seriously, at this age they can!! I would have two passages going. Do a passage together as a family, something like a chapter from Psalms, then have a selection of more verses they can chose from as a challenge. Let them compete a little and milk that dynamic! For every verse they memorize, they put up stickers. It's school, it's competition, it's good, but it's useful and practical to the age.

 

If you want Bible to get done, do it 1st. Timberdoodle sells some wonderful, wonderful little devotional books they are probably ready for.

 

The reasons you're feeling tired and like you can't get it all done are: 1) you're trying to do things separately, rather than combining and allowing them both to work together, and 2) you have a lot on your plate. Until I had a 1 yo in the house, I didn't know how short days could get. LOL Seriously, some of what you're feeling is the age. Combine these chilluns, get more efficient, and do the most important things first. Go for content, but get content that is stimulating. Facts are cool, because then they can read books and recognize them. I'd do SOTW and Egermeirs at this age before FLL, sorry. And yes, we read aloud hours every day when dd was that age. And I put books on tape on while she played.

 

Just keep working at it. You'll find your balance. Don't try to be too formal. Get the content but in more relaxed, more playful ways. Take nature walks and do your math on the walks, that sort of thing. Do it in the sand...

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I'm going to be one of the odd people out here, and tell you that I think what you're doing is just fine. I'll admit that when I read your original post it sounded like a lot, but after you clarified it didn't sound like too much.

 

I know it's hard not to get upset over the comments and the "let them play" advice (I used to hear it too on another board), but the ladies here truly aren't trying to be mean or hurt your feelings. Their advice is given with the best of intentions.

I think most of the initial responses were in reaction to the first post, which did appear to be much more schooling than it is (which we now know after she clarified).

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Have you seen http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_SUPERARTICLE&node_id=180&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=50c4ec4a-2688-47f6-bde6-1ce7a83601aa The books here are WONDERFUL. They would be so much fun with your kids. You're not sacrificing content, but you're doing it in a fun way.

 

What is Tools for Tots and why did you do it? I'm going to go read more, but my quick search said it was for sensory integration. Is it special needs??

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I think it's great that DD is a whole year ahead! It feels like I have a buffer zone now. If she struggles at some point then we can take our time and go slowly and she won't be "behind" where she would be in public school.

 

OMg! You could have taken this right out of my brain! If it takes more than a year to get through some grades (as it has for K and will for 1st, I'm sure), NO PRESSURE HERE! I love that! B/c I am prone to beat myself up (see OP) :tongue_smilie:

 

Another big benefit I found with my son is since I started him early, we aren't losing time with (as many) discipline issues now.

 

:iagree:It's not like we're done with disciplining (by a long shot), but "school" started out with learning how to sit still (practice for church) and obey mommy. It is a good time to practice since for the rest of the day, they are running around CRAZY:willy_nilly:

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Have you seen http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_SUPERARTICLE&node_id=180&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1&__uuid=50c4ec4a-2688-47f6-bde6-1ce7a83601aa The books here are WONDERFUL. They would be so much fun with your kids. You're not sacrificing content, but you're doing it in a fun way.

 

What is Tools for Tots and why did you do it? I'm going to go read more, but my quick search said it was for sensory integration. Is it special needs??

 

go to http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/2008/06/tot-school.html

and go from there. There are some GREAT ideas. It is just fun games for tots. dd2 does some activities when dd1 is doing school and they both do some whenever just for fun.

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Do you know how hard it is to find appropriate books for a super young age? You start struggling to find things ok to read without having to read everything first.

 

I'm sure it will get harder but right now we are loving Lobel and some Stepping into the Classics. I am hoping that reading Classics will help...we'll just have to wait and see I guess.

 

I think 3 year olds should be doing a gymnastics or dance class.

 

Both girls do gymnastics and LOVE it (but that's 1 night/week - doesn't affect what I do every morning with them)!

 

But what happens when your dd hits that math fact wall so many kids do? But she's hitting it at 4 and not 6. Are you going to panic and buy another curriculum?

 

She hit that wall in K and we did buy another curriculum. She gets it now and I see that switching curriculum (while not bad in and of itself) was not the reason...but you live, you learn, right?

 

I personally think your dd will have a burn out before age 7. Maybe not in all areas. The fact you felt the need to post here and complain about not getting it all done means it bothers you.

 

It bothers me that we don't get time to read for other subjects but I am playing w/some ideas on how to fit it in (making some days "short" days) but I did not mean to complain...just vent a bit...sorry it bothered you.

 

But your situation just made me sad for your kids.

 

 

:lol::lol: You keep feeling sorry for my kids... I keep saying what am I to do with DRS (three) on my side of the family and people that got 1500s and were saluditorians on my dh's side of the family (apparently those genes skipped me - I'm just average intelligence).

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Tot School is mom's who blog, and show examples of what their little ones are doing. There are all different levels of things. I steal idea's from them all the time. At least 90% of what we do is play, it is a fantastic way for little ones to learn. Mine however love to listen to me read too, and my oldest really enjoys reading to his sister.

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Aw, what's a little IQ. :) The little rascals are kind of self-driven though, eh? My ds does the same thing, dragging books for me to read, every day sucking up more and more. Just enjoy it. Remember though, there's more than just regular school subjects. Do french, chinese, sign language, nature walks and identifying all the trees, all the spring flowers as they come up. Keep nature notebooks and make collections. There are other types of learning. IEW has a poetry memorization book, but you can also read the Helen Ferris poetry anthology to them quite enjoyably. We did Kindermusic at that age. You could get the cd's and do it together, with all your kids. It's basically musical play. I have the cd from the session we did when my dd was young (4?) and my ds16 months LOVES it. So think diversely. You can put on Vox Music Masters cd's in the car or while they nap or color or build with legos. You can put on language tapes while they play.

 

I always considered that I was trying to give my dd the richness of my enjoyments, not just advance her.

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:lol::lol: You keep feeling sorry for my kids... I keep saying what am I to do with DRS (three) on my side of the family and people that got 1500s and were saluditorians on my dh's side of the family (apparently those genes skipped me - I'm just average intelligence).

 

I hate to say it, but this sounds a bit of a "hey, poor me, my kids are such geniuses" sort of post. My husband went to Columbia at 15, I graduated from Yale early....and so what? My kids are bright, but part of my job as a parent (especially when they're so young) is to show them that life is full of fun and joy and beauty and love. Stress, IMO, should not be part of the equation at this age.

 

And if YOU'RE stressed about their 'academics', then on some level, THEY'RE stressed. You migh investigate whether other issues are at work here, perhaps your own ego (and believe me, I have had issues with the ego at play myself, so I understand).

Edited by Halcyon
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A Do french, chinese, sign language, nature walks and identifying all the trees, all the spring flowers as they come up. Keep nature notebooks and make collections.

 

 

Thanks for the suggestions! They are eating up sign language these days. They can't get enough! Gotta love libraries! All this learning and not a cent spent :D

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I hate to say it, but this sounds a bit of a "hey, poor me, my kids are such geniuses" sort of post. My husband went to Columbia at 15, I graduated from Yale early....and so what? My kids are bright, but part of my job as a parent (especially when they're so young) is to show them that life is full of fun and joy and beauty and love.

 

And if YOU'RE stressed about their 'academics' when none of your children is even 4 yet, then I believe there's an issue at work here, perhaps your own ego (and believe me, I have had issues with the ego at play myself, so I understand).

 

yeah, that part of my post was not right - it just put me off to say that someone was "sad" for my kids.

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Ok, I went to that Tot School site, didn't realize you were referring to a blog. There's a book of the same name.

 

What I WISH I had done with my dd, and what you can believe I'm DEFINITELY gonna make time to do with ds, are the activities in this book http://www.amazon.com/Activities-Fine-Motor-Skills-Development/dp/0743936892/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266018536&sr=8-1 The activities at that Tot School blog look fine, but they're like what lots of people do. I totally kick myself that I didn't understand, when my dd was young, that skills have progressions at that the POINT of all these finger games, crafts, coloring, etc. was to build those fine motor skills, that they weren't randomly selected or just for entertainment or even dependent on whether she wanted to do them or not. I was familiar with the educational play stuff, from working in K5 for three years, but I didn't really get the WHY.

 

That's what I was saying. It's easy, when you're new to this, not to get what are the most important things to chose. If you take nothing else, take that from the wise women on the boards here. They're ahead of you, some also with extremely advanced kids, and they're saying that if you had to chose between things, you'd lean toward what they're saying.

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You know, I really think the OP is just enjoying motherhood the way she would like to. We all have changed from those first years, haven't we? For goodness sake, she's only been a mother for 3 years. I remember those years - wanting to do everything perfectly - keep them healthy, keep them disciplined, keep them educated, keep them loving and humble, etc. So many things I needed to do in order to be a perfect parent. We all learn what works for us, what our priorities are. But, we all have to go down that path of discovery alone.

 

I remember the countless strangers that I met on the streets, as I had babies in tow, that told me, "Enjoy these years. They go by so quickly". Sixteen years later, I understand fully. I don't presume to know the answers anymore. I love every minute with my kids. I don't want it to end. But, I had to get to that point myself.

 

I loved doing "organized" things in those earlier years; I just never called it "school". We baked, we had theme weeks, we had "summer camp" with the neighborhood kids, we read tons of books, we would go to the zoo after reading books on zoo animals. I throw theme birthday parties that would make others vomit, because I get way too involved with learning about the theme and making it part of the party. It's just the way I am.

 

OP, I looked at your photo site. Your kids look happy. You know to enjoy them while they're little. In a few years, you will be a different, wiser mother. And in a decade, you'll be even wiser. Enjoy every step. Sometimes, you'll push when you shouldn't. Sometimes, you'll be a slacker when you shouldn't.

 

You'll know when it isn't working anymore. It's called a mother's instinct.:001_smile:

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yeah, that part of my post was not right - it just put me off to say that someone was "sad" for my kids.

 

DD 3.5 OPGTR, FLL 1, Saxon 1 Math, SWO A, level 2 readers

DD 2 OPGTR, Saxon K, & learning how to sit still (will ALWAYS be, I think :glare:)

Together: K12 Geography (revised), Music, Art, Science, and Math books from library, Bible, Tools for Tots

DS 10 mo Walking!! yay :D

 

I don't feel sad for your kids. I do think you're a bit nutty, but not necessarily in a bad way. ;)

I just keep thinking about how I have an "accelerated learner" (well, at least one) who could potentially graduate at 16, and he never had any "real" school until he was 5. If he had started at 3, I suppose he could have potentially graduated at 14, and that is just something I feel is completely developmentally inappropriate, regardless of what he "can" do.

 

If I feel that way about a 14yo's developmental appropriateness, it would be silly for me to NOT feel that way about a 3yo's.

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