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husband and I have disconnect over curriculum, please help!


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My husband and I have a disconnect on what curriculum to choose for our son for the kindergarten age 5 this September. It is only a $200.00 investment that I am agonizing over but perhaps my son’s love of learning or lack there of as well. And I wish to have a one mindedness between my husband and I over this. I don’t know what to do. He reads nothing about homeschooling. He just relies on me and then opposes me on certain things now. We have ALWAYS been of one mind on everything until got to this point. Please read on:

 

My husband’s position: (At least it seems to me is thus: What is most important to him I feel is preparation for reality which is ‘everyone hates school’ and things like ‘the love of learning’ and ‘learning style’ are a bunch of hooey and that Montessori is for kids who are mentally challenged. So buck up and do it. It does not matter whether it fits the child or not. We all made it through school some how so what’s the big deal. He definitely wants me to homeschool. Also he feels we need to keep beneath the radar and stay with an accredited curriculum so we will not be targeted by the government. He likes Mother of Divine Grace curriculum for this reason. Mother of Divine Grace is accredited, it comes highly recommended by the founder of Trivium private school (7th and up.) No we are not planning on sending our son there. It is just highly recommended. He would like me to start a program when my son is in kindergarten age (which means this September.) To help explain my husband let me add that my husband is Hispanic and much of his childhood was spent in Dominican Republic during a totalitarian regime where if you said the wrong thing you would disappear. He also feels since our son is darker than both of us and because of our last name, that he/we could be easily targeted. To back up his fear on the playground a little girl of about 5 yrs old wanted to play with me but not my son. I asked her why and she said that my son’s face was too dark! So I guess he has some point. I live in a nice area of southern NJ. In the summer my son can get to a beautiful dark golden color especially on his legs. Also my husband is against having our son repeat a grade. I feel that it might be very good for our son to repeat kindergarten. I explain to him that there is a big jump from 5th grade to 6th grade and a big jump from 8th grade to 9th grade. And if one had to repeat a grade past let’s say 2nd, then people will talk and our son would feel it. Its best to do the repeat in K than later on. He disagrees and says one grade builds on the next, and that is that. He does not believe that there are any big jumps. I don’t know how to back up what I am saying. For me it was just one grade after another. I believe in the trivium fashion it does jump more largely from 5th to 6th and from 8th to 9th. But I don’t know how. I have not gotten that far and I have never experienced it myself.

 

My position: Our son’s learning style is very important to me. I see where he is very much of a kinestitic learner. If money were no object I would add an extension onto my home where I would have all the Montessori equipment needed to help my son be prepared. Up to the present moment I have been going to the library every week with my son since he was 3 months old. I have been reading to him daily or almost daily and following booklists for his age. (great books/Charlotte Mason method)(So maybe my son has some auditorial learning ability too but usually when I ask him to do something that he does not want to do I have to ask him to do it at least a few times, typical kid of course.) I have embellished as much as possible on different books in a variety of ways, etc. I also have ‘Montessori on a shoestring’ and when I have the time I make some Montessori manipulatives for him to use. I also have some real Montessori equipment a Montessori teacher friend lent me and is driving down from MA to teach me for the cost of her gas money to show me how to use it. I am very impressed with Laura Berguist especially after her visit to our homeschool conference. I like her program (Mother of Divine Grace) and how it is based on the trivium, it uses many of the books I have already read to my son, it does not seem to be worksheet driven (I hope), it is accredited, and I would have the security of knowing that I am teaching the right things in the proper sequence. My son is trying to teach himself to read. We have been playing a phonics song since before he could talk and he is just starting to read sight words now. He wants to learn to read better. I assist him as much as possible. I have purchased about 1 month ago ‘Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons’ and once I got to lesson 2 in the quick paced fashion, recommended by the author, my son had had enough. I like though how Mother of Divine Grace takes this same book and spreads it over 2 years, compared to the author wanting you to be done with it in 3 months! Wow! My son says he likes school and we completed today lesson 1 of the Seton pre-k activities booklet (I purchased this a couple of years ago and tried it a few times here and there, now he seems to like it and states he wants to do school). It took him, it seemed, a good 2 hours. His handwriting skills are pretty lacking which I know is very typical for a little boy, so he is really where he should be. His pencil and scissor grip has improved greatly though. I am seriously considering NOT purchasing Mother of Divine Grace kindergarten curriculum ($200.00 investment) (at least not right now) and instead continue to do what I am doing (I have to repeat what I did all year though (I have exhausted all my booklists and library for pre-k and k and my library is going through a serious budget crunch so I will probably no longer be able to get interlibrary loans) and add to it Sing, Spell, Read, Write for preschool. A $90.00 investment. Then maybe when he is 6 years old I can start him on the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum for 1st grade or K when he is 6 years old (in essence hold him back 1 year to give him a boost later on perhaps.)

 

Still I have a very successful homeschooler acquainance who states that I should just let him be and don’t do school. She believes in unschooling and my husband of course thinks that is a bunch of hooey too. Her claim is backed up by ‘Better late, than early’ by the Moore foundation, and ‘Raising cain: protecting the emotional lives of our boys’. They sight that children are naturally far-sighted, much better suited for climbing tries and catching butterflies and running around outside. One should not engage a child too early with ‘close work’ especially boys. One can strangle their child’s love for learning and make it harder for them. They back up what they say with many studies. They state that their claims based on readiness data are widely disregarded by the USA school. Yet Maria Montessori states that typically children go through a peak time of wanting to learn to read about at age 5 and if you miss that time then learning to read can be made much harder. And if you read the well trained mind it states (if I recall correctly) that art and music is of lesser importance in the early years (where Mother of Divine Grace feels it is very important in the beginning years) and one should be taught to learn to read, write, and do math early. Of course in the end one needs to know their children and see where they are at. My son wants to learn to read. Every day he works with the magnetic letters on the fridge and goes over to the phonic chart and sounds things out. He often will spell out (with magnets) what he thinks are words and we’ll review for a few minutes. So I think he is ready to learn to read. I don’t want to push. My husband is like ‘push, smush, just do it. And stop being so underconfident.’ I am like ‘I don’t want to ruin his love of learning.’ I don’t know what to do. Please help.

 

One thing I can do is put together as best as I can a mock day with Mother of Divine Grace Kindergarten curriculum since I already have some of the materials (maybe between me and my library ½ of the curriculum but I am guessing really) and see how it goes and see if my son likes it. I don’t know. I would like to try Sing Spell Read Write though first. I think for my son’s learning style that might be up his alley. I don’t want to do that AND Mother of Divine Grace at the same time. The day would be too long. So again maybe I’ll do SSRW pre-k in Sept. 2010 and then Mother of Divine Grace k level September 2011. Yet I still have to convince my husband that this is the way to go. I am taking my husband with me to a local upcoming homeschool conference in hopes that it will help us get on the same wave length. Please any advice you can send my way will be much appreciated. My husband truly has no reading time. I read when I can. I can tell him what I read but his opinions are ground in so I cannot change his mind. Help!

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My friend who is lending me montessori equipment was able to only give me 1 box of equipment. It is in no way an exhaustive curriculum. So that is why I am not taking off in the montessori direction, note added so no one is confused. Thank you! Please advise! Thank you again!

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:grouphug:

 

That curriculum looks like it actually wouldn't take that much time and could be easily tweaked to be even more fun and hands on. For example, you can do the handwriting at first with big strokes in the air and/or in a pan full of sand, then on a white board. Once the gross motor skills are in place and the motions are learned, you can later transition to paper. I even did that with cursive for my 2nd grader, we started from a white board and only transitioned to paper after 3 months of working on the white board.

 

There are also a lot of great fun, free things out there that you could use to tweak and supplement/replace.

 

Pollard's series is free and is like SSRW, it has great songs and fun pictures. It is linked about halfway down my phonics and reading books page.

 

I've remediated hundreds of children who have been taught with sight words. Please teach them phonetically, don't teach them as wholes, I've found that schools that teach them have 30 to 40% of their children who end up with reading troubles. Here is how to teach all but 5 of the most commonly taught sight words phonetically:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/sightwords.html

 

If you speak Spanish, I would personally teach reading in Spanish first. If I spoke it better, I'd do that--it's so much easier to teach blending in a phonetically regular language. In the truly classical days, reading was taught in Latin first via syllables, then in English with syllables. I did teach my daughter to read phonetically with syllables using Webster's Speller, it is very effective. By the end of K she could read out of the KJV Bible. I will use it in K next year with my son. I also have had much success with my remedial students with it. It's free, too. I did it for 10 minutes a day from the white board with my daughter, we made it fun by laughing at the more funny sounding syllables, using different color markers, and later when we got to CVC and other words adding in my phonics concentration game.

 

You can have fun and rigor at the same time, just work in short bursts and use your creativity and the ideas from other creative moms here to make things fun!

 

I'm sorry your son was treated that way. :grouphug: My kids would think he was cute, they love everyone, my daughter's best friend here was born in Brazil.

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Hi,

 

It seems to me your two options are to:

 

a) Do as your husband tells you, or

 

b) Tell him he needs to decide whether or not he trusts you.

 

If he trusts you, he will accept that you are making choices to the best of your ability based on the vast amounts of research you are doing, and observation of your son as a person. He will also agree that he has not done this and therefore, while you will take his opinion on board, your opinion trumps because you are more informed.

 

It doesn't make sense to trust you enough to oblige you keep your son out of school, but not enough to let you make any decisions. I think you and your son would both be very miserable if you are going to be obliged to work against his needs and your conclusions. If your husband refuses to budge, perhaps it would be best all round for your boy to go to school.

 

 

:grouphug:

Rosie

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Hi,

 

It seems to me your two options are to:

 

a) Do as your husband tells you, or

 

b) Tell him he needs to decide whether or not he trusts you.

 

If he trusts you, he will accept that you are making choices to the best of your ability based on the vast amounts of research you are doing, and observation of your son as a person. He will also agree that he has not done this and therefore, while you will take his opinion on board, your opinion trumps because you are more informed.

 

It doesn't make sense to trust you enough to oblige you keep your son out of school, but not enough to let you make any decisions. I think you and your son would both be very miserable if you are going to be obliged to work against his needs and your conclusions. If your husband refuses to budge, perhaps it would be best all round for your boy to go to school.

 

 

:grouphug:

Rosie

 

:iagree:

 

Wise words.

 

Geo

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I"m so sorry your son had to experience such treatment at a young age. Kids can be afraid of what they don't understand unfortunately. Or else they learn it from their parents. :glare:

 

I'm curious as to why you're thinking of having him repeat a grade when he's only 5?

 

If you follow his lead, it will work out. If he expresses an interest in learning to read, by all means teach him. I think you can squelch a love of learning by waiting too long and not giving them what they need. Follow his cue, if he gets frustrated, back off. One thing I did w/ my kids when they were young was to co-read a lot. At first, they are just reading a word or two on the page. Then it got to very short sentences, then longer ones....before I knew it, they'd be reading the paragraph before saying "Mommy, now it's your turn." Make it an enjoyable experience. I think at your son's age, it should be enjoyable. Later, some things just have to be done like memorizing those times tables lol.

 

Have a wonderful journey!

 

Capt_Uhura

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I am wondering why your husband knows so much. If mine tried to be controlling about our homeschool I wouldn't discuss curriculum with him at all.

 

Elizabeth had some good ideas about adapting. Could you use SSWR and just make sure that he is able to read as well as MoDG would have him?

 

There are umbrella schools that will give you their transcripts/accreditation while you choose the curriculum. Have you looked into that?

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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It would really bother me that he was being so adamant about it being his way and totally discrediting my beliefs or methods when he doesn't even bother putting the research or the work into it himself.

 

The two of you have agreed that YOU are going to do this job- of educating your son. Yet- he has to tell you how you should/are allowed to do that job?

 

I don't agree with the person who said maybe school would be better in this situation (even if you do as your husband wants and use 'his' curriculum, there is still a very caring instructor (you!), one on one instruction, as many break times as YOU deem fit, and you can try to modify at least somewhat to make it more creative/fun).

 

But I do agree that the choices are limited and seem to be that you either need to do what he says (and man does it seem controlling) or that you need to tell him "Look, I am not budging on this. It is my job to educate him, I have put tons of time and research and thought into this, I know what seems to work best for him as an individual, I know what methods I am comfortable using to teach, I am the one who is going to be doing the teaching, so you need to trust me and let me do this job without trying to control how I do it when you aren't the one who does the teaching or even reads up on homeschooling."

 

I don't know what else to tell you if it's not even like you can show him things to read that back you up if all he's going to do is refuse to read it or call it a bunch of baloney. I also would not be talking about "unschooling" or what your unschooling friend thinks to him by the way, that's way too extreme for someone like him and wouldn't make a lightbulb go off in his head, it would just make him dig in his heels and go "that's crazy" or whatever.

 

I did, however, find a lot of interesting and legitimate info in that "Better Late Than Early" book (even though I don't like their parenting advice, I like their schooling advice :D)

 

I don't know, maybe your husband would back down if you stood firm enough, maybe you could ease the situation a little if you told him your way would be a trial for this year and the two of you could re-evaluate next year.

 

Rough situation. Good luck!

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Five years old is still so young and (most) boys especially have trouble sitting still and paying attention for long periods of time. You mentioned that you think your son is kinesthetic (most 5 year old boys are this way, IMO) which would make a sit-down for long periods of time curriculum even worse.

 

My son is turning five this summer. I'm in Northern NJ and most boys around here who will be a youngish-5 starting school (a birthday anywhere from January to October) are recommended to wait until they are 6 to start school. I don't necessarily agree with this but I look at it as giving me a chance to take things slow and easy this year without having to worry about him being "behind". I think I understand what you mean by repeating a grade, we are just taking things at my son's pace which means we are doing a very slow combined Kindergarten/First Grade year.

 

If your son wants to learn to read, I would concentrate on this. Read together a LOT. Play phonics games (www.kellyskindergarten.com has a lot using familiar characters if your son likes pbs and noggin and search on file folder games). You don't want to burn our your son or yourself at such a young age. At this age they can learn a ton through playing, while learning to read would provide your husband with results.

 

I agree with many of the others who feel you need to get your husband on board with your ideas. You will be the one implementing any program and a bad fit (for you and/or your son) will make everyone miserable.

 

I know South Jersey is not as diverse as North Jersey (my dh is from Northvale) but I hope that little girl is more of a fluke than an attitude you will run into frequently. It seems more of a unfamiliarity than an actual learned prejudice.

 

On the bright side, NJ is extremely easy to homeschool in. If your son has never been in school, you don't even need to send a notification letter. There is no testing, portfolio, curriculum or review requirements at all. There are a lot of Yahoo groups for homeschoolers in New Jersey, as well as one called Kindergarten at Home, which may help you with ideas as well.

 

Good Luck.

 

Edited to add: around here most kids are just learning their letters/sounds in kindergarten which is why I say we are doing a combined Kindergarten/First this year. I think grade distinctions will come to mean less and less as the years go by homeschooling. Many kids will be advanced in one thing but at age/grade level in something else and even behind in other things. My son is nowhere near ready for a lot of writing but is fascinated by numbers and letters.

Edited by dottieanna29
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It doesn't make sense to trust you enough to oblige you keep your son out of school, but not enough to let you make any decisions. I think you and your son would both be very miserable if you are going to be obliged to work against his needs and your conclusions. If your husband refuses to budge, perhaps it would be best all round for your boy to go to school.

 

I agree. At some point, such division could possibly cause or inflame marital issues. I truly believe an understanding needs to occur between parents in order for homeschooling to be the great opportunity it is. I think I understand that your DH would prefer a more traditional approach for his son's education? And you're fighting for Montessori or Charlotte Mason? If I have that correct, I think you should find a compromise. Perhaps print out the Kindergarten scope and sequence from your local school district, then use your own materials to those topics. You don't want to alienate your DH on a decision that will impact your family lifestyle so greatly. Just MHO.

 

As for a child's love of learning, I worry when I see new homeschoolers talk so fervently about its importance. Because then when the child doesn't show such a passion for school learning, the parent either blames the child for being lazy and ungrateful, or the parent blames herself for not getting something right. FWIW, my son had topics he enjoyed occasionally, but he has never been that ideal type of love-of-learning kid who happily engages in everything educational, sits next to me on the couch letting me read aloud, goes on nature walks, or pursues an academic interest with such vigor as to make a parent proud. My son does the work he's told to do, but all the while he's itching to get back to his room to continue whatever he is doing at the time. It can be frustrating at times because I see homeschooling so differently than he does, but then again, I'm 28 years older than he is and coming from a world of experience and interests that he doesn't share. For me, school is about learning and hoping to find as much interesting stuff as I can. For him, school is something to get through because mom said so. I had to let go of that 'snuggle on the couch' feeling a long time ago. :tongue_smilie:

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There's another recent post here (right now its also on the first page) where someone is asking about Kindergarten Curriculum. Taking a look through there may give you some more ideas about what is "typical" for a homeschooling kindergartener.

 

A compromise may help with your husband - something that looks somewhat school-ish but allows you a lot of freedom on pace and methods.

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How about a compromise? This might be an option that your dh might consider.

 

Mother of Divine Grace was founded by Laura Berquist. She based it off her book Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. That book is readily available and is the equivalent of what she offers through MODG minus the lesson plans. http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Your-Own-Classical-Curriculum/dp/0898706602

 

I recommend buying that book and sitting down with your dh and going over it. It is very easy to see the layout and options. It might give him the opportunity to relax a bit.

 

FWIW.......I would strongly encourage him to not worry about accreditation at the K level. Nor would I inves $200 in enrolling in K. Use the $200 toward materials.

 

Also, MODG is going to allow for substitutions that fit the needs of your child. So, for yourself, relax a little b/c this is an option that is not going to shove you into a box. The flexibility is much greater with a program like theirs than something textbook oriented like Seton.

 

HTH

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At the risk of posting an unpopular reply.... I'm not sure you and your dh are as far apart on this as you think. I'm not totally familiar with MODG, but my inexperienced opinion is that you could still use it and probably accomplish your goals as well as your dh's. Montessori is not the only way to instill a love of learning. If you love what you are reading to him (for example) he will very likely become enthusiastic for it as well.

 

Go to the homeschool conference and enjoy it. Odds are you will both hear something new or unexpected that might give you a different perspective. It is the marrying of your two perspectives together that will likely be most helpful to your son.

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I am using MODG with my children and am enrolled for my highschool age child. You can combine both of your husbands style and wants and yours easily! The way the MODG K is set it, it will be easy to do K this year and repeat next year without feeling like you are repeating,if you should need to. Sort of a Ka and a Kb. You just move forward with the books. I can help you with this as I did it for my youngest. You can also substitute curriculum with MODG easily, it will not put you in a box as much as you think.

 

I make tons of changes and adaptions to the MODG program to fit my childrens learning styles and have never had a problem with my consultant.

 

My dh insisted on being enrolled in the beginning. He wanted the security of knowing the our childrens needs were being met. It is not a matter of him trusting me but rather him doing his job as a father and making sure his childrens needs are met (like dotting the I's) It made him feel more secure knowing that we were enrolled and it was with an accredited school, even though legally it is not necessary. He just wanted to make sure that the decision for us to homeschool would not affect our kids later in life. Sometimes, our husbands have fears to especially when taking a different path. Like your dh my husband comes from a Hispanic background as well, which brings other fears into play. Options that kids here in the US have that he did not growing up. I guess I am saying try to listen to his side and reasons for wanting that, you may walk away with some different ideas.

 

If you need help or more info on MODG please feel free to Pm or email me.:001_smile:

 

Lynda

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My position: the person who is doing the actual teaching gets to choose what instructional materials he or she wants to use.

Edited by Ellie
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There are umbrella schools that will give you their transcripts/accreditation while you choose the curriculum. Have you looked into that?

 

This is what I was going to comment about.

 

Another thing is to keep an open mind and take your dh's advice and consider adding in something you want as well. You both have a say so in your child's education. Having a supportive dh is very important and therefore I'd try things his way and add in other things that you're child will need and you'll what works. Not every child can learn with specific curriculums, no matter how well they are, how accredited they are or anything.

 

I was a mom that is saving EVERYTHING my older children love when it comes to hs'ing and realize that no matter what I saved it may not even be how my youngest can learn. Your curriculum may be a changing thing forever in your journey, so be open to that. If you dh doesn't read anything about hs'ing that doesn't mean he understands it less.

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I'm a little confused. You say you think he needs to repeat Kindergarten, yet it sounds like he hasn't even started Kindergarten yet? How do you know he would need to repeat it? I don't see where he needs to repeat anything... you're homeschooling, you can teach him where he's at, whether that's pre-k for some things and K or 1st for others.

 

Also, may I say that you sound like you're waffling, yourself? You don't want him to lose a love of learning, and you're so scared of that, that you're not really sure which curriculum you want. Maybe this is what your DH is picking up on and just wants it to be decided already, so he is giving you *his* solution. Maybe if you were just to pick something, show him all that it teaches, and start doing it and he sees progress he'll back off?

 

As for your DS, it sounds like he wants to read, so teach him to read! I know, I worried (still do) about the whole love of learning thing. I also have a DS who is 5. These are the things I tell myself:

 

1. My DS doesn't really like to do *anything* he *has* to do when he has to do it, whether that be brushing his teeth, eating his food, or putting away his toys, and I don't worry about the joy of doing those. He resists everything, so it's really nothing new if he resists schoolwork.

 

2. Once he is actually doing something, it's usually fine. He'll try to run off to his room when I get out the math stuff, but once he's actually doing it, he seems to enjoy it. Also, he'll ask to do math, and STILL try to run off to his room when I get it out. Other times, he'll say (and has said) he doesn't like reading/learning to read, but guess what? He reads ALL the time. He picks out his own library books and rarely asks me to read them to him anymore, because he's reading them himself. He even brings books to read in the car, and has started to read books in bed at bedtime. But will he say he likes to read? Nope! He's just contrary like that.

 

3. Now that he's actually 5, if we weren't homeschooling, he would be going to public school for too many hours a day, so I *don't* feel guilty about requiring him to do an hour or so of schoolwork a day. (Less now that we are starting to wind down for the year.)

 

4. There *are* things he really likes to do and looks forward to...such as when we go snuggle in my bed while I read science books or chapter books to him.

 

Anyway, have to run. Good luck and don't worry so much! (I have to keep telling myself that too.)

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Why does your son need to be assigned a grade? He has 12 years to "catch up" and when the learning for certain things comes with readiness, it will come fast.

 

My oldest didn't read much until age 9. He does have some learning disabilities, but if I had held him back he would be 12 and in 3rd grade!

 

Everyone progresses differently.

 

Dawn

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While I share the general irritation at the parent who does NO research trying to supersede the judgment of the parent who has done TONS of research... I wouldn't be surprised if you are totally happy with the MODG curiculum. I flipped through the kindy syllabus and the sample lessons and it looks pretty standard for somebody who's planning on providing a classical education.

 

The trick is not to be slavishly devoted to any curriculum. If you want to make Montessori materials and present some Montessori lessons, do it! If your child cries every time you try to give a MODG Music lesson, understand that that element is not a good fit and do something else. And for pete's sake, don't worry YET that he'll need to repeat a grade. Many little boys (mine included) are very difficult to teach the year that they are four, yet completely able to do a kindy curriculum the year that they are 5.

 

Bottom line: it's not worth a fight. Not for $200. If you spend a year using the MODG stuff and don't love it, THEN it's worth the fight to not use it for 1st grade.

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The thing with MODG is that you are only purchasing her syllabus... the books that you will be purchasing can be used now or later even. It's really not that much, as far as work, in the K syllabus. It hasn't overwhelmed me or my Ker, what little of it I have used.

 

Look at Sacred Heart Books, they are cheaper than most places that sell MODG materials and even have free shipping.

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I agree. And I see no reason why you couldn't also work in some Montessori methods for more hands on during the day. You needn't follow a single curriculum word by word for every single subject you teach. Montessori methods are accredited, as well.

 

There are a ton of free Montessori sites online now! Here are just a few:

 

http://www.maitrilearning.com/downloads.html

 

http://www.montessorimaterials.org/

 

http://www.montessorimom.com/montessori-free-printouts-downloads/

 

http://www.montessoriforeveryone.com/Free-Downloads_ep_35-1.html

 

http://montessori-n-such.com/Freebies.aspx

 

And here are some "virtual" Montessori materials, LOL: http://www.virtualmontessori.org/

(Gee, doesn't that defeat the purpose?)

 

And if you feel you must buy a few things, here's an online site that has some good prices:

 

http://www.alisonsmontessori.com/Montessori_Discount_Materials_s/18.htm

 

But over the years, I've also found terrific, high quality wooden puzzles, blocks, etc. from a variety of sources (and the Melissa and Doug company are making more and more things that you might be able to incorporate into your studies). I pick up things for little of nothing at places like Tuesday Morning, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall's, for instance. Fisher Price and others are now coming out with entire lines of classic toys and well made toys from sustainable products, too.

 

And just one more! This site has some of the cleaning and polishing materials, etc. that are typically used in Montessori that I don't find on other websites:

 

http://www.montessoriservices.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=117_207

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I don't see why you guys can't meet half way. I would give the MODG curriculum a try if you both like it. Then incorporate things in as you need to.

For example we use K12 here. There are times I need to present the material in a different way to get the point across. For example sometimes we read a story and create a Lapbook or I find some fun file folder games for my daughters to play to help them learn the concept as they have a mixed style of learning.

So you may find something in the MODG syllabus and say " Hey I saw a file folder game I can make for my son". Then make it and have him play it. Its that simple. Or you may see a board game that would fit perfectly with a topic, or make a go fish card game for learning new words in a story.

If he is wanting to learn to read he is definitely a step up from most kers. If you used 100 EZ lessons with him and it didn't work then either one he isn't as ready as he seems to be and maybe incorporating some phonics games maybe in order instead or its just not a good fit for him. 100 EZl lessons doesn't work for everyone.

 

My three year old wants to learn to read in the worst way BUT the 100 EZ lessons is a little bit hard for her. She knows all her letters and sounds and the most logical step would be to start reading(which she wants) but she isn't quite ready for the pace of 100 EZ lessons either. We tried it and its going very slowly. I think playing some games maybe a better route at this point since she isn't even 4 yet.

 

See what I mean? Homeschooling is about adapting. A curriculum is a tool and don't let it control you. If your the teacher then you can work with it how you will. Just use it as a guide. If you have some montessori materials that fit what he is learning at that time. Use them.

 

Don't get caught up with there is only one way to teach, because there isn't. If your husband is willing to shell out the $200 for the accrediation more power to him. Is it neccesary for kindergarden? Absolutely not. Not in any of the 50 states. LOL. But hey if it makes him feel better then fine.

 

As for love of learning. Hey been there done that. I was caught up on that at one time too. But your going to have to realize they aren't always going to love to learn everything that they come across. There have been many times I've had to learn something that doesn't interest me because I had to. I don't know of a soul on earth that is interested in everything. I used to worry about squashing my girls' love for learning and I too learned that they just aren't always going to be interested in learning about everything. For instance we read about pulleys and levers in science. Girls just aren't that interested in pulleys and levers I can tell you. Would I not teach them this because its not interesting. Absolutely not. Its information they need to know and might need to know when they go to college for whatever reason. It just wasn't that interesting to them, and actually to me. But we learned the material.

Since this is your first go of it with the academic side of homeschooling you could go with your husband's request this first time around. Then if things don't go well then tell him its YOUR turn to make the decision.

 

In the meantime hook up with some other homeschoolers so your dh can see there are many other ways to homeschool than just this one.

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At the risk of posting an unpopular reply.... I'm not sure you and your dh are as far apart on this as you think. I'm not totally familiar with MODG, but my inexperienced opinion is that you could still use it and probably accomplish your goals as well as your dh's. Montessori is not the only way to instill a love of learning. If you love what you are reading to him (for example) he will very likely become enthusiastic for it as well.

 

Go to the homeschool conference and enjoy it. Odds are you will both hear something new or unexpected that might give you a different perspective. It is the marrying of your two perspectives together that will likely be most helpful to your son.

:iagree:

 

I think it's dangerous to see this as a situation in which there are only two possible answers, either you're "right", or he's "right". I think both of you have some very valid thoughts about this and what will be best for your son will be for the two of you to sit down together and find a third (and maybe fourth and fifth) option. Treat each other as corroborators, not as competitors. Sit down together, discuss, and make a list of the goals you AND your husband have for your son's home education. For example, it sounds like he wants your son to have a good work ethic. I can't imagine you'd say that's a bad thing. And I would guess that your husband would prefer that your son not be miserable, as long as he doesn't think the world revolves around making him happy. So instead of discussing whether your son should have a strong work ethic OR love learning, why not discuss how the two of you can foster both of these traits in your son? I would be willing to bet that the two of you can find some common ground and compromise if you stop turning it into a power struggle. You're on the same team here. And this will probably be an unpopular thing to say, based on some of the other posts in this thread, but I think it's just as unkind for a wife to discount her husband's feelings, thoughts, and opinions and do what she wants while ignoring his objections as it is when a husband does that to his wife.

 

 

 

A few thoughts:

 

1. Relax. It's going to be ok. Seriously.

 

2. Almost all children are kinesthetic learners at that age. It's as much a developmental level as a learning style, in many ways. Any responsible text on learning styles will warn you not to get locked into a judgment on learning style this early in the game. Relax. You have plenty of time.

 

Also, It is good for children to have tasks that do not fit their dominant learning style. Most children, barring an actual disability, integrate information using a wide variety of learning styles, and although there may be one or two methods of learning that may be "easier" for a child, it is important that they exercise their learning "muscles" in other methods as well. If a child used his hands better than his feet you wouldn't stick him in a wheelchair and give him tasks that ONLY use his hands, you'd involve him in activities that developed all of his motor skills, though you might let him focus on hobbies that use his hands most because that's what he loves. It's much the same with intellectual development; you want it to be well-rounded.

 

3. We all hope our children will love learning. We also hope they will like to eat vegetables. It is true that sometimes they will just take off, and finding materials that fit their personality and personal learning preferences can make it more enjoyable. It is ALSO true that sometimes in life we all have to just suck it up and do what has to be done. This is an important life skill, and parents should not rob their children of the opportunity to develop this skill before leaving home. It's not kind in the long run. So I don't think it's a matter of EITHER finding materials and methods that make learning a joy OR forcing his nose to the grindstone and just making him do it whether he likes it or not, rather it's a matter of finding the right balance for the individual child so that he will BOTH love learning, at least some of the time, AND develop the personal discipline to just get through what must be done.

 

4. The levels in the trivium are quite flexible and should be adapted for each individual child. Not every child will reach every stage at precisely the same age. Nor will an individual child reach the next stage in every subject or skill at the same time. Your husband is right that skills and knowledge build on each other gradually over time. Children sort of evolve into the next stage, they don't just jump suddenly from one level to the next.

 

5. Grade numbers are fairly arbitrary. If you go into any classroom of same-age kids you will find a very broad range of skill levels in any given skill or subject. In a fourth grade classroom you will find kids who are still struggling to sound out words, kids who are reading high school level texts with excellent comprehension, and everything in between. However, these are all fourth graders, in fourth grade. It is much more an age designation these days, and a guide for teachers so they know which part of the state's list of topics the kids are supposed to be reading about (at whatever level) than an indication of skill. And a fourth grade class in one state will be studying completely different topics than a fourth grade class in another state. In a homeshool situation grade numbers are even more meaningless. You will find that your child has strong skills and weak ones, and one of the wonderful things about homeschooling is that you can tailor the materials you're using to his particular skill set. If he's reading at a sixth grade level, doing second grade math, writing like a third grader, and using a fourth grade text for history, then what grade is he in? I don't know either. And it doesn't really matter. It's whatever grade you say it is.

 

6. Accreditation is not all that important at an elementary level. Colleges do not check your child's elementary school records to see if it was an accredited program. I would be much more concerned with meeting your state's (assuming you're in the U.S.) requirements for homeschoolers. If your state requires attendance records and a book list, and you don't submit it as required, they are much more likely to "come after you" than they are if you submit attendance records and a book list, but the book list is not from an "accredited" program. Even teachers in accredited schools supplement their programs with other good books, and even make substitutions. Following state guidelines will keep you out of trouble much more effectively than getting an accredited program. That said, though, there's nothing wrong with accreditation and if it helps your husband sleep at night, it would be a kind thing for you to take this into consideration because you love him. Also, look up the compulsory attendance laws in your state. I don't think 5 year olds are required to have any sort of school, accredited or otherwise. If you and your husband read over the laws together and you show him how you are complying, that might help him feel safer.

 

7. Having the absolute ideal, perfect educational circumstance for your son is NOT more important than your marriage. It is better for a child to see that his parents love each other and work together than it is for him to have the perfect education. If you have to compromise a little on either your marriage or your child's education, err on the side of strengthening your marriage.

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When does your son turn 6? Generally in K kids turn 6 sometime during their K year in PS (for those of you who have very early learners who were ready, I am talking in terms of general PS K) Now, My dds were ready earlier. My son is NOT. Nor do I think his 4 year old brother will be. We have been doing "pre-K" since last year. Playing games. Counting with manipulatives. Learning body parts. Learning about money. Time. Yes, that is considered K I think, but taking it slow, he is learning it. We will not "officially" Start K until he turns 6 in Oct. I wouldnt consider us "unschooling" him right now, just learning when the moment hits (maybe that is unschooling, I dont know) There are times when he WANTS.TO.LEARN.RIGHT.NOW.AND.NOTHING.ELSE. Then we will go through times when he wants NOTHING to do with learning. I go with the flow. Now, I am already talking to him about how it will change when he is 6 in october, and have slowly been preparing him for that. I have been starting to do SOMETHING everyday (even if just for 5 mins a day) Then when he is used to that, I am hoping by this summer to be working up to 30ish mins a day so when October rolls around it will not be such a huge shock and frustration to him. Now is my crunch time also trying to figure out my last few things I want to do (mainly phonics)

 

So that is just my 2cents for what it is worth. I truly have no ideas on the hubby situation, but you have been given very good advice about that as is!

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You've gotten some great advice here. I just want to add that living in NJ to homeschool is awesome!!! There are no requirements! No tests, no reviews, nothing to turn in. No one is going to "come after you" there. :) Also, there are other accredited schools out there if that is the route you choose. If you want to keep it gentle and fun in the early grades, I would highly recommend going with Oak Meadow. Accredited and more Waldorf-based, it is very fun and gentle for the early grades...it could be a GREAT compromise, especially for kindy.

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I'm sorry I don't have time to reply in more depth (I hear baby waking up, so I only made it most of the way through your post), but I just wanted to say a quick note... I would avoid Sing Spell Read and Write for a little boy who isn't really into handwriting. They require a LOT of it (not so much in the preschool pack, but it's not a very impressive pack, IMHO after trying it with my dd). What they learn in the pre-K curriculum could easily be accomplished in other much less pricey ways!

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So much fantastic advise!

 

Our curricular choices are not similar, but our DHs might be (a little ;) My DH is of a hispanic background too, and I very much think upbringing affects the way one views education styles).

 

So, things I've learned about my DH in 7 years of HSing:

 

1. He wants to be my problem solver. If I express any uncertainty, he doesn't want to learn more and help me make the decision, he want to solve the problem. NOW. I wait until I'm certain before discussing with him (this board is a great place to resolve uncertainty).

 

2. He wants our kids (especially our son) prepared for Real Life. His theory: In Real Life, most everyone dislikes what they do at least some of the time. School should mimic real life. Therefore school should be distasteful at least some of the time.

At times, this would make me so angry. Only recently have I realized that my kids don't really want me to prepare super incredible lessons to spur their love of learning. Most academic stuff, they just want to complete, so they have more time to read and be read to. Then they spend hours making up games and crafts based on what we've read.

 

3. I have found that my DH is totally satisfied on how things are going with school if the children do plenty of chores. Plenty of chores for the kids satisfies his need for Real Life and Order. Plus the house is neater, the children are learning valuable skills, and I have much less work (although there is still the training period and maintaining consistency - never-ending!)

 

You might detect a slight tone of sarcasm in my post. My DH and I are both hardheads, and we have butted them often through the years. I know, however, that he and I want the same for our kids; to be upright, uncomplaining, hardworking, creative learners. I've learned to present things to him that emphasize our mutual desires, and I've learned that I really love how respectful our kids are compared to many of their peers (and I wouldn't have achieved that on my own!).

 

Lastly, my DH was called all sorts of horrid names in school because of his skin tone. It still affects him (he naturally assumes people won't like him). I would avoid school if at all possible. In our multi-racial HS group, people *LOVE* the dark shining hair and olive skin of my children, and my kids are totally confident about who they are and how they look.

 

Best of Luck,

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Whenever my dh and I disagree on something important that I've researched and he hasn't, I calmly tell him that as soon as he has done his due diligence on research and isn't just coming from an "I know best." standpoint, I will be happy to discuss all the options with him. Would this work in your situation?

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I think also, you perhaps would be happier if your husband was more in the results end than the process end.

 

In other words, what he seems concerned about is that your son is learning. He has legitimate concerns as a parent that his son be educated; given that homeschooling is not a familiar concept in his homeland, I think it is understandable that he is particularly unsure of how it works and that you follow your state's laws. I think perhaps you don't need to get into a day-by-day or approach type of discussion with him, but rather involve him more in the "big picture" and also perhaps provide someone else's notions of what someone at a particular grade level is expected to know (whether it's something from your state, from a book, or wherever else), which might reassure him that you are paying attention and do have long-term goals for your son's education.

 

Given that you both like the Mother of Divine Grace program, that is a good start so I don't really see the conflict there.

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How about a compromise? This might be an option that your dh might consider.

 

Mother of Divine Grace was founded by Laura Berquist. She based it off her book Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum. That book is readily available and is the equivalent of what she offers through MODG minus the lesson plans. http://www.amazon.com/Designing-Your-Own-Classical-Curriculum/dp/0898706602

 

I recommend buying that book and sitting down with your dh and going over it. It is very easy to see the layout and options. It might give him the opportunity to relax a bit.

 

FWIW.......I would strongly encourage him to not worry about accreditation at the K level. Nor would I inves $200 in enrolling in K. Use the $200 toward materials.

 

Also, MODG is going to allow for substitutions that fit the needs of your child. So, for yourself, relax a little b/c this is an option that is not going to shove you into a box. The flexibility is much greater with a program like theirs than something textbook oriented like Seton.

 

HTH

:iagree:

 

At the risk of posting an unpopular reply.... I'm not sure you and your dh are as far apart on this as you think. I'm not totally familiar with MODG, but my inexperienced opinion is that you could still use it and probably accomplish your goals as well as your dh's. Montessori is not the only way to instill a love of learning. If you love what you are reading to him (for example) he will very likely become enthusiastic for it as well.

 

Go to the homeschool conference and enjoy it. Odds are you will both hear something new or unexpected that might give you a different perspective. It is the marrying of your two perspectives together that will likely be most helpful to your son.

I also think that after a few years of home schooling, he will see there is little to worry about either academically or otherwise. Give him some time to accept a positive outcome.

 

I am using MODG with my children and am enrolled for my highschool age child. You can combine both of your husbands style and wants and yours easily! The way the MODG K is set it, it will be easy to do K this year and repeat next year without feeling like you are repeating,if you should need to. Sort of a Ka and a Kb. You just move forward with the books. I can help you with this as I did it for my youngest. You can also substitute curriculum with MODG easily, it will not put you in a box as much as you think.

 

I make tons of changes and adaptions to the MODG program to fit my childrens learning styles and have never had a problem with my consultant.

 

My dh insisted on being enrolled in the beginning. He wanted the security of knowing the our childrens needs were being met. It is not a matter of him trusting me but rather him doing his job as a father and making sure his childrens needs are met (like dotting the I's) It made him feel more secure knowing that we were enrolled and it was with an accredited school, even though legally it is not necessary. He just wanted to make sure that the decision for us to homeschool would not affect our kids later in life. Sometimes, our husbands have fears to especially when taking a different path. Like your dh my husband comes from a Hispanic background as well, which brings other fears into play. Options that kids here in the US have that he did not growing up. I guess I am saying try to listen to his side and reasons for wanting that, you may walk away with some different ideas.

 

If you need help or more info on MODG please feel free to Pm or email me.:001_smile:

 

Lynda

Looks like you hit the jackpot, here!

 

Please your husband, who is looking out for what he thinks is best for your family. Let your success in home schooling speak for you, as you do what he's asked and use the program, in your own flavor, and do well with your son. Your friends, unschooling or montessori, don't have to live in your home with an unhappy husband. That alone trumps them in my book.

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Check out the video at www.tacklemedia.com, she easily shows you how to incorporate montessori at home, low budget from the dollar store and garage sales. Definately not all inclusive but works on specific skills for development, i wished i'd seen it 12 yrs ago and it had been there when my middle one was starting school. Definately a kinestic learner and at the time we were doing sonlight with his older brother and i pushed the reading and such, should have waitied a year, he was no way ready for it all - hind sight is a wonderful thing isn't it. my ds is great with handy, mechanical things, but definately not a reader, unless it's a World magazine or hunting magazine, study manual for his hunting license. He has other strengths and quality in character, but definately not a love of learning or reading, which i feel we squelched early on with doing school too soon and not accommodating his hands on needs. try to find a way to work with both your points of view.

jmtc

emily in il

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You might want to check out Oak Meadow's curriculum materials. Samples can be found here. Search for more threads here on OM; it seems a lot of posters have been having great success with it.

 

Oak Meadow puts a lot of emphasis on learning through movement and activity, which sounds like it could be a good fit for your son. Their Kindy year is very gentle. I'd say OM K is similar to what others would consider to be preK/K4 work, so it might be a great fit if you were considering delaying formal academics anyway. Their 1st Grade year is by no means babyish, but it is much gentler than a typical 1st Grade curriculum. By 4th or 5th grade, Oak Meadow is comparable to any other curriculum. It is non-religous, so you can add in whatever fits your family best for religious instruction.

 

And the icing on the cake is that they're accredited!

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Hi,

 

It seems to me your two options are to:

 

a) Do as your husband tells you, or

 

b) Tell him he needs to decide whether or not he trusts you.

 

If he trusts you, he will accept that you are making choices to the best of your ability based on the vast amounts of research you are doing, and observation of your son as a person. He will also agree that he has not done this and therefore, while you will take his opinion on board, your opinion trumps because you are more informed.

 

It doesn't make sense to trust you enough to oblige you keep your son out of school, but not enough to let you make any decisions. I think you and your son would both be very miserable if you are going to be obliged to work against his needs and your conclusions. If your husband refuses to budge, perhaps it would be best all round for your boy to go to school.

 

 

:grouphug:

Rosie

 

 

I haven't read all the posts. I'm sure you'll get some great advice. While I agree a lot with what Rosie said (and in practice my Dh defers to me on school issues), I would say that your Dh has an unusual upbringing. Because of his fear of gov't, I would humor him the first couple of years at least. K'er and 1st typically do not take much time each day. Do the program your Dh wants and make it what you want it to be.

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Is this the school? http://motherofdivinegrace.org/enrollment/pricingbreakdown.cfm

 

It will cost $750. Tuition is $600, the new student fee is $100, and registration fee is $50. You can make payments of $200 until you have paid in full. That cost covers a whole family. That is a bargan for a large family, but not such a bargain for one Kindergartener.

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