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Hi All,


I'm new to the forum. I don't specifically homeschool based on the "well-trained mind" philosophy or book, but often when I am Googling around for information, I find myself reading threads from this forum, so I figured I'd join.


My name is Jennifer and I live in Huntsville, Alabama. I homeschool my two girls, grades K and 2. In basic academic areas, we have a lot of structure, but in other areas, I'm almost like an unschooler (though I kind of hate that term), especially with my K child. We use a hodgepodge of materials and we keep a fairly consistent schedule, but I am always flexible.


My kids are both using Math Mammoth daily, although with the 2nd grader she is really struggling to complete those assignments, and I just purchased Teaching Textbooks which I am eagerly awaiting. I think we will take a few steps back with her but my idea is to use Teaching Textbooks and then use MM for supplemental skill practice. Meanwhile my K child is plowing through 1st grade MM with no problem. That is a topic I will probably have to post about at one point - as a mother of course I know both of my children have their gifts but there is no doubt traditional academic material comes FAR easier to my 5-yr-old than it does to my 8-yr-old to the point where they are in some ways operating almost on the same level academically. This is really hard on my 8 yr old as she starts to notice her baby sister meeting or exceeding her in some areas, and I can't hide it. My 8 yr old has mild dyslexia, speech articulation delays, and some other learning challenges, but I'm not just being a boastful mother when I say that she is bright and has so much potential - but she is a dreamer who lives in her own world and has some challenges to overcome.


Aside from the math curriculum, I use no formal/boxed curriculum. I am a religious Jew, so a lot of the available materials out there are not a good match for us. I have a variety of writing, phonics, and workbooks we use daily to develop greater fluency with reading and writing. We use a program called Homeschool Advantage to drill math and geography facts. For social studies this year, my 2nd grader and I are reading and doing a variety of materials using the American Girl historical character books as a foundation.. Right now I have been allowing my older girl to do free reading to develop a love of reading, but for the second semester I would like to start doing something formal with literature (don't really want to go there with the AG books, because the AG books, for us, the focus is all on American history.) My K girl I just have do daily out-loud reading, writing, phonics, and math, and then let her freely play and learn or do crafts. To me that is what K is.


Both of my girls are enrolled in homeschool PE at the YMCA twice a week, which is fabulous. Once a month they do historical homeschool classes at a local historical landmark here in town. Twice a month they are in homeschool science classes at the science center, and my husband, who is an engineer, has taken it on as his task to engage the girls with most of their science enrichment. I teach them piano and art.


Other than that, they are not in any formal homeschooling co-op. I formed my own Jewish cover school here in Alabama because no other one was available and we just serve a couple families of wildly differing ages so we don't do much together. We are involved in Girl Scouts and the girls attend religious school twice a week, and the girls take a recreational dance/gymnastics class.


I have been homeschooling for about a year and a half now. My oldest went to K at public and had an unspeakably horrible teacher in 1st grade and I pulled her out and haven't looked back since. I always wanted to homeschool ever since becoming a mom, but my oldest was social and excited about going to public K so I didn't want to hold her back. We always said, as soon as public school started turning learning from a joy to a tedious chore we would pull her out - so we did. Not that it is never a chore at home, of course, but there is always a purpose for everything my kids do, a purpose that is unique to them!


Probably more info than anyone here cares to read but I thought I'd offer some background as I care to post!

Edited by zenjenn
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Welcome Jennifer!


so glad you joined us, this is really a great place to learn about other homeschool methods that we might not have explored otherwise.


In the past, when I have dealt with a younger child passing up an older sibling- and it was bothering the older child- I have switched one to a different curriculum so it is not so apparent. Materials that are not labeled by grade are helpful with this. We have had times when it mattered, and then times when the kids did not seem to care, it kind of changes according to their emotional state.


-another Jenn:001_smile:

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Welcome! :001_smile: There are lots of helpful ladies here! Do some searching amongst the posts too... lots of times the questions you have have already been asked and you can peruse more information than you really need!


Sometimes the challenges we face with our children and homeschooling can seem overwhelming, but I try and remember that we'd still be facing these challenges with our children even if we weren't hsing. And... the great thing is when I find something that works I can enforce it at home and at "school". God amazingly gives me solutions when I ask for them! :001_smile:


Enjoy your time here! If you don't have the WTM book I would highly suggest it! Sometimes I get overwhelmed here with all the great ideas. I start making things tougher than they need to be. Rereading WTM always focuses me again and reminds me that educating my children can stay simple! (Well, as simple as 4 kids ever is! :lol:)

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