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I am a first year Homeschooler and starting to doubt myself again.

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I wrote back in November as I was getting frustrated with all the holes I was finding. You all helped me so much, and I thank you.


The good news, we had the talk last week and decided that we wanted to continue homeschool next year. Yeah!.


However, with all the talk about planning for next year, I have realized just how far we are from finishing third grade. I am not sure what to do. Do we keep working through things and just start 4th grade late? Do we just drop and move on etc...


I re-read the WTM intro and that helped a little, but I still worry that I am going to end up holding my son back.


I am thinking of a mixture.


Just keep going sequentially







Move on to 4th grade



Not sure





Art and music did not really happen this year, but I am trying to look at this year as a decompression year. As someone said to me in my other post, we are learning how to homeschool.


So I guess what I am looking for is;

Do I look like I have the subjects right of what to carry on with and what to draw a line with and start new in 4th grade?

What about the not sure list?

Will next year be easier? We just don't seem to be able to fit everything in.

Am I messing up my kid?


Thanks for reading, I am sorry to be such a pain in the neck newbie. Even with all the research I did, I didn't know it would be this hard.



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First of all, don't panic! Your son is young. You have to keep going on things like math, spelling, latin... Ancient History is fun and interesting. You could make it a 2 year program. Increase writing as he is able. He will still be in 4th grade in the fall. Make a plan that works for you/ds. Are you behind just because (we've all been there), just getting started, expected too much? It never hurts to do math in the summer. :D We do some school a good part of the summer on days that we are home. That's how we got through the math and spelling books. You're doing a great job. Next year will have it's own issues but you will all be used to home schooling. It is not too late to some art/music. Listen to music during lunch, make cards, paint, crafts. Make something that relates to history. We're here with you!

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There will be holes. You will miss things you would have liked to have covered. You can't do everything. On the plus side, your ds will learn about things that interest him, and he will learn them well. He'll learn how to plug those holes, how to find information and teach himself down the road.


Don't get caught up in the "musts" and the proper "grade" level. *I* would continue with the work and just consider him 4th grade. When my kids were younger, I would often begin a new curriculum mid year or anytime during the year, and the pressure was then off to "finish" the book in May/June. It sounds like you think a mixture will work best for your family. Perfect! There's your solution!!


I am not familiar enough with FLL and WWE, but with SOTW, there are no grade levels to change. I'd definitely just continue on with that one. It's not as effective if you miss a time period. It's no big deal if it takes more than a year to finish SOTW, as long as you are happy with what your ds is learning.


Your subjects look great to me. I think next year will be easier for you. You are not messing up your kid. The fact that you continue to monitor your/his progress shows that you are caring, concerned, and on top of things. You won't fit everything in, but it's always good to have that plan. When I start to fall behind, I try to concentrate on what is important to me. That usually includes math, reading out loud AND discussing, and writing of any kind. If we focus on these, we are good. I also monitor screen time. My ds is much more likely to find other ways to entertain himself (pursuing whatever interests him) if the lure of the screen is not an option.


You're not being a pain. It's normal to feel doubts at some point, some more than others, as you hs. We all need encouragement that we are doing the right thing, that we are good moms and good teachers! For now, you are building a stronger relationship with your ds and continuing to lay the foundation for his love of learning. That's much more important that "finishing" any subject, especially while he's this young. Play games, take times to walk, enjoy each other. Have fun.

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HOles! oh the holes!! everyone seemed deeper and deeper and pushed me to despair!!

I bring you good news!


It gets better!!


we brought 4 home 2 years ago!!


my oldest (high schooler)slid right into homeschooling !


I had to take my one then DS-5th grader and 2 (twin girls) 4th graders all the way back to 3rd grade math/grammar

and we didn't even begin History and Science til this year.

We just started a writing program, so far so good


But that being said we did the whole curriculum for math u see and easy grammar and my son will be starting officially in 6th grade curriculum come August 2011

and my twin girls are right where they should be, (accelerated pace actuallY)

They now not only are in the right "grade" books, but have such a strong foundation and have mastered the concepts!

It has been a hard road, more for me!!

but I speak from experience....enjoy them...laugh a lot, don't get anxious. When I start freaking! I shut my teacher's book and say, lets stop for the day!!

and we still manage to have a pretty packed schedule!!

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Relax! The first year is the hardest. We're in our 3rd year and there are still days when I feel like I don't know what I'm doing. There are holes. There will always be holes. You can't do everything. You CAN'T. Accept it and keep going. Look at this this way, your child can know a little about everything or a lot about some things. Cover the basics-math, LA, reading, writing, science (I'd try to keep the languages too). Other stuff can be added when you find the time.

As for FLL and WWE, just keep going and finish the books, then move to the next in the sequence. Don't worry about grade level. That's all subjective IMO.

SOTW has no grade level, it just depends on what you're studying. If you don't finish it by the end of the year, no big deal. We will likely NOT be done with SOTW2 by the end of this year (mostly due to the impending birth of Han Solo), but we'll move on to SOTW3 for our next sequence. At this stage, it's not that big of a deal. They're young (Indy is in 3rd grade too) and this is just a time for them to be gathering information. Once they get older and more independent, they go go more in depth. Think about when you were in school. In history did you ever get past WWII? I don't think I ever did. The 50's? 60's? Beyond? Vague eras where apparently nothing happened. At least nothing worth learning about. :D

You'll do fine. Just keep plugging along. It's hard, but you'll get there. You're not messing up your kid.

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Thank you all so much. I think part of it is the fact that we have decided to keep going. This last year people could justify me homeschooling as ds school closed during the summer. I think my friends and family just thought I had briefly lost my mind. Now that we have committed to another year i am getting A LOT more questions. I think I need to work on the pass the bean dip approach and not doubt myself as much.


I really appreciate all the encouragement. I am the only only one of my friends and family who homeschool. It is nice to have a place that I can turn to who won't start listing off all the fine schools in our area whenever I have moments of doubt. I just need to keep repeating to myself that I am doing what I know is right for our family.


Thank you


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"You should always spend as much time on one level as you need and progress on to the next level only when your child has mastered the first level, whether that come before or after the "normal" age.

"Adjust the time you spend on each subject so that you can concentrate on weaker areas. Your goal will be to bring the child up to fourth-grade level in each aread--spelling, grammar, reading, and writing--by the end of fourth grade (ages 10-11)."


This quote is from WTM and I have underlined it in three colors of pencil (every time I read the book). This is KEY, to me.


Also: "Resist the temptation to spread your instruction too thin. Give the academic basics your best time and teaching energy during these early years."


And: "A second grader who doesn't finish learning her constellations won't be permanently hampered later on. But a second grader who doesn't grasp the concept of writing complete sentences instead of fragments will be hobbled until she figures this out."


(A thousand pardons from those who get distressed by comments from a mother of one.) I would make sure the three Rs are solid before worrying over ANYthing else. You can't do them all day, so some relaxing (fun) hands on science, listening to the classical radio station while playing a mathy card game, or visiting an art museum for *exposure* if you don't have the time or mental energy (either of you) for formal study of art, etc. is FINE as long as you are getting the three Rs down. Get them in place, the skill and the learning how to learn needed to get them down, and kiddo can catch up just fine.

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I wouldn't try and explain any of this to anyone. :) They haven't evaluated the curriculum the ps's are using and they haven't looked at yours. Really, it's "pass the bean dip." My son is 14 and only recently has he figured out what grade he's in and I've told him every year. lol I finally told him that he had to remember because I looked bad. :D

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Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming....


It sounds like you've got a good workable plan in mind. Don't lose confidence! I know how easy it is to doubt yourself in the first year, but keep going.


In your shoes, I would just keep going with FLL, WWE and SOTW.


Next year, you will have a better idea of what works for you. You'll likely continue to tweak your routine, but you've got your subjects and routine pretty well established. There are so many great things to do that fitting everything in will always be a struggle, but it gets easier to choose how to spend time.


You won't mess up your kid. Promise.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Let me just encourage you with this: EVERY homeschooling parent doubts their ability, at least once EVERY year, to sufficiently and effectively teach their children. The consensus, however, is that we are all doing very well. The fact that you're concerned about it shows that you're doing just fine. If you have to hold someone back, then do. But you don't even really have to make a big deal about it. You can just say, "You know, it seems we're having a little bit more of a challenge with (this subject) than with some of the others, so I think it's a good idea for us to look into it a bit more."



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