Jump to content

Menu

School tedium. Is it me, or is it my curriculum?


Dubaibokkie
 Share

Recommended Posts

We need to start year 3 mid September and I am dreading it. The children don't really enjoy school; year 1 was fine but I felt that in year 2 I was just on a train to tick all the boxes every day. DS10 drags his feet with anything written; DD6 just wants to get it all done asap and ends up "tapping her feet" while waiting for me and DS. I feel like a donkey trainer with a carrot and a stick. We spend so much time doing all the boring stuff that we never get to do the fun things (sometimes we used to finish at 4 or 5). We did start late - I am not good at routine - I think I procrastinated each day just because it was so boring or tedious for me. What am I doing wrong and how can I change my attitude?

Oh, we were doing 2 SL cores - so 4 reading books daily and 2 Science programmes, Rosetta stone French, Singapore Math for DD6, Horizons for DS10 - doing everything daily for 4 days. Should I change to another curriculum so I can combine? We would be doing SL F I think (Eastern History) which would be too advanced for DD. The Science we weren't crazy about either this year - practicals were incidental and I have been looking for a more "experiment based but with no writing" programme with no success - please HELP! :eek: Any ideas welcome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went through something similar when we were doing K12. I did it for 3 years and switched this year. I've never used SL, but I've heard it can be quite time-consuming. It might not hurt to change things up. I feel like a lot of pressure has been taken off me since I switched, and we're trying to build in the fun things. I'm only 3 weeks in schooling part-time (we start up FT next week) so we don't have a good schedule down yet. I think to make sure we get those fun things in, I might rotate my schedule. Like if a home ec project is scheduled at the end of one day and we don't get to it, I'll just bump it to the top of my schedule the next day. We're also doing more hands-on things this year and my kids are responding a lot better to that than all the seat work they've always done. I would combine what you can and switch some things up. It sounds like you and the kids need a change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thought when I read your post was that, if you've been doing two separate Sonlight cores with all of those read-alouds, no wonder you're feeling burned out! :eek:

 

I also don't think you really need 2 different science programs -- and you don't have to do science every day at your kids' ages, if you're already feeling stressed about the amount of time you're spending on schoolwork each day.

 

My best advice to you, though, is to relax a little. If it doesn't all get done, it's not the end of the world. Your kids aren't headed off to a university any time soon, so it's OK to slow down and enjoy yourselves a bit.

 

As far as I know, no one ever died from missing some of the Sonlight read-alouds, so give yourself permission to not always check all of the boxes. It really is OK to skip stuff if it's bogging you down.

 

And I would seriously consider ditching Rosetta Stone for a while, too. I know it's great for kids to learn languages when they're young, but again, it's not an absolute necessity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We need to start year 3 mid September and I am dreading it. The children don't really enjoy school; year 1 was fine but I felt that in year 2 I was just on a train to tick all the boxes every day. DS10 drags his feet with anything written; DD6 just wants to get it all done asap and ends up "tapping her feet" while waiting for me and DS. I feel like a donkey trainer with a carrot and a stick. We spend so much time doing all the boring stuff that we never get to do the fun things (sometimes we used to finish at 4 or 5). We did start late - I am not good at routine - I think I procrastinated each day just because it was so boring or tedious for me. What am I doing wrong and how can I change my attitude?

Oh, we were doing 2 SL cores - so 4 reading books daily and 2 Science programmes, Rosetta stone French, Singapore Math for DD6, Horizons for DS10 - doing everything daily for 4 days. Should I change to another curriculum so I can combine? We would be doing SL F I think (Eastern History) which would be too advanced for DD. The Science we weren't crazy about either this year - practicals were incidental and I have been looking for a more "experiment based but with no writing" programme with no success - please HELP! :eek: Any ideas welcome!

 

The way I see it, you have three interconnected problems: curriculum, attitudes, and scheduling.

 

About curriculum, you couldn't pay me enough money to do content subjects separately with my kids. :lol: Covering separate historic eras simultaneously would make me :willy_nilly:. It would be hard to feel passionate about what I'm teaching if I spent most of my time feeling scattered. In your shoes, I would strongly consider switching content curriculum (history and science at least) to something you can combine. My kids do all content work together and that, in and of itself, makes school more fun. They can chat and relate about what they're learning. They all learn at their own level but learning together gives them common interests and gives us all a sense of being part of a team. Keeping them together also helps with scheduling, because here no one is sitting around bored or off task waiting for my attention.

 

On the attitude issues, I always think it's good to keep in the forefront of your mind that attitude is contagious, for better or for worse. If you feel like the days and work are boring or tedious, your kids sense that. If you can't get motivated, that's catching too. And if they sense weakness, they will take notice of that and use it to their advantage. (I'm generalizing here based on what I know about my lovely little pack of wolves. :tongue_smilie:)

 

If you feel that the work is boring, surely they do too? Perhaps you need some inspiration, a tool to guide you in reflecting on what a successful, engaging year would look like with your kids? Not how can you get through it but how can you all enjoy it? Starting from the goal and working backwards helps me a great deal. I also think that sitting your kids down for a homeschool brainstorming meeting, pencil and paper in hand, is enormously helpful for getting them to buy in. I ask for my kids' input and make sure to integrate some of their wishes into our school days. I'm a bit of a dork but I also made each of them a "subject captain" for their favorite subject (DS9 for science, DD for art, and DS6 for math). They get to research and plan extras for those things, kind of a project-based opportunity within the bounds of our regular school days. Formal meetings are also a good time for me to make clear to them that we must do x, y, and z and that can happen the easy way or the hard way but, golly, wouldn't we all prefer to have a pleasant time going about it? :D

 

Regarding the lack of fun, many people here will disagree but we start with the fun. (Fun to me equals engaging, not slick, meaningless nonsense.) Maybe kill them with kindness and lure them in with the best kind of bait. For us that means quality read-alouds, thoughtful language arts, art activities, inquiry science, etc. but for you it could be whatever you love and value most.

 

What was your dream when you started? Try to recapture that excitement and start fresh. :grouphug:

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last year was our burn-out year.

 

I ended up writing down all my complaints and then what I wanted ideally:

-there wasn't any fun anymore.

-everything was written for my kid to do independently

-it felt boring

-too much time "schooling", never enough time with anything else.

 

 

And then I went shopping for something else -anything else! I wavered between Sonlight and Winterpromise before settling on a unit study program and a textbook science.

 

Write down what your problems are and what you need. Remake what you have and then buy something closer to your checklist the next go around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two cores from SL seems like a lot to keep up with. I've only used it with ds#3 for PreK (really wanted the reading scheduling), but I couldn't keep up here with 2 (or 3) different history, science, and literature plans. Is there a way to tweak it so that you can maybe lessen how much you are reading aloud each week, or even choose one and go with it (maybe your 6 year old dd doesn't really need much in terms of history/science right now more than overhearing what her brother is doing and nature study?).

 

I had been feeling like we were just checking boxes and spending way too much time at the kitchen table, and though last year was a bit better (added literature as a priority rather than something that was done after the table-work was done), I still felt it could be better. So, this is what I'm working on this year (we are starting week 5 tomorrow, but I'm still planning and tweaking!). Oh, and I have a 6th grader, a very young 4th grader, a comedian of a 1st grader, and an almost 2 year old. ;)

 

-Literature is a huge priority. I have 8 "classics" planned this year (a few are short). The boys love listening to the stories (well, I'm training ds#3 :lol: ). We talk about the story (sometimes using Teaching the Classics as the model); sometimes we'll roll a "narration cube" and go from there. Sometimes we just enjoy and let the story settle in our minds.

-Math is separate for all three boys. But, I have some meaningful independent work for them - all three are learning how to type on the computer, and they have quiet reading time, which gives me some time to help them somewhat individually.

-I combine for pretty much everything else. This year we are studying US history and I'm trying BFSU for science (using the K-2 book even though my older two are well beyond it). I'm adjusting the output based on age, but we'll discuss, read about, and experiment with the same topics.

-I'm doing geography with them using living books (we are using the H. C. Holling books which probable wouldn't work for you unless you are doing some world geography and want to spend some time on US geography like the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River ;) ).

-Nature study, artist study, and composer study are actually taking priority.

 

To get all that done, though, I'm block scheduling a bit and putting some things on Monday that we otherwise would leave for Friday, which often meant it wasn't done because we are tired by Friday after lunch. So, geography (something they are loving) and either artist study or composer study is on Mondays. History or science will be Tuesday and Wednesday. Geography and artist or composer study is Thursday; nature study (which usually means going to the park, duck pond, nature center, etc.) is Friday after lunch.

 

I figured even with my oldest being "middle school" age, I can still allow him to enjoy his subjects in a more relaxed way. There is rigor there ... he's doing Singapore math, Writing with Skill, Latin (with grammar added), and reading on his own 60 minutes a day. But, I realized there was no need yet to make history, science, and the such "not fun". I'm working on making our homeschool Charlotte Mason in implementation ... it's a work in progress, but what I'm doing is working a bit. Our days feel shorter and yet more productive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My best advice to you, though, is to relax a little. If it doesn't all get done, it's not the end of the world. Your kids aren't headed off to a university any time soon, so it's OK to slow down and enjoy yourselves a bit.

I get you Catwoman, but I don't know how to relax! What is the secret formula?:001_smile: I am battling on what to prioritise and can see that I may have to do 2 cores again this year. Which is why I am looking at other curricula; something with less flesh perhaps and more room to do more audiovisual stuff(?). I would like to slow down and enjoy the History and add some crafts; SL doesn't seem to lend itself to this well. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Science but don't know which one to pick, since we have done 3 of them now - do I go easier or harder? DD isn't really interested in Science.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The way I see it, you have three interconnected problems: curriculum, attitudes, and scheduling.

 

About curriculum, you couldn't pay me enough money to do content subjects separately with my kids. :lol: Covering separate historic eras simultaneously would make me :willy_nilly:. It would be hard to feel passionate about what I'm teaching if I spent most of my time feeling scattered. In your shoes, I would strongly consider switching content curriculum (history and science at least) to something you can combine. My kids do all content work together and that, in and of itself, makes school more fun.

 

You are spot on with everything you say. (Sorry, I don't know how to multiquote!) I know the attitude starts with me. Which curricula would you suggest I look at in doing the combined bits? I like your Subject Captain idea - I would love to get their buy in - I only have 2 kids to school after all.

PS thanks for that link, I had a brief look, it looks really good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get you Catwoman, but I don't know how to relax! What is the secret formula?:001_smile: I am battling on what to prioritise and can see that I may have to do 2 cores again this year. Which is why I am looking at other curricula; something with less flesh perhaps and more room to do more audiovisual stuff(?). I would like to slow down and enjoy the History and add some crafts; SL doesn't seem to lend itself to this well. I agree with you wholeheartedly on the Science but don't know which one to pick, since we have done 3 of them now - do I go easier or harder? DD isn't really interested in Science.

 

If your oldest was 6, I might be able to get behind the advice to relax. With your oldest being 10, I would say that instead of relaxing, you would be better served by making a plan that will enable you to relax into it. Does that make sense? That's what you're doing here, I take it. Asking for help making a new plan so you can move forward. For me, there is nothing so relaxing as having a good plan! Without a plan, with unsettled worries in my mind, asking me to relax is like asking me to sprout wings and fly. :tongue_smilie: So, I think you're exactly on the right track here because, for me at least, the secret formula is making change--asking these questions, evaluating answers, and making change happen.

 

What have you done for science that you don't like?

 

Would your DD be interested in nature study more than/instead of science? If so, what are the opportunities for nature study where you are?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Write down what your problems are and what you need. Remake what you have and then buy something closer to your checklist the next go around.

 

Thank you, I think I know now, but I just need to find the right one. I am also terrified of moving away from SL because I haven't seen any other curricula "in person" and some advice I read on this forum also said "choose one and stick to it". I am inherently lazy and afraid of all the groundwork I may have to do with other programmes - what if I blaze and burn?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are spot on with everything you say. (Sorry, I don't know how to multiquote!) I know the attitude starts with me. Which curricula would you suggest I look at in doing the combined bits? I like your Subject Captain idea - I would love to get their buy in - I only have 2 kids to school after all.

PS thanks for that link, I had a brief look, it looks really good.

 

Glad to help. What have you used already? Always Sonlight? Where are you in the history cycle right now?

 

We love Story of the World. It's engaging, has lots of varied activities, can be easily adjusted for different learning styles, and is a cinch to combine ages.

 

For science, I do inquiry (which is loads easier than it sounds). I don't think there would be anything at all wrong with asking your kids what they would like to study, then collecting some good living books for read-alouds and throwing a few experiment books on the topic to your DS. If space permits, you could stock him with supplies and let him just go at it. If he doesn't like to write, he can just have fun with experiments to start. Then you could do covert oral narrations. I write for my kids a lot. Then maybe he could start a science notebook if his interest is piqued by the experience. My kids have a science lab and a tinkering studio. DS9 loves these little inventor's notebooks. DH has high hopes he'll make us rich one day. :tongue_smilie::lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Two cores from SL seems like a lot to keep up with. I've only used it with ds#3 for PreK (really wanted the reading scheduling), but I couldn't keep up here with 2 (or 3) different history, science, and literature plans. Is there a way to tweak it so that you can maybe lessen how much you are reading aloud each week, or even choose one and go with it (maybe your 6 year old dd doesn't really need much in terms of history/science right now more than overhearing what her brother is doing and nature study?).

.

I like this and your scheduling ideas and narration block, thank you. I just feel bogged down as where to start. Perhaps I need to change our "core focus" to literature, then and then add on to these? Also, maybe I missed it, but you don't say how you do your language arts or grammar - is this all included when you do your reading? So there's not a lot of written work?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad to help. What have you used already? Always Sonlight? Where are you in the history cycle right now?

 

We love Story of the World. It's engaging, has lots of varied activities, can be easily adjusted for different learning styles, and is a cinch to combine ages.

 

For science, I do inquiry (which is loads easier than it sounds). I don't think there would be anything at all wrong with asking your kids what they would like to study, then collecting some good living books for read-alouds and throwing a few experiment books on the topic to your DS. If space permits, you could stock him with supplies and let him just go at it. If he doesn't like to write, he can just have fun with experiments to start. Then you could do covert oral narrations. I write for my kids a lot. Then maybe he could start a science notebook if his interest is piqued by the experience. My kids have a science lab and a tinkering studio. DS9 loves these little inventor's notebooks. DH has high hopes he'll make us rich one day. :tongue_smilie::lol:

We used SL from the start because it was all laid out on a day to day basis and if I had a rough week, I could just follow the guides without a lot of prep work. We have finished World History year 2 and were going to move to Eastern History since we live in the East now and may be able to travel to some of Arabia and Asia in the next year or so.

SOTW - I looked at it and fancied year 3. Would it be possible with our ages? How could I tie this up with SL readers? I really like their books and buying one year bulk books saves on shipping (expensive fm US to here in bits)

Science - just chatted to DS who is thrilled by your idea - he can choose weekly topics (subject captain) - and experiments which we will then flesh out. Here's my question - shouldn't I be following some kind of structure with a 6th grader? Like starting chemistry or something?

I have to go out now, but am looking forward to any advice on my return

Thanks so much!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not against changing things up, but quite honestly, I don't know that different curricula is going to help you in the long run. It seems that you're making this harder on yourself than need be. School with a 10 yo and 6 yo shouldn't be overly time-consuming or burdensome.

 

I've used SL for 12+ years and might be able to offer some advice, but I need more specifics, e.g. what levels your children have used. I'm also a bit confused about your children's ages. Your son is a 10 yo 6th grader...?

 

Btw, have you read The Well-Trained Mind?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used SL from the start because it was all laid out on a day to day basis and if I had a rough week, I could just follow the guides without a lot of prep work. We have finished World History year 2 and were going to move to Eastern History since we live in the East now and may be able to travel to some of Arabia and Asia in the next year or so.

SOTW - I looked at it and fancied year 3. Would it be possible with our ages? How could I tie this up with SL readers? I really like their books and buying one year bulk books saves on shipping (expensive fm US to here in bits)

Science - just chatted to DS who is thrilled by your idea - he can choose weekly topics (subject captain) - and experiments which we will then flesh out. Here's my question - shouldn't I be following some kind of structure with a 6th grader? Like starting chemistry or something?

I have to go out now, but am looking forward to any advice on my return

Thanks so much!

 

I wonder if you couldn't start a thread specifically asking if anyone has done SOTW Eastern core with mixed ages and could share plans that incorporate a younger child. You could do SOTW3 but it does have a more serious tone than the first two volumes, I think. Some think it is too mature for a 6 year old. You could easily assign different correlating lit/read-alouds though, letting your DS read about more advanced/mature topics and letting your DD read more cultural and light stuff. (I have read SOTW3 but we haven't done it for school yet. DS6 will be 7.5 when we start, but he's not terribly sensitive, really. :tongue_smilie:) I can't really help with tying in Sonlight readers or advice about the Eastern core though, because I've never used Sonlight myself.

 

I'm confused about your son's age/grade as well. DS9 is in 4th and will be in 5th next year at age 10. Is your son's birthday soon to roll around, maybe?

 

At any rate, as far as structuring science, I would personally focus on getting the love flowing as my primary goal. If chemistry experiments interest him (hard to imagine they wouldn't thrill most 10 year old boys :lol:), start there. I can suggest some specific books that DS9 has enjoyed but he is only 9 and beginning 4th grade so another thread specifically for science recommendations might be a good idea, so you can get advice from those who have BTDT with that age, even specifically with boys who don't take a shine to writing.

 

We study all of the branches of science every year, as I feel it is important to give consideration to how they relate to one another. No one branch of science exists in isolation. But, I'm not even teaching a middle schooler yet and don't know your son's plans for high school and college so I'm not one who can advise you here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like this and your scheduling ideas and narration block, thank you. I just feel bogged down as where to start. Perhaps I need to change our "core focus" to literature, then and then add on to these? Also, maybe I missed it, but you don't say how you do your language arts or grammar - is this all included when you do your reading? So there's not a lot of written work?

 

I know for me things changed when my focus shifted to literature rather than history, Latin, or another content subject became our focus. I think mentally, when we would read a book for history (if we had history as our focus, for instance), I felt like I needed to make sure they understood everything, could repeat it, knew the dates, etc. With reading really good literature (we've been working through the Little House books while also reading things like Black Stallion, Heidi, Jungle Book, the original Winnie the Pooh, Peter Rabbit and other Beatrix Potter stories) allows us to appreciate it for the story itself, for the ideas, for the relationships between the characters; it's not a "subject" for us as much as a time to just enjoy. All that said, we do still read "living books" for history, science, and nature study. The older two boys could have me read to them all day; the youngest boy is still learning that listening to me read is a good thing. ;)

 

In terms of language arts; I'm sorry for being vague. I do try to break up the "sit down and do work" time around here. My oldest was always writing-phobic, and is just now stretching his wings a wee bit. First thing, we have religious studies (we are Catholic, so that includes catechism time) in the living room and then go to the table for math (they also take turns on the computer at this time doing typing practice). Then, there's literature time back in the living room.

 

Usually, we have a break before moving on to either geography, history, or science (depending on the day/week - the goal is four weeks of history and then four weeks of science throughout the year; geography is every week, 1-2x/wk). Typically this involves reading together and then going to the table for an activity, narration, adding to our Book of Centuries, or something hands-on. Then, we finish our day with Latin (we are working through Getting Started with Latin) where I combine grammar (the older two have completed First Language Lessons 3 & 4; my middle son is more advanced in language arts). I use our time translating from the Latin as a chance to teach (reteach) sub/predicate, action verb/direct object, linking verb/subject complement, and we often diagram whatever it is we translated (the sentences are fairly simple and lend themselves well to the above topics). They do write some for Latin in a small composition book, but the lesson is usually no more than 15 minutes in length.

 

Finally they have their writing lesson. Ds#1 is working slowly through Writing with Skill level 1. It's not his favorite and it is stretching him more than he'd like, but it's a good thing. Ds#2 is doing copywork and narration/dictation more in line with Writing with Ease level 3 (though I'm using the literature we are reading instead of the WWE workbook). Ds#3, my first grader, is simply doing copywork as it's serving the purpose of penmanship, introduction to grammar and spelling, plus it helps with his reading as I use the books he's reading (Little Bear books right now) for his copywork and I make him read the copywork sentence aloud to me before he writes.

 

The older two are also in between spelling programs right now. Together, they made it through All About Spelling 6; neither are natural spellers. But, they need more reinforcement and I'm tired of doing spelling with them as I'm now starting with ds#3, so as soon as I figure the program out, they will being Phonetic Zoo, which is a much more independent program.

 

So far this year, our days feel shorter in length. I think we are still taking 4 1/2 hours for school when all is said and done. But it doesn't feel that way, if that makes sense. I like breaking up the time reading to them with some sit-down-at-the-table time. I'm also trying to be mindful of how long I'm making them attend to one subject at a time (even my oldest, though he can usually last longer ... it's been tough getting him to that point though). I think doing some geography and fine arts (two things they really enjoy) on Monday is a great way to start. I used to think that Fridays should be our "fun" day and then realized it always got canceled for one reason or another and that was no fun. I don't even think the older two boys are doing less writing, but having it broken up throughout the day makes it feel like less (some for math, some for Latin, some for narration/copywork).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if you couldn't start a thread specifically asking if anyone has done SOTW Eastern core with mixed ages and could share plans that incorporate a younger child.

 

I'm confused about your son's age/grade as well. DS9 is in 4th and will be in 5th next year at age 10. Is your son's birthday soon to roll around, maybe?

 

At any rate, as far as structuring science, I would personally focus on getting the love flowing as my primary goal. If chemistry experiments interest him (hard to imagine they wouldn't thrill most 10 year old boys :lol:), start there. I can suggest some specific books that DS9 has enjoyed but he is only 9 and beginning 4th grade so another thread specifically for science recommendations might be a good idea, so you can get advice from those who have BTDT with that age, even specifically with boys who don't take a shine to writing.

Thanks, I will do that (another thread on SOTW and SL readers and Science)

Apologies, DS is 10 and going into grade 5 - I keep forgetting. However, had he been in school they would have him in grade 6. (British system)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, MLW. Hmmm the idea about 4 week blocks of History or Science - I might just use that - it would give more time to delve into the subject. Your LA schedule sounds very good. I am not brave enough to try Latin, but if I did change from SL would have to supplement this so thanks for the ideas. 4 1/2 hours would feel like heaven!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My plan is this: I'll focus my efforts on history and science towards the older one, and the small one will absorb as she's able. I'll have the little one do a scaled down version of what the older one is doing. I don't have all the kinks worked out just yet, but even now, for example, we are doing SOTW Ancients, and little one insists on having her own map to color even though she has no idea what's going on. The science curriculum I am using, NOEO, says to have the older one do lots more independent/written work, and have the younger one do more oral/ cooperative stuff.

I did this in year one and last year because DD needed to learn to read... well with the curriculum it was not much more expensive to order the whole lot than just the readers - and she liked to have her own books. I did look at NOEO - I can't remember why I decided against it - was it perhaps the blank forms that needed a lot of writing???? I don't know. But you are right, downscaling should be my plan of action :001_smile: Here's the thing - the older one likes the oral/cooperative stuff and the younger likes the independent written work! :glare:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not against changing things up, but quite honestly, I don't know that different curricula is going to help you in the long run. It seems that you're making this harder on yourself than need be. School with a 10 yo and 6 yo shouldn't be overly time-consuming or burdensome.

 

I've used SL for 12+ years and might be able to offer some advice, but I need more specifics, e.g. what levels your children have used. I'm also a bit confused about your children's ages. Your son is a 10 yo 6th grader...?

 

Btw, have you read The Well-Trained Mind?

You are right, Colleen! Dumb, huh? It shouldn't be a big deal.

We have done SL cores A,B and C. DS is going into grade 5, but his classmates would be 10 in grade 6, bit confusing. We started off with B and this year completed A and C simultaneously.

I have read the well-trained mind in bits and pieces. Is there a particular chapter I should go back and re-digest? :blush:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did SL F with my boys when the older was in 6th (11yo) and the younger in 3rd (8yo). We were using the older version that had Eastern Hemisphere Explorer and I haven't used the revised version. We actually really enjoyed this core but there are definitely some books that have content that isn't appropriate for a younger child. I had them both do the work in the EHE but I allowed my younger son to abbreviate works and not use complete sentences. He just was unable to keep up with the volume of work. I carefully reviewed the read alouds and chose a few to skip because I thought the younger one wasn't ready for them. And there were some of the readers that I only had my older son read. I tried to find other books (some of them unrelated to the topic) for my younger son to read at the same time.

 

It turned out to be a really good year but it did take a bit of modification. I would certainly say the amount of modifications I did were a small effort compared to doing 2 cores at once! The only time I've done 2 cores at the same time, I modified them as well. For instance, I didn't do all the read alouds but chose the ones I thought worked best for everyone and read them. The ones we didn't do, I gave to my older son to read on his own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We own SL -all cores through Eastern hemispheres. My kids were dragging with that much lit and no fun activities. 2 years ago we switched to BF American Primary and had such a sweet and wonderful year. We added in lapbooks. They loved them! Last year I tried MFW American Modern TImes. We liked it. There are a few spines I don't love used in MFW so I decided to try our HOD this year. I love that HOD uses great lit and that it gradually builds independence into its cores. We are using 2 cores - Bigger and Preparing. But with all of the independent work in Preparing, I am able to get Bigger done entirely with my youngest with no problem. (I was terrified to try 2 cores!!!) We still haven't mastered the schedule since we are only 1 week into it. And I can't draw conclusions yet. But dd12 said today that she liked MFW last year but she likes the additional activities and poetry and such built into HOD this year. I was excited that she could articulate clear differences and is enjoying them. For me, I think the building in of independence means I personally miss the reading time we had before. Don't get me wrong, there are read-alouds for the teacher still. But they read science alone and I miss that! I could easily remedy it. But I think they need to learn to do it alone. And I can just love my reading time alone with my youngest.

 

Anyway, I wrote this to tell you some of your options that I can speak to directly. Feel free to ask questions about any of these.

 

HTH!

 

p.s. We also bought Atelier art through the coop this year. It is on sale there again now I think. WE LOVE IT!!! They beg to do it in their free time. We have done Mark Kistler too. They like Atelier better. It is the only school thing they have ever asked to do outside of school besides watercolor nature study!

Edited by walkermamaof4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...