Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Recommended Posts

My kids are younger, but I've tried to be pretty efficient about our school schedule. We use one math program every day, and right now we use copywork and Latin to cover pretty much all the LA stuff, dd reads some worthwhile literature for about an hour, and we spend at least half an hour on piano. Then we do history twice a week, science reading once a week, and artist or composer study once a week. We also do some practical nature study and watch science DVDs outside of school time.

 

I honestly can't picture doing a separate vocabulary program ever, and I wouldn't do spelling with a child who could spell well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would love to hear more about your block schedule!

 

I will try not to confuse you. :lol: I try to alternate so that I do intensive work with my 2nd grader (she is possibly add & dyslexic-waiting for referral) and with my older two who have very close abilities and ages. So the first two weeks, I did spelling with my 7 and 10 year olds daily and three times a wek with the 11 yo. Otherwise we did two weeks of geology. We did some experiments, read a bunch of books, hunted a lot of rocks, practiced identification, and did many drawings and narrations on them. We memorized Robert Frost's Fire and Ice poem and the oldest two wrote 1 page essays on a chosen geology topic. They researched, wrote, and presented them to extended family. Somewhere in there, they did some math review and my oldest did most of Singapore Math 5A for review. My ds did Key to Percents.

 

Then we did one week of the oldest two working on spelling and SCM Business Math. They also did some handwriting, reading, and continuing geology of their interest. My 2nd grader started a block about Saints & Legends. We talked about Ste Genevieve. She did spelling, vocab, narration, and a review of math processes. This week they are still doing independent math, but also spelling and individual blocks. My son is doing two weeks on robotics and my 11 yo is studying architecture. These focus subjects are mostly independent.

 

Sorry for the novel. But basically instead of doing history or science or architecture or whatnot every day, we focus on them intensively for a time and then they follow their interests and/or work independently on it after that and we move to something else. We will cycle through the subjects. I think we are doing Ancient Greece next. Wow, that was clear as mud. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm another with just young children but I've been following this thread out of great interest. We're relaxed compared to what I could be doing each day if I felt like it was worth the time and effort but having confidence in that, even when my oldest is just six, isn't always easy so I wonder at how much more difficult it might be for those with upper grammar and logic stage children.

 

Honestly though, that whole thing about being relaxed and/or rigorous really confuses me and depending upon which thread I'm in or who is evaluating me, it seems I could go either way. I've been realizing how little someone's signature or other list of resources can really say about them (though perhaps their blogs say a lot, for better or worse).

 

For instance, the OP commented on feeling pressure from other moms who list themselves as doing 3 math programs and multiple languages, etc. which inspired a number of critical posts regarding such people. Some of it is probably warranted but, for example, I could list several things I use for math and DS6 is ahead of grade level, for what it's worth, but I don't spend more than about 15 minutes a day on math, discounting the times it spontaneously comes up in life. I can see one person looking at me or my list of math resources thinking "over-zealous newb homeschooler pushing their firstborn" and another, on the other end, evaluating me as undermining my child's STEM future because I don't use the "highest rated" resources or spend much time on it.

 

As a second example, multiple languages - Latin is eliminating several subjects others are doing but we are not and our modern languages are unique to our needs in part and in part to our natural family proclivities.

 

On the other hand, my "non rigorous" "just reading and stuff" for history and science may make it appear to some that we don't value these things when in actuality DS is an aspiring aeronautical engineer and astronaut (this month) who has always been passionate about all things living and mechanical and electronic and loves history (his parents are both nerds, too, and these subjects are highly important to us).

 

Point being, our list is unique to us and our circumstances (and it's not even about being over-zealous or not caring but a simple outflow of either necessity or individual interest or conviction or habit or time management or opportunity milking). I imagine it is (or could be) the same for others (benefit of the doubt) so I have to remind myself of this when reading someone else's list of resources or subjects and I hope that others are doing the same. Signatures and talking to others can be so helpful but on the other hand, I can see the benefit of keeping what you do to yourself - it keeps you from being misjudged by some and from unintentionally inspiring a sense of pressure in others.

 

Meanwhile, I've really appreciated reading the input from those much further down the road who know how to efficiently provide a rigorous education, maintain passion for life and learning and not burn out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My kids LOVE dictation! Little freaks. :001_smile:

 

There's a tension to hold between relaxed and unschooling.

 

I would say much of our day is reading, and much of the rest is discussion.

 

We have no workbooks for anything. I teach everything-I read the books before they do. We discuss a lot. They also like to write much more than I ask of them. They love dictation, they love Latin, they do love school. They like Rex Barks and think diagramming is fun. We don't do busy work, they don't fill out papers.

 

I think the reason I CAN be relaxed is because I know what they are doing. I've read the books, I ask the questions, I know it. So, if we're discussing and I can tell they're understanding it, we don't have to take a test on it (we don't do tests), I don't need to grade them (I've never graded them). But, that means I'm reading a lot. I know where I'm going to toss the ball, and I know who's punting. I don't need to correct work-we correct it as part of school.

 

In ways I'm NOT relaxed because I have so many kids I'm schooling and to have NO form is to have chaos and that is not good for them or us, order produces wonder. Chaos is not a relaxed momma. So I have a list, and how we accomplish that list depends on how the day goes.

 

:iagree: Great post - thank you. This is really the direction I am going towards, but I worry that I won't be able to do it. I think I'll go get lost on your blog now. :auto:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm another with just young children but I've been following this thread out of great interest. We're relaxed compared to what I could be doing each day if I felt like it was worth the time and effort but having confidence in that, even when my oldest is just six, isn't always easy so I wonder at how much more difficult it might be for those with upper grammar and logic stage children.

 

Honestly though, that whole thing about being relaxed and/or rigorous really confuses me and depending upon which thread I'm in or who is evaluating me, it seems I could go either way. I've been realizing how little someone's signature or other list of resources can really say about them (though perhaps their blogs say a lot, for better or worse).

 

For instance, the OP commented on feeling pressure from other moms who list themselves as doing 3 math programs and multiple languages, etc. which inspired a number of critical posts regarding such people. Some of it is probably warranted but, for example, I could list several things I use for math and DS6 is ahead of grade level, for what it's worth, but I don't spend more than about 15 minutes a day on math, discounting the times it spontaneously comes up in life. I can see one person looking at me or my list of math resources thinking "over-zealous newb homeschooler pushing their firstborn" and another, on the other end, evaluating me as undermining my child's STEM future because I don't use the "highest rated" resources or spend much time on it.

 

As a second example, multiple languages - Latin is eliminating several subjects others are doing but we are not and our modern languages are unique to our needs in part and in part to our natural family proclivities.

 

On the other hand, my "non rigorous" "just reading and stuff" for history and science may make it appear to some that we don't value these things when in actuality DS is an aspiring aeronautical engineer and astronaut (this month) who has always been passionate about all things living and mechanical and electronic and loves history (his parents are both nerds, too, and these subjects are highly important to us).

 

Point being, our list is unique to us and our circumstances (and it's not even about being over-zealous or not caring but a simple outflow of either necessity or individual interest or conviction or habit or time management or opportunity milking). I imagine it is (or could be) the same for others (benefit of the doubt) so I have to remind myself of this when reading someone else's list of resources or subjects and I hope that others are doing the same. Signatures and talking to others can be so helpful but on the other hand, I can see the benefit of keeping what you do to yourself - it keeps you from being misjudged by some and from unintentionally inspiring a sense of pressure in others.

 

Meanwhile, I've really appreciated reading the input from those much further down the road who know how to efficiently provide a rigorous education, maintain passion for life and learning and not burn out.

 

Well said, particularly the bolded. Much as I like seeing what others are using - and using that as a criterion for deciding how to take their advice ;) - I decided to remove curricula from my siggy for 3 reasons: first, it reminds me to focus on the *children* that I'm teaching, and what is unique and special about them, rather than on our materials. Second, I'm no longer sure when we're "using" a curriculum in the way that's normally understood. Particularly for science and history, although we use books/curricula as spines, we use them "our way" and we add in so many living books, rabbit trails, etc. that listing "BFSU" or "SOTW" doesn't even give a taste of what we really do. I imagine lots of us feel that way.

 

Third, I don't want to be judged. For using too much, or too little. For using accelerated materials, or not accelerated enough. For being an overeager newbie with something to prove, or a slacker. Or whatever. I benefit so much from reading posts by experienced homeschoolers, and I appreciate so much the discussions on how we teach rather than what we teach, and I guess this is my effort to participate more on that level. Anyway, I can really relate to SCGS's post. That is all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:iagree: Great post - thank you. This is really the direction I am going towards, but I worry that I won't be able to do it. I think I'll go get lost on your blog now. :auto:

 

I DO need to post! I've reworked the reading lists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After the first 6 wks of utter chaos, I reworked everything. I figured - the curric was really great, but if I was biting off swear words and crying myself to sleep every night, maybe those choices aren't so great for me. So we're taking an interest led approach (mostly) for the next 6 wks. We're focusing on Math, Handwriting, and Writing. I decided for these, I wanted to answer - "what can my dc DO at the end of 6wks", rather than how many pages we've read or blanks we filled. We'll still plug thru Math, as usual. But Writing is more focused to the dc. 9yo is aiming to write a novel. 11 yo is working to craft a really good paragraph, and build up physical writing ability...and will eventually return to WWS. Science and History is purely interest led (I'm having to push, guide a little here). I'm still tweaking this plan, but so far, I feel so much more relaxed and less likely to strangle somebody:) (btw, yes, we dropped grammar and spelling -gasp! and literature is pleasure reading at bedtime and/or when they first wake up in the morning).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My kids LOVE dictation! Little freaks. :001_smile:

 

There's a tension to hold between relaxed and unschooling.

 

I would say much of our day is reading, and much of the rest is discussion.

 

We have no workbooks for anything. I teach everything-I read the books before they do. We discuss a lot. They also like to write much more than I ask of them. They love dictation, they love Latin, they do love school. They like Rex Barks and think diagramming is fun. We don't do busy work, they don't fill out papers.

 

I think the reason I CAN be relaxed is because I know what they are doing. I've read the books, I ask the questions, I know it. So, if we're discussing and I can tell they're understanding it, we don't have to take a test on it (we don't do tests), I don't need to grade them (I've never graded them). But, that means I'm reading a lot. I know where I'm going to toss the ball, and I know who's punting. I don't need to correct work-we correct it as part of school.

 

In ways I'm NOT relaxed because I have so many kids I'm schooling and to have NO form is to have chaos and that is not good for them or us, order produces wonder. Chaos is not a relaxed momma. So I have a list, and how we accomplish that list depends on how the day goes.

 

You know I love you, right :001_smile:

 

Thanks for this thread, I feel like I needed it...And I am ready to faint with whoever fainted at the mere mention of breadth vs. depth after that long thread! :svengo:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something interesting i found out this week, at least for me. When we have nowhere t be in the afternoon, our days are much smoother and relaxed. I can accept that we will "do school" until 5 pm, if by school you mean lots of rabbit trails, breaks, chance to blow off steam, talk a lot. I dont feel rushed. When we have somewhere to be (i work 2 afternoons a week) i get stressed about "getting stuff done" and i havent figured out how to deal with this. The easy answer is "accept that you wont get as much done" but that hasnt worked for me.

 

Yesterday was lovely. We worked until 5 pm, but everyone was happy and relaxed and unrushed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When we have somewhere to be (i work 2 afternoons a week) i get stressed about "getting stuff done" and i havent figured out how to deal with this. The easy answer is "accept that you wont get as much done" but that hasnt worked for me.

.

 

Maybe it would help if you had something the kids could do on their own while you are at work, that still is somewhat educational and does not leave you feeling like stuff did not get done? Maybe designate those two afternoons "reading afternoon" or "documentary time"?

I work, so I can relate. For me, part of school must happen while I am not there. It gets easier when the kids are older.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe it would help if you had something the kids could do on their own while you are at work, that still is somewhat educational and does not leave you feeling like stuff did not get done? Maybe designate those two afternoons "reading afternoon" or "documentary time"?

I work, so I can relate. For me, part of school must happen while I am not there. It gets easier when the kids are older.

 

Thanks! Problem is, my kids go to the Y afterschool, which is VERY loud and not conducive to working. I DO give them "easier" homework, like diagramming , but reading is too hard if i expect anything to be retained.plus, DS says every two minutes his friends stick their heads into the Quiet Room and say "Aren't you done yet?":glare: he says they dont have homework often, and when they do, it is very simple stuff that takes 10 minutes. When they are older and can stay home or stay with DH At his office, i will expect them to get work done. But right now, i can't expect too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In homeschooling terms, it is historically used to mean less rigor.

 

That is really a completely diffferent issue than stress, which is more a product of lifestyle and personality than schooling style from what I have seen.

 

I really think the opposite.....somehow, we manage a much more rigorous course when I let go of my plan and TEACH to my kids. I live in a state that is fairly regulated...and it is difficult to break out of the " school at home" mode, which very structured schooling ends up being....even if some of your subjects happen to be classical in nature.

 

Relaxing your checklist and tuning into the day to day flow of your family, kids and lifestyle is not always easy....and relaxed does not me you let go of the reins and let the cart run wild....it means as you see the educational opportunities availing, you do not worry about the 6 grammar sheets that need to be done. It means you live within the flow and sometimes free fall.

 

I find in my homeschool, we have seasons of relaxing our rein and going with the flow, and seasons of very focused, checklisted academic work.

 

No matter what, we are a homeschooling family, which is our lifestyle...not just our way of educating our kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really think the opposite.....somehow, we manage a much more rigorous course when I let go of my plan and TEACH to my kids. I live in a state that is fairly regulated...and it is difficult to break out of the " school at home" mode, which very structured schooling ends up being....even if some of your subjects happen to be classical in nature.

 

Relaxing your checklist and tuning into the day to day flow of your family, kids and lifestyle is not always easy....and relaxed does not me you let go of the reins and let the cart run wild....it means as you see the educational opportunities availing, you do not worry about the 6 grammar sheets that need to be done. It means you live within the flow and sometimes free fall.

 

I find in my homeschool, we have seasons of relaxing our rein and going with the flow, and seasons of very focused, checklisted academic work.

 

No matter what, we are a homeschooling family, which is our lifestyle...not just our way of educating our kids.

 

Lovely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You know I love you, right :001_smile:

 

Thanks for this thread, I feel like I needed it...And I am ready to faint with whoever fainted at the mere mention of breadth vs. depth after that long thread! :svengo:

 

:grouphug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really think the opposite.....somehow, we manage a much more rigorous course when I let go of my plan and TEACH to my kids. I live in a state that is fairly regulated...and it is difficult to break out of the " school at home" mode, which very structured schooling ends up being....even if some of your subjects happen to be classical in nature.

 

Relaxing your checklist and tuning into the day to day flow of your family, kids and lifestyle is not always easy....and relaxed does not me you let go of the reins and let the cart run wild....it means as you see the educational opportunities availing, you do not worry about the 6 grammar sheets that need to be done. It means you live within the flow and sometimes free fall.

 

I find in my homeschool, we have seasons of relaxing our rein and going with the flow, and seasons of very focused, checklisted academic work.

 

No matter what, we are a homeschooling family, which is our lifestyle...not just our way of educating our kids.

 

It can be terrifying. BUT, if you know the material, it's much easier. You can teach them no matter what, no matter where if you know it. If you don't know it, you reach for the workbook.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It can be terrifying. BUT, if you know the material, it's much easier. You can teach them no matter what, no matter where if you know it. If you don't know it, you reach for the workbook.

 

:iagree: As this realization really sinks in, I am finally understanding what Andrew Kern means by teaching from a state of rest. Not knowing the material, and to me that means not even understanding where the curriculum you are using is going (for instance, I am going through the entire WWS workbook and taking copious notes now instead of just opening to the next assignment each day blindly), leads to a lot of anxiety, at least for me. I may still choose to use the WWS workbook with ds, or MP's CC workbooks, but if I know where it is headed and how it is being taught, then I can *teach* that material from a state of rest instead of a state of anxiety, blind to the process and the why.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It can be terrifying. BUT, if you know the material, it's much easier. You can teach them no matter what, no matter where if you know it. If you don't know it, you reach for the workbook.

 

This is precisely why I spent this summer on more teacher training than anything.

 

I am not reading out of books anymore, I am teaching/lecturing.

 

I find when I read and plan extensively prior to giving the lesson, it is much more interesting and they get more out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It can be terrifying. BUT, if you know the material, it's much easier. You can teach them no matter what, no matter where if you know it. If you don't know it, you reach for the workbook.

 

I think this is very wise. However, and I am sorry to say it, I think a lot of people are "relaxed" meaning "not doing anything other than going about their daily lives". It isn't mom/parent learning and knowing the material, creating a rich learning environment and mom being on hand to facilitate learning and conversations without workbooks/textbooks.

 

I guess that is why there is so much confusion around the idea of "relaxed" homeschooling. When anyone tells me they are relaxed I assume they are playing video games and going on park playdates all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something interesting i found out this week, at least for me. When we have nowhere t be in the afternoon, our days are much smoother and relaxed. I can accept that we will "do school" until 5 pm, if by school you mean lots of rabbit trails, breaks, chance to blow off steam, talk a lot. I dont feel rushed. When we have somewhere to be (i work 2 afternoons a week) i get stressed about "getting stuff done" and i havent figured out how to deal with this. The easy answer is "accept that you wont get as much done" but that hasnt worked for me.

 

Yesterday was lovely. We worked until 5 pm, but everyone was happy and relaxed and unrushed.

 

I have made the same observation here, so many times, but instead of a job it is extracurriculars that lead us out in the afternoons. If we can get four "good days" per week I'm content if the fifth is lackluster, but when one or two of those four days has us rushed to get done by a certain time, it can be stressful for all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is very wise. However, and I am sorry to say it, I think a lot of people are "relaxed" meaning "not doing anything other than going about their daily lives". It isn't mom/parent learning and knowing the material, creating a rich learning environment and mom being on hand to facilitate learning and conversations without workbooks/textbooks.

 

I guess that is why there is so much confusion around the idea of "relaxed" homeschooling. When anyone tells me they are relaxed I assume they are playing video games and going on park playdates all the time.

 

:iagree: I also think of "relaxed" that way. Maybe not necessarily video games, but using computer games and MadLibs instead of, rather than in addition to, a grammar program, or watching documentaries and calling it science with no reading, writing, or output of any kind required.

 

On this board, depending on what month it is, I fall somewhere in between standard, rigorous, Well-Trained Mind all the way, and more relaxed and go-with-the-flow in content subjects. Compared with the little I know of other homeschoolers as a group, I wouldn't say I'm "relaxed", though. If IRL I am asked I say we are "classical", knowing that term brings up various connotations as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have made the same observation here, so many times, but instead of a job it is extracurriculars that lead us out in the afternoons. If we can get four "good days" per week I'm content if the fifth is lackluster, but when one or two of those four days has us rushed to get done by a certain time, it can be stressful for all.

 

Something interesting i found out this week, at least for me. When we have nowhere t be in the afternoon, our days are much smoother and relaxed. I can accept that we will "do school" until 5 pm, if by school you mean lots of rabbit trails, breaks, chance to blow off steam, talk a lot. I dont feel rushed. When we have somewhere to be (i work 2 afternoons a week) i get stressed about "getting stuff done" and i havent figured out how to deal with this. The easy answer is "accept that you wont get as much done" but that hasnt worked for me.

 

Yesterday was lovely. We worked until 5 pm, but everyone was happy and relaxed and unrushed.

 

This is why we actually prefer to have our extras scheduled early in the morning. Then we are home for the day and can take our time, relax and enjoy the material we are studying. This summer we were out most nights of the week for extracurriculars. I had always read the advice that once you reach high school it's best to have the day at home and keep all extracurriculars for evening. We had our taste of evening activities this summer, and we never want to do that again.

 

This fall we have almost everything scheduled for morning and we are so much more well rested and life does not feel so hectic. 4H is still at night, but it's only 2x a month, so we can live with that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:iagree: As this realization really sinks in, I am finally understanding what Andrew Kern means by teaching from a state of rest. Not knowing the material, and to me that means not even understanding where the curriculum you are using is going (for instance, I am going through the entire WWS workbook and taking copious notes now instead of just opening to the next assignment each day blindly), leads to a lot of anxiety, at least for me. I may still choose to use the WWS workbook with ds, or MP's CC workbooks, but if I know where it is headed and how it is being taught, then I can *teach* that material from a state of rest instead of a state of anxiety, blind to the process and the why.

 

i have found this to be very very true. I spend a lot of time going over material, writig notes, mind maps, chats...(i am visual so i use a lot of colorful pencils, imagery, and bright colors) really helps me. With math, that meant writing out in mind map format EVERYTHING i expected my son to understand before moving in to Pre A: fractions (and all its types), decimals, reciprocals, negative numbers, etc with examples and definitions. This allowed me to relax because i could see the big picture (i do believe a board member recently recommended i do this for their ENTIRE k-12 education. I havent done that yet, but i can see where it would be helpful). For latin. This means looking ahead and, while perhaps not memorizing everything quite yet, understanding e big picture:there are six tenses in latin, there are five declensions, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is why we actually prefer to have our extras scheduled early in the morning. Then we are home for the day and can take our time, relax and enjoy the material we are studying. This summer we were out most nights of the week for extracurriculars. I had always read the advice that once you reach high school it's best to have the day at home and keep all extracurriculars for evening. We had our taste of evening activities this summer, and we never want to do that again.

 

This fall we have almost everything scheduled for morning and we are so much more well rested and life does not feel so hectic. 4H is still at night, but it's only 2x a month, so we can live with that.

 

How do you manage to get activities scheduled for the morning? We run around nearly every evening because it seems the entire world is set up for regular school hours and working parents.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think this is very wise. However, and I am sorry to say it, I think a lot of people are "relaxed" meaning "not doing anything other than going about their daily lives". It isn't mom/parent learning and knowing the material, creating a rich learning environment and mom being on hand to facilitate learning and conversations without workbooks/textbooks.

 

I guess that is why there is so much confusion around the idea of "relaxed" homeschooling. When anyone tells me they are relaxed I assume they are playing video games and going on park playdates all the time.

 

Very, very true.

 

When I say it, I mean in that WE are relaxed, not our schooling! :001_smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How do you manage to get activities scheduled for the morning? We run around nearly every evening because it seems the entire world is set up for regular school hours and working parents.

 

The skating rink offers homeschool skating at 10am, practices can be as early as you like. My kids take dog classes at their 4H leader's kennel. They sign up for morning classes and take them with the adults that are there. I wish I could schedule piano for morning too, but we have a high school girl giving the lessons, so she can't come until evening---but she does come to the house, so that's the next best thing b/c we don't have to get up and go anywhere. When they were taking riding lessons we always scheduled them very early and the stable was happy to do it that way since it opened up more time in the evening.

 

I think we are able to do it b/c of the types of activities my Dc are pursuing. The 4H dog meetings are in the evenings since they include other kids. Sometimes, if there are lessons involved you have to ask instructors b/c they will assume you want afternoon/evening b/c of school. I've found when I ask they are usually willing to accommodate. Of course, if it's a team sport, then you're probably out of luck. I did recently inquire about a poetry out loud group that is starting up soon. That might involve a night. I hope not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very, very true.

 

When I say it, I mean in that WE are relaxed, not our schooling! :001_smile:

 

:iagree:

 

We are relaxed in that I don't plan everything out... we go with the flow, more or less. We do, at my command :tongue_smilie: hit the basics daily, and then I allow my childrens' interests to dictate what we follow in history and science, but at the same time, I make sure we do cover those areas.

 

Nope, we're definitely not the sitting around and playing video games all day type of relaxed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing I was thinking about today: how does one become less "controlling" about the school day (in order to allow more free expression of each child's individual nature, and allow them to begin to take more ownership of their day-to-day life) without a lack of structure ensuing.

 

My older really likes it when _I_ dictate the outlines of the day; he doesn't like having too much freedom in this area. The younger one is thrilled when I loosen the reins, however. Anyway, I think I am concerned primarily about my older. I think, as a homeschool mom, I worry that I am micro-managing his life too much. Since I am ALWAYS THERE, he has less drive towards becoming his OWN person....am I making any sense? This is only my older, so I know it's very personality-dependent, and is not wholly related to homeschooling. But as he gets older, I am beginning to think "Wow. All this time with mom.......hmmm. He needs some more time without me." And he does spend time with his Dad, and he does go to afterschool for 6 hours a week where he is basically unsupervised for the most part. (Even there, he has said he "wishes the counselors would direct more games"..)

 

Really, I am just rambling here....and this is a child for whom unschooling would never work, but in a weird way, I almost want him to take more ownership of his day, and I want to encourage this, but don't know how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another thing I was thinking about today: how does one become less "controlling" about the school day (in order to allow more free expression of each child's individual nature, and allow them to begin to take more ownership of their day-to-day life) without a lack of structure ensuing.

 

This is mostly a bump since I am positive that we are on opposite ends of the structure continuum. I think every child should have large chunks of his day unplanned and unstructured by his parents. I think he should have enough time to get bored, find his own solution, and get immersed in it. I also think staring out the window is a valid option for bored children. :)

 

I will be interested to see others' opinions and where this thought pass goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is mostly a bump since I am positive that we are on opposite ends of the structure continuum. I think every child should have large chunks of his day unplanned and unstructured by his parents. I think he should have enough time to get bored, find his own solution, and get immersed in it. I also think staring out the window is a valid option for bored children. :)

 

I will be interested to see others' opinions and where this thought pass goes.

 

Thanks Jennifer. This is a child whose presxhool teachers commented tha "he much prefers having a job or task assigned to him than free play." he just craves structure, as do i. But he needs to begin to step up and find his own structure, kwim? If i get himstarted down a project path, he will often continue on his own, and recently, very recently, began to initiate his own projects, so......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would it work to start giving him a few choices within you-directed structure? Kind of from the idea that in a way you are structuring things for him, but within that structure he has to choose from two or three options? We have a slightly different problem in that mine really need structure but fight for independence, yet when given independence, don't tend to choose wisely. I'm working on setting up a few periods of the day where they have structure by me but where they are choosing the activity. For example a more school based one would be choosing from typing practice, math app on the iPad, or quiet reading. Now all three will be done at some point in time, but they are learning to take more control over things. For free time, there might be the structure of time (say between finishing our day but needing to get to Taekwondo), but they could choose among three or so options and plan their time accordingly. It's a work in progress here. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Jennifer. This is a child whose presxhool teachers commented tha "he much prefers having a job or task assigned to him than free play." he just craves structure, as do i. But he needs to begin to step up and find his own structure, kwim? If i get himstarted down a project path, he will often continue on his own, and recently, very recently, began to initiate his own projects, so......

 

Halcyon, do I correctly remember that you were going to have your younger DS do the Creek Edge Press task cards? What about using those with older DS as well? They are great as general guidelines, and you would just expect a different quality product from each of them, as their ages/abilities differ.

 

Also, I have the grade 3-5 version of this book (there is an entire series, covering many subjects). Maybe it is something that could work for giving your older DS more independence and choice. Baby steps here would mean freedom, but with direction. Point them down a path, give a little push, and off they go. :tongue_smilie:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My older really likes it when _I_ dictate the outlines of the day; he doesn't like having too much freedom in this area.

 

Really, I am just rambling here....and this is a child for whom unschooling would never work, but in a weird way, I almost want him to take more ownership of his day, and I want to encourage this, but don't know how.

 

So, what I'm stumbling around trying to suggest is that you still dictate the outline of his day, but that just as you set aside time for math, language, Latin, etc., you set aside time for a project-based experience, independent study, etc. Maybe give him a whole subject. Have him outline/design an independent study--actually assign that experience to him. Would that work? Maybe seeing "independent study" on his daily schedule would help him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, what I'm stumbling around trying to suggest is that you still dictate the outline of his day, but that just as you set aside time for math, language, Latin, etc., you set aside time for a project-based experience, independent study, etc. Maybe give him a whole subject. Have him outline/design an independent study--actually assign that experience to him. Would that work? Maybe seeing "independent study" on his daily schedule would help him.

 

:iagree: We are doing something like this to foster independence. On Fridays, Miss P works independently in Math (LOF Fractions - something she enjoys doing), Writing (Creative Writer - something she asked for and wanted to practice) and Science (Equine Science - something she is passionate about and excited to learn). I work on Fridays, so I needed to have her work independently, but decided that rather than just assigning her regular work that she would have to do on her own, I would let her study other materials completely independently, with the idea that she's still practicing skills I value (meaning, they are in service of our goals), but because these materials are studied entirely mom-free, she gets to/has to take ownership of her learning.

 

So far it's working out well. She would hate working independently all day 5 days a week, but one day a week is a nice change for her, and a nice break for both of us. And a baby step in managing her own time and taking charge of her own learning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We homeschool for academic reasons, but our schooling in the logic stage, i.e. before highschool, is extremely relaxed. The only subject mandatory daily is math, and it is one of the only two subjects for which we use systematic curriculum (the other is foreign language).

I require an amount of time that must be spent on school (depending on age), select materials for all subjects that "count" as school, and let my kids choose their own schedule every day. They may work on whatever topic they want for how long.

Here is what we do/ don't do:

No Spelling: Both kids being perfect spellers, we dropped spelling in 5th grade.

No Vocabulary program: I consider it unnecessary; they are good readers, and DD acquired an astonishing vocabulary just from reading.

No formal logic: Logical thinking can be develop just fine from math, computer programming and physics.

No formal grammar in English: both kids use English language correctly without making any grammar or semantics mistakes. We will do a short overview over formal grammar in high school so they are familiar with the terms. they also get formal grammar in their language studies.

 

Writing: no formal program. They write about literature and history and spend a large amount of time on creative writing. In 7th grade, I introduce the 5 paragraph persuasive essay and we practice occasionally to be prepared for the standardized tests.

Reading: they read classics that match the history era we study (we do 4 year rotation). They also read other stuff. We talk a lot about books.

Science: They read books. We do not do a formal science program before high school; I have not found any curriculum that I like for the age group, so they just read, watch documentaries, build a broad base of scientific knowledge. No worksheets, no fill-in-the-blanks.

History: Encyclopedia as a spine, DS takes notes. He reads the Universal History of the World, books from the library. Watch documentaries. To demonstrate mastery, he researches topics long term and gives an oral presentation with visuals, or writes a longer paper.

Foreign language: OK, here we do use a systematic approach, with book, CDs, workbook and online resources, because that is IMO the only way to make progress.

Arts, music,architecture, theatre: we go to concerts, museums, watch live performances, travel

PE: we hike, backpack and rock climb as a family. Kid ride horses.

 

So, until high school, we have little pressure, no must-do's (except for math where a systematic study is absolutely essential). The kids learn a ton. Most importantly: they learn to learn independently, with a teacher spoon feeding them material.

The transition to more formal studies in high school was not a problem at all for DD.

I love this. I am printing it out. :001_wub:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Independance and self management has been on my mind as well, Halcyon.

 

In my case, I have a child with zero sense of time and structure (characteristic of his LD). We've actually done very little by way of structured homeschooling because he drifts, gets lost in his thoughts and takes hours to complete anything. I realise now that this is the way his brain works- he wants depth over breadth. I've chosen to homeschool based on his interests so there is less resistance. Its been a gradual transformation, but in the last few months, he was doing enough work for me to write up a schedule. Lately, he's taken over filling up what he's completed because he likes the sense of accomplishment. (All this seems more calm than how it actually happened, btw!)

 

He's always had a say about what to do. So now, I lay out a loose structure for the day- he knows he has to complete certain tasks before lunch and after. If he wants more time on certain projects/subjects, he has to work around and prioritise.

 

My goal this year- to help him develop a sense of time. Baby steps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Another thing I was thinking about today: how does one become less "controlling" about the school day (in order to allow more free expression of each child's individual nature, and allow them to begin to take more ownership of their day-to-day life) without a lack of structure ensuing.

 

My older really likes it when _I_ dictate the outlines of the day; he doesn't like having too much freedom in this area. The younger one is thrilled when I loosen the reins, however. Anyway, I think I am concerned primarily about my older. I think, as a homeschool mom, I worry that I am micro-managing his life too much. Since I am ALWAYS THERE, he has less drive towards becoming his OWN person....am I making any sense? This is only my older, so I know it's very personality-dependent, and is not wholly related to homeschooling. But as he gets older, I am beginning to think "Wow. All this time with mom.......hmmm. He needs some more time without me." And he does spend time with his Dad, and he does go to afterschool for 6 hours a week where he is basically unsupervised for the most part. (Even there, he has said he "wishes the counselors would direct more games"..)

 

Really, I am just rambling here....and this is a child for whom unschooling would never work, but in a weird way, I almost want him to take more ownership of his day, and I want to encourage this, but don't know how.

You're farther along with your oldest than I am with mine, but here's what we have started to do with our 7.5 year old 2nd grader. :D

 

Each week I print out a grid of her assignments. So, listed down the left side of the page are the categories we use: Literature & Poetry, Guided Reading, Cursive Practice, Spelling & Vocab, Grammar & Memory Work, Math, Bible Study, Latin, Music (recorder & theory), French, and Group (Bible, Lit-Po, Geography, History, Science, Nature Time/Exercise).

 

Across the columns, I list her work. At the start of each new school week (not necessarily a Monday ;)), we briefly go over what her work for the week will be. She has some control over parts of her work -- her recorder practice, when she starts French, when she studies Latin, etc.

 

She has some control/choice within a subject. When it's our English block time, I'll say, "What do you want to tackle first?" She can choose from her chart what she wants to work on first, next, and so on. If she leaves all three Grammar lessons for the last day, oh well, that's what we'll do! :D

 

This helps her to see and mark off her own progress. She loves this sense of ownership of her school work, and I've seen her take on a new maturity about it -- even at the ripe, old age of seven and a half, LOL. :001_smile:

 

Another thing I've started to do is pull her over to my side when I'm planning or researching. I show her what's down the road, ask her what she thinks about this or that, and tell her that someday she will plan her own work. She gets a BIG, goofy grin when I mention that. I point out that part of growing up is to plan what and how and when we study. Our choices shape our lives. So for now, it's mostly planting those seeds, but I see little green sprouts popping up, so I know the seeds have germinated. HTH.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just wanted to update after a week of our new system. Wow!!! Things are going great so far. The kids and I are both enjoying it sooo much more. Amazingly we actually got more achieved than we usually do. So here is how our new schedule looks for the rest of this semester.

 

Monday

Math - 2 hrs/Bible 2hrs

Tuesday

Science 2 hrs / History 2 hrs

Wednesday

Math 2 hrs / Latin 2 hrs

Friday

MFW Geography 2 hrs / L.A. 2 hrs

 

Thursday is co-op day where everything is hands on, piano lessons, and dd12 meets with another girl who is doing Abeka biology and we conduct their experiments. They are having time to add in additional things as well. Dd12 was delighted to find that she could finish all her reading and have time for a documentary on Tuesday for her Biology class. We are having the time to add in the extra math work ranging from games to hands on. Tuesday history is a documentary of their choice. Since we are doing MFW ECC this year we had to adjust it. Now we use the schedule horizontal. Does that make sense? We do all the science on one day, all the geography on one day and so on. We still spread out the read alouds but add them in at dinner time so Dad can join in. So far it feels great!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We homeschool for academic reasons, but our schooling in the logic stage, i.e. before highschool, is extremely relaxed. The only subject mandatory daily is math, and it is one of the only two subjects for which we use systematic curriculum (the other is foreign language).

I require an amount of time that must be spent on school (depending on age), select materials for all subjects that "count" as school, and let my kids choose their own schedule every day. They may work on whatever topic they want for how long.

Here is what we do/ don't do:

No Spelling: Both kids being perfect spellers, we dropped spelling in 5th grade.

No Vocabulary program: I consider it unnecessary; they are good readers, and DD acquired an astonishing vocabulary just from reading.

No formal logic: Logical thinking can be develop just fine from math, computer programming and physics.

No formal grammar in English: both kids use English language correctly without making any grammar or semantics mistakes. We will do a short overview over formal grammar in high school so they are familiar with the terms. they also get formal grammar in their language studies.

 

Writing: no formal program. They write about literature and history and spend a large amount of time on creative writing. In 7th grade, I introduce the 5 paragraph persuasive essay and we practice occasionally to be prepared for the standardized tests.

Reading: they read classics that match the history era we study (we do 4 year rotation). They also read other stuff. We talk a lot about books.

Science: They read books. We do not do a formal science program before high school; I have not found any curriculum that I like for the age group, so they just read, watch documentaries, build a broad base of scientific knowledge. No worksheets, no fill-in-the-blanks.

History: Encyclopedia as a spine, DS takes notes. He reads the Universal History of the World, books from the library. Watch documentaries. To demonstrate mastery, he researches topics long term and gives an oral presentation with visuals, or writes a longer paper.

Foreign language: OK, here we do use a systematic approach, with book, CDs, workbook and online resources, because that is IMO the only way to make progress.

Arts, music,architecture, theatre: we go to concerts, museums, watch live performances, travel

PE: we hike, backpack and rock climb as a family. Kid ride horses.

 

So, until high school, we have little pressure, no must-do's (except for math where a systematic study is absolutely essential). The kids learn a ton. Most importantly: they learn to learn independently, with a teacher spoon feeding them material.

The transition to more formal studies in high school was not a problem at all for DD.

 

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is exactly what I needed to read right now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just wanted to update after a week of our new system. Wow!!! Things are going great so far. The kids and I are both enjoying it sooo much more. Amazingly we actually got more achieved than we usually do. So here is how our new schedule looks for the rest of this semester.

 

Monday

Math - 2 hrs/Bible 2hrs

Tuesday

Science 2 hrs / History 2 hrs

Wednesday

Math 2 hrs / Latin 2 hrs

Friday

MFW Geography 2 hrs / L.A. 2 hrs

 

Thursday is co-op day where everything is hands on, piano lessons, and dd12 meets with another girl who is doing Abeka biology and we conduct their experiments. They are having time to add in additional things as well. Dd12 was delighted to find that she could finish all her reading and have time for a documentary on Tuesday for her Biology class. We are having the time to add in the extra math work ranging from games to hands on. Tuesday history is a documentary of their choice. Since we are doing MFW ECC this year we had to adjust it. Now we use the schedule horizontal. Does that make sense? We do all the science on one day, all the geography on one day and so on. We still spread out the read alouds but add them in at dinner time so Dad can join in. So far it feels great!

 

So glad to hear it is going well! We had a relaxed week too, or MORE relaxed than normal. Mostly because. Had a sinus infection :glare: i didnt actually PLAN to e relaxed lol, but it worked out. Because i was so worn out, i couldnt "push" my kids at all to get thigs done, but miraculously, things still did. Probably not as much as usual (i posted our week on my blog) but not bad. nd we were more relaxed. And i pulled out these great math books that i have been wanted to play with for a while with the kids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a good week too. I realize that by "relaxed" I really think that what I mean is flexible. Keeping in mind the goals, but being open to alternative, spontaneous, and/or interest-led means of getting there. So for example, one morning this week (before school started) Miss P pulled A Wrinkle in Time off her shelf and started reading it, and was completely enthralled. She read it every free minute that day, and was up early the next morning reading it too. It was "time" for math to start - and we do writing after math - and she asked if she could finish before we started. I said sure, and asked her if she wanted to discuss/write about it, and she did, so we pushed math back, and had an amazing discussion of the book, and then during writing time that day and the next she wrote up a literary analysis in lieu of her WWS lessons. It was great - she got to read, discuss, and write about a book she really cared about, and yet our goals of analytic reading, deep thinking & discussion and daily writing practice were also met. Flexibly and engagingly. And WWS and the book I had picked out and assigned her to read will still be there tomorrow . . . ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I define myself as a neo classical, classical unschooler. We started out our days last week listening to Lingua Angelica, doing math, latin, writing, geo puzzles, greek studies, map work, listening to PowerGlide latin in the car, and watching Downtown Abby, along with Pride and Prejudice, spent time on the computer doing research for LL and RS German.

My kids spent hours writing and drawaing and taking nature walks, working on an outside brick path that has taken on a life of it's own and completing pre-calc and lab reports for Tutoring Center.

For me, I can't take too much flexibility- I get up too early, try to do things like write, read a book a week, work out, and cook from scratch. I'm not type A so it's a stretch for me, but when I plan our work on Sunday, we get much, much more done than not, folks are happier and we end up learning more AND having more guilt free free time. In our life it's not relaxed or rigorous, but both and.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I consider myself a fairly relaxed homeschooler. With my son, who is in 1st grade, I use Oak Meadow because it's Waldorfy, doesn't push early academics, is gentle and hands on and creative. We are using Reading Eggs, too, which he enjoys, but no stress or pressure. He's progressing with learning to read and we will continue with it over the year. I did not find pushing learning to read to be necessary in kindergarten.

 

I try to read to him as much as he will let me, sign him up for a variety of activities, take him on lots of outings and field trips, and try to encourage his interests, and I give him plenty of free time to do his own thing.

 

My daughter, 6th grade, uses Oak Meadow, too, because it's still not dry and text bookish but creative, fun, lots of literature and creative writing and integration and hands on projects. I read aloud a lot with her still. I let her sign up for multiple activities, I take her on lots of outings and field trips, and if she is interested in something, I try to find opportunities for her.

 

We follow rabbit trails and talk a lot.

 

I tend to revolve school around life, not revolve life around school. We get done what we can each day, but if there are interesting activities and opportunities and field trips and homeschool day programs, we don't hesitate to drop everything and go do it, because those things are educational, too, and great family bonding time, and provide rich experiences and fond childhood memories and so on.

 

The curriculum stuff, we finish it later, consolidate it into the rest of the week, occasionally skip it, but usually we get it done in the end.

 

I don't really do tests or grading or much busywork, I want them to enjoy most of what they are doing, and I figure if they do, they'll retain more of it anyway.

 

But I didn't pull my daughter out of public school and refrain from sending my son for academic reasons, really, I just hated a lot of things about our schools and the system and wanted my kids to have a better childhood.

 

We are accomplishing that, and learning a lot in a variety of ways at the same time, and I'm happy with the way things have been going.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So it's a new week...what are everyone's plans towards achieving s more relaxed hs? I am still recovering from a sinus infection, so i am not at 100%. strangely, this is a good thing in terms of being relaxed. ;) today, instead of intensive Henle, we are backing off and i am going to have my older read some

Latin primers. For math, we have been not only doing aops, but working with geometry shapes, playing around with symmetry, origami paper....it's good. Hopefully, our brine shrimp have hatched and we can do our next experiment on pollutants.

 

Mostly, i want to not rush. I want to breathe. I want to stay centered, be in the moment, and BE with my boys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mostly, i want to not rush. I want to breathe. I want to stay centered, be in the moment, and BE with my boys.

 

I love this!

 

We have this week off, so it'll be really relaxed! :lol: Other than a field trip to the local trampoline place, I plan on using most of this week to really work on how I want our days to flow, still tweaking and tinkering with that. We're moving towards using composition books for subjects instead of lined notebook paper/3-ring binders/worksheets, etc. I want to focus on using narration, copywork, dictation, illustration as our means for interacting with what we are learning, adding maps and such as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mostly, i want to not rush. I want to breathe. I want to stay centered, be in the moment, and BE with my boys.

 

This is my mantra this year: Slow Down! Enjoy the process! Sometimes last year I felt that I was in such a hurry to get through all of "it" (whatever it was) that I was constantly moving us on to the next thing, rather than savoring the process. So that's huge.

 

How to do it? Mostly I find it is constantly reminding *myself* that we don't need to be in a hurry. But it's also just being present, and mindful, and seeing where things might branch off into something interesting if we slowed down long enough to make the connection. And looking for the spark in her eye, that means this might be something worth slowing down to savor.

 

I'm also trying to offer her the freedom, within the structure of our educational goals, to explore interests. So for example, I've told her that now that she's developed the WWS skills of writing chronological narratives, any time we run across a topic in history or science that she'd like to learn more about, we can take a week "off" from WWS and she can research and write an essay on that topic. She's really excited about this idea. And what makes it possible is that I have let go of the idea that we have to finish WWS at a specific time. Instead, I'm enjoying the skills it's teaching her, and the fact that she'll have more and more tools in her toolbelt to do meaningful writing as she progresses in the program. But the *goal* is becoming a good writer, not finishing WWS by a specific date!!

 

So that's it, really: keeping my eye on the goal related to this child and her learning, rather than a goal defined by curricula or comparisons to others.

 

Love this thread, and hearing about what y'all are doing, too!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So it's a new week...what are everyone's plans towards achieving s more relaxed hs?

 

Mostly, i want to not rush. I want to breathe. I want to stay centered, be in the moment, and BE with my boys.

 

This week, we're not going to be hitting the books a whole lot, as we have a plethora of field trips instead! However, this is giving me time to take a step back and refocus on what I had decided was important for this year. I realized that rather than following the urge I had to base homeschooling this year on good literature instead of centering on history, I had switched around 180 degrees, and was trying desperately to tie everything together into a neat little package with which to present my kids, instead of allowing them to make and build connections themselves.

 

I have decided to back off on history, and am trying to keep it very simple. We'll be reading, once a week, from The Early Human World and The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way, and we'll be starting our Books of Centuries (based off the #2 picture in this post) That's it, unless the kids want more. This will leave much more time for those rabbit trails!

 

We're picking back up on our Narnia lit study, and BFSU for science topics. Having these things already planned out, which I do, makes me feel more relaxed!

 

So, in a nutshell, we'll be relaxing by studying fewer subjects, though in more depth. And I won't be running around like crazy trying to piece everything neatly together, which should give me more time for being in the moment, WITH my kids!

Edited by momto2Cs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sigh. Today started so well. :glare: boys played with k'nex while i read Gilgamesh, Then history, then some living science. Boys did their math...older cried over a particulalry challenging problem, not believing me when i told him i knew he could do it. Finally, he got it, and continued without incident. Then, pool time. All was fine. Return to work at 2 pm. Writing-fine. Latin....getting shaky. Spanish? Disaster. It seems i am good with "relaxed" in the morning, but as the day progresses, i feel a weird pressure to "make sure we get some real work done" :glare:. I know, silly. But there it is. In fact, i got so exhausted, i began to wonder if i have CFS. the boys had to make dinner, which i called a lesson in learning independemce (hey, it was a complicated taco and pinto bean dish, from scratch!)

 

But i feel i did not succeed today. I called Dh, who is working late, and vented, totally overwhelmed with various things. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...