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Perhaps I am doing too much...? HELP!


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Man,

 

I feel like "doing" school is painful right now. I am unsure if we are doing too much or if we are just not starting early enough in the day... or have allowed too many distractions (like co-op, piano during the morning, etc.) to distract us.

 

So.

 

I am new, this is our first WHOLE school year homeschooling. I really feel I discovered that my son is very VSL and I truly believe perhaps mildly dyslexic. I just ordered Upside Down Brilliance, Unicorns are Real, Right Brained Child in a Left Brained World. It has been a challenge. In school, when I addressed some of things that I saw, I was usually brushed off and told that he was probably ADD. :001_huh: While, that may be the case, we need to figure out the best way to teach him and one in which I am not losing my mind either.

 

My ideas of school would be wonderful to be finished by 1ish and then be able to enjoy the rest of the day reading or doing fun things. However, I feel it is so painful up until that point. Not sure what to do or if I should give up on some things.

 

So....

 

Math:

 

 

  • Singapore 3A/3B (he gets this except he has a real problem with word problems, we do the IP books after we finish the unit for extra review). We also do

 

 

 

  • Miquon and

 

 

 

  • Beast Academy

 

 

 

  • LoF, but more as a "fun" thing that we read at breakfast, I don't think he is the issue.

 

 

Language Arts (this is the real struggle):

 

 

  • Writing with Ease 2/3 (I like this, it's minimal, gets the job done, however, he struggles with dictation, holding the words in his head and remembering how to spell them all -- spelling is a real sore subject.
  • IEW TWSS (We try to do the keyword outlines and I grow frustrated because he is FOREVER asking well, will this work, will this work? Here's the thing, I am sitting with him the whole time and while I am, obviously, there for help, it seems like he needs me to constantly be giving him direction. I have to suggest everything. It's very difficult for him to think of -ly adverbs, or quality adjectives or even because clauses.
  • FLL3, we were doing this and it seems to be a swing and miss. He and I both were just done with it. I like sentence diagramming but it just was so dry and felt too scripted for me.
    SO ... I ordered ... something that I thought was going to be good for a VSL child ...
  • MCT Sentence Island (I ordered the homeschool package), I am not sure how this will work out. I am very list driven and completion driven and it seems that is not how this is.
  • Intermediate Language Lessons...just because he likes it.
  • Explode the Code (we were doing remedial phonics work). He loves these books.
  • AAS, I don't care for it, the tiles drive me batty, however, he says he is enjoying it and I feel like his spelling has improved overall.
  • McGuffey's Readers (we just read a lesson a week for fluency and pronunciation).

 

History:

 

 

  • SOTW Vol. 3 with Biblioplan and lots of readers and encyclopedias (he loves encyclopedias).

 

Science:

 

 

 

  • Apologia Astronomy and Elemental Earth Science/Astronomy (we haven't gotten the Elemental Science yet but I really think I am going to like that one better.)
  • Books, encyclopedias

 

Extras:

 

 

  • Artistic Pursuits K-3 book 1
  • Beautiful Feet Geography
  • Critical Thinking/Logic (which he SOARS)
  • Nature Study (once a week on the co-op days)
  • Philosophy for Kids

 

I should also note that I have two other small children and I wasn't expecting the day to be consumed like it is. I suppose in my mind I thought that we would all be sitting around together reading and talking about life. I do have a more Charlotte Mason bent I suppose but it is just taking too much time and I fear something has to give. My curriculum obsession has to end.

 

 

 

He LOVES history, science, Art, READING, he is not a great mathematician (although he is --- what I would say is "average".) We read in the morning, we read in the afternoon, we read at night and he does SSR as well.

 

 

 

I feel overwhelmed. This could have something to do with my husband being away for the last month on "duty". :glare:

 

 

Any thoughts? Wisdom? Advise?

 

 

 

Also. There is someone on here who has in their signature a quote I love. I think it's Hunter. "The good can bury the great."

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It does seem like a lot! For many subjects, you are using multiple curricula. How about for writing, just use WWE and drop IEW? (for WWE, he isn't supposed to remember how to spell words. You are supposed to spell them for him as needed)

For grammar, since you are enjoying intermediate language lessons, why not just do that and drop FLL and MCT?

For math, maybe 4 programs is too many?

For science, just pick one?

 

Then, after you've simplified, see how it goes. You can always add things back in if you find you hit a groove and have extra time.

 

Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

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It does seem like a lot! For many subjects, you are using multiple curricula. How about for writing, just use WWE and drop IEW? (for WWE, he isn't supposed to remember how to spell words. You are supposed to spell them for him as needed)

For grammar, since you are enjoying intermediate language lessons, why not just do that and drop FLL and MCT?

For math, maybe 4 programs is too many?

For science, just pick one?

 

Then, after you've simplified, see how it goes. You can always add things back in if you find you hit a groove and have extra time.

 

Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

 

:iagree: The multiple curricula would drown my kids and have me running ragged. Not to mention I don't think they would really learn any more, they would just be overwhelmed and frustrated.

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It does seem like a lot! For many subjects, you are using multiple curricula. How about for writing, just use WWE and drop IEW? (for WWE, he isn't supposed to remember how to spell words. You are supposed to spell them for him as needed)

For grammar, since you are enjoying intermediate language lessons, why not just do that and drop FLL and MCT?

For math, maybe 4 programs is too many?

For science, just pick one?

 

Then, after you've simplified, see how it goes. You can always add things back in if you find you hit a groove and have extra time.

 

Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

 

Word for word. :D

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I don't know if you're trying to do all this every day, but it does seem that you are doing a TON of LA and quite a bit of math :tongue_smilie: If you are doing all of those daily I would instead spread it out and rotate your math programs & LA programs if you must keep them all. Otherwise, I'd cut half your math programs down to 2, tops. And with LA I would just make sure you have your bases covered: Phonics, Writing, Reading, Spelling, Handwriting, Read-Alouds. That's all I can think of. Look to me like you have 2 or 3 different writing programs alone?? If you are only hitting and missing with some programs and you are doing another program that has the same focus, cut the fat.

 

Give yourself a break, mama! :)

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Looking at Math and LA, I'd say you are doing too much. It's common for new homeschoolers to do too much. I know that I did, 25 years ago. All the curriculum and programs available look great and seem so fun and beneficial; however, there is time to do all the things that you enjoy. If not with this child, you may with the younger ones.

 

Could you post your schedule? I am assuming, since not otherwise specified, that you are doing most of this each day. If so, I can see why it doesn't end by 1. You'll end-up burning out, and he will end up exhausted. If you flood them with too much at once, their retention is going to be low (and enthusiasm drained).

 

Math - Singapore, Miquon, BA, and LOF? It's too much. I can understand LOF being a fun breakfast book. It's fine. Why do Singapore and Miquon? Pick Singapore or Miquon. Do BA occasionally not daily. LOF should only be a fun breakfast program.

 

LA - Pick one Grammar/LA program and one writing program. He likes and is doing well in AAS, so keep it. If you feel he needs more copy work than whatever program has, get a spiral notebook and have him copy a paragraph from a book. I've always done that rather than use a program, and it worked well for us.

 

Science - Do one thing. Keep an extra nature notebook.

 

You want to do the best, but sometimes too much good can really hinder progression. Pack up what you weed out and save for a little one. Ease up and have a happier mom and son. :grouphug:

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It does seem like a lot! For many subjects, you are using multiple curricula. How about for writing, just use WWE and drop IEW? (for WWE, he isn't supposed to remember how to spell words. You are supposed to spell them for him as needed)

For grammar, since you are enjoying intermediate language lessons, why not just do that and drop FLL and MCT?

For math, maybe 4 programs is too many?

For science, just pick one?

 

Then, after you've simplified, see how it goes. You can always add things back in if you find you hit a groove and have extra time.

 

Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

 

:iagree:

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The longer I do homeschooling the more I cut. Joined our county home education program so the boys can take classes I am unable to teach (due to time and prep). I have gone back to only teaching the basics math, Language Arts and some other lite subjects. Maybe find a good LA program that is all in one, we use The Phonics Road and have been very happy with it, it is teacher intensive though but very, very thorough. Simplify or you are all going to get burned out quickly. HTH

Man,

 

I feel like "doing" school is painful right now. I am unsure if we are doing too much or if we are just not starting early enough in the day... or have allowed too many distractions (like co-op, piano during the morning, etc.) to distract us.

 

So.

 

I am new, this is our first WHOLE school year homeschooling. I really feel I discovered that my son is very VSL and I truly believe perhaps mildly dyslexic. I just ordered Upside Down Brilliance, Unicorns are Real, Right Brained Child in a Left Brained World. It has been a challenge. In school, when I addressed some of things that I saw, I was usually brushed off and told that he was probably ADD. :001_huh: While, that may be the case, we need to figure out the best way to teach him and one in which I am not losing my mind either.

 

My ideas of school would be wonderful to be finished by 1ish and then be able to enjoy the rest of the day reading or doing fun things. However, I feel it is so painful up until that point. Not sure what to do or if I should give up on some things.

 

So....

 

Math:

 

 

  • Singapore 3A/3B (he gets this except he has a real problem with word problems, we do the IP books after we finish the unit for extra review). We also do

 

 

 

  • Miquon and

 

 

 

  • Beast Academy

 

 

 

  • LoF, but more as a "fun" thing that we read at breakfast, I don't think he is the issue.

 

 

Language Arts (this is the real struggle):

 

 

  • Writing with Ease 2/3 (I like this, it's minimal, gets the job done, however, he struggles with dictation, holding the words in his head and remembering how to spell them all -- spelling is a real sore subject.
  • IEW TWSS (We try to do the keyword outlines and I grow frustrated because he is FOREVER asking well, will this work, will this work? Here's the thing, I am sitting with him the whole time and while I am, obviously, there for help, it seems like he needs me to constantly be giving him direction. I have to suggest everything. It's very difficult for him to think of -ly adverbs, or quality adjectives or even because clauses.
  • FLL3, we were doing this and it seems to be a swing and miss. He and I both were just done with it. I like sentence diagramming but it just was so dry and felt too scripted for me.
    SO ... I ordered ... something that I thought was going to be good for a VSL child ...
  • MCT Sentence Island (I ordered the homeschool package), I am not sure how this will work out. I am very list driven and completion driven and it seems that is not how this is.
  • Intermediate Language Lessons...just because he likes it.
  • Explode the Code (we were doing remedial phonics work). He loves these books.
  • AAS, I don't care for it, the tiles drive me batty, however, he says he is enjoying it and I feel like his spelling has improved overall.
  • McGuffey's Readers (we just read a lesson a week for fluency and pronunciation).

 

History:

 

 

  • SOTW Vol. 3 with Biblioplan and lots of readers and encyclopedias (he loves encyclopedias).

 

Science:

 

 

 

  • Apologia Astronomy and Elemental Earth Science/Astronomy (we haven't gotten the Elemental Science yet but I really think I am going to like that one better.)
  • Books, encyclopedias

 

Extras:

 

 

  • Artistic Pursuits K-3 book 1
  • Beautiful Feet Geography
  • Critical Thinking/Logic (which he SOARS)
  • Nature Study (once a week on the co-op days)
  • Philosophy for Kids

 

I should also note that I have two other small children and I wasn't expecting the day to be consumed like it is. I suppose in my mind I thought that we would all be sitting around together reading and talking about life. I do have a more Charlotte Mason bent I suppose but it is just taking too much time and I fear something has to give. My curriculum obsession has to end.

 

 

 

He LOVES history, science, Art, READING, he is not a great mathematician (although he is --- what I would say is "average".) We read in the morning, we read in the afternoon, we read at night and he does SSR as well.

 

 

 

I feel overwhelmed. This could have something to do with my husband being away for the last month on "duty". :glare:

 

 

Any thoughts? Wisdom? Advise?

 

 

 

Also. There is someone on here who has in their signature a quote I love. I think it's Hunter. "The good can bury the great."

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It does seem like a lot! For many subjects, you are using multiple curricula. How about for writing, just use WWE and drop IEW? (for WWE, he isn't supposed to remember how to spell words. You are supposed to spell them for him as needed)

For grammar, since you are enjoying intermediate language lessons, why not just do that and drop FLL and MCT?

For math, maybe 4 programs is too many?

For science, just pick one?

 

Then, after you've simplified, see how it goes. You can always add things back in if you find you hit a groove and have extra time.

 

Just my thoughts - hope it helps!

 

:iagree:

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As a fellow curriculum lover, I understand your plight! So many good looking programs! But I'm also learning the painful way this schoolyear that while having some is good, having more is not better. I'd try to cut back on the math and LA such that there's basically 1 spine for each, I'd probably choose the one that gets done and is most enjoyable for your ds. And I'd keep the others to rotate in for supplements occassionally. If your ds is anything like my ds, he'll read BA and LOF even in his free time, so I don't have to schedule it into our school day. HTH :001_smile:

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Wow, it looks like mega overkill on the Math and Language Arts Curriculum.:tongue_smilie:

 

:iagree:

 

Pick a math curriculum. If you want a second for supplementing, fine. Four is too much!

 

LA is the same. One writing curriculum, I'm sorry, but just ONE! One grammar curriculum too. Do some major paring down. Life will be better.

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Thank you guys! I appreciate the help, advice, wisdom, and encouragement. It is so overwhelming being a first time homeschooling mom and without even one year under our belts it can be taunting.

 

I dropped some of the math in the middle of the week and just did Singapore and LoF, it was so pleasant. He still read Beast Academy but I didn't FORCE him to do the practice. :)

 

It was refreshing and honestly, we did no grammar, I was just so overwhelmed. We started reading 5 Children and It and that was our "English" for this week along with copywork and WWE.

 

It worked.

 

Sometimes I think I just doubt the process. Because I have never seen the fruit of my labors (as I have just begun toiling) sometimes I get nervous we aren't doing "enough".

 

So, thank you ladies, I plan to seriously re-evaluate and remember to set goals and that it is very important to stick with my instincts on some things.

 

Thanks again! :grouphug:

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Thank you guys! I appreciate the help, advice, wisdom, and encouragement. It is so overwhelming being a first time homeschooling mom and without even one year under our belts it can be taunting.

 

I dropped some of the math in the middle of the week and just did Singapore and LoF, it was so pleasant. He still read Beast Academy but I didn't FORCE him to do the practice. :)

 

It was refreshing and honestly, we did no grammar, I was just so overwhelmed. We started reading 5 Children and It and that was our "English" for this week along with copywork and WWE.

 

It worked.

 

Sometimes I think I just doubt the process. Because I have never seen the fruit of my labors (as I have just begun toiling) sometimes I get nervous we aren't doing "enough".

 

So, thank you ladies, I plan to seriously re-evaluate and remember to set goals and that it is very important to stick with my instincts on some things.

 

Thanks again! :grouphug:

 

Remember slow and steady wins the race :) at least that is my motto right now... I am not a first time homeschooler but I STILL have to spend lots of time cutting out all the extras that I THINK we will be able to do and then at the beginning of the year realize again how to adjust everything down....

 

also, too... I'm not sure if this was covered more in other comments but starting earlier really helps me and the kids... on the days that i get to bed late, then sleep in late and then the kids sleep in our days just drag on... i'm beginning to have a cut off time each day. i.e. I am done teaching after this time no matter what.

 

we go year round and take 1 week off a month... and then extra time at holidays. so, i know I have that one week of days to disperse throughout the month or take two of those days that we have scheduled off to catch up... if needed.

 

you WILL get to the work... slow and steady... enjoy the process... set tighter boundaries around the time it takes to get everything done... you can even schedule your subjects in a way that the kids have an incentive for finishing the subjects they drag their feet in... i.e. art after history... or snack after writing or 10 mins recess after math... so if they go over time then THEY miss out... this guards your time too...

 

also... i used to schedule appointments in the morning... i don't anymore... b/c we never get all the school done (sometimes we do!) on days where the first half of the days energy went to something else... AND I try not to be on the computer or phone during that time either... prep the night before helps too!

 

I hope some of this is helpful even in the smallest way. I'm with you... it CAN easily get overwhelming, it happens to the best of us... but then we learn to rein it all in! :D

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something that helped me: for a week I walked around with a stop watch around my neck! ha! I timed everything we did... (when i remembered to actually start the stop watch)

 

after a few days even, of not up to 2 weeks - you will have a CLEAR picture as to how much TIME everything actually takes and where it is going... THEN you can easily have a seamless schedule that you can then NOT follow strictly ;) but for example i realized at one point i was trying to fit 30 hours worth of activities (my own personal tasks each day as a mom) into 24 hours! that just isn't done...

 

and then we also have to add in extra 5-10mins here and there into subjects to just let life happen

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Looking at Math and LA, I'd say you are doing too much. It's common for new homeschoolers to do too much. I know that I did, 25 years ago. All the curriculum and programs available look great and seem so fun and beneficial; however, there is time to do all the things that you enjoy. If not with this child, you may with the younger ones.

 

Could you post your schedule? I am assuming, since not otherwise specified, that you are doing most of this each day. If so, I can see why it doesn't end by 1. You'll end-up burning out, and he will end up exhausted. If you flood them with too much at once, their retention is going to be low (and enthusiasm drained).

 

Math - Singapore, Miquon, BA, and LOF? It's too much. I can understand LOF being a fun breakfast book. It's fine. Why do Singapore and Miquon? Pick Singapore or Miquon. Do BA occasionally not daily. LOF should only be a fun breakfast program.

 

LA - Pick one Grammar/LA program and one writing program. He likes and is doing well in AAS, so keep it. If you feel he needs more copy work than whatever program has, get a spiral notebook and have him copy a paragraph from a book. I've always done that rather than use a program, and it worked well for us.

 

Science - Do one thing. Keep an extra nature notebook.

 

You want to do the best, but sometimes too much good can really hinder progression. Pack up what you weed out and save for a little one. Ease up and have a happier mom and son. :grouphug:

 

Agree. You are doing a LOT for young kids.

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You might want to also consider rotating history & science. My ds is very science and math oriented but we still only work on one science lesson a week - usually it only takes 1 day, on occassion it'll take 4-5 days but that's rare. I have our history lessons planned out for the entire year and we do 1 lesson a week with that as well (typically done in 1 day, but sometimes 2). Same with geography and we only do art once a week on Fridays as a fun way to finish out the week.

 

So our schedule looks something like this on a daily basis:

 

 

  • Math (either MUS or BA, his choice)
  • Writing (we use something called Check the Deck)
  • Handwriting (just 2 lines of cursive practice, takes less than 5 mins usually)
  • MCT stuff (3 sentences a week of Practice Island, we read a few pages of Sentence Island & do one of the writing activities orally, we do 1 language lesson every week)
  • Listen to a chapter or two of our latest read aloud book
  • Either a science, history, or geography lesson

 

Ds has a folder that I make at the beginning of each week filled with what he has "due" each day and by the end of the week that he can do independently. It contains his math pages (he very rarely needs math help), geography workbook pages, a reading log to record his daily reading, cursive handwriting worksheets, and occasionally a few other things.

 

 

If I weren't switching back and forth between my 3rd grader and my kindergartener then I think ds (my 3rd grader) would be done by noon or even earlier most days. Instead we're done by 2-2:30 usually.

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Thank you guys! I appreciate the help, advice, wisdom, and encouragement. It is so overwhelming being a first time homeschooling mom and without even one year under our belts it can be taunting.

 

I dropped some of the math in the middle of the week and just did Singapore and LoF, it was so pleasant. He still read Beast Academy but I didn't FORCE him to do the practice. :)

 

It was refreshing and honestly, we did no grammar, I was just so overwhelmed. We started reading 5 Children and It and that was our "English" for this week along with copywork and WWE.

 

It worked.

 

Sometimes I think I just doubt the process. Because I have never seen the fruit of my labors (as I have just begun toiling) sometimes I get nervous we aren't doing "enough".

 

So, thank you ladies, I plan to seriously re-evaluate and remember to set goals and that it is very important to stick with my instincts on some things.

 

Thanks again! :grouphug:

 

I am so glad others advice helped! We are very laid back here..I dont even have a LA curriculum...We do use BLU spelling, but that's it :P

Did I miss your kiddos age?

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Sometimes I think I just doubt the process. Because I have never seen the fruit of my labors (as I have just begun toiling) sometimes I get nervous we aren't doing "enough".

 

So, thank you ladies, I plan to seriously re-evaluate and remember to set goals and that it is very important to stick with my instincts on some things.

 

Thanks again! :grouphug:

:iagree:

 

This is only our 2nd year HS'ing, and I ALWAYS worry that we aren't doing 'enough'. I consider it progress that I only bought 3 LA programs this year - last year I probably bought, reviewed, tried 5+ programs (and returned a few)!

 

It is so hard to trust the process, and it is a process! At the end of each day, I want confirmation, 'yep they learned something, I was a good teacher today'. Ha! The best I get, is thanks for not yelling at me Mom!

 

The good news is that things are much more relaxed the 2nd year. The other experts on this board, says it only gets better with time.

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In school, when I addressed some of things that I saw, I was usually brushed off and told that he was probably ADD. :001_huh: While, that may be the case, we need to figure out the best way to teach him and one in which I am not losing my mind either.

:iagree:And some children just need more time... as in, a few years. I have seen boy after boy "kick in" around 10 or 11. It's wonderful when it happens, but scary for the parents until then. :grouphug:

 

Math: Block off an amount of TIME, not an amount of WORK/PAGES, then have fun with any combination of resources. We're doing one hour per day with our 2nd grader, and setting the timer has (believe it or not) helped me relax. Seriously, it's like my Math Miracle this year. :D We have so much fun and learning happening with math now. Timer.

 

  • Singapore 3A/3B
  • Miquon
  • Beast Academy
  • LoF

Language Arts (this is the real struggle):

 

  • Writing with Ease 2/3 Break it up more. Spell words for him, tell him when to punctuate, help him as much as he needs.
  • IEW TWSS Drop for 1-2 years, until he's ready for it?
  • FLL3 Drop until next year?
  • MCT Sentence Island Drop until next year or the year after?
  • Intermediate Language Lessons Do only this for grammar, because it's gentle, thorough, and he likes it.
  • Explode the Code Keep.
  • AAS He likes it, so keep it. Sometimes it's enough to teach the material without the tiles. The tiles drive me crazy, too, but I just ignore that aspect to get to the content.
  • McGuffey's Readers Keepers. McGuffey's are great for guided reading/fluency.

I feel overwhelmed. This could have something to do with my husband being away for the last month on "duty". :glare: My husband travels for two weeks at a time, and I think I'm about to pass out by the time he gets home. :grouphug:

 

Hang in there, chop & drop what you can, and enjoy your young son. He is very young. He has time to get it all.

 

And just one other thought... I notice from your signature that you are living in Japan? THAT is your gold mine, if you let it be. For me, I'd drop Science from a book, and just take walks at Japanese gardens, along the coastline, in the mountains, among the cherry blossoms. For me, I'd drop History from a book (mostly), and visit museums, shrines, famous places in Japan. Explore Japan. In fact, just noticing that you live there made me want to come back to encourage you to embrace where you are, both geographically and in this season of your son's life. He is so young, it's not even middle school yet. There are years ahead to get it all "in," but for this year (or so) of his life, HE'S LIVING IN JAPAN! Wow! Just WOW!

 

My husband's company may at some point transfer us and/or "offer" a relocation to Europe (Germany? Sweden? France?). It's all up in the air, or may never happen. I think that, depending on some extended family variables, we'd do it, if it came available. BUT, I don't plan to homeschool in a CHAIR if we live in Europe. I plan to get out and explore, and let that be what we do for a season (unless it's high school by then, but even so...). As it is, we get out the door now, LOL, to spend time in scenic, suburban New Jersey. ;) Just a few thoughts. HTH.

Edited by Sahamamama
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Yes, definitely too much! :lol:

 

I had a similar dilemma with Singapore/BA/LoF (I couldn't wrap my brain around Miquon, and my oldest is anti-manipulatives anyway, so that one wasn't in the equation). I finally decided to drop BA as formal math. He can read the guide whenever he wants to. We do Singapore everyday, and he often does LoF in the afternoon. Otherwise, he might do CWP instead. DS2 does Singapore and LoF also, and in the elementary stage, LoF is VERY simple to do every day even, so that hasn't been too much. DS2 is VSL, so I use C-rods with Singapore. It's a great combo. We're finding Singapore and LoF to be easy to get done daily.

 

For LA, definitely way too much!!!! If he really likes ILL and is learning from it, why not just do that? It includes copywork/dictation/narration and other composition, doesn't it? So that's good for grammar and writing? Then you could drop the rest of your writing and grammar programs. Keep AAS for now, since it's working and he likes it.

 

You have several great programs, and it is really hard to pick ONE! I was originally planning to use IEW and WWE3 this year. Then I realized that that was insane. :lol: So we are JUST doing IEW. DS was ready for it, and it's a great fit. It sounds like your son isn't ready for it yet, and that's fine. Lots of people start IEW much later, and some even prefer to start later.

 

With history and science, don't feel like you have to do it ALL. You don't have to read every book. You don't have to answer every question or notebook about every thing you read. :) Do however much makes sense to you and call it good. Just reading through SOTW would be more than what they do in public school for history. ;)

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If you have more of a Charlotte Mason bent, remember SHORT LESSONS.

 

Doing 4 or 5 math programs is only ok if you're doing math for short lessons .... not all on one day, but as a previous poster said, a block of TIME and choosing to do math however you wish or using whichever material for that short block of time.

 

We did a Miquon/Singapore combo when dd was young and I loved it .... but we still only did 15-20 min/day, and dd would choose which program she wanted to do that day.

 

Having a 16 yo now, I can honestly say that we did way too much when dd was young. Most of it she didn't even remember *doing* 2 years later, let alone remember the material.

 

Relax, take deep breaths, and remember that you have plenty of time as he gets older to get to all these things.

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Just so you know where I am coming from: I am mom of a VSL with mild/stealth dyslexia, which manifested as real troubles with spelling, writing and the physical act of writing, and abstract (non-visual, non-concrete) math topics. He is extremely bright, an incredibly good logical thinker/debater, fabulous vocabulary, great at analysis, and a great out-of-the-box innovator.

 

We homeschooled DS all the way through -- grades 1-12 (he just graduated in May!). Math finally began to click about age 10 -- although Algebra 1 and 2 remained extremely difficult for him. Spelling did not even begin to click in any way until age 12 (still a weak area). Writing did not click in any way until about age 16 (still a weak area). I poured MUCH time and effort into trying to find what would work with DS; I researched and read and kept tweaking our programs (shifting to new programs as needed) all 12 years of homeschooling. It's a bit of a "wobbly flight", but my "baby bird" is flying and going full time to the community college! It's clear he's going to make it; I just wish we could have cleared some of his hurdles a little better -- but, who knows! Maybe if he had been in school, he wouldn't have cleared those hurdles *at all*. :eek:

 

 

Enough about us. On to your family!

 

 

VSL RESOURCES

Many of those VSL resources you listed that you have coming were helpful for ME to try and see things as DS does, and that is helpful. However, like you, I was trying to research about what my DS's issues were and how to address them -- while simultaneously learning how to homeschool AND learn how to do all of our programs -- that is a LOT to expect of yourself at the same time! So, yes, have those books as resources on your shelf, but don't try and absorb the info in them in just the next few months! Give yourself a few years -- and only read them when you are NOT also homeschooling! Summer is often easier to take the time to do that research...

 

Also, I hope you are not trying to do ALL the program you listed EVERY day! :eek: That would totally exhaust ANY mom trying to mentally bounce from one program with one teaching style to another all day long!

 

And finally, you mentioned wanting to do a more Charlotte Mason approach; many of your programs and scheduling are very formal, and a lot harder to do in the informal, sitting around reading/talking about life way. It can be done with your choice of programs -- but you have to back down the schedule a bit, and leave time for DISCOVERY and bunny trails. JMO!!

 

In Part 2 are my FWIW comments on the different school areas. Please -- you know your family needs and your DS best, so take what I say with a grain of salt. Just know I am speaking from the vantage point of having been where you are now, and that I am wishing you the VERY best! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

** CONTINUES **

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** the continuation, with specific comments on specific subjects **

 

 

MATH

Ouch! Four math programs sure looks like overkill -- and each is very a REALLY different perspective! Hard on YOUR brain to keep up teaching/overseeing all of that each day!

 

While I always had a spine math and a supplement (helpful to see math from more than one point of view, and to have something else to "go to" when the student "hits the wall" in the spine math) ... 4 complete programs is overkill! That makes for a long day for your student, and is mentally running YOU ragged trying to switch from one way of seeing things to another.

 

Seriously: streamline the math in some way. Pick 1 math as a spine and make the others supplement; then schedule supplements in a gentle way. Ex:

- one day a week = "fun day" math, supplement substitutes for spine

- OR, do one problem from a supplement as daily "fun bonus"

- OR, do a complete unit of the spine, then switch and do a supplement or 2 for a week or 2...

- or, use Miquon for a week to introduce the topic, then set aside and do the Singapore unit, finish with a week or 2 of other supplements

- or....

 

 

LANGUAGE ARTS

Looks overloaded, too. You have

- 3 Reading (reading books; McGuffy readers; SSR)

- 2 Grammar (FFL and Inter. LL) -- and you're are about to switch the FFL to MCT (and any switch in program always takes MORE brain effort from both student AND teacher to figure out how to use it)

- 2 Writing (WWE and IEW)

 

 

LA at age 8, the "bare bones" is:

- Reading = developing confidence and fluency with reading

- Handwriting = strengthening basic handwriting (copywork)

- Phonics = if still helpful/needed for foundation/strengthening reading, spelling

- OPTIONAL: Spelling, Grammar, Writing (ONLY included based on student ability to do so!)

 

 

READING

Sounds like DS is doing well; I'd drop the McGuffy and SSR (unless he likes the SSR games and you could do those on "fun Fridays"). Practice read aloud and fluency with one of his reading books, just 10 minutes a day together. Enjoy doing it "popcorn style" ("you read a page, I read a page"). It's a great habit to continue with, as it flows right into natural literature discussions when he's older for doing literary analysis -- and you get to make some memories by sharing some wonderful books together! :)

 

 

SPELLING

Many students just don't get spelling at all until about 9yo (gr. 3), so it's not a problem to wait. If DS likes AAS and is learning from it, then continue, but at a gentle pace that allows him to succeed with it.

 

PLEASE NOTE: at this age, most children do NOT retain spelling when it comes to their writing! And a child struggling with dyslexia and/or spelling really won't retain it! So DON'T expect your DS to be able to simultaneously 1) think of what to write, or do dictation; 2) do the physical act of writing; 3) AND be able to remember how to spell! At this age, if you're doing dictation, it's OKAY to have words on the white board for him to copy!

 

 

GRAMMAR

Only consider very basic grammar at this age -- maybe 2-3 times a week for 10 minutes/day. AND, realize MANY people do NOT expose their children to ANY grammar until age 10 -- and it is OKAY!! Whatever you decide about the grammar, consider keeping it oral rather than written, so he can truly focus on the topic being explained rather expending all his energy on trying to write.

 

If it were me, I'd probably just drop formal grammar, and enjoy Schoolhouse Rock: Grammar Rock, Mad Libs and Grammar Ad Libs, and some online grammar games for FUN this year, and then start MCT next year.

 

If you REALLY feel you MUST go with a Grammar program this year, pick 1 program and just do that. Sounds like you could drop FFL, and just do Inter. LL because he likes it. Put your other 2 grammar programs on the shelf, and either switch to MCT at the end of the semester, or just save for next year.

 

 

WRITING

Seriously consider waiting on this if you have a dyslexic. Or at least just do copywork, and not worry about dictation at the moment. Work in very short bites at a time (10 min.), and then move to some non-writing subject. If you need another 10 minutes to finish, do a second "short burst" of writing later in the day. I would NOT try and do IEW for at LEAST 2 YEARS yet. Please! thinking up -ly words at 8yo??!

 

And, just for the future use of IEW -- yes, it DOES take a parent sitting there with their 10yo, 12yo or even 14yo and gently prompting. (Example: "So, your sentence is: 'The dog ran.' We need to add some details so your reader can picture this the way you're picturing it. Can you see the dog running in your mind right now? Good! What kind of dog is it? Can you describe him? -- there are your adjectives -- Wow that's great! I can really see him too! But I can't quite see how he's running. Can you think of a word to explain HOW he is running? -- oh! Slowly! Yes, I can see that! -- and there's your adverb!)

 

 

At age 8, school should be short (no more than 3 hours TOTAL), and with the idea you are nurturing joy of discovery, family time, loving reading, and a love of learning. Here's just a suggestion for a schedule:

 

4 days a week

- Math (spine program)

- Reading (read aloud together)

- Handwriting (copywork)

- Spelling (AAS)

- Critical Thinking/Logic (do just a page or two a day, keep it fun)

 

3 days a week

- OPTIONAL: Grammar

- Phonics (ETC)

 

2 days a week:

- Science

- History

 

1 day a week (the co-op day and "fun stuff" day):

- fun Math

- fun LA

- reading

- Artistic Pursuits K-3 book 1

- Nature Study (once a week on the co-op days)

 

 

SAVE FOR LATER:

 

Beautiful Feet Geography

Great, but really geared for grades 4-8. I'd save it for a few years (and younger siblings might be able to tag-along at that time!), and instead do some gentler books more at his level at this time.

 

Philosophy for Kids

Great, but geared for grade 5+. Your DS would most likely get more out of this if you allow him some time for the logic portions of his brain to begin developing (which doesn't happen until later).

 

 

Again, this is just my opinion. But it sure looks like you've got SO MANY programs you want to do, and some are geared for ages older than your DS, that I fear your family is heading for serious burn-out! See what you can cut out. See what you can cut back on. See what you can do to alternate when you really *do* want to do more than one program (rather than doing BOTH in the same day). Set YOURSELF a timer -- no more than 3 hours of school, plus maybe a family read-aloud for fun at night. Keep school ENJOYABLE for ALL of you!

 

Wishing your family the very BEST in your homeschool journey! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Wow, I just read a previous poster's catch that you are in Japan! I TOTALLY agree with the PP -- make your History and Science all about the incredible opportunity you have of being in Japan!

 

That is the Charlotte Mason method -- use what you have, where you are, and make the most of it! Seriously, at age 8, set aside formal Science programs at the least, and get to the discovery and joy, with a few "living books" thrown in there!

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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Sometimes I think I just doubt the process. Because I have never seen the fruit of my labors (as I have just begun toiling) sometimes I get nervous we aren't doing "enough".

 

Boy do I get this! This is our 3rd year homeschooling and I'm just now seeing the fruit of my labor. DD has some learning disibilities so I've had to change the picture I had in my head when we began this journey 3 years ago. I've changed my expectations and relaxed, a ton! This is, by far, our BEST school year and we are both happy.

 

 

Hang in there, it does get easier and it's worth it!!!

 

:grouphug:

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Sounds like you're figuring out what you need to do. :) I agree on the math... keep SM as your base and LOF as a supplement... let him read BA on his own. (We do exactly the same with my 9 year old, except substitute MM for SM.)

 

For language arts, yes, ILL is plenty for now along with the spelling. Since you're living abroad, definitely take advantage of the culture and see what you and he can soak up while you're there!! You can always add another program in next year if you feel ready for it. And if you're both kind of "done" with FLL and WWE... set them aside without guilt. There are a lot of good programs and none of them fit every child!!

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That IS a lot of LA! Back up and identify your goals first, and then see which curricula to use to meet those goals. Here's a blog I did on Language Arts Planning Simplified that you might find helpful as you think through what you need to focus on. As others have said...since you are in Japan, definitely make the learning that you can do there a priority!

 

AAS is a good approach for kids who are dyslexic. Maybe there's a way to adjust your use of the tiles so that they don't drive you batty? You could demonstrate with a marker on a white board, or pencil on paper, and underline or box phonograms to show they are working together. If your son really likes the tiles, they will be a helpful tool for him, but if he prefers not to use them sometimes, that's ok too.

 

Hang in there! Merry :-)

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THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH! I appreciated the wisdom from those who have been there done that and I also value the advice for choosing programs and paring down. Thank you for your assessments and thank you for the encouragement.

 

Yes, we do live in Japan, my husband is an active duty Marine and we will be here for 3 years. We lived here 8 years ago as well, it's a lovely country. There is so much to do and see. The only problem is the written and spoken language are QUITE difficult to overcome at times. Especially, at museums and/or historical sites where most of the written and spoken programs and guides are in Japanese. We really have loved getting to know the country and the wonderful people who live here as well.

 

I have decided that this week I am going to time myself a lot and really see where we could do less and where we might be wasting time because both he and I have fried our brains. :tongue_smilie:

 

I decided to stick with Singapore as the spine since he and I both like that and then just keep LoF for fun and he could do BA for fun on his own and talk about it with me.

 

I have decided to put a hold on IEW, :sad: I really enjoyed it and thought it would be great for him. However, upon further evaluation perhaps he is just not ready yet. We will continue with WWE and I will not flip out when he cannot spell a word and will gently and lovingly direct him through it. :lol:

 

As far as grammar goes. I agree, I think starting MCT would be too much right now because it is so different. I have all of it here so, I will either give it a go in the new year or I will wait until 4th grade. We will just continue to ILL and perhaps some daily grams.

 

I have to stick with AAS, it seems to be working and if it ain't broke you don't fix it, right? So, I will leave that, he enjoys the tiles. And, I do believe that the method is working for his learning style and for his brain! So, that is that.

 

I am trying to remember that I want to homeschool because I enjoy my children, I like them around, I want to build into each life. I want us to grow together, I want to foster a love of learning and great literature and good books. I want to ENJOY learning with them.

 

I think that it's true that I need to STICK with one thing (sometimes I felt like I had all of these programs yet nothing seemed to be getting accomplished.)

 

I think in my overwhelmed state of mind I got lost in the weeds with all of the pretty curriculum. I need to remind myself of the overarching goals that we as a family have for our children. It is not that my children grow and be grammar programmers (what is that? --- you get the point), honestly, the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy HIM forever.

 

THAT to me is the MAIN objective, education should be used to glory in God.

 

I think I got worried. I wondered if he would really "get" it and I wondered if he was tested if I would have failed. I am so scared to fail. I don't want to fail them.

 

So, thank you for your comments, suggestions, encouragements, and advice. It was so timely and wonderfully helpful.

 

Thanks from a this newbie who was probably destined to burn out.

 

P.S. If you see me posting asking for more curriculum ----- >INTERVENE! :lol:

Edited by SFM
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SFM,

 

I just wanted to say that you are in good company of worriers. I would guess that most of us worry from time to time, if not daily or hourly, that we are doing what is best for our children, or wondering if they are ever going to "get it".

 

Homeschooling certainly shapes us, not only the children. As believers, we MUST cast our burdens and struggles at the foot of the cross. If you have brought this before the Lord, and He is guiding your schooling, then you are fine. Repeat this verse as often as needed....I certainly do:

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

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Yep. Too much. My ideas of what to cut down to are kept from your post below:

Man,

 

 

Math:

 

  • Singapore 3A/3B (he gets this except he has a real problem with word problems, we do the IP books after we finish the unit for extra review). We also do

This as main program.

 

 

  • Beast Academy

Maybe one day per week or in the summer only. Or not at all.

 

  • LoF, but more as a "fun" thing that we read at breakfast, I don't think he is the issue.

Fine, but make sure it is just for fun.

 

Language Arts (this is the real struggle):

 

  • Writing with Ease 2/3 (I like this, it's minimal, gets the job done, however, he struggles with dictation, holding the words in his head and remembering how to spell them all -- spelling is a real sore subject.
     
    This. Cut it down and simplify as needed to fit where he is. Say the dictation many more times than indicated, make them shorter, spell for him, etc.
     
     
     
  • IEW TWSS (We try to do the keyword outlines and I grow frustrated because he is FOREVER asking well, will this work, will this work? Here's the thing, I am sitting with him the whole time and while I am, obviously, there for help, it seems like he needs me to constantly be giving him direction. I have to suggest everything. It's very difficult for him to think of -ly adverbs, or quality adjectives or even because clauses.WWE to WWS progression if it is working for him is enough. Or IEW method alone is enough. It sounds like for him WWE is going better. You could add some IEW in once other things are going better. Go slow with it. Don't do it every day.
     
     
     
  • Intermediate Language Lessons...just because he likes it.
  • Explode the Code (we were doing remedial phonics work). He loves these books.
  • AAS, I don't care for it, the tiles drive me batty, however, he says he is enjoying it and I feel like his spelling has improved overall.
    because you say he likes them, or they're helping him...but don't overdo it.
     
  • McGuffey's Readers (we just read a lesson a week for fluency and pronunciation).this

History:

 

  • SOTW Vol. 3 with Biblioplan and lots of readers and encyclopedias (he loves encyclopedias).fine, but don't overdo it... or let him look at it encyclopedias afternoons or evenings

Science:

 

 

  • Apologia Astronomy and Elemental Earth Science/Astronomy (we haven't gotten the Elemental Science yet but I really think I am going to like that one better.)
  • Books, encyclopedias choose one thing to do each week

Extras:

 

  • Artistic Pursuits K-3 book 1
  • Beautiful Feet Geography
  • Critical Thinking/Logic (which he SOARS)
  • Nature Study (once a week on the co-op days)
  • Philosophy for Kids
    each once per week would probably be doable.

My curriculum obsession has to end.

That is common for us esp. at the beginning. :tongue_smilie:

 

 

He LOVES history, science, Art, READING, he is not a great mathematician

The skills areas need to be dealt with, IMO daily or close in some way. You might be able to let a child who loves things like history, art, etc. run with them in an unschooling type of way, where you help, but where it is not so draining. Can keep things like painting which needs lots of set up and clean up to maybe once per week, but the child could draw daily if he likes. Or draw things for science and history instead of so much writing, for example.

Edited by Pen
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Sounds like you have a plan for cutting down, which sounds great. I, personally, still wouldn't do all of that stuff daily though. I'm not sure what your weekly schedule is like, but I'd do something like this (green is daily work):

Monday and Wednesday

LOF at breakfast

Singapore

ILL

ETC

AAS

WWE

SOTW

Tuesday and Thursday

Singapore

ILL

ETC

AAS

Elemental Science

Artistic Pursuits

Friday

LOF at breakfast

Singapore

ILL

ETC

AAS

WWE

Geography

Philosopy

BA on his own

So if you did something similar to this, you'd be doing Singapore, ILL, ETC, and AAS daily. 3 x's a week: LOF, WWE. 2 x's a week: science, history, and art. 1 x a week: geography and philosophy.

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