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:seeya: Hello all!

We are actually new to homeschooling. This is our first year. I have two little girls. We are loving it so far. I wasn't sure where to start in the beginning so I purchased some items, Abeka, Apologia, and Saxon. Well I got rid of it all except the Saxon and kept the Abeka Language Arts just because of cost. I went to US History from America's Core Curriculum and a science program by Ryan Murphy. They are ok, but not giving me that WoW feeling!

I'm so glad I found information on classical education! I've actually just started the book and I'm really liking it! Although I do have LOTS of questions!

I was wandering what you use in addition to this, if anything? Most of what I'm seeing is history; what do people use for math, science? Language arts, reading, and latin is integrated in the history (right?).

Also, I have a 6th grader (12) and a 3rd grader (8 1/2); where is a good starting point? I saw in FAQ in 'older child' and 'multiple children' there are suggestions, but is there one thats better or preferred? Should I scrap the curriculum I have (which I don't even like except the Saxon), and start with this after Christmas and go through summer to catch up?


Thanks and sorry for all the questions!


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First of all, welcome to the boards. :seeya:


If you haven't had the time, search the boards. There is a wealth of information that can really help you answer some of your questions as they pop up, and even address things you have yet to think of.


Now, when you say that you are reading and enjoying :the book", do you mean The Well Trained Mind (TWTM)? If so, take it in slowly. There is so much information there. I have actually reread it a few times and always take away something new.


If you like Saxon and it is working for you and your dc, then go ahead and stick with it. A great benefit of homeschooling is having the freedom to go with what works for you. For all the other subjects, there are many providers/publishers to choose from. For example, I use First Language lessons 1&2 for grammar, then move on to Rod & Staff. Others may not do grammar in the early years, or may use other curriculum. To name a few, Michael Clay Thompson, Analytical Grammar, and CLE. For Latin, things I have seen used are online providers (Lonepine, Potter School, etc), books (Cambridge Latin, Wheelock's, Orberg, Memoria Press) Again, you should search the boards, read about how different things have worked for different families. If possible, get your hands on the books you are interested in before you buy. Don't feel bad if you bought some stuff and now don't like it. We have all done that in the past.


Also, to allow us all to further help you, maybe you can tell us some more about yourself and your dc. What are your reasons for home schooling? What are you looking for in curriculum. Open and go or lots of scripted hand holding? What are your dc's learning styles? Your teaching style? Just to name a few.


Don't get overwhelmed.

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The Well Trained Mind is what I'm reading. I figured I would need to read it more than once! Thank you so much for your detailed post! Already I'm finding things I have not even thought of! One of which, the great questions you asked! I'm so new at this and so afraid of messing up!

We began homeschooling mostly because of our school system. I didn't feel my girls were getting what they needed and they were beginning to loose their love for learning. I've always been very involved, and the more involved I became the more I saw things I didn't like in the schools. The days are so busy, there really is no time for learning. Kids that are behind or ahead lacked the help they needed. My oldest is now in sixth grade, and although she is very bright, she struggles in basic skills. My youngest was bored and spent her time helping other students because she already knows most of the information. We've talked about homeschooling for years but I was afraid to pursue it. I finally realized it would be best to go on and do it. (I'm glad because we love it) Our schools here are now in the red, the high school is a priority school and the middle is now a focus, the elementary schools are on the way. This is not the education I want my children to receive and private school is too costly and too far to drive. The other reason is the negative environment and lack of supervision. I want my kids to socialize and spend time with friends, but I want it to be a positive environment.

Teaching style, still trying to find this one! Initially I felt I needed a scripted, hand holding, type of curriculum. Mostly this was out of fear of messing up. Now though, I'm finding myself adjusting things to my girls and coming up with things on my own. The science is a powerpoint based curriculum with a homework packet and tips. I've made my own tests and tailored it to my girls. The history I bought is a text book similar to the schools and a homework and answer packet. I've made a powerpoint in each lesson and make the tests on my own. The powerpoint was mostly to make it a little more interesting than simply reading out of a book. So, here I guess I'm flexible right now. I like coming up with things on my own and I feel like I get better at it as I go. I could use either type, right now, I guess.

The girls are kinda going with the flow and learning with me. They really like hands on learning, which is another reason I think this is better than public school for us. Lilly is laid back and will pretty much do whatever. Molly, my younger one, is a busy body. She likes to move, wiggle, dance, well, you get the idea. Over all they both do really well with hands on material. Sitting and reading out of a text book or staring at the computer bores them and they tend to loose interest. They used to read all the time, but over the years they seem to have grown to hate it. We are working on that. I've always loved to read to them, which they still enjoy, but it's a struggle to get them to read themselves.

That's a lot! But I really appreciate your help!

Thank you!

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I know what you mean about much of what you say. The more involved you are, the more you see. Unfortunately, what you see isn't always good. Also, we were all new once and afraid we would do something very wrong. It sounds like you are getting the hang of it, though. You are already making your own tests, figuring out what works for you and your DDs, and noticing the differences in how your DDs behave, learn, and even resist.


I see you mentioned that they do not enjoy reading, even though they love to be read to. It's great that they like to be read to. This means they enjoy liturature and spending time with you. Have you ever considered having them read aloud to you? Maybe you can begin reading, and then pass the books around. It can be a new tradition. Plus having them read aloud can help you to see if there are any words they are struggling with. It also helps our dc develop that skill. Some kids are avid readers, but have a hard time reading aloud and need to practice to gain fluidity. I remember another mother here that also tried another method to get her children to read on their own. I believe she would start a book as a read aloud, and once her dc were hooked, she would suddenly keep forgetting to get to it at read aloud time. Eventually her kids just picked it up off of the table and finished it independently. You may even assign reading duties. I see you have a y/o. Maybe they can "help you out" by reading to little sis every once in awhile. Any of these things may or may not work, but you never know.


If your kids enjoy hands on, have you considered adding in some science experiments? There are some good recommendations in TWTM. You can even search the boards and google for ideas relating to what you are studying at the moment. You can even create projects to go along with History. Many of our board members have great blogs with great ideas/pics for things you can try.


I believe I read that one of your girls was struggling with some basic facts? Math facts? You can address this in many ways. Memorization, drills, and flash cards for speed. This may not seem so exciting, but should only take a few minutes a day. There also math games that you can play. You may want to look up Right Start math games on youtube. Another one that many people like is times attack. This is a computer video game.


I am sure others will chime in soon. HTH

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Welcome! It sounds like you have a good start - when you find something that inspires you, it makes all the difference! Take it slow. Use what you have for now and keep reading - eventually you will start to gravitate toward some things and away from others. If you know homeschoolers in your area, see if you can browse their collections of curriculum and just get a feel for the things that are available - it always helps me to be able to put my eyes and hands on actual materials.


It sounds like you are pretty flexible, and that will help you a lot when you have a curriculum that you generally like but just need to "tweek" a little.

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Latin does not have to be integrated with history. IMO, I would hold off on Latin until you find a comfortable rhythm with your other curriculum...There are a lot of different Latin curriculum out there.


I think since your oldest is closer to HS, I would "focus" on that making sure you are able to complete the sequence you want prior to highschool. I would not worry about switching the history for this year, but maybe next year start back at Ancients. You could do a broad view and combine Ancients/Medieval, or just pick one of those, because in 9th grade the cycle will restart again. Your younger DD can follow along, but with the less requirements of the older DD (This would be short-sentence summaries and reading extra books about topics)


There is a good thread on here with links to free curriculum - you will also find lots of book lists for resources to check out at the library for each subject. This might be a good help for you instead of buying curriculum. Do you have a library near by?


If your children like Saxon, then I would def. keep Saxon. I have seen some people combine two or more math programs to complete each program better (Do a search, and I am sure you will find lots of ideas on Saxon and math).


If your children are bored with textbooks, then I would def. veer away from textbooks. It can be difficult, cause that is the more comfortable place to be (and more "normal")


For your sixth grader, I would identify which basic skills she needs help with (grammar, math, spelling) and go back a level or two to find a comfortable place for her to help rebuild her skills. Reading is a big thing that will help her with many areas.... When I was growing up, we used to switch reading pages. I would read one page (to my brother) and then he would read the next. Gradually, as his confidence increased, he would read 2, I would read 1. I would not necessarily wait until summer to review these things.


I can't tell you how many times I have started reading TWTM and started taking notes. Have you read any other "Homeschool Help" type books? There are SO MANY out there. My computer doesn't have any of the books or links I've saved, but maybe someone else has some ideas?


Above all else, have fun!!!!

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