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My children are from different planets

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It is so hard to combine subjects when your dc are as different as can be. Ds is Mr. Classical. He wants Latin, science, history, logic, classics and architecture kits. This child has had a twenty-year-plan since he was five years old. If something comes up and I don't teach him, he teaches himself (writing is the exception to that statement. :p) Dd is a fantastic reader but will read only fantasy novels and some humorous realistic fiction (Beverly Cleary, Grace Lin, etc.) She is truly creative, but she hates everything "schooly." Everything. :sigh: She doesn't want to follow any kind of a schedule. She wants to sew, bake, dance, hike, play catch and occasionally draw or write poetry. She doesn't like being read to. She'll be 8 by this summer.


I'm looking for input on a few possible scenarios for next year's curriculum. I have been pretty much strict WTM up to this point, so I haven't used any of these programs yet.


A. Sonlight D for both kids + cobbling together everything else at two different grade levels

B. Oak Meadow 3 (or maybe Christopherous?) for dd, Memoria Press 5 for ds (changing out a couple of things in the MP program.) My thinking here is that OM or Christopherous is going to be very time consuming and teacher intensive so ds might be better off with an already-prepared program such as MP.

C. Continue WTM style and continue trying to get dd to "suck it up and do it." This is what I've been doing this year and it has been.. disastrous. The work gets done, but nearly every subject is a fight.

D. Continue WTM style for ds, find easy school-like programs for dd (Teaching Textbooks, CLE l.a., etc) and just make her get it done and move on with life.


Any thoughts, suggestions, or just plain old commiseration? :)

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I have your 8 year old. :) Only mine's nearly 10 and no signs of changing. Personally, I do what I can to make it more fun and light for her, but I still insist she do what's expected of her whether she is engaged or not. It's a life lesson that I think she needs to learn. Sometimes you just have to do what is expected. I will try to make things more fun, but sometimes you can't.


As an example: She is in colonial history right now. We are studying the late 1700's. I downloaded some fun sheets from the American Girl site and we watched "Felicity" so that she could see what life was like back then - the clothes, the farms, the way people interacted, etc...


As a kid just a little older than Melissa, I read the whole John Jakes series "The Americans" (I think that was what it was called). All dry history. LOVED It. I think that she would DIE if she had to read 2 pages of it. LOL We're as different as night and day where school and learning is concerned.


I don't school more than one child, so I don't know if it would be too hard/cost prohibitive to get a few "fun" ways to learn for your daughter and keep your son on his track since it seems so well suited to him.

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I tried to force WTM with my eldest and I can tell you that I'm still paying now, over a year later (even though we've since changed course). The child hates reading and writing; prefers textbooks and can't stand literature. She's my math and science girl - classical education was a killer for her. She still claims to hate *school* and I fear a large part of that is trying to force feed a classical education, heavy in lit and history, on a girl created for something very different.

I vote that you change course for dd, so as not to kill her love of learning - she has a long way to go yet, to already decide she doesn't like school.

If you're looking for boxed, to make things easier, I would go with MP for your son and OM may indeed suit your dd well. It's ridiculously gentle in the lower grades, but the pace quickens in the upper grades; it's very hands on and includes many great books (you said she enjoys reading). I *would* sub out math for OM (I haven't met one person who cares for it) and replace it, perhaps, with an independent program like teaching textbooks.

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My kids are far enough in age (and ability) that I don't even attempt to combine them for schoolwork, but if they were closer I'm sure I'd have the same issues as you. My DS is a hard-working, academic, type A kid. He loves math, science and foreign languages, but really doesn't dislike any of his work. DD, on the other hand, is crafty and creative. She loves to read and write, but isn't too interested in anything else related to school.


DS primarily uses textbooks, but DD is mostly doing Oak Meadow right now. I do switch out the math (for MUS and LOF) and add a few extras. I would say that OM is teacher-intensive, but it's not overly time-consuming. I work one-on-one with DD in the morning and easily finish by lunch. DS works independently during that time, then I check in with him and handle his "mom" subjects (French, literature and writing) in the afternoon.

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Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate the input. I'm probably more like ds, so classical/ WTM is 100% within my comfort zone. It definitely makes me a little nervous to move to a more "relaxed" curriculum. I would probably use a different math program.


I hear you. Boxed traditional school type curriculum with workbooks are my comfort zone, but I know it's HER education so I "fun" it up a lot. :thumbup1:

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I have one like your DD (my DD), who is a year behind you. Sonlight has worked well for us. We tend to follow rabbit trails and randomly buckle down and get lots done, but I find that in general if I have only a few things that are EVERY day, and most things alternate, it stays fresh enough and fun enough for all of us (I also tend to be like your DD, so I understand the perspective).



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