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A little background

  • DS is an only child and is now 10 years old
  • DS was in 3rd grade public school last year
  • DS was in GT class and bored out of his mind
  • DS is very social, straight A's, never had a problem in public school
  • Teachers LOVED him
  • Our area schools are not good schools
  • I am not against public schools, just the ones we have around here.
  • I started homeschooling in Jan 2012 when he was in 3rd grade
  • We used traditional method (no intergration at all)
  • He loves to math, science, and reading
  • I discoverd Classical Method and loved it
  • I found TOG and fell in love
  • Started TOG in Feb of 2012

Here is where my OCD comes in

  • Since I started TOG in Feb the only way to finish before Fall was homeschool through the summer....so we did.
  • We homeschooled ALL subjects ALL summer
  • It is hard for me to pick and choose. If it suggest something I am going to TRY to have my DS do it.
  • Total burn out by August 2012 so we put DS in 4th grade in Public School
  • They called a meeting with me about skipping 5th grade. This would have DS going from 4th to 6th grade. NO!!!
  • Pulled DS out again in FEB 2013
  • Put DS in a Co-op like Classical Conversations but uses a lot of Tapestry. (They write their own curriculum)
  • Very liberal arts feel. Heavy writing!!! Ds wrote 5 papers in one week. Lots of reading which he loved. Math and Science was put on backburner. Also a pick and choose curriculum which is hard for me. I want him to do it ALL!!! There suggested schedule has us homeschooling for 8 hours, and science & math as an elective and last on the schedule.
  • Ahhh!!! Too many choices

We have found out about a science, math and technology school in our area. It is through the public school system but has a very small population (around 60 students) and it's own campus. It offers 9th - 12th grades. DS would have to apply in the 8th grade and they do accept homeschoolers. We want to homeschool him till then. I do not want my child to skip a grade in school. I love the classical method but I am really wondering if it is just not a fit for us. I cannot handle a buffet style curriculum because I want him to do it all. I have also looked at several curriculums with schedules. I do better with a daily schedule. I am a planner and the words "just relax" do not fit in my vocabulary. That is just the way I am wired. I very much have our homeschool set up like school, and classical just does not seem to fit that.



The things I love about classical

  • Chronological History
  • Lots of great literature intergrated into what DS is learning

Things I DO NOT love about classical

  • Days are too long. DH gets home at 4:30 and we are still homeschooling after starting at 7:30.
  • The planning myself. I cannot pick and choose. I need a daily schedule.
  • Reading several books at one time ( I don't get this!!!) Why read 2-3 chapters a day from 4-5 different books?

I have looked into MFW, SL, MOH (W/Illuminations Schedule), SOTW, and for some reason keep going back to TOG!!!

It is kind of like the perfect shoe that is 2 sizes too small. I think it is perfect but it won't fit on my foot....Ugh!!! My husband says to do Abeka and be done with it. That way DS can be a child too. It has the daily schedule of what to do and when, so me and my OCD would not go crazy and start overworking him, but I really love chronological history and heavy literature. However when we were using a traditional method we were finishing right after lunch and were more relaxed. I also got the "I am done for the day feeling" that I need so very much.


What do I do? I am scared that I am going to stress myself out to no end and just put him in public school and be done with it. I also need to have him in a co-op environment because he is an only child. There is one close to me but they are more traditional......Teaching Textbooks, Apologia Science, BJP History, etc. I also do not mind Christian curriculum because we are Christian but MOH seems to be overly Christian for us.


Key Points

  • I need a daily schedule
  • Heavy literature
  • Chronological History that does start with creation but does not spend 2 years in the bible.
  • I would like to finish school around 1-2ish.
  • I am not comfortable with a relaxed, choose what you want to do curriculum.
  • I will homeschool him for 4 years prior to the academy he wants to go to.

Signed......STRESSED OUT MAMA!!!


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Oh and here is another insight to how OCD I am. I was worried about pulling him twice and there being gaps mainly in math so I was using Saxon as a warm-up, Singapore as the actual lesson and following up with Life of Fred. I have since dropped Singapore. Here is my point: Could it be that I am just way to uptight to homeschool? I really want to do it, and missed it when I put him back into public school, but I am so stressed.

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No, you are NOT too uptight to homeschool. You just haven't homeschooled long enough to find what fits you and your ds. That happens to most of us, BTW. :-)


Yes, you chose way too many things to do. You have to make your OCD work for you instead of against. You *can* choose to do less. You *can* choose to do just one math You *can* choose to do TOG but only the activities which will let you be finished by 2. And when you choose those things, your OCD will keep you mightily focused. BTDT: this OCD person is extremely relaxed, because the books I read during the two weeks between my 6yo dd's meltdown after school and the day I withdrew her were all John Holt's. I was the best doggone unschooler in town. :D

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When I was feeling very stressed about some living circumstances combined with "picking and choosing" from curriculum choices, I decided to use Calvert for several years. It is an "in the box" curriculum (I chose a separate math program), and just followed the day-to-day instructions. Very straightforward to use, it is classical in nature, and I knew that my kids would be well-prepared at the end of it (goes through 8th grade) to enter any high school if we just did the daily assignments. The assignments were not too much, and we did not do any of the "optional" assignments. We also did not add any of the extra courses, though my girls did take violin lessons in addition to their school work. It put my mind at ease, relieved me of the feelings of "am I choosing to include the right things?" and those who used Calvert were well prepared for their following studies, and are now in college. It is traditional, but not as workbook oriented as Abeka, and tends to build strong writers. Just a possibility to consider.


ETA: Calvert does not have a huge quantity of literature books that are covered--they take a few books and go through them slowly. However, we had plenty of good books on the shelves that they read for pleasure "outside of school hours." Also, now I have gone back to a more 'pick and choose' approach, because I don't have the stresses I did at that time. It was nice, though, to not listen to the too many tempting voices to try this or that. I knew what I was using was effective.

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There are classical/lit-based programs that don't take ALL day. In TOG, you are NOT supposed to do everything!!!!! So yeah, it sounds like you might need a program where a minimal amount is laid out for you, and then you can add to it if it's too light? I would take a look at MFW and Sonlight. I haven't used MFW's upper programs, but it doesn't look like *too much*. I'm using Sonlight Core D this year with a 3rd grader, and it takes us maybe 30-45 minutes a day? Then we do ONE math program (Singapore by itself) and ONE English program (R&S English) and ONE handwriting workbook and ONE spelling workbook. Science was mostly unschooled this year (just read what he wants), but right now we're doing Ellen McHenry's "The Brain" and enjoying that. We do it 2 days per week. We also do two lessons of Latin per week (Getting Started With Latin) and some writing each week.


I am a box checker, and I do hate to not do something that is scheduled, but as I have homeschooled longer, it has gotten easier to drop things that are unnecessary and to relax some about what gets done. Actually, accelerating my son in math is what taught me how to do this. I forced myself to give him chapter tests in MM and let him *gasp* skip the chapters if he could pass the test. He aced every one I gave him (I only gave them if I suspected he knew the topic well), and a few years later, he is doing great, despite not having technically done MM 2B and several chapters of other books. ;)


You need to remind yourself that YOU are the teacher. Your curriculum is a TOOL. Do not let the curriculum rule over you. Think about what you want your child to learn, and use the curriculum to HELP you get there. Start with a lighter curriculum than TOG. Have you read the Well Trained Mind? Classical as she recommends does not take 7:30-4:30! :D If you are starting at 7:30 and take an hour lunch break, you should be able to finish by 1 or 2pm. If your son isn't ready to be independent with some of his work (thus letting YOU be done earlier), you might want to reduce the subjects a bit until he gains some independence. My oldest is doing a WTM-type education right now, but he can be done by lunch, and MY involvement is less than 2 hours. Sometimes it takes choosing specific curricula that aren't done 5 days a week or that don't take an hour per day to complete.


Another thing to remind yourself is that even b&m school teachers do not do everything in the book. In fact, they rarely finish a textbook in a school year. They pick and choose lessons and make lesson plans. Perhaps you need to work on making lesson plans, thinking about what you want to accomplish (not which exercises, but what are your GOALS?) and what amount of time it takes to do the work you're planning. Making a mock schedule of our day helped me figure out how much time to spend on things and how many days per week to do various subjects. I don't follow the schedule, but I laid one out just to see what *could* be done. If I lay out our schedule and it has us working 7:30-4:30, I know that we have too much on our plate and I need to scale back. ;)


I strongly doubt you're hopeless as a homeschooler. As Ellie said, you probably just haven't homeschooled long enough to figure out what works for you. Try again, start with the basics - the 3R's. Then add in history and science, but don't let them take over the whole day! :)

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In this case,I think your DH is right on target. Get Abeka and just do it. Everyone will be happy.


The only caveat I have is that you probably need to get 6th grade Abeka instead of 5th (or 4th) because it sounds like your son is quite advanced. DO NOT WORRY ABOUT GAPS. Abeka is very thorough and complete with plenty of review.


If you want to do chronological history, start planning now for your child' s high school years. That gives you a couple of years of strong successes behind you for when you get to 9th graded to find a box-checking, chronological program (or to create one!) that will fit the bill. And then post it on the high school board and you would be so popular!

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I have a child like yours. If I put her in public or private school for elementary, she would likely have to skip two grades. Today I received an order in the mail of a resource I bought for her that is for her grade level. She took one look at it and cried because she thought it was so babyish. She wants me to order her the level two grades higher (which she saw that her brother has). That is just an example of how she is. Homeschooling is by far the best fit for her because I can accelerate her in many areas to challenge her appropriately. I get the feeling that your son is the same way.


I am usually on the side of listening to your dh because they tend to have excellent advice and can often see clearly through the thick fog. So maybe you should go ahead and get the Abeka.


On the other hand, I don't think I would personally be happy doing Abeka with my accelerated child, even if it were two years above her grade level. From what you said, I think you definitely need a box right now, but I don't know which one I would recommend. Calvert is a good idea. I haven't used it, but it seems challenging and thorough. Veritas Press?


I get what you are saying about not being able to cut anything out. I am OCD like that myself. It is a struggle. Even though you may like what you are doing, you may feel bad that you are missing something because of the other 25 programs you are not doing. I agree with the pp who said make goals and pick programs to accomplish your goals. Get a good scope and sequence to see if there are any gaps, or just to reassure yourself that there are not any major gaps. I use the Core Knowledge K-8 Sequence to check through basic subjects (reading, writing, arithmetic mainly) for this purpose.


Not sure if any of this is helpful to you at all. But I just wanted to say that I can relate to your struggles, and I think you are right in pursuing homeschooling with your child.

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Oh my goodness, I can so relate to this post. I am very OCDish and I have struggled over the past 6 years to make a plan and stick with it. I know what you are going through. I have a 12 yr old dd that I have HS since she was 6 1/2. In retrospect I should have chosen ONE boxed curriculum and stuck with it. My state mandates yearly standardized testing. I should have taken the results of the testing and used that to target any gaps such as math word problems or math fluency. I would have also allowed her to pick pick one "passion" and we would have pursued that much more intensely.


I am planning on HS my 5 yr old dd beginning this summer after she finishes kindergarten. I am definitely going to buy a boxed curriculum for her and then add to it if necessary. I am leaning towards Memoria Press. It is classical in nature and gets good reviews on this board.

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In this case,I think your DH is right on target. Get Abeka and just do it. Everyone will be happy.




I'd do BJUP instead of ABeka, if I had to choose School in a Box. Much more engagingly written, equally as academically strong, more variety of exercises/activities in the history assignments, more writing in the English series.

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Have you looked at HOD (Heart of Dakota)? It has everything scheduled out for you including math, science, and LA.


I agree with you about not letting him skip a grade. My oldest dd sounds a lot like your ds. She is now getting ready to graduate from homeschool and earned hefty scholarships to her number one choice college. If we had let her skip a grade she would have started college in the fall of '12 and she just would not have been emotionally ready. Now she is.


Good luck!!!


Elise in NC

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I'm OCD too about things like this! However, I'm thankful, many times my OCD doesn't carry over to my son, because half the time all I have "planned" (I use that term loosely as I have no "plan") doesn't get done!!


I'm doing Heart of Dakota this fall. I'm over trying to cater to my paranoia about making sure I hit all the points. My children are learning WELL, even though I haven't stayed on top of it all! I am particular about a few things, which includes Math & English, and HOD already uses both Math & English that I do (Singapore and Rod & Staff). It is planned for me 100%! I'm going for it. I'm intending on using it as it is written, with the exception of cursive, but will still equal a page a day like the guide recommends for their recommended cursive workbooks.


I know HOD might not be for you, but going the "boxed" route might be a good idea, as most come with a guide, all planned and ready for you, and it could be a weight lifted!!

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