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Easy Peasy All-In-One or Time 4 Learning or something else?


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Hi all,

 

I home schooled my 3 from the beginning but had to put them into public school 2 years ago because I had to go back to work full time (8-5 type job). The first year they were in K and 2nd and it wasn't too bad, or maybe I was too busy to notice how bad it really was. Long story short, Common Core is not working and it is destroying my precious ones (maybe a little dramatic, but Common Core is not the discussion here).

 

I am pregnant with number 4 due in July, for financial reasons and my sanity my husband is going to stay home with the baby in lieu of daycare. I am pulling my older 2 (3rd is still in preschool) either to go to one of the 3 local charter schools that don't use Common Core, or they will be homeschooled. We are on waiting lists for the charter schools and our odds are not good, so I am planning for HSing next year.

 

What I need... I need something the older 2 (going into 2nd and 4th) can do independently during the day while I am at work. Something that they can get some benefit from that will be easy for them to do with minimal input and support from their dad. He will be there to trouble shoot and help them get set up but it really needs to be something they can do by themselves. Our background is using TWTM resources, SOTW history, FLL, WWE, Sonlight, and Math Mammoth, I was a Classical Conversations Foundations tutor (and campus director for a short time), and I am a curriculum junkie so if someone has mentioned it on this board chances are I've bought it tried it sold it possibly more than once :)

 

Time 4 Learning... We have done Time 4 Learning before and it was ok. I know it is not comprehensive and not enough for a complete program, but it does track their progress somewhat and it is easy for them to navigate through. Cons: it's not Christian based, so the science will be more like public school, and the history will not go along with what we are doing with Story of the World and Sonlight in the evenings/weekends. Also I think it has Social Studies type nonsense like community helpers and such which I think is a waste of time.

 

Easy Peasy... it looks fairly easy to navigate, though I know sometimes the links don't work and you need to get on the FB group to let the admins know etc. It's more comprehensive than T4L but you need to print out more things and you need to track progress on paper. NC is very easy reporting wise so I'm not super worried about this, I just will have to stay on top of it.

 

Something else... SOS will not work on our Macs and I don't really like it anyway. I need something web based. Ideas? Piecing together a whole slew of websites will likely be too hard for my littles to navigate independently.

 

Questions I'm not asking... not asking for opinions on if this situation will work, the decision is made and now we just have to figure out how to make it work. I am spending at least 2-3 hours each night after work with my kids reteaching them in a way they can understand in order to help them answer the question in the way Common Core wants them answered, so "not having enough time to do it all" is not a factor. Yes I know it will be hard and I will have no free time, but my children's well being is at stake that is more important. There is not an option for me to stay home, I make significantly more than my husband when benefits are factored it and my job has more opportunity for upward growth and flexibility.

 

All this said I really do respect what you ladies (and few gentlemen) think. I just don't want to waste anyone's time bringing up issues that are not relevant or up for discussion.

 

Thanks in advance for your input.

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I don't know much about the other programs, but do use Easy Peasy as a supplement for my child - the reading level required in Grade 2 is quite high and there are sections in the Grade 2/Year 2 curriculum where it says the parent should read (I think it is optional however) so I would check that both your children can keep up with the reading level if you choose this - check the entire language arts section. I usually open all links I am going to use with them the night before so I can check what works (so far everything has though needed some downloads occassionally which were quick to do).

 

If your husband is there with the baby however, is it not possible for him to supervise and even do some of the teaching - he will be as busy as you would be if you were home with the baby - or does he have additional duties? If you used a computer program that was relatively easy to navigate he should be able to be there for them if they have difficulties.

 

What are your main aims for homeschooling them and what is it that they were struggling with when it came to Common Core - it might be easier to give other recommendations. It sounds like you have thought this through a lot and know the pros and cons and what can work and what might cause problems - I would imagine that it will take some time to settle into whatever you choose and for your children and husband to get used to the new routine and then it should go ok - but give it some time and maybe let them all deschool a bit so everyone can get it together and figure out what can work.

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Thanks you so much for your response. My husband has not stayed home full-time before so I wanted to put the least amount of pressure on him as possible, but you are right he should be able to help them some. My 4th grader should also be able to help too.

 

Great tip about checking the links the night before I will be sure to do that.

 

The main reason for homeschooling is because of the substandard education our local public school is providing through Common Core. My main issue is the lack of teaching skills or lessons, at all really. My daughter is giving a 10 problem worksheet each week for math with problems that are like those on the end of grade test. There is no theme or link to any of them except that they are all math. The teacher goes over "testing strategies" or 15 different ways to get an answer for each of them and they check their work themselves or with a partner. Then the partner helps them with the right answer. There is no focus on a math skill or mastery of anything. Math facts are not taught or discussed. There are often typos that make the problem have no answer, sometimes the teacher forgets to tell them about it. Like my daughter got 4 wrong on a test because the teacher forgot to change "multiplication" to "addition" in 4 word problems.  For LA they are given something similar, but it's 5 sentences that need to be corrected also there are multiple choice questions that sometimes have answers that all make sense but one is slightly better. The science program is all over the place and is basically just a bunch of different topics that have no link to one another. The Social Studies is ridiculous, it's just a weekly reader pamphlet in which they do some reading comprehension about a social studies type topic. They do no handwriting, they teach cursive "sort of." The teacher told me they will  "go over some of the letters in cursive." For their reading, they are doing Accelerated Reader but they have to get books from certain genres.  If they get a book in the same genre before they finished the rest it doesn't count. The genres are very specific, like sports or women inventors. I could go on and on. It's so difficult to watch them be taught this nonsense when they were previously being taught so well in the classical model.

 

Additionally they have each picked up some bad habits behaviorally that I can't completely blame on PS, but it didn't help. Overall, I am not a fan.

 

Thanks again!

Mackenzie

 

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Well. My son is using time4learning at an accelerated pace, alongside time4writing. He is in 4th grade. I'm surprised to tell you that we totally love it. I ordered it as a last resort because schoolwork was just not going smooth for whatever reason (read: drudging along). I'm not sure that we will use it for 5th grade, but we will definitely continue with this combo throughout the rest of our school year.

 

I feel with the pace we use T4L it is fairly comprehensive (well, aside from writing - so we add in T4W). We do the extra projects and print off the worksheets, and he completes the assignments in writing odyssee too. It even has art, which is pretty cool. We only add in reading, foreign language, bible, recorder, and outside sports.

 

For a smaller one I would add in penmanship as well.

 

They do have spelling lists per grade that you can incorporate too.

 

Anyway. It's working for now, so I'm sticking with it :)

 

I can't tell you about other grades though, only 4th.

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I work, though I work a lot at home and have flexibility because my husband and I own the business. T4L is my backup during times we are really busy. I think if you supplement it with lots of good literature, it will get the job done for you (and handwriting for any littles). Make sure you or your DH check the parent reports so you know if there are areas you need to review. Also, when I am working and my kids are doing T4L, I work within earshot because I can hear the sound the program makes for wrong answers and I can jump in and teach what they don't understand. Your DH should be prepared to do that.

 

I don't know what your DH's talents are, but my DH and I are talking about changing things up and having him do math and hands on projects with the kids on the two days I am out of the house. We are talking about doing a garden, building a greenhouse and building a shed this spring and summer. We are going to get more involved with 4H and have DH take that kind of stuff on with our boys.

 

It is hard, but homeschooling is worth it. You will probably go through a lot of trial and error, but you are committed to this, so you will figure it out!

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I used T4L this year for a while with my 1st grader because of this pregnancy. I needed her to do something and it worked while we used it. I would of used it for my 3rd grader too but he was able to do Sonlight independently. You might look into teaching textbooks also.

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If your second grader needs to work on basic skills, Funnix may be a good choice. It's phonics and basic math, on a CD Rom (we use the download). It is completely independent for my second grader. It's working well for us, and he loves it.

 

That's a great idea. I downloaded their free lessons for phonics and math on long dead computer. Glad you reminded me of Funnix!

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What if you did a flipped schedule where you taught them the basics at night and they did their work the next day? You would check the prior days work then teach the next lesson. You could also find and assign Kahn lessons and other videos for math areas they did not understand to watch the next day.

 

SOTW audio, my phonics lessons, for math a short term option would be to have them do the ADAM k-7 test then do the linked Kahn videos where they need work. I also like Read Write Type better than any other online phonics program, all the others induce guessing to some extent because of their format.

 

http://www.letsgolearn.com/lglsite/ADAM_math/parents/

 

http://www.talkingfingers.com/

 

My husband has taught for me a few days in the past when I went on a trip, he did pretty well. I would figure out what subjects your husband could teach easiest and have him do those. He could try one subject for a whole week, trying out a different subject each week. You need to do at least a few days of something to get a good feel for it. For example, week 1 he teaches math, week two phonics/grammar, etc.

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