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What Worked, What Didn't?


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Sharing my own answer to this...

 

Starting a month early in summer in stead of working late to catch up...that was GREAT.  So much better.

 

Adding my middle child as a homeschooler...didn't work.  :-(   Public school works for him and we're sticking with that.

 

Story of the World continues to work...in fact, it's working better for us than it even did a year ago, as my son's attention span grows.  I was wondering last year if he was retaining anything, but this year I'm seeing how the built in "review" (where the author will refer back to places and events already covered) helps with that.   And the  times I've used other sources (like for a few things she skipped over that I wanted to cover) have made me appreciate how good her writing is...how it keeps my son engaged. 

 

What isn't working as well as I hoped was doing Story of the World in co-op.  I thought it would be great to do activities with other kids, but mostly my son hasn't wanted to participate much, and mainly only wanted to go to play with the other kids after SOTW was over.  And it all went kabust half way through the year anyways as parents got overloaded with other things.    Though, frankly, the times I taught I really enjoyed it...made me remember what I love about teaching groups.

 

Math U See continued to not work for us...except the manipulatives, which I used apart from the lessons.  Addition Facts that Stick and Subtraction Facts that Stick is working!

 

All About Spelling continues to rock.

 

Combining science and history whenever possible has been going great!

 

Involving my teen by paying him to make funny educational powerpoints to teach  lessons to my youngest...LOVING THAT!   He's saving up for something and it is totally worth the money spent.

Edited by goldenecho
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I was so much more relaxed this year than in the past.  That helped us tremendously.  In fact, both DD and I think this has been the best year ever with homeschooling.

 

The only thing that really didn't work was Spanish.  It was just too much with everything else we are/were doing.  DD is not a "foreign language" person anyway.  She's just not into it.  I told her we would revisit it next year as she has to get at least two credits for high school.  Other than that, everything was great.

 

The best thing we did was ditch formal, commercial homeschool curriculum.  I have tried so much different curricula over the years; always looking for the newest and greatest thing out there.  Come to find out all we needed was regular books and texts with some supplemental articles, podcasts, and documentaries thrown in. Basically, any book/text NOT considered homeschool curricula (except for math and science).  Our greatest resource and the best purchase decision, by far, was a subscription to The Great Courses Plus.  DD absolutely LOVES this!  She has a new-found love of everything science and history all because of GCP!  Now she talks about how much she loves and wants to learn more about Physics and Chemistry - dreaded subjects before GCP when we were using regular homeschool curricula that barely scratched the surface.  I can't recommend GCP enough.

 

Everything else was good, but the major hits were:

  • Science using The Joy of Science through GCP w/corresponding text.
  • For Bible study we completed the book, Unseen Realm, and watched lectures with Dr. Heiser on YouTube, along with reading Beginning with Moses, Fabricating Jesus, and various gnostic texts, for an in-depth study of Jesus.  DD is rabid about reading and digesting anything by Dr. Michael S. Heiser.  His work has dramatically increased her faith and given her a desire to read her Bible more and study the Bible through its ancient cultural context -- not a 21st-century context.  It has rocked her world in a great way, as well as for DH and I.  So much so that I'm going to plan and write/develop a curriculum for the study of the Bible in its proper cultural context. It may take a while, but I'm definitely going to do so. No more fluff Bible studies for us!
  • Learning about evolution using the text, Discovering Intelligent Design, along with some GCP lectures and supplemental articles from Evolution News & Views website.
  • Our history class on the Celts and Druids using various library books, used books from Amazon, YouTube docs and various GCP lectures.
  • Reading Hobbit & LOTR using Mythgard's lecture series - DD absolutely loved that lecture series and got a lot out of them.

I'm hoping we can keep the relaxed attitude and atmosphere for our foray into high school next year.

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When my kids were in elementary, I had a weekly checklist for each of them and that was a huge help.

 

We always did math and grammar through the summer, so that when February burnout rolled around, we could start taking it a bit easy and have a lighter schedule, doing those subjects only a couple of times a week.  Also, picking a math program and sticking with it and rarely taking complete breaks feels like it was the right choice for giving them a strong foundation in math.  Using Rod and Staff for my son up through book 5 or 6 and then CLE was also the right choice even though it felt like there was a constant refrain at that time about how Singapore math was the only decent program, lol.  Rod & Staff gave him such a solid foundation.

 

I used Galloping the Globe for my son in first grade since he had a special interest in geography and he adored it and had so much fun with it.

 

The best thing I did with both of them was read, read, read to them.  I used Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook from the time they were toddlers and preschoolers up until we started used Sonlight in Pre-K.  All of us have very fond memories based on that time together and I think it really helped my son, in particular, who has some lds, develop an exceptional vocabulary and reading skills.  We also heavily utilized audiobooks.

 

We did tons of field trips and spent lots of time on the playground through early middle school.  My dd did lots of art projects.  I got an art book from the library and stocked up on supplies and she would pick projects she wanted to do each day.

 

Honestly, homeschooling high school has not been so great for me.  For one, many of my kids' friends went off to public school and my son has been lonely, which has been a great weight on me.  All the joy of working with them, reading with them and teaching them ended.  I didn't feel like I could give them the best education possible without outsourcing classes at that point and everything became a time crunch.  I still do math with both of them, but that's about it.  I *think* that was the right choice because they have both really excelled academically and have had wonderful experiences with great teachers.  I guess that is the big positive about high school -- I've been able to pick and choose and find the absolute best classes for each of them even though they have very different needs.  I think homeschooling high school has helped my dd excel academically in a way that probably wouldn't have been possible in public school and she is an introvert, so not being in school works for her.  I question whether my son would have been better off in public school beginning in 9th.  I do not believe he would have gotten as good of an education, but his social needs may have been better met.  I wish we had at least tried school in 9th grade for him.

 

Lastly, I'm grateful that all the online classes didn't really become widely available until my kids were close to high school because I think if they had been, I might have felt pressured to use them since I might have thought they were "better" than what I could offer and then we all would have missed out on some really great times.

 

 

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Things that went well this year:  I feel like we have done well with literature this year.  We substituted audio books once in awhile and that made a huge difference.  Jump In wiritng worked great with my 6th grader who didn't do as well with IEW.  My 9th grader took Algebra and Biology at a tutorial this year and discovered a love of science!  He is also getting great grades in both classes.  My sister is doing writing with my 9th grader, and having someone else work on that with him has been amazing.  His writing has greatly improved (and he loves Skyping with his aunt who lives 11 hours away 3 times a week!).  We did a "History of Rock and Roll" study - SUPER FUN!  We all loved that.

 

Not so well:  German.  It took my until close to the end of the first semester to find a book we could really work with - and it was "German for Dummies".   :glare:   My other sister has a masters in German, so I finally gave her a budget and had her choose what resources she thought would work well.  Turns out sister knows best. I think we will be doing German through the summer to solidify it - DS is not a fan of foreign languages.  Notgrass History was just a "meh" for my high schooler too.  It gets it done, but with zero excitment from DS.  We will try Oak Meadow and add a military history slant next year and hopefully that will be more engaging for him.

 

What really stunk:  I had surgery at the end of August and spent all of the first semester going to physical therapy twice a week.  Balancing recovery with homeschooling was stressful.  The boys did well staying on task and progressing, but it was A LOT for us all.  

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What worked:

-homeschool Spanish academy! Ds really enjoys his teacher and he's retaining a ton.

-mathematics a human endeavor - DS 10 loves this and it's been a nice bridge from pre-a to algebra

 

What didn't work:

Miquon - I'm not cut out for this

Cells by McHenry - ds just didn't love it, I do though so I'll def try it again.

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What worked:

  • Unit Studies for middle & youngest - planning on doing US history next year this way
  • Comm College for oldest - she blossomed in her first class
  • Doing workbook-y things 2x a week - days when we have to go to comm college for middle & youngest.
  • Jacob's Geometry - went much better than Life of Fred for Algebra

 

What didn't work:

  • Spanish for oldest - her LDs make learning a foreign language quite the undertaking. She's switching to ASL.
  • Science - still haven't found my groove in teaching science. Oldest will be taking Chem at comm college next year - I am out.

 

 

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What didn't work:

 

Math u see

Voyages in English

Essentials in writing

 

 

What worked and we loved:

 

Mcruffy phonics and reading

Story of the world

BJU math

 

 

This year I used a lot of "in the middle" things that worked well enough but not loved.

Edited by Peacefulisle
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What worked for us:

  • Using One Note to record the older kids's assignments for each day.  They just opened One Note and started working without me.
  • Arming each teen with a Kindle
  • Cutting down on outside activities
  • Prentice Hall English: British Tradition
  • Signs and Seasons Astronomy
  • Doing a mock trial
  • the Ray Maybury books like Whatever Happened to Penny Candy (dd really liked those books)
  • the Smithsonian Visual Guide books
  • Great Tales from English History (a big hit here)
  • scheduling in field trips
  • homeschool PE (sounds cheesy, but the kids beg to go there)

 

What Didn't Work:

  • using a math curriculum for my younger kids
  • Beyond FIAR for my 6th grader (I like unit studies, but she needed something more difficult)
  • dd's entire 3rd grade year (she had a brain injury in August and missed practically the entire school year)
  • worrying about making high school look good for college admissions/worrying what other people are doing
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What worked-

*CLE math for my 3 and 6 graders.

*Mama made American history. We gave up doing encyclopedia/outlines and my 6th grader read a TON of books (I think we are at 15 currently) instead. She loved it, and honestly has a better understanding of history.

*IEW for both big girls. SWI B followed by Narnia for my 6th grader, and Fables and Fairy Tales for my 3rd grader. We started in February, so we won't finish the whole year by summer, but I adore IEW, and have seen tremendous growth in their writing.

*Elemental Science Chemistry for the Logic Stage coop for my 6th grader, unit study based science for my 3rd grader at the same time. I am hands off for the chemistry part. Some moms teach the bigger kids and I, along with two other moms, teach the younger siblings. The middle schoolers do all the labs, reading, vocabulary, and discussion question there. I like that I don't have to assemble a bunch of supplies, that she gets to works with lab partners and bounce ideas off each other, and that there is no homework, so science is completely taken off our home schedule.

*Morning Basket-we recently started this and everyone loves it. It takes us 1-1.5 hours, but it is so well worth it. The morning feels nicer, calmer, and I'm really loving all of the discussion. Depending on the day, we cover-religious study, character, reading aloud, history, literature, fables, poetry, music, art, spelling, math facts, memory work, and logic.

*Art and Debate classes at coop #2-the art is taught by two ladies who own an art studio, and is fantastic. They've done glass fusing, clay, canvas painting, chalk, and a bunch of other methods. I love it. I feel they are really learning a ton. The debate class is the second half of what started as a logic class. It's for my oldest. She comes home every week excited to research the topic (some have been age of the earth, animal testing, women leadership in church, building Trumps wall, etc.) and spends hours preparing her defense. Even though we are generally on a very liberal side (the coop is Christian based, so we are kind of heretical lol), and she is in the minority when it comes to choosing sides, her teacher has applauded her and cheered her on and has never made her feel weird. She adores her teacher.

*Phonetic Zoo-It's easy to implement and doesn't make her cry. Win.

*Shepperd Software-they do the world geography drills. Takes five minutes and they all do it happily.

*Prodigy Math-got it for $8 a year, totally worth it. It's fun, and they get exposure to some different concepts and methods.

 

 

What hasn't worked-

*Sigh. Basically anything with my 6 year old. She's on the sensory spectrum, and has a very hard time with emotional regulation. I don't think it's the curriculum, it's her. We are doing Miquon and CLE Learn to Read. I like them both a lot, but she gives me a hard time everyday. I am at a loss. She is capable, and the curriculum is good, but she does it grudgingly and generally needs to leave the table at least once. 😣

*Mapping the World With Art-the reading selection bored them. The map drawings were good, but they didn't really retain much.

*Critical Thinking Co-grammar/language arts. It got done, but I'm not sure how much was retained...this isn't a total fail for us, but I don't know that I loved it. We'll be doing something else next year.

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We still have two months left, but here goes:

 

Worked - Times Tales video for multiplication facts; new elementary just-for-fun homeschool play group; SOTW as usual, plus we were able to do some good field trips; Burning Cargo for typing; a few weeks of Dianne Craft's handwriting exercises; required morning chore before piano and school; Cub Scouts (I wish I'd had him join in 2nd grade, but he wasn't ready before that).

 

Definitely didn't - Practicing math facts online (Xtramath, Reflex); a big, K-12 enrichment homeschool group that meets too early in the day for me; dictation hasn't gone that well because DS is not a very confident speller yet.

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Hmm...

 

Worked...

 

Jacob's Algebra and Mathematics a Human Endeavor for Mushroom

Dolciani Pre-Algebra and (just started, but seems good so far) Algebra for BalletBoy

 

Daily Language Review for my struggling speller/mechanics user - the two sentences to correct have been very good and now he's doing Daily Paragraph Editing instead and that's going well.

 

Duolingo + Breaking the Barrier Spanish for BalletBoy... honestly, I don't know if he's learning oh so much Spanish - he's very slow in BBS, but he loves it, he's so diligent about it, he's definitely learning some and I'm fine with all of that.

 

DIY'ing our own cross-subject, child inspired unit studies continues to go well.

 

BalletBoy's study of "weird" physics. This came together so well. He read lots of good time travel stories, including The Time Machine, we watched great movies and TV shows, he read a bunch of Michio Kaku stuff, he did a Great Courses, he made a catalog of "impossible" products... it was a good unit for him.

 

Mushroom's space study. He wrote a great paper about space food, made rockets, played around with paper airplane designs, read a bunch of good history of flight and science of flight books, watched a bunch of good movies (we watched nearly all of From the Earth to the Moon, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff...). This was a really solid unit.

 

Mushroom's study of cells has been good. I DIY'ed things for him and now he's doing Ellen McHenry's Protozoa unit, which I don't adore, but which is fine.

 

Figuratively Speaking is working well for BalletBoy.

 

Wordsmith worked okay for Mushroom at the start of the year when he still needed something very independent.

 

Didn't work so well...

 

Spanish for Children was a total bust. What a cruddy program.

 

We still adore Brave Writer, but I thought we'd get back to doing the specific projects in Faltering Ownership and that didn't happen.

 

Mushroom's study of fairy and folk tales was just so-so. He did some cool things and read a bunch of stories but it never quite hit a deeper level. Oh well. His study of games is still up in the air. I guess we'll see. Right now, I'm a bit concerned he's not going to finish his final projects because he laid out too ambitious a plan for himself.

 

BalletBoy's desire to study linguistics kind of fizzled. As did his desire to study political systems. We did some good stuff for both, but they never became good overall units.

 

Some of BalletBoy's literature hasn't been a win. He did not like Wednesday Wars much. He struggled through Call of the Wild, but didn't like it much.

 

Everything else has just been in the middle, I guess...

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What worked -

Anything that didn't require a great deal of input from me. I was sick for most of last year and early part of this. So R&S English, Saxon Math with DIVE, R&S Spelling, CLP Handwriting, languages using Duolingo... my 17yo and 15yo are pretty much independent anyway.

 

What definitely didn't work -

Apologia Science (I need a simpler science curriculum), any Latin, WWE.

 

I'm sure there are others but I can't think of them off the top of my head.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Prodigy math game was a life saver when I was pretty much incapacitated by morning sickness. My kids were motivated to do some math every day on their own.

 

For us, too - when DS8 got overwhelmed by Beast Academy and just could not face one more day of having to figure things out and problem solve, we'd take a few days and just do Prodigy instead.  It was that or not do math for a few days, and the Prodigy really helped both with keeping calculation skills current and improving morale.

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Worked:

Lukeion's Barbarian Digrammarian

Handwriting Without Tears Cursive - successful remediation of probable dysgraphia from a kid who took 20 painful minutes to write an illegible sentence to a kid who spends 2 hours writing a 20-page guide to JackSmith (the online game) complete with diagrams and illustrations.

Audiobooks -who knew we'd like them?

Prentice Hall Biology, the Dragonfly book - taking it very slowly, but it is comprehensive, written largely to the student, and a great intro to textbook learning

TOPScience

Treasured Conversations

 

What didn't work:

Athena's Academy Meteorology (just absolutely no interest)

Typing - I give *up* trying to convince the kids to learn to type.  They hate it.  They hunt and peck and hunt and peck and I explain to them over and over how great it will be to be able to type faster and it's just a fight every day.  So I give up for a while.

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Worked:

Going back to CLE math. DD hates it, but she actually retains what it teaches. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time doing other things, so we're having to double the lessons until she gets caught up. 

Spelling You See

Drawing Textbook - art that actually gets done

reading and block scheduling from BYL 8

creative writing (currently using A Fairly Creative Guide to Telling Tales)

 

Didn't work:

language arts in BYL 8, or basically anything that involved doing anything other than reading

French - we just didn't make foreign language enough of a priority. I think I'm going to have to enroll DD in a class to get it done

academic writing - (Such misery!  :svengo: DD really hated it, so I tried to make writing more enjoyable by switching to creative writing. I'm trying to transition to more academic writing by the end of next year.)

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What worked:

 

- weekly checklists kept us all on track and we got so much done

- Math Mammoth with MUS blocks

- using journals to incorporate personal writing, picture study, read aloud narrations, copywork, drawing, and other stuff

- FLL3

- My Body Book. They loved this. We added read alouds and other things and it was a good anatomy unit

 

Didn't work:

- ETC. We loved it up to this year, but it just wasn't clicking.

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I always love these threads...

 

what worked

checklists, my kids love checklists

 

poetry time- all the kids LOVE it

 

less outside obligations- we cut way back and even so we ended up busier than I would have liked at different times, it greatly helped my stress level and the kids enjoyed more down time as well

 

family walks and "PE"- we worked on all kinds of stuff- handstands, cartwheels, arm balancing, swinging from trees, etc

 

ds

AoPS pre-A- despite my reluctance we've made it half-way through without incident (we started it half-way through the year)

Caesar's English- I wish we would have started this sooner

Apples & Pears Spelling- his spelling still isn't great but is much improved, he has finally finished the series

BYL7- lit and geography books were generally a pretty good match

 

dd1

saxon math- ironically the tears have stopped

apples & pears- she started the year with Rod and Staff but it became clear quickly that it wouldn't work

treasured conversations- just as good the second time through

mystery science- our own plans fizzled out as she changed her mind but she enjoyed this

american history w/ american girls- she really enjoyed this and although we should have added more I'm calling it a win

 

dd2

loe foundations we finished this-although he skimmed through d as her reading took off

 

what didn't work

trying to have kids do more independently than they were ready to do- this fall was uber stressful(I got really sick, nearly ended up in the hospital and too much other life stuff) and didn't really do things as well as I would like for awhile. When things are great i prefer to do my own thing and it is wonderful but when things aren't so good I can't keep up with it, thus the very slow lessons  i have learned (1) we are tidal schoolers  (2)using curriculum is my friend- as long as I don't make myself a slave to it and (3) pre-plan as much as possible.

 

Also, it is better to do fewer things well. I need to just keep an eye on my own goals and not worry about what anyone else does, otherwise i end up trying to do too much.

 

MUS pre-A for ds- he didn't like the videos and learned nothing- I need to work with him side by side, we did half before dropping it

 

BYL7 assignments/LA- it seemed like a lot of busy work- I also ended up having to redo the schedule in parts as the schedule didn't work for us, which was a total pain and the organization of it made it even harder

 

Rod & Staff spelling for dd1 - she needed more remedial work

 

RSB for dd1 she just didn't like it we made it 1/3-1/2 the way through and shelved it. finally, we ended up back at MiF 1, which we had put aside last year as she sped through k but got stuck in the 1 book

 

 

 

Meh---

JAG - I don't know how much of this stuck and he didn't care for it- we soldiered through to the end b/c it was short but I don't think I'll try it again

 

Science for ds- the BYL level I bought didn't have science integrated and i didn't care for their recommendations so I threw together a hodge podge of this and that, it was lacking at times although he generally enjoyed the books i picked

 

Doing my own thing- somewhat works but I'm not ready to do it 100% solo, it works better to find something that almost works and tweak it so I have a backbone to go with. I need programs well laid out and easy to use with worthwhile assignments BUT without busy work.

 

 

Edited by soror
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My last, a 12th grader.

 

The only thing that didn't quite work out was the physics labs. DD doesn't have the patience to do them on her own, and we finally decided to finish up that over the summer. So yes, she graduates in June, and we'll be doing the labs over the summer. This week is the last one for her local class that covers history, lit, and writing, so she's happy about that.

 

We're also behind on her driving. She's had so many papers this year that getting in the night driving has been tough. I took her out every day over spring break and did six hours of night driving, but we've got a lot to go. I wish we had done more in February and March.

 

My older one had heavy dual enrollment and papers due in his other classes in that last May. He still had six complete chapters of physics to finish up after he graduated. And he was behind on driving too. He finally got his license a month before he went to college.

 

So I guess getting behind on physics and driving runs in the family!

Edited by G5052
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We have had a really good year.

 

What worked:

 

I'm going to continue almost everything we did next year, so that says a lot. Best buy: BJU Math with DVD. My son has done really well with math this year. I'm on the fence whether to do another year of Abeka with my daughter or switch her now to BJU. There were definitely some holes switching between the two programs, but BJU 7 was a great, rigorous overview.

 

TOG, FixIt, and IEW - all winners

 

Co-op - non-Academic, best thing ever. Fridays are filled with duct taped sword fighting, chess, strategy games, crafts....friends

 

Motivated Moms app and kids having an iTouch. My house is getting clean(er).

 

Honestly, just them getting older has been so great. They are working more independently and are more capable. It's been a good year.

 

Hardest thing this year is that I'm scheduling a good 4-5 days worth of work and we are technically schooling 3. I told them that's what needs to get done and we will continue extracurricular activities if they can keep it up. Some days that means more work, some days it means we do school after park days or co-op.

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What didn't work? Too many outside activities. We managed to keep up with activities and school, but it was stressful and rushed at times.

 

What worked but we are still changing? We are finding our style and moving away from school at home type resources.

 

What worked and we are keeping? Veritas Press Bible and History. We love it. We are trying the self paced Bible course next year, but I will continue to teach History. We will also continue with MLFLE and Singapore.

Edited by MyLife
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Curriculum that worked:

  • Math. Math Mammoth continues to be a favorite with Mr. Inquisitive. He loves that the teaching/instructions are right there in the text (he's a "let me do it myself" type). I frequently have him "teach" me the lesson to make sure he's got it before turning him loose on the rest of the problems (I usually have him complete between half and two thirds. So far that has worked very well with excellent retention.) Mr. Engineer whizzed through Singapore Essentials. It was all review for him but I wanted to make sure. He's now working through MM 1A and, despite have a drastically different learning style from his older brother, also loves it and is doing very well.
  • First Language Lessons - If I never have to hear the definition of a preposition again it will be too soon but the program has been quick/painless/easy to implement and Mr. Inquisitive has retained it well.
  • Spelling Workout - just enough guidance/independent work for Mr. Inquisitive.
  • Teach Your Child to Read in 100EZ Lessons - After working on a more "traditional"(?) phonics approach with Mr. Engineer for over a year we have finally found something that clicks with him and is getting him from that "know your letters and sounds" stage to actually blending the sounds together and beginning to read words.
  • Story of the World​. It gets done and the kids love listening to it. Mr. Inquisitive particularly loves doing the maps.

Other things that worked:

  • Breaking everything down into daily lesson plans, printing out maps/worksheets/various other printables, and organizing everything by week and by day (undated!). It was a lot of work in bits and spurts over the summer but our year has run so smoothly because of it. Will definitely be doing a similar thing for next year.
  • Breaking up history and science and not doing them everyday. We've done 2 days of history, our break day, and then 2 days of science. I think I'm going to take this a step further next year and go full block schedule with those two and do 18 weeks of history and then 18 weeks of science.
  • Finding that sweet spot between "relaxed" and "rigorous"... and letting it change day to day depending on the mood of the room.

Curriculum that didn't work:

  • Real Science Odyssey. I really liked the idea of it but there were just too many experiments and not enough reading (and our library is great for the community involvement/community center aspect and not so much for the actual finding of books). I think it would work really well for someone who learns via experiments/doing and then has the concept reinforced through other means but Mr. Inquisitive is just the opposite so it really killed his love of science there for a bit.
  • ​A Reason For Spelling​. There was nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't a good fit for Mr. Inquisitive.

Stuff that was so-so:

 

Over all its been a really good year for us :hurray: 

 

 

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We moved in late September, and it feels like we have been playing catch-up all year, which I hate. As a result, this has been our least successful year of homeschooling.

 

What worked (DS, 7/8, 2nd grade):

 

Athena's for Literature -- he loves this class, and has really blossomed into an avid reader.

 

Writing With Ease 3 -- WWE is our old reliable.

 

Writing & Rhetoric -- my son really enjoys this.

 

Getting Started With Latin -- it is as good as everyone says it is.

 

History of US on audiobook -- my son begs to listen to it.

 

MCT -- we haven't finished the Town level in its entirety yet, but we really are enjoying Caesar's English.

 

What didn't work:

 

Athena's for Physics. The class is great. The concepts were perfect for my son, but the output was just too much for him. And, if you know Athena's classes, you know that they are not heavy on the output. It was just a mismatch for a 2nd grader who cannot yet output at the middle school level. My bad.

 

French. I just cannot outsource a thing to my husband -- even his native language! I cannot believe I am going to have to pay someone to teach my kid French, but it appears to be the only way that it is going to get done. Sigh.

 

Hebrew. Languages are the bane of my existence. We slowed down Shalom Ivrit and started using Duolingo/Memrise, which my son much prefers.

 

Beast Academy. We love Beast, but I am learning that my son needs some review of topics he hasn't seen in awhile. We aren't ditching BA; just building more review into our homeschool as a general matter.

 

Canadian and California history just didn't happen.

Edited by SeaConquest
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What did work
-CLE math for my younger ones
-Having a giant family/circle/table time after lunch. I've integrated as much as possible and not having so many people all over doing their own things has made our chaos feel more cohesive.  Family history, family read alouds, poetry, music, drawing etc... ALL those things have been wonderful. I'm going to resist the urge to change that format for next year and just plug in different materials. Jury is still out on what those will be.  Seriously. Y'all, I'm clueless.

-copywork and narrations-simple and easy. Not hard to plan. Not hard to correct 

 

What I'm still pondering-
-IEW SWI B-so I totally ended up send this back...and yet months later when I ask my daughter to take notes from her science/history and write a narration, she STILL uses KWO format and some of those tools. So, I'm feeling a little better about our time spent with it. Truth be told I'm even having second thoughts about having sent it back, because, ya know, I can be wishy washy like that. ((shrugs))

-We did NO grammar this year. That was fine as we'd done it every year for years and this year has been stressful.....but we WILL do it next year.

 

 

What didn't work-

-Feeling behind ALL year. It's been miserable.  We started late, took over a month off to have company and have been trying to move (still hasn't happened). Feeling behind/rushed/not able to find a rhythm this year has made everything miserable no matter how delightful the materials or how perfect they'd be for us if our circumstances were different. I want a do over.

-Algebra 1 for my son- We were moving along fine (I thought), but he just hit a wall and couldn't go anywhere.  Felt behind. I think a lot of this is stemming from the previous point I mentioned of us feeling rushed and never being able to catch up ALL year. He's getting a complete do over for 9th grade. Dear Lord, I'm hoping that helps

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What worked:

AAS - Yay! Dd is retaining how to break up syllables and rules and can even apply what she's learned to other writing assignments, even though we discovered last year that she is most definitely not a "natural speller."

 

ELTL2 - Dd, who is still resistant to the act of writing, takes to the copywork here better than WWE. I think it might be because the space to copy is directly below the sample instead of having the sample all at the top of the page. I also really appreciate the pace at which grammar topics are introduced - not too much at one time, but faster than some others we have tried. I like that this curriculum incorporates poetry and picture study as well, because I have been horrible at doing picture study during morning time.

 

Drawing for Better Penmanship - Dd really likes this for cursive practice.

 

BFSU - It took me about a year and a half to get a handle on presenting lessons, but I am managing to get a lesson done per week and we might almost finish Vol. 1 so we can go on to a more relaxed schedule next year for Vol. 2.

 

The Jury Is Still Out...

MEP - After quitting MUS and floundering with facts for a bit, we have found the place in Year 2 where the lessons are just right for her. We are spending 40-60 minutes a day on math now - I've gotten to where I stop after 30 minutes and come back to finish later. She is not complaining about it too much, and she is making progress. We just haven't been doing it long enough yet for me to make an informed judgement.

 

What Did Not Work

MUS - Dd would whip through a worksheet in 5-10 minutes, get nearly everything right and not understand the concepts behind what she was doing.

 

Lucy Calkins - I totally bought into her writing workshop thing and just could not implement it and she did not have materials that spoke directly to where my child was at.

 

WriteShop - This looked more doable to me, but dd hated it.

 

Doing the Job

SSL 2 - We are going through this more slowly, with the hopes that she will have better retention, but it is not happening as often as it probably should.

 

SOTW 2 - Getting through the book okay, but is it me, or are the projects not as appealing as in SOTW 1?

 

Joy of Handwriting Cursive - Dd has learned how to write in cursive.

 

 

One thing I did last year, but for some reason I did not do this year but wish I had, was to write down a weekly review of how she was doing, where she had progressed, and what things were a challenge for her. I definitely intend to do that for next year.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by knitgrl
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What didn't work:

 

Math u see

Voyages in English

Essentials in writing

 

 

What worked and we loved:

 

Mcruffy phonics and reading

Story of the world

BJU math

 

 

This year I used a lot of "in the middle" things that worked well enough but not loved.

 

Can you tell me why EIW didn't work?

Edited by Mom28kds
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Long-term programs that have worked for my kids:

 

Reading to my kids

 

Audio books for the car

 

100EZ (after they had learned upper and lower case letters and letter sounds)

 

No scribing ever for any of my kids. (They wrote their own sentences no matter how bad the handwriting looked!)

 

Horizons Math K-6

 

Flashcards to learn math facts

 

Doliani Pre-Algebra (1986/1988) with the TM schedule)

 

R&S English 2-8

 

IEW DVD courses starting in 3rd grade (SWI-A, SICC-A, B, C)

 

Daily checklists for all the kids (to let them decide how to order their subjects over the day)

 

Manuscript and Cursive through HWOT

 

Duolingo (to get an introduction to a language before taking formal foreign language courses)

 

Mystery Science (for my elementary-aged kid)

 

BJU DLO (distance learning online) courses (6th, 7th, 8th grades)

 

Learning to draw the world using this program:

http://map-of-the-whole-world.weebly.com/

 

Public speaking--CC weekly presentations, and then local middle school speech club including tournaments

 

Fallacy Detective

 

Civil Air Patrol (leadership skills, maturity)

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Worked:

 

Student Planners

Copywork/Dictation/Narration

Strayer Upton math

Low subject load

ACE Science with the videos for the high-schooler

Civil Air Patrol for the high-schooler

Lots of things worked, actually. We've found our groove.

 

Didn't:

 

Doing logic On Our Own

 

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Thinking Tree/Dyslexia Games really worked for one of mine. She also got Vision Therapy this year and worked with a special ed teacher who taught me methods for teaching her spelling and mixed with the TT/DG books, she made real improvements.  She has loved her Thinking Tree Do It Yourself Journal and her Thinking Tree spelling books and the Dyslexia Games therapy books.  This was the biggest change and biggest improvement we have had for mdd of anything we have tried. This is her best learning year.

 

Both of mine used the Thinking Tree Career Journals, How to Make Money, and we will keep those ongoing. 

 

Other things are just ongoing things we always do: MP Latin, R&S math through 8th grade, and R&S English all the way. Studying for and taking the NLEs from their syllabi with friends from co-op.  One of mine got piano lessons she has been wanting for awhile. Classical House of Learning Lit's blog for literature. Co-op for science and some electives.  WTM history for logic stage for one, rhetoric stage for the other.  Can't wait to start the actual rhetoric materials from WTM next year. WTM stuff always works so well for us.

 

One thing that didn't work was Algebra from a textbook. Odd has done R&S math through 8th grade, always from a textbook, but switching to Algebra has not been working for her. Her usual method of studying the practice problems on her own then doing the problems just isn't working, and she doesn't like me demonstrating to her. Or I don't like the way she talks to me when I demonstrate to her, lol. Love teenagers. So I am switching to a video program for math next year to see if that might help for Geometry. 

Edited by 2_girls_mommy
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Working:

 

Homeschooling! We finished testing this week, and despite working six weeks on hard, then six weeks of light work, they have both tested above 80th percentile in every subject.  

 

Play mornings, work for three hours in the afternoon.  I get more housework done and the same amount of school work gets done. Go figure.

 

FLL 3 for both DSs.  DS11 wouldn't focus while I was doing DS9 grammar lessons, and learned three poems, the definitions and how to diagram. 

 

WWE 2.  DS9 is doing really well.  We actually ended up skipping 10 weeks in the process because he was doing so well.  

 

Spelling Workout.  I adjusted it and have the boys re-write each missed word as many times as their grade (3x or 5x), write sentences for each of the spelling words, plus the activities.  We discuss the why of the spelling rule addressed that week and it seems to be working. They score better than 80% on their tests, usually over 90%.  They are using them more in their writing, both for school and for their notes to each other. 

 

Math Mammoth.  The boys were in PS until 1st/3rd grades.  MM is like Math Essentials, so it was familiar, and explains things the way my mathy brain works.

 

SOTW aloud for all, with Kingfisher/Usborne outlines and timeline for DS11. It's enough to spark his interest, which he will then craft/pretend/read as much as he could find.

 

Interest led science. We were finishing up Science in the Beginning, but somewhere in there everyone lost interest.  I have always required two non-fiction books for the boys where we go to the library.  They often find books that have related to recent questions and they have learned quite a bit about plants, animals and other random subjects.  DS11 even learned about electricity on his own.

 

COAH Pre-school Learning Notebook/Hooked-on-Phonics for DD4.  She just turned 4 in March and has been showing reading readiness signs.  A little bit of 'real' school work at first means she will go play on her own for a bit while I work with her brothers.  She runs to collect her materials and is learning quickly. 

 

Not working:

 

Science in the Beginning.  We love the curriculum, but with two years of life craziness it got dropped.  Life is settling, I'm learning their learning styles, and I'm not so sick (gotta' love chronic illnesses).  I am debating continuing the interest led, for DS9, but using a middle school Life Science course since that is what he is begging for.

 

IEW-SWI A.  DS11 likes Mr. Pudewa, but he was having a hard time not re-writing verbatim.  He and I have very good memories for language, so the outline would trigger the memory of the original paragraph.  I dropped it after he could write a decent paragraph and have had him writing a paragraph once or twice a week.  It's working okay.

 

Anyting electronic.  He gets distracted and then accesses games/websites without permission, tries to argue, etc. until everything breaks down.  Exception: Khan Academy Grammar and Coding, and Mango Languages when he is right next to me.  Even then, though, it's a bit of an issue at the end.  I need some type of computer guard, but not sure how to do it. Anyone can help?

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What did work

-CLE math for my younger ones

-Having a giant family/circle/table time after lunch. I've integrated as much as possible and not having so many people all over doing their own things has made our chaos feel more cohesive. Family history, family read alouds, poetry, music, drawing etc... ALL those things have been wonderful. I'm going to resist the urge to change that format for next year and just plug in different materials. Jury is still out on what those will be. Seriously. Y'all, I'm clueless.

-copywork and narrations-simple and easy. Not hard to plan. Not hard to correct

 

What I'm still pondering-

-IEW SWI B-so I totally ended up send this back...and yet months later when I ask my daughter to take notes from her science/history and write a narration, she STILL uses KWO format and some of those tools. So, I'm feeling a little better about our time spent with it. Truth be told I'm even having second thoughts about having sent it back, because, ya know, I can be wishy washy like that. ((shrugs))

-We did NO grammar this year. That was fine as we'd done it every year for years and this year has been stressful.....but we WILL do it next year.

 

 

What didn't work-

-Feeling behind ALL year. It's been miserable. We started late, took over a month off to have company and have been trying to move (still hasn't happened). Feeling behind/rushed/not able to find a rhythm this year has made everything miserable no matter how delightful the materials or how perfect they'd be for us if our circumstances were different. I want a do over.

-Algebra 1 for my son- We were moving along fine (I thought), but he just hit a wall and couldn't go anywhere. Felt behind. I think a lot of this is stemming from the previous point I mentioned of us feeling rushed and never being able to catch up ALL year. He's getting a complete do over for 9th grade. Dear Lord, I'm hoping that helps

😊 I always relate to your posts.
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What's working:

 

*Duolingo: We're using it as an introduction to German before high school level foreign language. He's able to have basic conversations with German speakers.

 

*Exploration Education Physical Science: He likes this and usually wants to do it first on Monday morning. Lots of hands on as well as learning to keep a science notebook.

 

*Writing with Skill: I never thought this child would write, but he's producing well written papers with this method.

 

*TOG History and Geography: He's a history lover who enjoys reading and maps, so this works well.

 

*WriteShop: DD likes the games and pre-writing activities. I think it's OK.

 

*Sonlight Read Alouds

 

*MCT Town Level: DD loves the workbook on 4 level analysis

 

*MUS: Gets done with good understanding of concepts

 

*Homeschool Gym and Swim at local rec center: DD wouldn't even go under water and couldn't float and she finally learned how to swim. DS could swim fairly well, but is now doing all strokes and flip turns.

 

What's NOT working:

 

*Apologia Zoology: I used it with DS years ago and he liked it. DD likes more experiments and the notebook isn't enough.

 

*TOG literature: He's not thrilled with the reading selections and avoids doing the worksheets.

 

*A Reason for Handwriting: She wants to learn cursive, but thinks the worksheets are a form of torture.

 

Not Sure:

Lial's Algebra: I'll probably never find a math he likes, but he does seem to understand the concepts while he's doing them. Retention isn't great though and he has to review.

 

*MCT Level 5: Just not getting done right now.

 

 

Edited by mom2scouts
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We've had a pretty good 7th grade year. I started to write a long summary and realized that probably no one really needed to know about all the things I made up ourselves. So, I'll just say a couple things that might be useful.

 

  • We liked Mosdos Jade much more than I thought we would. Shame it's not really available anymore.
  • Forester's Algebra has annoyed me at many times. Too much emphasis on calculator type problems and weird order of introducing polynomials and overwhelming volume of word problems. We're going to go through algebra 1 again with AoPS next year. AoPS will work as a 2nd year math for her but not for primary. I don't want to do every math level every 2 years so I suspect we'll switch to Derek Owens after algebra 1.
  • I still big giant fluffy heart love Español Santillana, and it's well worth the $$ to have a real Spanish program finally. DD has learned a ton this year.

Everything else we've done is a mix of things I've stuck together that wouldn't make sense to anyone. The things we stopped were more because I realized they'd work better for high school than my goals for middle school. Overall, we got an amazing amount of work completed that was still pretty interesting and engaging.

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Hmm...

 

Worked...

 

Jacob's Algebra and Mathematics a Human Endeavor for Mushroom

Dolciani Pre-Algebra and (just started, but seems good so far) Algebra for BalletBoy

 

Daily Language Review for my struggling speller/mechanics user - the two sentences to correct have been very good and now he's doing Daily Paragraph Editing instead and that's going well.

 

Duolingo + Breaking the Barrier Spanish for BalletBoy... honestly, I don't know if he's learning oh so much Spanish - he's very slow in BBS, but he loves it, he's so diligent about it, he's definitely learning some and I'm fine with all of that.

 

DIY'ing our own cross-subject, child inspired unit studies continues to go well.

 

BalletBoy's study of "weird" physics. This came together so well. He read lots of good time travel stories, including The Time Machine, we watched great movies and TV shows, he read a bunch of Michio Kaku stuff, he did a Great Courses, he made a catalog of "impossible" products... it was a good unit for him.

 

Mushroom's space study. He wrote a great paper about space food, made rockets, played around with paper airplane designs, read a bunch of good history of flight and science of flight books, watched a bunch of good movies (we watched nearly all of From the Earth to the Moon, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff...). This was a really solid unit.

 

Mushroom's study of cells has been good. I DIY'ed things for him and now he's doing Ellen McHenry's Protozoa unit, which I don't adore, but which is fine.

 

Figuratively Speaking is working well for BalletBoy.

 

Wordsmith worked okay for Mushroom at the start of the year when he still needed something very independent.

 

Didn't work so well...

 

Spanish for Children was a total bust. What a cruddy program.

 

We still adore Brave Writer, but I thought we'd get back to doing the specific projects in Faltering Ownership and that didn't happen.

 

Mushroom's study of fairy and folk tales was just so-so. He did some cool things and read a bunch of stories but it never quite hit a deeper level. Oh well. His study of games is still up in the air. I guess we'll see. Right now, I'm a bit concerned he's not going to finish his final projects because he laid out too ambitious a plan for himself.

 

BalletBoy's desire to study linguistics kind of fizzled. As did his desire to study political systems. We did some good stuff for both, but they never became good overall units.

 

Some of BalletBoy's literature hasn't been a win. He did not like Wednesday Wars much. He struggled through Call of the Wild, but didn't like it much.

 

Everything else has just been in the middle, I guess...

So agree on the Spanish for Children. That was on my didn't work list several years ago. It IS a cruddy program. Worst waste of money on hs curriculum I ever spent. Free resources online work way better for Spanish I have discovered. 

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  • I still big giant fluffy heart love Español Santillana, and it's well worth the $$ to have a real Spanish program finally. DD has learned a ton this year.

I really like the look of their programs but I can't figure out what exactly I need to buy. Their web site is not very intuitive. Can you let me know specifically you are using? 

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At this point in homeschooling (year 12), I am pretty sure of what works, so we don't have alot of "didn't".

 

The only thing that didn't work was:

My dd, grade 2, has a science club once a week where we work through Mystery Science units. That is working.  What isn't working is that I was suppose to read to her on the same subject during the rest of the week, and I really rarely did. This wouldn't be so bad except she loves science.  So, next year the new plan is ABeka Science 3 (If you knew me, you'd know how funny it is that ABeka Science works so well in my home! We are so not young earth) using the activities in the book and we are joining a co-op which has science activities.

 

Oh, I guess you can say that our second year of not being in a big co-op (only a 3 family one) didn't work for my kids--although it worked for me. It is an act of God that I am excited about joining a new one next year.

 

What worked well:

Spelling Power: my ds 11 is using this after 4 years of Apples and Pears and it is going SO well.  It wouldn't have before, but it is a great follow up for him.

 

Monthly Book Club for my middle schoolers using a TOG book pick.  We do this with our TOG group

 

Outsourcing English and Science and Spanish for the high schooler.  My pride is long gone and wanting to  and thinking I'm able at this point to provide the level of academics that I wanted for him. He so totally works better for his teachers.

 

Saxon Algebra and Calculus: Still boggles my mind that I love Saxon. I rejected it when I was on a curriculum committee--but that was for second grade.

 

Horizon's Math: works for all my kids added with Xtramath.org--awesome site.

 

Our morning routine of waking at 8, watching CNN news, Bible time, exercise and then breakfast. It makes sure that Bible and exercise happen.  My high schooler had SAT question of the day, too, before the SAT,

 

OH! and Khan Academy SAT prep.  Oh, my goodness, I LOVE this.  It adjusts to what they need. It equalizes test prep for all who want it. The visual display of leveling up in areas was so motivating for my Type B kid and he blasted his goal score out of the water!

 

 

 

 

 

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I really like the look of their programs but I can't figure out what exactly I need to buy. Their web site is not very intuitive. Can you let me know specifically you are using?

I buy the teacher and student books, practice guide, speaking and listening, and assessments. I don't buy the answer sheets for those books anymore because I don't need them.

 

I'd say that this program requires you to have strong Spanish skills too. One of my undergrad degrees is in Spanish, I've lived in Spain, etc.

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What worked well:

Roy Speed's Romeo & Juliet - DS12 enjoyed it and is continuing with Hamlet in Fall 2017

AoPS books

Thinkwell chemistry as a preliminary overview

WTMA German for DS11. He really need a combination of MWF online class with his Saturday brick and mortar class. DS12 does well with just the Saturday class.

Edhesive Java as a get it done programming course.

Bravewriter SAT essay class for DS11. He choose not to take the SAT with essay but the class was a good prep for churning short essays fast instead of having writer's block.

 

What didn't work:

Not outsourcing Literature. My husband wasn't free to do discussions and I don't enjoy discussions. Kids are going to do a WTMA class for literature in Fall so literature doesn't get neglected

Formal music lessons. Kids just do not like formal lessons. So back to the drawing board. The formal music theory lessons work well, it's the instrument lessons that didn't.

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What didn't work:

 

Cottage Press.  I was sad.  It was my ideal, but not my reality. 

 

Signs and Seasons.  I don't know why.  DD couldn't get into it.

 

Sigh, CLE math started kind of not working for my 3rd grader.  He feels overwhelmed by it. (mild sensory issues)

 

 

What did work:

 

Rod and Staff English.  I wish it didn't, because I want to shop for something new and shiny.  but it just does for us.

 

Science in the Beginning, but we do it very slowly.  One unit a semester and stretch it out with living books, documentaries and extra reading for the olders.

 

SCM Modern as a booklist and not stressing over a detailed plan.  Just a big stack of books, some together, some separately.  We've enjoyed reading this year.

 

WTM/CM writing with some R&S lessons as well as some lessons from a few random sources.

 

Modern Speller/Dictation Day by Day.  at least I think it's working.  DS doesn't dread it like he did a spelling workbook and really seems to be improving.

 

Pentime works.  Love the simplicity and affordability.

 

Abeka phonics is working for the 4th time.  We keep it simple and plug away until they're fluent readers.  None of mine have minded it, and it has produced great readers here.

 

The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox.

 

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy was a big hit with my 8th grader for whatever reason.

 

Tiner books for middle school science.  DD sometimes reads them for fun.

 

Audio books and CD's for memory work in the car.  We have some long drives, and we might as well use them productively.

 

The local classical radio station in the car for our composer studies. (it helps that I have music degrees)

 

Sheppard's Software for learning all countries etc.

 

Family time on the couch after lunch: we randomly do poetry, picture studies, Bible memory, character study, history, nature, geography and literature.  Only a couple things going at a time. 

 

Homeschool Band.  Affordable.  I now have 3 solid instrumentalists with minimal effort on my part. :)  Huge believer in music lessons to cover so many areas of education!

 

Duolingo French and Spanish.

 

Checklists!!!

 

 

On the fence about:

 

English from the Roots Up.  Still not convinced it's necessary.

 

MUS Algebra, but I'm not sure it's the program.  It may be just upper level math in general for dd.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by KeriJ
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What didn't work:

 

Cottage Press.  I was sad.  It was my ideal, but not my reality. 

 

Signs and Seasons.  I don't know why.  DD couldn't get into it.

 

Sigh, CLE math started kind of not working for my 3rd grader.  He feels overwhelmed by it. (mild sensory issues)

 

 

What did work:

 

Rod and Staff English.  I wish it didn't, because I want to shop for something new and shiny.  but it just does for us.

 

Science in the Beginning, but we do it very slowly.  One unit a semester and stretch it out with living books, documentaries and extra reading for the olders.

 

SCM Modern as a booklist and not stressing over a detailed plan.  Just a big stack of books, some together, some separately.  We've enjoyed reading this year.

 

WTM/CM writing with some R&S lessons as well as some lessons from a few random sources.

 

Modern Speller/Dictation Day by Day.  at least I think it's working.  DS doesn't dread it like he did a spelling workbook and really seems to be improving.

 

Pentime works.  Love the simplicity and affordability.

 

Abeka phonics is working for the 4th time.  We keep it simple and plug away until they're fluent readers.  None of mine have minded it, and it has produced great readers here.

 

The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox.

 

Whatever Happened to Penny Candy was a big hit with my 8th grader for whatever reason.

 

Tiner books for middle school science.  DD sometimes reads them for fun.

 

Audio books and CD's for memory work in the car.  We have some long drives, and we might as well use them productively.

 

The local classical radio station in the car for our composer studies. (it helps that I have music degrees)

 

Sheppard's Software for learning all countries etc.

 

Family time on the couch after lunch: we randomly do poetry, picture studies, Bible memory, character study, history, nature, geography and literature.  Only a couple things going at a time. 

 

Homeschool Band.  Affordable.  I now have 3 solid instrumentalists with minimal effort on my part. :)  Huge believer in music lessons to cover so many areas of education!

 

Duolingo French and Spanish.

 

Checklists!!!

 

 

On the fence about:

 

English from the Roots Up.  Still not convinced it's necessary.

 

MUS Algebra, but I'm not sure it's the program.  It may be just upper level math in general for dd.

 

 

Liking your post was not nearly enough. I put in bold the parts that make you a soul sister!

 

Your comment about something new and shiny reminded me of my kids when I'd dropped some cute coin on DK books. They looked at them, but they simply were engrossed by, wait for it....Pathway Readers. You know, B & W, no faces, few illustrations at all. Go figure! And we used R & S for English for a season here. 

 

Re: English from the Roots Up, I like what Lori D. suggested here

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Thought of a few more.  I'm only being so wordy, because this thread has helped me process my own thoughts. :)

 

More of what did work:

 

Librivox Ambleside list for youngers to listen to during naptime.  They covered a ton of classics this year.

 

Turning over spine books to the middle schoolers to do independently.  That way they stayed consistent on coverage when I was less than consistent, and it gave them material for writing assignments.  It left the "fun" books to be done as a family.

 

Letting the little ones play most of the morning and doing their school work in the afternoon.  I felt pulled in too many directions when I tried to get everyone's "Mom subjects" done before lunch.

 

Always, always, always afternoon "nap time".  Literally nap time for me, audio books and coloring for youngest, and "study hall" for olders.

 

4 day school week works for us.  We do light school in the summer. (geography and art primarily)

 

XtraMath has been great for math facts to make the CLE lessons seem shorter.

Edited by KeriJ
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Thought of a few more.  I'm only being so wordy, because this thread has helped me process my own thoughts. :)

 

More of what did work:

 

Librivox Ambleside list for youngers to listen to during naptime.  They covered a ton of classics this year.

 

Turning over spine books to the middle schoolers to do independently.  That way they stayed consistent on coverage when I was less than consistent, and it gave them material for writing assignments.  It left the "fun" books to be done as a family.

 

Letting the little ones play most of the morning and doing their school work in the afternoon.  I felt pulled in too many directions when I tried to get everyone's "Mom subjects" done before lunch.

 

Always, always, always afternoon "nap time".  Literally nap time for me, audio books and coloring for youngest, and "study hall" for olders.

 

4 day school week works for us.  We do light school in the summer. (geography and art primarily)

 

XtraMath has been great for math facts to make the CLE lessons seem shorter.

These are all very good. Thanks! 

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This was the first year I was in college full-time while working part-time and homeschooling so there was quite a bit that I wasn't happy with but that was to be expected.

 

Didn't work:

My mom overseeing DS's math - even with MEP she just can't teach math.

Planning month by month and having to lug lots of books around

 

Did Work

My dad doing science with DS

My mom doing English

 

Everything else was meh.

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So far most everything has worked this year.  What hasn't worked is trying to include memory work from math and geography, etc., in Morning Time.  I need to find a way to remove the more "academic" bits from Morning Time without them getting lost in the shuffle (which is why I put them in MT to begin with).  Maybe we'll have MT followed by Daily Recitation, or something.

 

Also, I'm happy to say that home schooling three students has worked - I have a PreKer, a K'er, and a 3rd grader.  It's even worked with the new baby!  :)

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