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The magic is in the elbow grease and faithfulness of the day in, day out (often boring) work that it takes to do any curriculum.

:

This is good to remember, thank you. :)

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Yup, with my first time through, I worked my butt off being so custom. Now I find good enough and move on. We still have tons of fun.

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Wisdom.

 

I needed to hear this today as I looking longingly and the pretty Memoria Press items that I don't need but want to flip through and hold. I just love curriculum so much! You are so so right. Thank you for sharing you experience on the other side :)

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Oh and rarely should one ever consider a major change or decision centered around homeschooling in the months of February or March  :lol:  

 

Thank you for the morning laugh. Guilty as charged.

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YES!  That is so true!  

 

And, just because you hit a wall in a curriculum, doesn't mean you need to ditch it.  Just take a break.  Do something else for a week or two, while you figure out how to make the old program work for you.  This often solves the problem.  

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Wisdom.

 

I needed to hear this today as I looking longingly and the pretty Memoria Press items that I don't need but want to flip through and hold. I just love curriculum so much! You are so so right. Thank you for sharing you experience on the other side :)

 

 

Memoria Press is so pretty, isn't it?  I love curriculum.  Just like you, I like to peruse through it, think about how I could implement it, etc, etc.  It is so tempting to try it all.  To be honest, I want to find enough hours in my day to actually use it all  :lol: I don't even look at HS catalogs anymore because the temptation is crazy.  

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Yup, with my first time through, I worked my butt off being so custom. Now I find good enough and move on. We still have tons of fun.

 

You have a gap between kids, like I do!  My youngest, almost 9 year old, hasn't had to experiment with so many curriculums.  I have managed to stay on track with him with what worked best with oldest dc.  I am sure there are some super cool stuff out there now, but I try not to even look  :laugh:

 

 

 

 

Thank you for the morning laugh. Guilty as charged.

 

 

 

I am pretty sure we are ALL guilty of either wanting to switch curriculum, switch schooling plans, or even (on the worst days) switch kids altogether this time of year.   :laugh:

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And, just because you hit a wall in a curriculum, doesn't mean you need to ditch it.  Just take a break.  Do something else for a week or two, while you figure out how to make the old program work for you.  This often solves the problem.  

 

:iagree:

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Agree with everything and laughing because in my 15th year of homeschooling and on my 4th child I finally figured out that the curriculum that gets done is...Memoria Press ;)

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I’d love to see monthly sales records companies that sell curricula. I bet they spike the first quarter of every year. :)

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...is the one that you do. I was talking to dd (in college now) about the younger years of homeschooling and how we tweaked things along the way ..... a lot.  I would get on a good path with something that worked but then something pretty, glittery, and incredibly difficult to execute (for me) would come along and distract me.  I would buy it, spend way too much time planning it, just to drop it mid-way. In the end, what worked for us was pretty boring really.  The fancy stuff was a fun thought, but with 3 or 4 kiddos, some health issues, and a ton of distractions along the way, I never could quite execute it and I would quit.

 

As you plan for the upcoming years, don't be too tempted to fence hop if what you have is working.  Take a long, hard look at what you are doing right now and ask yourself - are we able to do this on a daily basis while keeping sanity (at least half the time)?  What will switching provide?  There is no magic fairy dust included in any curriculum.  The magic is in the elbow grease and faithfulness of the day in, day out (often boring) work that it takes to do any curriculum.    

 

Oh and rarely should one ever consider a major change or decision centered around homeschooling in the months of February or March  :lol:  

 

Just my evening ramblings  :grouphug:

 

 

Amen and Amen! 

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VERY true!! ;)

 

This is our 13th year homeschooling, and we'll be graduating our oldest of five kids this spring. I feel like I've tried it all. This past fall, I felt like I'd finally landed on our *perfect fit* of what was the best for us. Know what?? It was all great, except it exhausted us to do every day. With two kids having surgery on top of all the hubbub of the holiday season, I waived my little white flag, and streamlined to a curriculum that I'd never have guessed I'd ever use. The best part of it all was that they absolutely loved it, and are learning more than ever before.; ) It's sparked a huge love of learning, and brought more peaceful school days. So yes, I'm shaking my head in agreement with your post.....THANK YOU!! :D

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Agree with everything and laughing because in my 15th year of homeschooling and on my 4th child I finally figured out that the curriculum that gets done is...Memoria Press ;)

 

 

Oh, that's beautiful!  I've actually never tried Memoria Press (I've tried almost everything else at some point).  I think by the time Memoria got super cool I was already beyond switching around.  I am now feeling tempted to look at their website.   :lol:

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VERY true!! ;)

 

This is our 13th year homeschooling, and we'll be graduating our oldest of five kids this spring. I feel like I've tried it all. This past fall, I felt like I'd finally landed on our *perfect fit* of what was the best for us. Know what?? It was all great, except it exhausted us to do every day. With two kids having surgery on top of all the hubbub of the holiday season, I waived my little white flag, and streamlined to a curriculum that I'd never have guessed I'd ever use. The best part of it all was that they absolutely loved it, and are learning more than ever before.; ) It's sparked a huge love of learning, and brought more peaceful school days. So yes, I'm shaking my head in agreement with your post.....THANK YOU!! :D

 

 

Yes, what we ended up landing on was what I never, ever expected either.  I was actually the mom who would roll my eyes at the thought of it before.  But it worked and it got done.  The fancy stuff got planned but never truly completed.  Glad you found something that makes you feel peace.

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Thank you, I needed this right now. I know it in theory but it's easy to forget. Especially in January and February! We have always floundered through LA but DD is doing good this year with EIW. Yet I have been researching writing curriculums like mad for the last week planning for next year. Maybe I shouldn't look for shiny and "better" and should keep going with the program we are consistently DOING. 

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 I would buy it, spend way too much time planning it, just to drop it mid-way.

 

 

Oh, man.  Guilty of this.  I do so love to plan... :p

 

I was cleaning off some shelves the other day, and I pulled so much stuff where I thought, "Did we even use this? I forgot I had it!" (Only to find the girls outgrew it years ago...)   :001_rolleyes:

 

(Now, we are very much "get 'er done/do-the-next-thing" people.  Workbook/textbook heavy and not ashamed of it b/c it's GETTING DONE.) :001_cool:

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(Now, we are very much "get 'er done/do-the-next-thing" people.  Workbook/textbook heavy and not ashamed of it b/c it's GETTING DONE.) :001_cool:

 

 

 

Yep, because doing it faithfully (even if it is "boring") trumps half-doing something idealistic and glamorous.

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So true. I wrote a blog post about this a while back. I got so sick of new homeschoolers asking me what curriculum was the best. Or even them bragging to me that the curriculum they chose is “the best.†Ugh. The best curriculum is the one that gets done day in and day out - your kids are learning and you see progress. That’s the best.

I’m so glad I figured that out and learned to be content with curriculum that gets done.

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Memoria Press is so pretty, isn't it? I love curriculum. Just like you, I like to peruse through it, think about how I could implement it, etc, etc. It is so tempting to try it all. To be honest, I want to find enough hours in my day to actually use it all :lol: I don't even look at HS catalogs anymore because the temptation is crazy.

I am so glad someone else gets it :) I have way more curriculum than I could ever use but comfort myself with the knowledge that if x curriculum does this lesson better than y curriculum then I will just grab it off the shelf haha. Plus I love to play curriculum Santa. I meet homeschool moms all of the time that need something or want a change and then I just gift it to them. It is kind of fun :)

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I am so glad someone else gets it :) I have way more curriculum than I could ever use but comfort myself with the knowledge that if x curriculum does this lesson better than y curriculum then I will just grab it off the shelf haha. Plus I love to play curriculum Santa. I meet homeschool moms all of the time that need something or want a change and then I just gift it to them. It is kind of fun :)

 

It does make it more fun to add in too! I will say I have a decent amount of stuff that on it's own didn't work, but there are usually parts of each one where I either learned for myself as a teacher, or can use some aspect of it one way or another to jazz something up at a later point. Very little of it has sat and languished completely untouched for long periods of time. 

 

I've actually instilled a two year toss limit on stuff for my younger two, because sometimes I come back later and wish I still had something I gave away in a fit of impulse. 

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This post is excellent.

 

I am glad my DC never found out all the times I switched curricula in my head but never actually implemented.

 

The olders gently remind me not to switch with the younger as much as I did so that means I did switch too much, but I stopped myself a few times.

 

Curriculum Santa. Lol. I do that too.

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VERY true!! ;)

 

This is our 13th year homeschooling, and we'll be graduating our oldest of five kids this spring. I feel like I've tried it all. This past fall, I felt like I'd finally landed on our *perfect fit* of what was the best for us. Know what?? It was all great, except it exhausted us to do every day. With two kids having surgery on top of all the hubbub of the holiday season, I waived my little white flag, and streamlined to a curriculum that I'd never have guessed I'd ever use. The best part of it all was that they absolutely loved it, and are learning more than ever before.; ) It's sparked a huge love of learning, and brought more peaceful school days. So yes, I'm shaking my head in agreement with your post.....THANK YOU!! :D

 

So.....what was it?  :blush:  (The curriculum you never guessed you'd use?)

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Yes, what we ended up landing on was what I never, ever expected either.  I was actually the mom who would roll my eyes at the thought of it before.  But it worked and it got done.  The fancy stuff got planned but never truly completed.  Glad you found something that makes you feel peace.

 

Care to share what you landed on?  

 

Seriously, LOL, it's very intriguing to read about successes like these and to wonder which curriculum you could be speaking of!  (Despite the original post!   :laugh: )  

 

It's not that I intend on switching anything out...because I know the key is sticking with what's working and finishing it (OP)...

 

...but with such glowing reports, it's too tempting: what did you roll your eyes at and then switch to?  Do tell!

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Care to share what you landed on?  

 

Seriously, LOL, it's very intriguing to read about successes like these and to wonder which curriculum you could be speaking of!  (Despite the original post!   :laugh: )  

 

It's not that I intend on switching anything out...because I know the key is sticking with what's working and finishing it (OP)...

 

...but with such glowing reports, it's too tempting: what did you roll your eyes at and then switch to?  Do tell!

 

 

 

It is the one that I do  ;)  It might be different for someone else.  The curriculum isn't magic.  

 

I ended up finding that even though I loved all of these really cool, super complex history based curriculums that were centered around literature (Sonlight, MFW, etc, etc), I just didn't have the energy and time to keep up with that much and I would tend to fall behind and not complete it.  The answer for me hasn't been one particular curriculum.  Veritas self-paced has been an answer to prayers.  We also read the readers along with it.  We have used Saxon for math.  For many other things (English, Science, Spelling) I ended up loving the thing that I would roll my eyes at in the beginning of my homeschool years - BJU.  I am not sure if this attitude exists so much now but when my oldest was little there was a real stinky attitude toward workbook or textbook type curriculum.  There was almost a homeschooling self-righteousness around using other things.  I admit, I avoided it for that reason.  Then, it turned out to be the best thing for us ever.  

 

ETA - we also use WWE and WWS for additional writing work (because of this I skip some of the writing units in BJU english).

 

 

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So.....what was it? :blush: (The curriculum you never guessed you'd use?)

I really, really hesitate to even say, as I've seen this program get slammed time after time.....not rigorous, bad reputation amongst those who abused the system using it, the list goes on and on.... But, desperate times cause you to look beyond everything you've tried in the past, and venture into new territory. I started out researching for just science, but then expanded that to english and spelling/vocab. I'm not a science person, so something streamlined was definitely in order to help my kids get some science learning that *can* get done. We started using ACE.....now I'm ducking for cover from the flying tomatoes!! ;) I never ever thought I'd use it, let alone like it after all the bad stuff I'd heard, but know what? It's actually really good, and is working great for my kids. A big key is grading it myself and discussing the lessons they're learning. That really cements the information for them. We were always quite Charlotte Mason/lit-based before, and I think that's helped my kids to enjoy this more, as it's more about the reading and the topics for them. They see the filling in of the blanks/activities as a review of info. In the science paces, there's an experiment and/or project in each one, so there's still hands on elements. But, *I* don't have to be the center of the teaching/learning. Using these paces, it's sparked a love of science in our kids and they're doing a lot of research and learning *outside* of school time because it's fun to learn about! Thank you ACE! :) We had been trying to use All About Spelling for a while now, but it depended on me teaching each kid seperately, making our day take forever. The Word Building paces have been perfect for teaching those lovely spelling rules, as well as introducing my kids to new words and meanings. I ended up really, really liking their english paces too as they are quite mastery based which seems to really click with my kids. They learn a new concept and get lots of practice identifying and using that concept, helping them to really understand it better *and* retain it. (We also found MUS to be totally awesome for them in the same ways this year.) So yeah, ACE is definitely NOT popular here at all, but for a couple subjects it's working great for my kids. So much so, that I'm sticking with it for those subjects next year, too. We are still keeping our beloved lit-based history and reading. School is getting done in less time, *with* happy kids and happy mama. I know it's not everyone's cuppa, but what sparks learning and brings success will be different for everyone. Do what brings you joy, and what helps them learn...that's the point! ;)

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Care to share what you landed on?  

 

Seriously, LOL, it's very intriguing to read about successes like these and to wonder which curriculum you could be speaking of!  (Despite the original post!   :laugh: )  

 

It's not that I intend on switching anything out...because I know the key is sticking with what's working and finishing it (OP)...

 

...but with such glowing reports, it's too tempting: what did you roll your eyes at and then switch to?  Do tell!

 

See. This is how the trouble always starts.  :lol:

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We had the same experience as Momtofive and Attolia. My middle two thrived on ABeka science in elementary and started talking about science for the first time. Using it lowered my load and stress level and allowed me to focus more attention on my littlest. It was a win all around. And cured me of my curriculum snobbery.

 

 

Along with beginning to use and love Saxon for middle school on up...

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But, *I* don't have to be the center of the teaching/learning.

 

I think this might be my problem...5 years into homeschooling and every "amazing" thing my idealist self picks includes a huge dose of energy from me.  The sum = burnout, over and over again.  

 

As my DC get older, my eventual goal is for them to be more self-starting in their educational pursuits.  Trying to give them tools and skills so they can pursue interesting learning on their own.  I'm trying to work more independence in there when possible and to just accept that sometimes, good enough is good enough.  

 

Don't worry, I won't go tracking down curriculum listed here, but it does give one food for thought.   :001_smile:

 

You're brave for sharing something you perceive as not being popular 'round these here parts; thanks!

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It is the one that I do  ;)  It might be different for someone else.  The curriculum isn't magic.  

 

I ended up finding that even though I loved all of these really cool, super complex history based curriculums that were centered around literature (Sonlight, MFW, etc, etc), I just didn't have the energy and time to keep up with that much and I would tend to fall behind and not complete it.  The answer for me hasn't been one particular curriculum.  Veritas self-paced has been an answer to prayers.  We also read the readers along with it.  For many other things (English, Science, Spelling) I ended up loving the thing that I would roll my eyes at in the beginning of my homeschool years - BJU.  I am not sure if this attitude exists so much now but when my oldest was little there was a real stinky attitude toward workbook or textbook type curriculum.  There was almost a homeschooling self-righteousness around using other things.  I admit, I avoided it for that reason.  Then, it turned out to be the best thing for us ever.  

 

 

We had the same experience as Momtofive and Attolia. My middle two thrived on ABeka science in elementary and started talking about science for the first time. Using it lowered my load and stress level and allowed me to focus more attention on my littlest. It was a win all around. And cured me of my curriculum snobbery.

 

 

Along with beginning to use and love Saxon for middle school on up...

 

Very helpful to hear people say this.  Lots of things look so glossy and amazing or so rich or rigorous (enter more adjectives here, depending on my given desire or fear in that moment), whether they're seen on a blog or in a catalog, or wherever...  Things can tug at the heartstrings and make me question everything I'm doing.  I don't necessarily "jump", but it does nag me and make me wonder if I really have "the best" curriculum.  If things could be better...

 

Couple that with quite a bit of snobbery regarding "old school" curriculum...

 

But then, I keep things like this in mind, which really piqued my interest when I heard them: 

 

- The family I know whose 4 adult children are in some form of med school...used Abeka with all of them, all the way through. 

 

- The family I know who has many children (including "launched", successful adult children) and still used/uses/loves Saxon for each one.  

 

Some of these "passe" curricula really aren't passe.  It probably all depends on how they're used...

 

...and if they're finished!   :laugh:

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I love this thread. While I do enjoy all the wonderful ideas and opinions on this forum about different curricula, sometimes I come away feeling like I do not measure up to most other homeschoolers, and if im not using the newest, shiniest, most teacher-intensive curriculum, them I've cheated my children out of a good education. I'm glad to know that other kids have survived and even thrived on the curriculum that a lot of people here on this forum might disdain.

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Very helpful to hear people say this.  Lots of things look so glossy and amazing or so rich or rigorous (enter more adjectives here, depending on my given desire or fear in that moment), whether they're seen on a blog or in a catalog, or wherever...  Things can tug at the heartstrings and make me question everything I'm doing.  I don't necessarily "jump", but it does nag me and make me wonder if I really have "the best" curriculum.  If things could be better...

 

Couple that with quite a bit of snobbery regarding "old school" curriculum...

 

But then, I keep things like this in mind, which really piqued my interest when I heard them: 

 

- The family I know whose 4 adult children are in some form of med school...used Abeka with all of them, all the way through. 

 

- The family I know who has many children (including "launched", successful adult children) and still used/uses/loves Saxon for each one.  

 

Some of these "passe" curricula really aren't passe.  It probably all depends on how they're used...

 

...and if they're finished!   :laugh:

 

 

Saxon - yes!  We use Saxon math.  I think I forgot to list that.  My dd took a math class last summer before freshman year with other kids from her scholarship group.  These are the kids on a full ride scholarship at Duke.  DD was told multiple times by her peers (as she was helping others through it) that she should really consider a math or engineering major.  

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I think this might be my problem...5 years into homeschooling and every "amazing" thing my idealist self picks includes a huge dose of energy from me.  The sum = burnout, over and over again.  

 

As my DC get older, my eventual goal is for them to be more self-starting in their educational pursuits.  Trying to give them tools and skills so they can pursue interesting learning on their own.  I'm trying to work more independence in there when possible and to just accept that sometimes, good enough is good enough.  

 

Don't worry, I won't go tracking down curriculum listed here, but it does give one food for thought.   :001_smile:

 

You're brave for sharing something you perceive as not being popular 'round these here parts; thanks!

 

 

 

Homeschooling, being a mom, a wife, a person :lol:, etc is a massive job already.  We don't really need anything that adds to that load.  

 

Because my kids are used to learning (fairly) independently through a text, high school and college courses that are based on texts have not been an issue for them.  I have a friend who never used a text in their homeschool and her kids struggled when she put them in high school.  Not all kids will have such a difficult transition but for hers it was tough. 

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I totally agree with this!!!  We started in K and are in the middle of 7th grade.  I am also streamlining my plans and weeding out multiple curriculum for the same subject.  I'm going to be selling a lot of stuff -- LOL!!!  

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Great thread!!! 

 

We are only a couple of years from the finish line of our homeschooling journey, and I heartily agree with what has been posted.  I can remember the 'All About Spelling' craze and the Shurley Grammar craze as a couple of examples of what was considered to be 'the best'.  Probably something like Lukeion for Latin is another one that has been a more present day temptation :).  What I finally realized is that no one really has time in their day to do all the 'best' curricula as these are usually the ones that are the 'most intense'.  Maybe pick one of them if that was going to be your signature focus of study for the year to boost up either low scores or natural areas of strength.

 

When our dc were younger, we picked a literature-based history curriculum because of that desire to center the bulk of our school day around a particular historical theme and then watch videos, read books, do field trips all related to a specific time period in history.  It was fun.  But we sacrificed other things that we could have been doing in order to actually GET DONE that history curriculum.  Adding 'All About Spelling' and Shurley Grammar and heavy doses of Latin into that mix would have been overwhelming.  But not to say I didn't think about it, lol!

 

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I totally agree with this!!!  We started in K and are in the middle of 7th grade.  I am also streamlining my plans and weeding out multiple curriculum for the same subject.  I'm going to be selling a lot of stuff -- LOL!!!  

 

 

I really need to sell so much stuff.   :laugh:

 

 

But not to say I didn't think about it, lol!

 

 

 

I think we ALL have thought about it  :lol:   For real, a literature based history curriculum is great and not a problem if you have everything else pretty streamlined (you can't go crazy complicated on every single subject), you have one child to teach, or you are a miracle worker with boundless energy and very little responsibility outside of homeschooling.  

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Good thoughts and great timing, I'm feeling the winter slumps with schooling myself!

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Great thread!!!

 

We are only a couple of years from the finish line of our homeschooling journey, and I heartily agree with what has been posted. I can remember the 'All About Spelling' craze and the Shurley Grammar craze as a couple of examples of what was considered to be 'the best'. Probably something like Lukeion for Latin is another one that has been a more present day temptation :). What I finally realized is that no one really has time in their day to do all the 'best' curricula as these are usually the ones that are the 'most intense'. Maybe pick one of them if that was going to be your signature focus of study for the year to boost up either low scores or natural areas of strength.

 

When our dc were younger, we picked a literature-based history curriculum because of that desire to center the bulk of our school day around a particular historical theme and then watch videos, read books, do field trips all related to a specific time period in history. It was fun. But we sacrificed other things that we could have been doing in order to actually GET DONE that history curriculum. Adding 'All About Spelling' and Shurley Grammar and heavy doses of Latin into that mix would have been overwhelming. But not to say I didn't think about it, lol!

My bold, yes! I realised that I could easily schedule 6+ hours of 'the best' stuff, and my kids would never have time to play or rest or be kids...

Balance is the best.

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My bold, yes! I realised that I could easily schedule 6+ hours of 'the best' stuff, and my kids would never have time to play or rest or be kids...

Balance is the best.

 

 

 

Oh my goodness, my kids learned so much through play.  Especially in the younger years.  My kids were/are also super big readers because we severely limit tv and don't allow computer or video games except for a tiny window on the weekends.  So, I would have had to say "put down that book that is way higher in reading level than most kids your age can comprehend and come and do more seat work".   :mellow:

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I felt the need to come back and explain what sparked this post for me.  I am glad that some of ya'll gleaned from it.  But, you see, it was actually a post to myself  :lol:   After so many years of homeschooling and no longer hopping around so much, I now only have one kiddo that needs a lot of mama time and I found myself eyeing MCT English.  I even bought Grammar Island on iBooks and DS has been reading it and he LOVES it.  I was feeling tempted to jump fence and move to all MCT for grammar/english with him, for the exception of adding in WWE because we love that and can't let it go.  See, even when you know that you need to stick with what works you can feel incredibly tempted, particularly in February and March.  This time of the year, you just question everything.  It is like a curse  :laugh:

Edited by Attolia
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...  

 

Oh and rarely should one ever consider a major change or decision centered around homeschooling in the months of February or March  :lol:  

 

Just my evening ramblings  :grouphug:

Haha! I especially love this...so true! 

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Thank you so much for this. I really needed to read this reminder. Quite honestly, the curriculum that we actually get done, is the most boring one. And I always thought that was a bad thing, and felt guilty, like I should be making school more fun, we should be doing more of this and that... but then it would never get done and I felt guilty about that (looking at you Charlotte Mason with your zillion subjects that "must" be studied!).  So, thank you for this!

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Totally agree. And I would add that something with a predictable assignment (like Explode the Code) can be a good way to help the kid start/build independence. Something transportable (like workbooks) can be equally practical if you have errands or appointments. All kinds of things shape the way we homeschool and the choices that will help succeed. The REAL challenge (I think) is if you have very different styles of learners and are trying to flex for all of them. Oy vey!

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