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Janeway

What if, you just are not "feeling it?"

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I am dreading certain subjects and ready for a change. If something is not really a "fail," but rather, you just want to do a different approach for the time being, is it okay to toss the book? Or at least put in to storage for a later date?

 

I am kind of feeling "living booky" right now..or maybe even a bit of "Charlotte Masony" but have workbooks for everything language arts. History, I want to skip forward and do late 1800's and in to the 1900's.  And I want us to do it more from the point of view of how life was, not just which wars took place when and who the leaders were.

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Well, given that my oldest is only 9, I'd certainly change something. Whether that means we would take an unexpected trip (educational or not), an unexpected break, change some resources, or tweak our rhythm would depend. While I'd wouldn't toss anything right away, I'd certainly put things in storage. FWIW, I switch things out of our morning time box...a lot. I'd absolutely skip to a history period you think will be more enjoyable.

Not knowing more details of your situation, I'd probably start with a short break from school and taking a trip (even an unexpected visit to a local museum good work). Heck, even just spending a long time in the library choosing a ton of books could work. (Bring them all home. and then have a school day where all you do is read library books and follow rabbit trails using documentaries and such.) I'd use some of the break to think through whether more change is necessary. Realistically, I'd prioritize areas to change things up. (That is, which areas do you dread the most?) And then I'd go from there.

I'm sorry you are feeling this way. I hope my jumbled thoughts provide at least commiseration (because I've certainly been in a similar place).

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11 hours ago, barnwife said:

Well, given that my oldest is only 9, I'd certainly change something. Whether that means we would take an unexpected trip (educational or not), an unexpected break, change some resources, or tweak our rhythm would depend. While I'd wouldn't toss anything right away, I'd certainly put things in storage. FWIW, I switch things out of our morning time box...a lot. I'd absolutely skip to a history period you think will be more enjoyable.

Not knowing more details of your situation, I'd probably start with a short break from school and taking a trip (even an unexpected visit to a local museum good work). Heck, even just spending a long time in the library choosing a ton of books could work. (Bring them all home. and then have a school day where all you do is read library books and follow rabbit trails using documentaries and such.) I'd use some of the break to think through whether more change is necessary. Realistically, I'd prioritize areas to change things up. (That is, which areas do you dread the most?) And then I'd go from there.

I'm sorry you are feeling this way. I hope my jumbled thoughts provide at least commiseration (because I've certainly been in a similar place).

I think it is because we keep starting with the ancients and then after a couple years, end up in some sort of coop so never finish the 4 year sequence and despite going through twice now, we have never gotten to the 4th year, maybe not even the 3rd year.  This child I am referring to is 9 also and about to turn 10, so a 4th grader.

Edited by Janeway

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What's the goal with history study? To enjoy it and not leave anyone feeling like an ignoramus for not having heard of whatever everyone else has heard of?

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1 hour ago, Janeway said:

I think it is because we keep starting with the ancients and then after a couple years, end up in some sort of coop so never finish the 4 year sequence and despite going through twice now, we have never gotten to the 4th year, maybe not even the 3rd year.  This child I am referring to is 9 also and about to turn 10, so a 4th grader.


Well, my just turned 9 yo has never completed a 4 year cycle. If I'm being completely honest, he's only completed a year of ancients and of US history. But he's had a lot of random other history covered. To the point that other people have commented on it when he sees/hears something and mentions something related.

So while his study of history has at this point been disjointed, we are meeting my goal of getting him to enjoy history.

I hereby give you permission to just study whatever you want for history for the next year. Whether that means studying the history of boats for a month and then changing to the Aztecs or the Oregon Trail or whatever. Take the time to do a year of history that you/your child truly enjoys.

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I think it works, at least, I've done it before, especially in science and history where you can be more interest-led. One year, even though I had lots of science resources at home, I just wanted to try a new shiny program that had just come out, so I went for it. We had a fun science year and I didn't regret it. So I think it works.

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One of the advantages of homeschooling is the freedom to let your children learn in whatever way works best for you and them. So of course it is ok to toss the book and change things up. Personally I have never found an elementary history curriculum that worked for us. We always defaulted to a very unstructured study of history that consisted mostly of just reading library books and watching documentaries. My kids learned a lot this way.

Susan in TX

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On August 26, 2019 at 9:00 PM, Janeway said:

is it okay to toss the book?

Isn't it kind of curious that in a custom homeschool setting we're even saying ONE BOOK is THE book? 

Of course you should make your dc's education rich and do anything you think would inspire them and communicate your values. And yes, the world goes beyond wars and memorization (thankfully).

Don't know the ages/genders/interests of your kids, but you might like working through the World of books from American Girl. You can really do almost anything you want. Honest. Like get a little wild and just do it. :biggrin:

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Follow your heart and instinct. Choose the book or method that you want to use and go your hardest. You and your kids will learn heaps. 

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Classical Heresy Confession-- I'm totally over the homeschool/classical history cycle thing. I mean, seriously over it. When I first started hs'ing and reading up on the philosophies, I found it extremely appealing because I felt uneducated about history and blamed my schooling, and thought what little education I had was very America-centric. However with time, once I thought about it though- I blame myself because I simply didn't care so I put no effort into learning it (past memorizing to the test and then immediately forgetting it.) I took the classes. I just didn't engage because history was not high up on a teen and early 20 something's priority list. So not the school's fault in hindsight. You can't make someone care and remember if they don't have the self-motivation to do so and desire to continue learning a particular area. 

So at your kids age,  I say ditch it and go with what y'all find interesting. If you get charged up about a topic, the kids are at least more likely to be more engaged and interested.  I don't think we are all meant to be history scholars. I also don't get the degree of history study focused on the ancients we homeschoolers seem to foist upon ourselves. The modern stuff you want to study is what seems to get shortest shrift. I say go for it. I totally agree with @Rosie_0801- enjoy. Seriously- unless they're trying to get on Jeopardy, lol, enjoy the living books/literature you're excited about and just do a pass over the high points in high school. 

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Edited post-- . I was going through my OneNote tonight and would like to replace the previous (which I will leave because it is still interesting!) with this thread, which seems fitting for what you are pondering. 

Original-- 

Sort of a tangent, but if you haven't seen it, you might enjoy this thread. 

 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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My daughter had complained that we've only covered ancients and pilgrims (which isn't quite true, but maybe not terribly far from the mark).  We also switched curriculum or joined a co-op where we were limited by the time period.  Two weeks ago I switched us to Modern Times.  😊 We are now studying the Civil War and everyone seems to be enjoying it.  History will always have gaps, no matter what curriculum you use, you can't cover it all!  I think this is one of the safer subjects for curriculum hopping!  Math is another matter. 

I regret switching curriculum as often as I have over the years, but sometimes it's made all the difference.  It's a fine line.  I always say I've switched for the last time, but here I am again with a new curriculum two months onto our school year.  🙄  Technically this time I switched back to an old curriculum that I've previously used. 

Edited by Holly
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We switch up things in our homeschooling fairly regularly. It keeps both the kid and myself from getting too bored or burned out. Most of the time it is small switches, but every once in a while, it’s a more thorough overhaul. It works for us.

There is no one approach that I believe fits everyone all the time. If what you’re doing isn’t working - which includes being reasonably enjoyable - then switch it up.

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It's a difficult question.  I've had a couple times that I was absolutely "not feeling it".  I even posting on this board asking "what do I switch to?" and then stuck it out and felt so rewarded later.  I think I had been using both those programs wrong (lang arts and latin).  I have had others that did not work and had to change.  History is harder because it's a bigger scope subject and if you don't like how it's patterned, I can see it being completely unworkable. 

What are you using for history?

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I'm in the same boat with certain subjects including history and though I feel it is absolutely ok to ditch the book or put it away for a later time, I first ask the child/children I'm teaching their opinion because how I'm feeling may not be the same as how they feel. I almost ditched our text this year only to find DS reading the text alone in the schoolroom when it was time to eat dinner. Turns out he really likes the textbook, just hates the workbook exercises that now require more full sentence answers.

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