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Cultivation of Self as a Means to Improve Homeschooling

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Do you believe that continuing to expand upon your own education in adulthood is a necessary component of improving your child(ren)’s educational experience? 

If so, how do you go about doing this?
What topics have you learned about? Who led the selection of topics that you learned about?Do you primarily study ahead, or co-learn?

Partially related / partially tangential: How do you keep track of ideas or methods that inspire you in relation to education: in your head, as a series of links & bookmarks, a commonplace book or something digital that is akin to one? 

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I think continuing to expand my own education in adulthood is (for me) a necessary component of an interesting and enjoyable life, and that would be true whether I was childless, a homeschooler, a PS parent, or (as I will soon be) an empty-nester. We have a very large home library and a whole cabinet full of Great Courses DVDs, and if I ever get to the point where I don't have the brain power to keep reading and learning... well, I just hope the end comes soon after that.

Some of the areas in which I didn't have a lot of previous background, but learned a lot about in the process of homeschooling, would include astronomy, evolutionary biology, ancient history, and Greek literature. In fact, DS's passion for the Iliad rubbed off on me to the extent that I would now say it's one of my very favorite books ever, and I have a whole shelf full of Iliad-related books, including various translations, critical analyses, historical background, modern retellings, etc., and I continued to explore the topic on my own long after it ceased to be a subject of homeschool study. Other topics that are heavily represented in our home library, based primarily on my own interests rather than homeschooling, would be philosophy, contemporary art and design, precolumbian art, and literature (especially metafiction). 

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I'm not sure I view it as necessary across the board, because there are a lot of people here smarter than me, who maybe wouldn't need to. But for me personally, yes. That's largely because I don't remember my own high school education, or was taught some things poorly, so I have felt the need to expand my own knowledge in order to teach my high schoolers, or have discussions with them about what they are learning.

As to the how, I usually just recognize an area I am weak in and I do what it takes to learn - read books (I've read so much classic literature as an adult that I totally missed as a child, even things like Winnie the Pooh), look things up online, read my kids' textbooks ahead of them (I remember reading all of Apologia Biology one summer and last summer I read all of Notgrass Exploring World History). I have also worked through entire math books to make sure I am familiar with the contents, so that I can at least help my kids. I need to do this again this coming summer as the course I have lined up for my rising 11th grader has no answer key, so I need to make one while I am familiarizing myself with the contents.

How I keep track of ideas and methods: I keep a daily journal so I usually write about those things in there.

I'm not sure I've answered exactly what you are asking, since I'm not necessarily expanding on my education; I'm just relearning or expanding on what I should have learned in high school. I'm probably not going beyond high school level stuff in most areas.

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Learning is a life long process. Children gain by seeing that learning is not restricted to “school” and that they have a whole lifetime to learn new things. Of course it’s harder for me now to play my upright piano when I am having joint pains but I am looking at buying a digital piano to “compensate”. I am now taking a certification course in independent education consultant with full backing from my kids 🙂

My DS15 has always been inquisitive and intense. My DS14 is inquisitive too but more tampered. So my kids led to most of the selection of the topics I learned about starting from when they could talk. I am a generalist by nature so I also have new things/ideas that I pick up randomly from road trips and such. I don’t have time to study ahead, I co-learn or dig up info/knowledge from my school (including undergrad/postgrad) days.

Webpages that I find useful are in my unpublished blog, my favorites (back up to cloud as well), and Pinterest. As for ideas and methods, I take what is useful and modify to benefit my kids. I have to parent the kids I have just as my kids have to cope with me, the mother they have. Ideas and methods are food for thought and I just keep them in my head for pondering.

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Strictly addressing the aspect of learning to be able to teach - I have some recommendations. My best, most efficient method was to just obtain some classical materials that I intended to teach, and teach myself first. I made my own lesson plans and solutions manuals as I went, so I could then turn and teach my child the next week (or sometimes the next day). You can also study some tutoring materials. In no particular order, I would recommend:

The Well-Trained Mind

Charlotte Mason series, start with Book 6 and also read some derivative works (Andreola, Levison, Macaulay)

Anything by Sam Blumenfeld

Anything by Ruth Beechick

The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

How Children Learn, How Children Fail, and Teach Your Own by John Holt

The Eclectic Manual of Methods for the Assistance of Teachers (from one-room schoolhouse days)

Ray's Arithmetic - primary and intellectual levels

Rod and Staff arithmetic series - the teacher's manual is worth it (alternative that for some people would be superior in other ways, too - Math Mammoth; I did both)

Anything by Liping Ma

Rod and Staff English series - for grammar - as with the arithmetic, put yourself through the grammar lessons in the teacher's manual (Secular alternative: Wariner's) 

Traditional Logic I and II by Martin Cothran

Memoria Press Latin - Form Series and/or Henle series

 

I could go on; I haven't addressed science, or math, or art instruction and study, or music, or Greek, or anything at the high school level, or preschool. I haven't shown you what I learned to do with some of these vintage materials. I haven't named boxed materials that I found to be super beneficial to use for a year (or several years) to help me get the idea of the pace, depth, and rigor that should be appropriate for my particular children. After I could see and try a "day" and scope and sequence that I felt I could trust, I was able to develop the philosophies and skills to create my own courses.

But my point is that I believe homeschool educators SHOULD be learning. Always. If we are taking on the full responsibility of educating our children, we should commit to never offering them *less* than they'd get at the local public school. As with any alternate course in life, we should know why we're bothering, why we're sacrificing, what our goals are, and where the joy is to be found. The whole picture doesn't coalesce overnight; we have to learn from our mistakes, we have to get acquainted with our children's needs and learn how to pivot. We have to learn how to prioritize and where our strengths are - for example, I like the idea of sinking oneself into favorite subjects but being very content with high-quality open-and-go resources for less favorite (or confident) subjects. 

Homeschoolers today are most likely to find themselves homeschooling reluctantly or as a last resort. They are reacting to school problems. In that scenario, I would love to suggest open-and-go resources with a sideline of a TON of community support, and let the rest come later. They need relief and a successful day. But for those who have some time to see this lifestyle and responsibility coming? They might as well enroll themselves in some form of Homeschool Mom University and start learning, so they'll be able to teach their children, teach THEM to learn, and go on learning together for a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, hollyhock2 said:

I'm not sure I've answered exactly what you are asking, since I'm not necessarily expanding on my education; I'm just relearning or expanding on what I should have learned in high school. I'm probably not going beyond high school level stuff in most areas.

I find myself doing a good bit of this, as well. I absolutely consider supplementing or reviewing what I was taught in school as expanding upon my education. Whether I ought to have been better taught, or more engaged, or enabled to retain the information well is irrelevant - clearly I wasn’t! 

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20 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

But my point is that I believe homeschool educators SHOULD be learning. Always. If we are taking on the full responsibility of educating our children, we should commit to never offering them *less* than they'd get at the local public school. As with any alternate course in life, we should know why we're bothering, why we're sacrificing, what our goals are, and where the joy is to be found. The whole picture doesn't coalesce overnight

The bolded is precisely the mire I am currently working through.

My perspective on the education I want to provide is evolving & my confidence in curating that education is growing. I find myself stepping away from others’ procedures, others’ plans, others’ organization... but at the same time I feel as though I haven’t quite gotten my footing yet. It’s a very vulnerable state. 

Many a rabbit hole has been explored this weekend - no doubt with many more to come! 

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Absolutely - I feel that lifelong learning is one of the best examples we can set for our children!
 

That being said, as my oldest is now in 6th grade, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to stay ahead.  Part of the issue is that both kids are accelerated learners. DD has been self teaching from AOPS since age 9, but is now running into more math questions. I have a hard time keeping up in a way that makes me feel I can be an adequate guide. I’m realizing that, given the limited time I have, I can’t learn  every subject in depth, so I may need to pick and choose areas of focus for my own self learning. The other areas I may need to find outside help. 

 

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2 hours ago, JHLWTM said:

I’m realizing that, given the limited time I have, I can’t learn  every subject in depth, so I may need to pick and choose areas of focus for my own self learning. The other areas I may need to find outside help. 

I definitely think that as students age & outpace their instructors (be that a parent, school teacher, tutor, or whomever else) sourcing mentors becomes important both to keep the learner advancing at their rate of potential & to lessen the workload burden on the instructor.

I strongly disagree with the view that a home educator must be the ONLY educator a child has - which is a view I’ve occasionally seen expressed when discussing “outsourcing” in general.

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli
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I am pretty solid on math and science through high school, thank goodness. Although I had to educate myself on scope and sequence for math. But a lot of teaching math comes very naturally to me. Plus, I adore reading non-fiction math and science books, like Innumeracy, How I killed Pluto, etc. 

But the liberal arts I have had to educate myself about. I have read books on teaching and evaluating writing. But the most time-consuming thing I have done was start reading all the literature I missed out on. To date, this year, I have read (completely aside from my pleasure reading):

Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Democracy in America, 10 Shakespeare plays, The Republic, Flannery OConner's complete collection of short stories, All Fr Brown mysteries, Orthodoxy, PG Wodehouse, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Canterbury Tales, a bunch of poetry, and a couple other books I am forgetting. I have listened to the Close Reads podcast as they nerd out on great literature and have gotten much better at literary analysis. I have learned that I dont have to enjoy a book for it to be a great book to read. I have finally learned, really learned, why the Iliad and the Odyssey are as revered as they are. I can finally get some of the literary allusions that have thus far evaded me.

Case in point. I am reading the Chronicles of Prydain to my kids. We got to the part of the enchantresses and how they are weaving on a loom. That detail would have passed over me before this summer. Now I know to look for weaving as a part of a greater literary tradition because the Odyssey is filled with weaving as a symbol, particularly with enchantresses. 

Like if you have had no exposure to the Bible and read in the Anne of Green Gables books about her having "a Jonah day" and thinking it was a weird phrase and nothing more. And then reading the Old Testament and suddenly getting the nuance. 

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My self education efforts are partly for my own benefit and partly for my kids'. I am, without a doubt, a better teacher when I have learned the material ahead of my kids. Learning it alongside them is a good second best, imo.

I started doing math side by side with my oldest when she was in AoPS Prealgebra. We read through the lesson together, then used separate notebooks to work the problems. We did this in prealgebra, algebra, and geometry by getting up early and working for 45ish minutes before my other kiddos woke up. It was the best self ed time I could've spent considering I have 5 more kiddos to teach and math was a major weakness for me. 

I try to read/reread middle school/high school lit books ahead of my kids so we can have meaningful discussions.

I was not able to work ahead of my oldest in biology, and she suffered for that. She really could have used a teacher at times. The rest of her science classes have been/will be outsourced, but this is definitely a future self ed goal.

My other self ed pursuits have been driven by my interests. Evolution, brain science, and church history are a few of the topics I have studied. Oh, and teaching methods/pedagogy has been another big topic of interest for me. 

 

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Assuming that a person is always working to the best of their ability when teaching their children, then if they want to improve, they must learn new things.

Me learning things is what has most enriched our homeschool--not a resource or a program or some outsourced online thing.  For example, learning math ahead of my children was critical to their math education.  That was the most intentional learning I did in terms of learning something with the intention of being able to teach it later.  But I also found that taking writing intensive courses myself while struggling to teach writing had a huge effect on how I teach in that I was able to struggle with writing about things that I had just learned and observe that struggle with an eye toward helping my children deal with theirs.  There are many other examples, but these two stand out.

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On 12/21/2019 at 11:04 AM, Expat_Mama_Shelli said:

Do you believe that continuing to expand upon your own education in adulthood is a necessary component of improving your child(ren)’s educational experience?

 

Honestly, my answer to this depends on my mood at the time.

I believe it is my responsibility to provide an education that meets my child’s needs. The reason I am homeschooling is because neither the public nor private schools where I lived would meet my child’s needs. However, I do not believe that choosing to homeschool means that I must always be the one teaching my child, nor that I must learn everything she is interested in. I can outsource. I can use resources that my child can learn from directly.

There are some areas that I can teach to a fairly high level. Others, definitely not. Of those I can not, there are some that I could learn to teach with relatively little investment on my part. Others would take immense effort, hundreds or thousands of hours. There are areas that I am interested in learning for myself, and others that I have absolutely no interest in.

I wrote in the “how not to suck at math” thread that I believe any subject is best taught by someone who is both knowledgeable and enjoys that subject. If that’s not going to be me, then I believe my daughter is better served by not having me as her teacher.

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Being only an 'every second weekend and half of school holidays schooler,' most of my focus is now on information that will help me narrate her way through trauma, and hands on skills. She wants to be a carpenter, so I went and did a carpentry course last year. I learned or relearned enough to get her started, and met people who dabble in cabinet making, that she can and does call on for advice. She wants to leave home the minute she turns 18, if not sooner, so we're working on housekeeping skills. I have to be more intentional about those things than I might have been otherwise, because she is not here to learn them by osmosis.

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17 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

Being only an 'every second weekend and half of school holidays schooler,' most of my focus is now on information that will help me narrate her way through trauma, and hands on skills. She wants to be a carpenter, so I went and did a carpentry course last year. I learned or relearned enough to get her started, and met people who dabble in cabinet making, that she can and does call on for advice. She wants to leave home the minute she turns 18, if not sooner, so we're working on housekeeping skills. I have to be more intentional about those things than I might have been otherwise, because she is not here to learn them by osmosis.

Rosie,

Just in case no one else is telling you this lately, you are a Pretty Awesome Mother.  On all the weekends and all the school holidays.  🙂

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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So, it is probably because mine are still little but I spend more time educating myself about how to educate my children than I spend actually educating my children.  I almost feel like the old college ratio of 2-3 hours of outside prep per credit hour of class applies to me as a homeschool mother.

@Monica_in_Switzerland had a thread and a blog at one point in time about becoming a better teacher-mother.  One of the resources was Why Do Students Not Like School.  So, there's that type of prep work: general pedagogical reading.  Then there's actual prep for teaching content/skills.  When I started I taught myself phonics and reviewed elementary math and practically lived on Don Potter's and Elizabeth Brown's websites.  These days, I'm reading and rereading these days so that I can keep up with DD11's reading so she has someone to talk to.  I really need to start working on French too but that keeps getting put on the back burner.

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2 minutes ago, mms said:

I spend more time educating myself about how to educate my children than I spend actually educating my children.  I almost feel like the old college ratio of 2-3 hours of outside prep per credit hour of class applies to me as a homeschool mother.

Yes! So little of the work of homeschooling right now is directed at DS during our formal lesson time. His breaks are almost always crammed with learning for me!

This weekend’s threads have been invaluable to me - they have come at the perfect time. As such I have written close to 10pgs of notes with perspectives pulled directly from the the posts, content referenced in the posts, or my own associated rabbit trails into other threads & content. 

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Yes I believe in self education to improve the way I educate my children. 

I studied a bachelor degree while home-schooling my older children

Have done lots of training on trauma, attachment therapy, FASD, for twins

And currently doing ABIA therapy training

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On 12/22/2019 at 7:35 AM, Expat_Mama_Shelli said:

As with any alternate course in life, we should know why we're bothering, why we're sacrificing, what our goals are, and where the joy is to be found. 

The bolded is precisely the mire I am currently working through.

 

I learn for 4 clear cut purposes

1) I learn because is the great love of my life. My father calls me a 'scholar' and I suppose I am. It calms and focuses me in a constantly shifting and scattered world. I would be a shadow of myself if I were to lose it.

2) I learn because modelling how I want my children to live is the best parenting method I have ever found. They learn because I learn. It is just what our family does and values. I do not need to cajole or punish to get my kids to get them to do their work because I have instilled the value of learning as the great gift of our time.

3) I learn content along side my sons because it creates an atmosphere of shared intellectual engagement which my kids find motivating and fun.  By co-learning I become their intellectual partner which allows me to model the process of learning and how to engage in the content. I have co-learned physics, chemistry, literature, economics, mandarin, geography, government, philosophy, and history. I find it my most valuable tool in homeschooling.

4) I learn so I can teach. I have done this for only math and composition. I work ahead and study ahead, so that I can be a top-down teacher rather than a co-learner. 

 

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My education was not all that great. I studied enough to get A's and then promptly forgot it all when it no longer seemed relevant to me. I got good scores on the ACT and in college I retained more than I did in high school and still got good grades, but my BS in psychology from a Big 10 U didn't stick with me overly much either. Honestly, I've learned and retained more as a hs mom reading Story of the World and Math Mammoth and watching Video Text lessons and listening to Great Courses lectures than I ever did in school - not sure if that is a result of better materials or better motivation on my part or just maturity - probably all three.

Some things are an area of strength for me and I have no problem teaching them myself. Some things are an area of weakness and I learn alongside my kids with a really good curriculum as a guide (Great Courses and Video Text esp as mentioned above). But some things I just have to be content with knowing I searched out the best self guided resources for them I could find because time is limited and so am I. I just can't learn all the things well enough to teach them all directly myself. And I'm ok with that.

For my own self ed I've enjoyed IEW's TWSS to help me learn to teach writing. I have Alfred's All in One adult course to learn piano. I have Rosetta Stone and Visual Link to brush up on my Spanish. I'm taking a photography course because I like it. Once those things are checked off my list I want to learn Biblical Greek.

It's been good for my kids to see me struggle with a hard concept or assignment, and it's been good for them that I learn alongside them in some of their subjects, but I wouldn't say that's my motivation for self ed. I do it for me, to combat Mommy Brain Cell Loss. That it benefits the kids too is just a lucky side benefit.

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On 12/21/2019 at 12:06 PM, Lang Syne Boardie said:

Strictly addressing the aspect of learning to be able to teach - I have some recommendations. My best, most efficient method was to just obtain some classical materials that I intended to teach, and teach myself first. I made my own lesson plans and solutions manuals as I went, so I could then turn and teach my child the next week (or sometimes the next day). You can also study some tutoring materials. In no particular order, I would recommend:

The Well-Trained Mind

Charlotte Mason series, start with Book 6 and also read some derivative works (Andreola, Levison, Macaulay)

Anything by Sam Blumenfeld

Anything by Ruth Beechick

The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

How Children Learn, How Children Fail, and Teach Your Own by John Holt

The Eclectic Manual of Methods for the Assistance of Teachers (from one-room schoolhouse days)

Ray's Arithmetic - primary and intellectual levels

Rod and Staff arithmetic series - the teacher's manual is worth it (alternative that for some people would be superior in other ways, too - Math Mammoth; I did both)

Anything by Liping Ma

Rod and Staff English series - for grammar - as with the arithmetic, put yourself through the grammar lessons in the teacher's manual (Secular alternative: Wariner's) 

Traditional Logic I and II by Martin Cothran

Memoria Press Latin - Form Series and/or Henle series

 

I could go on; I haven't addressed science, or math, or art instruction and study, or music, or Greek, or anything at the high school level, or preschool. I haven't shown you what I learned to do with some of these vintage materials. I haven't named boxed materials that I found to be super beneficial to use for a year (or several years) to help me get the idea of the pace, depth, and rigor that should be appropriate for my particular children. After I could see and try a "day" and scope and sequence that I felt I could trust, I was able to develop the philosophies and skills to create my own courses.

But my point is that I believe homeschool educators SHOULD be learning. Always. If we are taking on the full responsibility of educating our children, we should commit to never offering them *less* than they'd get at the local public school. As with any alternate course in life, we should know why we're bothering, why we're sacrificing, what our goals are, and where the joy is to be found. The whole picture doesn't coalesce overnight; we have to learn from our mistakes, we have to get acquainted with our children's needs and learn how to pivot. We have to learn how to prioritize and where our strengths are - for example, I like the idea of sinking oneself into favorite subjects but being very content with high-quality open-and-go resources for less favorite (or confident) subjects. 

Homeschoolers today are most likely to find themselves homeschooling reluctantly or as a last resort. They are reacting to school problems. In that scenario, I would love to suggest open-and-go resources with a sideline of a TON of community support, and let the rest come later. They need relief and a successful day. But for those who have some time to see this lifestyle and responsibility coming? They might as well enroll themselves in some form of Homeschool Mom University and start learning, so they'll be able to teach their children, teach THEM to learn, and go on learning together for a lifetime.

 

 

 

 

Great list Lang Syne Boardie. That is THE LIST imo. 

As for how to sort it OP- I have many One Note notebooks, and I make liberal use of bookdarts. I am also co-opting @Patty Joanna's color coding system from the dog eared book thread. I think that's brilliant and will cut down on Bookdarts and post it notes. 🙂

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I think self learning is essential to a joy filled life. It models behavior I want ds to emulate. 

But I don't think it has to relate to schooling to benefit a homeschool. I think if a mom doesn't have a clear thought on philosophies of education that needs to be the starting point. If there are any massive gaps and inability to teach a subject that needs to come next. 

But learning anything brings benefits. I have learned two languages while ds has been alive. That has given him the understanding that language learning is hard and you mess up often. I wanted to take piano lessons again for years. So I have. I read a variety of topics and novels each year. All of these things add to our family discussions, family learning, and model a learning lifestyle. 

I have spent some time relearning in some areas that I will need to teach. But not as much time as I have spent learning what I want to learn. I figure there is a base that needs to be learned in our home, and that opens the door to learning whatever one would choose. I let ds pick one area to learn in school so he gets some freedom. But most (as he is 7 yo) is decided by me. 

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On 12/21/2019 at 11:04 AM, Expat_Mama_Shelli said:

Do you believe that continuing to expand upon your own education in adulthood is a necessary component of improving your child(ren)’s educational experience? 

If so, how do you go about doing this?
What topics have you learned about? Who led the selection of topics that you learned about?Do you primarily study ahead, or co-learn?

Partially related / partially tangential: How do you keep track of ideas or methods that inspire you in relation to education: in your head, as a series of links & bookmarks, a commonplace book or something digital that is akin to one? 

Like others have mentioned, I think it may depend on your background. For example, I'm a nurse in my day job. I'm not strong in history, and though I read widely when I was in high school, I can't remember much of what I read. 

What I focus on primarily is reading the books my children are studying. This was easier when my oldest was back in 3rd and 4th grade, but it's gotten significantly more challenging as she's gotten older. This is why my comfort level of homeschooling is around 3rd -5th grade --- those were the years with her when I read ALL the books. 

So, I try to at least listen to the first few chapters of the books my children are reading, if I'm not familiar with them, or if it's been a significant number of years since I've read them. My boys have some learning disabilities, so I tend to focus more on their needs. Maybe in this second semester, I might try a little harder to help out my oldest. #somanykidsonlyoneofme

I use audiobooks a LOT to help me out. I buy them on Audible if they're available, and for things like the Famous Men series, they are available on Librivox. I WISH there was an option for the Dorothy Mills books. 

With Latin ---- sigh. I try to keep up with the younger kids, but I usually fizz out by the time we move to nouns. (First Form) I'm thinking that by the time my youngest gets there, I'll have built up more stamina. 😉

Again, I think it's best to use a less is more approach. Instead of thinking, "I'm going to learn ALL THE THINGS!", it's better for me to stick to a few things and know them well. 

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On 12/21/2019 at 1:36 PM, JHLWTM said:

Absolutely - I feel that lifelong learning is one of the best examples we can set for our children!
 

That being said, as my oldest is now in 6th grade, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed with trying to stay ahead.  Part of the issue is that both kids are accelerated learners. DD has been self teaching from AOPS since age 9, but is now running into more math questions. I have a hard time keeping up in a way that makes me feel I can be an adequate guide. I’m realizing that, given the limited time I have, I can’t learn  every subject in depth, so I may need to pick and choose areas of focus for my own self learning. The other areas I may need to find outside help. 

 

Yes, i found this to be true around this age. I focused on Latin. I semi outsourced science by using a co-op. I gave up the choice of textbook for a teacher that knew her stuff and could fully explain what was happening in experiments. She took my oldest through most high school science, and I did the same with Latin for hers and others'. From going along for the ride and seeing it all the way through, I feel confident enough to go through it with mdd and ydd on my own. With math, I sit day by day with them through Algebra, then use an online course. Art, I live and we create and study together, plus seek outside classes. Mdd has long surpassed me in ability, mainly from having the time to put into her work. Some things my oldest has self studied and notebooked and researched and informed me about, and I didn't really even learn alongside her at all, but this was not until upper high school. 

History and literature I love and self taught long before I had kids. So we just read and explore and discuss together.

Having seen one kid all the way through (just about) helps me to see the end and to know where I am headed better than I did before in the subjects I wasn't as strong in before. But I still need experts as in curriculum or resources to guide me

 

Op yes, self education is mandatory. I consider my books, podcasts, convention workshops, magazine articles, and teacher guides and even the curricula themselves to be my professional training hours. I read a lot.

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