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S/O Easy Peasy - Remediating own education?


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I posted a question on the Easy Peasy thread, and was encouraged to make a new thread for it. I've mentioned in other places that I had a very subpar high school experience, but I figured out how to learn what I needed as I went out on my own and needed or wanted to know things. My oldest child is in 4th grade this year, and it's been a goal of mine to work through high school level work on my own, in preparation for her high school years. While I fully expect to be co-learning with her (and each of my boys) in many ways, I would like to be better educated myself in a general sense so I can be of more help to her in studying and making connections.

So that's the background. I had planned to use Easy Peasy high school as a primary resource for this, but after all the recent threads around here, I'm rethinking that. The trouble is, I don't really know where to start in creating my own program. There isn't a ton of money available for this, so I can't buy the high school levels of My Father's World and work through them. Who knows if we're even going to go that route for high school? I also can't hire a tutor or teacher at this point. I can get some books, using thriftbooks and ebay or checking my library, and I'm willing to use public domain/online resources, too. I'm just unsure where to begin in crafting a plan.

I have a used copy of Lial's Basic Math coming, and I have a copy of The Well-Educated Mind. What else? Should I check out Ambleside? Find a Great Books reading list (apart from WEM)? Use Khan Academy? Hunter's old threads on minimal schooling, or her rainbow levels? What would you recommend? In practical terms, how can I remediate my own education so I can help facilitate a better one for my children?

Edited by ThatBookwormMom
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What subjects do you think need remediation? 

I think I remember seeing a recommendation for starting with AO Year 7 or 8 as remediation. That's not what I would do because I think some of AO's books are a little bit strange. 

I'm considering subscribing to The Great Courses Plus. I'm pretty busy and it's hard for me to find and time and energy to read. It's easier to find time to watch or listen to a Great Course. 

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Ok if you are just refreshing, then EP isn’t the worst. You can supplement with some education books, which it sounds like you already have plans to do. My problem with using EP for high school is more about lack of depth and the tendency for people to dump their kids in front of the computer and call it homeschooling. You are being intentional about your learning. I also think you can tell when you are not getting everything you want out of it and find something more. This is something that most of us do along the way. 

Khan is great for review. Core Knowledge has a skill list up through grade 8. Crash Course is fast and has a variety of subjects. Amoeba Sisters on YouTube are good for biology. There’s a lot of informative podcasts that are free. There’s high school GED courses, CLEP review, and all sorts of ways to remediate. The library usually has a free homework help section and a high school resources section online that might help. EdReady will test and prepare you for college level work. It’s free. 

I’m sure someone has a list or a link of good education books. 

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5 hours ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

What subjects do you think need remediation? 

I think I remember seeing a recommendation for starting with AO Year 7 or 8 as remediation. That's not what I would do because I think some of AO's books are a little bit strange. 

I'm considering subscribing to The Great Courses Plus. I'm pretty busy and it's hard for me to find and time and energy to read. It's easier to find time to watch or listen to a Great Course. 

In all honesty, what I think needs the *most* work is also the thing most likely to be the missing piece for me - dialogue with an educated teacher that challenges me and causes me to think about things in a new or different way. Like I said above, hiring a tutor for myself just isn't in the budget, and I doubt many people will want to spend that kind of bandwith on me for free. Especially when all my friends are homeschoolers and they're already doing that job with their kids! 😁

Math is a big one for me. I'm completely fine with outsourcing math, but I don't like the idea that I can't even help them with their homework, kwim? I didn't understand Algebra I, and did nothing past that. Lial's Basic Math, backed up by Khan Academy videos for help with things I don't understand from the book, are where I plan to start with that.

Then it's basically just cultural literacy and general knowledge. I have TWEM that I plan to start working through this year. My library has some Great Courses stuff. I'll make a point of exploring what's available. I'm also trying to read one education related book each month, to improve as a teacher in general.

I feel like I missed something really important. It's funny, because when I was in my early twenties, I thought it was no big deal. I didn't *need* a formal education because I could just learn whatever I needed when I needed it. Which is true, to an extent, but now that I'm in my thirties and thinking through that education for my kids, I realize what I missed by not having that teacher interaction in my teen years.

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5 hours ago, Plum said:

Ok if you are just refreshing, then EP isn’t the worst. You can supplement with some education books, which it sounds like you already have plans to do. My problem with using EP for high school is more about lack of depth and the tendency for people to dump their kids in front of the computer and call it homeschooling. You are being intentional about your learning. I also think you can tell when you are not getting everything you want out of it and find something more. This is something that most of us do along the way. 

Khan is great for review. Core Knowledge has a skill list up through grade 8. Crash Course is fast and has a variety of subjects. Amoeba Sisters on YouTube are good for biology. There’s a lot of informative podcasts that are free. There’s high school GED courses, CLEP review, and all sorts of ways to remediate. The library usually has a free homework help section and a high school resources section online that might help. EdReady will test and prepare you for college level work. It’s free. 

I’m sure someone has a list or a link of good education books. 

This is a very helpful list. Thank you for taking time to write it out. 

As for education books, I'm starting with Liping Ma's elementary education one and also reading through The Writer's Jungle. Elements of Style is on my list, as well as a reread of TWTM and several of the homeschooling books on the dog-eared books thread.

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3 hours ago, ThatBookwormMom said:

This is a very helpful list. Thank you for taking time to write it out. 

As for education books, I'm starting with Liping Ma's elementary education one and also reading through The Writer's Jungle. Elements of Style is on my list, as well as a reread of TWTM and several of the homeschooling books on the dog-eared books thread.

Sounds like you got this. 👍

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I’d add all of SWB lectures. She has many to choose from and they are inexpensive. Some look like they are on sale right now. I plan to relisten to some as I prepare for high school planning. 

She has one specifically on this topic. 

Educating Ourselves as We Educate Our Children, Audio Workshop for less than $4. 

https://welltrainedmind.com/c/resources-for-parents/workshops-seminars/

Edited by Plum
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I was a poster on the other thread who does not think EP is adequate as an exclusive curriculum, especially for an older student. That being said, there are many things I would not use as my exclusive means of educating a child, but would be just fine for filling in holes, remediating, catching up on, using as a spine, etc. 

Khan Academy has loads of great video resources. I am certain that you could use EP in this way. Just because a resource isnt sufficient does not mean it is worthless. For instance, I do not find Primary Math's Challenging Word Problems to be sufficient for teaching my kids math (I am sure some people do, this is not my point). But it is a great resource as a supplement. I love it as a resource and it has done wonders for my kid's math understanding.

Do you have a decent library? Something that helped me was reading aloud (or audiobooks) of children's versions of lit I missed. Michael Morpungo has a great version of Beowulf and a few others (Sir Gawain?). Get Mary Pope Osborne's The Odyssey and read it aloud. Get a good kids version of some of the Arabian Nights. This exposes you and your kid to stories you may have missed. 

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One thing I have cherished in teaching my kids has been the opportunity to learn alongside them. Story of the World taught me more history than I remember from school. Even the early levels of Singapore Math introduced me to math concepts I didn't know. I read Winnie the Pooh and Five Children and It for the first time. I even know what a preposition is! Lol.

The flip side to that is the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. I feel like I may never catch up. But then, is there such a thing as catching up?

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On education resources, I'd suggest workshops over books. There are often low cost ones available for teachers. Project Wild, Project Wet, Flying Wild, Aquatic Wild, and Project Learning Tree all are low cost, industry supported, and are hands on experiences in how to explore nature and use it as a bridge towards multidisciplinary Learning, from preschool ages (with LONG lists of excellent picture books) through high school. Usually your state environmental education association is a good place to look. Programs that do remediation for adults often have free training in teaching phonics and remediating reading which is helpful for homeschoolers (and if you can find time to volunteer, even better. Some groups will even let older kids volunteer to read and do activities with younger children while you work with their parents).  Local NAEYC affiliates will have workshops for early childhood on everything from making math manipulatives to good books for teaching phonemic awareness to how to set up a garden for natural learning to CPR and first aid. If you have an Orff teacher's association, those workshops are just plain fun! 

There will always be parts of any workshop that are applicable to classrooms, but not home, or that require materials way too expensive to be affordable, but I have rarely attended any that I have not come out of with ideas. 

 

My DD started attending these with me at about age 12/13. She's learned a lot, too. 

 

 

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OP, when you need to learn something, what do you do / where do you go first?  For me: it's YouTube videos and books.  So, figure out what you need to learn and do what comes naturally to you.  It doesn't have to look like school unless that's how you learn best. Something I do that is helpful: if a topic is new to me, I add the phrase "for kids" to whatever my search term is.  Once I have a sense of the basics, using adult-level materials is really easy.

Khan Academy is great for math remediation.  I used it to re-learn, and review all the arithmetic I'd forgotten (which was a lot, especially fractions).  It took about a month of working sporadically, as I had time to complete the arithmetic sequence.  

 

Edited by shinyhappypeople
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2 hours ago, shinyhappypeople said:

OP, when you need to learn something, what do you do / where do you go first?  For me: it's YouTube videos and books.  So, figure out what you need to learn and do what comes naturally to you.  It doesn't have to look like school unless that's how you learn best. Something I do that is helpful: if a topic is new to me, I add the phrase "for kids" to whatever my search term is.  Once I have a sense of the basics, using adult-level materials is really easy.

Khan Academy is great for math remediation.  I used it to re-learn, and review all the arithmetic I'd forgotten (which was a lot, especially fractions).  It took about a month of working sporadically, as I had time to complete the arithmetic sequence.  

 

These are great questions. When I want to learn something I do the same: check out some books and maybe watch some videos online about the topic. Digging deeper in this thread, I suspect a lot of my insecurity around my education stems from the inability to *discuss* ideas with folks irl, so I find myself questioning my own conclusions and thoughts on things. I'm going to have to ponder ways to include more meaningful discussion in my life.

And I'm also a huge fan of using juvenile literature as a way to broach a topic!

It's been very freeing to see my ideas for approaching my own education validated. 😊

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Does your library carry any of the Great Courses? If not, could you afford the streaming service? (Sometimes you can find really good deals on the streaming service.) IMO the Great Courses are the best self-education tool around: high-level information, clearly-explained in a way that is geared for adult learners, taught by experts who are passionate about their subjects. (Avoid the so-called "high school level" courses, which are super lame and not remotely the same quality as their other courses.)

The problem with working through Easy Peasy, or any other "HS curriculum," as a self-educating adult is that the information will be dumbed down and the emphasis will be on output and busy work. The Great Courses will just give you the information you want, at a high but easily understood level, without all the busy work and BS of a "curriculum."  I recommend starting with some of Elizabeth Vandiver's courses, most are very short (12 half-hour lectures) and they're super informative and very well-presented. Bob Bryer's short course on Egyptian history is also a good introduction. Then branch out into subjects that interest you. 

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