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I get it now...box curricula and next year's decision to make.


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I have to admit that in the past when I've seen, "we need curricula in a box, ready to go so that my child can work independently most of the time", I've cringed and felt sorry for the child.

 

Now that I'm working 20+ hours a week at night and my children have missed me reading aloud for a month and half now, I have college work looming over my head in February and housework and a life to maintain still needing done plus spending quality time with the kids...I GET IT! ...and I'm sorry.

 

We haven't had a nature walk since Thanksgiving.

I haven't read a long read aloud since before Thanksgiving.

We haven't even gone on a field trip other than to see Santa.

{Exasperated sigh inserted here}

 

So I need to decide about next year. For 4th grade only because I am 90% sure ds4 is going to public school K.

 

Here's another tidbit that I've decided that has been very strange, we're not going to do TOG for Year 4. I decided on TOG for the long-haul not just for the time-being so I don't feel an immediate need to do TOG for 4th and I think just using SOTW will be a better fit for our situation. I'm even considering switching to SOTW (I have all the books) for the rest of this year.

 

4th grade

Math- Math on the Level/ Math-U-See combo, I think...still unsure

Poetry Memorization- One poem a month

History- SOTW 4 (not sure about using the AG but we need mapwork)

Writing- Intermediate Language Lessons

Latin- Latina Christiana

Science- original plan was to do History of Science/Inventors, I may use different resources than what I originally planned which was The Storybook of Science and Inventions and their Inventors by Bachman with Milestones of Science. Nature walks.

 

Right now we're consistently using:

Writing Tales 1

TOG Year 3, Redesigned

Math on the Level loosely, focusing more on multiplication

Prima Latina

Exploring the History of Medicine by J.H. Tiner

Explode the Code Book 7

 

We have dropped so much...eek, gotta go- I'll come back

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I have to admit that in the past when I've seen, "we need curricula in a box, ready to go so that my child can work independently most of the time", I've cringed and felt sorry for the child.

 

Now that I'm working 20+ hours a week at night and my children have missed me reading aloud for a month and half now, I have college work looming over my head in February and housework and a life to maintain still needing done plus spending quality time with the kids...I GET IT! ...and I'm sorry.

 

 

Jessica, is it the curriculum that you objected to, or the fact that parents needed more independence from their students?

 

Because I gotta tell you, girlfriend, that the times that I used a boxed curriculum, it wasn't in order to get the child to work independently.

 

Anyway, I'm not sure you meant that anyone who uses Calvert, etc, is by default looking for independent effort on the part of the children, but just so it's out there, independence was never an issue with us in that regard. I was as hands-on when we used Calvert from a box as I was when I pieced together my own.

 

I'm sorry things are hard for you right now, and I hope they settle down soon.

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I have to admit that in the past when I've seen, "we need curricula in a box, ready to go so that my child can work independently most of the time", I've cringed and felt sorry for the child.

 

Don't feel bad that you may use boxed curricula. You're still doing more than most parents who stick their kids in ps. There are good choices for curricula too. Designing your own curriculum is great for tailoring it the way you want/need, but not necessary. As far as one going into K next year. Grade K is the easiest to do at home. It requires 1-2 hours of work, and just lots of reading to them, and doing art work, playing. Your choice, good luck.

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I had originally "planned" to do SOTW, Volume 4 for 4th grade, but I just didn't like it for that age. It just seemed like war after war and a kind of dry. It is a GREAT book, don't get me wrong. But, it just didn't seem like a good fit for that age. We did VP that year covering 1815 to modern times. This is technically their grade 6 year, but, honestly, it doesn't matter much except for the literature choices in their catalog. My ds retained more info from that year than any other year. You have the "topic of the week" like you do in TOG. After going over the card and the worksheet together, you can just pick among the resources and have her read. She could write some narrations a couple of times per week on things that interested her. Honestly, I wish I had utilized more of VP when ds was younger.

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I used Calvert way-way back, and wouldn't go that way again, but I've used a mixed bag of scripted things for several years now because of my work hours and DH's increasing disability. And my kids are thriving and their test scores are almost identical to what we used during the mom-planned days. This is our last year with Sonlight though because I need even more independence, and they're old enough to do more writing and use textbooks on their own. Most of the morning is already done independently, which has been a big help.

 

It's great if you can do it, but I've come to believe that mom-planned is an option, not a must to produce homeschool success.

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Boxed curricula just doesn't tempt me at all except for the time-saving factor. I did consider ABeka for about 2 seconds yesterday but as soon as the complete thought passed, I passed. We enjoy Memoria Press' DVDs but I think I can create a 'do the next thing' schedule with more planned out products like using God's Design instead of creating a reading schedule myself with experiments.

 

I will not comment further about ds4 attending ps K other than the fact, he needs it. He's grown so much going to Montesorri PreK and he needs a little more maturity time for me to be able to have him at home. It's just not a good time to add more to my plate just b/c I feel it's best. I will pull him out if I feel the need but we're in a great school system and he'll be tested in May by the Sp. Ed. specialist to see where he is developmentally. There are other factors I've considered as well that I don't wish to address here but this is the best decision for the situation at this time.

 

If I were to choose a 'boxed' curricula, I'd probably chose a Catholic line (Seton or Kolbe) although we're not Catholic, from what I understand I can eliminate what I wish.

 

I need to pull out my SOTW 4 and really look at it. We could use Galloping the Globe for year too and add timelines for historical events for each country. Maybe a country a month with one longer read aloud each month?

 

I want an easily planned/executed approach: read Chapter 1 of X, Chapter 3 of Y and complete the exercises. As little fuss as possible, very little brain cells being used on my part...hee, hee. :p

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Jessica, if you don't like boxed curricula, you don't have to use box curricula to teach. HAve you considered Ambleside Online ?

 

If Camille is reading fluently and can comprehend what she reads then let her read from AO selection and narrate back to you.

 

Amblesideonline is there when you need it week by week. It's a no-frill, yet efficient way to teach. I know the history & biography may not align to your history timing, but you can always use their other suggestion. If you want a 4 y cycle with AO, I know there's a lady who made 4 year cycle with AO material too.

 

I did some of the year 1 AO with my son, and we enjoyed it tremendously. It doesn't take much time, either. No worksheet to fill, no coloring, etc (unless you choose to). I'm doing the whole shebang this Jan with some modification on history. We couldn't do AO fully before because my son needs to get used to narration.

 

I'm impressed with a CM blog: higherupandfurtherin.blogspot.com because it seems from the blog that the children achieve a lot using CM method (they use modified AO schedule, though). This blog inspires me a lot. It's true when CM in her book said that using the living book + narration makes teh student in her school achieve more in less time than their counterpart. So if you're busy, AO is really ideal because it's more or less self teaching and it does not require much time.

 

HTH

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Well I'm just going to suggest that you not give up what is important on the altar of the immediate. Maybe your college work isn't quite that important? It could wait, you know.

 

K5 only takes an hour a day, so if you streamline out your 4th grader's stuff, you'd have room to do K5. Only 1 math program is needed, so pick one good one. (BJU would be great) In fact, you could do the dvd's and be done with it. The 4th grade dvd's are charming, so fun, and the math is so practical. If you're willing to bend, that would be a way. And yes, dumping TOG for SOTW would make a lot of sense. For science, the BJU dvd's would do it for you, or do something straightforward. We've been doing the BJU4 science and I really like it

 

It's really easy to overkill and try overhard in the name of doing a good job for our kids. Follow the advice you've gotten here for years and simplify. You don't want to lose what is most important to you for trying so hard.

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Hi Jessica. I haven't posted much (still kind of a newbie). But I've read many of your post. I was glad to see this morning that you were still hanging in there. I have been inspired by your choices, pictures, and post. I find that the hardest thing about homeschool is fitting it all in... housework, bills, errands, personal time, and teaching the "perfect" things for the children. I'm sure everyone feels this way. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I think you will pull it all together in time. I can't find a complete program that works for us, but I did decide to add My Father's World ECC. I'm not suggesting this for you. But having something written out has helped me alot. We all know what to expect each day. I still use my other stuff in the mornings such as SWR, PLL, and Singapore Math. Then we follow MFW right to the letter after lunch. We also use alot of Evan-Moor e-books printed out for independent work and create word search puzzles for their spelling words. I am still interested in hearing more about your new math program. Your post got me interested in looking at it. Looks like I'll see it at the Nashville Homeschool Fair. I wish you the best. I know you will work it all out.

Cindy

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We were facing caring for my MIL after heart surgery, so I purposed to make this year as user friendly as possible for me and the kids. Not exactly curricula in a box, just materials that were very efficient. For example, 5th grade dd is doing Math-U-See, Winston Grammar, Writing Strands (too old for WWE!), Christian Liberty Press Bible workbooks, WTM style (classic) history and science - Usborne History of the World and Janice Van Cleeve's Science Around the Year, dictation once a week, reading chapter books and doing book reports, and Spelling Workout. There is almost no prep for me and I work with her maybe 30-45 minutes tops per day. As it turned out, my MIL did great with her heart surgery, and I find myself with extra time on my hands and tons less stress! We will keep this mix for next year as well.

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Imho, it's very hard to adjust to a boxed curriculum. With your knowledge and experience it may make it even harder. I know you have many convictions about methodology and, of course, your faith comes into play.

 

When I've experienced this need, earnest prayer (which I've no doubt you've done) has lended itself fruitful. I found streamlining was in order and my boys did not lack for richness in their studies.

 

In the past, the recommendations from the ladies here fit the bill well. We are presently using SOTW, WWE, GWG, Apologia, and MUS not just for their academic qualitities, but my time constraints with training a active 2yo. These all fit my criteria and get the job done without overwhelming myself or the boys.

 

Hope you come to decision soon and feel a peace about it. :) I always despise being in limbo.

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BTDT in a similar situation when my olders were about that age.

 

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

 

I worked with my kids with math, and an all inclusive LA program. They were responsible to do something related to History, Science everyday. They also were to read for a certain amount of time each day. We didn't have a TV so they were real productive that year and did far more than I could've possibly planned. It was quite a change for us because prior to that year I was all about creating/planning every aspect of their education. I made sure they had an abundance of options to accomplish those goals.....books, science kits, art supplies, etc.

 

We didn't stay in that "mode" for more than a year or two. Long term my olders are very independant and have maintained control over aspects of their educations in particular the choice of resources. It is the norm for them to come to me with a list of resources and a statement like..." I need to learn ________ and would like to get ________"

 

So in your situation ....

 

Just pick 1 math program....I'm saying that knowing nothing about Math on the level....but simplify, simplify, simplify.

 

If using SOTW and she writes a narration for her reading would you still need ILL?

 

Are there any subjects that you would feel comfortable letting her have control of for a short period of time?

 

One last thing...

 

I have several friends who used SOS for a couple of subjects to help them get through a rough year.

 

FWIW..

 

Best of luck, mama!

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I used Calvert the first 8 weeks of this year. I hated it. But the reason I bought it was NOT to have my kids work independently...it was because I was a new homeschooler and felt the need to have someone hold my hand so I didn't screw up my kids totally. After 8 weeks, I got over that and realized I could do a much better job of accomodating their individual needs than that box could. :)

 

You do what you have to do for your family. :)

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I have recently "given in" and have been checking audio books out of the library to listen to in the car. I have tons of books and I really love to read aloud but it just doesn't happen. This way, every time we get in the car we hear more of the story. I have thought of even getting another audio book to listen to in the house for quiet time so I can do dishes or make dinner.

 

I still want to read out loud, but I think I am going to concentrate on things that may not be on audio, like supplements to our history.

 

Also, we love SOTW and really find it open and go. Except for the projects, of course, but those are optional. I love that it is one book, and you just go in order until you get to the end. We get lots of outside books as well, and videos too, but those don't need planning, they are just there and if we have time we grab one and read it or my ds will go through them on his own in his free time.

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but the flexibility is part of a perk of homeschooling.

 

.

 

I don't have flexibility anymore, I have college, night/wkend work, housework, parenting, counseling and just plain taking care of us to do. I need to be able to do my college work during the same hours of homeschooling or stagger them just a little plus do housework before I have to leave for work for the night and then come home to do whatever college work I can before I go to sleep (10:30pm nights).

 

There is no favoritism, it is a different set of circumstances for each of my children which is reflected in my posts. All I can say is that I'm doing my best to be/do what each of my kids need in short-term and long-term.

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Jessica,

 

I am fairly new at this, but one favorite program I seem to see over an over for ease of use (but yet still thorough) is CLE. I have not tried it, but it's on my short list in case I ever think I need it.

 

You definitely have a lot on your mind and on your plate and the bottom line is you have to get to a place where you can manage it all. I don't think using a boxed curriculm type means you are giving up or settling. You are adjusting to the needs of your current family situation. Nobody should judge you for what you are doing - only you know the details and the intricracies of what makes your life work well for YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

 

As far as your DS - every child is different and if you feel like he needs another year in a more social environment then that is perfectly fine! And even though I feel like kids get "more at home", I also taught WONDERFUL children, that I will never forget, in my 10 years in the PS. They flourished and were very successful in school and in life (my first batch of kiddoes I taught are now 25!)

 

So maybe check out CLE - I have seen your posts before but am not well versed in what you have and haven't tried, so hopefully I am not suggesting something you have already tried :) But from what I've seen, the subjects are very independent of one another so you could pick and choose.

 

Good luck :)

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Hi Jessica-

I've been praying for you and yours.

About Seton-we are Catholic and have used Seton but it is very infused with Catholic faith and doctrine. I think you would have to eliminate/modify so much if might not be worth the effort.

 

About boxed curriculum-I have been a diehard WTM/CM'er since my eldest was in preschool. Well, just last month we switched to Abeka. I never thought I would! School just wasn't getting done and now that Anne is in 4th grade we had to buckle down and make progress. We do our Abeka work in the am for about 2 hours (Abeka Language 3, Science 4 and History/Geography 5 and Horizons for math, Prima Latina, CHC Handwriting) and then in the afternoon we do all the "fun" stuff-including lots of reading with narrations, nature and picture study, etc. But if we don't get to all that in the afternoon it's ok-the basics have been covered. It's working for now!! We've been making steady progress. Anyway, if you want to talk more about textbooks, boxed curriculum, etc. feel free to pm me. I also recommend the Maxwell's new book "Managers of their Schools". They talk specifically about using textbooks and having kids work independently and it was a great help and comfort to me.

Jennifer

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I think I've got it now:

 

ILL for English, it's pretty straight forward and includes all the elements I feel dd8 needs for 4th, I'll even use the poems from it for memorization.

 

SOTW 4 for history with audio and AG. I need map-work and comprehension questions, the audio will be good for when I do need a break. One long read aloud each month, one assigned book to read each month with a book report to simplify our time and focus on needed skills.

 

God's Design for the Physical World set

Latina Christiana with DVDs

Math U See regularly with a Living Math day each week

Nature study

 

With science and history, we'll be fulfilling a lot of LA skills while ILL will provide a varying scope of concepts plus keep our picture study and poetry going. Okay, I'm breathing a sigh of relief...this feels very doable while maintaining some intimacy in our lessons.

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All I can say is that I'm doing my best to be/do what each of my kids need in short-term and long-term.

 

:grouphug:I'm sure you know what's best for your children. I'm in a similar situation..full-time college student (working on another degree online), work from home mom and full-time homeschool mom of five. I'm also getting one prepared for college next year. We are sticking with MFW in the upcoming year because everything is laid out for me. I need the ability to teach my dc together using a *open and go* format.

 

My theme for 2009 is PRIORITIZE and ORGANIZE. Our jobs are not easy at all.

 

Praying for you, Jessica. Take care of yourself.

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I think you have some great choices Jessica - particularly in your math plan. Doing MUS each day with 1 day a week for living math is a great plan. You can plan a chapter a week of MUS which would come out well for leaving that extra day for living math.

 

As for your son - if you feel school is best, then I'm sure it will work out. Will he feel left out to not be homeschooled or is that not an issue?

Edited by Emmy
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If I were to choose a 'boxed' curricula, I'd probably chose a Catholic line (Seton or Kolbe) although we're not Catholic, from what I understand I can eliminate what I wish.

 

I used Seton for 4 years with my oldest. I think it's a wonderful boxed program. They have strong academics. But, it is VERY Catholic. We are Catholic, so this was great for us, but I felt that I should 'warn' you. It's not just the religion subject. All the books that Seton has written teach the Faith. The Grammar books use sentences teaching about Catholicism and Saints. Any other Seton-written books will be the same. Again, I think they're great, but I just wanted to let you know that you wouldn't be able to eliminate the Catholicism from this program.

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Will he feel left out to not be homeschooled or is that not an issue?

 

I don't think it will be an issue b/c outside of school time, we do things together. When he's at school, dd & I will be doing our schoolwork. He enjoys going to preK now but I also take him out on Fridays when I'm not working to do a 'family' field trip, that won't be possible with ps K but Sat. is 'our' special day just me and him so that will stay the same.

 

We (dd8, ds4 and I) play together all the time, we spend quality time together and I give both my children their own time with me. Dd8 tends to get less from me b/c we have things to do when we're alone (hsling, cleaning house, errands) whereas ds4 gets the complete Mom without the teacher when we spend time together.

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ILL for English, it's pretty straight forward and includes all the elements I feel dd8 needs for 4th, I'll even use the poems from it for memorization.

 

SOTW 4 for history with audio and AG. I need map-work and comprehension questions, the audio will be good for when I do need a break. One long read aloud each month, one assigned book to read each month with a book report to simplify our time and focus on needed skills.

 

God's Design for the Physical World set

Latina Christiana with DVDs

Math U See regularly with a Living Math day each week

Nature study

 

With science and history, we'll be fulfilling a lot of LA skills while ILL will provide a varying scope of concepts plus keep our picture study and poetry going. Okay, I'm breathing a sigh of relief...this feels very doable while maintaining some intimacy in our lessons.

 

I think this looks very rich and full yet practical. :thumbup1:

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Your dd is still young. Don't fret too much, she'll be fine.

 

I tried a boxed curriculum (Calvert) in the fall for my 11 yo. I was taking care of my terminally ill grandmother and thought the organization and schedule and box full of everything would save me time. HA!!! We despised it. We gave it a good try, but it took much longer than doing our own thing. My son was miserable and we never got everything done for any given day. Some days we spent about 8 hours trying to get the work done. It was horrible.

 

We went back to what was familiar and it's been fine. In the meantime, my dear grandmother passed away, but we have been busy handling her funeral arrangements, estate, probate, house sale, etc. I have whittled our resources down to what is necessary to accomplish the subject. My son is still learning and in fact, shows more interest in topics and looks forward to lessons now that there is not "so much".

 

I have him using the following (I realize he's older, but just sharing to give an example of a pared down but very respectable courseload):

 

Math (daily) - TT6

Literature (daily) - novels and study guides of our choosing (don't tie in with history, just nice books with analyzing and some occasional fun projects)

Spelling (daily) - SWO F

Grammar (daily) - GWG 6

Writing instruction (daily) - Spectrum Writing 6 (tried Writing Strands..."I" got sick of it)

History (MWF) - SOTW 3 with "tests" used for comprehension worksheets and the maps from the AG and KHE as suggested in guide

Science (T/TH)- Abeka Observing God's World - read, do comprehension check, occasional experiment

Spanish (2x week) - workbook from teacher store, do flashcards, practice lots orally

Geography (2x week) - workbook from teacher store covering mapping skills

 

If we are feeling really diligent, we can get done in 3-4 hours...MAX. For your dd's age, I'd think you could shoot for 2-3 hours and still be ahead because you seem so conscientious about her education!

 

Best of luck, don't stress, and try to simplify as much as possible. I've been amazed at how well my son is doing with our shorter schedule.

 

Robin

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I'm glad you've got something workable figured out. In the longer term, I would consider CLE Language Arts after Primary Language Lessons is completed. I would also move to CLE Math after MUS. The instruction is excellent, and all language arts/math components are covered in bite-sized, easy-to-use booklets.

 

I also work about 20 hours per week, and my dd loves doing CLE independently. In addition to that, a CM-style curriculum is very independents, and does not hinge on read-alouds from ages 10 and up. I think that working through a reading list and doing CLE Math/Language Arts would produce a very well-rounded student. I also have a fine arts folder with a music CD and art assignments from Artistic Pursuits that dd likes to do independently.

 

As you know, CM puts the effort and load on the student, rather than the teacher/mother. It is just perfect for this situation! I encourage you to keep doing what you are doing, tweaking as you go to make the work as independent as possible. As she gets older, she will require more freedom, more research time, and less 1:1 teaching time from you. If she has the tools to learn, and good habits in place, your homeschool will basically run itself. In fifth-sixth grade, I believe that dd could run our homeschool without me, if she had to in an emergency. Living books lend themselves well to independent study, since kids WANT to read them. I also like research projects for middle school, and research projects put the responsibility on the CHILD, not the mother. Perfect! Just planting a seed for the intermediate and upcoming years - you CAN homeschool successfully.

 

If SOTW is too much work for you, she could work through Sonlight or Ambleside's reading list, or any book basket of your choosing independently. Just require narrations, oral or written on Fridays, or what-have-you.

 

Blessings,

Tami

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I have to admit that in the past when I've seen, "we need curricula in a box, ready to go so that my child can work independently most of the time", I've cringed and felt sorry for the child.

 

Now that I'm working 20+ hours a week at night and my children have missed me reading aloud for a month and half now, I have college work looming over my head in February and housework and a life to maintain still needing done plus spending quality time with the kids...I GET IT! ...and I'm sorry.

 

I get it, too. Jessica. I think that we are blessed to be homeschooling during these days because there are so many choices for us based on the season of life that we are in. Not everything will work with every child, but there are plenty of resources out there to choose from that can help us accomplish the goals we have for our family during each season. I dumped SOTW 3 for Sonlight, because I needed something that was pre-planned for me, so I could begin to focus my energies on planning/ implementing a K program for ds#2. It worked for what I needed it to do. If I got another computer, I'd consider SOS for some independent work for ds#1, especially as ds#3 gets to his academic years.

 

We haven't had a nature walk since Thanksgiving.

I haven't read a long read aloud since before Thanksgiving.

We haven't even gone on a field trip other than to see Santa.

I know this frustrates you, but your kids will be OK about it. You've provided some great memories so far for your kids, and when the timing is right, you can resume all the extras.

 

So I need to decide about next year. For 4th grade only because I am 90% sure ds4 is going to public school K.

You are making good decisions for your kids. Each child is different, each has different needs. Our plans are not God's plans, and I know you've prayed about this and are seeking to do what is best for everybody.

 

Just wanted to offer up some hugs and prayers, Jessica, as you seek to do what is God's will for you and your kids. You are doing a great job!

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Well, I for one don't really see any favoritism. I've always felt like your ds and mine were 2 peas in a pod, even though, mine is 9. I have to tell you that going to school for k-2 was the best thing for him. He went to an awesome school and it was a great experience for him. And I think it will be for yours too. I don't think he'll feel left out, I don't care what anyone says kindergarten is fun! Plus, I know your dd will appreciate the focus you can give her. By the time ds comes home, you'll be in a better spot as far as adjusting to your life, and dd will be old enough that she won't require so much of your time.

 

Keep up the good work, Jess and know that you have many friends here to think about you and wish you the best.

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I want an easily planned/executed approach: read Chapter 1 of X, Chapter 3 of Y and complete the exercises. As little fuss as possible, very little brain cells being used on my part...hee, hee. :p

 

This actually sounds a *lot* like the syllabi from Mother of Divine Grace, which is neo-classical (based on Laura Berquist's model) and uses lots of real books. It's a nice middle ground between packaged curricula and a totally home-grown approach.

 

You can purchase just the syllabi fairly inexpensively (cheapest from allcatholicbooks.com), and it's easier to tweak for a non-Catholic than something like Seton. There are also student planners that take the information in the syllabi and put it into an assignment grid, which facilitates the student working independently.

 

You've probably already looked at it, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. :D

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I just want to clarify - I asked if your son might feel left out not being home for school because that is something that happened in our home last year when I had my 3/4 yo son in preschool. He loved preschool but always felt a bit left out that he wasn't home with us for school. I was just "thinking out loud" for you from my own experience; my comments weren't reflective of previous posts in this thread (which I hadn't read until now!).

 

As for the comments above on favoritisim - it's really hard to know the depth of any situation based on the message boards posts. It's probably wise to just assume the best of people because we don't have all the details. :)

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...Have you looked at FLL 3 and 4? I think that they might be more 'grab and go' than ILL, which I do have.

 

Also, I would recommend starting Writing Strands 3 with your DD next year. That way she will get some focussed writing instruction. You don't have to rush through it .. just do one lesson per month and refer to them in her other content based writing, and I think you'll have a very respectable amount of LA progress.

 

For SOTW4, it's more dark and dry and less engaging than the other volumes. It's great, but if you haven't seen it, you might want to check it for tone. You can tie a lot of great middle level historical fiction to it as well.

 

For Bible, you might want to look at Concordia Voyages. It's meaty but not overwhelming, and triggered some great discussions with my DD at that age.

 

Age 9 is so much fun. They grow up so much at that point! You won't believe it. I'm looking forward to it for you! I think it will be a real bright spot in your life, watching your DD go through those changes.

 

Best to you, Jessica.

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You have a choice. I don't. It's either do what I'm doing or raise my children with an abusive partner, or I could go on government aid and not be able to fight any custody battles for ds4.

 

College, work, putting ds4 in an environment (school) that can help him with any potential LD he may have, counseling, doing everything I can to be able to be able to provide a healthy and safe environment for my kids to grow up with---those are not choices in my eyes, those are priorities.

 

You have no right to tell me about what my choices are, how I feel or what I think. Noticed by others- are you for real?

 

When it comes to message board advice and observation, it's often wise take what fits and ignore what doesn't. Just like I should have just passed on by when I read what you said about boxed curriculum.

 

Just consider opinions, mine them for wisdom, then let it go.

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My only concern about PS K is that they teach sight words and no phonics instruction. I am just now getting DD to start sounding out words again. She was sounding out at 3 and 4, went to 1 semester of K at 5 and has been fighting phonics instruction ever since. "They did not do it in my school. It is for babies." So you might want to look into that and keep up phonics instruction at home. (I didn't. :()

 

Other than that, it was a full day here, we had no choice for a half day and that was just too much for my little girl (and her mom) to handle.

 

I think some DC will not be independent no matter what, but I have heard great things about TT, MUS for math and The phonics road and the latin road for LA. Very little teaching prep and involvement needed.

 

Good for you for acknowleging the issue, and taking all of your children's needs into perspective.

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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I'm going to put my oldest (2nd) in ps along with his younger brother who starts k next year.

 

I need a job to that can actually pay bills. I haven't worked in 8 years. I have a Business degree, but wasn't an Accountant. And all the interviews I have gone on want me to have experience or the know how to handle payroll, A/P, A/R, etc. So, I'm heading back to the classroom.

 

I am finding it very hard to juggle hs, work, classes, and my studying. So, my solution is to have the kiddos attend ps. I think for now it's the best solution.

 

I haven't read aloud since November also! They miss it and I miss it.

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My only concern about PS K is that they teach sight words and no phonics instruction

 

See here, they do phonics in k and part of first and then transition into sight words towards the end of first.

 

Even if they do sight words, I bet it would be no thing to have Jessica's dd make a game of teaching ds phonics in the afternoon or evening. That way he'd get the best of both.

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Jessica, I think your aforementioned plan looks great. You have the essentials, and have thought out everything from where I can see.

 

As far as judgments, please try to ignore them, although I know they can be hurtful, especially when all you want is the best for your children.

 

:grouphug:

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4th grade

Math- Math on the Level/ Math-U-See combo, I think...still unsure

Poetry Memorization- One poem a month

History- SOTW 4 (not sure about using the AG but we need mapwork)

Writing- Intermediate Language Lessons

Latin- Latina Christiana

Science- original plan was to do History of Science/Inventors, I may use different resources than what I originally planned which was The Storybook of Science and Inventions and their Inventors by Bachman with Milestones of Science. Nature walks.

 

Right now we're consistently using:

Writing Tales 1

TOG Year 3, Redesigned

Math on the Level loosely, focusing more on multiplication

Prima Latina

Exploring the History of Medicine by J.H. Tiner

Explode the Code Book 7

 

 

I think what you are doing right now seems OK as long as you think you can handle it. If you can't, do what you can as long as you get the basics (my son calls it RAW=reading, arithmetic, and writing). To make it easier on yourself, you could even drop TOG and science. Remember, the beauty of classical is that science and history repeat themselves. You can always come back on the next go around.

 

For next year, SOTW 4 is great, but look it over first before your daughter does it. My older son loved it. It is not at all live volumes 1-3. It is more intense. The AG has stepped up a notch in academics. It is much more challenging. I did not focus as much on the outlining. I worked a lot on maps, narrations, and books. It is a very good modern history for that level (there is just no way to sugar coat the violence during this period). I am doing SOTW a second time so when my son does it in eighth grade, I think the outlines will be much easier. The AG also has some poems to memorize in there too.

 

Latina Christiana I is much more difficult than Prima Latina. If you wanted to, you could break Latina Christiana I into two years. Take your time and do the book in two years instead of one. I am doing Latina Christiana II for my older son in two years. It is much more difficult than Latina Christiana I. By the way, you could also wait on Latina Christian until you start ancients again because they have a history section. It is up to you.

 

These are all suggestions. You can junk it or take what you need.

 

Blessings on your homeschooling journey.

 

Sincerely,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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Since my son is finishing fourth grade this spring, I feel slightly qualified to comment! :)

 

We have spent 1-1/2 years on SOTW 3 and are reaaaaaally stretching it out. We don't skimp at all on SOTW itself (we do all the mapping, tests, etc.) but we also add stuff from History of US and extra reading. We are studying the abolitionists right now and are reading "Amistad" together (Walter Dean Myers). We also read books about how the U.S. government is organized, how laws are passed, the long hot summer when the founding fathers worked on the writing of our Constitution, etc.

 

All of which is to say that if you feel you spent enough time on "civics" this year with your dd, go ahead and do SOTW 4. But if you haven't done SOTW 3 with her yet, it is a wonderful book and there is plenty of time in 5th grade for SOTW 4. I just wanted to plant that possibility in your head for you to mull over.

 

I am not familiar with ILL. Will it be enough writing instruction for YOU (and your wonderfully high standards)? Since you are doing WT1 now, is there a reason why you are not going to do WT2? I wish I had looked into it. But we did Aesop and had great success with it. As I say, I have not seen ILL, though, so it might be *perfect* for 4th grade. Don't forget that she will be "upper elementary" and you will probably unable to resist comparing her writing curriculum to that of public school (which is WAY TOO MUCH these days, at least here in Alaska). Our ps'ers are writing a paper each week, but most of it is done at home..... :)

 

Gotta get off the computer. Good luck! I hope you find time to re-visit your French studies at some point. Perhaps there will be a French club in your town or nearby? We can only hope.

 

Julie

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I had time to read all responses and I will probably come back later but I wanted to be sure I got this on here:

 

Perhaps it's not as necessary as you think to use boxed curric. Just over this year so far dd9 (3rd grader, but late bday) has hit a developmental milestone where she is wanting to do it all independently. We started out the year with me making a list for her each day to stretch her work out over the week, then once she got the hang of it, she's now able to go over the list and do it all herself. There have been some weeks she has done everything on her own each day and comes to me at the end of the week to recite her memory work to me, etc., and it has been letter perfect. This did not happen overnight-it was a lot of handholding and instruction WITH me all this fall in how to do each thing on the list and do it WELL. I still do a lot with her because I want to, but the point is she CAN do whatever she needs to do alone if need be.

 

If she seems ready, maybe you can start transitioning her over THIS year, while you still have more time, by laying down patterns for her to follow of what work well done looks like and how to execute that, with constant checking, reinforcement, and correction. Then start shifting the load over to her. (For us this actually happened sooner than I wanted it to, so I'm trying to find a happy balance that works for both of us!)

 

Some of the curriculum she's doing is as follows, so you have an idea:

LFC A, CLE 3 for math, Veritas Press Exp-1815 for history-plus I add in extras like lapbooks, History Pockets, etc which she does on her own-I assign what lapbook folds I want her to do each day, etc., I assign her extra readings from TOG, SL, etc. lists and she does lit studies, book reports and so on about them, we do memory work which includes many categories, IEW writing tied in with the time period, and many extras. But as you can see, she is still getting the full classical load, but I was able to set it up so she can have the independence she craves. The child definitely needs to show signs of wanting this and most of all being ready for it though, and then proving they are responsible about it or I don't think it could work out.

 

I'm posting this because I know what a tweaker you are and I'm not sure how you'd be with a prepackaged curriculum! This would maybe be a way you could have the best of both worlds-you can still use a mix of curriculum YOU like but have her implement it as independently as possible.

Edited by HappyGrace
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My only concern about PS K is that they teach sight words and no phonics instruction. I am just now getting DD to start sounding out words again. She was sounding out at 3 and 4, went to 1 semester of K at 5 and has been fighting phonics instruction ever since. "They did not do it in my school. It is for babies." So you might want to look into that and keep up phonics instruction at home. (I didn't. :()

 

 

 

:iagree: Here's all the sight words they usually teach and how to teach them phonetically:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Reading/sightwords.html

 

Also, a case study of a child who lost her ability to sound out words because of learning the 220 Dolch Sight words:

 

http://kitchentablemath.blogspot.com/2008/02/sight-words-case-study.html

 

You and your 4th grader could work on teaching any sight words they teach phonetically, and I also recommend my phonics concentration game to anyone exposed to sight words, it makes both real and nonsense words, nonsense words help stop the sight word induced guessing habit and teach the student to sound out words from left to right:

 

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Phonics/concentrationgam.html

 

Good Luck! I'm tired just reading about all you're doing. Do you have time to shower or brush your teeth? (Or sleep? !)

Edited by ElizabethB
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In the past, the recommendations from the ladies here fit the bill well. We are presently using SOTW, WWE, GWG, Apologia, and MUS not just for their academic qualitities, but my time constraints with training a active 2yo. These all fit my criteria and get the job done without overwhelming myself or the boys.

 

I have always thought this. Why switch from individual subjects to a box? Most of my curricula is "do the next page" anyway.

 

Please share your schedule and etc. How much of SOTW do you do? Do you get extra reading and projects in? How is Apologia working? What makes GWG easier than FLL? Do you follow a schedule and what do you do with the little one? I have a soon to be 2 year old and I need help!

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