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I'm reading The WTM and I can't believe my eyes!!!!


momschicklets
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Now don't get me wrong, I love the way the author writes; the goals are lofty, impressive, appealing, drool-worthy. But really and honestly, when I take a look at first, second and third grade, I have never heard of children that young doing work that advanced. I do understand that you can make the book work for you, tweak it (SWB does say so right in the book), but does anyone really do it this way and have their child's wonder and love of learning remain intact?

 

In my research, I thought I'd fallen in love with a completely different mentality--think CMish (unless I've misunderstood her), delayed academics until the "right" time, demanding very little output from the child in regards to writing or grammar, learning through walks in nature, cooking with mom, reading lots of books (I know SWB agrees with this part), letting children be, well.....children. Perhaps the two don't exclude each other...I just recognize a very different approach to "formal" academics, kwim?

 

This book has challenged my thoughts on education and I'm feeling a bit of whiplash. I haven't even gotten to the next few chapters of the book...I think I'm intrigued and afraid at the same time. It really is a fantastic book--but I'd love to hear from someone who has applied this method to your schooling. Do you find it fun, interesting, wonder-filled as well as rigorous and academic?

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I've read on these boards that SWB said she didn't intend for anyone to follow all of the advice. Even she doesn't do every single thing with her own homeschooled children. She's subject to the publisher's wishes when it comes to certain information. In fact, I think the schedules listed in the book were the publisher's ideas.

 

So take what you will, and leave the rest.

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I've wondered the same thing as you, since we're new at this. At some point, there has to be a line drawn where you're no longer doing TWTM , (despite the author's statement you are not expected to do everything as written.) You might be teaching Latin, or doing Logic, or chronological history, but that doen'st mean it's doing TWTM. It seems that most of us travel pretty far from the original. No flames please, just my observations, and I do include myself.

 

Nan

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Now don't get me wrong, I love the way the author writes; the goals are lofty, impressive, appealing, drool-worthy. But really and honestly, when I take a look at first, second and third grade, I have never heard of children that young doing work that advanced. I do understand that you can make the book work for you, tweak it (SWB does say so right in the book), but does anyone really do it this way and have their child's wonder and love of learning remain intact?

 

 

I'm still pretty new to TWTM. I spent most of this school year tweaking just about everything from the book, but we've finally settled into what works for us, which happens to be pretty darn close to everything written in the book, lol.

 

I'd say that our main difference right now is that Science is completely child-led at the moment, though I do plan to be a bit more formal in the fall.

 

My 6yo (7 next month) has always had a great love of learning, and it is continuing to grow.

My 5yo (6 in a couple of months) wasn't nearly as curious a year ago. She's changed her tune and really blossomed into a great student!

 

There are definitely days when copywork is like pulling teeth, or nobody can sit still through even a short chapter of a story. It also isn't uncommon for me to decide to take an extra day or two (or three) off.

 

Overall, my kids are very happy with TWTM methods, and I'm thrilled with how well they're learning. It did take some trial and error because I did have some big doubts, but mastering challenging material seems to be what keeps my kids motivated.

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I think I got stuck in my public schooled mentality, thinking that work at school was somehow draining, boring, or killing my own love of learning, so I didn't want that for my child. When I followed WTM, however, I found my dd greeted school enthusiastically. She never had the "school is boring--I don't want to be doing this" kind of thought process. We accomplished far more than I thought a K-2'er could. To her, it was interesting, and she enjoyed gaining the competency that allowed her to further learn the specific things that interested her. For example, we did slog a bit thru phonics, but the reward was that books became good, good friends, the ticket to other times and places that they should be.

Sometimes my own memories and perceptions of "school" get in the way of my educating my dd. Rather than seeing school as something unpleasant that hinders the "real" learning and inquisitive nature of my child, I see it as equipping her to grasp whatever she reaches for in this wide world. Sometimes, the discipline of learning requires some temporary sacrifice of our own desires, even if we are just six. But the payoff? The payoff is huge, and the lesson is that having what we want when we want it is not as wonderful as being able to choose wisely from all that is offered, because we have been equipped to discern the good from the ok.

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Well, SWB doesn't say the work has to be grueling for the child. Anyone who has done First Language Lessons would realize what a child is capable of without the horrible school grind you seem to be refering to. It is VERY gentle and fun, and brings Mom and child close together. Also, STOW Vol 1 is a wonderful, child friendly way to teach. It is easy to mix up methods with what the child should learn. The curricula SWB writes is a testimony of the way she believes children should be taught.

 

Penny

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...but does anyone really do it this way and have their child's wonder and love of learning remain intact?

 

 

I have found that, despire dire warnings to the contrary, a rigorous education has cultivated my children's love of learning. In my practical experience with the dozens and dozens of homeschoolers I know, those who have enjoyed rigorous academics have the children who are the *most* on fire to learn.

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I took me a long time of working with TWTM to realize what a flexible program it actually is. It's flexible, and customizable.

 

Most of my children were not able to do WTM first grade work in first grade, but they've been able to do WTM fifth grade work by fifth grade, even so. There's so much variability in learning readiness and progression in young children - start where you are, progress, and don't sweat it.

 

WTM works best once you've read the entire book. Then read it again and focus on the philosophy and goals; don't allow yourself to be distracted by schedules and specific curricula. Start with the basics, and add as you can. It really is doable (although no one does it all!), but baby steps work best.

 

No, the work does not have to be grueling. No, you don't have to do everything the book says, just what *you* need to do to teach *your* children the appropriate skills. No, the work does not have to take hours each day, at the K-3 level.

 

As for where the line is drawn - I think that's more in philosophy and method, than in curriculum and content.

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I have found that, despire dire warnings to the contrary, a rigorous education has cultivated my children's love of learning. In my practical experience with the dozens and dozens of homeschoolers I know, those who have enjoyed rigorous academics have the children who are the *most* on fire to learn.

 

:iagree: I completely agree.

 

 

We follow the WTM methods fairly closely, and I've never seen any problem with it. I don't follow her schedules but we do cover the subject matter she suggests each year. My kids are like any other kids and tend to whine and fuss occasionally, but the truth is that we cover the material usually by noon everyday (with the exception of DS, who dawdles on his math!) and the kids are enjoying and applying what they are learning. Reading is a daily activity that they choose on their own (in lieu of lights out at night, esp.! ;)) and they are reading above grade level. Science is a favorite subject and they are applying their history knowledge constantly.

 

We have adjusted things by, say, putting off Latin for a year while my DD worked on a visual processing disorder or working above or below grade level in a subject based on the child's abilities. Perhaps I'll choose a different curriculum than what Susan suggests based on what I know will work for my child...spelling is a good example. The WTM approach is not meant to be a "do it this way or else you'll fail" approach but rather a guideline...Susan has said many times to use it as best applies to your family. Overall, the WTM approach has been a joy for my kids and freeing for me as a teacher/mom.

Edited by Twinmom
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I took me a long time of working with TWTM to realize what a flexible program it actually is. It's flexible, and customizable.

 

Most of my children were not able to do WTM first grade work in first grade, but they've been able to do WTM fifth grade work by fifth grade, even so. There's so much variability in learning readiness and progression in young children - start where you are, progress, and don't sweat it.

 

WTM works best once you've read the entire book. Then read it again and focus on the philosophy and goals; don't allow yourself to be distracted by schedules and specific curricula. Start with the basics, and add as you can. It really is doable (although no one does it all!), but baby steps work best.

 

I do think the value in TWTM is in the overall philosophy, rather than the day to day schedules. But as Stephanie said, once you dive in and do it, it's not as difficult as it appears when you first read the book.

 

Now that my oldest is in the logic stage, I can really see the value in all the narration, dictation, copywork, grammar study, memorization - all of the things recommended for the lower grades. It really does lay an excellent foundation.

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I've wondered that, too. Following it to the "T" could be grueling for not only the child, but also the mother! For some it may be just the thing, but for others, just reading all the recommendations and expectations saps the joy of learning and teaching right out of ya!

 

I haven't read the new edition, but previous editions do suggest that it's fine to adapt the suggestions. The book works best for me as a reference book. The heavy academics and specific resources are just not our style.

 

I do wonder why she chooses to present such a rigourous agenda for the young ones. I guess it works for some families.

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I think one of the points that SWB makes in TWTM is that high expectations are a good thing. She tries to balance high expectations with realistic goals. The schedules and curriculum suggestions reflect that.

 

The TWTM as written is really a high performace college track. Upon hs graduation the child should be fully prepared to enter college with all the necessary skills for success as well as a classical education with regard to content.

 

I modify significantly. We dropped Latin after two years because I realized that philosophically I didn't agree with the rational for learning it, and felt our time was better served with a modern language. I use very little of the recommended curriculum, although, I we do do most of the same subjects.

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The TWTM as written is really a high performace college track. Upon hs graduation the child should be fully prepared to enter college with all the necessary skills for success as well as a classical education with regard to content.

 

 

And this end goal is what keeps *me* motivated.

 

I thought I was prepared for college when I graduated high school (high SAT's, and above average GPA, despite never studying a day in my life and often cutting school!), but I quickly discovered I was lacking. Lacking focus, study skills, thinking skills, and completely lacking any real interest in learning.

 

In addition, there was recently a report on PA high school graduates going on to PA public colleges. A huge percentage (I believe it was in the high 30's) were required to take remedial courses their freshman year because they did not have the skills for "real" college. All within their own state!

 

If the PA curriculum isn't working for such a large percentage of college-bound students, it *really isn't something I want to model our homeschool after.

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I have a k-er and a first grader. I follow TWTM for the most part. Our skill work lasts about 75 minutes (phonics, reading, writing, math). Our content work lasts about an hour (history, science). We do lots of read-alouds and we have plenty, plenty, plenty of time for all sorts of other things. "School" takes up a very small part of our day.

 

I first read TWTM when my dd was a baby. I was horrified, but when she was five I read it again and it made a lot more sense. As you mentioned, SWB does not intend for everyone to do everything as written in the book. She does not intend for you to be a slave to the book. TWTM sets out an idea and a plan for classical education that you can take, make your own, and fashion to fit your own child/ren and family. My kids love the way we do school and are bright, curious, interesting little folks who definitely have time for wonder and imagination. I find that the "academic" areas we are covering add to, not detract from, their creativity and wonder.

 

Tara

Edited by TaraTheLiberator
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I could spend a whole page talking about the WTM and how it has contributed to an excellent foundation for my oldest dd15.:D

 

Most of us were not educated this way and it takes a while to change our way of thinking. A lot of the methods I remember doing in my private elementary school as a child.

 

I must say that the work is very doable. You must also know your child and use common sense: slow down when necessary, take breaks, incorporate fun, and use a schedule but don't be a slave to it. ( The schedule part was always a challenge for me because I am rigid by nature.)

 

 

8 years later, a little expreience under my belt, and an almost 5yr old (so I am starting all over again), I will make a few points:

  • I can see where the great foundation of narration, copywork,and other methods suggested in WTM has greatly assisted in my 15dd educational success. She loves to learn, has done extremely well in all of her spiritual, academic, and personal endeavors thus far. At this level I can cleary see the fruits of our labor of the early years.
  • I plan to basically follow the same plan with my 4dd. I just will not stress as much about the little things..
  • I also plan to stick with curriculum/methods that have a good track record. I see that there are so many new methods/curriculums when you really can just keep it simple.
  • Knowing your child's primary method of learning early on will save you a lot of headaches down the road. I spent years trying to teach my oldest my way (visual, creative), and she is primarily an auditory logical learner.
  • Lastly, use what works, and ditch what doesn't.:tongue_smilie:

I just have to add that I am so thankful to the woman who introduced me to the WTM 8 1/2 years ago while our girls were taking a gymnastics class.

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I've been following WTM for three years. In the beginning, I was fairly flexible with it. We didn't do everything that was suggested. When it came time to evaluate the year, I found some holes. Wouldn't you know, when I reread WTM, I found that had I followed it more closely, the holes mightn't be there.

 

For example, when my kids were younger, I didn't have them keep a reading notebook. They loved reading and did it just fine, so why bother? Then one night my husband asked one to tell him about the book he was reading. My son was all over the place trying to recount even just a brief summary. He just couldn't organize his thoughts.

 

After that, I started paying a lot more attention to the recs in the book. It has helped keep our school work more balanced. I still wouldn't classify it as "rigorous" though. My kids spend a lot of time reading, being read to, exploring, etc. Except for spelling, they love it. (can't blame that on SWB or WTM) :)

 

I'm not saying that you have to be a slave to the book. However, take time to think about what each suggested activity is trying to accomplish. Then you can make a more informed decision about whether to do it, ignore it or put it off til later.

 

I sure hope some of that made sense. Must find caffeine...

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WTM works best once you've read the entire book. Then read it again and focus on the philosophy and goals; don't allow yourself to be distracted by schedules and specific curricula.

 

:iagree:

 

At first, TWTM can seem quite daunting, and I must admit that when I bought my first copy of the book (oldest edition,) I read part of it and ran away screaming.

 

Well, ok, maybe I didn't run away screaming, but I put the book away, never to be seen again.

 

Then... with much trepidation... I bought the 2nd edition when it was released...

 

I have to tell you that I was a bit nervous about reading it, convinced that I would end up sitting on the couch in tears over what an abject failure I was at homeschooling and how everyone else's kids were probably already fluent in Ancient Greek and Latin, and doing calculus at 5, and my ds wasn't, all because I hadn't followed The Book (WTM) to the letter and forced my ds to spend 15 hours a day on his schoolwork.

 

But I read it anyway.

 

And it was nothing like I'd imagined. Because I read the whole book. I'd only read snippets here and there when I bought the first edition, and I completely missed out on SWB and JW's true message. Had I not been so lazy (and worried that I might read something that would have entailed more work for myself,) I would have gotten so much more out of that first book.

 

So... my best advice is to read the whole book and then go back and look at the "details," to see what will work best for you. I would guess that very few of us follow TWTM to the letter -- I know I don't -- but the philosophy is what appeals to us. I think it's all about the overall goals; at least that's what TWTM has done for me. SWB and JB have given me a basic outline to follow and myriad wonderful ideas for achieving a successful homeschool experience for my ds.

 

Sorry to ramble, but it's what I do best. (Now, if I could just start making more sense...)

 

Cat

Edited by Catwoman
the usual typos
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I think one of the points that SWB makes in TWTM is that high expectations are a good thing. She tries to balance high expectations with realistic goals. The schedules and curriculum suggestions reflect that.

 

The TWTM as written is really a high performace college track. Upon hs graduation the child should be fully prepared to enter college with all the necessary skills for success as well as a classical education with regard to content.

 

I modify significantly. We dropped Latin after two years because I realized that philosophically I didn't agree with the rational for learning it, and felt our time was better served with a modern language. I use very little of the recommended curriculum, although, I we do do most of the same subjects.

:iagree: That's what we do. We did Latin for a couple of years when the kids were young, but decided to go to the modern languages as well. I could've written the post above! :001_smile:
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On paper it's a rigorous education, and in practice it is QUITE do-able.

 

I started dd with Sonlight for kindergarten. It worked well for us. I had read TWTM and was very intimidated by it and thought maybe we might use one or two ideas, someday.

 

I re-read TWTM and started to think that I should at least take a look at the suggested resources.

 

As I looked at the resources I realized that they looked really good. I bought a few.

 

Next thing you know, we had embraced the whole kit and caboodle. It's do-able and yes, it's even fun.

 

Go ahead and give it a try. Read the whole book. Look at the resources. If it works for you, then great. If bits of it don't fit your family well, you can always modify.

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Your responses and points of view have been incredibly helpful---insightful, meaningful and much for me to think on. Thank you! It is also comforting to see how different families apply the techniques to work for them individually. I see now how you can run with the philosophy, but apply it in a myriad of ways.

 

I will take the suggestion to read the book in its entirety to glean the overall message, and how it can best serve our family. I agree I need to perhaps rethink education apart from how I acquired it--to "think outside the box." This has helped me tremendously.

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What exactly is giving you whiplash? If you could be specific, then perhaps we could speak directly about those things.

 

If it's the schedules, piffle. They are out of here! ; ) SWB had enough clout with the publisher to ax them in the second edition (they had insisted on them for the first over her objections). If it's the amount of writing, I personally modified things in the early grades to be mostly oral. If it's the quantity of reading, much of it is reading to the younger children, not independent reading, and child versions are available for many things. If it's the overall amount of time doing school, people modify things to suit their family.

 

CM was a classical educator. WTM and CM are very, very compatible. And if you can arrange to go hear SWB in person, you will get a better feel for her overall lifestyle. She is rigorous, but she is not stifling or regimented. Her children definitely have time to explore their farm and be children. Children who have daily farm chores definitely are not chained to their desks and books for loooong periods of time! It's just not possible.

 

As for my children, after following Susan's recommendations from the beginning, I am definitely beginning to see the fruit. And yes, their love of learning is intact. I had decided to sell about eight Landmark books on subjects I felt were not as important (history of branches of military and such), and my son would NOT let me sell them. He wants to read them over the summer. And he is NOT military bound or anything--he thought they sounded interesting and wants to read them. (He is engineering bound.) My daughter is considering majoring in classics and/or becoming a Latin teacher. Don't get me wrong, I have smart children, but they are NORMAL, not prodigies. And they are doing very well.

Edited by WTMCassandra
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Now don't get me wrong, I love the way the author writes; the goals are lofty, impressive, appealing, drool-worthy. But really and honestly, when I take a look at first, second and third grade, I have never heard of children that young doing work that advanced. I do understand that you can make the book work for you, tweak it (SWB does say so right in the book), but does anyone really do it this way and have their child's wonder and love of learning remain intact?

 

In my research, I thought I'd fallen in love with a completely different mentality--think CMish (unless I've misunderstood her), delayed academics until the "right" time, demanding very little output from the child in regards to writing or grammar, learning through walks in nature, cooking with mom, reading lots of books (I know SWB agrees with this part), letting children be, well.....children. Perhaps the two don't exclude each other...I just recognize a very different approach to "formal" academics, kwim?

 

This book has challenged my thoughts on education and I'm feeling a bit of whiplash. I haven't even gotten to the next few chapters of the book...I think I'm intrigued and afraid at the same time. It really is a fantastic book--but I'd love to hear from someone who has applied this method to your schooling. Do you find it fun, interesting, wonder-filled as well as rigorous and academic?

 

The first time I read it I thought the same thing, plus "too much work for both mother and child", but then CM is also rigorous, it's just short lessons and ends early and allows for nature walks and such. CM also advocates lessons that require discipline to be alternated with the inspirational lessons (such as putting Math before poetry, then another skill subject like handwriting).

 

Life happens. If we have very high expectations, our children will get a quality education. If we start low to begin with, we may end up lower.

 

And yes, as SWB has said numerous times, feel free to tweak it and suit it to your family situation. She's giving us a banquet to feast on and pick as much as we want/need. The way we give our children a banquet of ideas and wonder to learn from and enjoy.

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Kids can surprise us. I think that overall, they're capable of much more than society tends to think.

 

We've followed TWTM pretty closely, and Becca is no less an enthusiastic learner than before. I think she's happier every day because she can see that she is accomplishing great things. She feels confident and can meet new challenges with a can-do attitude.

 

The thing about TWTM is, it seems overwhelming at first, but it's been made so accessible. If you have younger kids, just focus on that part - by the time you reach high school, those expectations won't seem so far-fetched.

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I could spend a whole page talking about the WTM and how it has contributed to an excellent foundation for my oldest dd15.:D

 

Most of us were not educated this way and it takes a while to change our way of thinking. A lot of the methods I remember doing in my private elementary school as a child.

 

I must say that the work is very doable. You must also know your child and use common sense: slow down when necessary, take breaks, incorporate fun, and use a schedule but don't be a slave to it. ( The schedule part was always a challenge for me because I am rigid by nature.)

 

 

8 years later, a little experience under my belt, and an almost 5yr old (so I am starting all over again), I will make a few points:

 

[*]I can see where the great foundation of narration, copywork,and other methods suggested in WTM has greatly assisted in my 15dd educational success. She loves to learn, has done extremely well in all of her spiritual, academic, and personal endeavors thus far. At this level I can clearly see the fruits of our labor of the early years.

 

[*]Knowing your child's primary method of learning early on will save you a lot of headaches down the road. I spent years trying to teach my oldest my way (visual, creative), and she is primarily an auditory logical learner.

[*]Lastly, use what works, and ditch what doesn't.:tongue_smilie:

 

 

:iagree: We are going into our 8th year with one and our 4th year with another WTM style. The book was a Godsend to me from the first read through. It is doable and seeing the fruits of my labor thus far, heading into the rhetoric stage and seeing that it IS all coming together brings me great joy. It may not appeal to everyone, tweak to your hearts content as you like but there is great joy in a job well done and WTM helped me to both learn and do my "job".

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Well, for me, I really love the book. But like she says, and you said also, you may need to tweak. So for me, I use it more as a resource guide, than as a comprehensive curriculum guide. When I have a question about a certain type of curriculum, or want to know when I need to start a certain book, or what type of literature they should be reading. I agree with her ideas about phonics based reading, and am implementing that in my home school. I like her choices for grammar and writing curriculum, and am using that also. What I don't care for is her approach to science and history. I love the chronological approach to history, so I am following that, but not all the books she recommends. And as for science, I like to study a little bit of every branch of science here and there, not just one branch of science for an entire school year. I do believe that one of the ideas she is trying to get across in the book, and I think she does that very well, is that children should definitely be able to communicate for themselves, both verbally and in writing. I think just like any other book, you take it from it what you agree with, and throw out the rest. It is a great book to have, and I do consistently go to it over and over, but it's not the only book I keep on hand for reference.

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I think I got stuck in my public schooled mentality, thinking that work at school was somehow draining, boring, or killing my own love of learning, so I didn't want that for my child. When I followed WTM, however, I found my dd greeted school enthusiastically. She never had the "school is boring--I don't want to be doing this" kind of thought process. We accomplished far more than I thought a K-2'er could. To her, it was interesting, and she enjoyed gaining the competency that allowed her to further learn the specific things that interested her. For example, we did slog a bit thru phonics, but the reward was that books became good, good friends, the ticket to other times and places that they should be.

Sometimes my own memories and perceptions of "school" get in the way of my educating my dd. Rather than seeing school as something unpleasant that hinders the "real" learning and inquisitive nature of my child, I see it as equipping her to grasp whatever she reaches for in this wide world. Sometimes, the discipline of learning requires some temporary sacrifice of our own desires, even if we are just six. But the payoff? The payoff is huge, and the lesson is that having what we want when we want it is not as wonderful as being able to choose wisely from all that is offered, because we have been equipped to discern the good from the ok.

 

:iagree:

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I am curious, what other books do you keep on hand for reference?

 

Thank you,

 

Dixie

 

I am not noah&emmasmommy but I keep the Latin Centered Curriculum on hand also and I highly recommend reading it, even if you don't follow it. I know others here also keep Charlotte Mason books and Maria Montessori books for reference on education.

 

I also like the What Your __ Grader Needs To Know Books too, there is some great info in them ( I have pre-k, k, 1st grade)

 

:)

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I am curious, what other books do you keep on hand for reference?

 

Thank you,

 

Dixie

 

I keep Cathy Duffy's 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum, Teaching the Trivium by the Bluedorns, and Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started Homeschooling. I have a subscription to Homeschool Enrichment, and keep a plethera of my homeschool catalogs on the top shelf of our school room book case. I am more an eclectic homeschooler, taking little bits from here and there, based on what fits my vision for our homeschool.

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I've read on these boards that SWB said she didn't intend for anyone to follow all of the advice. Even she doesn't do every single thing with her own homeschooled children. She's subject to the publisher's wishes when it comes to certain information. In fact, I think the schedules listed in the book were the publisher's ideas.

 

 

(Warning: chatty answer)

I thought I'd read somewhere that SWB, in the end, found the schedules helpful for people because it gave them some quantitative idea.

 

No, my son is not up to snuff in every subject. He is ahead in math, art, music and science. He is on par (I think) or a little behind in history (although he loves it, he just doesn't remember it the way he does science), and is not a sure enough reader to start all the "1st grade LA". WTM mentions some criteria, like most of the way through a phonics primer, introduced to most of the rules of phonics, able to sound out words, and *reading simple books without hesitation*. We are just about there on that last item, and will be very soon, so I am planning to start PLL soon. You don't just bolt into things. Add one, see how it goes, tweek or reinforce, and once you two have the routine smooth, add another element.

 

I appreciate the time advised for each subject. I figure out the yearly time advised and divide that into 12 and try to make that every month. It gives me, as a novice, a goal and a stopping point. Is every one of those minutes at a desk in a windowless room intoning memory work. No. Sometimes math is a game of War to get kiddo to see and process numbers faster. Some cold rainy days we do all our LA in bed, curled up together warm, and I read a page, he reads a page, for an hour. Today it was all the digraph cards for SWR, some of the rules, and did the J list. When I told him we had moved up another letter (SWR has lists labeled A, B, C etc), he grabbed out his pad and said "Good! I love this!", and when we got to "girl" he bit his knuckle and started running all the ways of spelling /er/ through his mind. "It could be W/or/, but then it would be a gworl" and he laughed and laughed.

 

For this all those scary hours are worth it (and giving up all my hobbies, too)!! And for me, personally, aiming high and falling short has always been more productive than setting low and making it every time. YMMV.

Edited by kalanamak
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And this end goal is what keeps *me* motivated.

 

I thought I was prepared for college when I graduated high school (high SAT's, and above average GPA, despite never studying a day in my life and often cutting school!), but I quickly discovered I was lacking. Lacking focus, study skills, thinking skills, and completely lacking any real interest in learning.

 

 

:iagree:Yes, this was my experience as well. I breezed through school will good grades, without any effort from me. then in college i was hit in the face that my study skills were lacking. I want my kids to do the best they can do, not just enough to get by.

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i think it's important to know what your own educational philosophies are. when i first started homeschooling, that was difficult for me. i had never really had to define them before. but when faced with educating my own children, i had to decide what i wanted for them. i love CM philosophies, but coming from public school, there just wasn't enough structure for my children. they struggled. WTM has worked really well for us and because it fits my own personal philosophies, i try to follow it as closely as i can, without overwhelming my children. we don't follow all the time guidelines, but we do follow most of the subject suggestions and i use FLL and WWE, so they're learning language arts the WTM way. i have middle-school children that were in public school. i have a 1st grader that was never in public school. i can really see the difference in following WTM from the beginning, contrasted with the other 2 children that learned a different way.

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Now don't get me wrong, I love the way the author writes; the goals are lofty, impressive, appealing, drool-worthy. But really and honestly, when I take a look at first, second and third grade, I have never heard of children that young doing work that advanced. I do understand that you can make the book work for you, tweak it (SWB does say so right in the book), but does anyone really do it this way and have their child's wonder and love of learning remain intact?

 

In my research, I thought I'd fallen in love with a completely different mentality--think CMish (unless I've misunderstood her), delayed academics until the "right" time, demanding very little output from the child in regards to writing or grammar, learning through walks in nature, cooking with mom, reading lots of books (I know SWB agrees with this part), letting children be, well.....children. Perhaps the two don't exclude each other...I just recognize a very different approach to "formal" academics, kwim?

 

This book has challenged my thoughts on education and I'm feeling a bit of whiplash. I haven't even gotten to the next few chapters of the book...I think I'm intrigued and afraid at the same time. It really is a fantastic book--but I'd love to hear from someone who has applied this method to your schooling. Do you find it fun, interesting, wonder-filled as well as rigorous and academic?

 

 

I don't. You haven't read the "Core Knowledge" book then either. :blink: I'm with you on th approach. I teach as I learned it. Slow and easy. There's plenty of time and there's less frustration in the end. I still may cover the same things, but I certainly have a different time line.

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9 years now (I believe) and every year it gets a little easier. I don't think it is too much. I think sometimes parents sell their children short. I remember fearing asking my oldest son to write, thinking he was pencil phobic etc. Now, my 4th born is so similar to my first born, but I just plunged in fearlessly and he is doing amazing work in 2nd grade. He won't have the struggles my older son did later on- upping his quality and struggling still with handwriting. I wish I hadn't listened to the camp that said, "Just let him do most of his work orally." That said, I use the Well Trained Mind in my own way. In some areas (Latin and science) I think I do more. In some areas I do a little less (Art and Literature) but that is because you can only do so much every day. I find school very delightful even when the work gets long and hard. I'm a huge fan of Charlotte Mason and her expectations for children were quite amazing. If anyone wants to know what she really stood for, she must read the Original Homeschool Series by Charlotte.

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