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Old 02-09-2015, 03:09 PM
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Default Homeschooler's chatter - week of 02/09

So... we've gotten off to a slow start because of some Eden drama It is now 2:00 and she has barely started. I think we're about to learn a lesson that has nothing to do with book learning today.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:59 PM
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I LOVE Mondays. We don't 'technically' do school on Mondays unless we have a field trip later in the week and need to shift our days a bit. They have their Homeschool Group PE class every Monday (I drop them off from 9-12 and get some ME time) and then we come home, shower, eat lunch, do a few chores and play. I do squeeze in a little math and reading because they do better if we don't take too long off on those subjects.

My curriculum leaves one weekday more free to allow for field trips and exploring nature, going to the library, etc. I love it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:46 PM
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Mondays are our hardest days. We work on sentence structure and writing. It's hard for Marcus because he struggles with sentence structure and it's had for Jamesen because, even though he can spell really well, he has no confidence and second guesses himself the entire time. I'm glad we're done for the day! We'll play some pokemon after lunch (helps with counting/reading/playing fair, etc) and then we're all done!
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:42 PM
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Monday's are the worst here!! Especially cause last night was a super late night. We did get school done but it was after 2pm that we even started. I have a visit every monday from a girl for the Healthy Families group here in IN so that breaks up our Monday a wee bit. It's just a fun little visit she comes and hangs with us for an hour. It's a volunteer thing and when she called and asked if I wanted to sign up I couldn't say no. :/ I can't ever say no to anything lol! The rest of the week is fine. We have more dental work tomorrow. boo!
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:10 PM
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Mondays are so hard here. It's so hard keeping them on task. I started a new system in which they get three strikes and then they lose screen time after school. My 8 yo got his three strikes today and my 10 yo got 2 strikes. Grrr ...

Brook, what curriculum do you use again?

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Old 02-09-2015, 08:53 PM
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Ohmyfreakinggosh. I am so glad my child is not in public school right now. She took a science test today. I am not making this up.

question: What lesson can we learn from the fact that scientific progress stalled during the Dark Ages?

her answer: That the Catholic church needs to calm down.



I swear this child...
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:54 PM
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I don't know WHERE she gets that sass from <whistling innocently>
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:26 PM
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Hahaha... Val!!! That's awesome. You need to scrap that!

Kara, I use My Father's World. In the First and Second grade curriculum they've left Fridays really lightly scheduled. I just shift that to my Monday. I'm not sure if it will be like this in 3rd... 4th, etc. Kindergarten was scheduled differently, but I keep to Ben's schedule with Grace. She does her 5 days of work sheets, etc. in 4 days.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:33 AM
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Brook, we're loosely following Exploring Countries and Cultures, so that makes sense. Did you like the Kindergarten program? I'm considering that for next year for my DD.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:27 PM
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Ohmyfreakinggosh. I am so glad my child is not in public school right now. She took a science test today. I am not making this up.

question: What lesson can we learn from the fact that scientific progress stalled during the Dark Ages?

her answer: That the Catholic church needs to calm down.



I swear this child...
Ah! Great! She's thinking and asking questions! That's so much better than being able to plug the right answer in mindlessly!
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:35 PM
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Does anyone have older kids that you are homeschooling? I have 8th & 9th grade boys and I'm trying to re-work our curriculum. Any suggestions would be helpful! We've been off school since Christmas break because my daughter got married in January, so we were in full wedding-prep mode, and then needed to recover!
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:59 PM
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Mine is in 7th. What do you need changing?
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:48 AM
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I think I'm the only one with young kids I'm schooling. Mine are in Kindy and 1st grade.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:36 AM
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Mine are in elementary...1st, 3rd, and 5th

Val that cracked me up!!!! LOL!
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:17 AM
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I think I'm the only one with young kids I'm schooling. Mine are in Kindy and 1st grade.
Mine are in K and 2nd.

Kara, I LOVE their Kindergarten curriculum. It's so well planned. I feel like it's such a complete experience... but yet, not too heavy. It's very light on math, so I add math to it and we do extra phonics. But I have friends who didn't supplement it at all and their kids are doing great in math, etc.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:26 AM
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That's good to know, Brook! Thanks.

I have a mix of ages. I currently have 2nd and 4th grade boys who are currently homeschooling, a 5 yo daughter who may be home for kindergarten in the fall and a 2.5 yo boy who will be in special ed preschool next year.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:43 AM
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My three always unschooled kids are now 13, 11, and 8. Just wanted to chime in to say I'm here. I don't relate to chatting about curriculum and school at home though. Are there any other unschoolers here, by any chance?
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:47 AM
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Oy - coming off vacation has been tough today! Lots of whining during math - which is Jake's favorite subject... yet, where he normally whines - spelling - he did it with out question... is there a storm in the air? haha

I hope to start up history today... I have been so on the fence about what I wanted to do for history - it's my favorite subject, so I have been really disappointed in what I find out there, especially for American History. I think I found one that will work - based on a recommendation of another homeschooling mama. I also want to get back into geography, too... the workbook we have been using has been almost all map reading - which is great, but totally boring... and I haven't found anything I liked in made curriculum and so will have to design my own, I guess...
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:52 AM
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My three always unschooled kids are now 13, 11, and 8. Just wanted to chime in to say I'm here. I don't relate to chatting about curriculum and school at home though. Are there any other unschoolers here, by any chance?
I like to say we are "Classically unschooled"... If there is such a thing - hahah... I'm bad at keeping up with the curriculum and dump it (much to the complaint of my hubby's wallet) to follow Jake's interests, especially in science and reading... we do a lot of projects, experiments, trips to stuff... so I'm so "behind" in the structured stuff... and reason why Jake won't be going for memory master (having all 400+ facts memorized for his classical conversation group)... oh well... he is only in 2nd grade - I have to have faith that it will all come together, some time, right?
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:08 PM
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I have hemmed and hawed about joining CC, Rebecca... but the memorization and structure totally bores me.

I wouldn't say I'm an un-schooler, but I do leave wiggle room for the kids to self-direct. My days are not rigid. My teaching style is definitely Charlotte Mason. We do a lot of hands-on stuff, free play/exploration and reading books not texts, but I do teach from curriculum to keep myself accountable and on track with their learning (My Father's World is my guide... a mix of unschooling, Charlotte Mason & Classical).

I think the thing that keeps me from un-schooling is the state standards here in FL for homeschoolers. We are required to have the kids tested/evaluated each year, and I do want them to be around their grade-level and able to sit down and do workbooks, etc. in case we decide it's best for them to go to school at some point.

I would love to hear more about your experience as an un-schooler, Michelle! I'm very interested to hear how it 'looks' in your school days.
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:02 PM
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I have hemmed and hawed about joining CC, Rebecca... but the memorization and structure totally bores me.
Oh - I totally get that - it totally bores me too! haha... I'm horrible at keeping up with it at home, but somehow Jake does it on his own by listening to the CD of catchy tunes, etc... it seems that the 9-noon on tuesday when we join our CC community is the only structure we really have in our homeschool... I always have grand plans of what we are going to do during the days and more times than not, we totally don't get it done... we get distracted by playing a game, Jake will want to do an art project, watch a documentary on netflix, bake cookies, etc...

After my trip to Florida, I could totally live there - but the whole testing thing would stress me out!
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Old 02-11-2015, 02:27 PM
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I wouldn't say I'm an un-schooler, but I do leave wiggle room for the kids to self-direct. My days are not rigid. My teaching style is definitely Charlotte Mason. We do a lot of hands-on stuff, free play/exploration and reading books not texts, but I do teach from curriculum to keep myself accountable and on track with their learning (My Father's World is my guide... a mix of unschooling, Charlotte Mason & Classical).


I would love to hear more about your experience as an un-schooler, Michelle! I'm very interested to hear how it 'looks' in your school days.
This is me too! I am definitely pretty laid back and let the kids lead which I have found actually makes them want to learn more which is pretty cool!

Would love to learn more about your unschooling experience!
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:11 PM
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I have a 16 year old daughter who is a junior. Can't believe how time flies! We have a hodgepodge of curriculum - whatever fits best for each subject. We are all thankful she plans to take college courses next year. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE having her home, but she is about on my last nerve sometimes when it comes to schooling and doing what is required.

We are in PA, so there are lots of rules. It's not so bad now that I've made it through a year of their requirements, but last year - I was in almost full panic mode. Coming from Alaska where there aren't any rules? Big change! Next year DD has to have an English class...and that's it for her requirement to graduate, however we will have her do as much prerequisite courses as she can so when she flitters away to college the year after, she has some courses completed and can get to the FUN stuff! lol I'm thankful she can take the college courses because it is a good transition for test taking, independent study (which is what she's done for the last 2-3 years in homeschool), learning how things are done in college, etc. Good stuff!

At times I am a bit envious of y'all who are schooling from day 1 on...We didn't start until 7th grade. However....and empty nest does look appealing on some days!
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:33 PM
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I really love the stories I read about families that are SO turned on by educating themselves that they can follow the 'unschooling' path. We are just way too American culture over here. I haven't done enough homeschooling in the past for learning to be a lifestyle. My kids are the typical over-entertained kids. Left on their own they will do nothing but watch tv, play video games and play on their laptops.

One thing I'm reallllllly wishing to get out of the next couple years is to see Eden become interested enough in something that she decides to learn more about it on her own. Right now school work is something she wants to get out of the way with so she can go back to doing 'fun stuff.'

I'm thinking it CAN'T be too late for her to grow into this, she's only 12, but I don't know how to get from where we are now to the vision I have in my head.

Boy, I'm so spoiled by Michigan. We don't have any rules here at all aside from the subjects we are supposed to cover. No one is checking on you or anything. We only have to state that we are homeschooling for religious or other reasons.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:37 PM
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I think there are as many kinds of homeschooling as there are homeschoolers. We might even do it differently with different kids in the same family.

As unschoolers, we have a different kind of structure based on interests and the activities we choose to do. We work on projects, attend homeschool group activities, go to classes. For example, I just got back from dropping my second daughter off at drama club. Her sister was already there because film club was the two hours prior. While Caroline was waiting for time to leave for drama club she was working on some music she had created on Garage Band. When we were driving there, I suggested she could invite drama club friends over to our house for the next two Wednesday afternoons, because they're going to have a break between shows (they are performing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the first two weekends of February). She began planning to write another script for her and her friends to work on here at the house for the two Wednesdays drama club isn't meeting.

We just live, doing things that need to be done and that we want to do. I've written about our homeschooling life and collected articles about it on my unschooling page if you'd like to read more. I'm happy to answer specific questions too.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:50 PM
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I'm American too. And my kids, especially my son, use the t.v. and computer a lot. They do other things though, because I don't impose limits. Also, I think of all the learning that happens from watching movies and the games they play. My son learned to read primarily from the computer games he was choosing to play at that time, for one example, such as Roblox and Scribblenauts.

I was a good student, but school took up so much time and energy I didn't have much left for studying my own interests until I was an adult. One piece of advice I heard early on, when I was just beginning this homeschooling journey, is, "There are no educational emergencies." Meaning, it's never too late to learn something. If you want to let Eden explore her interests and get excited about something, maybe drop school for the next 6 months, at least, and let her explore. Make suggestions, offer things, but let her choose. Not studying math or whatever for a year won't hurt anyone; they can always pick it up again later if they need to.

In Virginia we have just two requirements. 1. Notify the school district we're going to homeschool. 2. Submit some kind of annual evaluation. We just take a simple standardized test to jump through that hoop and don't worry much about it.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:54 PM
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"There are no educational emergencies."

I love that. It just kinda brought a lump to my throat. I'm having an emotional day!

And I'll definitely check out your blog.
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Old 02-11-2015, 03:58 PM
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Truly. It was so encouraging to me when I was starting out, and has repeatedly been a good reminder.

After all, how much of what we were supposed to learn in school do we use today? What my kids are studying/practicing/learning is what they want, which means it will most likely stick. And yes, my 13 year old may still be baffled by long division, but she knows stuff about history and music that I never will fully understand, and that's fine.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:05 PM
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I've been gone from the forums for quite a while, and am so happy to see the homeschool chatter thread!!

I homeschool my 7th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, and 1st graders. We are very eclectic. I have toyed with the idea of unschooling as well, and we do that some even though I know then it is not really unschooling. I guess I just feel like if I did it full on, they would just choose to play on the PS3, tablets, and watch youtube all.day.long. I also want them to have some discipline and know that everyone has to be able to do some things they don't want to do in life, right? At this point we have some structured stuff, and then after they do those things they are allowed to choose whatever they want to do excluding video games (they can do exercise games though) or TV watching (unless I put something on).

We use Sonlight as our basis though I don't stick to it rigidly. The kids all really like computer learning, so they each have 1 hr of school time daily on the computer to do xtramath.com, IXL, typing practice, Music ace, and whatever else they want to do. Aside from that we have a pretty eclectic blend of curriculum...Life of Fred math is a fave of all the kids except one who does Teaching Textbooks because she prefers it.

Anyway! This week is going decent so far. Today we had a little too much chatting going on during quiet work time (happens often!).
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:08 PM
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Truly. It was so encouraging to me when I was starting out, and has repeatedly been a good reminder.

After all, how much of what we were supposed to learn in school do we use today? What my kids are studying/practicing/learning is what they want, which means it will most likely stick. And yes, my 13 year old may still be baffled by long division, but she knows stuff about history and music that I never will fully understand, and that's fine.
This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I went to public school, and I literally knew nothing about history when I graduated. I hated science, history, and math. I just thought it was all boring. The things I was interested in I loved of course, and those things stuck with me. I want my kids to focus on what they are interested in, it is a much more effective way to learn. But I still have trouble with being okay with them not doing just a little of the basics (reading, math) each day LOL.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:14 PM
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I've been up the last two nights with a sick little one, so we finished our work a little early today and are watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We're just about finished reading it aloud and I wanted to wait until we had finished to watch the movie, but it's just one of those days.
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Old 02-12-2015, 01:42 PM
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I had an interesting thing happen yesterday. I got a text from my SIL (also one of my bestest friends in the world) who said she was thinking about pulling her ds out of the charter school he's in and homeschooling him. That totally took me by surprise. He's the same age/grade as Eden. He's struggled forever in school. He's just a little slow or something. I've noticed it since he was a toddler but can't quite put my finger on what it is. Just doesn't fit the cookie cutter mold, kwim? Anyway, the school is actually considering putting him in the special ed category.

Oh holy heck no! My SIL is NOT happy. The questionnaire packet they sent home is ridiculous. She is ready to pull him out ASAP before he gets this label slapped on him.

So I'm going to go chat with her today, just bounce some ideas around and sent her a couple links to books that she might find useful. Like John Gatto's Dumbing Us Down.

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I've been up the last two nights with a sick little one, so we finished our work a little early today and are watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We're just about finished reading it aloud and I wanted to wait until we had finished to watch the movie, but it's just one of those days.
I never, ever, ever get tired of that movie or book.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:05 AM
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So I'm going to go chat with her today, just bounce some ideas around and sent her a couple links to books that she might find useful. Like John Gatto's Dumbing Us Down.
And some John Holt? I think of Gatto as the person to scare us out of accepting the status quo of schools and Holt as the more practical, confidence-builder, showing us that we CAN guide our own children's learning.

Yay for her!
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:19 PM
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And some John Holt? I think of Gatto as the person to scare us out of accepting the status quo of schools and Holt as the more practical, confidence-builder, showing us that we CAN guide our own children's learning.

Yay for her!
I think that's a good description I like that Gatto isn't just flapping his jaw, because he's worked in the public school system for so long and knows what he's talking about. First time I read him it was a HUGE wake up call. I was like, "OH! I can do something different!" lol!

I was thinking she might like John Holt's Teach Your Own, but I've never really read it (just flirted with it at the library once) so I didn't mention it.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:41 AM
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...
I was thinking she might like John Holt's Teach Your Own, but I've never really read it (just flirted with it at the library once) so I didn't mention it.


I can't remember which of John Holt's books I've read. It has been many years!
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:05 AM
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I'll tell her to get the Kindle sample first or something.
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:52 AM
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Did a weekly lo

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Old 02-14-2015, 06:07 PM
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Mine is in 7th. What do you need changing?
Definitely math & science! We've tried several things for math, but it isn't my forte, so I struggle with it as much as they do.
We're just getting back in the groove of school, and it's been a bit of a slow process.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:08 PM
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I think I'm the only one with young kids I'm schooling. Mine are in Kindy and 1st grade.
I wish I had started with mine that young! It would have saved a lot of heartache and hurts.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:22 PM
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You guys seem so much more on the ball with schooling than I am. Marcus is a very visual learner and i do mostly computer programs with him (he's doing mostly time4learning.com at this point, with some workbook mixed in). I feel like I'm really not doing well after seeing what you guys are doing. bahhhh. Mine are still really young though. I have to keep that in mind.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:11 PM
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You guys seem so much more on the ball with schooling than I am. Marcus is a very visual learner and i do mostly computer programs with him (he's doing mostly time4learning.com at this point, with some workbook mixed in). I feel like I'm really not doing well after seeing what you guys are doing. bahhhh. Mine are still really young though. I have to keep that in mind.
I am sure you are doing FINE. They're young and soaking up everything that comes their way. If you try to copy other people you'll never be happy and the whole house will know it

Eden used T4L the last 1/2 of her 4th grade year because we had hit a speedbump and I needed to change things up just to get us through the rest of the year. I love that I could keep track of all her scores and stuff.
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:16 PM
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Definitely math & science! We've tried several things for math, but it isn't my forte, so I struggle with it as much as they do.
We're just getting back in the groove of school, and it's been a bit of a slow process.
Math is always such a stinker! LOL! I started using Teaching Textbooks with my ds when he was in the 7th grade. Or 8th? I can't remember. Anyway, it was a life saver. It's all on the computer, which I wouldn't normally like, but it works. Have you heard of them? You watch a lecture first, about 10 minutes I'd say. Then you do a few practice problems, then the lesson problems. He will show you how to do each and every problem if you can't figure out what you're doing wrong. It's a little cartoon-y, but too childish. Whenever anyone asks me about math I start chanting TEACHING TEXTBOOKS! TEACHING TEXTBOOKS! I should be a paid endorser. I actually like the guy's voice. There's a demo you can watch.


http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/Default.htm
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Old 02-14-2015, 08:40 PM
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Definitely math & science! We've tried several things for math, but it isn't my forte, so I struggle with it as much as they do.
We're just getting back in the groove of school, and it's been a bit of a slow process.
Two summers ago, we went through a demo of teaching tapes for Saxon math during our classical conference... similar to Val talked about - lesson shown, then the child works on problems... then the dvds walks the child through to get the answer. My son is only 7 - I'm in deep trouble come when he even starts geometry - already told hubby that he is in charge of teaching math.

So maybe another option.

http://www.teachingtape.com/about.htm
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:16 PM
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I love Teaching Textbooks too. Only one of my kids chose to use it this year (the rest prefer Life of Fred), but sometimes I'm tempted to buy it for myself to brush up on some HS math LOL.
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Old 02-15-2015, 03:52 PM
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Has anyone used CTC Math? It's online and seems similar to Teaching Textbooks. I've heard great things about it.

Is anyone else starting to plan for next year yet? I am -- I love the researching and planning part!
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