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Old 08-24-2010, 12:08 PM   #91
adverbe
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Homeschool Days in September for us!!!

We have homeschooled for 17 years. Our oldest is a Junior at Rochester Institute of Technology, our second is a Freshman at SUNY Jefferson, our third is a junior at home (and working to become an Eagle Scout) , our fourth is in first grade, and our fifth is four and probably starting Kindergarten.

My husband says I should write a book about the 'disorganized homeschool'; I prefer the 'relaxed homeschool'. I am a huge fan of using very little curriculum, especially in the elementary grades, with the possible exception of math. Children can learn a lot through games, observations, playing with friends, visiting museums, listening to adults, and just exploring their world. We have gone to the beach most years in Sept. since our eldest was 2. My children know more about beach ecology, erosion, birds, dunes, waves, etc. than most children we know, and we have never studied it formally. We learned about mountains by climbing them, and sometimes by skiing down them. We learned about geography by driving to Florida from NY.

My best advice is to relax and think outside the box. Everything you do is educational if you take advantage of the teachable moment. "Mommy, why does...?"
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:56 PM   #92
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Good for you getting prepared ahead of the game! Just know that with homeschooling gaining in popularity the curriculum publishing market changes rapidly, with 2nd editions coming out just a couple of years behind the first. So don't make any curriculum purchases yet!
Definitely waiting on purchases! I did buy three preschool workbooks from Sam's, but am working on figuring out my own method for using those, planning on starting when DD is 2 1/2 or thereabouts. I think I'm safe with that minor purchase since they are focused on colors, letters, numbers, and other "readiness" skills.

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The Well-Trained Mind is my favorite homeschool book and I recommend it every chance I get. I tried using Slow & Steady Get Me Ready a couple of times, but it just didn't work for me. If you read, play, and just get on the floor and interact with your baby you'll pretty much have all of the Slow & Steady stuff covered.
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McDuck: Just read, read and read to your child. Point out everything in her world; colors, sounds, textures, whatever you can think of. That is all you really need to do right now.
Thanks, that is pretty much what I am doing with her at this stage. :-)

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Story of the World is a great narrative history for the elementary grades. I think that just reading the stories is enough, but there are also activity guides to go along with each book. Again, something else I tried but has not really worked for us. I do love the First Language Lessons and Writing with Ease programs by the same authors, and I love the Susan Wise Bauer's plan for homeschooling. If you haven't yet, go to the Peace Hill Press and look up the mp3 downloads they have there of Susan and Jessie's lectures. They are both great speakers and very much worth the listen.

Best of luck to you!
Thanks so much for the advice. I just saw a history book on Timberdoodle's site today for preschool age that shows a street and people in different ages of time. I had been considering Mudpies to Magnets for science activities.

I just finished THE WELL-TRAINED MIND this morning and while I don't know that a pure classical approach is right for us, I do like many aspects of it, so I can see us adapting it somehow. (My undergraduate program was classical/interdisciplinary--Louisiana Scholars' College; it's actually listed in the book, too, so that made my day! LOL) I'll definitely be buying this book to refer back to!

I've spent the last week or so requesting catalogs from the various publishers. Got my first one from Sonlight yesterday. DH and I decided last night to start a savings account next year so we've got it built up by the time we need to look into buying curricula.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:44 PM   #93
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We are now a homeschooling family! At first I was researching it as a "plan B" but the more I read the more I thought "why not?"

I picked up The Well Trained Mind and it just made perfect sense to me. So we are using that as our guide. My dd's will be 7 and 3 next month. I know I will need to work on being more relaxed. I can already tell that is going to be a difficult thing for me.

Looking forward to getting to know all of you!
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #94
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Well we are on week 2 day 2 of year 2 So far, I am loving what we are using this year... I will have to start planning some field trips soon since the weather is great right now.
I am still loving the flexibility of homeschooling and watching them all learn something new everyday! I have definitely let go of my ps mentality this year and am more organized too -

Hope you are all enjoying success too!
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:07 PM   #95
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Jumping in to say "hi" to everyone! We are 2 weeks into our school year, being my 7th year homeschooling. My kiddos (11yrs-6th grd, 9yrs-4th grd) have never been to public or private school. It's so amazing how this is almost a "lifestyle". Everything we do & see is an opportunity for a learning moment. I LOVE my job.

Here is what we are using & participating in this year.
Curriculum:
A Reason for Handwriting
Bob Jones Bible
Horizons Math - my husband teaches this!
A Reason for Spelling
Bob Jones English & Grammar
Apologia Zoology 1 - Flying Creatures
Mystery of History - volume 1
Bob Jones Reading
Wordly Wise

Co-op enrichment Fall classes:
Physics
Dissection
Shurley English
Exploring Creation
Hands on Math

For P.E., the kids play AYSO soccer in the Fall, & Upwards basketball in the winter/spring.

It's a crazy life......... but we LOVE it!!
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Old 08-25-2010, 06:37 AM   #96
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What are you using?

Dawn

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Originally Posted by momo3hods View Post
Well we are on week 2 day 2 of year 2 So far, I am loving what we are using this year... I will have to start planning some field trips soon since the weather is great right now.
I am still loving the flexibility of homeschooling and watching them all learn something new everyday! I have definitely let go of my ps mentality this year and am more organized too -

Hope you are all enjoying success too!
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Old 08-25-2010, 07:47 PM   #97
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Dawn,

I use Saxon Math, Learning Language Arts Through Literature, and Lifepac for the core - Seton for the rest. My 5th grader is enrolled through Seton.

Heather
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:14 PM   #98
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I know I can vent hear without getting flamed.....

IF I SEE ONE MORE POST ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE FROM A CRYING MOM SENDING HER KIDS OFF TO THEIR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, LAMENTING THE LOST TIME WITH THEM, AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THE IDIOSYNCRICITIES OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM I WILL SCREAM!!!!!!

Okay, vent over....if they hate sending their kids to school SOOO bad why can't they understand why I choose to homeschool?!
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:24 PM   #99
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So true! At the same time, though, it pains me to see parents who are GLAD to be sending their kids back to school, as though they can't stand to have them home. If you're not going to enjoy your kids, why have them?
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:04 PM   #100
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So true! At the same time, though, it pains me to see parents who are GLAD to be sending their kids back to school, as though they can't stand to have them home. If you're not going to enjoy your kids, why have them?
Agreed! I had one of those today too! Thrilled to have the house to herself because her 4 kids were finally in school. Don't get me wrong, tomorrow is my kid-free day (my mom has kept them one day a week since my oldest was 3 months old) and I desperately need the downtime this week....but I don't need 180 days of downtime per year.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:04 AM   #101
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I'm curious to hear what others do regarding "solo" kid time. I've worked from home since the kids were toddlers, so they're used to having times during the day where I need to have patches of uninterrupted time. But there are still times when we've done school, they've gone outside, we've run errands, and I sit down to do some work...and they don't know what to do with themselves.

(Granted, now that they're 10 and 12, they're much better at amusing themselves, but they're boys so sometimes "amusing themselves" turns into wrestling matches and the thumping drives me crazy.)

We've got building stuff they still play with, some project-based books they can do on their own, books to read, etc...but I'm wondering if there's something really cool, semi-educational, and captivating that we're missing that your kiddos do by themselves to keep themselves entertained for a while.
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Old 08-26-2010, 05:19 AM   #102
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I'm curious to hear what others do regarding "solo" kid time. I've worked from home since the kids were toddlers, so they're used to having times during the day where I need to have patches of uninterrupted time. But there are still times when we've done school, they've gone outside, we've run errands, and I sit down to do some work...and they don't know what to do with themselves.

(Granted, now that they're 10 and 12, they're much better at amusing themselves, but they're boys so sometimes "amusing themselves" turns into wrestling matches and the thumping drives me crazy.)

We've got building stuff they still play with, some project-based books they can do on their own, books to read, etc...but I'm wondering if there's something really cool, semi-educational, and captivating that we're missing that your kiddos do by themselves to keep themselves entertained for a while.
Yep!! TV!!! ha!! Some days we just pop in an old movie or a Disney show and be still and quiet for a while! I know there are times when i just want to see the tv, be entertained and not have to think! I know..terrible hs solution..but there it is......we don't sit around watching it all day or anything..but somedays I really look forward to movie time! And...going to check the link for your book right now! How exciting!!!!!
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:39 AM   #103
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...but I'm wondering if there's something really cool, semi-educational, and captivating that we're missing that your kiddos do by themselves to keep themselves entertained for a while.
My 7.5 year old DD is fascinated by life science right now, particularly the oceans and the body, so streaming Netflix documentaries on our tv when I need some time to get my own work done is a great solution for us!
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:04 AM   #104
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VERY cool article!! I wish I could memorize it and spew it out every time someone ask WHY I homeschool! I'm thinking about starting a thread over on the Community or Families board... just in the hopes it might open some eyes/minds..... although I highly doubt it!

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/gatto6.1.1.html

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Prussia concocted a method based on complex fragmentations to ensure that its school products would fit the grand social design. Some of this method involved dividing whole ideas into school subjects, each further divisible, some of it involved short periods punctuated by a horn so that self-motivation in study would be muted by ceaseless interruptions.

There were many more techniques of training, but all were built around the premise that isolation from first-hand information, and fragmentation of the abstract information presented by teachers, would result in obedient and subordinate graduates, properly respectful of arbitrary orders. "Lesser" men would be unable to interfere with policy makers because, while they could still complain, they could not manage sustained or comprehensive thought. Well-schooled children cannot think critically, cannot argue effectively.

One of the most interesting by-products of Prussian schooling turned out to be the two most devastating wars of modern history. Erich Maria Ramarque, in his classic "All Quiet on the Western Front" tells us that the First World War was caused by the tricks of schoolmasters, and the famous Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that the Second World War was the inevitable product of good schooling.

It's important to underline that Bonhoeffer meant that literally, not metaphorically – schooling after the Prussian fashion removes the ability of the mind to think for itself. It teaches people to wait for a teacher to tell them what to do and if what they have done is good or bad. Prussian teaching paralyses the moral will as well as the intellect. It's true that sometimes well-schooled students sound smart, because they memorize many opinions of great thinkers, but they actually are badly damaged because their own ability to think is left rudimentary and undeveloped. We got from the United States to Prussia and back because a small number of very passionate ideological leaders visited Prussia in the first half of the 19th century, and fell in love with the order, obedience and efficiency of its system and relentlessly proselytized for a translation of Prussian vision onto these shores.

If Prussia's ultimate goal was the unification of Germany, our major goal, so these men thought, was the unification of hordes of immigrant Catholics into a national consensus based on a northern European cultural model. To do that children would have to be removed from their parents and from inappropriate cultural influence. In this fashion, compulsion schooling, a bad idea that had been around at least since Plato's "Republic," a bad idea that New England had tried to enforce in 1650 without any success, was finally rammed through the Massachusetts legislature in 1852. It was, of course, the famous "Know-Nothing" legislature that passed this law, a legislature that was the leading edge of a famous secret society which flourished at that time known as "The Order of the Star Spangled Banner," whose password was the simple sentence, "I know nothing" – hence the popular label attached to the secret society's political arm, "The American Party." Over the next 50 years state after state followed suit, ending schools of choice and ceding the field to a new government monopoly.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:23 AM   #105
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I'm curious to hear what others do regarding "solo" kid time. I've worked from home since the kids were toddlers, so they're used to having times during the day where I need to have patches of uninterrupted time. But there are still times when we've done school, they've gone outside, we've run errands, and I sit down to do some work...and they don't know what to do with themselves.
Since I'm also a full time grad student (not for long...graduate in 5 weeks!), it's been important for the kids to understand that I have to have my own study time. They have laptops, so spend time in their rooms creating videos or digi-scrapping photos from vacations. They design clothes or cakes, or just draw (we have a pen/pad/mouse thingy) in paint. They also have to play the Wii fit 30 minutes per day and that generally leads into Mario Cart or some other game. They have chores (cleaning the kitchen) and also help with meal prep. If all else fails, there's always TV. Right now, I'm hearing Rugrats streaming from Netflix as they relive "the good old days when cartoons were funny".
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