I have lots of workbooks for their age and grade level but we deviate for just about anything that is fun, like free events around town, library books and videos, thrift store books and homeschool curriculum we find there, things going on in our world that we want to learn more about, internet and free downloadable stuff, but if you want to follow the standards on NMPED website, which are challenging to undestand sometimes, that can be a guide. I don't really follow them as much as the other stuff. We do a lot of life skills these days. For example, my kids now know how to pack a house, label boxes, stack them in a small space (storage unit or vehicle), go through stuff and get rid of what we don't need, donate to more needy folks, fix nail holes in walls, spot paint, clean a carpet, scrub tile, make a home look like a "model home" for selling, etc..That was most of last week's curriculum, life skills. This week they are back to the books...with zeal I might add. They watch my husband and I doing work and research on the computer all the time. They know more about the candidates running for president right now than a good majority of children, I would bet. That kind of thing. They also are learning about land plats (or maps) and how to navigate to a remote property, because we are looking at a piece of land right now. Cool stuff they can use when they grow up, and it will probably stay in their long term memory because it is interesting and they know it is useful information for later!! Otherwise, it goes in one ear and out the other. Oh, anytime we have lag time-like mom posting on the forum like I am right now-they know just to go pick up one of the books they are reading and read until we are all ready to move to another topic. We have a Daily Schedule. I will put a copy of today's here just for an idea. I modify it all the time as we need to for the season and the curriculum or weather and we don't always stick to it, even though it helps if we do for them to stay on task and not always asking me "What do I do now?" Hope this helps.. Oh yea, I have a point system for how much they get done each day and it all adds up with bonus points for a special trip or activity somewhere they choose at the end of each semester. Just something I made up and it works for us. Hope this isn't information overload. Thanks for letting me share.
Tuesday Fall Schedule 7 points possible today (out of 25 points needed for Friday Fun Day) 6 points needed today for desert tonight and to read the newspaper
7:00am- Everyone Wake Up & Do Morning Routine (posted on fridge) -1 point 7:30am- Take dinner out of the freezer- Dad 8:00am- Memory Verse, Chores, Finish Morning Routines or leave to watch neice (take work) 8:30am- Bike Ride & then Stretch 9:15am- Showers 9:30am- Bible Study 10:00am- Dad Works (Mom too throughout the day, as needed, as boys do silent work)
10:00am- Math -1 point (Timed Tests) 11:00am- Science -1 point (see me for directions) 12:00am- Language Arts (Total Reading- 4 pages) – ½ point
12:30pm- Lunch 1:00pm- Recess (Ride Scooters, football every other day only) or Finish School Work 1:30pm- Language Arts (Total Reading- 4 pages) – ½ point 2:00pm- Social Studies -1 point (see me for directions) 3:00pm- Art or Typing -½ point 3:30pm- Free Choice Time or Finish School Work (Mom goes to store, bank or recycling or does lesson planning, grading or meal planning)
4:00pm- Journal Writing: Something I Did Last Week and What I Learned -1 point 4:30pm- Clean Room & Chores 5:00pm- Finish Chores or Finish School Work (make dinner) 6:00pm- Eat Dinner 6:45pm- Get Ready for Bed (Showers?)
7:00pm- Silent Reading (books that can be read easily) -½ point 7:30pm- Study AWANA verses 8:00pm- Boys Bedtime & Prayer (Mom & Dad read or study Bible together, pay bills, check mail, file paperwork, look at next day etc.) 10:00pm- Adults Bedtime (at latest)
This schedule will change as our needs, the season and the school year change…
The best advice a homeschool mom gave me; start with the basics reading, writing and math and every thing falls into place. My kids are in highschool. I liked ABEKA for English( I have tried others but my kids liked this one) Saxon for Math (Not totally satisfied) but still looking for better Algebra and Geometry books. History of United States by Joy Hakim TeenPact for Civics credit Speech: Taught by Nancy Lauser Debate: Same as above Word within a Word (learning greek and latin stem words) Rainbow science kits (my oldest not a science type of kid liked this to start with)I had fun. Apologia (general science, physcial science, biology) Well trained mind, book was good resource for different levels. (check it out at library)
Ecclectic Sometimes we use a set curriculum. Other times it's all about field trips and projects. We do stick with the Wilson Language Program for reading and Math U See for math. My son has wanted to be more independant and is a member of the library for the dyslexic and the blind. He helped chose his own science and social studies books which are rather traditional and available on tape through this library for free to members only. (You have to be blind or dyslexic to be a member. This must be diagnosed by a doctor or diagnostician since the program receives federal funding.) This year, bith of my kids have their own "lesson plans". They know which activities they do on their own and which activities we do together, so they are able to work independantly quite often. My daughter decided on her own to take the Rosetta Stone Spanish class offered for free through the library. My son uses Flight Similator X to fly to the countries he studies in socail studies. I also like Map Skills by Modern Curriculum Press. They both keep a journal. I sometimes use six trait writing. My daughter is writing an interesting novel on her own and is composing on the computer. I have a typing program on disc that they practice with several times per week.
Our mornings are very structured. We cover math, spelling, grammar and handwriting about 6 days per week. Our afternoons are given over to Story of the World, science, my child's pursuit of his own interests, outdoor activities and play! We need to make more room for art, music and a second language before I am completely satisfied with what we're doing. I answered "Mostly school at home."
You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. -C.S. Lewis
We used Calvert curriculum last year, with a generous dose of whatever else we were interested in. Not super formal, but definitely EVERY day, or he feels cheated somehow. Also use Applied Scholastics study materials for a base. Explora Science classes are a must, and we do at least one outdoor or sport activity.
We are zoo members and get around and about as much as possible, as learning is everywhere.
Anyone else use Calvert?
Kim and Ben
Kim Wagner Troublemaker "Nothing you do for children is ever wasted" Garrison Keillor
We've always been eclectic, whole-life learners. We've never followed a curriculum before, just pieced things together, mostly lots of reading and hands-on learning. This is our first year using Sonlight curriculum. Decided to finally jump in because of several unschooling friends who've used Sonlight successfully over the years, and also because my kids asked for a little more structure and focus (go figure). I like that I don't have to work hard trying to find materials anymore or spend any time preparing.
That being said, we still do alot of hands on learning, attend a few field trips, music lessons, do alot of reading, raising our animals, traveling, and camping. Another activity that has taught us all many interesting things, including history, geography, geology, art, mapping and compass skills, is Letterboxing. It's alot of fun and we are now very close to finding our 200th box this year. Woot!
I don't know what to call our style. I read everything I can get my hands on about different methods. We do little of everything. Life learning skills are important. Math and reading are our key book studies. We don't use any set curriculum and love to go out of doors for field trip adventures and studies.
We use Kolbe Academy, a Catholic homeschool curriculum. It's nice because it gives us daily structure and some good old fashioned literature based learning. We inject new projects like learning all about elephants or giraffes by going to the zoo and talking with the employees who directly work with these animals or subjects like Egypt using library books and videos and internet and last year going to the fabulous Egypt exhibit at the Albuquerque Museum. Those are fun. We play jeapardy using information we learned about while researching those special topics. We do fun experiments and plan field trips around what we are learning. We find that having a schedule works better for us. Josh 9, Nessa 11;
The girls are enrolled in the morningstar academy online school. They have a grammar, math, science and history class. We had to drop the art and bible extracurriculum classes because it took all day top complete the work. I like it because their teachers grade their work and all their lessons are already planned out. It works out well for us because we were able to skip my youngest up a grade and now they are both in 4th grade. I also like that they have transcripts and are technically enrolled in a private school. You can work at your own pace and if your child excells in one class but needs mpre help in another you can work in different grades. For instance 5th grade math and 4th grade science. I think its great. My husband and I both work fulltime so this is a life saver for us. Its at themorningstaracademy.org
This is our first year (and my first post! ) and we're using Switched-on-Schoolhouse. It's a nice, easy way to start. It plans the year for you and keeps track of all the grading, you just put in your dates. The kids don't seem to mind (they were in public school from babies to 3rd and 5th grades--I was a Pre-K teacher for 14 years).
I really like Charlotte Mason's ideas and we try to implement them when we can. This year we will be using My Father's World. It recommends having a reading basket and we'll be using our Sonlight read-alouds and readers for that. For math we're using Singapore Math and thanks to someone on this forum we found out about time for learning and now we use that alot when we're away (which is ALOT, like one to two weeks a month). This year I really really want to focus on doing a bible study with my little girls (I'm getting one, I think, from Queen Homeschool Supplies, which by the way, is the language arts we're using. My girls are VERY artsy and Queens is perfect for them.) well, that's our plan in a nutshell. claudia
When I first started looking at styles, I was so overwhelmed, and just kinda made our own. We use time 4 learning on the internet, creative writing, group reading, silent reading, field trips, life skill lessons like cooking and home repair, were all learning spanish together we try to be active as much as possible. I figured instead of a "lesson guide" I should try to teach them things that will make them better, more rounded people since that's why we started this whole crazy thing in the first place . I know as we continue, I'll find things that work and things that don't. I'm just hoping to keep my head and not become overwhelmed, and try to keep it fun.
We use sonlight core 3 for reading and ss. Singapore Science mph 3-6. Singapore math, mathtacular and flashmaster for math. Explode the code for spelling and writing. I don't know what we would put ourselfs as because we have to say "Miguel do you want to stop reading at some point perferably today, and go somewhere." He has to do 4 pg in ETC and flashmaster everyday and write 5 sentences about any book that he's finished reading that day. He usually finishes within 3 month of starting so by January he'll only have math left.
We use the Catholic Heritage Curricula which works well for my 8 yr old boy. Once a week, we take him to a local homeschool co-op where he takes Geography, Art and Blue Knights (learns about the Saints). We enrolled him at the Explora, a hands-on place for Science. When he's done with his work, he does chores around the house and then can play on his keyboard.
I started with a real structured Catholic Home School curriculum. (Kolbe Academy) We still use many of the materials, but the kids are really great self starters and do much of the work on their own. We go to the library once a week and I have them enrolled in an art class and karate. Nessa is going to Seaworld camp this year since she has a great interest in pursuing that field. She is also going to public high school next year. Josh will continue his studies at home.
I have tried sitting down with my daughter to do some thing structured but that only lasts for so long until she gets sick of it and wants to run and hide. I think we are going to try just reading and writing reports and then practice the basics a couple hours a day. We will also do as many field trips as we can and let her choose different topics from the library.
Eclectic. We do the core subjects (math, reading and writing) 4 days per week for each of the girls and then sprinkle in other subjects every day-geography, social studies, history, etc... It all depends on the mood and the feel and how much we get done with the core subjects. We try to be done with regular school by noon. Then we take a break and the kids have free time(and later they will have activities like robot club and what not) so that dad and I can get some work done in the shop. Around dinner we like to work on the kids special projects-brittney is doing a ferret powerpoint right now and Nevaeh is doing some research on Robots and building a website. We also try to round out the evening with a family game and some family reading. Sometimes we have a full 5-6 day week worth of learning and other weeks we can only manage to get 3-4 days done. We also try and take a field trip every week or every other week. It took us a while to realize that we don't have to do everything-nor can we.
I should also add that we have some curriculum, but mostly I pull things from everywhere. I use traditional public school math and reading books and have pulled a ton of things from the internet. I also tend to have the kids start their own projects with their own curriculum that they come up with.