Need something with LOTS of structure, Suggestions?

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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Need something with LOTS of structure, Suggestions?

Postby kkapfe » Sat May 23, 2009 10:04 am

I've homeschooled for 3 years (my dd grades 1-3). This past spring I added my 1st grade dd and my K4 dd. Needless-to-say, I got quite a bit overwhelmed because now I was trying to run 3 different lesson plans everyday. My youngest got the worst of it because her "homework" was the last priority since she technically wasn't "legally" obligated. I had to use all my time to work with my two older daughters.

I tried (really I did) to love theories like living books, Sonlight, unit studies, etc. I love to read and I wanted to keep them all together for as much as possible. Plus, I felt like that was a really accepted way to homeschool since it appears that most homeschoolers hate textbooks (at least the homeschoolers I know). The problem was that I was spending ALL DAY doing schoolwork and still feeling like it was never enough. Therefore, my housework wasn't getting done, I was getting no alone time, and my husband wasn't happy with a wife that was always losing it. I tend to have power struggles with my middle one and my older one is just about to hit puberty so those female hormones are coming out of nowhere! Bottom line...I hit burnout like a brick wall! My husband put his foot down and said that they are going to ps next year. My family and friends think this is a great idea. Even my mother, who I thought was on my side, thinks I'm training my girls to think they aren't as smart as other kids because they don't sit in a classroom all day. Forget the fact that my oldest is about a grade and a half ahead in math and is very "in tune" with herself.

Anyway, I tried to get excited about ps thinking about how clean my house will be, how much time I'll have to do whatever the heck I want, etc. However, I can never seem to get a peace about it. I always feel like literallly throwing up when I think about it. After talking with my husband again, we've agreed to do some more research. Since I've gone it alone for 3 years, I've learned quite a bit about what doesn't work for me. My teaching style is definitely one that uses textbooks or workbooks. It really helps me to plan and make sure I haven't left anything out. I like reading novels and such but for fun, not for a reading comprehension assignment. Using novels for school really took the fun out of it for us and the girls began to dread it.

I also think that I would like to use some sort of record keeping academy. I looked at ABBA Homeschool Academy. I need to know that I have to answer to someone so that I won't have the "freedom" to change my mind every month on curriculum. I need accountability while still maintaining the freedom to teach the way I want to. I want each of my girls to have their own educational materials. I realize this seems to oppose popular homeschool opinion but that's just the way we need it.

I've looked at ACE and have actually tried it a year ago with my oldest. She loved it and looked forward to doing it everyday. She sped right through the 2 paces that I purchased. Best of all, she did it mostly on her own. I want my girls to become more and more responsible for their own learning so that eventually, over the next couple of years, I become more of a coach than an information guru.

Cost is also a huge issue, which is why the homeschool academies may not be a financially possible solution. My husband just found out he will NOT get a raise this year because of the economy (thank God he still has a job!) and we have high taxes and insurance due around school time. We can't fork out another $1000 during the end of summer/fall.

Please send some suggestions with either good, quality, inexpensive curriculum and/or ways that you keep yourself accountable.

Thanks, Kelli

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Postby azrose » Sat May 23, 2009 12:23 pm

I loved ACE. We have used it the past few years. Have you thought about buying as you go? Say buy a quarter for each girl. You wouldn't have the big output and it could be cost effective. Save your score keys and reuse for the younger ones. When your done with them sell them on ebay.
www. has ACE for reasonable rates and you could purchase as you go.

If your looking for sixth grade I could send you score keys. I might even have fifth and sixth Lit books. I will look.
email me privately if your interested.
Homeschool mom to last of four

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Lorelei Sieja
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Homeschool Burnout

Postby Lorelei Sieja » Mon Jun 01, 2009 10:21 pm

Before you go a step further, see if you can get a copy of "Homeschool Burnout" by Raymond and Dorothy Moore. I think it will really give you and your husband the lift you need, and encourage you. Reading anything by the Moores will help, but that one is really great.

Next, one of the cheapest homeschool curriculums I know of is the Robinson Curriculum. I think it was under $300 for a complete K-12 program. One time payment. Oh- not complete - you had to get your own math and your own primary phonics/learn to read stuff.

Robinson's curriculum worked for a single parent dad to teach his eight children. THe basis is that you homeschool five hours a day, six days a week, pretty much year round, but take days off, vacations, etc, as you need to. The kids do 2 hours of reading, 2 hours of math, and 1 hour of writing.

You just read. You don't have to answer questions about what you read. You don't have to break apart the novel and discuss comprehension quizzes. You read.

THe math is all Saxon math, which is the best math program out there, in a lot of opinions, not just mine. In every school that put in Saxon math, in three years, they saw a huge jump in their students Standardized math scores. It's odd, that when our local school got money to improve their curriculum, they took the ONE thing that worked and threw it out! You have to do Saxon math right, to get the benefits. I substitute taught in schools where the teachers obviously couldn't read directions <G>.

The one hour of writing, the child writes about anything. You do correct it, and discuss any issues with the child, but don't force the child to "do it over". The child should use the knowledge in the next writing assignment. It's this correcting, and writing, that helps the child learn grammar, sentence structure, how to express himself well. In reading GOOD books, the child can learn everything else -history, science, social studies, philosophy, etc.

Then, when school is "out" your children should be involved in projects or programs that you feel are important. This might include youth groups at church, or community service, or Suzuki music lessons - whatever meets your goals.

This is such a simple curriculum, I wish I had learned about it much sooner.

However, some of the reading in the program is kind of boring. But instead of reading a history book on the revolutionary war, your older child (much older) will be reading George Washington's diaries.

Good luck - and I hope you do get encouraged and rejuvenated! I don't believe public school is the answer, and I have my degree in Education.

Lorelei Sieja
Nurturing Creative Young Minds and Wiggly Bodies

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Postby Elei » Tue Jun 02, 2009 2:41 am

Have you checked on the "workbox system":
I heard about it a week ago and we are starting with it today. It is great to have structure and independent work.

Have a look at it on the oficial website and do some research on some blogs, a lot seem to have started with this system and they seem to be very happy with it.

For me, the two hours that we have started (haha), I'm happy with it, because I have two kids doing mathwork and me writing on the computer LOL

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Postby Tiia » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:09 am

well, I'm not the one who started this thread, but I really did benifit from it. Thank you Lorelei for reminding me about the Robinson Curriculum. I have my problems typed out in detail on the off topic threads, but they are simmilar to Kelli's. I checked out his site, watched the lecture on the homepage, and saw the price WOW!!! One time payment of less than $200.00 (granted the Saxon books are extra, but still!) !!!!!! I am loving this. All three of my kids can have their whole k-12 curriculum for this??? Even after adding the cost of the Saxon books, divided between three kids for all 13 grades??? That is super inexpensive. I'm very excited about it.
Tiia :D
Mom to:
Ethan: Jan/02
Levi: Mar/04
Ezri: Jan/06

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