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Kimberly
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Joined: 05 May 2007
Posts: 50
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2007 10:32 am    Post subject: Come join us for a day Reply with quote

Our day does not begin as early as it does for some homeschooling families but it still seems early to me. I am nearly always up before the children and go for a half hour walk with my mother-in-law. My husband has a part time evening job as a result he gets to bed until late so he does not wake up until about 9:30. By the time I return from my walk, the children are awake and have begun their day. Joshua, who is nearly 15 years old, has usually started his school day. Joseph, age 11, and Josiah, age 9, are putting breakfast on the table (usually cereal and toast). The girls, Jessica, age 8, and Jennifer, nearly 6, are playing or doing something artistic such as drawing or coloring.

Not being a morning person, I move rather slowly in the first couple of hours. Some homeschooling Moms are hard at work teaching their children by 7:00, it takes me awhile to get the morning necessities finished, so we do not usually begin school until about 8:30 or 9:00.

I meet with Joshua first. Even though he has the hardest subjects, he needs the least of my time. He is independent and is basically self taught. We only meet for about 30 to 45 minutes. I go over his work from the previous day, hand him any tests he is ready to take that day and talk about any problem areas. We use a variety of curricula for Joshua’s schooling. The subjects he is most interested in are history and language arts. He especially likes to write and has written many stories. He is even working on a book. The subjects he struggles in are math and spelling. Math is my weakest subject and it has been a struggle to teach him his math for the past couple of years. He uses Saxon math and I have purchased a CD (from D.I.V.E) that actually teaches him the concepts. It has been very helpful. My husband occasionally helps with concepts that give our son particular problems. For spelling I found a wonderful book called Apples for Spelling. Over the past year since he started using this, we have seen a huge improvement in his spelling.

After I meet with Joshua, I teach Joseph his math. After I teach him the new concept for the day, he finds a quiet corner to do his math problems. I then meet with Josiah and teach him the new math concept for the day. He, too, finds a quiet corner to do his math problems. After they finish their math problems, they are allowed a five minute break before doing their handwriting.

Some time in the middle of all of this, Jeff gets up and gets ready to go to his job at UPS. I usually give the children a short break while I make Jeff’s lunch and spend a few minutes with him.

While the boys do their math and handwriting, I work with the girls at the table. I sit at the end and have one girl on each side of me. They are both young enough that they need my full time attention for most of their subjects. I teach both of the girls their new math concepts for the day then help both of them as needed.

Jennifer is usually done before Jessica so she begins her phonics. She is working her way through the eight Explode the Code workbooks. They are very simple phonics books but I find that my children like them and learn from them more than they learn from the “fancier” ones. When Jennifer finishes her four phonics pages, she does a page in her Readiness Skills book. She is then free to go play. Jessica finishes her math about this time and I work with her on her phonics, handwriting and journal. When we finish these things, she runs off to find Jennifer so they can play together.

By the time I am done with the girls, Joseph and Josiah have finished their math and handwriting so I call them back to the table. Joseph and Josiah work together in all subjects except math. Just as I do with the girls, I have the boys sit on either side of me at the table as we work through phonics workbooks and English (grammar and writing). After I do the teaching time they work in their workbooks and do their writing, while I check their math and handwriting. We go over any math problems they missed.

If the younger four children have a perfect math paper they get a token. Besides a perfect math paper, they can earn tokens by reading for 30 minutes (less for Jennifer), listening to a younger sibling read, and getting all their chores done without being told. When they have acquired 20 tokens, they can either choose a prize from the prize box (which has candy bars, notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, paint sets, and toys from the dollar store) or “cash” them in for a dollar. In all honesty, it is a lot of work for a small prize but that has not dawned on any of them yet and I don't intend to tell them. Very Happy

By this time it is about 12:30 so I make lunch. We eat about 1:00. I usually eat while I make lunch (or drink a Slimfast shake) and then while the children eat, I can read to them. This is our history time.

At this point, we are very laid back and spontaneous with history (and science) with the younger four children. I also did this with our oldest son. He did not begin a formal curriculum for history and science until he was in seventh grade. I have made some mistakes in our homeschooling (many of them, in fact) but this is one thing that I did right. At least it was right for our family. As a result of being relaxed about history and science and studying whatever interested him at the moment, my son loves both subjects (especially history). And he had very little trouble in those subjects once he began to take them “properly” in seventh grade. Hopefully, we will find the same thing to be true with the younger children.

Returning to our lunch time history lesson, while the children eat, I read to them books that are history based. I read biographies, historical fiction, many Usborne books, and occasionally even one of the more interesting history textbooks (such as "A Child's History of the World). If one of the children expresses interest in a certain time or in someone from history, I make sure that the next book we read is on that subject (If two or three of them express interest in something different, then they may have to wait awhile). In the upcoming school year, I plan to use a timeline so that we can chart each person and event we study. I want them to understand the concept that many events were all going on around the world at the same time.

After lunch the children do their chores while I do a few household chores of my own. When all the chores are done, I call Joseph, Josiah and Jessica to the table to do their Patch the Pirate workbooks. On Wednesday nights the three of them are in a children’s program called Patch the Pirate and they have “homework” to do during the week. Joshua does his “homework” from Youth Group on his own schedule. Jennifer, who is in a program for younger children called PeeWee’s, does not have any work to do at home.

After this, the children practice the piano and have their reading aloud time. While one practices the piano upstairs, another child practices on the keyboard in the basement. Yet another child reads to me. My oldest son no longer reads aloud to me but is required to read three chapter books a month. Since he enjoys reading, he actually ends up reading more than that. The middle three children, Joseph, Josiah and Jessica each read to me for about 20 minutes each. They read a variety of books such as actual school readers or just a story they have chosen that day. Jennifer reads to me for about ten minutes. She usually reads a “Dlck and Jane” book, a Bob Book, or the most simple readers.

By this time it is usually about 4:00. The children play. If the weather is nice, they play outside, otherwise they find something to do in the house. I do a bit of housework and maybe some laundry then about 4:30 (or later some days), I begin to prepare supper. Jeff is home and usually comes into the kitchen to chat with me and read the mail while I make supper.

I try to have supper ready by 5:30 but it is often 6:00 before we actually sit down to eat. Supper is one of my favorite times of the day. To have all of us together after a long day, chatting and sharing about our day is really special to me.

At 7:00, we have family devotions. Jeff reads from a Bible story that is at about Jennifer’s level. Then we read through books of the Bible, going around the room, each reading a verse (except for Jennifer who is not ready to read Bible verses yet and even some of the older children need help sometimes). As a family we have read through Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Psalms, Proverbs (twice), Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Acts (not in that order). We then sing several songs and take turns closing in prayer.

My husband leaves for his evening job right after devotions. The children take their baths or showers and then the younger four gather at the table. While they draw or color or do some other quiet activity, I read to them. This is our time for both science and “fun” reading. We spend about 15 minutes reading something about science such as nature books, books on weather, The Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature, the “Why” books, creation science and other books like that. In all honesty, history interests me far more than science so I have to make a conscious effort to make sure that the children do get some science in their education.

After our “science time” comes the fun reading. The children are old enough now that we pretty much just read chapter books, though I will sometimes read a Berenstain Bear or Curious George book for Jennifer’s sake. We have read many wonderful books over the years. I get most of our book ideas from the Sonlight catalog. We own many of them and the rest I get from the library. I nearly always read for at least 30 minutes and sometimes I give in to the “Just one more chapter, please, Mommy, please!” and read a little longer.

By the time we finish stories, it is time for the girls to go to bed. Joseph and Josiah play a little while longer then they head to bed as well. Joshua stays up until 10:00 then puts himself to bed. After the children are in bed, I spend time online, fold laundry and watch the news. I try to be in bed by 11:00.

That is a typical day in the our household. Of course there are variables in our schedule. For example, right now one of our children is going to Vision Therapy. He has homework so that is squeezed into our day. On Wednesday nights when we have church, we eat early and skip the evening story time. On Tuesday morning they have piano lessons so our schedule is quite different on that day.

I have left out the “not so fun” aspects of the day such helping the children work through an argument or dealing with a child who has a bad attitude that day. There is also the struggle of having a child struggle academically in a particular subject. I love homeschooling. I am very thankful for the opportunity to homeschool and would not have it any other way. But I would be less than honest if I implied that our days go perfectly, that my children always get along with each other, do their school work diligently and that I never get frustrated. I am CONSTANTLY praying and asking God for wisdom and patience. I have read articles on homeschooling where things seem to go perfectly, the children are always well behaved and the Mom has it all together. You know, those articles where the three year old is reading and the junior high age children are taking college level classes. I get very discouraged when I read those because I know we will never measure up to that standard. I do not want to do that to any of you so I have added this paragraph.

When we began homeschooling, I knew it would be an exciting adventure. That has proven to be true. Homeschooling has been a blessing for us. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity.
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RavenC
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject: teaching a 15 year old Reply with quote

Hi
I read your post and it helped me to feel better. Reading articles and books seems to be my best way of teaching, but having been raised in the public school system, I still get the feeling I should stand at a blackboard and bore my grandson. Very Happy
I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about resources for your oldest son. My grandson just turned 15 in July, and so many of the resources seem to concentrate on the younger students. Even when I read something that sounds interesting it will say it's for grades 2-3 or 5-6...it just seems so hard to find high school subjects.
Since I work, it's also hard to connect with local 'park day' groups, so I feel kind of alone out here.
Anyone who has suggestions is more than welcome to reply...thank you!
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ncmom
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Joined: 13 Jul 2007
Posts: 321
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What kind of resources are you trying to find?
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RavenC
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd like a little more support from books, dvd's, workbooks, etc. I went to ed.helper and under "Social Studies; Life Skills; Find Employment;" there were lots of good things...about want ads, interviewing, thank you notes, etc. But it started at 2nd grade and ended with 6th. The challenge word list included "also." Personally, I think that's absurd. If I look in Barnes & Noble's section of learning books, they don't go up to 9th grade.
I think the Discovery Store is great and I also found a site where you can download PDF articles for a very small amount of money...some of their links are outdated, but then you can teach research methods.
I'd like to go to a site and when I find something interesting, not have it stop at 6th, 7th or 8th grade and that seems to be the norm. Despite his age, books for adults are a bit over his head, since his prior school experience is seriously lacking.
So if you know of any sites that include teens, I guess that's what I'm looking for.
Thanks.
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Ramona
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Joined: 15 Aug 2006
Posts: 418

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you read the articles on this site? Go down to the Give Your Feedback section of the forum index. There are quite a few great articles on homeschooling teens, preparing for the post-12th-grade life, etc.

Ramona
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Theodore
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
Posts: 2122
Location: Missouri, US

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.home-school.com/Articles/
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ncmom
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Joined: 13 Jul 2007
Posts: 321
Location: Eastern NC

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are going to do a unit on the holocaust this year, it is supposed to teach "tolerance and acceptance" but I am not using it for that I am using it for a totally historical perspective especially since all of my sons great grandparents fought in the war. And it can be tailored to what you want to get out of it and is said to be for grades 8-12. It was free and comes with a DVD, curriculum, and other historic items, plus discussion type questions that you can use and so forth. So if something like that would interest you I would be happy to send you the info on where to get it. You can also try http://www.free-ed.net/free-ed/ I use that resource sometimes too. I have some others but I don't know what kind of things you would be interested in. I have some stuff on solar fusion (you have to send for it but it was free) and other things for math and computers. They are pretty much either free to send for or internet resources though. The other thing I do is go to the library. In our area home schooling is big and there are lots of resources there. I also do things like kitchen science and I even let my son do some of the things I did in school like drop an egg from the roof but make it a capsule first so it won't break or build a bridge with straws and pins, whatever I can find that makes him think. The only other website I can think of off the top of my head to use is www.freewarehome.com they have a section for free education stuff, but I think it is all computer based stuff. I honestly don't know for sure though and I look at it as it never hurts to look.
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RavenC
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Joined: 18 Aug 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramona wrote:
Have you read the articles on this site? Go down to the Give Your Feedback section of the forum index. There are quite a few great articles on homeschooling teens, preparing for the post-12th-grade life, etc.

Ramona


Thank you Ramona and also to you Theodore. I'm knew to all of this which is why I joined the forum. I checked out a few things and will be heading back to look at some other items. Found a poetry contest which my grandson should be please to hear about. I appreciate your help.
Very Happy
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