Getting started alright

Having problems figuring out where to start? Let other homeschoolers offer you some advice!

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Getting started alright

Postby Mom_x2 » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:57 am

This is my first year of homeschooling my DD 10 and DS almost 9 (5th and 3rd grade). My daughter went through K and grade 1 public school in AZ and 3 years of private (PYP) school. My son only visited the private school mentioned.

Due to school failure, my DD was left behind over one year, in various subjects (principal admitted that many things went wrong and she is terrible sorry for the way it went), in addition, her IEP was not considered or enforced, so she was never able to catch up 2nd grade. DD was also diagnosed with ADD (no hyper).

My son had/has a speech issue and was also diagnosed with ADD (doctor opinions vary between the no hyper, some hyper, definitely hyper). I also think that he has sensory issues, as he physically lashes out when in unfamiliar, stressful, or crowded situations (not diagnosed). He never "fit" into the school and was instantly labeled once overwhelmed (no friends for 3 years is tough).

We talked about homeschooling several times, but I always said that I can't do it. Well, after 3 years of "debating" I had to do something to protect my children and chose the easiest way with ABEKA (online). Kids were on board right away and still like the concept. I also received great encouragement from other homeschool families and teachers.

Two weeks have passed and we slowly find our groove. I'm already considering to change the curriculum. Kids are ahead in math, DD is behind in LA and spelling, and I don't like the ABEKA History and Science curriculum.

Now I have to decide if I should change and teach or just continue with ABEKA for this year. DD struggles with time management, takes all day to complete her class and homework, and doesn't ask questions. We talked about repeating 4th grade, but she is not very keen on this option. DS has trouble staying on task as well, but usually finishes his day by 2pm. Both kids in the same room is a disaster and everybody is just going crazy. My question, how do I manage to teach two ADD kids in the same room without distracting the other. Also, is there a general knowledge test for history and science (ages 9 and 10)? DD is not really interested in the subject and struggles memorizing all the terms - what does she really have to know? During which grades is penmanship "required" or taught? Is cursive still taught in public school?

My mind is still going crazy, so I hope I find some answers here.

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Re: Getting started alright

Postby elliemaejune » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:33 pm

Welcome to the forum. :-)

It is good that you have already figured out that ABeka might not be the best for you. Some people continue the whole year, by which time they totally hate homeschooling and put their children back in school. :shock:

Because your children are so close in age, many would recommend teaching them together for history and science (no, there isn't a test, because there's no real way to decide which knowledge "should" be learned at what age. I mean, what age is 4th of July? :D ) And since they do have some learning difficulties, maybe something less textbook-y would be better. Many people like unit studies such as the Prairie Primer or KONOS, and there are others.

Most public schools have fallen down on the job in more than one way, including deciding that children do not need to have good penmanship skills. :cry: You're on your own. I think children should be taught good penmanship: cursive as well as manuscript.

What you might try is doing a math lesson with one child while the other gets to play quietly; then you swap, then you do something together.

Are you still in AZ? I'm assuming you know what your state laws are and have complied?
Married to Mr. Ellie for over 30 years
Mother to 2 dds and 2 dsil
Grandmother to 1 sweet boy
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Postby Mom_x2 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:55 am

Thank you for your warm welcome.
We are in Europe (Military), so we don't have to follow any specific laws.

DD and I discussed a, possible, new schedule, which would allow the switch to another History and Science Program. Sonlight and Winter Promise seem to be a good fit (teaching both kids together).

Cursive seems to be a battleground for DD and I. She doesn't like it, she doesn't want to do it, she feels it is unfair that she is behind and nobody taught her before. I think the fact that she does EVERYTHING in lightening speed stops her from enjoying it and taking her time to do it RIGHT.
We also run into different cursive styles. I learned the German way and have some trouble reading some of the American cursive letters. After all, I guess, it doesn't really matter as long as they can read it and write neatly.

Right now our schedule would look like this.

9:00 AR (Abeka)
10:00 LA (Abeka)
11:00 Spelling and Reading (Abeka)
12:00 Lunch
13:00 History and Science
14:00 German
15:00 End of core curriculum

Penmanship will be integrated into LA, History, and Science and extra curriculum like Art, Music, and PE can be done as desired until Dinner.

I will give this a couple of weeks and see if I could slowly move the curriculums together.... first math, then LA, then spelling and grade level reading. I only see a benefit for the little one to be exposed to more advanced curricula, and the older to have a break and have some easier work.

At this point, I'm just happy that my kids are on board with the homeschooling and possible changes throughout the year.

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