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New here, new homeschooler, any advice (2nd grader)??

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Hi ladies, I'm a new Cafemom member and was told that there were a lot of really well informed Homeschooling mom's on this site who might be able to help guide me with homeschooling as it is something very new to us (my 7 year old daughter and I).

I am pretty much forced to homeschool my daughter as the teachers here in our country/state have been on strike since mid-August. I don't foresee them throwing in the towel anytime soon, and I will not let my daughter go without getting an education, so I took it upon myself to homeschool her. 

I guess a couple questions I have, and please bear with me, are how many hours are the norm to spend doing schoolwork with your child at this age/grade level? Do you study each topic/subject daily or do you pick and choose throughout the week? What do you do about homework? Quizzes? Tests?

We live in Mexico, so all those wonderful homeschooling programs you ladies have I am not able to use here because of course the primary language is Spanish, and while I do use some English worksheets and books for her to read and do work with, she really needs the Spanish language work in order to get anywhere in the school system here. 

At this point I'll take any advice/opinions/information. I feel lost, even after Googling for hours about homeschooling this, that, and the other thing. Seems people's opinions are so conflicting and I feel more lost now than when I first started searching for information. 

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any replies,

Jennifer

by on Sep. 28, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Replies (11-20):
mndzjen
by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 12:16 PM

You are absolutely right in that the world is our classroom! It is just that for all of our lives! 

I will have to Google around and learn about the 'classical method' as I'm not familiar with that term. :) 

Thank you for your reply Precious333 :)

Quoting Precious333:

There are so many ways to approach.homeschooling. i have a 5 and 7 yr old i am homeschooling and we use classical.method. our primary curriculum is classical conversations. We also have an additional math workbook and reading books as well, along with other stuff.

You can use as much or as little to homeschool though. The world around you is your classroom. Any book can be used to learn from.



mndzjen
by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 12:23 PM

We need to start going to the parks around here too, that's a good idea. Could do science while there as well as getting exercise (bonus!). It's just so hot here that walking to the park seems like a chore more often than not haha! 

I'm not sure if I want to stay here long term. There are things I really like about living here like the cheap medical/dental/optical, but it is also a poor country and the pay isn't very well, the shopping can be very expensive due to import taxes on products such as electronics, toys, clothing, etc. The education system isn't up to my standards. When we lived here before, my daughter's 1st grade curriculum here was what they had learned or were learning in kindergarten in the U.S. So it has it's ups and downs, I don't mind it here, but I don't think I could be one of those people who moves here and stays here for life haha!

Quoting paganbaby:

Glad to be of some help :-) Other ladies will chime in too. Just get as much info you can and go from there.

3 years in another country, wow! I can't imagine,lol. I would love to travel... Do you plan on staying out there long term?

As for P.E., we go to the park everyday for an hour and he goes to a bounce house place once a week for an hour too. He isn't too interested in art but we do a little drawing for his lapbooks and he hasn't shown an interest in an instrument yet. Although he's really into magic right now. I think a private class sounds perfect for her.

Quoting mndzjen:

Hi Annie and thank you SO much for your reply. Seriously some of the things you mentioned are things I never would have thought of (math lessons while shopping & cooking....Netflix {i'm assuming for the documentaries}.....brilliant!). 

I am relieved as I have been spending about the same amount of time daily with my daughter and we try to hit all the main subjects too. I'm sure it's normal to start out homeschooling feeling overwhelmed haha, it's a whole other ballgame! I'm really winging it down here as there isn't a whole lot of resources out there for Spanish homeschooling. I do have all the books & workbooks she would have been using this year from her school, so I have been trying to pick and choose stuff out of there for her to do daily, but it's really mundane doing that, and I'd like other more interesting, attention grabbing, thought provoking things for her as well. 

As for Mexico, I've lived here about a total of 3 years. I hop back and forth from here to the States. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm fluent in Spanish, haha, but I get by pretty well when I'm out and about running errands, shopping, getting things done without the assistance of hubby. Driving here is crazy scary though!!! :) I actually teach English as a second language down here and I think I have learned just as much Spanish from my students as they have English from me :)

**Edit

Before I forget......

What do you do about art, physical education, music, computer lab time like they generally would have in public school? I was thinking of putting my daughter in private classes to learn an instrument. 




Precious333
by Julia on Sep. 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Check out www.classicalconversations.com, they should have an explanation. A quick explanation is that there are three parts, they call it the trivium. Grammar stage is about learning the grammar for all subjects. Dialectic is learning to understand the grammar and rhetoric applying, debating and thinking logically. When children are young they are great a memorization, later they want to know the whys (dialectic) and teens love to argue and test what they have learned (rhetoric).


Quoting mndzjen:

You are absolutely right in that the world is our classroom! It is just that for all of our lives! 

I will have to Google around and learn about the 'classical method' as I'm not familiar with that term. :) 

Thank you for your reply Precious333 :)


Quoting Precious333:

There are so many ways to approach.homeschooling. i have a 5 and 7 yr old i am homeschooling and we use classical.method. our primary curriculum is classical conversations. We also have an additional math workbook and reading books as well, along with other stuff.



You can use as much or as little to homeschool though. The world around you is your classroom. Any book can be used to learn from.





JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I will tell you what I tell most people who make comments about me actually having my stuff together (which isn't completely true, BTW).  First, yes, I've done this for a long time.  Our oldest is almost 21, and is in his last year of college.  We home schooled him through 9th.  Second, the trick is to not do everything yourself: it's impossible, especially if you are working even part-time.  My husband shoulders at least half of the housework, does some of the driving, and sometimes oversees the work for the older ones (i.e., making sure that they are actually working :-) ).  As I mentioned, we have an au pair.  This is our fourth Japanese au pair -- we've had an au pair for six years.  Her two primary job duties are driving the kids to various outside activities and speaking/working with them in Japanese.  The kids have tutors for foreign language as well as outside group classes (since neither my husband or I speak Japanese or Spanish) for both language and other subjects like science and music.  Third, routines are critical.  I do my shopping  for Sunday through Thursday on Sunday and know exactly what I'm going to be cooking every day.  I buy for Friday on Friday and  take Saturday off.  Although the classes are different, the general format of what we do each weekday is the same. We follow a modified "Flylady" routine to keep things moving and in relative order (that dishwasher is emptied every morning), although I'm still fighting clutter.  And, finally, within the last few years I started putting everything into my phone -- with alarms.  It's still not easy, but it's worth it  when you see your kids talking fluently in Spanish and Japanese.  And it's taken years.  Literally (I'm in my early fifties -- yes, I had my last baby at 45).   

If you  can afford it, you might try having the two younger ones work with someone (native speaker), in a language that you want them to learn, for a couple of hours a few days a week while you work with the older one -- although from what you describe you may already be doing this with your kids.  The reason why our kids are fluent is, in part, because we started them very young playing with an adult who was instructed to speak to them only in the language we wanted them to learn.  It works very well.  Even our oldest, who didn't have the advantage of an au pair or the internet (it makes a huge difference when you can get a native teacher live on line teaching in the language or someone living in your home) was sufficiently proficient in Spanish to test out completely of the language classes at his school  (he was put into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" class which focused on Hispanic kids who spoke fluent Spanish in their home but hadn't necessarily learned how to do formal papers and presentations in Spanish).

To answer your questions:  Abacus, or "Sorban" in Japanese, is learning how to compute using an abacus.  It's actually a required subject in Japanese elementary schools (our current au pair's grandmother teaches sorban back in Japan).  The advantage is that by having the physical representation eventually the child is able to think better and faster to do calculations even without the abacus.  There are some amazing videos of teenagers in Japan who are able to add and subtract large numbers (and I'm talking about 20 individual numbers) flashed on a screen at less than a second per number.  The confidence this produces is incredible.We're fortunate that our son's Japanese school (where he attends classes in Japanese for a couple of hours two days a week) also has an abacus teacher.  So he takes an hour long abacus class each week (taught partly in Japanese and partly in English, since some children aren't fluent), but then has homework which I supervise.  The beginning of abacus is not that hard, so you might be able to do it yourself, but you'd probably want to get appropriate books and those are likely going to have to be special ordered from Japan.  You probably should also read up on how it's done.  There is a specifc order to how you do the computations, for example.  You might try contacting White Rabbit online http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/  to see if they might be able to special order materials for you.  They are a good source for everything Japanese -- although the shipping costs kill you.  You might also get good results just by teaching mental math.  There are certain techniques (which are different from pen and paper computations) that help if you are doing the work in your head.  I remember that I saw a video by  "Math Magic: Number Secrets of the Human Calculator" which explained how one did mental math calculations.  You might check that out.

The geography program that I'm using for our six-year-old is free online at http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm .  There are other games on the site, but I haven't tried them.    I try to use "Mapping the World by Heart" for the older kids -- but that requries a lot more work and preparation. 

 Good luck with your schooling this year! 

 


Quoting mndzjen:

Wow, you must be one of those moms who have homeschooled for a while because you really got your stuff together! I'm really impressed with the way you school your son :) 

I have a couple questions about the things you mentioned:

1. Abacus; is that some sort of program you have him doing, or is it literally an abacus?

2. What geography program do you use?

My issue too is that I've got 2 younger ones, so my schedule with my oldest has to accomodate the things I have to do for & with them, as well as the schooling for my her. Since my husband works long days it's usually just me here with the kids so I'm learning how to spread my time and attention out to all three of them. Most of my schooling I've been doing while the two youngest are in school, but on top of that I have students coming for private English classes so I've got them to work around too!

Thank you for your reply JKronrod, I appreciate it. :) It's nice to see how others go about teaching and their way of doing things. Great for getting ideas! 

Quoting JKronrod:

I home school our six-year-old son (almost seven), who is also in second grade.  Because I work full-time (albeit from home) and I have two older children to home school, we have to be efficient. 

Each morning,  as soon as my son gets up, my husband starts breakfast and I work with our son beginning with reading.  Usually that takes about 10 to 30 minutes depending on what we are reading.  I use McGuffey Readers and simply have him read one section out loud to me and answer some questions.  Essentially, if you don't have a ready made reader, you choose something that is slightly above his reading level and have him read it.

Then, while I take my shower, I have him do RosettaStone Japanese and a supplemental math program called IXL (essentially math games with questions).  He also can do a Geography program online if he finishes the others.

Then he has breakfast.  After breakfast, interleaved with my work, I supervise him with Singapore math (one section per day) plus flashcards (maybe 20 minutes total); Writing with Ease (one section per day) plus English for the Thoughtful Child (less than one section per day -- I have him do what I think he can handle for that day) (usually about 30 minutes); Abacus (15 minutes); Violin (maybe 10 minutes); and then alternate days he does some Hebrew reading online (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) and History (reading and time lines) (maybe 20 minutes).   I have him do Science (once a week) and language (Japanese and Spanish about 8 and 7 hours respectively every week) and religious classes outside the home -- we have our au pair drive him to those as well as work with him everyday in Japanese. 

All in all, I spend about 2 hours total each day.  He's working more than that but probably no more  than 4 hours everyday.  He's also reading books to himself which also adds to both history and science. 

I do some "quizzes" for math, but I don't think it's really necessary for other subjects at this age. 

Frankly, it doesn't take huge gobs of time to get your child to a relatively  high level.  The individual attention makes a big difference.

You might look at edhelper.com.   It's a "for fee" ($30 for a full year as I recall) but they do have reading comprehension books for Spanish-speaking students where you can create a reading booklet for an entire week's reading.  They also have math worksheets in Spanish as well, I believe.

 

 


 

mndzjen
by on Sep. 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM

I very much wish I could rely on my husband to shoulder some of the responsibility of schooling with the kids, but that's unfortunately something not happening anytime soon. He has no patience with them when it comes to schoolwork, and he's also of the mind that because he works out of the home all day that he isn't required to do anything but watch tv while he's home. Trust me, it's a huge issue we go round and round about on occasion, but I save my breath and do what I gotta do because I have to. We do have a nanny/housekeeper who is of course a Spanish native speaker, but my kids are already fluent in English/Spanish so she's really just there for cleaning, going pick them up from school if I'm busy, helping with cooking. I suppose she could help the little ones with their schoolwork though, I never thought about having her do that. Be less stress for me! 

Abacus sounds really interesting. As someone who struggled with Math while in school, I'd do anything to make it an easier & enjoyable (if possible!) subject for my children. I will have to read up on it when I get some spare time. Math is so important and if that's something I can make easier for them, I'm all for it. 

This will be my second week into homeschooling so there's still SO much I am figuring out. I'm about to do lesson plans right now so I thank you for the link to the geography website. I have to make out a list and then go shop for materials and other things we will be needing for the next couple weeks so if you can think of anything that you are glad you have, or glad you bought, found, or used please let me know! 

I hope this goes well. I am giving it a month and if I find she's doing better with me than she was in public school last year, I'll pull out my 4 year old from her preschool and school her at home too. I don't much care for the way she's being taught there as it is, they make her work out of a book most time and I think I pay too much for my child to primarily do bookwork all schoolday. 

Thanks again JKronrod, I appreciate your advice, information, opinions, and all else :) 

Quoting JKronrod:

I will tell you what I tell most people who make comments about me actually having my stuff together (which isn't completely true, BTW).  First, yes, I've done this for a long time.  Our oldest is almost 21, and is in his last year of college.  We home schooled him through 9th.  Second, the trick is to not do everything yourself: it's impossible, especially if you are working even part-time.  My husband shoulders at least half of the housework, does some of the driving, and sometimes oversees the work for the older ones (i.e., making sure that they are actually working :-) ).  As I mentioned, we have an au pair.  This is our fourth Japanese au pair -- we've had an au pair for six years.  Her two primary job duties are driving the kids to various outside activities and speaking/working with them in Japanese.  The kids have tutors for foreign language as well as outside group classes (since neither my husband or I speak Japanese or Spanish) for both language and other subjects like science and music.  Third, routines are critical.  I do my shopping  for Sunday through Thursday on Sunday and know exactly what I'm going to be cooking every day.  I buy for Friday on Friday and  take Saturday off.  Although the classes are different, the general format of what we do each weekday is the same. We follow a modified "Flylady" routine to keep things moving and in relative order (that dishwasher is emptied every morning), although I'm still fighting clutter.  And, finally, within the last few years I started putting everything into my phone -- with alarms.  It's still not easy, but it's worth it  when you see your kids talking fluently in Spanish and Japanese.  And it's taken years.  Literally (I'm in my early fifties -- yes, I had my last baby at 45).   

If you  can afford it, you might try having the two younger ones work with someone (native speaker), in a language that you want them to learn, for a couple of hours a few days a week while you work with the older one -- although from what you describe you may already be doing this with your kids.  The reason why our kids are fluent is, in part, because we started them very young playing with an adult who was instructed to speak to them only in the language we wanted them to learn.  It works very well.  Even our oldest, who didn't have the advantage of an au pair or the internet (it makes a huge difference when you can get a native teacher live on line teaching in the language or someone living in your home) was sufficiently proficient in Spanish to test out completely of the language classes at his school  (he was put into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" class which focused on Hispanic kids who spoke fluent Spanish in their home but hadn't necessarily learned how to do formal papers and presentations in Spanish).

To answer your questions:  Abacus, or "Sorban" in Japanese, is learning how to compute using an abacus.  It's actually a required subject in Japanese elementary schools (our current au pair's grandmother teaches sorban back in Japan).  The advantage is that by having the physical representation eventually the child is able to think better and faster to do calculations even without the abacus.  There are some amazing videos of teenagers in Japan who are able to add and subtract large numbers (and I'm talking about 20 individual numbers) flashed on a screen at less than a second per number.  The confidence this produces is incredible.We're fortunate that our son's Japanese school (where he attends classes in Japanese for a couple of hours two days a week) also has an abacus teacher.  So he takes an hour long abacus class each week (taught partly in Japanese and partly in English, since some children aren't fluent), but then has homework which I supervise.  The beginning of abacus is not that hard, so you might be able to do it yourself, but you'd probably want to get appropriate books and those are likely going to have to be special ordered from Japan.  You probably should also read up on how it's done.  There is a specifc order to how you do the computations, for example.  You might try contacting White Rabbit online http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/  to see if they might be able to special order materials for you.  They are a good source for everything Japanese -- although the shipping costs kill you.  You might also get good results just by teaching mental math.  There are certain techniques (which are different from pen and paper computations) that help if you are doing the work in your head.  I remember that I saw a video by  "Math Magic: Number Secrets of the Human Calculator" which explained how one did mental math calculations.  You might check that out.

The geography program that I'm using for our six-year-old is free online at http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm .  There are other games on the site, but I haven't tried them.    I try to use "Mapping the World by Heart" for the older kids -- but that requries a lot more work and preparation. 

 Good luck with your schooling this year! 



Quoting mndzjen:

Wow, you must be one of those moms who have homeschooled for a while because you really got your stuff together! I'm really impressed with the way you school your son :) 

I have a couple questions about the things you mentioned:

1. Abacus; is that some sort of program you have him doing, or is it literally an abacus?

2. What geography program do you use?

My issue too is that I've got 2 younger ones, so my schedule with my oldest has to accomodate the things I have to do for & with them, as well as the schooling for my her. Since my husband works long days it's usually just me here with the kids so I'm learning how to spread my time and attention out to all three of them. Most of my schooling I've been doing while the two youngest are in school, but on top of that I have students coming for private English classes so I've got them to work around too!

Thank you for your reply JKronrod, I appreciate it. :) It's nice to see how others go about teaching and their way of doing things. Great for getting ideas! 

Quoting JKronrod:

I home school our six-year-old son (almost seven), who is also in second grade.  Because I work full-time (albeit from home) and I have two older children to home school, we have to be efficient. 

Each morning,  as soon as my son gets up, my husband starts breakfast and I work with our son beginning with reading.  Usually that takes about 10 to 30 minutes depending on what we are reading.  I use McGuffey Readers and simply have him read one section out loud to me and answer some questions.  Essentially, if you don't have a ready made reader, you choose something that is slightly above his reading level and have him read it.

Then, while I take my shower, I have him do RosettaStone Japanese and a supplemental math program called IXL (essentially math games with questions).  He also can do a Geography program online if he finishes the others.

Then he has breakfast.  After breakfast, interleaved with my work, I supervise him with Singapore math (one section per day) plus flashcards (maybe 20 minutes total); Writing with Ease (one section per day) plus English for the Thoughtful Child (less than one section per day -- I have him do what I think he can handle for that day) (usually about 30 minutes); Abacus (15 minutes); Violin (maybe 10 minutes); and then alternate days he does some Hebrew reading online (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) and History (reading and time lines) (maybe 20 minutes).   I have him do Science (once a week) and language (Japanese and Spanish about 8 and 7 hours respectively every week) and religious classes outside the home -- we have our au pair drive him to those as well as work with him everyday in Japanese. 

All in all, I spend about 2 hours total each day.  He's working more than that but probably no more  than 4 hours everyday.  He's also reading books to himself which also adds to both history and science. 

I do some "quizzes" for math, but I don't think it's really necessary for other subjects at this age. 

Frankly, it doesn't take huge gobs of time to get your child to a relatively  high level.  The individual attention makes a big difference.

You might look at edhelper.com.   It's a "for fee" ($30 for a full year as I recall) but they do have reading comprehension books for Spanish-speaking students where you can create a reading booklet for an entire week's reading.  They also have math worksheets in Spanish as well, I believe.







JKronrod
by Bronze Member on Sep. 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM

For math -- at least supplemental -- you might try http://www.ixl.com/.  It's for fee, but my kids love it -- and it has different accounts for different kids in the family.  It covers from preschool through Alg. II.  It's drill and kill, but it's well done (my kids love the virtual "prizes" which, frankly, surprised me).  While not sufficient, again, like abacus, it's one of those things that builds confidence and speed through repetition, which is critical for math. One of the huge problems, IMO, with how they teach math in the  U.S. is that it doesn't have enough "practice".  Understanding the basics is necessary, too, but you need that speed and almost "reflex" with computation so that you don't have to think about how to do basics when you are trying  to grasp the more esoteric math concepts.  And it's  never too early for flashcards with math facts :-). 

If I think of anything  else I'll let you know, and if you have specific questions, feel free to message me. 


Quoting mndzjen:

I very much wish I could rely on my husband to shoulder some of the responsibility of schooling with the kids, but that's unfortunately something not happening anytime soon. He has no patience with them when it comes to schoolwork, and he's also of the mind that because he works out of the home all day that he isn't required to do anything but watch tv while he's home. Trust me, it's a huge issue we go round and round about on occasion, but I save my breath and do what I gotta do because I have to. We do have a nanny/housekeeper who is of course a Spanish native speaker, but my kids are already fluent in English/Spanish so she's really just there for cleaning, going pick them up from school if I'm busy, helping with cooking. I suppose she could help the little ones with their schoolwork though, I never thought about having her do that. Be less stress for me! 

Abacus sounds really interesting. As someone who struggled with Math while in school, I'd do anything to make it an easier & enjoyable (if possible!) subject for my children. I will have to read up on it when I get some spare time. Math is so important and if that's something I can make easier for them, I'm all for it. 

This will be my second week into homeschooling so there's still SO much I am figuring out. I'm about to do lesson plans right now so I thank you for the link to the geography website. I have to make out a list and then go shop for materials and other things we will be needing for the next couple weeks so if you can think of anything that you are glad you have, or glad you bought, found, or used please let me know! 

I hope this goes well. I am giving it a month and if I find she's doing better with me than she was in public school last year, I'll pull out my 4 year old from her preschool and school her at home too. I don't much care for the way she's being taught there as it is, they make her work out of a book most time and I think I pay too much for my child to primarily do bookwork all schoolday. 

Thanks again JKronrod, I appreciate your advice, information, opinions, and all else :) 

Quoting JKronrod:

I will tell you what I tell most people who make comments about me actually having my stuff together (which isn't completely true, BTW).  First, yes, I've done this for a long time.  Our oldest is almost 21, and is in his last year of college.  We home schooled him through 9th.  Second, the trick is to not do everything yourself: it's impossible, especially if you are working even part-time.  My husband shoulders at least half of the housework, does some of the driving, and sometimes oversees the work for the older ones (i.e., making sure that they are actually working :-) ).  As I mentioned, we have an au pair.  This is our fourth Japanese au pair -- we've had an au pair for six years.  Her two primary job duties are driving the kids to various outside activities and speaking/working with them in Japanese.  The kids have tutors for foreign language as well as outside group classes (since neither my husband or I speak Japanese or Spanish) for both language and other subjects like science and music.  Third, routines are critical.  I do my shopping  for Sunday through Thursday on Sunday and know exactly what I'm going to be cooking every day.  I buy for Friday on Friday and  take Saturday off.  Although the classes are different, the general format of what we do each weekday is the same. We follow a modified "Flylady" routine to keep things moving and in relative order (that dishwasher is emptied every morning), although I'm still fighting clutter.  And, finally, within the last few years I started putting everything into my phone -- with alarms.  It's still not easy, but it's worth it  when you see your kids talking fluently in Spanish and Japanese.  And it's taken years.  Literally (I'm in my early fifties -- yes, I had my last baby at 45).   

If you  can afford it, you might try having the two younger ones work with someone (native speaker), in a language that you want them to learn, for a couple of hours a few days a week while you work with the older one -- although from what you describe you may already be doing this with your kids.  The reason why our kids are fluent is, in part, because we started them very young playing with an adult who was instructed to speak to them only in the language we wanted them to learn.  It works very well.  Even our oldest, who didn't have the advantage of an au pair or the internet (it makes a huge difference when you can get a native teacher live on line teaching in the language or someone living in your home) was sufficiently proficient in Spanish to test out completely of the language classes at his school  (he was put into the "Spanish for Heritage Speakers" class which focused on Hispanic kids who spoke fluent Spanish in their home but hadn't necessarily learned how to do formal papers and presentations in Spanish).

To answer your questions:  Abacus, or "Sorban" in Japanese, is learning how to compute using an abacus.  It's actually a required subject in Japanese elementary schools (our current au pair's grandmother teaches sorban back in Japan).  The advantage is that by having the physical representation eventually the child is able to think better and faster to do calculations even without the abacus.  There are some amazing videos of teenagers in Japan who are able to add and subtract large numbers (and I'm talking about 20 individual numbers) flashed on a screen at less than a second per number.  The confidence this produces is incredible.We're fortunate that our son's Japanese school (where he attends classes in Japanese for a couple of hours two days a week) also has an abacus teacher.  So he takes an hour long abacus class each week (taught partly in Japanese and partly in English, since some children aren't fluent), but then has homework which I supervise.  The beginning of abacus is not that hard, so you might be able to do it yourself, but you'd probably want to get appropriate books and those are likely going to have to be special ordered from Japan.  You probably should also read up on how it's done.  There is a specifc order to how you do the computations, for example.  You might try contacting White Rabbit online http://shop.whiterabbitjapan.com/  to see if they might be able to special order materials for you.  They are a good source for everything Japanese -- although the shipping costs kill you.  You might also get good results just by teaching mental math.  There are certain techniques (which are different from pen and paper computations) that help if you are doing the work in your head.  I remember that I saw a video by  "Math Magic: Number Secrets of the Human Calculator" which explained how one did mental math calculations.  You might check that out.

The geography program that I'm using for our six-year-old is free online at http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm .  There are other games on the site, but I haven't tried them.    I try to use "Mapping the World by Heart" for the older kids -- but that requries a lot more work and preparation. 

 Good luck with your schooling this year! 

 

 

Quoting mndzjen:

Wow, you must be one of those moms who have homeschooled for a while because you really got your stuff together! I'm really impressed with the way you school your son :) 

I have a couple questions about the things you mentioned:

1. Abacus; is that some sort of program you have him doing, or is it literally an abacus?

2. What geography program do you use?

My issue too is that I've got 2 younger ones, so my schedule with my oldest has to accomodate the things I have to do for & with them, as well as the schooling for my her. Since my husband works long days it's usually just me here with the kids so I'm learning how to spread my time and attention out to all three of them. Most of my schooling I've been doing while the two youngest are in school, but on top of that I have students coming for private English classes so I've got them to work around too!

Thank you for your reply JKronrod, I appreciate it. :) It's nice to see how others go about teaching and their way of doing things. Great for getting ideas! 

Quoting JKronrod:

I home school our six-year-old son (almost seven), who is also in second grade.  Because I work full-time (albeit from home) and I have two older children to home school, we have to be efficient. 

Each morning,  as soon as my son gets up, my husband starts breakfast and I work with our son beginning with reading.  Usually that takes about 10 to 30 minutes depending on what we are reading.  I use McGuffey Readers and simply have him read one section out loud to me and answer some questions.  Essentially, if you don't have a ready made reader, you choose something that is slightly above his reading level and have him read it.

Then, while I take my shower, I have him do RosettaStone Japanese and a supplemental math program called IXL (essentially math games with questions).  He also can do a Geography program online if he finishes the others.

Then he has breakfast.  After breakfast, interleaved with my work, I supervise him with Singapore math (one section per day) plus flashcards (maybe 20 minutes total); Writing with Ease (one section per day) plus English for the Thoughtful Child (less than one section per day -- I have him do what I think he can handle for that day) (usually about 30 minutes); Abacus (15 minutes); Violin (maybe 10 minutes); and then alternate days he does some Hebrew reading online (maybe 5 to 10 minutes) and History (reading and time lines) (maybe 20 minutes).   I have him do Science (once a week) and language (Japanese and Spanish about 8 and 7 hours respectively every week) and religious classes outside the home -- we have our au pair drive him to those as well as work with him everyday in Japanese. 

All in all, I spend about 2 hours total each day.  He's working more than that but probably no more  than 4 hours everyday.  He's also reading books to himself which also adds to both history and science. 

I do some "quizzes" for math, but I don't think it's really necessary for other subjects at this age. 

Frankly, it doesn't take huge gobs of time to get your child to a relatively  high level.  The individual attention makes a big difference.

You might look at edhelper.com.   It's a "for fee" ($30 for a full year as I recall) but they do have reading comprehension books for Spanish-speaking students where you can create a reading booklet for an entire week's reading.  They also have math worksheets in Spanish as well, I believe.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

mndzjen
by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 12:13 AM

I am loving the Sheppards Software website for geography! It'll be so helpful. We are going pick up a giant blank map of Mexico and the U.S. this week at the school supply store so this site will tie right in with my lesson plans very nicely!

Will also give a month of IXL a try :) The website looks nice, more professional than a lot of the other ones I've been looked at. Probably shouldn't judge a site by it's homepage, but I'm not really going to waste my time on a site with janky graphics and a cluttered layout.

I have flashcards on my list, a large multiplication table, and I don't recall what else. I'll be in touch I'm sure :) Thanks again :)

Quoting JKronrod:

For math -- at least supplemental -- you might try http://www.ixl.com/.  It's for fee, but my kids love it -- and it has different accounts for different kids in the family.  It covers from preschool through Alg. II.  It's drill and kill, but it's well done (my kids love the virtual "prizes" which, frankly, surprised me).  While not sufficient, again, like abacus, it's one of those things that builds confidence and speed through repetition, which is critical for math. One of the huge problems, IMO, with how they teach math in the  U.S. is that it doesn't have enough "practice".  Understanding the basics is necessary, too, but you need that speed and almost "reflex" with computation so that you don't have to think about how to do basics when you are trying  to grasp the more esoteric math concepts.  And it's  never too early for flashcards with math facts :-). 

If I think of anything  else I'll let you know, and if you have specific questions, feel free to message me. 


coala
by Silver Member on Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Welcome!!  I have a 7 yo who will be starting 2nd grade in January when we officially start back.  Right now we are kind of winging it.  I have them working on a project about the United States which has them reading, writting, learning geopgraphy, and history.  They are working on level appropriate math...oldest is working on Multiplication and youngest on addition and subtraction.  As my oldest is grasping the multiplication we are slowly discussing what division is. We added in Science over the weekend by using Wild Kratz on Netflix.  We will get more into this this week.  They also read for a minimum of 30 mins a day.  We are doing more writting with our science and I am teaching them how to form sentences properly and working on proper grammar.  We are not doing anything as far as spelling goes as they are having to remember what they have learned for phonics to sound out words and write them properly.  Life in general is a classroom and take advantage of it.  As far a PE goes...we do swimming lessons twice a week, and we are at the roller skating rink 3 days a week for several hours and on Thursday we have to get in a minimum of 30 mins of intense cardio ("homework" give by speed skating coach as our Thursdays at the rink have been cut).  We are planning to go to the library at least once every 2 weeks....as it is a good drive from our house and I have to find time to fit it in while I work from home.

You've been given a ton of great ideas.  I hope you can pull something together to help keep her going until your schools are back in session.  BTW my kids work on things are different times during the day.  We have not set time to get anything done.  They play then read for a bit.  Just as long as things are done by bed time I'm happy.

mndzjen
by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Thank you coala :)

I feel more confident this week as far as lessons and when/what we are doing :) I appreciate your comment and insight on how you do schooling with your children. I am trying to do 2 hours in the morning and two in the afternoon with her. 

I might just bite the financial bullet and enroll her in a private school though come October and just homeschool part-time so she stays on top of things and doesn't fall behind. I'm taking on a lot of students for my private English classes and it's getting harder to find time to lesson plan for her, my students, homework with the two little ones, plus do my classes and her schooling on top of errands, shopping and all else :) I still want the individual time with her for things such as Math and Science as I don't agree with how it's taught here. :)

Quoting coala:

Welcome!!  I have a 7 yo who will be starting 2nd grade in January when we officially start back.  Right now we are kind of winging it.  I have them working on a project about the United States which has them reading, writting, learning geopgraphy, and history.  They are working on level appropriate math...oldest is working on Multiplication and youngest on addition and subtraction.  As my oldest is grasping the multiplication we are slowly discussing what division is. We added in Science over the weekend by using Wild Kratz on Netflix.  We will get more into this this week.  They also read for a minimum of 30 mins a day.  We are doing more writting with our science and I am teaching them how to form sentences properly and working on proper grammar.  We are not doing anything as far as spelling goes as they are having to remember what they have learned for phonics to sound out words and write them properly.  Life in general is a classroom and take advantage of it.  As far a PE goes...we do swimming lessons twice a week, and we are at the roller skating rink 3 days a week for several hours and on Thursday we have to get in a minimum of 30 mins of intense cardio ("homework" give by speed skating coach as our Thursdays at the rink have been cut).  We are planning to go to the library at least once every 2 weeks....as it is a good drive from our house and I have to find time to fit it in while I work from home.

You've been given a ton of great ideas.  I hope you can pull something together to help keep her going until your schools are back in session.  BTW my kids work on things are different times during the day.  We have not set time to get anything done.  They play then read for a bit.  Just as long as things are done by bed time I'm happy.



tonyanamelia
by on Sep. 30, 2013 at 6:36 PM
1 mom liked this

I use Abeka Book. It's an amazing program and very thorough. But it's primarly English. There are online programs like Time for Learning (which I love) but I'm not sure if they have a spanish version or not. It's online so there is no need for doing your own things (but I do both computer AND book school so there is more to challenge my daughter). Honestly, the time frame for schooling is really based on each student. Some students do better getting it all done at once during their peak time of attention. Other students do better taking a good 8 hours to do school on and off with lots of breaks. Me and my daughter usually do alot of book school in the morning and then some computer school in the afternoon. (most every one in our family has a computer-based job so I want my children to be profficient in both hand-written and digital mediums.) I think whatever you decide, you'll be able to see if she is challenged or not. The trick is to get and use material that is both challengeing and manageable at her age. If you are not sure what to do for her age level, choose a good self-contained curriculum that has done all that work for you! ;) Everyone has their favorite style of homeschooling, and I love mine. Not to brag, but my daughter is actually a year ahead in school (she is on the gifted side). I started schooling her when she was 2 years old because she wantd to start then. She did the nursery program at 2, then the four year old program at 3, then the kindergarten program at 4, and then 1st grade at 5, and now she is in second grade at six! My son on the other hand is just where he should be in acedemics, at 3 years old. Every student is different, some learn quickly, while others need more help along. You will quickly learn as you work with her what type you'd like to pursue. And after 5 years of homeschooling mine (and a degree & teaching experience in a middle-school), I still have goals and things I'd like to change about the way I teach. It's always a work-in-progress. Sorry if this is too much info!

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