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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

i have a question..................

Posted by on Jan. 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM
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I know homeschool is not suppose to be like public School but we haven't been doing "traditional" or formal lessons every day. My question is.....is that bad? Are they missing out? How do some of you other homeschooling Moms do lessons? The state we live in has no real requirements but I want to make sure I am not doing wrong by my kids!
by on Jan. 28, 2014 at 2:51 PM
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KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:19 PM
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Honestly, you could get a massive array of responses as nearly every HS family arranges schedules/lessons differently. We are technically unschoolers so we do it way off the walll


Chasing3
by Bronze Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 3:32 PM
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i dunno. I'm interested to see what other people reply.

I've definately been doing what looks a lot like "school at home" but then I am also trying to do a bit of remediation to bring math and other essential skills up to speed. So, I kinda don't know how I would accomplish these goals without a fair amount of daily practice.

But I have gotten a little relaxed, for example saying watching a BBC series on the planets counts as science, in some areas and am starting to wonder if it matters? Should I be requiring more of what looks like typical school work in those areas? But on the flip side, I worry I allow too much of nothing - like tv and ipad use - so it's not like I'm replacing some of those school type activities with a ton of fabulous, hands-on, exploratory, child-led learning activities. 

But, we don't have sit-down, school-looking lessons every day either. Like today half the day was at the gym, and tomorrow is a museum class, friday is a field trip to a place that prints braille books... 

romacox
by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:21 PM
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A  wise lady here on Cafemom home school group answers your question very well:

My Journey From Public School Teacher To Home School Mom

Grade Level Requirements can help you make decisions, but remember that each child is unique...one size does not fit all. 

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:23 PM
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We lots of outside activities too. Minr have drama, art, robotics, and a games/pe type class all on thursdays.

But still we strive for actual school work too. The older two do math, spelling, literature, science, and social studies. However we are only just starting chapter 3 in social studies.

So yes... academics pays the price for being over booked.
bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM
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How old are your kids?  When you say not every day, do you mean 3 days a week?

School can look like so many different things.  You might not be missing out at all and then again, you might.  There are unschoolers that don't do anything that really looks like school at home, yet they have children who are academically thriving.  There are people on the other end of the spectrum that set up mini-classrooms and have the kids take their lessons in their desks and raise their hands to speak that also have kids thriving.

Only you can answer what school should look like in your house.

I guess my only suggestion would be to do some diagnostic tests maybe once a year.  It may make you feel better about your choices or help you see anything that is missing from your school setting.

usmom3
by BJ on Jan. 28, 2014 at 4:32 PM
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 This, we are unschoolers too so we do things very different! You should take advantage of living in a state that dose not regulate you to death. If your children are learning & wanting to learn more then you are doing it right!

Quoting KickButtMama:

Honestly, you could get a massive array of responses as nearly every HS family arranges schedules/lessons differently. We are technically unschoolers so we do it way off the walll


 

AutymsMommy
by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 5:02 PM
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Well, we're more traditionally scholastic, but it depends on your child's age. My middle son is only 4 and only does lessons a few days a week, but next year at age 5, he'll do them daily. I wouldn't be comfortable with less than that, personally. Barring, of course, outings, errands, sick days, etc.

I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff:  we're Catholic, we're conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol).             Aimee















Truluv4ever
by Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 7:20 PM
Thanks for your reply! Could you elaborate a little more on unschooling? Or how you do it?

Quoting KickButtMama:

Honestly, you could get a massive array of responses as nearly every HS family arranges schedules/lessons differently. We are technically unschoolers so we do it way off the walll


Truluv4ever
by Member on Jan. 28, 2014 at 7:22 PM
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Thank You!

Quoting romacox:

A  wise lady here on Cafemom home school group answers your question very well:

My Journey From Public School Teacher To Home School Mom

Grade Level Requirements can help you make decisions, but remember that each child is unique...one size does not fit all. 

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Jan. 28, 2014 at 7:25 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Truluv4ever: Thanks for your reply! Could you elaborate a little more on unschooling? Or how you do it?

Quoting KickButtMama:

Honestly, you could get a massive array of responses as nearly every HS family arranges schedules/lessons differently. We are technically unschoolers so we do it way off the walll


A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post called 'Defining Our Homeschool'. It was a generalization of what we were doing as Child-Led learners. Now that some time has passed we are even more secure in our style of education, so I thought I should update exactly what that means for everyone. I, personally, dislike the term unschooled. This is primarily because so many have used this term to mean Non-School, or Anti-Schooling. This conjures the idea of kids sitting around watching tv or playing video games all day every day. These kids often never learn to read or do arithmetic. This is by FAR the exact opposite of what goes on in our house. We treat school like college. I make lists of subjects the kids get to choose from - creative writing, chemistry, French, Latin, German, etc. The kids get to choose subjects - just like college kids choose from the course catalog. They must choose at least one from each subject type - writing, reading, foreign languages, science, etc. Furthermore, we do co-operative schools twice per week. I will usually teach 2 classes, from the subject list the kids chose. For instance, my eldest is interested in learning German and a much more in depth study of Ancient Egyptian mythology (this is an ongoing quest as, over the last few years we've done Greek and Roman, as well as Chinese myths.). My youngest is interested in Chemistry and computer programming. So I'll be offering all these classes at our co-ops (each co-op has 4-5 class periods).


Furthermore, my kids are not allowed to watch tv or play video games between the hours of 10 and 3. They also have to earn enough Behavior Bucks to rent each item from us. You can read more about our Behavior Bucks System as well.


Step 1: Subject Options: How do I make my subject lists? 


 I've made a 3 ring binder that has all the scope & sequences for every grade k-12. I separate it by subject instead of grade. So Language Arts, Foreign Language, Math, Science, etc. I use these as my bible, so to speak. I make subject lists based on what we haven't yet covered. When we cover something unexpected, then I'll go back and highlight it so I know we've covered it. For instance, last year the kids found an unhatched goose egg, and they spent a week researching goose reproduction and farming. One of the joys of child-led learning is that the kids can choose to follow those educational rabbit holes! But for the bulk of our education I will make up reading lists, and subject lists. So, it might be that they've done all the subjects for science for several grades (solar system, basic machines, etc), so I can easily sip ahead to whatever grades they haven't yer done. When doing this first foray into determining the kids interests I usually pick 2-3 grades of topics. Then I write out the subjects - DNA, Reproduction, Environmentalism, etc. Just keeping it general. So even though the scope & sequences get pretty specific, I keep things general at this stage.


Step 2: Materials: How do I find them?


Once they've chosen - poetry, let's say - I'll then delve into finding multiple sources of materials - books, websites, pod casts, videos, games, etc. The children then get to choose which material they would like to try. Again I refer back to the scope & sequences. Not that I care so much if the kids are doing every step for a certain grade, but just as a reference or guide for the type of materials I need to look for. Google Search is one of my favorite resources, as is Pintrest. I can find tons of materials ideas from there. I usually search for free materials. We can't afford to pay for much in the way of paid curriculum. And I've rarely found the need for it. This semester we will be trying something a little different. Since I will be teaching once per week at a high-school level co-op the kids will need to have easily carried curriculum they can bring to keep them busy. So the kids will be doing time4learning as well as StudiesWeekly. Studies Weekly is a weekly newspaper - we got it for social studies and science - 2 subjects a little weak in T4L in my opinion. So the children will have actual curriculum. This means they won't be choosing as much material based curriculum as usual.


Once I gather the various materials, the kids choose which ones to use. Sometimes, they end up hating the type of material. This just means they go back to the list of materials and choose something else. Since it's all their own choice there is a lot less arguments or dragging of feet.


Step 3: Scheduling: Does it really exist???


Yeah, this is the age old question for the homeschooler. Scheduling can be a serious source of anxiety for us teachers. The thing is, schedules are for my own piece of mind. The kids usually do everything possible to ruin and carefully outlined schedule I put together. But with an eldest on the Autism Spectrum, we need some kind of schedule we can stick to. So, while I'd love to have a schedule broken down minute by minute - like a college schedule, that doesn't seem to work. Ack! Instead, I have a general schedule.


Monday & Friday - Learning Time 10am-3pm (no electronics unless it's for learning) Time4Learning 1 hour, Reading 1 hour, the rest of the time they focus on whatever subjects chosen in steps 1 & 2.


Tuesday - Co-op


Wednesday - mom teaches, so they do time4learning, Brain Pop, & studies weekly


Thursday - we do grocery shopping w/ my father so we don't do a lot of school work, just time4learning & Brain Pop & light reading.


Weekends - they usually do about 1 hour of learning per day, usually their favorite subjects. (like the computer programming)


Step 4: Progression, Testing? Judgement??


The only tests my kids have ever done are the quizzes on time4learning and brain pop. Otherwise we don't finish a subject until the kids are able to grasp it. This is called 'mastery' - once they can converse intelligently about a subject then we can choose to move on. There's no need for a test since, essentially, they'd get all A's. If they would have failed a test then that would mean they hadn't yet mastered the subject, so we'd still be working on it...understand? Tests are more for the teachers to judge if all the kids in the room are on the same page. Since we work one-on-one it's redundant. Conversely, my kids look on in confusion when asked what grade they are in. We don't fit into those kind of pre-conceived boxes. For instance, my 12 & 9 y/o's have already finished high school Latin. My 12 y/o is doing high school level algebra & geometry this year (he loves math & science). Both kids are doing chemistry...which isn't an elementary school level subject. But they are both on par with their public school peers for reading, writing, language arts, and social studies. I don't plan on them ever having to go to public school, so this haphazard style is ok. If I ever planned on public school, then I might want a curriculum style that fit more like theirs.


When my kids master a subject, they go back to the list and choose another. Sometimes this means going through up to 3 grade levels a year in one subject. As long as the kids are mastering the subject and loving it, then I don't slow them down with tons of review or repetition. I will have a lot of conversations though where we discuss how we learned such-n-such and how that might help us on this next endeavor.


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