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What Worked, What Didn't?

Posted by on Apr. 18, 2017 at 3:22 PM
  • 9 Replies

Looking back at the last year of homeschooling, what worked for you, what didn't?  (Curriculums, schedules, methods, whatever...going really broad here.)


by on Apr. 18, 2017 at 3:22 PM
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Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Apr. 18, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Sharing my own answer to this...

Starting a month early in summer in stead of working late to catch up...that was GREAT.  So much better.

Adding my middle child as a homeschooler...didn't work.  :-(   Public school works for him and we're sticking with that.

Story of the World continues to work...in fact, it's working better for us than it even did a year ago, as my son's attention span grows.  I was wondering last year if he was retaining anything, but this year I'm seeing how the built in "review" (where the author will refer back to places and events already covered) helps with that.   And the  times I've used other sources (like for a few things she skipped over that I wanted to cover) have made me appreciate how good her writing is...how it keeps my son engaged. 

What isn't working as well as I hoped was doing Story of the World in co-op.  I thought it would be great to do activities with other kids, but mostly my son hasn't wanted to participate much, and mainly only wanted to go to play with the other kids after SOTW was over.  And it all went kabust half way through the year anyways as parents got overloaded with other things.    Though, frankly, the times I taught I really enjoyed it...made me remember what I love about teaching groups.

Math U See continued to not work for us...except the manipulatives, which I used apart from the lessons.  Addition Facts that Work and Subtraction Facts that Work, true to the name, is working!

All About Spelling continues to rock.

Ditching the readers and using Piggie and Elephant books in stead (which he loves), ROCKS.

Combining science and history whenever possible has been going great!

Involving my teen by paying him to make funny educational powerpoints to teach  lessons to my youngest...LOVING THAT!   He's saving up for something and it is totally worth the money spent. 


AutasticMomx2
by Member on Apr. 18, 2017 at 9:13 PM
Paying your teen to make power points is genious!!!

Not much worked for us and we are sending him back to school. One thing that did work was putting sight words on the ground and having him search for the one I say.
Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Apr. 19, 2017 at 12:19 AM

So sorry it didn't work out for you.  I know that must have been a hard decision (wen't through that decision with my middle child... )

Quoting AutasticMomx2: Paying your teen to make power points is genious!!! Not much worked for us and we are sending him back to school. One thing that did work was putting sight words on the ground and having him search for the one I say.


AutasticMomx2
by Member on Apr. 19, 2017 at 8:36 AM
Thanks. What hurt most is how much of my personal life I sacrificed to homeschool him for him to be bratty and complaining all day everyday. But I know he's just a kid, so we will move on. He blew his chance of us ever homeschooling again though :(

Quoting Scribbleprints:

So sorry it didn't work out for you.  I know that must have been a hard decision (wen't through that decision with my middle child... )

Quoting AutasticMomx2: Paying your teen to make power points is genious!!!

Not much worked for us and we are sending him back to school. One thing that did work was putting sight words on the ground and having him search for the one I say.

Leissaintexas
by Silver Member on Apr. 19, 2017 at 9:18 AM
2 moms liked this
What worked: ditching most formal curriculum entirely for my 14 yr old and trusting him to teach himself what he needed, when he needed. He's so much more invested in his own learning when I stay out of his way.

What didn't work: trying the same thing with my 16 yr old DD. She needs structure and textbooks and deadlines. Weird kid lol.
gramabrenda
by Member on Apr. 20, 2017 at 4:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Last year we had a neighbor child as a part of our homeschool because the parents needed extra help on the basic-reading, writing and 'rithmatic- they were supposed to do the other subjects. They didn't follow thru and my grandson had a very successful year completing the first grade and going 1/2 year into the 2nd. The neighbor child got thru about 1/2 of the first grade. But I let my grandson help teach her and that worked for both of them.

This year we homeschool with just the grandson and the neighbor child is homeschooled by her parents. My grandson did not do as well alone so we have the neighbor child come for 2 hours on Tues. My grandson looks forward to this time and they enjoy the basic skills/cooperation/social skills/reinforcing activities we do.

He now goes to chess on Thursday and plays with a group of elderly men who are teaching way more than chess. Taking Karate lessons and being active in church activities are helping to round him out.

The behavior chart he used in public kindergarten is helping with the behavior and he can earn privileges by staying at the top of the chart.

Having a schedule and mostly sticking to it has helped a lot. I have used a lot of my education in counseling/education in working with him. It is interesting to see what I learned in textbooks come alive. Understanding his developmental stages has really helped. Sometimes the best part of the school time is just hearing his viewpoint on the subject, respecting his views and teaching him to respect mine.

Respect has been a big issue with us this year and he lets me know when I am not respecting him just as I do him. But I insist that he let me know with proper respect for the fact that I am the teacher and he is the student. Sometimes I get blindsided and realize he really is right.

I also offer homeschool support to some other students and the main advice I give to them is:

1. Remember not everyday will be perfect, each day may surprise you.

2. Eat the elephant one bite at the time

3. Sometimes you have to adjust the wiggle room

4. Relax and enjoy the blessings of learning with your child, sometimes your attitude is the most important one and there are times when everyone needs an attitude adjustment. Finding ways that work to adjust attitudes are precious jewels to be pulled out and used over and over.

5. The best thing for your child is what helps them to become the man or woman God created them to become. The Bible teaches good character. 

collinsmommy0
by Kim on Apr. 21, 2017 at 11:50 PM
What worked for us includes:
1. Having a daily routine and doing homeschool in the morning
2. Working at our pace (both my kids are way ahead of public school kids now & my oldest is just finishing kinder)
3. Working on the Monday holidays. Sounds weird but it kept us to our routine & now we are mostly done and it's not even May yet
4. Going through a charter. It's been great for us and has paid for so many activities and classes.

What didn't work:
1. Making plans in the morning with friends. We need to be home in the morning.
2. Gymnastics. My kids spent most of the time sick when we did them


That's about it. We've had a great year of homeschooling. My 5 year old has a lot of anxiety and I don't see him being successful in a big class environment.
luvmyfidgets
by New Member on Apr. 22, 2017 at 8:29 AM
I am switching a few things for next year:

1. I am going back to using Saxon math instead of Khan Academy. It's a great program but I need to have a more physical way to check their work and make sure they're getting it done.

2. I am going to use Mystery of History again. We used it in the past and we loved it but the last book wasn't done yet so we had to use something else. But I want to use it again.

3. For science I want to get something for us to do more experiments, since my daughter requested it.

Other than that we are keeping everything else and our routine. I just need to get back to being more hands-on with them and making sure they are doing their work and stuff.
coala
by Gold Member on May. 6, 2017 at 8:19 PM
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We have been using the same curriculum for 6 years now and it seems to be doing very well for both of my kids.  They both really need the structure that this provides.

What we have been working on with my YDD is helping to teach her study skills.  What I hadn't really paid attention to was that she is 8 and working at a 4th grade level.  I hadn't put two and two together to understand that I had the mind of a 2nd grader and was expecting 10 yo independence.  We have now built a system that she uses.  I wrote out the questions and key words on index cards and labeled section by section for the entire 9 weeks.  This has worked because she will read the section and then grab the cards and fill them in.  She is also working on being organized.  This is something that she struggles with and the struggle she comes by naturally (dad and I aren't that organized in our own offices).  She is getting better and we are seeing the efforts of our work pay off in the increase in her grades and the completeness of her work.

The other thing I decided to do this year was try to fill in their progress reports weekly.  I am trying to get them to bring me their tests and quizes as they complete them.  I am also trying to have them graded by lunch, so they get them back the same day.  So far it is working!!!  I am realizing that I have to put about an hour into each child's stuff at the end of the week to get things organized.  In the past I was doing it all at the end of each marking period and it would take 8-10 hours per child to get it all taken care of.

I've also decided to help my kids understand where they are better by doing a weekly progress report and averaging out their current grade.  This seems to keep them motivated and striving to do better the next week.

What hasn't worked for us is getting out and doing more field trips.  Everytime we schedule one we have to back out.  My kids absolutely detest any homeschooling event.  They want to hang with the speed skating kids because they have more in common with them.  I just think it's because they spend so much time with each other that they know everyone better.

We are only 15 weeks into our school year, so I'm sure things will continue to change and fluctuate.  This year seems to be going well so far with the changes we have made.

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