09-11-2006, 06:55 PM
We don't plan on buying a curriculum the first few years of homeschooling. There is so much stuff in our libraries, internet, and things to do around that I dont' see us having a need to drop money on a pre-planned curriculum.
Have anyof you done this? How much time did it take to make a daily or weekly plan? How often did you plan - daily, weekly, monthly - how long in advance did you plan your lessons? Did you make your own worksheets?
I have found sooo many helpful links (visit www.motherhoodnaturally.com/info.htm to download 2 word documents with tons of links) online and so many great worksheets and activities to print out and use, I think I may be set as far as worksheets and whatnot.
Any good resource for planning homechool curriculums online? Books? Anything?
09-11-2006, 07:27 PM
What kind of schooling do you plan on doing?? classical?
We're starting on Charlotte Mason this year. Using Ambleside Online (http://www.amblesideonline.org/New.shtml) The curriculum is free, but you buy LOTS of books. As far as preschool, we did Letter of the Week (http://letteroftheweek.com/). It was fun, easy, and free.
I had planned on just making my own curriculum for the next year or two, but decided to go with Charlotte Mason when I found AO. :)
09-12-2006, 06:07 AM
"school in a box" wouldn't work here. My oldest has autism. He's 8. His skills are scattered. My 2nd is 7 and (I am not boasting, its just the truth of things) gifted. But also resistant to some things, so we use multi-level materials for her as well. My 3rd is 3 and I try really hard not to teach him anything but play-dough... but he can read/write/spell a dozen words already.
I buy the fat multi-subject school workbooks at Sams Club/Costco and take what I need from those. I never use the whole book. I buy workbooks at teacher supply stores. I ignore their grade levels and look through and see if it works with MY kids and MY style. We get loads of resources from the library and internet.
I'm just going to c/p from another board here. They had asked me about state testing/homeschooling.
(Connor is my 8yr old)
Michigans testing is called MEAP. I CAN participate in it, but don't have to. We haven't done MEAP testing, but may opt to at some point. As it is I am confident he and Skye are both doing very well and learning at least as much as their traditionally schooled peers. HSing is MUCH easier now. The kids do a lot of it on their own. I buy the books and they set up their "packets" (with guidance). We add some actual instruction, lots of reading, and so on. But they can do most of their packs most days without my input.
Yesterday Connor's pack had
1. a reading comprehension selection based on the invention of the telephone
2. a cursive lesson: copying a paragraph on ancient astronomers in cursive
3. a sheet on subjects and predicates and the other side simple vs complete subjects and predicates with bonus points for finding the homonyms, homophones, antonyms and synonyms.
4.a language sheet on paragraphs: following the topic sentence, writing supporting sentences, using proofreaders marks, expanding sentences with descriptive marks. (it starts with a paragraph and he crosses out the sentence that doesn't follow the topic sentence, underlines the topic sentence, corrects spelling and punctuation, then re-writes adding 2 supporting sentences and using descriptive words to expand 2 exiting sentences, with correct spelling and punctuation.
5. a map section, he learns about mapping routes, estimating distances, using a scale, measuring and adding to find the shortest route, using the map key, etc. Its review for him, but he likes map pages.
6.math: a page of story problems on multiplication and division. The reverse is division problems and then you graph the answers which creates a picture of a star when done properly.
7. a page of logic problems, because those are just plain fun and he's ready for a fun page by then. The back is a maze, cause those just make him happy.
8.a compare and contrast sheet on butterflies and moths using Venn diagrams
9. a page on Alliterations after reading several samples, the back side is shape poems
10. a page converting fractions to decimals and then decimals to fractions. Bonus: translate decimals into percentages.
He completed each of those unassisted. The handwriting is terrible (but cursive is better) and he still flips his letters but we're trying to deal with and get testing etc for dyslexia. We corrected the pages together, his only mistakes were based on reversals and sometimes he throws in a capital letter where it doesn't belong.
He read 3 chapters in Moby **** but thinks he might like to read something else next week. He used a lemon to light up a light bulb, and then he played with worms and did some crayon rubbings and used a book to learn how to draw a tiger, then he drew a skeleton picture of each of us
Anyway so yesterday was REALLY easy for me since all I had to do was redirect him sometimes and check over the completed pack.
(then came some "thats too much work!" and "how can you make time for the other kids?" and "what about Loch and his constant medical issues/care?" and here's my reply to that. Skye is 7, Trew is 3, Lochlan is 19 months and medically complicated)
its REALLY easy. I SWEAR it is easier than the race to get everyone off to traditional school. The hard part: Buying Good Books.
We have learned that we prefer "consumables" so I look harder for ones that the kids just write in. Then I mentally plan what I want covered. I pull out those books. I set up a sample pack and flip through it twice. If I like it then I pull over that child. They MUCH prefer to "pick their own homework" So I show them what to do. It sounds something like this: you need a green topped Language, a blue-topped language and either an orange or a yellow topped English page. You need one sheet from each of these math books, and one from Young Scholars Literature selections. Choose a map page, but look carefully, if its a 2-page map pull out both pages. You need a handwriting sheet. You can choose a fun sheet from "What now Teacher?" and one from "brain games for the road" On your front page (this is a blank lined page) write a science book page, a social studies or young biographies selection number, and a Trew-Thing (the bigs have a drawer of books to read to Trew, games to play with him, and cards of other activities he enjoys they each do one with him. They LOVE this, HE loves this, and I use that time to work with the other kid on any trouble spots). They pick their pages and staple them. We set up 10-20 packs at a time. That covers 2-4 weeks. A good book has good directions so I find they need surprisingly little "teaching" We often do science, history, and atlas/culture lessons together. They choose their own reading material for the most part. We do book reports and discuss what they read. I read aloud most days, but thats not school- thats just evening entertainment.
So once the school books are bought there is lesson planning and then the pack-making. But like I said we make up the packs together and thats somehow "fun" for them
Yesterday I spent about 15 minutes actively involved in Connor's education and about 20 with Skye. A lot of their education, the "important part" in my opinion, is done AFTER the packs are completed. Its Connor teaching himself Spanish and chess because he wants too. Its the experiments he makes up on his own. It's learning to google things. Its the books he reads in his free time. Its art- he's into drawing skeletons this week and is figuring out how to get the bones all the right length and how to pose them. Instead of peaple "standing straight" he draws skeletons riding bikes, skateboarding, dancing, carrying babies, eating spaghetti (with noodles tangled in the ribs and meatballs falling out onto the floor ) he's teaching himself to draw animal skeletons too. It has made him curious and so next week he wants to check out books on bones from the library. He saw a facial reconstruction on some show (I forget what but Chris was flipping channels one night and called Connor out of bed to see it knowing he'd think it was great) with the pegs and clay on a skull. He thinks he'd like to buy a plastic skull and google the peg placement and sizes and get some clay and try to do that.
Trew is 3 so I don't do academics with him. He begs for homework sometimes so I have preschool workbooks he can "play with". He knows how to type in his username (Train25) and his password (Sadie25) to get into Webkins World. He can read/write/spell Mom, dad, Connor, Skye, Trew, Lochlan, love, Sadie, Java, yes, no, Thomas, train, Percy and pizza. I only taught him "Trew" on purpose. The rest he just picks up. He wants to read and I told him not this year. So last week he came downstairs with a piece of paper and a smug look. he says "well HA Ha I know a thing you said I couldn't know but I KNOW IT NOW and you can't unknow my head! so HA HA HA" I said "oh really? what secret thing do you know now?" and he said "ha ha ha I know that the letters SOUNDS are how you can spell a word! HA! so you can listen REALLLLLLY slow and you can hear the letters and write them and have a word! and I HAVE A WORD IN MY HANDS! HA!" I asked what word. He said "kkkkkkkkkkkkkk hear it? C says that and K says that but Connor told me my word uses C and I believe him because he had his nice face on. now AAAAAAAAAAAA see? the A sounds scared! and t-t-t is SO EASY thats a tapping T like in MY name and in Thomas's name and in train too! so I heard kkkkkkkkk aaaaaaaaaaaa tttttttttttt and I put C and A and T on here and I have a word! I have cat! I know CAT and so HA I read it by myself" He's so funny about it all.
Skye is much more challenging. She's decided she doesn't "like" reading- but really just loathes being TOLD to read. I buy her books and think I've done a good job and then her pack is finished and perfect in 45 minutes or less. Often less. Much less. I am ALWAYS underestimating her abilities. I think that triple digit subtraction should be "hard enough" and she zips through. Pages of vers/nouns. Everything I pull out. I end up having to give her one of Connors packs "by accident" if I want her to sit still for an hour. She multiplies and divides and is learning cursive as well. She is capable of EVERY kind of work I set in front of her. It's difficult to push her mind while respecting her age if that makes sense.
They can do homework packs while I nurse Loch or even lay down with him. They do schoolwork while Chris is asleep and I take Loch to appointments. If they get stuck they know to move on to the next page.
It sounds like a lot I guess- but seriously its EASY and fun. It also gives us WAY more free time together then traditionally schooled families. Without the interruptions of 20 kids, without lining up for different classes, without assembly and fire drills and 6 kids asking the same question we can get through the material a LOT faster.
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