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Old 10-03-2012, 07:51 AM   #1
zacifer
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Overwhelmed yet again

HI Mamas. This is our 3rd year homeschooling. We like unschooling practices, but have basically been forced to do them b/c life over the last 3 years has been one trial after the other. There were a few times I had health issues and just couldn't keep up with a curriculum. That was fine for that season, but I'm getting stressed out b/c I have a 7 year old who is slow going, needs motivation, and is very timid. I call him a 1st grader even though he's 2nd grade age and this is his 3rd year. He would have been a great candidate for the whole older boy Kinder thing. So anyways, I NEED some sort of plan!!!! I'm due with our 4th and need something simple where we can sit down and basically cross the core stuff off the list for the day. I hate to say that, but that's where we are. We need to develope a good foundation (never have) and then kind of find our way from there. I've tried MFW, Sonlight, Abeka, doing our own mama made unit studies (too much work for me right now), and unschooling. Abeka was too hard for him, I honestly wasn't fond of MFW (same thing over and over), and Sonlight was great but so pricey and hard to let him go at his own speed (he wanted to study the vickings a bit longer, for example). I am timid to buy a full curriculum b/c we love Math u see and hooked on phonics and are using those both right now. We also do our own handwriting. So for the core stuff, I feel like we're covered. Suggestions on easily laid out plans for filling in the gaps? History, science, etc? PLEASE HELP!

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Old 10-03-2012, 09:34 AM   #2
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Honestly, we do curriculum for math and reading and unschool for everything else in elementary. I would focus on those two core curriculums that you like and then get library books for the rest. I enjoy seeing the books my kids pick out. I let them get books with lots of pictures if they want and then make sure to discuss the captions (like DK books). Sometimes if they are overwhelmed by too many options we all pick an anatomy book and then share and compare. Sometimes all archeology or engineering or inventions or a specific historical period.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

Have you tried www.time4learning.com? There are some threads here where people have shared their experiences with that program. We signed up for it b/c of those threads and b/c I'm a bit like you . We've tried a lot of the same programs you said you tried...SonLight (a lot of reading), Math U See (which we like too), First Language Lessons (which we also like), KONOS, and a few others like Lesson Pathways...I too needed something where I could check things off a list and know what my 1st grader should do everyday - I have 4 kiddos so it's hard with other's running around...my 4 year old also does pre-k through time4learning.

Lesson Pathways is good if you want to try something free and it has a check list for you to follow so to speak with the lesson plans - it's pretty straight forward. A lot of the links didn't work for us and sometimes I felt like the stuff was over his head. But, overall we liked it.

Time4Learning speaks to my son's learning style...he says it's 'hard' and so that tells me he's learning something new (he mentioned he learned something new today). He does the lessons with some help from me, some on his own, but with a minimal amount of complaining (which says a lot for the program if you knew him). It tells me (and him) what he needs to do each day and he'll usually decide to finish it all in one sitting. It also has a playground option which allows the kid a break to go play TONS of safe online games. We usually do breaks away from the computer if he needs them. THere are printable worksheets and NOTHING else to purchase!
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

Honestly, if you like HOP and MUS and are doing handwriting, that's all I'd worry about for now. If you are wanting to build a good solid foundation that will cover the biggest areas and then you can add in more as you feel able. I would worry about getting him caught up in those areas first, and then add as you go.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:57 PM   #5
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

So far history and science for us has just been reading a LOT, discussing, exploring, and experimenting. With those two we do more than unschooling, because I am seeking things out to present to them, but I'm really just wanting to get them interested, and broaden the way they think about things at this point.
Sorry you are feeling overwhelmed! If you feel a curriculum is moving too fast for him, or in a way that he just doesn't make the connection, personally, I would ditch it for a while and just spend time with him talking or "playing" in a way that introduces him to the things he needs to know without pressure.

A little off topic maybe~ but I found that reading off the bfiar and fiar book lists with my son really sparked something with him, an interest in discovering and looking beyond the obvious. I feel like he is more "motivated" to be interested in everyday things
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

I second Time4Learning. My son uses it for Math and he loves it. We supplement with worksheets they have, as well as worksheets I find online or create myself, whenever I see that he is having difficulty grasping something.

We only use it for math right now because I pieced together other things that I wanted to try out. He does the other subjects for fun whenever he wants.
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowangel View Post
Have you tried www.time4learning.com? There are some threads here where people have shared their experiences with that program. We signed up for it b/c of those threads and b/c I'm a bit like you . We've tried a lot of the same programs you said you tried...SonLight (a lot of reading), Math U See (which we like too), First Language Lessons (which we also like), KONOS, and a few others like Lesson Pathways...I too needed something where I could check things off a list and know what my 1st grader should do everyday - I have 4 kiddos so it's hard with other's running around...my 4 year old also does pre-k through time4learning.

Lesson Pathways is good if you want to try something free and it has a check list for you to follow so to speak with the lesson plans - it's pretty straight forward. A lot of the links didn't work for us and sometimes I felt like the stuff was over his head. But, overall we liked it.

Time4Learning speaks to my son's learning style...he says it's 'hard' and so that tells me he's learning something new (he mentioned he learned something new today). He does the lessons with some help from me, some on his own, but with a minimal amount of complaining (which says a lot for the program if you knew him). It tells me (and him) what he needs to do each day and he'll usually decide to finish it all in one sitting. It also has a playground option which allows the kid a break to go play TONS of safe online games. We usually do breaks away from the computer if he needs them. THere are printable worksheets and NOTHING else to purchase!
We are in a T4L stage plus a little unschooling, too. We've had a crazy few months and now I've got some minor health issues flaring up that aren't helping anything. My oldest is doing T4L exclusively with some penmanship practice. If I could get by with it, we would probably exclusively unschool. `
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #8
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

Have you looked at Heart of Dakota, KONO's or Five in a Row/ Beyond Five in a Row?

As far as Science I am LOVING Apologia. You can get the books and build your own baggies for each lesson OR buy a kit for the lessons. I went through christianbook.com for our kit.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #9
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Re: Overwhelmed yet again

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Originally Posted by ~happy2Bamommy~ View Post
Have you looked at Heart of Dakota, KONO's or Five in a Row/ Beyond Five in a Row?

As far as Science I am LOVING Apologia. You can get the books and build your own baggies for each lesson OR buy a kit for the lessons. I went through christianbook.com for our kit.
Me too!

I agree with others that have said if you are doing math, reading and penmanship, then I wouldn't worry about the rest.

If you feel like you need to do something, Apologia would be my go to for science. For history, I might try Story of the World on audio with the color sheets or maybe just buy a history series from the History Channel on the presidents, explorers, etc. If I were in your shoes, I would want something that imparts information and maybe sparks curiousity, but requires little on my part. Anything that your son is interested in could be expanded on by a weekly or bi-weekly trip to the library.

Good luck and congrats on #4!
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