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Old 10-18-2012, 01:48 AM   #1
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Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

We have began our first year of homeschooling by using Little Lincoln through our virtual charter school and quite honestly.. I hate it and the kids aren't enjoying the busy work and the method of instruction of this curriculum. DD isn't challenged enough, and DS is overwhelmed by the mountains of worksheets. The videos are lame and while we are already into their 2nd quarter I just don't feel like this is working.

On the upside, the changes I see in the kids since deciding to keep them home are remarkable. They are happier, expressing imagination and creativity, their behavior is better, and they are just all around more secure.

I've been reading and researching and have spent some time at ambleside online and reading up on charlotte mason and it seems like a dream come true. Her philosophies allign well with mine and the more I read, the more I get the feeling that both kids would excel in that educational approach..

BUT I just don't know how to A) get SO on board B) Can I really make this work?

I guessI'm just hoping for some support, some feedback.. and I'd love to hear from CMers and other ambleside families.

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Old 10-18-2012, 05:37 AM   #2
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

I haven't used Ambleside yet. But have had it bookmarked for years. Along with Mater Ambilis and Milestones Academy.

Have you looked at other CM curricula, too, or are you primarily considering AO right now?

Maybe get your DH to read "When Children Love to Learn" by Elaine Cooper et al.

My mom homeschooled with a huge CM influence (she did a mixture of CM and Holt) and I'm leaning towards a CM education as that part of my own education was positively delightful, challenging, and inspiring. I already own the binder for Living Books Curriculum Foundation Year.

I can tell you that the multiple streams of history never confused me as a child. Armed with my timeline and book of the centuries history made sense, and using living books made it come alive.
I loved composer and artist study. Shakespeare and famous poets stretched my linguistic understanding, and I'm sure stirred my imagination.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:38 AM   #3
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

I haven't used Ambleside yet. But have had it bookmarked for years. Along with Mater Ambilis and Milestones Academy, oh, Simply Charlotte Mason too.

Have you looked at other CM curricula, too, or are you primarily considering AO right now?

Maybe get your DH to read "When Children Love to Learn" by Elaine Cooper et al.

My mom homeschooled with a huge CM influence (she did a mixture of CM and Holt) and I'm leaning towards a CM education as that part of my own education was positively delightful, challenging, and inspiring. I already own the binder for Living Books Curriculum Foundation Year.

I can tell you that the multiple streams of history never confused me as a child. Armed with my timeline and book of the centuries history made sense, and using living books made it come alive.
I loved composer and artist study. Shakespeare and famous poets stretched my linguistic understanding, and I'm sure stirred my imagination.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:27 PM   #4
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

I love the CM method. We combine it with some unit studies too. I haven't used Ambleside yet either, but I love the Simply Charlotte Mason website.
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Old 10-21-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

We used that same program with DD last year and she was like your DS in that the mountains of work sheets were overwhelming and boring for her. She actually told me that she hated school last year and she was only in K!

I cut WAY back but stuck with it as I had no clue what to do to get her started homeschooling on her own and I was afraid I'd mess it up. We logged in, I skipped the stories and the videos, and had her play the games. We did only the worksheets that had to be submitted. After that, we did our own thing. We did lots of games to help her learn to read and lots and lots of hands-on math since she loved it. We got out animal books from our library and did lapbooks from here: www.homeschoolshare.com for science.

She ended up having a pretty good year last year after I took the leap and did things on my own. This year, we didn't re-enroll in cyber school and I have yet to regret it. She told DH the other day that she actually LIKES school now!
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

I have looked at others and I like the CM philosophy more and as I read more of her series. I like Ambleside becausse its pretty well layered out and well structured, right down to the composers/artists/hymns studies. I like that I have everything pre-planned and at my fingertips.

I also like the fact that Ambleside has a significant following and thus, via the forums I can connect to a number of other parents who are using the same curriculum.. that support structure is appealing.

Having diligently went through the Year One list and looked at all the books, I am very pleased with the variety and selection. Another huge bonus is that so many are available for free online.

I've spent alot of time on simply charlotte mason, and while I've found some helpful info and resources, I feel like their curriculum guide is too vague for a newbie like me.

Are there any other free charlotte mason based curriculum guides?

I've also looked at Mater Amablis, but being protestant, that's not a good fit. I've also spent time looking at the tanglewood curriculum which is more of a charlotte mason/classical education combination, and while I find their curriculum pretty appealing, I am not comfortable delving into a curriculum that's been abandoned for 8+ years.

I've already made the terrible mistake of purchasing multiple curriculum options only to keep changing my approach, so I need something CM based that isn't going to cost a lot given my frivolous spending already on curriculums that I won't use.. sigh.

I talked with SO and while he isn't 100% on board, he's agreed to let me do what I feel is best.

So I guess my question now is what other curriculum options are there if I'm set on a Charlotte Mason style curriculum?
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

The only other one I can think of offhand is Living Books Curriculum. It's not as well known as Ambleside because it's not free. It's K thought 8th. I own the Foundations guide (found it used cheap) and it's actually set up to cover both PreK and K (some of the books you see online are, in the guide, actually listed as Preschool with other options for Kinder mentioned; math comes instantly to mind). The guide is broken down week-by-week.
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: Curriculum woes.. should we try Ambleside Online?

www.queenhomeschool.com is another CM resource. I just got a catalog from them, but their stuff isn't free either.
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