2 days in….

We are two days into our new school curriculum and it is going great! When I say that our curriculum is eclectic, it is not an exaggeration. We have put together a curriculum that looks chaotic, but instead it works very well for us. And our kids are loving it! They are actually having fun, which is a huge step for us, especially our oldest, who absolutely hates school. Here is a sample of our daily schedule:

9am- breakfast/chores

10am- Math (www.allinonehomeschool.com) We use 1st grade math for our 5 year old and Pre Algebra for our 13 year old.

10:30- Vocabulary for our 13 year old. We are using materials from http://www.TampaReads.com. Our 5 year old plays learning games on http://www.abcya.com

11:00- snack/break

11:15- History (www.allinonehomeschool.com) We do this subject together. We are studying Geography

11:45- Science (www.allinonehomeschool.com) We also do this subject together. We are studying Zoology

12:15- Spelling (www.spellingcity.com) They each work on their spelling words independently

12:30- Lunch

1:30- Phys Ed (either Yoga or Zumba together as a group)We pick videos from Youtube.

2:00- Reading. 13 year old is really struggling in this class so we spend 15 minutes each day with him reading me a story. While he is reading to me, 5 year old plays on http://www.starfall.com. The last 15 minutes of class, our 13yo plays on http://www.learn4good.com while our 5yo reads to me from (www.allinonehomeschool.com) We use Getting Ready 2, but only for the reading.

This is just our starting off point. I am sure along the way, we will find other things to add/delete or change. In the meantime, we our having fun learning 🙂

New year, New Semester, New School

As I was looking back through my blog, I noticed something that made me a bit sad. Last school year, we worked on so many cool things, took field trips, ect. I posted many pictures of the kids learning in all kinds of different ways. And the kids looked happy! Then I scroll through a few more posts, and no projects, no field trips, nothing fun at all.

We switched from homeschooling to online public school because we thought that structure would be good for our children. We soon learned that was not the case at all. I was stressed out, and the kids were not happy. We have not done any projects or fun learning activities and not taken any field trips. Now, as the new year starts, we have decided to go back to those fun times. Our kids deserve to learn without being bored or stressed out. They deserve to have fun learning.

Sometimes, looking back on things you used to do with change your perspective on what you are doing now. I now realize that what I have done to our children is not fair. I thought that switching to online public school would relieve some of my stress, but instead it transferred that stress to my children and that was very selfish of me.

So as of today, I am putting together a fun, exciting homeschool plan for my children. More projects, more creative learning, and more field trips. I will post some of the fun stuff we will be doing.

Thoughts on Online Public School

We decided to switch from homeschooling to online public school to see if it was a better fit for our family. Here is what I have found:

  1.  You do not get the resources needed in order to complete and help your child with all assignments
  2. You do not get to personalize your child’s learning plan like they all say that you can
  3. The kids can definitely not learn at their own pace.

We have 2 children on 2 different ends of the learning spectrum. Our oldest struggles a lot with school, and our youngest is breezing right through school. Our youngest was being hindered by going to online public school. She was very bored with her schoolwork and was not able to move ahead at her own pace. She got her first semester of school work done very early and instead of letting her move on, she just didn’t have class.

Our oldest struggled through every class. He had a hard time keeping up and our school days took 8 hours or more. We had to get all of the work done that was assigned each day or he would fall behind. That is not children learning at their own pace. It is forcing them to spend hours doing schoolwork that frustrates them.

Needless to say, we will be starting the 2nd semester of school in our homeschool environment. We are saying goodbye to online public school for good. I know my children better than a teacher that has never even seen them. I know their learning styles and I know their strengths and weaknesses. I feel like I will be better able to keep them interested in school than any public school can.

 

Our Curriculum 2013-2014

Our 12 Year OId Son:

Spelling- Spectrum Spelling workbook http://www.rainbowresource.com/prodlist.php?subject=8&category=1877

Spanish- Mango language through the local library website http://www.mangolanguages.com/

History/Bible/Reading/Writing/Science- www.allinonehomeschool.com

Math- Singapore Math textbook and workbook http://www.singaporemath.com/

We may add something for art, but haven’t found anything good yet. For geography, we are doing a virtual road trip across North America. I got the idea from http://3kidsinnorthamerica.blogspot.com/. I will be setting up a blog like hers.

As far as organization, I have set up his worksheets/printables in folders by week.(pictured below). Inside each week’s folder, each day’s assignments are paper clipped together so that all of his things are neatly organized and he can just grab the packet and go.

Image

Postcard exchange

I have recently joined a postcard exchange. I thought it would be an awesome way for kids to learn about other places people live. I think it would great if we could get more people to join from all over the country and the world.

 

If you want to learn more about it, visit these blogs:

http://mathairfiona.wordpress.com

http://atlantamomofthree.wordpress.com

 

If you would like to join, please feel free to contact me, or the two listed above. It’s a fun way to learn about Geography 🙂

 

Record Keeping?

I know a lot of people ask about record keeping for their children. I did a lot of searching for the best way to keep my kids’ records. I found a great website that offers a free grade book. I used it last year and it worked wonders for me. http://fivejs.com/free-homeschool-gradebook-record-keeping-spreadsheet-template/. You can keep track of grades, attendance, book lists, etc. If that one doesn’t work for you, there is also a website that has a list of other record keepers. http://www.iamhomeschooling.com/homeschooling-101/563-record-keeping-for-homeschoolers.

As for keeping track of their worksheets and projects, I use 3 ring binders and manila folders. I label each one with the subject and I put all of their paperwork in them. I keep them in order by date. When the 1st semester is over, I take them all out and keep them in a box labeled with the school year and the kid’s name. That way the folders don’t get too full and you will still be able to find all of their work for their portfolio at the end of the year. Every state has a different law about what you need to keep for each child. I live in SC and I have a tab on my page that has the laws for us.