Happy Homeschooler Life at our house

Tuesday, April 29, 2003 :::
The Latest Plan

I'm going to finish up using some of the curriculum I have here. Namely, Story of the World. By then, Andrew will be ready for a new math level. I'm leaning towards the next in the Math U See curriculum. It's what Andrew and Larsen are both using now; on different lessons.

I'm also going to progress through First Language Lessons with both kids.

When SOTW is done and I have enough money, I am going to buy from Sonlight Curriculum. I like Sonlight very much. I have since I began researching homeschooling. I'm not sure whether we will do Core 2 or Core 3. Core 2 will pick up where we left off. But, Core 3 will introduce all the kids to American history and it would offer a change of pace.

::: posted by Joanne at 6:18 PM YACCS

Monday, April 28, 2003 :::
Confessions of a Curriculum and Planning Junkie

I need help. Really, I do. I've curriculum hopped, planner scribbled, scheduled, lurked on the unschooling board to asuage my doubts. I've looked out my door for the classical homeschooling police.

My 3 years of homeschooling have been both wonderful *and* full of frustration, guilt, worry and inconsistency.

I frenetically change my mind, my approach, my goals and my attitude.

In spite of my insanity, my kids are thriving. But, I'm certain relatives and friends are arranging an intervention. They will require I *pick* and *stick with* a method of education and a curriculum that matches. They will make me enter into a 30-day treatment program in my own home. Complete with a focus partner. My treatment plan will include no more method books. They will have to spend a whole day trying to convince me that the key to a great homeschool does not lie in finding the perfect planning system.

They will make me put up stickies on my mirrors, dashboard and kithen cabinets saying "I can stay with a curriculum and people like me".

It won't be pretty. They will delete my massive curriculum bookmarks and cancel my orders for the $15.00 planner kids can use.

My last bender was 2 hours on Sunday at Starbucks. I planned, organized and got ready. Came home and that night decided to change my curriculum entirely.

Hello, I'm Joanne. I'm a - a - (gulp) homeschool curriculum and planning addict.

Joanne, still looking for the right approach

::: posted by Joanne at 3:08 PM YACCS

Friday, April 25, 2003 :::
Homeschooling Advocacy

Here is an article against homeschooling:

Public School Teacher Writes about Homeschooling

Here is my response, which I sent through email:

I just finished reading your article on homeschooling and public schools.

I think your point(s) regarding public school are true, but incomplete. You present the positive points specifically and yet make one vague reference to the "weaknesses" in public schools (or institutional learning in general).

Your article would have more validity if you did one of 2 things:

1) Made the article pro-public school, only.
2) Were more informed regarding the reality of homeschooling families, lifestyles and academic environments.

Homeschoolers are a diverse, educated, passionate, vibrant group. The diversity is growing each year. The amount of resources, academic and extracurricular, available to homeschoolers is very large.

Your perception of the isolated, text book driven homeschool doesn't reflect the reality of how homeschoolers educate.

If you want to be against something, at least be familiar with and accurate about that thing.

Your article neglected to mention, specifically, some of the valid reasons to homeschool:

1) Academics - homeschooled children consistently perform above average on national tests.

2) Academics - homeschooling families by definition provide a teacher/student ratio that is not available in institutional schools.

3) Academics - your article spoke of "learning styles". While teachers are familiar with them, I know that applying that knowledge to a room full of children is challenging. Homeschooling parents are also familiar with learning styles and have the time, flexibility and resources to organize the environment around them.

4) Socialization - the socialization that occurs in public schools has become the norm, but it's not proven to be the best socialization vehicle for children. There are many flaws and areas of concern regarding large groups of children functioning with minimal supervision. Bullying, teasing, drugs, alcohol are some of the more serious risks. However, the risks in using public school as a socialization vehicle are not limited to that list.

5) God - Not incorporating God into a lifestyle for 8 hours a day *is* a lifestyle. Not saying anything says volumes.

::: posted by Joanne at 9:03 AM YACCS

Friday, April 18, 2003 :::
An abbreviated Day

We are going to a Good Friday service at noon.

So, although I could have done a full day of school, I decided to do a shortened one.

We watched a couple of lessons on the Math U See video. Andrew and Larsen both did a page of math.

I read the "Nomad" story from Story of the World. The kids narrated it back to me and illustrated the typed and printed narration.

Then, the kids happily played "pirates" until I told them it was time to clean up the back yard.

::: posted by Joanne at 9:18 AM YACCS

Thursday, April 17, 2003 :::
Remember me? LOL!

Started by reviewing recycling information. We started recycling as "Kit 1" from The Young Scientists Club. I happened to have picked up coloring books, activity books at a local grocery store on the topic. They were free! :)

Verbally went over nouns, verbs, subjects, predicates, compound subjects and compound predicates with 8 yo. He had previously done worksheets on them (on the day I am in a Bible Study with women in my church). We review the ones he got right and worked on the ones he wasn't comfortable with.

Went over basic information regarding continents, equator and oceans with 6 yo dd.

Read aloud "The Ugly Duckling" to 4 yo while the older 2 wrote notes to Daddy who travels often.

Started over with The Story of the World, I. I read it aloud. The older children took turns narrating it to me. I typed the narration into the computer, printed it and then they illustrated it. I now have 2 pictures of a house, a mom, a child and a farmer leaving behind a bowl, a toy and a blade. ;)

I told the kids (in an effort to give them some school autonomy) that I wanted their math pages (I circle them) done before they go outside to play with the neighborhood kids. That gives my kids many hours in which to decide when to do their math. I use Math U See. They are on different pages.

::: posted by Joanne at 11:11 AM YACCS

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