Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Homeschooling

Keith and I are delving head long into homeschool curriculum for Alex. We talked a lot about K12...it looks really thorough...but it is SOOOOO expensive! I have 2 friends that use K12 and really like it. I have read lots of reviews on it and it appears people are mostly happy as long as they are not using it in conjunction with a public virtual school. It was definitely high on our list when we started the in depth investigation last week.

Once we started looking, I started to get more excited about creating our own curriculum instead of jumping in with K12. These are the things we are investigating...

1. Sonlight core
2. Saxon Math
3. Just Write
4. Usborne World history
5. Wordly Wise

I am still taking suggestions for science...anyone? I am actually still taking suggestions for any area! Also looking for a book with a nice comprehensive and concisely stated goals for each year of school...for instance, i would not intuitively have known that money concepts and telling time is first grade. Which is why we are looking hard at full curriculum's right now instead of totally piecing together our own. I understand that tomorrow at 10am the "common core standards" come out for the common core standards initiative and my thought was that might provide some guidance....so I am looking forward to perusing that tomorrow.

Lilianna uses Time for Learning to augment her public school, we have been doing that for this entire year. She does a lot of the Math and Sciences on time for learning and really likes them. The problem is that she can pass the quizzes and get throught the material, but she is not retaining a lot of it. Even though I know she has studied places (tens, hundreds, ones...) in school and passed that section in Time for Learning..she does NOT get it. She also lacks understanding of money (she must get that from me! haha)..the other day we were at KFC and she wanted 4 quarters to get something out of a machine and she asked for 4 quarters. I told her if she could tell me how much that was she could have it. I figured that would be no problem for her....she tried and kept guessing and couldn't put it together. So then I tried to break down the math for her and even write it down. She definitely should know money better, and addition better. She got all A's this year and is heading up to second grade with a couple of huge gaps in her learning. She has also completed the money section in Time For Learning and did well on her quizzes for money...so I am pretty sure that Time For Learning is not the best method for Lilianna to improve her math understanding.

We are still waiting to see where Lilianna will be going to school next year and quite frankly, after looking into homeschooling for Alex, we have no qualms about homeschooling Lilianna too. In fact, I see a number of advantages to it. The conversation is still ongoing with Lilianna as to whether or not it would be the best choice for our family to teach her at home also.

It just seems like everything about homeschooling is more efficient. The curriculum and lessons are individualized, you get immediate and responsive teachers (me and keith), the teaching time is much shorter without all of the fluff that goes on in school. Schooltime is quicker, there is more time for good quality extracuricular activites (i.e socializing with other kids). They meet and interact with kids that have the same interests as them... not just the kids that happen to be in their class and sit next to them (quietly for 7 hours a day I might add). I think there is also an advantage to separating socialization from learning time. Having been to a women's college, and from personal experience, I am well aware that a girl's socialization at school is not always a positive thing when it comes to actively learning.

I think that once you formally turn yourself into your child's teacher, everything becomes an opportunity to teach...everything becomes a lesson. You seek out lesson opportunities on your vacation, a simple question at dinner or while driving becomes the impetus for quick lesson on the digestive tract or the lungs. So while school time is more condensed...more time is spent in educating your children.

I am rambling in my usual way...synopsis....hit me with your favorite homeschool books, software, planning tools etc.

3 comments:

Brand New Mama said...

Girl, I don't know how you do it. you are WonderWoman!

Michelle said...

If only I had that magic lasso and some bullet repelling bracelets! To have my 26yo body to put in that outfit would be nice too!

The Stevens said...

We have a Christian private school here that support parents that do homeschooling. We are thinking about homeschooling Tian initially when he gets home and then transitioning him to the private school later on. One thing I do like, if we chose to keep him homeschooled, he can go to the school a few days a week for a few hours electives, arts, and music classes. He is also welcome to join sports and clubs they offer as well. Might be a nice compromise :)

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