Friday, November 21, 2008

Broke My Own 'Lil Home School Rule

I admit it. I was sooo into literature based home education with a mix of Charlotte Mason and Classical Education.......ohhhhh very against sitting a child in front of a computer or dvd program. Well, two weeks ago I went and sprung for Teaching Textbook Math for my grade 7 dear daughter as well as SOS State History for her via computer. I then immediately signed my grade 3 dear daughter up for Big IQ kids, which has four supplemental subjects which includes: spelling, math, vocabulary and geography. I consider the spelling to be her total program for that subject and just add her personalized words to it. The rest is considered for fun or drill work for bad days of mine. We carry on the best we can with other subjects within our philosophy of education.

I did it, and I’m glad about it and have finally tossed out the guilt. I also have a friend that visits periodically to play math/reasoning games with them. My voice hurts, my eyes hurt and I am weary so it is worth it all to keep things going. Fortunate for me, this all arrived in time for a 3 week period of colds creeping around the house and has saved my sanity quite a bit.

It’s an alternate year for us, so I have chosen to set aside our R&S English for a lighter course, but we usually follow than the The Well Trained Mind recommendations. As far as book lists, we pull recommendations from WTM, Real Learning and Ambleside depending on our subjects and interests at the time. For read aloud time, we use a lot of audio books and my husband reads their supplemental living history or science book in the evening.

Incidentally, I also have gone from formulating Individual Educational Plans with specific objectives to much simpler planning through a membership in Home Life Academy. All of this is unnecessary in our state, however I have always felt regardless of requirements of the state or country one is in, there should be accountability. I chose HLA as it is inexpensive and I used it for records, grade reporting and transcripts should I send a child on to school. What I do like about it is they allow for enormous flexibility in individual choice of curriculum and their transcripts were well accepted when transferred my son to high school.

So, here is a glimpse of how we simplified our year. This tweaking normally does not occur until winter hits full force. I think it may be quite a winter!

Math U See (can’t wait for Teaching Textbooks gr. 4 to come out)
Primary Language Lessons
Institute of Excellence in Writing
Copy work for Penmanship
The Harp and Laurel Wreath
Story of the World, vol 3, book basket/activities
Lyrical Life Science, vol 1-2, Nature Journal
Big IQ Kids
Mindbenders Logic A1

Teaching Textbook Math 7
Easy Grammar Red/Daily Grams
Natural Speller 7 and personalized list
Institute of Excellence in Writing
Literature Guides (various guides/own study)
English from the Roots Up
SOS State History
Story of the World, vol 3/Kingfisher History Encyclopedia
Lyrical Life Science, vol 1-2, Nature Journal, Labs-Biology for Every Kid
Mindbenders Logic A3

I currently have the girls together for most history, science, art and music subjects and adjust assignments to their individual levels for ease of teaching and down right putting out fires of jealousy in one another. So dd3 is piggy-backing on some subjects however takes a lot in without being pressured. She recently began our Greek/Latin root study during dd7's review period and now is up to speed with making her own deck of cards. The youngest is learning harp, while the oldest is promising to review her piano skills in order to prepare for guitar lessons. We study one composer per month and try to coordinate that into our history time period. We were doing the same with art appreciation, but it became cumbersome with our curriculum, so we just changed to Meeting the Masters and utilize the prints after study for a keepsake album of art. We continue to do poetry purely due to our enjoyment and utilize The Harp and Laurel Wreath as a spine. They each love to memorize poetry and I allow dd3 to choose from the Grammar stage section and dd7 from either the Grammar or Dialectic at this time. Other times they tell me exactly what they desire out of our collection and I let them follow their own path as I do in other subjects periodically. So basically I must confess our philosophy of education at this time is eclectic. We are in a survival mode as it is not the complete vision of what I strive for but learning is occurring daily and we are still in the game.


Heather said...

I think you do incredibly well! This all sounds fascinating. I always wanted to be home-schooled, and I would have loved lots of this :)

Jan Lyn said...

Thanks Heather....all sounds fairly good, but the thing is that one must keep getting up each day and following through with it all! I'm fortunate with the girls getting more independant as this year goes by at least.....