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From: Alice in INdy (
Subject:         Very long ....Sorry
Date: July 5, 2009 at 8:37 am PST

In Reply to: I have a need for advice. posted by marion Godwin on June 22, 2009 at 7:46 pm:

This first year will be hard because you will burn yourself out trying to mimic the public school classroom. You will try to teach 5-8 subjects to 4 kids on 4 different grade levels and as much advice as other expirenced moms give you about not doing too much you will feel like you are failing and running years behind and continue to beat yourself up trying to teach everything and "Get it all in" by June of next year. I speak from 10 years of experience !!!!!!!

Your children will be excited at first and when they discover you are just trying to mimic the PS classroom and are overburdened beyond your limit they will start to dread what your have created and then discipline problems will sneak in. YOU MUST TRUST US EXPERIENCED MOMS WHEN WE TELL YOU TO START SLOW !!!!!! One child and maybe one or 2 subjects at a time. I'm thinking the 8 & 6 th graders may not start a full curriculum until Thanksgiving and the 3rd grader until January !!!! Yes, you only have 3 years with the 10th grader so he/she should be your first level of concern.

I think you should start the year out in shifts. I'd get the older three started in math. Then spend time working with and developing some kind of routine with the 10th grader for maybe 3-6 weeks. During this time the 6-8th graders can watch history and science videos read Lit. science and or history outloud to each other and the 3rd grader. They could also get books from the library and some wood and paint and learn to make bird houses (If they are boys) or learn to sew or cook/bake (if they are girls) They can do flash cards in math and if the 3rd grader is doing multiplication already he can join in the flash cards too at a slower rate and NO competition between him and the older two. See if your library has educational videos. (Schlessinger, Standard Deviants, Bill Nye are all educational video companies) Limit these. Get them engaged with pond water/bugs and disecting plants/flowers. Have them take apart old kitchen appliences from a second hand store. Do research on the internet and take notes about something ( ex. find three American wars when did they happen and who fought in them?) Give them a list of those types of questions and have them make notebooks of what they learn and do history one day and science, art and music (composers etc) another. This is real learning that they will remember !!!!!!!

I have seen homeschoolers who seem to really excel when the father is involved. Can dad teach math or science in the evenings? Not all of us are lucky enough to engage our husbands. I pray your husband plans on participating. (retired grandparents are good resources too)

After the 10th grader is somewhat working on his/her own move on to the 8th and 6th graders. Some of their subjects can work together. I know someone who pulled her 2 kids out of public school and held the older back one grade and pushed the other up a grade and HS for 7 & 8th grades then returned them to public school. These kid are both thriving and enjoying the same circle of friends in the same grade. Depending on your kids ability you may be able to do this with the 10th & 8th or the 8th and 6th graders, but help the older to understand this decision if you move them back a grade.
You have plenty of years ahead to get all the learning in for the 3rd grader. Just keep him/her learning by listening in on the others science, bible, history and you will be amazed what he will absorb.
When you have finally gotten a routine of some sort with the older kids then start math. spelling, english and reading with the 3rd grader. Let the older ones have a break by taking time to work with the youngest. Also I cannot stress enough getting the kids out of the house and with a group of other kids at least 2-4 times a month !!!!!!! I worked part time and spent all my other time working on lesson plans and teaching my kids who just became filled with useless facts and now at ages 16 and 20 don't cook, clean, drive, exercise....the things that really matter in life. Ooooo but they know a grasshopper breathes through holes in its side and that Stevenson wrote Treasure Island Oooo does that really matter...if they can't cook and are over weight because we spent more time on book learning than on life skills?

Teach them to read, write, think, and to manage their lives. Chemistry, Literature, history are all subjects to be covered, but not memorized. I spent my highschool years learning science, went to college to be a nurse and changed majors to banking & finance. All that chemistry and biology was useless in banking. I had to take classes I had never had before (accounting, etc) You will never teach them everything they need to know acedemicly for their future. They will take what they want and need when they get to college or at their job, but make sure they can function as adults. Can they run a washer, drive a car, balance a checkbook, buy insurance?????

Also is your 10th grader academicly strong enough to attend community college? My son has worked part time since his senior year of high school 9-20 hours a week at $6.55/hr and has paid for 100% of his college. He took Freshman level English as a 10 grader and got an A (we paid for that class $400.). If we had let him get a job at that point and take college classes instead of trying to do school at home he would already have his Associates degree. Instead we waited until his Senior year of high school. He did test out of computer (Clep) and started his first year of college with 10 credit hours under his belt.
Another trick I have learned is to go up one grade level in English and teach half of the book this year and the other half next year, coverning the content slowly and with lots of review.
If you teach ABEKA English I encourage you to go to a Homeschool meeting where you can lay out the Eng texts side by side. You will find in grades 7-12 that the same subject is taught to each grade everyday. As they get older however some extra content is added. I almost bet you could teach grades 10, 8,& 6 from the 8th grade book and since ABEKA is so indepth that even the 10th grader would learn way more that his public school classmates do and I'm talking about using it for two years also.

I would add more indepth writing assignments and a research paper or two especially essay writing for the 10th grader.

OK I have rambled enough.....I hope this is helpful.
Don't worry. God already has your child's future in his hand and you can't mess it up. Your children will be who they have been created to be and if you think you can mess up God's plan just try !

People from 3rd world coutries come here and become doctors and some of them have never seen a chemisrty lab before college !

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