T4W November
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  1. #1

    Default My mother is moving in, life is getting complicated, need to outsource!

    Amidst appliance problems, new money woes (rabies shots costing $77K left us with a $5K bill as our portion...had no idea they could cost that...it's crazy), etc. my mother's fragile health requires her to be cared for, so we're renovating the enclosed porch into a room for her complete with wheelchair ramp outside. Dealing with DS's early puberty on top of his baseline lifelong lack of a congenial, cooperative personality, is more than I am up for managing now.

    Even DD12, who is usually fine with independent work, can't seem to carry out any instructions I give her, except helping with the toddler. But chores, lessons? Nope, nope, nope. She means well, but can't remember anything 5 seconds later that she was asked to do, and she has been grumpy a lot lately.

    So I am looking for online automatic options so I don't have to tell them what assignments to do, or stand over or curate, anything. I know online automatic things that take it out of my hands are all a compromise, but I think it's the only sane thing to do at this point.

    So the options I am looking at have to be affordable, and all online (I have plenty of textbooks and such...if I could count on the kids to just crack them open and go at this point, I wouldn't be asking about this), and offer at least math and language arts.

    The two I have looked at most are Time4Learning, and Giftedandtalented.com.
    Of the two, I have higher hopes for the second one, because even though it has that title, and even though the ad I saw made me cringe (directed toward an assumed audience of highly pushy, ambitious parents who want to accelerate their precious snowflake), unless Time4 has really changed since we tried if a few years ago, I am pretty sure it would bore them to pieces in short order.

    Still, Time4 is no contract no obligation, so we could try it for a month and then walk away, whereas giftedandtalented is paid quarterly, and would cost more for both language arts and math ($90 / quarter) than Time4 for everything.

    giftedandtalented also has a live tutor, deluxe option, with deluxe prices that are not even something we could consider.

    I have gone through the curriculum reviews here, for all-in-one online, and there weren't many, but I appreciated the ones that there were. The Time4 ones reminded me of why we tried it back in the day and never went back, but I'm open-minded enough to try it again, because things change and so do people, and sometimes the relative value of something is different, when viewed through a lens of necessity and compromise.

    Anyone know of any other all-in-one (or at least math and language arts) online subscription services that are affordable, to recommend?
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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  3. #2

    Default

    It sounds like youre in a period of time where you dont need kids being needy about schoolwork in addition to everything else.
    What did you do when your baby was born?
    My only online experience was trying t4l last spring when we were trying to figure out stuff about DS.... and I dont think anyone who has homeschooled already can contentedly do that program. To make it worthwhile and not a complete waste of time, you have to run around supplementing, enough work that you might as well just have been doing whatever you were doing in the first place. Or you have to spend time policing to be sure theyre at the computer ,so its no help that way, either.

    I havent tried any other programs, but Im leery about them being less work for me. It was just as much, if not more, and part of the work was fixing gaps and nonsense in the program.
    Would it be possible to ease off the schoolwork for a while? A month, or two, or three, with no formal program wont be the end of the world, and there's always summer.
    Or plop them down with nanowrimo and a lot of literature. Nanowrimo is free, and can keep them occupied until December, buying you some time.

    I hear you on the family and money stresses, though! I hope having your mom with you will be a benefit to you all, not just another person you need to take care of.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3

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    I have no experience with either, but have lots of sympathy.

    I'm with AM, can you back off? Or is there something that they are willing to do that would count as school? Reading books or doing projects?
    Choosing Our Own Adventure with DS 9
    Global Village School - Supporting our desire to teach social justice and global awareness
    http://chooseourownadventures.blogspot.com

  5. #4

    Default

    I am sorry to hear about your woes. And rabies...!

    Is there a time limit you have in your head, crunchynerd? Do you see things getting back around to "normal" a la having your last baby? Because if you do, it's more like crisis-schooling then normal homeschooling, and if that is the case, I would pair your kids up to do a Unit Study all together. They can do their math and their reading/English stuff on their own, but I was thinking more like one of BYL's unit studies, which are about 6-9 weeks long, depending upon the topic. And they can be geared up or down according to a child's level.

    But also maybe it's time for a talk with your two oldest. It is their education, after all...dreamy preteen or no, ornery boy or no. They're going to need to buy in to this new arrangement. Or else...it's something boring like online learning. Or, hah, public school!
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  6. #5

    Default

    Sounds like you have a full plate right now. I'm with the others who suggested a little break from homeschooling. Or maybe that would cause you further stress?

    We did ******* for a few months. I remember reading a few things on here about the organization being sketchy or something along those lines, but DD13 really enjoyed it. I think it was $30 a month. We did it in the spring of 2016. They had no contracts for the option I chose and she did that for part of 6th. It did keep her interest and I usually had her do 1-2 lessons of each of the four main subjects daily- math, language arts, science, and history. It's a teacher pre-recorded talking to the screen. I felt like it was explained well. We supplemented with some BrainPop and a few free trials here and there. She's doing WiloStar now and really likes it.
    Mom to 3, only homeschooling DD13.

    "The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." Alexandra K. Trenfor

  7. #6

    Default

    I'm sorry, for some reason the curriculum name was blocked out.
    Mom to 3, only homeschooling DD13.

    "The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don't tell you what to see." Alexandra K. Trenfor

  8. #7

    Default

    We've had a large problem with spam from that company on the board, so the name has been added to a censored list.
    Teemie - 11 years old, 6th grade with an ecclectic mix

    Blog : Tumblr : Instagram : Facebook
    http://jessicamckelvin.com

  9. #8

    Default

    I am comfortable with minimalist education at this time. We're already down to just Khan Academy every few days. It's okay to take it easy while the household is in chaos. If I can just get the place decluttered and clean, more directed activities can take place, then, and it will be more pleasant. There's a time and season for everything, and we will probably be doing minimal lessons for a while.
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

  10. #9

    Default

    Thanks nonetheless, for taking the time to try to point out another possibility. Private message me with it?
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

  11. #10

    Default

    I was hoping anyone might chime in with an online thing they liked, though, that we might consider for outsourcing in such a way that I don't have to stand over DS8. ?
    40-something mom of 4 kids who haven't been to school, taking it one year and one day at a time.

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My mother is moving in, life is getting complicated, need to outsource!