T4W December
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  1. #11

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    Sorry I can't offer much advice as to curricula as I only have 1 year of homeschool experience, so am still figuring it out myself, and my daughter is only grade 4. However, I wanted to say don't feel bad or guilty at all! I made a similar mistake. Took my daughter out of school and enrolled her in an online school. It was expensive, restrictive, lacked creativity, and was completely the wrong learning environment for her and all the same things that school was but worse because now she was on a computer with no social interaction. I was drawn in by the idea of it being all planned and structured, but it was horrible. She had 10 weeks of that, and then I could take her out and we have done our own thing since then. My daughter actually found aspects of it a good learning experience, as in she learned how she did not want to learn.

    When we started doing our own thing I still had the idea of wanting some structure to it all. So I got Build Your Library. However, I found even that was too much structure for my daughter. She loves to read, and to read a book at her own pace. BYL is very laid out with read X, Y, Z for the day. So we have got less and less structured over time. In that regard, I would not spend too much in case you all decide over time that what you purchased is not really what you want. Many places have lengthy samples you can print out, and I should have made better use of trying those.

  2. BEH Dec
  3. #12

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    First, welcome to the group. It is my favorite group of home educators. I just want to say don't feel guilty at all about pulling the plug on this mistake. And, most importantly, don't feel bad that you made a mistake--we have ALL been there at some point in some way. I, too, found myself in a bizarre meeting that was supposed to be centered around IEW and just went somewhere I didn't belong . It was really uncomfortable and kind of a "holy sh-- what just happened" experience. Just be open with your kids...they will learn that sometimes we make decisions that were wrong but we don't have to stick around. I would definitely look into all the resources RTB, Farrar, and AlexMom mentioned--they are all very knowledgeable.

    Second, you will be okay. I would say the first 6 months of homeschooling is the toughest. You question yourself, your decisions, your philosophy, everything...but, I promise, if you allow yourself time to really spend with the kids just connecting you will be okay. Maybe give them each a personal "compass" to fill out? I do this about once a year with mine. Below are some of the things I have on them. I put a compass rose on the top and named it "Kid's name Compass".
    Part 1: Strengths (list 6)
    A. Strengths: Things I do well - List all of the things that are your favorite things to do, things you excel at, and things you feel confident about doing. This can include academics, hobbies, anything!
    B. Top 6 books I’ve ever read – As people progress in their reading skill this list can grow to 50! Do not list every book you have ever read. List only those that have really impacted your life.
    Part 2: Areas I need to strengthen
    Include everything that you know needs work – academics, life skills, self-improvement, etc. Don’t feel like this is a “put down” area of everything you have ever done wrong. It is simply a list of things that need work. We all have things on this list!

    Part 3: Objectives
    Books I want to read. Strongly consider all of the classics that you want to study over the next six months. list 6 books

    What I want to learn/study in the next 6 months.
    What is my mission?
    For the mission thing here is what I threw their way in a separate letter to each of them:

    Your mission statement can be very simple or not. I am also working on my mission statement. Some examples are below. Feel free to use some of them or none of them. Let them get your mind going. You are loved and cherished. Have fun.
    To live a life I can be proud of.
    To use my creativity and art to make others happy.
    To be useful to my family and learn to be self-sufficient.
    To be kind, speak the truth, show grace, work hard, be grateful.
    To try to think of solutions for the puzzles that will affect me when I am older.
    To have an open mind and an open heart.
    To be an explorer and look at the world as if I’ve never seen it before.
    To be curious and brave.
    To practice compassion, encouragement, and patience.
    To love and protect nature.
    To be an artist, a scientist, a writer, anything I set my mind to.
    To be of value to my community by helping those that need help.
    To make mistakes to show that I am still learning, say sorry when I know I am wrong even if it’s hard, dream big, and work hard.
    To be patient with myself.
    To be patient with others.
    To be positive.
    To do hard things.
    To learn, to love, to lead.
    To think, question, daydream.



    Wishing you the best!

  4. #13

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    Thank you, farrarwilliams. I've also been looking at your blog. All of this is incredibly helpful. Thanks so much!

  5. #14

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    Thank you, NZ_Mama. I'm trying to look at the bright side, because the experience has allowed me to have some important conversations with my children, and it has allowed them to see that I can move on after a poor decision. I sure wish I had found this forum sooner, but I'm certainly glad I'm here now. Thanks again!

  6. #15

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    Thank you, Luv2HS. I appreciate everything you said, especially the part about the mission statement. We had done a similar exercise when I first decided to homeschool. In fact, I was on such a great path then. I feel like I really knew where I wanted to go with things. But, then, somehow, I got involved in this group and went way off the rails. I guess, deep down inside, I was nervous about going it alone, so to speak, so I was drawn to the notion of having a community around me - too bad it turned out to be the kind of community that it did. I would have definitely been so much better off had I continued on the eclectic, secular path I had initially carved out. Thanks so much for everything!

  7. #16

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    You have gotten lots of excellent advice. I would just chime with that Biology 2 from REAL science odyssey is quite rigorous and my middle schoolers liked it. Also both BYL grade 5 and Moving Beyond the Page use Joy Hakim as a spine, but add to it and give a lot of structure and other info. I used MBTP more as unit studies as the price for the year is too much and I would often gets the books from the library and only buy the actual workbook, plus my kids did not work fast enough to get through a whole year.
    Beth
    DS14 with ASD, DD11 and DS8

  8. #17

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    Thank you, HawaiiGeek. This is very helpful, and I'm so appreciative for the kindness that you and the others have shown me.

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