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Fiona06
09-05-2017, 06:17 PM
So we are going into our 3rd year of homeschooling, the first two, to be honest wasn't really a walk in the park, as I was informed that the first year may not be, but the second I thought would've been better 😕She is going into 8th. I have so many fears and concerns about this year. I don't want to feel like a failure again. I want us to both succeed this year together. My daughter is very smart, however she has ADD..a major daydreamer, gets VERY overwhelmed and gets distracted very easily. However, my daughter is a dancer, involved in 6 different types of dance. I have noticed one thing..she can learn and remember the choreography in all of her dances the minute she's taught them, she even knows the other dancers parts that she doesn't have (i.e. Nutcracker and etc..) but with schooling it's a major struggle! She HATES to read. Our books have collected dust, and the Kindle gift I surprised her with went down the drain. Our curriculums have consisted of online and workbooks. We have had our good days, but far and few between 😒
I have been racking my brain on what to do this year. I would like to continue with online and workbooks, but I just don't want a repeat of the last two years. I'm not sure if she is going to go back to school next year for high school, so far she is saying she doesn't want to. But IF it happens, I'm worried she will not be academically ready. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! 😊

Mariam
09-05-2017, 10:27 PM
Hello!

Here are some ideas:

I would consider using audio books. It has been suggested that listening to books is the same as reading. Kids get the same benefits from it. I would start there. You can get both fiction and non-fiction.

The skills that are probably most important to focus on is math and writing. Math can be fairly easy, in the way that you can find a curriculum that works for her and have her work through it. Depending on what you want there are lots of options.

Next is developing her writing skill. Where is she at? There are good resources depending where she is at and what the goals are.

All other topics are depending on interest. There is literature, art, history and science. I would consider focusing some of these topics around dance. I can think of lots of ways to incorporate dance and theater into other topics.

What does she want to do? What are you hoping for?

alexsmom
09-05-2017, 11:24 PM
Like Mariam suggests, and could you interest your DD with dance-related social studies / history, literature, and science.... and focus on her writing within those topics? Some kids are generalists, some are so driven by their passions that everything else is boring. Drop the workbooks and do the kind of learning she likes to do... Dances around the world, history of dance, history of dance and drama, human physiology and physics to understand why ballerinas can twirl how they do, whatever she can imagine that would fit the categories of science, social studies, and literature. (The stories that inspired ballets, etc.) For learning the 5 paragraph essay format, let it be on topics that are interesting to her. Compare and contrast essays about things that are important to her, not dry generic prompts.
If you want to take a swipe at US or world history, why not do it through a dance lens?
For science, perhaps look at intro to sports medicine texts, see if theyre something she is interested in, or can understand well enough. I see on google that its a class offered at some high schools, so there should be material appropriate for her (not just dry, dull, droning college tomes).

Its pretty hard to have a pleasant time homeschooling if your kid isnt interested in what youre trying to teach them. :(

farrarwilliams
09-05-2017, 11:56 PM
Along the lines of the above suggestions, my 8th grade dancer is going to do a homemade "dance anatomy" course this year. Though I do have a thing about taking a kid's passion and making it "school." Sometimes that's just not such a great idea - instead of getting amazing school, you can just ruin the passion. So... think about that.

In the OP, you basically lay out all the reasons that things aren't working so well, but then you say you'd like to do workbooks and online schooling. I guess I see that and think, those are ways to back off from schooling, not commit and engage with your kid. If they worked to get her to just get it done and then move on to her passion, then that would be great, but you're saying that they don't work.

First, I don't think you've failed her - she's got a passion and you're supporting it. Well done. That's great. But whether you've gotten her ready for high school specifically is another matter. I think you probably need to carve out some very clear time and make yourself participate in her schooling more. This is a hard age - there may be clashes. But if she wants to go to school, keep the goals in mind and stay focused on that.

MapleHillAcademy
09-06-2017, 12:16 AM
The previous posters gave some excellent suggestions. I just want to add the middle school (5- 8th grade) can be a rough time to homeschool, but especially rough if you are just jumping into homeschooling in middle school. They feel like they have been in school all their lives and still cannot quite see the finish line clearly yet. They are beginning to develop (and love to practice) the logical reasoning needed to argue a point, but lack the life experience to understand even how much life experience they lack.

You know how every one talks about the terrible twos but no one warned you about the trysome threes, or the overdramatic fours or the clingy fives or sassy sixes? Everyone talks about how rough that first year of homeschooling is but it is few and far between that you hear about the trying and less shining moments that all homeschoolers have every year. One thing I am so glad someone told me when my older kids were still young was to teach the children I have, not the children I want to have or the way I wish I had been taught. If something isnt working, change it. Isn't that one of the beautiful things about homeschooling, to be able to completely personalize their education? That not to say you should cater to a preteen's every whim but do take her interests, strengths and weaknesses into consideration. Let her be an active participant in deciding what and how she will study. Just like a child who helps make a meal is more likely to eat it, a child who feels like they have a voice in their education at her age is usually more willing to participate.

fastweedpuller
09-06-2017, 10:12 AM
I agree with all the posters above. If workbooky online stuff is not working, why would you set yourself up to "fail" again?

Perhaps it is time to really delve in yourself and make a homeschool program that will work for just this year to get her into high school next year. I am homeschooling our own ADD 8th grade girl. I know well what motivates her and what does not. However, I have made no bones about school, and have high expectations for what she should and more importantly can achieve. (She sometimes thinks she can't do something, it is a bit of a hangover from her previous school days.)

Mainly because of her ADD, we rely a lot on audiobooks and video lectures as supplementary materials, because reading is essential here. For her pleasure reading, I give the option of either ebook or audio (or physical book if it is handy). Almost all of our school stuff, though, is physical books that she can highlight or mangle as she needs to in order to best learn or relearn the information. SHe has zero problem listening to and spitting back what is in a video or audio lecture, as it's probably part of her wiring. But reading and writing were always harder, so that has been where our school focus has been.

Your daughter is of an age though where she can evaluate and have direct input in what she studies. Perhaps try a bunch of unit studies for the year, and stress written feedback. You haven't said where her math skills are, be sure you work with her on those too.