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Ellenaj
10-17-2011, 03:03 PM
(Don't know if this belongs in this section but here it goes)

I often get asked by family members, friends and other parents which homeschooling curriculum I use, what activities I do with the kids, which style I am and so on and so forth. I always come up with some sort of concise answer which satisfies them and keeps them from asking more questions-which most often turn into negative questions that I get tired of trying to explain.

But to be honest-I am totally winging this whole homeschool thing. I don't have a set curriculum for anything-I sort of pulled everything together from different resources for each subject we do. My kids aren't in any specific activities-they meet up with the coop group and with one of the friends once per week each. We get up at 8am and work until lunch on school activities and then the rest of the day is free time-but with no tv or video games. I don't follow a specific style of homeschooling-as we kinda of do everything. Each day can be different from the day before. I do try to stay on topic-especially with math-but sometimes staying on topic gets a little mundane.

Should I have a set pace for my kids or is winging it ok?

Do you wing it?

hockeymom
10-17-2011, 03:21 PM
Winging it is totally okay! :)

I think many or even most of us here wing it to some degree, and I think most of us have had our share of dealing with skeptical people who ask questions that are difficult to answer. Just this afternoon I had to fend off a very aggressive woman at the hair salon who started grilling me with homeschooling questions while my son was right there getting his hair trimmed, and everything I said she turned around into all kinds of negativity. It was crazy. When I kept on being too neutral for her taste and respectfully letting her know that the dynamics and expectations are totally different from public school, she finally let me know she wished she could homeschool but doesn't figure her kids would learn anything or that she'd have the patience. Whatever.

I guess what I mean to say is, many many homeschoolers pull all kinds of random things together to make learning applicable/fun/age appropriate/specific to the needs and desires of our kids. Generally it's referred to as "eclectic". I don't know how old your kids are, but your schedule sounds great to me and appropriate for most ages. Most kids are excellent at setting the pace, with a bit of help of course when needed.

Have fun! :)

skrink
10-17-2011, 03:26 PM
Winging it is just fine! I hate questions like those - it's like you're being tested to make sure you're legit. Mostly I just answer that I pull from a variety of resources that best meet the needs of my daughter, and that we get out as much as we can. I also call myself eclectic. Makes me sound like I know what I'm doing. :)

farrarwilliams
10-17-2011, 03:41 PM
Winging it is totally fine. Well, winging it is totally fine if you're satisfied, the kids are satisfied, and you're comfortable doing it. Some people don't enjoy winging it and that's fine too.

KristinK
10-17-2011, 03:55 PM
if winging it works, then keep winging it ;)

we wing it too :)

AddlepatedMonkeyMama
10-17-2011, 04:15 PM
When a non-homeschool person asks what curriculum we use, I'm always tempted to say, "Eh, we're just winging it." I can only imagine the horrified reaction.

I usually tell people that we find a curriculum for each subject individually in order to find the best fit for the kids. That usually leads to the "how do you know your kids are keeping up" question, which leads to the standardized test question, after which the person loses interest. :)

I find winging it and going at the kids' paces to be two of the greatest pleasures of homeschooling.

jessica14
10-17-2011, 05:01 PM
I was just winging it today. I just didn't feel like planning anything out. I ended up pulling together some things and we did a couple of hours of work (some math, reading, spelling, computer, science) and then we went and picked pumpkins. I use a curriculum and some workbooks and am usually planned out, but I realized that it is a joy to be able to say,lets go get those pumpkins or do something similar. Tomorrow the kids decided to walk to our Aquarium. We're pretty much winging it tomorrow too!

Interestingly, other homeschool families are very interested in either the curriculum you are using or wondering if you are unschooling. Both kinds of families seem to hope that you are on their "team" if you will.

Tayonoss
10-17-2011, 05:54 PM
We also wing it. The kids enjoy the freedom to explore the stuff they like and I still get them to do the stuff they don't. I found the internet is a great place for getting info on what the children will be studing. I don't worry about what other people think. As long as the children and happy and I am happy them that is all that matters. Glad you are liking the "winging it " type of homeschooling.

laundrycrisis
10-17-2011, 06:57 PM
Winging it is not only fine - it allows you the freedom to adapt as you go and give your kid/kids an education that is optimized daily !

I answer the curriculum question with, "I am using materials from several different educational publishers. I have customized what he does for each subject."

The grade level question: (are you serious ? look followed by: ) "I ordered the 3rd grade materials. They either say 3rd grade on the cover, or they are selected from a published 3rd grade scope and sequence that is used in accredited schools." (You can say this whether it is true or not because it shuts people up and they should not be in your business anyhow.)

The style question: "Eclectic school-at-home." (translation - I'm not using a complete package from one publisher, and we sit down at the table and work with books, paper and pencils.)

dbmamaz
10-17-2011, 08:28 PM
Yeah, i start naming the various curriculums we are using by subject and child, and then they soon have heard enough. For grade i always say what grade they would be in school because really, for most people 'what grade' really means how old are you. I call myself very relaxed ecclectic, but only other homeschoolers ever ask that.

MrsLOLcat
10-17-2011, 09:09 PM
I call myself eclectic, too, and once DD comes home, that will be even more true. DS resists the idea of winging it, though he's amenable to rabbit holes when we find them; DD will literally thrive on winging it. Until the day she wants a schedule. And then the next day I'm sure we'll be back to winging it again. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, right?

Shoe
10-18-2011, 12:34 AM
I'm winging it too, but to make it sound fancier, I just call myself an eclectic homeschooler. I bring a lot of different stuff, techniques, styles, etc. to it and hope some of it sticks. It seems to be working.

kewb22
10-18-2011, 09:11 AM
I am very often winging it. There are certain things that are scheduled but the rest of it, a big ole riding the wind. Although this year I have been introducing more structure/expectations on my 8th grader.

dottieanna29
10-18-2011, 09:48 AM
We're winging it if that means not using a set curriculum. We are definitely winging it when it comes to science and history - by any definition, LOL.

Most of the people who ask me about homeschooling would have no clue what I'm talking about even if I listed all the stuff we use and would have no idea what eclectic means. Grade level is probably the most common question and I just tell them - he's doing different grades for different things so he can work where he's at.

Jackielyn
10-18-2011, 04:47 PM
I pull from different resources too and we have no set schedule just an expectation that if you want free time school work needs to be finished...I suppose we are eclectic too...I like that word...eclectic :)

Hampchick
10-18-2011, 04:53 PM
I love this place. I often feel like I'm winging it but I can only imagine how that must sound to other people. It's so good to know that many of you are winging it to one degree or another. ;)

I do have specific curricula/resources that we use, so in that sense we aren't totally winging it, but I'm so flexible about how much we get done each day that that sometimes it certainly feels like we're winging it.

dbmamaz
10-18-2011, 05:15 PM
i feel most insecure about my loose standards ...

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:19 AM
Thanks hockeymom for your input. It has been really hard for me to explain to others exactly what we are doing. Maybe using the word eclectic will make me sound more sensible. The way we are winging it is working for us. It is setting a pace for the entire family and for each child and that is what is important to us. And we are having so much fun! :)

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:20 AM
Skrink- Thanks for the reassurance! :) I feel like I have to prove myself to others when explaining our homeschool situation. I like how eclectic sounds.

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:21 AM
Farrarwilliams- winging it seems to be working for us and we seem to be happy. Thanks so much for the reply. It helps to know that others accept our style.

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:22 AM
if winging it works, then keep winging it ;)

we wing it too :)

Thanks KristinK! :)

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:24 AM
When a non-homeschool person asks what curriculum we use, I'm always tempted to say, "Eh, we're just winging it." I can only imagine the horrified reaction.

I usually tell people that we find a curriculum for each subject individually in order to find the best fit for the kids. That usually leads to the "how do you know your kids are keeping up" question, which leads to the standardized test question, after which the person loses interest. :)

I find winging it and going at the kids' paces to be two of the greatest pleasures of homeschooling.

lol! I said we were winging it just once and it was at the homeschooling group. I swear it got so quiet you could hear a pin drop. :) It's like others think we pulled the girls out of PS to teach them like PS at home. Why would we do that? Thanks for your input!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:27 AM
I was just winging it today. I just didn't feel like planning anything out. I ended up pulling together some things and we did a couple of hours of work (some math, reading, spelling, computer, science) and then we went and picked pumpkins. I use a curriculum and some workbooks and am usually planned out, but I realized that it is a joy to be able to say,lets go get those pumpkins or do something similar. Tomorrow the kids decided to walk to our Aquarium. We're pretty much winging it tomorrow too!

Interestingly, other homeschool families are very interested in either the curriculum you are using or wondering if you are unschooling. Both kinds of families seem to hope that you are on their "team" if you will.

Hey Jessica- I am winging it today. We will read this afternoon and do a few learning activities, but this morning my husband and I have to get some work done-so this morning the kids are on their own working on projects or playing outside. Winging it? Yes!

We go to a homeschooling group with lots of other families from lots of backgrounds and it seems to be clicky based on ones homeschool style. I haven't fit in because nobody gets my style. :( But I doubt that I am the only one in the group who wings it-if even just a little.

Thanks for your input!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:28 AM
I call myself eclectic, too, and once DD comes home, that will be even more true. DS resists the idea of winging it, though he's amenable to rabbit holes when we find them; DD will literally thrive on winging it. Until the day she wants a schedule. And then the next day I'm sure we'll be back to winging it again. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, right?

Thanks MrsLOLCat! :) Yes everyone is different and I like that part about homeschooling!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:29 AM
I'm winging it too, but to make it sound fancier, I just call myself an eclectic homeschooler. I bring a lot of different stuff, techniques, styles, etc. to it and hope some of it sticks. It seems to be working.

I think eclectic is where we are headed(or already at!). Thanks for your reply!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:33 AM
I am very often winging it. There are certain things that are scheduled but the rest of it, a big ole riding the wind. Although this year I have been introducing more structure/expectations on my 8th grader.

Kewb22- I am much more relaxed with my older child who is at a 5th grade level(4th on some subjects and 8th on others according to our state standards) because she has been in PS until now and I am just finding out where she really is with everything. We are having to go back and relearn some basics that she should have learned in PS. My 1st grader has been advance for the PS system and so we are kinda going at a more accelerated pace and it is a bit more structured with her. I am sure this will change as we go along-but for now I am winging it and going at the pace the kids are. Thanks for your input! :)

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:35 AM
We're winging it if that means not using a set curriculum. We are definitely winging it when it comes to science and history - by any definition, LOL.

Most of the people who ask me about homeschooling would have no clue what I'm talking about even if I listed all the stuff we use and would have no idea what eclectic means. Grade level is probably the most common question and I just tell them - he's doing different grades for different things so he can work where he's at.

dottieanna29- We are definitely winging it more in some areas than others. Math and vocabulary and reading are the only subjects we have any sort of plan with. The other subjects we fold into our weeks and learn about what we want to learn about. I will say eclectic for now on-but not sure what the reaction will be yet!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:37 AM
I pull from different resources too and we have no set schedule just an expectation that if you want free time school work needs to be finished...I suppose we are eclectic too...I like that word...eclectic :)

Me Too! Eclectic sounds so forgiving!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:38 AM
I love this place. I often feel like I'm winging it but I can only imagine how that must sound to other people. It's so good to know that many of you are winging it to one degree or another. ;)

I do have specific curricula/resources that we use, so in that sense we aren't totally winging it, but I'm so flexible about how much we get done each day that that sometimes it certainly feels like we're winging it.

I too feel so accepted here. I am glad to know I will not be judged just because I don't really know what I am doing! :) These forums are awesome! Thanks for your reply!

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:40 AM
i feel most insecure about my loose standards ...

:) I don't know that I feel insecure about my loose standards. I feel like it is hard to explain that my standards are not the same standards as the schools or not even as other homeschoolers. I wish that people understood that each family is going to do this different and that I didn't get the stink eye when I shared my way.

Greenmother
10-20-2011, 07:50 PM
You almost want to make up an answer:

Well the book says I shouldn't potty train them until they are 12. Then we can teach them how to read.

:p

Ellenaj
10-20-2011, 11:05 PM
You almost want to make up an answer:

Well the book says I shouldn't potty train them until they are 12. Then we can teach them how to read.

:p

That's too funny!

beachmama
10-21-2011, 05:25 PM
Wholly cow! While I was reading your post I was thinking, "Wait, when did I post this?" lol! I wing it probably 80% of the time and we love it! Even when I do have planned activities or subjects I still pull stuff in and throw stuff out the entire time. For example: Yesterday we were playing in the backyard with our new baby chicks when all of the sudden I got the idea to make a science journal about them. So I ran inside and made a form for the boys to fill in the weight, height, and color changes of their 2 favorite chicks. I then left a space for a picture, made copies for the next 10 weeks and put them in a folder. Now we have a continuous science experiment for the next 10 weeks. I am going to tie into math to teach them how to make a graph of their data too! I love when things come together :)

Ellenaj
11-02-2011, 08:41 AM
Wholly cow! While I was reading your post I was thinking, "Wait, when did I post this?" lol! I wing it probably 80% of the time and we love it! Even when I do have planned activities or subjects I still pull stuff in and throw stuff out the entire time. For example: Yesterday we were playing in the backyard with our new baby chicks when all of the sudden I got the idea to make a science journal about them. So I ran inside and made a form for the boys to fill in the weight, height, and color changes of their 2 favorite chicks. I then left a space for a picture, made copies for the next 10 weeks and put them in a folder. Now we have a continuous science experiment for the next 10 weeks. I am going to tie into math to teach them how to make a graph of their data too! I love when things come together :)


I do this all of the time. I have had to tell myself-ok not everything can be a learning experience. But I still try to make it into one. I just feel there is so much we can do now that the girls are home! Glad to know I am not the only one!

Marmalade
11-02-2011, 01:28 PM
I honestly think the only "down side" to winging it is trying to explain it to outsiders. I always feel like a deer in the headlights when someone who has no idea what goes on in the homeschooling world asks me what we do.

I've learned to say something like "One of the joys of homeschooling is being able to tailor the curriculum to the child. We aren't following a typical school curriculum because it just doesn't work outside of a classroom" Most people can understand this to some degree and they seem satisfied.

PetVet
11-02-2011, 01:59 PM
i start naming the various curriculums we are using by subject and child, and then they soon have heard enough.

This.

For some reason, they always ask me if I got the curriculum from the school and then are horrified when I tell them I didn't. However once I start naming off all the curriculum we do use, their eyes usually glaze over and I'm off the hook.

Marmalade
11-02-2011, 02:15 PM
This.

For some reason, they always ask me if I got the curriculum from the school and then are horrified when I tell them I didn't. However once I start naming off all the curriculum we do use, their eyes usually glaze over and I'm off the hook.

Oh my goodness-I get that all of the time! They think that the school provides the books and things...No, it's not like that time you were out sick for a month and your teacher sent your homework home with your brother...

Lak001
11-03-2011, 06:58 PM
I wing it too. And that's completely fine, if you ask me. As long as you're getting some work done everyday, and you are happy with it that's all matters. Sometimes I let my dd do whatever she wants. We call them "Unschooling days". Its the time for self reflection for me, and my dd as well. And don't mind all those interrogators. They will always be there. I'm sure you'll learn to ignore them as you become a seasoned HSer.

theWeedyRoad
11-06-2011, 03:31 AM
We are totally eclectic :p

Code for: hmm... which resource do I want to pull something out of for tomorrow's science?


Really, though, when I've broken down and bought a 'real' resource I've never quite happy. Either it talks down to the kids, or the pictures are crap, or the language is wrong, or (usually) it's too darn skimpy.

Like saying slaves were just people who worked and didn't get paid for it :eek: or giving the impression that every child should aspire to a 'service' job (and they didn't mean doctor.. nope. They mention hotels and restaurants. Repeatedly.) Or coming one whisker away from explaining evolution without mentioning DNA at all (even if they were struggling not to irritate religious persons, surely they could have mentioned DNA??) Ah.. Yeah.

We're eclectic.



Sidenote: a well-meaning, elderly neighbor was kind enough to bring me some old magazines. We had quite a conversation... she was shocked that we didn't use curric from the school (i've heard this a number of times). She got over it quickly enough to assure me, repeatedly, that success in ps is predicated on parental involvement. Because, apparently, my children's issues were because I was too lazy to help (riiiiiiight) and now homeschooling gives me the opportunity to ignore their education completely (she didn't say that.. just gave me that impression). I'm still lmbo over that one. She taught me though (along with other folks), those who disagree with our choices will come up with some pretty ridiculous (and illogical) arguments. Best to smile, nod, and keep my laughter to myself. :p

jennykay
11-07-2011, 10:04 AM
We are winging it and it feels good. We run with the mood of the day - and that works for us. It is sometimes a bit hard to explain to others but it's a small price to pay!

Ellenaj
12-08-2011, 11:58 AM
Thank you everyone for your response. We are still winging it! 3-4 months in and I still have no idea what I am doing. It is tough to find what works-isnt' it?

JinxieFox
12-08-2011, 01:25 PM
Pshaw! If winging it still works for you and, more importantly, your kids, then that's what matters. :)