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Taimy
02-05-2012, 02:37 AM
Hi,

I found another similar post but I would like to share my own experience so I can get the help and advice I need.

I am currently struggling with teaching all of my kids. My daughter had a long negative experience in ps and that is the reason she is homeschooling now. I decided also to homeschool my two boys since I decided whatever I choose for one it had to be for the 3 of them (and because their experience with ps in kindergarten wasn't the best either).

One important detail regarding my daughter is that she was retained in kindergarten since her teacher said she was not reading good enough (her best subject now). Last year she was in a ps doing 3rd grade. In January last year I started homeschooling and I was using Time 4 learning for all 3 of my kids. Adding a lot of reading from public Library. Then I started to notice that it was harder and harder each time to made them do their school work until they (the 3 of them) told me they didn't want to do Time 4 Learning anymore (this was a surprise for me since my daughter and my older boy love computers).

After that I starting searching for alternatives. First I started looking for a 4th grade curriculum to buy but my daughter would beg me to get the 3rd grade instead since she didn't feel comfortable doing 4th (I know this is mostly due to math). My husband first convinced me to get a religious curriculum since it was cheaper that the one my daughter wanted buy neither my daughter or me liked it so we ended up returning it, which was also a relief for me since I didn't feel comfortable with the idea of teaching a religious curriculum. We finally got the 3rd grade Calvert curriculum around January 15th (the one my daughter was asking for) also with the promise we will work extra hard to finish it by the end of the school year (in other words do it in 1/2 the time). I had been struggling since they way this curriculum works is that I am supposed to be with my daughter since 9am to 3pm. The instructions are directed to me so there is no way my daughter can work independently. Now, my daughter have the tendency to work really slow which takes us double the time or even more to finish anything (besides that I find that their suggested scheduled not to be very realistic). Those are the days when we spent all day at home, if we need to do some errands any given day, things get much worse. I feel frustrated because I am not only not doing twice the work as I plan buy not even doing what we are supposed to finish in a day. Yesterday, my daughter told us that she didn't like Calvert either. My husband got mad at her and told her she had to finish Calvert or he will put her back in ps. I am not happy with all the situation and to make it worse my daughter is now behind 2 years in school.

It seems that all of this is bad enough but there is more: Since I had been busy with my daughter I have not been giving the time my boys need either, both in 1st grade now. They are 10 months apart but since my older boy was born on September 14 he was forced to star kindergarten together with his brother. My older boy is very smart and get most of the stuff easily but the younger one needs a lot of time and dedication for him to be able to understand new concepts and all his school work in general. So, technically my two boys are 1st grade but in reality my younger boy is a little far behind regarding his brother so they are not at the same level.

I need fresh ideas to help me manage the whole thing and make and schedule that works for all of us. I read about rotating the kids but with the current curriculum my daughter has I don't know how I am going to make this happens. Also people mention that while the are working with one kid the other(s) are playing. Aren't they loosing time they should be using for learning? I just want to be sure my kids are learning everything they should and even better, however (at least at the present moment) this seems so hard to accomplish for me. PLEASE HELP!!!

THANKS!!! ... and I am sorry for the loooong post. lol

dbmamaz
02-05-2012, 10:55 AM
Oh, i'm sorry this sounds so frustrating! I dont know if my perspective will help - but all-in-one curriculum like that tend to be no better a fit for most kids than public school is. The biggest gift for most of us in homeschooling is being able to customize each subject for each child.

OTOH, juggling three kids is a big challenge, and having it all put together sounds like it COULD simplify things - if only it really fit! I do a lot less work than things like Calvert do. If it were me, I would totally split your boys up and give them each work thats actually at their level - not their grade level, but at the level of what they are ready to learn. I know its hard to balance the kids needs for customization against a husband's need for something that 'looks like school'. Its hard to trust that you can relax the programs and still raise successful kids - but if you are pushing them to do work they dont understand - thats not learning. If you are making them rush through so much paperwork that none of it is really sticking - thats not learning.

hopefully some other people will come up w some good ideas - but my only thought is to read more about homeschooling, and see if you can get your husband to let you work with the kids where they are, ignoring any sort of 'grade level' or 'standards'. thats what usually works better for kids . . . in my experience.

Sherry
02-05-2012, 12:15 PM
Can your daughter tell you what it about Calvert that she doesn't like? Is there any part of it she does like? What about the previous programs you used? Knowing what she and you like and don't like about the programs you have tried will give you a better idea of what to look in another program.

I only have two to juggle and they are closer in age than your daughter and sons, but have you considered teaching skill subjects separately and combining all of them for other subjects? Each would have his/her own language arts and math and work at his/her own pace. Everyone would do the same history, science, and whatever other subjects you teach. You could require more output from your daughter or have her do additional reading.

Accidental Homeschooler
02-05-2012, 02:29 PM
That sounds so difficult! I have only two but they are 7 1/2 years apart so there is really no way to combine anything. Maybe you could cut the Calvert in half and go through the summer to finish it(3 days a week or somthing like that). Would that satisfy your husband's concerns? Then you could focus on the boys and have her read or draw or find some online educational games to have her do while you are working with her brothers. You know your dd better than I do obviously, but maybe the pressure to catch-up is part of the problem she is having. The thing about hsing is that you can work at a pace that works for the child. My dd6 is behind in some areas and ahead in others and as long as she is moving forward I have decided that we are good. It is hard to look at grade levels and what she is "supposed to know" and not get stressed but I am really working on it because it just doesn't help and then the anxiety I feel gets communicated to her and gets in the way for both of us. As far as being two years behind, so she goes off to college at twenty instead of eighteen. That would not be a tragedy or even a failure.

Taimy
02-05-2012, 02:49 PM
Sherry:

I got this input from my daughter.

Regarding Calvert:
Dislikes: Too much work, too much material to cover in too little time.
Likes: experiments (in other words, hands on learning and the use of manipulatives)

Regarding Time4Learning:
Dislikes: reading instead of videos when your in the middle of 3rd grade (I don't really understand this one since she always takes a big bunch of books from the library to read), hard quizzes, have to do one of each subject and more than one lesson in each subject which is to much work, not getting to make experiments.
Likes: fun videos, having some minutes of playing.

General in Homeschooling
Dislikes: Have to do P.E. first in the morning which is walking around the park which is a long way, and not having kids around her to play with.
Likes: Spending time with my mom, not having to eat school lunches (which she thinks are gross), not having bullies around.

Taimy
02-05-2012, 03:41 PM
Sherry:

From my own perspective:

With Calvert I feel confident I have everything covered however it takes much of my time and I am not dedicating enough time for the boys (did I mention that I am supposed to cook, clean the house, wash piles of dirty clothes, fold everybody clothes and put them away in drawers {currently I have a big bunch of those ones to fold}, help my husband with his work papers {invoices, bills etc}, take my boys showers every night, vacuum... etc, etc)

With Time4Learning I loved that she did most of her job independently but I was not sure if everything was covered (Of course I could cover what ever I think is missing with extra material after she is done with her online job... if only she accepts to go back to Time4Learning... and if only my husband accepts paying for it again)

In general about homeschooling, I love to spend the day with my kids and do learning stuff together. The only complain I have is that I haven't been able to find the right way to do it and currently the whole situation is very stressing for me. Other than that I kind of became isolated and sometimes I feel kind of lonely.

For my husband is a big issue the fact that I am not working and contributing with the house financial needs. Besides, the fact that I have to spent too much time with the kids and the house is not sparkling clean or organized. He complains that I have not a very rigid schedule to follow since according to him this is the only way my homeschooling would work. He also complains that I am not giving him to much of my attention or time.

Taimy
02-05-2012, 03:56 PM
To Accidental Homeschooler:

Cutting the Calvert program in half won't work. We started it in less than a month ago and our goal is to finish by May, or at least by August as long as is before the next school year starts (doesn't bother me to have to work over the summer). We already trying to do all the job in half the time which makes it more challenging. Now we are working slower that expected everyday which put us on the situation we won't be able to finish even in a whole school year.

I also understand everything else you tell me about the stress produced by the pressure to catch-up. Now, I need to prove my husband that our homeschooling is successful and is working and the kids are learning all they are supposed to.

dbmamaz
02-05-2012, 04:07 PM
It really sounds like you and your husband are majorly at odds here. Does he really work that much that he cant help at ALL around the house? And that you need to do his paperwork for him? Can the kids help more - some people call that home-ec. I label my kids drawers with words and pictures and start them putting their own stuff away by age 4 . . . yes, UNFOLDED.

You guys need to focus on why you are homeschooling - if its because your daughter had negative experiences in school, how does making a negative homeschool environment help? You need to educate your husband (and maybe even you) on the benefits of a more relaxed atmosphere. Producing more written work is NOT the same as learning more.

You keep telling us you've committed to completing the full year of calvert in half the time . . . but it sounds like thats a recipe for failure to me.

and honestly, if your husband feels neglected, he will find ways to put down the homeschooling. You guys need to be steady to make this work.

Can you find a babysitter and do date night? And for PE - can you, instead, find a local homeschool class for PE? We do martial arts. We also go to park days when the weather is good. This works for PE and social interactions.

baker
02-05-2012, 04:09 PM
This is our first year of homeschool (kids were in a private school). They are 1st ad 2nd grade. We started using a variety of curriculum, trying to stick with a Classical approach (what they had in school). I found out my kids did not like the "school at home" approach. I've done a lot of reading and have decided that the kids will do just fine in a less structured environment. I am following a modified Charlotte Mason approach (usinge ambleside online for a lot of my literature ideas). We play math games with a bit of worksheets (I make them to focus on just what they need to work on). History is read-alouds and narration and maybe a project if I can find one appropriate. Science is reading and a project. My kids play outside a lot, so I don't worry about PE. They have a good foundation in grammar (we were using Shurley English) so we work on that just a little. The Shurley books were so repetitive and I just don't think my kids need that.

For you I would suggest that you don't force the youngest one to do the same work as the older 1st grader. He may not be ready. My kids have developed so differently from each other. Let your kids enjoy what they are doing. I found that when I was trying to force learning, my kids would give me a lot of push-back. Now, I am taking a "kinder, gentler approach" and the days are much better. If I were you, I would read up on the different styles. Good luck trying to work with your dh - you really need a strong partnership with the spouse to make this work.

Taimy
02-05-2012, 04:13 PM
Hi dbmamz,

It is frustrating and a BIG challenge. One of my problems precisely is that I don't want to go through a bunch of material while my kids doesn't understand what they are doing (otherwise I would be doing the same ps teachers do). I want to take my time to be sure they understand and grasp every new concept.

The thing is that I could just try to figure it out what my kids should learn by now and whatever they are missing work on that. Still I need to show all the paper work my kids had done through the school year to a teacher so she can make an evaluation and I don't get in trouble with homeschooling officials. If I do a lot of hand of activities and experiments in my homeschooling I won't have to much to prove (in paper) my kids are learning. That would be another issue. :(

Taimy
02-05-2012, 04:27 PM
You are sooo RIGHT!!!
dbmamaz,

I am kind of perfectionist myself and they idea of just putting the clothes UNFOLDED doesn't make me that happy... (the same way not to be sure the kids are learning every single thing the are supposed to) however I know I can not let this become an issue to interrupt our homeschooling so I am willing to give it a try.

Money, it is a big issue in my house now, which means I can not afford any extra activity that requires money (all of them do), going to the park and even the zoo (we have the annual pass and live very close to it) is something we had been doing less and less due to time restriction. I really need to take a break and as you said educate myself about the best way to do this.

Some stuff I help my husband with since they are required to be done on the computer and he simply hates computers. So is well settled that whatever has to be done on the computer is my job to do it.

cupcakes0104
02-05-2012, 04:58 PM
Have you talked to anyone about what it is like to go through the evaluation in your state? A friend of mine in a state that requires evals just went through her first. She was super stressed but, in the end, said it was a joke! "Proving" what they are learning might not be as hard as you think. I'd ask around.

I agree with a lot of the advice being given here. The essence of homeschooling is missing if you are trying to produce, produce, produce paper. Learning is not all about the size of the pile of paper on the table at the end of the day. They'd have you believe that in the public school realm but it really isn't.

My friend took a lot of pictures so if you do an experiment, take pictures of the kids doing it and maybe have them write a few sentences about what they did, how, what they learned, etc.

And, I agree, children make great helpers around the house. I call it "life skills." It takes time and patience to incorporate them into the process and to train them on how to do things right but it is worth it in the end.

Hubby needs to get onto the same page. I took me 4 months when we started to feel like we had a structure emerging and the entire first year was pretty much chaos. Second year was better. Third year has been awesome. I think of it as a jigsaw puzzle where you have to experiment with the pieces to figure out what works for all of you and that takes time. If your oldest is only 3rd/4th grade, you will have several years of school to get caught up and on track.

Hang in there!!

dbmamaz
02-05-2012, 05:01 PM
I hope it all settles down for you soon! I have also heard of people taking pictures of every piece of art, every field trip, every educational game. The evaluators i've heard of dont expect proof of a rigorous curriculum or reams of graded papers. If every kid was expected to do the highest level work, only the top 10% could homeschool. In my state, we have the option of taking a standardized test, instead, so I just do that - as long as they do well enough on the test, no one cares how we spend the year.

Accidental Homeschooler
02-05-2012, 05:24 PM
I guess I am not understanding why you need to finish the Calvert by Fall. What if it takes until October and then she moves on to the next grade level? And I can see why with financial concerns and where your husband is right now with everything that you want to make the Calvert work, but could you pull back on it and take longer and add in things she likes to do while you work with her brothers (things that would reinforce it). You can document the work she does that isn't Calvert can't you? If hands on is good for your kids could you use photos and write a short narrative to go with it. I mean, it sounds like you are in a race.

My dh for a while sort of misunderstood his role in our hs. He thought he was like the principal and I was the teacher. But he is the teacher's HELPER. Once we got that figured out things went much better. I keep him up to date and he is included in decisions but he is not in charge. Sometimes I think men think the way to help is to be in charge, something that goes with the Y chromosome maybe. It may be that he is reacting to the problems you have been having figuring out how to make it work by trying to help the way my dh ofter does, telling me what I need to do. It isn't malicious, it is just the first thing he does to help. So I am thinking Cara has it right that the biggest issue you need to address is that you and your dh are not on the same page. That will undermine things regardless of what curriculum you use.

My house is a wreck most of the time. It sucks and it frequently makes me really cranky. I have started declaring "family cleaning day" every couple of weeks, usually on a Saturday and that helps. Also, I was a stay at home mom and did everything as far as cleaning for a long time and it was a huge mistake I am paying for now. We have made some headway and my kids are getting much better at helping and I consider this one of the unexpected benefits of hsing. When you have the time it is much easier to just do it yourself and that is what I did. It wasn't my plan that my kids would not help, it was just an easy trap to fall into, especially as I really don't mind the work itself that much.

coloradoalice
02-05-2012, 05:48 PM
First off, hugs. You sound incredibly stressed out.

Next, I highly suggest you do what was recommend above and find out how evaluations for your state go. You are likely worried about proving things that you will not have to prove. Find out what you will need and prepare that. Nothing more is necessary.

For your daughter: Do you know what the standards for 3rd grade are? Can you "placement test" her at all to see if she has completed some of what she needs? Admittedly I don't know anything about Calvert but I do know that trying to cram an entire year into half the time is probably going to make you all crazy. That is setting up for failure in my opinion. And remember: kids can make up a whole ton of ground when they are ready. If she's not ready to grasp some concepts she won't. I suggest passing by the stuff she is struggling with and coming back to it in a few months. In the mean time maybe focus on what she enjoys and fly through that. And don't be afraid to skip a lesson if you know she knows it. Curriculum should be a learning tool, not something that holds you hostage.

Your boys: Please let the younger boy fall back to Kindergarten work. I've never heard of a state where you MUST enter K if your birthday falls by a certain date. Many people hold children back a year, boys in particularly, because they just are not ready when they are young. I think that having the boys together, one who excels and one who is struggling, especially given they are not the same age, is setting the younger one up for frustration and animosity towards his brother and you his whole life. Child-led is awesome for Kindergarten. Read to him. Have your daughter read to him. Learn numbers and letters and otherwise let him play. He will do so much better and it will be so much faster and easier when he is older and more ready, like his brother. And he deserves to be able to do the work at his own pace without having the constant competition with his older brother.

Most of all I encourage you to find the joy in learning. You sound so stressed and so locked into things that absolutely must be done. I did the same thing when I first started. I was so concerned about doing everything in order while dotting all my i's and crossing all my t's. I totally ran over the joy. Killed it actually! We had to completely deschool/unschool for 6 weeks and then get started with me keeping the love of learning as the ultimate goal. It can make all the difference.

And your husband? He needs to learn to trust the process and back off. You all need time to figure it out. That's the wonderful thing about home schooling, you have the luxury of figuring it out and tweeking and changing over and over again. I understand you made an investment in what you purchased but it needs to work for you and with you or it is pointless. Threats of PS if you don't finish are unfair and he needs to understand that. He needs to trust that you can tell if your kids are learning and that you will make sure they don't just learn something but that you want to make sure in the process that they want to keep learning tomorrow.

Getting started takes awhile. My first year was full of frustration and I put crazy expectations on myself. Chilling out and focusing on the love of learning really helped. And I still have moments where I wonder if I'm doing it right but then one of the kids comes out with something brilliant and I realize we are ok. And most of all we like each other and our time together and that's just as much the point as academics are in my world.

CatInTheSun
02-05-2012, 06:00 PM
I agree with previous responses. It sounds to me like you don't have realistic expectations for homeschooling and your dh doesn't have realistic expectations. Period. It kinda sounds like hs is fine as long as it doesn't affect him at all (reduce income, take your energy, or result in a not-so-spotless house). For one thing, you are all home more, so you have more time to mess the house up. We figure we put 3-4 times the wear on our house per year than a "traditional" 2 wage-earner kids in school family simply because we USE the house more! I was lucky -- dh and I were on the same page and when our first was born he was a SAHD for the first couple years. That was the BEST thing EVER for our family and marriage -- I got to feel what it's like to pull into the driveway fried from work and the commute and be met with an equally frazzled spouse holding a baby out to me. LOL Now, if dh comes home and the kitchen is spotless, fine. If he comes home and every surface is covered with dirty dishes because I haven't gotten a chance to even unload the dishwasher, fine. He rolls up his sleeves and starts cleaning. Not every spouse is going to be so generous, but your dh does need to accept that supporting HSing means yes, he's going to have to pitch in or at least adjust his expectations.

As to curriculum: when transitioning from ps to hs it usually takes some "unschooling" time to unwind and be ready for the new situation. By starting Day 1 with an expectation of doing things double speed you really set yourself up for failure. And hs-ing 6 hours per day sounds absolutely nuts to me! My advice would be to look at the Calvert curriculum and pick out the 3 Rs. You should be able to complete those in 2 hours/day. If not, trim more. Now add in one subject "for fun" that your dd likes.

For writing, have dd journal 2 pages every day. There's your paper. Have a list of topics on hand if she gives the, "but I don't know what to write about" argument. It doesn't matter what she writes about. Don't correct it for grammar or spelling. It's just about getting her sued to writing and putting her thoughts on paper. Later you can serendipitously use her journal to find future spelling words. :D Note, this is NOT a diary -- this is a writing journal. This is not supposed to be private. Then have her share with you what she wrote. Be appreciative. ;) Later you can have her take a short story she started and finish it. Do rewrites to improve grammar and word usage. Have he write it up neatly, illustrate it, make a cover, and bind it. Plus you've got the whole writing process to show in your portfolio. ;)

For reading, just keep track of what she is reading and discuss it. For math, you might try her "regular" lessons 5x a week and 2x a week do and extra lesson from a later chapter on a topic such as probability, geometry, money, etc -- the stuff that is "fun" and doesn't depend on what she is learning right now in math. Only do as many problems as she needs to laster the material. Start by assigning HALF. That's what most teachers do, btw.

Get those things on track, do a similar plan for your ds's (but their schooling should only take 60-90 min/day). Maybe you can do the "fun" subject together. Maybe dh would be willing to teach the "fun" subject while you are doing the computer stuff or cleaning (or soaking in the tub, LOL).

Do your hardest subject first thing in the morning and start the day with lessons, not PE. You want to use that first boring energy, not tire her out and then expect her to LEARN. PE is great when you both need a break or to wind down after lessons. Have fun stuff ready for when she finishes her lessons -- the Wii was the best hs tool I ever bought! LOL I have 3 kids (8, 6, 3) and I line up materials so that while I am working with one the other(s) can be doing independent work. For example, I usually start with math for my 8yo, during which time my 6yo works thru a stack of workbooks (HWOT, MCP Phonics, and math). Then I work with my 6yo on further math concepts while my 8yo reads to my 3yo. Then I do phonics with my 3yo while my 8yo and 6yo do their reading. Then we all get on the couch for story time, put some activity out for the 3yo while I do MCT LA with the older 2 (grammar, etc). We're usually done with all this core stuff by 10am. Then we do the extra stuff: science or history or latin. My 8yo does her journaling and reading after lunch if she hasn't already (often reads while I'm working with her siblings). In the afternoon we do piano lessons.

I also agree you need to ask around and find out what to expect for the state evaluation. Can you switch to a Jan-Jan school calendar? I don't think they will expect too much since you've only been doing it half a year and your dd was already having trouble in ps.

GOod luck!

Batgirl
02-05-2012, 08:31 PM
Regarding the Calvert only, have you joined the Calvert Yahoo group? They will have tons of suggestions for streamlining it. I don't know anyone else who takes the full six hours to finish. Here's the link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Calvert/?yguid=285720991 Also, have you tried calling the Education Counselors? They might have some good suggestions.

I am currently using Calvert second grade for my oldest son. Here's some stuff that works for us.

Like Cat said, in math, assign half the problems, then the rest only if they are needed.

Feel free to cull anything you feel your daughter already grasps or subjects that may be secondary to your goal. You can probably put Science, History and Art on hold for awhile or just check out some fun books from the library.

Rearrange the schedule to suit your family's needs. It's not set in stone. Customize the curriculum so that it works for you. Calvert is so structured it really lends itself to this.

Let your daughter dictate some of her assignments instead of writing everything down. Why force them to fill out every worksheet when they can read it and just tell you the answers?

I get out everything in advance and set it out in order so that when we do start work, nothing breaks the momentum. My son gets a break after every two subjects and plays video games. This is a big, big motivator.

Good luck!

Sherry
02-06-2012, 08:49 AM
Taimy,

You daughter has provided the answer. It is not Calvert that is the problem, it is the pace. Slow down and do PE later in the day. Follow the suggestions others have provided and skip or skim the less important materials. Accept that there will be gaps in your children's education - there would be gaps if they were in brick and mortar schools too.

Is there a homeschooling group in your area? Even if you don't want to join, someone may be willing to meet with you to discuss some of your concerns. You will probably find the evaluation to be less stringent than you envision. The evaluator certainly will not want to review reams of paper. You will be asked to provide samples of work from throughout the year.

Be creative with science and history. Your daughter likes hands-on. Do hands-on. She (and your sons) could keep a science notebook. She could draw pictures of her experiments and/or write a few sentences about each one. You could take photographs and have her caption them. USE your zoo membership. Study animals that you can go observe. Draw pictures of them. Check into educational activities at the zoo. Mine offers surprisingly inexpensive homeschool classes. Look for free/inexpensive field trip opportunities in your local area. Take photos, buy postcards, or have children draw pictures and write about the trip. This is learning too.

You wanted a schedule, so here is one possibility:
8-8:30 - Family read-aloud
8:30-9:30 - Daughter - math, 1 other subject as time permits; boys play
9:30-10 - Son1 - math/phonics; D - silent reading; S2 Starfall or other educational activity
10-10:30 - Son2 - math/phonics; D- continue reading or journaling; S1 Starfall or other educational activity
10:30-10:45 - Put on some music and dance or have children hop around the house for a few minutes
10:45-11:00 - All children - handwriting, sons play when finished
11-noon - Daughter - language arts, plays when finished
noon-1:30 - Lunch, tidy or clean house
1:30-2:00 - Read aloud from one of daughter's texts, read picture book(s) on same subject for boys
2-?- Daughter - hands-on activity, sons join in or play; Upon completion of activity, have a general tidying and then go outside for PE or play. You can do more cleaning after that if needed.

Remember your Aesop's "Slow and steady wins the race." :)

lakshmi
02-06-2012, 12:37 PM
Great job sherry!!! Be careful or we may all be asking for schedules soon!! vIn fact....!!

Taimy
02-07-2012, 02:31 AM
Thank you so much for your nice advise. I think you are right about the younger one. I will be trying with him a more informal approach. I just got a big bunch of learning books (not really textbooks) but stories that implies learning. (Like "Eggs and Legs, counting by twos" or "eating fractions" and stuff like that. I also got some learning videos.

I also understand how important is for my to get my husband support so I can succeed in hs. Working toward that is also one of my important goals.

Taimy
02-08-2012, 03:21 PM
Thanks cupcakes0104 and thanks to everyone, I have been working in your advices little by little. We had been still busy though, but today we were working on "life skills" as you said. I took out the big bunch of unfolded clothes and we all work on folding them and putting them back in the drawers. I had to work hard on not expecting to much from the kids and accepted that they can not fold the clothes as well as I do yet so the drawers doesn't look that nice but who cares anyway.

I know I had to work it out with my husband but to tell you the truth I don't have a clue where to start. Last night he told me that he wasn't sure if it was work the effort because he believed I was doing extra work with the homeschooling thing.

I loved the idea of taking pictures when doing experiments, probably I will be doing the same when working on manipulatives which is something I love to use in my homeschooling.

dbmamaz
02-08-2012, 03:49 PM
i dont know why, i think kids doing laundry is cute!! And of course, they do need to learn life skills!

Husband are hard to convince. mine had been vehemently opposed to homeschooling for years, but finally caved the year that my son was in 7th grade and calling me every other day begging me to take him home, and getting detentions and suspensions, and his test grades were falling, AND HIS son was waking up every morning begging not to have to go back to kindergarten.

He made me promise to keep them at level with the public school, because he was sure I would fail, fully expecting me to have a nervous breakdown. But after a few mo he could see how much happier the boys were, and i hadnt given up yet, so he became more supportive. The end of that year I pointed out that, really, for my son we had to decide the next four years, because its really hard to move in to public school in the middle of high school here - its a credit system and they often wont give homeschoolers transfer credits. But he was ok with it.

a lot of women say their husband are opposed at first but eventually become staunch supporters - so just keep talking and try to be patient with him, too

Taimy
02-08-2012, 04:27 PM
Accidental Homeschooler:

The idea to finish the Calvert program by Fall is that by then I wanted my daughter to be evaluated so I could officially had finish 3rd grade and I could move on to the next level (I believe that I need to do that at the end of every school year or I will get in trouble)

lol Yeah, I something feel I am in a race too and believe me this is not letting us enjoy hs as much. About the house, we just started to make a couple of adjustment about that. Kids are complaining all the time about it but I told them if they keep complaining they would get extra work so I hope it gets better with time. For a couple of resting time between folding clothes I let them watch a couple of shorts learning videos from the library. I guess today it had been a great day after all, specially taking into consideration all the chaos we went through the previous weeks.

I hate my house to be messy (even though it messy most of the time) It seems like when I finish cleaning up a room all the others are already upside down. My family mess up faster that I clean up. lol To make it worse I live in south FL where the weather is pretty hot, still somebody decided to put carpet in almost every room in the house except for the kitchen and family room (which became the playroom and now the learning room) and after years the carpet has become very, very dirty. Specially after another family was living in my house the months we were living in WA. For that reason more and more I had been avoiding people to come to my house and now nobody does. (sigh) I don't really like it, since it makes me feel lonely.

Accidental Homeschooler
02-08-2012, 08:21 PM
Standardized Tests: Only required for parents homeschooling under the homeschool law in Option 1 above.
The parent must file a copy of the evaluation with the local school superintendent annually. There is no
specific statutory deadline. Fla. Stat. Ann. 1002.41(1)(c). Each student must do one of the following each
year:
1) Have educational progress evaluated by a teacher holding a valid regular Florida teaching certificate
and selected by the parent. The evaluation must include review of a portfolio and discussion with the
student;
2) Take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
3) Take “a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified
teacher, at a location and under testing condition approved by the school district”;
4) Be evaluated by a Florida licensed psychologist or school psychologist; or
5) Be “evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon.”
“The district school superintendent shall review and accept the results of the annual evaluation…. If the pupil
does not demonstrate educational progress at a level commensurate with his ability, the superintendent shall
notify the parent in writing....” The parent shall have one year to provide “remedial instruction” to the pupil.
At the end of the “one year probationary period” the student shall be reevaluated to determine if he has
progressed “commensurate with his ability.” Fla. Stat. Ann. 1002.41(2).

OK, so it reads for me that the portfolio evaluation is all you would need to do. You will have her work showing progress over time. Her progress has to be commensurate with her ability and she is two years behind when you are starting. I can't imagine that the teacher YOU CHOOSE will not understand that a child who is two years behind is not going to get to grade level in one year. Have you talked to anyone who has been through this process? Could you talk to a teacher who evaluates portfolios and ask her what her opinion is about what progress is expected for a child who got so far behind grade level in ps?

I don't mean to sound harsh but I remember worrying about all this also and trying to figure out the laws here and doing way more documentation than I need to for my state. Even if you don't meet the state's standards your first year (and I think you are thinking that they are going to be way higher than they are) you have an additional year. So, you have two years, not one, to get your dd closer to her actual grade level.

Your dd has had a few years already of feeling like a failure. You don't want her to feel like a failure at home too. Doesn't it make more sense to structure hs so she can feel successful and confident? And I still don't think you need to finish the Calvert by Fall. She just has to show reasonable progress based on where she started.

Taimy
02-08-2012, 08:47 PM
Coloradoalice:

Thanks for your post!

No, I do not know the standards for 3rd grade. I will really appreciate it if someone here knows and share with me where I can find more information about it. Regarding the placement test I tried a test I got from a learning/teacher store but was disappointed with it. The test I bought didn't really show what my daughters knows or need help with.

The problem with my older boy it is probably more about shyness than academic. Now the bigger problem I am having with him is reading. He knows all the letters and letters sounds however he refused to put the sounds together. For example, I make him tell me the sound for C-A-T, each letter at a time, then when I ask him to put the sounds together he will insist in sound each letter separately. To make it worst English is not my first language so I can of struggle teaching phonics and LA. :(

My daughter refuses to read to her brothers. She loves to go to her room, fill her bed with bed with books and read like for ever but even when I make her read aloud to me (to improve of tone, emphasis, etc) she is not that happy about it.

To know that most of you guys struggle too the first year give me a relief and make me feel I am not alone in this. I trust now things will get better.

Sherry
02-08-2012, 09:34 PM
Taimy,

Sounding out individual letters is normal in a child learning to read. Even if it is the same word he just read. Have your son watch the Leapfrog Talking Words Factory http://www.amazon.com/LeapFrog-Talking-Roy-Allen-Smith/dp/B001U7NW20/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328753737&sr=8-1 DVD. Your public library probably has the entire series. Play the DVD every day for a week or two. The talking frog never gets tired of explaining how to put letters together to make words. One day it will click and you can move on to the next challenge.

Taimy
02-08-2012, 10:18 PM
Hi CatInTheSun (lol my daughter loves cats)

Following your advice about adding a subject "for fun", so far I have noticed that the one she loved the best is science. However following the Calvert curriculum we do not do as much science as my daughter would like. :( After reading your post I asked my daughter to make a list of all the stuff she likes to do for fun and I will share it with you now:

- Do experiments and take risks. lol
- Play outdoor games or just to spend time outdoors.
- Play board games.
- Spend time with mom.
- Spend time with my family.
- Do art and craft.
- Play chess (she recently start learning the game since I am taking her to a club in the public library (2x a month). I actually took the 3 kids to the club buy my boys didn't want to play chess, at least not yet so I decided that I shouldn't force them. My daughter also wants to take extra classes in chess since we know a chess teacher but that would means to pay for the classes... not for now :(
- Spend time with animals (she actually wants to do some kind of volunteer work like in a shelter or something like that but this is something very hard for me to accomplish. Actually I did it while living in WA but since I had to take the 3 kids there it was a little complicated. My daughter couldn't do the volunteer thing alone because she was too young [according to the shelter regulations], my older son star to have a rash and I started to believe he was allergic, and my younger boy was scared of big dogs (the ones my daughter and older son liked the most) The animals my daughter says she likes the most are: cats, dogs, horses, bunnies, lizards, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters and mice: like most of them!!! lol.
- Read books.
- Listen to songs and music.
- Play in the computer and with electronic/video Games (so far I only had gotten them Vtech and Leapster games but she had been asking for a Nintendo wii but I'm afraid I can not afford it right now)
- Spend time, play with friends (not friends right now. I need to get involved with a homeschooling group so the have the chance to meet regularly with other kids. My husband was taking them to a church but it is a small church and there are not other kids there. They actually don't even have a class for kids so my daughter now refuses to go since she says she get bored all the time)
- Do crochet (we both started to learn recently to with the help of a book I found in the library and internet videos)
- Dance and play the guitar (she doesn't know how to play the guitar yet buy would love to learn)
- Go to the mall (typical girl lol)
- Have a girl day with mom (she already announce that on her birthday she wants to have a gird day in which boys are not going to be allowed, at least most of the day. lol)
- Spend time by myself and play alone in my room with my toys.
- Solve mysteries.
- Go to the library.
- Cook.
- Play water games (like in a swimming pool)
- Play sports. Sports she like: Swimming, Ice skating (she did a little of this while living in WA), Tennis and kung fu)

Wow, she game me a big list.

Making her write in a journal will be a little tough. I will have to push her to do it since is not her favorite thing to do.

Soaking in the tub sound soo good however I don't think I can count on my dh to teach the kids, the most he does is to read them a book and when I ask him to do so. :(

I like the idea of the Jan-Jan calendar. ;) Sorry for the looooong post.

Taimy
02-08-2012, 10:31 PM
Hello again dbmamaz,

I love the idea of taking pictures. I also will find out about the option for taking standardized test and will get more information about it. Some people, I think, doesn't believe those test are very effectives. Thanks for all your positive input.

Taimy
02-09-2012, 02:03 AM
Thanks a million Sherry, your ideas are wonderful. I love the schedule you are sharing with me, however I will like to share with you what I was trying to do each day.

Lesson 1: math, science, spelling, composition, phonics, reading, social studies.
Lesson 2: math, mythology, spelling, geography, art, phonics, reading.
Lesson 3: math, science, spelling, composition, phonics, reading, reading and technology, social studies.
Lesson 4: math, mythology, spelling, composition, composition and technology, phonics, reading, geography.
Lesson 5: math, science, spelling, composition, composition and technology, phonics, reading, poetry, social studies.
That would be one week and then it follows the same matter for the most part.

By the way, now my husband was fixing my stove and I read to him your schedule and he loves it too. He thinks it makes more sense that what I had been trying to be doing. I guess the problem is also with me that I want to do absolutely everything I am asked to do and the idea of my kids of not learning everything is the same as me failing as a mother/teacher. I know is not like that. It is just hard to explain, part of me doesn't want to accept that other part of me push me to believe that.

About the homeschooling group. I do know a couple of them but I decided with my husband not to join yet. Maybe by august we will be doing it. I don't know how it would be to meet someone in one of those groups. I will need to call them and ask.

Thanks again, for everything.

Taimy
02-10-2012, 05:54 PM
Batgirl,

I will check the Calvert yahoo group. I didn't know about it.

About assigning half of the problems in math I haven't been able to do it so far. She had make mistakes in the first half and I decided she needed more practice.

Thanks for all the nice ideas. :)

Taimy
02-10-2012, 06:09 PM
Hi, Shelly. I will be using the Leapfrog Talking Words Factory DVD. Thanks!!!

wife&mommy
02-10-2012, 07:27 PM
Also, check this out as well. You can register with an "umbrella school" in Florida, some of them, like this one only require attendance, no testing. :)
http://www.freewebs.com/floridaunschoolers/
And it isn't just for unschoolers, don't be fooled by the name, anyone that is home educating can join.

Taimy
02-10-2012, 08:15 PM
I will check, wife&mommy, but I had the feeling that I will be required to finish certain amount of material in certain time, which is my main concern now.

wife&mommy
02-10-2012, 08:24 PM
I will check, wife&mommy, but I had the feeling that I will be required to finish certain amount of material in certain time, which is my main concern now.

Sorry if I missed this, but required by who?

Sherry
02-11-2012, 07:41 AM
I will like to share with you what I was trying to do each day.

Lesson 1: math, science, spelling, composition, phonics, reading, social studies.
Lesson 2: math, mythology, spelling, geography, art, phonics, reading.
Lesson 3: math, science, spelling, composition, phonics, reading, reading and technology, social studies.
Lesson 4: math, mythology, spelling, composition, composition and technology, phonics, reading, geography.
Lesson 5: math, science, spelling, composition, composition and technology, phonics, reading, poetry, social studies.
That would be one week and then it follows the same matter for the most part.

....I guess the problem is also with me that I want to do absolutely everything I am asked to do and the idea of my kids of not learning everything is the same as me failing as a mother/teacher. I know is not like that. It is just hard to explain, part of me doesn't want to accept that other part of me push me to believe that. .

You can cover all of those subjects, just maybe not all at once. :) Several of them could be done informally. Mythology, poetry, social studies/geography, science, and possibly art could be covered as read-alouds to all your children. Science, art, and social studies/geography could also be project-based, or studied via field trips and DVDs. You could get a geography/map skills workbook and have your daughter work through it as independent work, or play geography games, there are a ton of them. You could rotate through subjects on a daily basis or spend a week or two (a month?) on one and then move on to then next.

Composition, spelling, reading, and phonics are all part of language arts. If she is reading well does she need phonics? Would spelling cover this? I don't know what you mean by technology - is this keyboarding skills? Are you teaching your native language, at least informally?

I wanted to share something a woman in my homeschooling group told me. Her oldest son could not grasp math in first grade. She tried a different program in second grade, he still did get even the basic concepts, a third program for third grade, still not getting it. When he was in fourth grade, she tried a fourth program at the FIRST GRADE level. It finally clicked. He completed first and second grade math in fourth grade, studied third grade math over the summer and started fourth grade math mid-October of his fifth grade year. He is moving more slowly through the fourth grade material, but he is making progress. She hopes to finish fourth grade math and start fifth by summer, with the goal of being at grade level by the start of his seventh grade year.

Taimy
02-11-2012, 01:44 PM
lol Silly me. I though you were talking about something similar to virtual schools. Virtual schools required daily attendance and that the student complete certain amount of work everyday.

Taimy
02-11-2012, 07:12 PM
You can cover all of those subjects, just maybe not all at once. :) Several of them could be done informally. Mythology, poetry, social studies/geography, science, and possibly art could be covered as read-alouds to all your children. Science, art, and social studies/geography could also be project-based, or studied via field trips and DVDs. You could get a geography/map skills workbook and have your daughter work through it as independent work, or play geography games, there are a ton of them. You could rotate through subjects on a daily basis or spend a week or two (a month?) on one and then move on to then next.

Composition, spelling, reading, and phonics are all part of language arts. If she is reading well does she need phonics? Would spelling cover this? I don't know what you mean by technology - is this keyboarding skills? Are you teaching your native language, at least informally?

I wanted to share something a woman in my homeschooling group told me. Her oldest son could not grasp math in first grade. She tried a different program in second grade, he still did get even the basic concepts, a third program for third grade, still not getting it. When he was in fourth grade, she tried a fourth program at the FIRST GRADE level. It finally clicked. He completed first and second grade math in fourth grade, studied third grade math over the summer and started fourth grade math mid-October of his fifth grade year. He is moving more slowly through the fourth grade material, but he is making progress. She hopes to finish fourth grade math and start fifth by summer, with the goal of being at grade level by the start of his seventh grade year.

That sounds great, however, I notice now that I missed one important detail to tell you guys. The program I am with Calvert I enter an special program in order to pay only half of the tuition. I believe I am supposed to cover their curriculum since they (Calvert) is making an study to see how well their curriculum works. If I follow your advice I will be skipping their Mythology, poetry, social studies/geography, science and art and incorporating my own. The only thing I can think of is to contact them to see if they are OK with that as well as explain them all the problems I am encountering with their curriculum.

About skipping phonics, they strongly recommend to parents to do it; which make me thing that is not mandatory so I will probably skip. Spelling, I am not sure what could I do about it.

Something else, everybody seems to tell me to put some subjects aside for now. Aren't those other subjects important too? It also happens that my daughter's favorite subjects are Art and Science (and now Mythology), the ones most people tell me not to focus on right now.

wife&mommy
02-11-2012, 07:26 PM
lol Silly me. I though you were talking about something similar to virtual schools. Virtual schools required daily attendance and that the student complete certain amount of work everyday.

Nope this is just a school you register with and you report their attendance once a quarter. There is nothing else to report, ever. :)

Batgirl
02-11-2012, 08:37 PM
That sounds great, however, I notice now that I missed one important detail to tell you guys. The program I am with Calvert I enter an special program in order to pay only half of the tuition. I believe I am supposed to cover their curriculum since they (Calvert) is making an study to see how well their curriculum works. If I follow your advice I will be skipping their Mythology, poetry, social studies/geography, science and art and incorporating my own. The only thing I can think of is to contact them to see if they are OK with that as well as explain them all the problems I am encountering with their curriculum.

About skipping phonics, they strongly recommend to parents to do it; which make me thing that is not mandatory so I will probably skip. Spelling, I am not sure what could I do about it.

Something else, everybody seems to tell me to put some subjects aside for now. Aren't those other subjects important too? It also happens that my daughter's favorite subjects are Art and Science (and now Mythology), the ones most people tell me not to focus on right now.

Okay, right now my advice is to have a long, long talk with the Calvert folks to see what suggestions they can give you and how much discretion you have to change things around. I've heard of this study, and it's to see how well Calvert works. So doing the entire curriculum with only minimal modifications may be required to qualify for the free tuition. (You receive the other half of the tuition upon completing the program, I believe?)

On the other hand, could you just drop Calvert completely and do your own thing? It might be easier.

Staysee34
02-11-2012, 08:53 PM
Batgirl, that's what I was thinking too. Why not just go rogue? Seriously, Taimy, everyone in your home seems to be struggling and completely overwhelmed. I would strongly suggest deschooling for a while and starting completely over with new, handpicked curriculum. Honesty, if you wanted to, you could do it for no more than the cost of printer ink which to the best of my estimation ability would cost you considerably less then when you had them all 3 enrolled with Time 4 Learning. Here's a link to the blog post created by Bugs with all free materials. You should take a look. http://www.secularhomeschool.com/entries/1233-The-quot-Free-quot-List

Taimy
02-11-2012, 10:43 PM
Okay, right now my advice is to have a long, long talk with the Calvert folks to see what suggestions they can give you and how much discretion you have to change things around. I've heard of this study, and it's to see how well Calvert works. So doing the entire curriculum with only minimal modifications may be required to qualify for the free tuition. (You receive the other half of the tuition upon completing the program, I believe?)

On the other hand, could you just drop Calvert completely and do your own thing? It might be easier.

You know what, BatGirl, that sounds like a great idea. I am will contact them on Monday and I will see what options I have for dropping her. It is not use to force my daughter to do a curriculum she doesn't like. The hard part to convince in here is my husband (since he paid for the curriculum). I will see what I can do to make him understand. Cross your fingers for me, please!!! lol

Taimy
02-11-2012, 10:53 PM
Thanks for those links, Staysee34. I will check them thoroughly tomorrow, I am so tired now! :( I will also think thoroughly the idea of dropping my daughter from Calvert. As I said before I don't want to make her life miserable by forcing her to do a curriculum she dislike. About time4Learning, I tried that before, my daughter doesn't want it. My older son is trying to convince his dad to get if for him but his dad doesn't want to spend more money for now on a new curriculum. My younger one doesn't like computers that much so I am not sure is a good idea for him. (sigh) I will see what is best for everybody and try to take the best decision.

Staysee34
02-11-2012, 11:03 PM
Lol...I think I didn't make my suggestion clear enough. What I meant to say was that you could homeschool your kids in a way that suits them better that would cost less than when you had them all enrolled in the Time 4 Learning program. Sorry, for the misunderstanding. I didn't mean to return them to that program as I know it caused some financial burden for your family. Also, on the housecleaning end of things, I use W.I.L.D. cards. It stands for Walk In Look and Do. Basically, you make up little cards with pictures or words for the rooms in your house with a short description of things to do in that room (pick up toys, empty garbage, etc.). The kids take a card and go off to that room to do what needs done. I use it as a movement break along with short burst PE stuff when we've been at the table too long and a movement break is in order. I hope things start looking up for you soon.

Taimy
02-12-2012, 05:37 PM
No, forgive me for misunderstanding you. I know that the Time4Learning program offers a $5 discount for each additional student but I am not sure if I will use it or not. My older son is the one that is asking for it, and a few minutes ago my daughter told me she prefers it to Calvert. Since my younger one is not into computers I will have to use another approach with him. To tell you the truth I don't know what to do about it.

What I am trying to figure out know is my kids learning style (I kind of have an idea but I want to be sure). What happens is that I am starting to believe is that the 3 of them learn better in a different way, then I am going to end up doing something different which everyone of them.

I like the idea of the W.I.L.D. cards but I tried something similar assigning chores by chance every week and then they were complaining when the had to do repeatedly a chore they dislike. I am thinking about making a list and make the kids taking turns doing each shore. That way everyone will do a little bit of everything. I am not that sure how effective this can be though, since there would be some shores which are going to be a little hard to handle by my younger one. Hmm, maybe I should be looking for another alternatives, what do you think?

Staysee34
02-12-2012, 06:50 PM
Here's the thing I've discovered and read about learning styles. They change all the time and can change for each subject. Your child may be a strong auditory learner with history but a visual or hands-on learner for math. Next year, it may be the other way around. The best way I've found to deal with learning styles is to present everything in a multi-sensory way. We say, see, and do almost everything. I know it's crazy but it works for us. I'm sure others can give you a better insight into discovering your children's learning styles.

And I can honestly tell you that the only reason the WILD card thing works at my house is because my girls only have 2 choices. Either choose a card and do it or stay at the table and continue their studies. You'd be amazed at what they'll do just to get away from school work even if it is only 10 minutes lol.

Taimy
02-12-2012, 10:05 PM
lol Now I understand how does the W.I.L.D. cards work?

Gee, I really didn't know this stuff about learning styles were so complex. I guess the best solution then is to do what you did, use a multi-sensory approach. But this also sounds like a lot more work, is it?

Staysee34
02-13-2012, 07:36 AM
Actually, for me anyway, I've found this approach much easier. But like I said before, my girls are extremely active so anything I can come up with that gets them away from the table but still learning always works. It's not really a lot more work. All you really need to do it tune into your kids. If you see they are struggling with something come up with "out of the box" ways to teach it. The most important thing in all this is meeting your kids where they are. If your youngest boy is only capable of Kindergarten work, then that's what he should be doing. If your daughter is capable of 4th grade language arts but 3rd grade math, then that's what she should be doing. If your son is begging for Time 4 Learning and it was working for him, then by all means let him do it and supplement his studies where you see fit. I know your family is struggling which is why I pointed out the free resources on this forum. Best of Luck to you and your family!

Taimy
02-13-2012, 11:40 AM
I am working on that. I feel much better now and more confident I can handle the whole situation. Little by little I would be making adjustments to fix homeschooling the way it can work better for our family. I am really happy I found this place. I had meet very awesome people here which have giving me the support I needed. Thanks to everybody. Hugs!!! :)