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  1. #1
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Default Ok, talk me down here?!

    Let me preface this by saying my anxiety has been rediculously high for no good reason for the past few days since I returned from vacation. But i'm starting to feel like i'm painting myself in to a very painful corner for this coming year!

    First of all, this will be our second year of homeschooling. I felt like last year went ok, but not great. We kinda petered out at some point, with school not starting until 11, including a walk and lunch, and ending by 2. thats just not enough time. And there were way too many interuptions from things like doctors apts and family crises.

    I'm trying to make up by doing summer school, but of course we just lost 2 weeks due to an out-of-country trip, and my older boy will be at his bio-dad's the rest of this week, and then we're already in august.

    So, my plan for next year:
    Raven will do most of his work on Time4Learning - last year I had a hard time getting him to DO T4L, but he's been better about it over the summer - pretty happy to do it. HWOT didnt get done last year - we finished maybe 1/3 of it, maybe less. I'm not sure I can manage to do better this year, we'll see. Reading? He's improving but finding time to read to him seems to be harder now, and i dont know why.

    Orion: I ordered the full set of MCT Voyage, since we did pretty well w paragraph town last year. This will require a lot of time from me, but I really liked the quality of the program and felt like my son both progressed well and enjoyed the together time. I also ordered singapore math secondary level 1. This will also require a lot of my time. But my 14 yo has so much math anxiety, he seems to REALLY need me to be with him most of the time he's doing math.

    My plan was to basically put up a timeline for history and work our way through it with library books .. . but i'm struggling to see when I'll find time to do this. My plan for science was to work through Joy Hakim's story of science along with history, but this seems to require more planning than I think I'll actually do.

    Then came along the co-op - and i've agreed to teach chemistry. I'm a bit in a tizzy about it because I thought the curriculum was all set, but realized its a grade school curriculum and i also have a class of 12-16 yo's to teach. This will probably require a good deal of planning time (of which I generally have very little).

    Now, there's a great deal on a language program I want at the homeschool co-op, and after being in canada among french speakers, learning french for the whole family seems like a great goal. Plus someone is trying to put together a local french class for kids Raven's age. Seems like a win, right?

    Well, my 17 yo is supposed to be moving in w her bf's mom in CA (which could mean we have a crisis in late fall), I'm trying to get a dog because i've been more than a year without one, my husband is about to start seriously looking to change jobs, and dont forget the big UU church auction which I do the database for, starting up in a month here.

    I am NOT organized, I do NOT have any sort of help, and I cant see any possible way to get this all done.

    ?????
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

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  3. #2

    Default

    So did writing all that out help with the anxiety?

    On the history and science, were you planning to do those daily or switch them out? We do History on Mondays and Wednesdays and Science on Tues/Thurs. Truthfully, we skim history - we read a lot, and occasionally do a multi-disciplinary project, but rarely do we do a full on, in-depth history lesson. Of course, my kidlets are younger than yours, too, so that may not work for you.

    For co-op, do you or can you have a co-teacher to share the planning with?

    Do you hold the same lesson at th same time (like Math for everyone from 9-10AM or something similar)? If not, then keeping lessons all together might help you stay more organized in your head since you're in 'math mode' now and 'science mode' then. Do the older kids read well enough to read to Raven, or can Dad/Partner read in the evenings while you're making dinner or something?

    As for the rest, breathe deep at take it one step at a time. I don't know how helpful this is - but I do know how stressful life can be. ((hugs)) Hang in there!
    ~h
    Heather
    Shamrocks' wife since 1999
    Homeschooling Mom to LittleBoyBlue (14) and PeaGreen (12)

    My Blog:This Adventure Life & Facebook
    Texas Secular Homeschooling Network
    "Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being"~ Kittie Franz
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  4. #3

    Default

    You're a bit overextended, but you can probably pull it off. You absolutely need to set some realistic* goals and prioritize.


    I would scrap the French this year


    *This is my big problem, remembering that goals need to be reachable in order to work
    Brandi
    Alabama Gulf Coaster,
    Learning and loving life with DS 6 and hubby of 21 years

    DS is in public school, but we enrich and expand at home

  5. #4
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Default

    Yeah, I think I'm probably partly stressed out about the all day driving tomorrow (plus dh has to work from home to take Raven to drama camp and I have to rush home to pick him up on time and my car needs work . . . ). I am seriously tempted, tho, to at least buy the french program . . .and how often does someone start a language class in the language you want specifically for lower grade school age, just a few miles from your house? Urgg! I'm thinking science is more what I'll go light on . . . since I'm doing the co-op anyways. I have a co-teacher, but she's not very comfortable with science. I think she'll do more of the experiment prep and I'll do the lecture, but there's no way I think she could adjust the program for the older ages - she said she was unable to help her daughter at all with the middle school science program she did.

    really, i need to quit my internet addiction, that would free up all sorts of time!
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  6. #5

    Default

    I might be able to help with the library book problem...have you checked out public domain sites? Here are a few:
    Authorama: http://www.authorama.com/
    Project Gutenberg: http://www.promo.net/pg/
    Bartleby.com: http://www.bartleby.com/index.html
    Bibliomania: http://www.bibliomania.com/
    Perseus Digital Library: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/

    Enjoy!

    Best Wishes,
    Janet

  7. #6

    Default

    I don't have much advice, but I couldn't read without offering some e-hugs. <<hugs>>
    Girl Child - 3rd grade
    Boy Child - Kindergarten
    Me - Along for the ride

  8. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dbmamaz View Post
    Let me preface this by saying my anxiety has been rediculously high for no good reason for the past few days since I returned from vacation. But i'm starting to feel like i'm painting myself in to a very painful corner for this coming year!

    First of all, this will be our second year of homeschooling. I felt like last year went ok, but not great. We kinda petered out at some point, with school not starting until 11, including a walk and lunch, and ending by 2. thats just not enough time. And there were way too many interuptions from things like doctors apts and family crises.

    I'm trying to make up by doing summer school, but of course we just lost 2 weeks due to an out-of-country trip, and my older boy will be at his bio-dad's the rest of this week, and then we're already in august.

    So, my plan for next year:
    Raven will do most of his work on Time4Learning - last year I had a hard time getting him to DO T4L, but he's been better about it over the summer - pretty happy to do it. HWOT didnt get done last year - we finished maybe 1/3 of it, maybe less. I'm not sure I can manage to do better this year, we'll see. Reading? He's improving but finding time to read to him seems to be harder now, and i dont know why.

    Orion: I ordered the full set of MCT Voyage, since we did pretty well w paragraph town last year. This will require a lot of time from me, but I really liked the quality of the program and felt like my son both progressed well and enjoyed the together time. I also ordered singapore math secondary level 1. This will also require a lot of my time. But my 14 yo has so much math anxiety, he seems to REALLY need me to be with him most of the time he's doing math.

    My plan was to basically put up a timeline for history and work our way through it with library books .. . but i'm struggling to see when I'll find time to do this. My plan for science was to work through Joy Hakim's story of science along with history, but this seems to require more planning than I think I'll actually do.

    Then came along the co-op - and i've agreed to teach chemistry. I'm a bit in a tizzy about it because I thought the curriculum was all set, but realized its a grade school curriculum and i also have a class of 12-16 yo's to teach. This will probably require a good deal of planning time (of which I generally have very little).

    Now, there's a great deal on a language program I want at the homeschool co-op, and after being in canada among french speakers, learning french for the whole family seems like a great goal. Plus someone is trying to put together a local french class for kids Raven's age. Seems like a win, right?

    Well, my 17 yo is supposed to be moving in w her bf's mom in CA (which could mean we have a crisis in late fall), I'm trying to get a dog because i've been more than a year without one, my husband is about to start seriously looking to change jobs, and dont forget the big UU church auction which I do the database for, starting up in a month here.

    I am NOT organized, I do NOT have any sort of help, and I cant see any possible way to get this all done.

    ?????
    The first thing I would suggest is to really look at the programs you're using to see if they really meet your kids' needs. A different Math program might help your son's Math anxiety. Maybe he needs more practice & review than the program offeres, or less practice & review. Maybe he just needs it to be approached in a different way. Would a DVD program or a story-based program (like Life of Fred) work better him? Is there a specific subject in T4L that your youngest doesn't like or is it the entire program? Is there a different approach you could use for him? A lot of times, these types of problems can be greatly helped by finding materials that mesh better with their learning styles & interests.

    I would consider skipping HWOT, and having him practice his handwriting in other ways - journaling, pen pal, other school assignments, etc. You couls plan to read to him on certain days each week & have him read along with audiobooks on the other days. Don't forget about fun sites like Starfall & PBSIsland or reading games on PBSKids.

    If your kids will be in the co-op Science classes you're doing, going easy at home, with maybe just a few additional assignments, should be fine. Maybe you could choose a few time periods to cover, in History, and find some websites & activity books for each period. If you don't want History to be heavy with projects or activities, you could have them do just one final project for each period or do Notebooking Pages or Lapbooks instead of projects.

    For the planning for the co-op class & the work for the auction, try setting aside a specific amount of time on certain days to focus on each.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the feedback, i'm over the worst of it.

    I've really thought a LOT about what works best for each kid. My point was that the younger one DOES like T4L now, so we dont need to improve that one any. He does much better when he's working independently on T4L, because he fights me any time I tell him to do anything. He doenst like starfall at all because he did it in kindergarten at public school, and he's on pbs kids all the time on his free time, so I dont count that as school.

    My older one only liked LOF where it was a review for him, but not as a learning method. He also MUCH prefers when I talk to him about the concept, then let him try the problems, and come review them with him, which was really not the way LOF is set up. I'm pretty sure this new curriculum will be a better fit for him, especailly as it will review a lot. The frustration, I think, comes because 1. he needs a LOT of one-on-one time with me, and 2. I need a LOT of alone time. so sometimes his neediness make me feel like i'm being strangled. But public school was so much worse, I have to do it.

    I'm not very good at scheduling . .. as in, I cant make myself do it. But honestly, as I start to think things over in my head, I will come up w a general plan, sometimes I cant even put it in to words, but I know how to get started. Well, if I could get myself off the computer faster it would help lol
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  10. #9

    Default

    I wish I could help. My kids are different ages and I'm afraid I wouldn't have much to offer you. The only thing that did occur to me was that I tried a folder system that worked really well. It helped keep me organized. I just bought a pack of manilla office folders and marked each one with the subject. I put that day's work in each folder and propped them in a basket on the desk. Before I started doing that I was sort of running around all day looking for this book and that paper and by the time I found it the kids were nuts and it would take 20 minutes to do the roundup and calm them down again. At any rate, I'm sending you a hug and wishes that it all works out for you.
    Ashley

  11. #10

    Default

    Hi Cara!

    I think I mentioned these sites at one point, but I don't think I ever sent them to you...

    http://bookgirl3.tripod.com/historicalfiction.html

    That one is a wonderful resource for historical fiction. It's broken down by region, period, era, etc. so it's easy to just click and get a list. I start here, then look the books up on Amazon and see what other books amazon recommends, then search the library system. It's tedious, but worth it, I think!

    Here are a couple more sites for books for teaching history: http://www.abookintime.com/world3.html
    http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/history.htm

    Then there's this site: http://www.teachwithmovies.org/indexes-main.htm

    Which is a subscription site (I didn't subscribe because all I wanted was lists of movies, not the lesson plans, etc.) which I found somewhat helpful.

    I find my kids tend to absorb more history info when there's a movie on in the background and they are coloring or doing a craft, building with lego, etc. rather than me reading or putting on a movie and trying to *make* them pay attention LOLOL. Big shocker there, eh?

    That's how I'm doing history this year... using History Odyssey as a jumping off point, I re-arranged their lessons a bit and am using more movies (I thank Ken Burns for his dedication and love of history quite often LOL!) and literature and less history texts (though the kids seem to enjoy Hakim and Zinn sometimes.)

    Hope that helps!!!!!

    Lo

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