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  1. #1

    Default Scripted Curriculum

    So, my kid almost never has the "expected answer" for various scripted curriculum. Sometimes it's not even scripted, it's supposed to be a dialog and I just cannot anticipate what train of thought he will have next. This has happened with at least 3 different curricula: Logic of English Essentials, Building Foundations for Scientific Understanding, and Keys to the Universe Montessori Mathematics.

    Sometimes he's deliberately being a butt and I can get him to attempt to think what the common answer would be. Sometimes I'm being a butt and it annoys me. Truthfully--I WAS THAT KID TOO...

    With LoE, we can blow right past. It's not a huge deal. Sometimes I skip the section if I deam it unimportant and uninteresting and we'll circle back if I find it was actually important.

    With the Montessori lessons, I have him jot down his thought for later research and guide him back to the lesson at hand.

    With Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding--it's making me hate this curriculum. I love how thourough it is (and we are trying to go through it more quickly since it's for below his age, I just want to make sure the foundation is there). But, it's most clear here that: 1) his previous knowledge interferes with some lessons and 2) the typical answers (even the atypical ones predicted by the author) don't naturally occur to him.

    I'd love suggestions for:
    1) My anxiety about it
    2) Working with BFSU or choosing something else that's comprehensive, but a better fit for this type of kid

    Also, I's love hearing your stories and experiences with this. I assume this is at least a somewhat normal newbie homeschool scenario.
    Last edited by b_light; 04-11-2017 at 12:25 PM.
    Homeschooling: son, 10

    Not homeschooling: daughter, 7

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  3. #2


    So I will offer you some reassurance: I think it's just all new to you.

    Especially the part about teaching your son. You've been, until you started homeschooling him, "just" his parent...your role as teacher has been somewhat secondary. Things flip when you homeschool. You probably weren't paying too close attention to his "non-standard" answers to things before, you know? I mean, you knew about it, knew it was there. He was just who he is, with his own view on things. And now you're his teacher too, so you need to negotiate both his non-standardism, who he is, and (cough) your patience in feeling around how best to teach him.

    (this, incidentally, was my exact experience when I started accidentally homeschooling my kiddo)

    I *loved* BFSU but my goat, I could not, at all, implement how to teach it. I was running around all over the place to prepare, then the lessons took so much less time than my prep. Sigh. This is why scripted curricula are out there BTW.
    Eclectically homeschooling 8th grade dd, who likes science as much as art...

  4. #3


    Thanks fastweedpuller!
    Homeschooling: son, 10

    Not homeschooling: daughter, 7

  5. #4
    Senior Member Evolved BakedAk's Avatar
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    I hate scripted stuff. I have a mental block about following stuff as written, even if I think it's crap. I always try to go faster, instead of just skipping it, or having an organic conversation about the topic. And my kids and I are always being "butts" as you put it. I don't have advice for you, just pointing out the silver lining - can you imagine teaching a class (or being in a class) where the teacher has 17 "butts," 10 kids who answer what is expected and 5 who need to go to the bathroom, right now? Gotta love homeschoolilng, where you can actually indulge (sometimes) in the conversation the butts want to have, and not be late to gym class (or lunch, or music, etc.).

    Mommy to Girl-13 and Boy-11, trying to keep my head above water with farm, school, home and art.

    You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.
    (Flannery O'Connor)

  6. #5


    I think the best way to overcome the anxiety is to not usually use scripted curricula. They are great for some people... but not all.

    Sometimes it's important for kids to learn how to answer what the question wants. That's sort of what I think your thread about his reading comprehension touched on. That's a skill. But... is it the skill you want to focus on with this program?

    BFSU is a program that a lot of people love, but find hard to make work for a variety of reasons.

    So... alternatives... Look at Real Science Odyssey. I like TOPS, but it's all experiments and no textbook. Um, there are several "neutral" curricula - Elemental, RS4K, and Mr. Q are some of them. There are some others I don't have experience with at all like Science in a Nutshell (I think that's another that's "neutral") and some video based options like Supercharged Science (that one is secular).

    I think the best option for this age is read books, watch videos, do some hands on projects. But I have the sense that you're a strong box checker and that might not suit you.
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  7. #6


    Farrar - I'm honestly all over the place. I very often am the strong box checker type ( especially when I'm stressed). I'm totally that person right now. Other times, I'm the opposite. I just haven't been around here long enough to show my full spectrum.

    I think it would probably be best for both my kiddo and me if we stick to child-led science for the rest of the school year and take a break from BFSU. Maybe, when I'm feeling more relaxed, I can read it all so I have the background knowledge and just let that come out when it comes out.

    Thanks you guys!
    Homeschooling: son, 10

    Not homeschooling: daughter, 7

  8. #7


    Oh, and to allow for child-led science through research...I'll just make a box to check that says that.
    Homeschooling: son, 10

    Not homeschooling: daughter, 7

  9. #8


    BFSU went into a trash can (literally) at our house after just 10 lessons. It was not at all how my kids wanted to learn, and it was not how I wanted to teach. Pre-read a lesson (poorly written in the most boring style and language), regurgitate the material to the kids, demonstrate the experiments, ask the right questions, get the right answers. We all hated it. My kids do much better with RSO. It is written to the child. They get their own tangibles - a page to read, a lab sheet to fill out, and they feel much more in control of their own learning.

    Scripted curricula are not for everyone.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

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