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Thread: So excited!

  1. #1

    Default So excited!

    Hi everyone! I have an 8 year old son who has finally agreed to try homeschooling next year. Yay! Iíve always given him the option but didnít want to force it. We are a military family so he spent kindergarten in Texas, 1st grade in Kansas, and we just moved to Okinawa, Japan last summer. Now that we will stay put for maybe 3 years and he has friends in the neighborhood he thinks he wants to stay home.
    There are plenty of homeschoolers in the military but most are super religious so Iím so glad to find this group!
    Iíve been researching homeschooling since he was born, and supplementing his ps since he loves to learn. Iím nervous and excited and canít wait to get started! I really like classical education like ďThe Well Trained MindĒ and am wondering if anyone does something like that, and if they have any advice. Also if anyone has input on making the transition from ps to staying home, Iím all ears!
    Thanks for reading!
    Lisa

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  3. #2

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    Welcome!
    There is plenty of transitional advice here, as well as military family advice. Dig around un the archives.
    As far as WellTrainedMind, I think they used to at least have their own forum, and I think it may be more religious (depends on your level of allerjesus).

    There are secular versions of literature-based curriculum, but I cant think of any as heavy as WTM (WTM has 2nd graders reading Dantes Inferno and unabridged shakespeare, i think.... Too much for my boy!)

    If youd like help sorting through the overabundance of choices to find the secular stuff, we can help! Just ask.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    Thank you for the welcome!
    Yes, WTM is super religious, but I just ignore that part and take what I like from it. I figured most of the good stuff would be like that since so many homeschoolers are religious. I just donít want to limit my options. Iíll look through the archives and see what I can find.
    Thank you for putting this group together, itís great to feel like Iím not alone on this journey!
    Lisa

  5. #4

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    Well, just dont think you have to compromise and get religious propeganda disguised as curriculum! There are plenty of secular options for about everything.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  6. #5

    Default

    Welcome to the forum, Leesaa.
    I've got one of those WTM (yes, super religious) books sitting on a dusty bookshelf somewhere around here. Due to our area only being inhabited by public school lovers, I had to figure out homeschooling through books and forums. You can always glean anything helpful from it and discard the rest unless your child is really into it. That's what worked for me on the WTM forums. I would just hit the mute button on the magic-sky wizard gushing, wade through the religious materials to find the few secular ones, read the composition and mathematics tips/advice, and go from there.
    How to make the transition from ps to homeschool? Just relax. You can always play games to work on math (monopoly, etc.), play chess, card games, watch educational movies for science, or do fun age-appropriate science experiments if he's interested, work on spelling and math on the fly, have discussions about anything/everything educational or not, spend quality time together, etc., etc.
    You said that you've been supplementing his education; I would just continue with that until you decide what materials you're going to use for his school year if you're going formal. It definitely depends on what your child likes: structured or unstructured.
    You can always check out Rebecca Rupp's book Home Learning Year by Year (How to Design a Homeschool Curriculum from Preschool Through High School) to get ideas. I remember reading Rupp's book (99% secular, if I remember correctly, it's been a few years) and thinking this homeschool thing could be doable. Up until then, I had been freaking out. Keep in mind that all kids get to where they need to be on their own personal timetable. If certain skills don't get conquered until a year or two later from Rupp's schedule, it's no big deal.
    Last edited by outskirtsofbs; 02-23-2020 at 07:56 AM. Reason: added thoughts

  7. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Welcome!
    There is plenty of transitional advice here, as well as military family advice. Dig around un the archives.
    As far as WellTrainedMind, I think they used to at least have their own forum, and I think it may be more religious (depends on your level of allerjesus).

    There are secular versions of literature-based curriculum, but I cant think of any as heavy as WTM (WTM has 2nd graders reading Dantes Inferno and unabridged shakespeare, i think.... Too much for my boy!)

    If youd like help sorting through the overabundance of choices to find the secular stuff, we can help! Just ask.
    Wow, I guess I hadn't looked into it too much, but that book list is intense!

  8. #7

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    Intense.... another word for inappropriate? Nothing to spur a hatred of Dante or Shakespeare like toiling through it while youre more inclined to books with pictures and simpler plots.
    If you want to brag that your kid can name all the Egyptian pharaohs before they know the names and contexts of important contemporary figures and heroes, I guess its a good sort of regimen.
    I call it WTF not WTM.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  9. #8

    Default

    Ummm... I don't have my copy of WTM in front of me right now but I've used it on and off since I began homeschooling in the early 2000 (not long after it was first published) but I don't remember WTM suggesting Dante or unabridged Shakespeare for second grade lol.

    They do suggest reading children's versions of classics that do not take too many liberties with the story line. One that sticks out in my mind for second grade is Robin Hood. I have the Illustrated Children's Classics of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle. It is actually pretty interesting for my boys around second grade age. I read it to them, they don't read it themselves. There are suggestions for children to read themselves that tie in with the history they are studying IF THEY ARE ABLE TO. If they aren't able, that's ok too. Read them as read alouds or skip them. No harm, no foul.

    I don't do Shakespeare until junior high at the earliest. I just don't think the themes are appropriate for children younger than early teenage years. WTM and Charlotte Mason both suggest reading children's editions of Shakespeare in elementary school to develop an appreciation of Shakespearean literature. I don't buy it. If all they remember about Shakespeare is boring stuffy love stories from when they were a kid, it will be more difficult to get them to appreciate it as teenagers I think, not less difficult. Some kids will like it no matter what and that's fine but my boys especially would have loathed Shakespeare as kids and that's the great thing about homeschooling. No matter what anyone else thinks is "best" for children, I can pick and choose and customize to personalize their education.

    I've never followed any curriculum 100% to the letter. I always pick and choose the parts I like or my kids like and leave the rest. I think excluding anything simply because it is "this or that" is extremely self limiting. Some of the best and most memorable curriculum experiences we have had have been what some people consider religious curriculum that we used in a secular manner. Five In A Row was a HUGE success in our house despite its religious leanings. I just looked past the mentions of religion in the teacher's manual and we skipped a few of the books that didn't seem to fit our world view and it was fabulous for our family!

    On that note though, one of the FIAR books I skipped with my big kids was "The Clown of God" by Tomie dePaola. We loved other books by dePaola like "Strega Nona" and "The Legend of the Bluebonnet" and "26 Fairmount Avenue" but just based on the title of the book, I decided that it did not fit with our world view. Youngest ds saw the colorful cover of the book and the author and wanted to hear it. Oh how I wish I had given that book a chance when my big kids were little! It is about so much more than religion and a belief in god! Plus it is such a good springboard into discussions about religions and the viewpoint of others! I would absolutely suggest prescreening books that might present ideas that might go against your family's values and beliefs but just shunning them entirely is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater sometimes.

    OP, if the ideas in WTM appeal to you, it is entirely possible to be completely secular with it. If you are willing to skip and ignore mentions of religion and customize the resources for your family, there are lots of other secular WTM homeschoolers out there that either have done it before you or are doing so right now beside you. That is one of the best things about homeschooling, being able to completely customize your child's education pulling from any and all resources that fit and work for you and your child. Best of luck to you on this journey.

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So excited!