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  #1  
May 20th, 2011, 07:03 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am so new and getting to know everyone on the board, that I was wondering today what "type" of homeschool everyone practices. I know there are lots of philosophies and just wondered what philosophies everyone was using. I figure we will be classroom at home type, more because I am so used to running a classroom than anything else. I do use the "teaching moments" of course and find the oportunity to "teach" the girls in a wide variety of places and events. I feel though that I will be able to keep track of their progress and make sure that I am hitting certain skills better in a classroom type setting.
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  #2  
May 20th, 2011, 08:34 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I think I'm a little bit "school at home" because of my teaching background and OCD'ness, but I'm also way more relaxed than any PS teacher I know. I lean toward the classical style a bit, but don't stick to it completely (we do classical languages, chronological history, etc.). We're also radical accelerators (skipping more than 2 years ahead overall and going at the child's pace on a per-subject basis.)
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  #3  
May 20th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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[quote=BensMom;23951299 We're also radical accelerators (skipping more than 2 years ahead overall and going at the child's pace on a per-subject basis.)[/quote]

I've never heard of this, can you explain a little more? I did figure I'd go at the girls' pace as far as how quickly they advance in any particular subject, but how do you skip years?
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  #4  
May 20th, 2011, 08:53 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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If eclectic is a style I think that's what we are We use Moving Beyond the Page which is a unit study approach so a lot of what we do revolves around that. We are fairly traditional when it comes to math (I am the main teacher there) and DH does most of the science and he's much more laid back and just follows their interests. We are putting together some Friday trips with other friends so we do a lot of learning in the community as well.

We have set goals for the year and then just work toward them. TX is very relaxed about their home schooling requirements so I don't have to worry too much about tracking everything they do, but our various curriculum provides easy ways to make sure they are moving along and meeting the goals we have set.
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  #5  
May 21st, 2011, 05:32 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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Eclectic is a style.

We're pretty much go-at-your-own-pace school at homers. We use Calvert School (we pay for it, not a virtual school, and we don't use the ATS, we do it completely on our own). My 4 year old is almost 3/4 done with kindergarten, my 9 year old is almost 1/4 done with third grade, and my 11 year old has about 30 more lessons and she'll be done with 7th grade.
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  #6  
May 21st, 2011, 07:57 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill0924 View Post
I've never heard of this, can you explain a little more? I did figure I'd go at the girls' pace as far as how quickly they advance in any particular subject, but how do you skip years?
We didn't do it intentionally at first. It just happened. My son taught himself to read at 22 mos. By that time, he already knew all the basics - numbers (counting and identifying), shapes, colors, etc. He continued to get better and better at reading and spelling on his own. It's all he cared about. When he turned 3, his friends were going off to kinder, so he asked us if he could, too. We said no (because what school is going to let a 3 year old on campus?). He kept begging, so at 3.5, we decided to buy the Abeka K5 kit and let him play around with it for a year or two just to see if there was something in it to keep him occupied. That didn't work. When it came in the mail, we realized he already knew all that. We decided to jump in with both feet and start figuring out exactly where he was. We started buying a little of this and that in 1st & 2nd grade materials. He went through the entire Explode the Code curriculum just to satisfy my own curiosity (because he was already reading very well by then). It took about 3 months to complete 4 years of work. We had him standardized tested right after he turned 4, and he was on a 9th grade reading level. He'd finished one of the apologia books, Abeka social studies, etc. He still wasn't able to write though (meaning... he couldn't even grasp a pencil... his motor skills have been delayed since birth). We put him in occupational therapy, so now his writing is age-appropriate.

Last year, when he started 2nd (age 4.5), he also started English and Latin. He zipped through 2 years of each (2nd & 3rd English and intro + 3rd Latin). Again, we had him tested shortly after his 5th birthday. He maxed out some of the subtests and is on an adult reading level. The test indicated he was on a 4th grade math level, but his basic fact speed has been holding him back, so we've concentrated on that for the past 4-6 weeks. He's doing well on it, and I suspect he'll make a leap in math over the next 12-18 mos.

He's "supposed" to start PS kindergarten in the Fall. He'll actually be "in 3rd" at home, although his subject matter will range from 2nd (math) to 5th (Eng/Latin). Most will be 3rd. His handwriting has caught up pretty well, and the therapist said he's actually on the level of a 6 year old, but that he doesn't have the endurance of a 6 year old. There's no way he could keep up with the amount of writing that an 8-10 year old student would do, so I only have him write when necessary. I've also been told by two therapists that we should start him on keyboarding this summer. It will allow him to do a lot of his work on the computer, because it's easier than writing. Either way, he'll still be learning cursive this year, because I personally feel it's a very important skill.

We're supposed to have him formally tested for giftedness in the next year using the WISC-IV, Stanford Binet LM, and Woodcock Johnson.

You can look at the above scenario, take away the motor delays, and change the language arts strength to a math strength to see what my 2 year old is doing. My kids are equally intelligent, but they're completely opposite in most other ways. My 2 year old also isn't as driven as my 5 year old. He's very laid back and creative. I don't know if he'll accelerate that quickly. He probably just won't care. He has asked to do K this next year, though, so we'll start with that and let him to whatever he wants, with the main focus being reading.

You can read more about types of acceleration and statistics here: IRPA - A Nation Deceived - Get Report

Last edited by BensMom; May 21st, 2011 at 08:00 AM.
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  #7  
May 22nd, 2011, 12:57 PM
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wow, and I thought my two were ahead of their peers LOL They are no where near your boys! So it sounds like the acceleration is more because the boys were able to pick up the skills quickly, not that you skipped anything. Makes more sense now I was going to wait and do pre-k with the girls next year (age 4) but they are so excited to learn that I thought I'd start it this summer. They already know their colors and basic shapes, some letters, digit's 0-9, and can count to about 25. All of these things were skills I taught in my pre-k class (when I taught pre-k a few years ago), so I am starting with K skills (letter/sound relationships, phonemic awareness and number sense skills) and fine motor (cutting, coloring in the lines, pre-writing skills). I figure I'll establish the routine, but not push the skills and see what they do with it.
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  #8  
May 22nd, 2011, 01:29 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Yeah, my idea of K is a lot different from what PS's are doing in K today. I remember when I was in K, there was a lot of playtime, a lot of basic skills, and things like that. Today, K's are teaching things I didn't learn until 1st or 2nd. Yesterday's version of K is what I'm doing with Daniel. I missed that opportunity with Ben because I was dragging my feet and denying the obvious. I want kinder to be fun, and I want it to encourage Daniel to want to learn much more. We're not going to have a schedule, and I don't care if it takes him 2 years to get to the level of a 1st grader (although I seriously doubt it will). I just want to meet him at his level and keep him from getting bored & in trouble. I also don't like the way he feels left out because I'm spending time with Ben. He needs that special time, too.

Acceleration isn't for everyone, but I think a lot of people are afraid of it and have stereotypical ideas about it (like socialization) just like people are afraid of and think badly about homeschooling. In the right setting, it's great. In the wrong setting it's not. I remember my siblings and I being held back behind our potentials. I remember not being *ALLOWED* to learn to read until I was 6. I begged and begged. I remember teaching my younger brother (6 years younger) to read and do math and such, because I knew what it was like not to be taught. Now, looking back, looking at how we've turned out today, looking at acceleration statistics, my parents have apologized to us and have supported my decision to accelerate my own kids. That makes me all the more determined to let them do whatever they want, academically speaking. To me, as long as it's age-appropriate from a morality standpoint, I don't care what they learn.

Oh...

And yes, some people accelerate by going faster than the norm (gifted or not ... just year-round schooling sometimes), some by skipping grades (like, Ben skipped Kinder, while someone coming from PS to HS might skip a couple of grades), and some do a combination of the two. It's quite normal to see a 17 year old enter college. Most don't define that as acceleration. At 16 or younger, they would. Theoretically, my boys would be able to start at 15, but that's still a very long way away, and I suspect they'll either take a gap year (or two) and/or get most of their bachelor's degree from home. Homeschooling for college is becoming much more popular simply because of the significant decrease in cost. A lot of people, accelerated or not, are doing it.

Last edited by BensMom; May 22nd, 2011 at 01:39 PM.
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  #9  
May 22nd, 2011, 10:11 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Homeschooling for college? As in living at home while taking classes or taking classes online? I haven't heard of that before. I have figured that I will homeschool the girls till age 16, then have them get their GED and enroll in our local community college for an associate in libral arts - this will be what I consider HS. Then they can take that to any 4 year and enter for whatever they wish at that point. But, like you said, that is a LONG way off.

Oh and yes, the skill set for pre-k and k has drastically changed over the years and one of the many reasons I do not want to send my kids to PS.
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  #10  
May 22nd, 2011, 11:24 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I actually homeschooled some of my degree, but I didn't realize at the time it had a name. I've CLEP'd out of several classes, took a couple via correspondence (in the days before internet when you had to mail your lessons ), and a few years ago, I took 3-4 semesters toward a webmaster certification. I didn't finish. Kids came along, and I didn't have time anymore. I definitely use those classes in life, though.

You can test out of the first 1.5 to 2 years of college in a variety of ways, and you can take the rest via online courses, sometimes without stepping onto campus (depending on the major). A science-y degree would require labs and such, but really, most can be done from home. There are colleges that cater to younger students with separate, supervised dorms and such, but I don't want to send my kids away any sooner than I feel they're ready... which will be determined a decade from now! Living in a big city, we have a zillion colleges within 20-30 minutes of home, (three are 5 minutes from home), so I don't have to worry about sending the kids to a couple of classes. They can still live at home and commute.

Last edited by BensMom; May 22nd, 2011 at 11:26 PM.
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  #11  
May 23rd, 2011, 09:51 AM
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Thanks for sharing that link, Chrystal. Interesting stuff. I get so confused in the midst of all the different ideas on education that I feel guilty for my 5yo having started Kindergarten before fall and guilty that my youngers don't know all their letter sounds yet because I haven't formally taught them while other people's 2 and 3 year olds do because they have. *sigh*

As to the original question ... Our homeschooling is something of a traditional classical approach with a Charlotte Mason flavor.
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  #12  
May 23rd, 2011, 09:58 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Don't feel guilty about anything!! No approach is the "right" one unless it's the right one for your own family. CM doesn't work for us. Neither do a lot of other methods. It's quite normal for 5-6 year olds to be learning letters and 2-3 year olds to be playing. VERY normal. For my oldest, teaching himself letters and reading and such WAS play. It's what he chose to do 24/7, so we stood aside and let him run with it. For my youngest, all he cares about is creative play. He's much more creative than my oldest, but he's not reading as well as my oldest was at that age. Doesn't matter. They're different, just like all kids are different. Never feel guilty about your teaching approach as long as your kids are learning. If you're completely neglecting them (which I KNOW you're not!), that's the time to feel guilty.
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  #13  
May 23rd, 2011, 11:59 AM
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I can't be told enough to not feel guilty. I always feel guilty. I tend to think that the way someone else is choosing to spend their time and effort is superior to how I am choosing to but I'm trying to more soberly examine these things. For example, take two families who each have a child the age of one of my younger children who knows more than my youngers. One does less with her older children than I like to do with my oldest. The other, her young one is her oldest. Like you said, we just have different teaching approaches (and priorities in general, perhaps - ie, I'm more likely to choose geography or picture study over extra cooking or deep cleaning) but still it is difficult to rid myself of this inferiority complex. Is there a pill for that?
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  #14  
May 23rd, 2011, 02:35 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I like to think there's a pill for everything, but I just haven't found the right combination yet. I need something!
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  #15  
May 23rd, 2011, 06:40 PM
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I have a major inferiority complex, too. I never know if I'm doing enough, if we're falling behind, if my kids are "normal," etc, etc. lol Oy If you find a pill, I'll take one, too.

Anyway, these days I'm doing seatwork half the day (math, writing, all the workbooky stuff), and half the day read-alouds (either the kids reading, or me reading to the kids). Mommy read-aloud subjects are History, Bible, Science, Literature. Those are the subjects I enjoy the most. Not sure what "style" you call that. Just trying to move along and teach my kids in the most efficient, least-burdensome way possible!
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  #16  
May 23rd, 2011, 11:05 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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I know our days will get longer and longer when I add Daniel to the mix and when the boys get into higher levels of learning, but for now, we're still getting everything done in 2 hours or less, 4-5 days per week. We kind of have a system. Ben knows which subjects he'll do alone and which he'll do with me, so he's able to get started right away while I'm getting things done around the house and settling into the morning routine. Especially with things like reading comp & handwriting... those are just workbooks, so he knows he'll be doing whatever is next in the book. There's no need to hold his hand for those types of assignments.
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  #17  
May 24th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Thank you for all the responses to this thread. It is neat to see how everyone is approaching subjects and organizing their time too, especially as I start out.
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